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"Gunboats explained - War of 1812" Topic

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Blutarski10 Dec 2019 10:05 a.m. PST

In the course of consulting a dusty old (and delicate) book that has been sitting on my bookshelf for twenty years, I came upon an entire chapter on the care, feeding, operational characteristics and combat history of American gunboats in the War of 1812. It contains a great deal of good detail which will be valuable to anyone seeking to incorporate gun-boats into an age of sail war-game. As such, I am transcribing it to a Word document as a "public service".

If anyone is interested in a copy, contact me at -
byron [dot] angel [at] Verizon [dot] net


IronDuke596 Supporting Member of TMP10 Dec 2019 10:57 a.m. PST

My email to you came as 'not deliverable' after two sends and that byron.angel does not have a account.

Blutarski10 Dec 2019 11:27 a.m. PST

Sorry about that, Iron Duke.
Mixed up my regular email with an old disused Gmail address.

Send here – byronangel [at] Verizon [dot] net

Boy, do I feel stupid …..


rmaker10 Dec 2019 12:14 p.m. PST

Could you just post the basic bibliographic data for the book? Title, author, publisher, and publication/copyright date?

IronDuke596 Supporting Member of TMP10 Dec 2019 12:17 p.m. PST

No worries. I just sent another email.

Blutarski10 Dec 2019 1:11 p.m. PST

Sure thing, rmaker -

From it Origin to the Present Day
1775 1897

Volume II (of IV)

by John R Spears
New York, Scribner's Sons; 1897

The relevant material is located in Chapter XVIII "Gun-boats not Wholly Worthless".

Blutarski Note
This work was written in large part as a "popular history" at a time when ill feelings toward the British, consequent to the American Revolution and the War of 1812, still lingered. Expect to find some commentary that might be a bit "off-putting" to modern British sensibilities. Nevertheless, the information provided about gun-boats of this era is IMO quite valuable, given the awesome lack of such detailed information elsewhere.

I am about half-way done with the transcription after two days. The transcription, when complete, will be about a ten page Word document.


rmaker10 Dec 2019 2:21 p.m. PST

Thank you.

Dennis10 Dec 2019 4:47 p.m. PST

Ross, and anyone else who's interested, the book (multiple copies of all volumes, albeit some are mislabeled so check the title page) is available as a download in kindle, pdf and several other formats on archive dot org.


Bombay Marine10 Dec 2019 10:28 p.m. PST

The best thing I've ever read on the subject is "The Jeffersonian Gunboat Navy" by Spencer C. Tucker. That said, I was put off to find that the main gun on a gunboat could not be fired unless the vessel was anchored! That sort of limits the wargaming aspect!

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