For armchair admirals, history buffs, and naval enthusiasts everywhere, A Naval Miscellany is an indispensable and entertaining collection of fascinating and often little-known facts, anecdotes, lists, curiosities and stories from our naval past. Forgotten heroes, amazing blunders, surprising trivia, and strange-but-true stories overlooked by historians - it is all here in a book that will enlighten and amaze even the most avid student of naval history.
What was the Nelson touch? Who were the naval heroes of the ancient world, and the world's worst admirals? How do mines work? What is a two-ocean navy? How much did a midshipman get paid in the eighteenth century? What was the Anaconda plan, and what are the origins of sea shanties? Where are the biggest naval bases in the world today? How significant was the use of torpedoes in the American Civil War? When did women first serve at sea? And how does a ship float?
Open this book anywhere and you'll find yourself instantly captivated. From flogging, sodomy and the lash, to naval medicine in the age of sail; from hidden facts about Pearl Harbor to how to navigate by the stars; from tales of shipwrecked sailors and castaways to inside a nuclear submarine; from roundshot, grapeshot and chainshot to pirate hunters; from ships' pets and mascots, to keelhauling and hanging by the yardarm; from wooden legs and one-eyed cooks to naval superstitions; and from mutinies and a buffer's guide to naval acronyms to Donald Duck and the war effort.
There is plenty of fascinating sea lore here - from the monumental to the trivial - plus the low-down on different types of warship and profiles of fighting admirals throughout history. This work takes up where ordinary naval history books leave off.
"NO FOC'SLE'S fully furnished without it. Angus Konstam's appealingly presented sampler brings together all manner of maritime lore. From the bowline to the boatswain's pipe; from the Top 10 knots to Nelson's funeral; minesweeping methods and memorable quotations; anchor design, the articles of war, acronyms of the US Navy, notable ship's mascots, figureheads and landlocked navies. Konstam has been around the Horn a fair few times as a naval historian: immense learning worn lightly, entertainingly presented, are the keynotes." -The Scotsman
"While many miscellanies (trivia books) are primarily a compilation of lists, Konstam opted to write fascinating articles to whet the reader’s appetite. His intent was to appeal not only to naval enthusiasts, but anyone with a curiosity about naval history... What makes Naval Miscellany such a delight to read is I can pick and choose the titles that most appeal to me or skip around, rather than reading the book from beginning to end. Although a hardback, the book is the size of a paperback that contains a chest full of treasures to scintillate the mind." -Cindy Vallar, Pirates and Privateers
"Offers a sailor's collection of nautical qualities and facts about the sea, blending yarns about pirates and escapades with rowdy songs and history to make for a rollicking, fun read. Any sailor will find this an outstanding presentation, and any nautical library will also relish the variety of stories and experiences." -The Midwest Book Review