Thursday, September 12, 2002

USS Chesapeake - strange coincidence

The USS Chesapeake first came to my attention when strolling in Point Pleasant Park in Halifax, Nova Scotia where I saw a plaque which says:
"Confidence in the British Navy faltered early in the War of 1812 when American vessels won several single ship engagements. This pattern was broken on June 1st 1813 when HMS Shannon, commanded by Captain Philip Broke, closed with USS Chesapeake under Captain James Lawrence off Boston harbour. The latter was taken in a short and bloody fight and brought into Halifax by her captor on June 6th. This engagement was long considered a naval classic. It marked a change in British fortunes at sea and vindicated Broke's insistence on gunnery training, neglected by the Navy since Trafalgar."
After my return to Toronto I chanced upon this BBC item detailing the ultimate fate of the Chesapeake.

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