Maritime

The relationship between the very different expanses of the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea began long before Columbus.

President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill attend a Sunday service on the quarterdeck of HMS Prince of Wales during the Atlantic conference,  10 August 1941.

The sinking by Japanese aircraft of HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse in December 1941 and the subsequent loss of Singapore was a grievous blow to British morale. But have historians misunderstood what really happened? 

In a world of rapid growth in maritime trade, understanding the tides was vital. Yet it was a complex process, dependent on science, geography, mathematics, religion and ego, writes Hugh Aldersey-Williams.

Illustration of Frobisher's encounter with Inuit, possible at 'Bloody Point', by John White. c.1577.  © British Library Board

Motivated by power and prestige, Europeans have long sought a route through the Arctic Ocean connecting the Atlantic with the Pacific. Despite many failures, the lure of the frozen north has enjoyed remarkable longevity. 

Dress found off the coast of Texel in April, 2015. Copyright Museum Kaap Skil

The often overlooked importance of maritime affairs on the course of the Civil Wars.

The unexploded shell, fired by HMS Malaya, in the nave of Genoa Cathedral

On its 75th anniversary, Philip Weir remembers Britain’s first attempt to smash a major hydroelectric dam: the bombardment of Genoa in 1941.

The Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805, J.M.W. Turner, 1823-4

Though attention this year has been focused on the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo, the decisive blows that defeated Napoleon were landed at sea, says James Davey. 

Churchill arrives with his family in the Queen Elizabeth, March 23rd, 1949.

From luxury liners to troopships: Roland Quinault examines the close relationship between the Cunard line and Winston Churchill.

A foreman whistles a signal to a crane driver, 1938.

Britons like to think that they all pulled together during the Second World War, but as Clive Emsley shows, some of the work force, in particular those employed in the nation’s ports, were just as likely to be pulling a fast one.

HMS Glorious soon after its remodeling as an aircraft carrier

On the anniversary of its dramatic sinking, Philip Weir revisits the controversy surrounding the mysterious events of that fateful day.