Issuu on Google+

The eMagazine of Hiory

PLUS...

ADMIRAL DUNCAN AND THE INVISIBLE FLEET HUGH OʼNEIL: IRELANDʼS CHARISMATIC TRAITOR


Contents Vol. 1

No. 2 May, 2010

Chronicles is sponsored by Fireship Press, LLC Box 68412 Tucson, AZ 85737 www.Chronicles.us.com www.FireshipPress.com Phone: 520-360-6228 Fax: 800-878-4410 info@Chronicles.us.com

FROM THE EDITOR The Men of War

1

FEATURE ARTICLES The Halsey-Dolittle Raid by Midshipman Kristin Hope

2

Admiral Duncan and the Invisible Fleet by Alaric Bond

8

Hugh O始Neil: Ireland始s Charismatic Traitor by Marina Julia Neary

11

BOOK REVIEWS CHRONICLES EDITOR Barbara Marriott Barbara@Chronicles.us.com SENIOR EDITOR Tom Grundner tmg@FireshipPress.com

The Isle of Stone: A Novel of Ancient Sparta by Nicholas Nicastro Reviewed by Publishers Weekly

14

The Line Upon a Wind: The Great War at Sea, 1793-1815 by Noel Mostert Reviewed by Jay Freeman

15

Saga: A Novel of Medieval Iceland by Jeff Janoda Reviewed by Brad Hooper

16

NEW AND NOTABLE NAVAL EVOLUTIONS: A Memoir by Sir Howard Douglas with Christopher J Valin Copyright 漏 2010 - Fireship Press, All Rights Reserved

True Colors by Alaric Bond AT ABOUKIR AND ACRE: A Story of Napoleon's Invasion of Egypt by George A. Henty

www.FireshipPress.com


Chronicles • May, 2010 • Vol 1, No 2

From the Editor... ! Through the ages war along with a healthy dose of culture has defined heroes and villains. While the reasons for war and battles might sometimes be shrouded in complexities, motivations are clearer and can usually be attributed to a multitude of very human traits including greed, patriotism, honor, pride and self-preservation. This issue of Chronicles considers men who have been caught up in the tangles of the fight. It is up to you to decide what category they fit into. ! The Halsey/Doolittle Raid covers a part of early U.S. World War II history that is too often neglected by historians. The bombing of Tokyo by United States bombers in 1942 is a footnote mostly forgotten by all except the most ardent WWII and military aviation buffs. Kristin Hope describes how this innovative and daring event took shape and was executed. Midshipman 1/C Kristin Hope is about to graduate from the United States Naval Academy and hopes to undergo Navy pilot training at Pensacola Florida. She comes from a family with an aviation tradition. Her father was an Air Force fighter pilot and a commercial pilot. Her mother was both a civilian and a military Air Traffic Controller. MIDN Hope already holds a Private Pilot Powered and Glider license. ! In 1797 England was fighting for her life and the right to control her destiny at sea. It was a war that produced brilliance such as that displayed by a little known British naval officer, Adam Duncan. In his article, Admiral Duncan and the Invisible Fleet, Alaric Bond describes the cleverness of Duncan who with few resources scored a strategy triumph. Alaric Bond has been writing professionally for over twenty years with work covering broadcast comedy, periodicals, childrenʼs stories, television and the stage. He is also a regular contributor to nautical magazine and newsletters. His “Fighting Sail” series of novels begins in 1795, and follows the lives of several characters as they journey through the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. He lives in Herstmonceux, East Sussex. ! Marina Julia Neary takes the reader back to the lusty days of the sixteen hundreds when loyalties were defined mostly by self-interest. Her article on Hugh OʼNeill is the story of a man who subjugated his own people in his quest for power. Neary is a multilingual arts and entertainment journalist, award-winning historical essayist, novelist, playwright and poet. Her Victorian thriller, Wynfieldʼs Kingdom, was featured in the First Edition magazine in the UK. Her plays Hugo in London, and Lady with a Lamp premiered in Greenwich, CT. Her poetry has been published in various literary journals including New Voices and The Recorder. She serves on the editorial board of Bewildering Stories, a speculative fiction magazine. Her lifelong fascination with Irish nationalism led her to explore the life of Hugh OʼNeill. ! So, its off to the Wars, on land, sea and air, with Chronicles. Barbara Marriott

-1-

www.FireshipPress.com

-1-


Chronicles • May, 2010 • Vol 1, No 2

When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, instead of harming the morale of the United States and its people the attack solidified it. The American people called for a counter-attack not only against the Japanese forces, but against Japanʼs homeland. However the problem was distance. It was before the evolution of the catapult and the innovative design of the angled flight deck, and it was to take a combination of the Army Air Corps B-25 bombers and the naval technology of the USS Hornet, one of the first aircraft carriers, to take the war from United Statesʼ shores to the shores of Japan. American military officials wanted to attack Japan with air power. But how? The United States had lost its bases in

-2-

the Philippines and bringing carriers within strike range of Japan was too risky. The solution came when Capt. Francis Low took off from a Navy airfield and was inspired by the concept of a carrier/ bomber-based attack. The runway was marked with a line indicating the end of a carrier runway. As he watched two army bombers crossed this line while landing. He wondered if Army Air Corps bombers could actually launch off of a Navy aircraft carrier. He immediately contacted Admiral Ernest King, who was the Chief of Naval Operations. Admiral King had a reputation for being open to new military strategies and advancements. ! Upon hearing the idea, Admiral King set the plan in motion, contacting General

www.FireshipPress.com

-2-


Chronicles • May, 2010 • Vol 1, No 2 Henry “Hap” Arnold who then contacted or the B-25 Mitchell? The B-23ʼs 92ft the only person he could think of for this wingspan was too long for a carrier taketype of assignment, Lieutenant Colonel off and the B-26 Marauder, fully-loaded, Jimmy Doolittle. Doolittle was a renowned would never take-off in 500ft, the length stunt and test pilot known for breaking of the carrierʼs runway. This meant it had speed records and pushing an aircraft to to be the B-25. Fortunately the B-25 had its limits. General Arnold saw him as the a 67.7ft wingspan, short enough for carideal leader and strategist for this misrier operations, and a short take-off casion. pability. However, the B-25 was not perfect and had to be altered drastically for ! Even with Doolittle in charge of prepathe mission to succeed. rations, the Halsey-Doolittle Raid came with a number of obstacles. The first two ! Preparations for the mission began by involved the sheer basics of the operainstalling self-sealing rubber fuel tanks in tion: how were the bombers going to get the fuselage of the B-25s. The tanks to Japan and how would deflate as were they going to fuel was used, thus get back to the gradually increasUnited States? In ing room in the airtheory the bombers craft for the fiveshould be able to man crew. The bottake off from a cartom turret, which rier, but due to the was usually inaccushort runway they rate at best, was would never be replaced with a 60 able to land. This gallon fuel tank. problem was The extra fuel solved through the tanks gave the use of American plane a fuel capacairstrips in China, ity of four hundred The “twenty-cent bombsight” which would be forty gallons, addavailable through a ing 500 miles to tricky balance of aircraft fuel, the range at their range. which the bombers launched from the ! The top-secret Norden bombsight was carrier, and the targets that were chosen. removed from the chosen aircrafts, which Next a carrier had to be chosen. The lightened each airplane by 600 pounds. USS Hornet was the only option because Two reasons were given to the pilots for it was conducting a routine mission bombsightʼs removal, both of which were through the Panama Canal to San Diego, sobering. The first was stated by Doolittle California. Thus, its presence in the Pahimself “It is inevitable that some of the cific would not draw attention. ships will fall in the enemyʼs hands.” The ! The next difficulty that faced this missecond reason was that the Norden sion was that although Army Air Corps bombsight was largely pointless at the bombers were to be used, a decision had extremely low altitude in which the pilots not been made on which ones. Would it would be flying. be the B-23 Dragon, the B-26 Marauder,

-3-

www.FireshipPress.com

-3-


Chronicles • May, 2010 • Vol 1, No 2 ! A new bombsight was designed by Capt. Charles Ross Greening to replace the Norden. Although itʼs official name was the "Mark Twain Bombsight,” most pilots called it the “twenty-cent bombsight” because it cost about twenty cents to make. With this, knowing airspeed and altitude, the bombardier could calculate the angle and set the bombsight. When this line of sight was crossed, the bombs were released. ! Another strange but effective modification was the addition of two broomsticks that were painted black and installed on the tail to give the appearance of two machine guns, thus discouraging enemy fighters from attacking the rear. Once the aircrafts were modified they were flown to the Eglin Army Air Corps Base in Florida. ! A Navy pilot, Lt. Henry L. “Hank” Miller, was brought in to teach the B-25 pilots how to take off and land on carriers, and naval customs and courtesies. When he arrived for their training, a B-25 crew took him up for a flight in a B-25 using the usual takeoff speed of 110 miles per hour. When Lt. Miller told them they could do the same thing at 67 miles per hour, the crew didnʼt believe him. On the next takeoff, Lt. Miller took the controls and did just that. This was an introduction to the many concepts and skills he would teach them. ! The first lesson was taking off at low speeds. This simulated carrier conditions where they wouldnʼt have time to gain speed but would still have enough runway to take-off. He started the pilots with a light load of 21,000 pounds and increased it until they were at the required weight of 31,000 pounds, 2000 pounds over the maximum load for which the aircraft was designed. This weight included the full crew, fuel, and bombs needed for the mission.

-4-

!

Initially the pilots needed 800 feet, 300 feet more than the carrier would allow. By the end of training the pilots were able to takeoff in 500 feet. One pilot was even rumored to have completed a takeoff in 287 feet. ! The last thing the pilots needed to learn was low-level flying, sometimes only a few feet or inches off the ground. This would allow them to fly the distance from the carrier to mainland Japan undetected by radar. It also made them less susceptible to enemy fighters and increased bombing precision. ! Before loading the bombs for the attack on Japan, the pilots and naval crew decorated the bombs with medals and sayings. The medals were sent from American citizens who had received them during peacetime from the Japanese. One received his while he was a sailor in The Great White Fleet that visited Japan. Admiral Halsey attached one medal to a

Major General Doolittle attaches a Japanese medal to a bomb.

www.FireshipPress.com

-4-


Chronicles • May, 2010 • Vol 1, No 2 500-pound bomb, announcing “Boys, return these medals with interest. Good hunting.” One Marine on the ship, who lost his parents in Pearl Harbor, wrote, “This is from Mom and Pop Bogart.” Other inscriptions included, “I donʼt want to set the world on fire—just Tokyo” and “Youʼll get a BANG out of this.” On April 1, 1942, sixteen B-25B bombers, their five-man volunteer crews, and maintenance personnel were loaded onto the USS Hornet at Alameda, California. Each plane carried four extra fuel tanks, a .30-caliber machine gun, two .50-caliber machine guns in an upper turret, 500-pound bombs, three highexplosive bombs and one incendiary bomb. The planes were arranged and tied down on the Hornet's flight deck in the order of expected launch. !The Hornet left the port of Alameda on April 2 and a few days later joined the carrier USS Enterprise and its escort Task Force 16, a combination of cruisers, destroyers, and submarines, in the mid-Pacific Ocean, north of Hawaii. The two carriers and their escort ships then proceeded, in ra-

-5-

dio silence, towards the waters east of Japan. ! All plans were kept extremely secret; the details known only to King, Doolittle, Duncan, Low, Halsey and Arnold. Even after the task force and the pilots had been set on course to bomb Tokyo, no one but Lt Col. Doolittle; Admiral Mitscher, the Hornetʼs commander; and Admiral Halsey knew the mission or the destination. Rumors spread through the crew about the force's mission; some thought the bombers were being delivered to a base in the Aleutians, others thought the aircrafts were destined for a Russian airfield on the Kamchatka peninsula. After a week at sea Halsey succinctly announced the destination to the entire crew, "Attention! The target is Tokyo!" ! On the morning of April 18, at a distance of about 650 miles from Japan, a Japanese patrol boat sighted the task force. Although an American cruiser quickly destroyed the boat with gunfire neither Doolittle nor Mitscher could be sure that the patrol boat had not sent a warning to Japan. Japanese wartime

www.FireshipPress.com

-5-


Chronicles • May, 2010 • Vol 1, No 2 documents reveal that the Japanese paother, and the commander of Tokyo's air trol boat did report meeting an American defense committed suicide. carrier group, but the report was ignored ! Although the raid had been a success, in disbelief. the planes and crew still had a long way Because of the threat of discovery, to go in order to reach safety. Fifteen of Doolittle and Mitscher decided to launch the sixteen planes proceeded southwest the B-25s immediately, a day early and along the southern coast of Japan and about 400 miles farther from Japan than across the East China Sea towards planned. At eight oʼclock in the morning, China, where recovery bases supposedly Admiral Halsey from his flagship issued awaited them. One B-25 was extremely the order, flashed by a blinking light to the low on fuel and headed for the closer USS Hornet, “LAUNCH PLANES. TO land mass of Russia. COLONEL DOOLITTLE AND GALLANT ! This flight to safety, however, was not COMMAND: GOOD LUCK AND GOD what they had inBLESS YOU. tended. The relief that HALSEY.” Despite was felt by the pilots their intense training, when they realized none of the B-25 pithe raid would be durlots, including Dooliting the daylight hours, tle, had ever taken off removing the threat of from a carrier before, obstacles such as but all 16 planes barrage balloons, was launched off the Horreplaced by dread net safely. They then with the knowledge flew single-file tothey would now have wards Japan at waveto navigate their way top-level to avoid detoward China at night. tection, just as Lt. Their navigation of Bobby Hite being led to a Japanese Henry Miller had transport plane two days after the raid Chinaʼs terrain was taught them. not as detailed as it The planes began arriving over Japan should have been. To make this matter about noon and bombed military targets worse, bad weather closed in, reducing in Tokyo, Yokohama, Kobe, Osaka, and their visibility to nothing. They knew they Nagoya. Although some B-25s encounwere going to be low on fuel for the flight, tered light anti-aircraft fire and a few enbut the extra 400 miles they flew to reach emy fighters over Japan, not a single BJapan consumed the reserve they relied 25 bomber was shot down or severely on to reach safety. Fifteen of the sixteen damaged during the raid. planes crash landed. The crew who flew to Russia was able to land near VladivosTokyo was stunned by the bombing. tok. People panicked. After repeated promises by the authorities that Japan's sky ! Out of the 80 men and 16 planes that will be "clean" forever, the Doolittle raid flew from the USS Hornet on April 18, was a shock to Japan's military and civil1942, all 16 planes were lost. The five ian population. The heads of the Japapilots who landed in Russia became nese Air Force and Navy accused each POWs, escaping through Iran a year

-6-

www.FireshipPress.com

-6-


Chronicles • May, 2010 • Vol 1, No 2 later. Of the others, three were killed bailing out of their aircraft and eight were captured by the Japanese. Three of the captured American airmen were executed, one died of malnutrition and mistreatment, and four tried to escape but were caught and spent another 40 months in captivity. For the rest, fourteen died in missions following the raid, ten in Europe, North Africa and Indo-China, and four were shot down and interred as German POWs. Right after the mission, Doolittle said that he thought the mission had been a total failure and he expected a court

martial upon his return to the United States. However, instead of being courtmartialed, Doolittle was promoted to Brigadier General, skipping the rank of Colonel, awarded the Medal of Honor, and assigned a new command with greater responsibility. Although all the aircraft were lost and the damage inflicted during the raid was minimal, the operation provided an incalculable boost to American morale when just about everything else in the Pacific was going badly. It also pointed out the vulnerability of the Japanese homeland to bomber attack. This would later be important in the decisions to bomb Nagasaki and Hiroshima, the bombings that ended the war.

S-h-s-s-s!!! Fireship Press is giving away

FREE BOOKS! Yes, itʼs true. Fireship Press IS giving away FREE books. Is there a catch?

Of course there is! • We will agree to send you any Fireship Press or Cortero Publishing book that you choose (or weʼll assign you one) postage paid. • You agree to review it on Amazon.com within 30 days. Your review could be good, bad, or indifferent; but you must agree to write that review. • In exchange… you keep the book.

Interested??? Just write: Sales@FireshipPress.com and weʼll hook you up.

-7-

www.FireshipPress.com

-7-


Chronicles • May, 2010 • Vol 1, No 2

Admiral Duncan and the Invisible Fleet

by

Alaric Bond 1797 was an eventful year in an eventful war. The Battle of Cape St Vincent had raised morale, and with it a new hero was launched upon the public (although the publicity was to a great extent engineered by the subject). But Nelson was to go on to lose a campaign, and an arm, at Tenerife a few months later, and the year had opened with an attempted invasion of Ireland that was defeated more by the weather, and incompetence on behalf of the French, than any British warship. It was also the time of the Spithead mutiny when men, tired of wages and conditions that had hardly altered in 150 years, and urged on by the recent increase in “intellectual” recruits, raised by the Quota Act, rose up and demanded change. At this time Adam Duncan, a tall and strikingly charismatic Scotsman, who had served with Rodney and Keppel, had -8-

charge of the North Sea Fleet. It was his responsibility to keep the Eastern approaches safe for British shipping, and to blockade and eventually destroy the powerful Dutch fleet that was set to spearhead an invasion of England. To achieve this he was allowed a motley collection of tired ships, several of which had been converted from merchants, manned by men to whom promises made by a desperate Admiralty following Spithead seemed likely to be broken. ! On the 12th of May the inevitable happened; the naval base at the Nore rose up in revolt; the North Sea Fleet refused to sail, and England was left undefended. In his own flagship Duncan had met with a rebellious crew, although his understanding, reassurance and pure strength of character proved sufficient to quell an outright rebellion. It was left to him to maintain the watch over the Dutch

www.FireshipPress.com

-8-


Chronicles • May, 2010 • Vol 1, No 2 with only his flagship Adamant (74 guns) and the smaller Venerable (50 guns) plus an assortment of lighter craft, while the rest of his ships lay at anchor, under the command of Richard Parker's “Floating Republic”. Not for the first, or last, time Britain was open to invasion. The Dutch fleet was a powerful one, mainly consisting of line of battleships specifically designed with a low draft, for the shallow waters off their coast. In addition there were several powerful frigates, and over one hundred transport vessels and supply ships ready to carry the mighty French army based nearby. Two British warships, supported by a handful of smaller craft, were no match for such a force. However Duncan was able to fool the enemy into thinking his ships were just the inshore squadron of a far superior fleet. Anchoring his flagship outside the Dutch harbour, he began to signal to a nonexistent battle-fleet that was seemingly just out of sight of land, while his supporting vessels sailed to and fro, carrying “messages”, and alternating their appearance and colours to bolster the ruse. For a few desperate days all shipping, including small craft and fishing vessels, were prevented from sailing, Duncan being well aware that firm news of Britainʼs vulnerable state would see the enemy fleet at sea, and wiping his scant squadron away without a thought. In time the situation on shore started to ease; the first British ships rejoined Duncan on June 4th with more following on the 9th. By October the fleet was back

-9-

under full control, although the men were still disturbed by the events of the previous months. Then, on October 9th, news arrived that the Dutch battle-fleet had finally sailed. ! Duncan went to meet them with eleven sail, seven of which were crewed by men who, only a short time before, had been mutineers. The Dutch force consisted of sixteen lines of battleships, five frigates and five brigs. Duncanʼs fleet was soon reinforced but still remained outnumbered. ! The action took place in the shallows to the south of the Texel. The Dutch, conforming to conventional tactics, formed a line of battle. Duncan had no preformed plan, although he trusted his officers in the same way that Nelson would later in the wars. By 12:30 the British were bearing down on the Dutch in a two column formation that anticipated Trafalgar by several years. Despite the poorer quality of his ships, the men of the North Sea Fleet were eager to prove their loyalty and fought well; one man, Jack Crawford of the Venerable, achieving immortality by literally nailing the colours to the mast, after they had been shot away. ! The battle that ensued was one of the bloodiest of the wars. Both navies were highly professional, and the British, although fewer in number, and equipped in the main with worn out ships, were clearly the underdogs. One of the more interesting aspects of the action was the mutual respect shown by each force, and it is significant to note that the two opposing

www.FireshipPress.com

-9-


Chronicles • May, 2010 • Vol 1, No 2 admirals survived the battle, and remained close friends for the rest of their lives. Now, more than two centuries later, the memory of Duncan has fallen into decline. On the bi-centennial of the battle, Dundee City Council published a volume of essays about the man and his times. This included an excellent appraisal by Brian Livery, although the title is now out of print. Neil Duncan also produced a biography in 1995 which has suffered a

similar fate. Christopher Lloyd brought out “St Vincent and Camperdown”, a study of the two actions, in 1963 and two other biographies were written, one in 1898 and one in 1900. Considering the plethora of Nelson related volumes that have appeared on the market recently (one figure quoted is 40 biographies in the last ten years), it seems unfair that such a fascinating character who achieved so much should not be better remembered.

The Royal Navy is immobilized by mutiny, and the only thing that’s standing in the way of an invasion is a commander who is communicating with a fleet that isn’t there.

The Third Book in Alaric Bond’s Fighting Sail Series

- 10 -

www.FireshipPress.com

- 10 -


Chronicles • May, 2010 • Vol 1, No 2

Hugh O’Neil: Ireland’s Charismatic Traitor BY

Marina Julia Neary

Hugh O’Neil - Hailed by some as a self-sacrificing idealist who fought for Irish freedom. Condemned by others as the man who destroyed Gaelic Ireland. “Men are fated to do what their talents demand of them.” With that phrase Sean OʼFaolain, the most prominent biographer of Hugh OʼNeill, the 2nd Earl of Tyrone, sums up the legendary Irish rebelʼs political career encompassing three decades of ambition, volatile alliances, tantalizing promise of victory and ultimate defeat. The Great OʼNeill never thought twice about befriending strangers or turning former friends into enemies. Taking the existing tradition to the extreme, he galloped in and out of alliances. He rebelled against his patron queen, lost, repented, received her pardon, rebelled again against her successor, fled Ireland and finally settled in Rome under the protection of the Pope and the King of Spain, securing himself the reputation of a brazen, charismatic traitor. With his famous crimson beard, four wives that would make Henry VIII envious, and countless children, legitimate and bastard, Hugh OʼNeill maintains his status as one of the most controversial and mysterious figures in Irish history. The very date of his birth is uncertain. OʼFaolain claims it is 1550, while other historians believe it to be as early as 1540. Keeping accurate records was hardly a priority for Gaelic chieftains. Up until his death in 1616 Hugh OʼNeill remained a coveted ally for some of the most prominent political figures in Europe. There were always monarchs willing to take him under their wing. He was born during a chaotic era when family relatives denounced and poisoned each other. As a mere lad he was a protégé of Elizabeth I who shouldered the chore of supervising his reeducation. The Virgin Queen perceived the articulate, energetic boy as a worthwhile investment and raised him to be a law-enforcer in Gaelic Ireland. His du-

- 11 -

www.FireshipPress.com

- 11 -


Chronicles • May, 2010 • Vol 1, No 2 ties were to impose the English ways upon the native “barbarians” and to suppress any attempts of the Irish chieftains to reclaim their freedom. ! Initially, OʼNeillʼs behavior appeared perfectly in line with the Queenʼs will. He performed all the tasks expected of him, having fought in 1580 with the English forces against Gerald Fitzgerald, 15th Earl of Desmond, and later assisted with the suppression of the Scots rebellion in Ulster in 1584. For his service to the crown, he was made by Parliament 2nd Earl of Tyrone, in spite of his questionable legitimacy, and soon became the most powerful man in Ireland. ! All the bloodshed and intrigue that Hugh had witnessed as a child growing up in the woods of Ulster prior to becoming Elizabethʼs protégé had become intrinsic parts of his nature. He did not feel at ease unless he was in a state of conflict, be it physical, mental or political. Fortunately in Tudor-dominated Ireland, there was no shortage of opportunities to engage in a conflict. ! His pugnacious, effervescent character would not allow him to enjoy the benefits of his station. He eloped with Mabel, the sister of his sworn enemy Sir Henry Bagenal. By then Hugh had already had two marriages under his belt. The first one, to Katherine OʼNeill, ended in a scandalous annulment. The second one, to Joanna OʼDonnell, left him a widower. Having cut his grieving period short, Hugh abducted and seduced Mabel, a naïve, exquisitely beautiful Protestant girl twenty years younger. She ran away with Hugh embraced Catholicism and enraged her family. ! Her marriage brought her no joy, as the amorous fog before her eyes had gradually dissipated. Having witnessed treachery and corruption that abounded within the walls of Dungannon Castle, she learned what it was really like to be married to an Irish chieftain. She died in 1595, allegedly of a broken heart caused by Hughʼs repeated infidelities. Because of the controversy surrounding her marriage to OʼNeill, Mabel became known as Helen of Troy of Elizabethan Ireland. Hughʼs fourth and last wife was Katherine Magennis who later accompanied him into exile in Rome. ! He was not the first man in history to turn his country into a laboratory for his political experiments. Nor was he the only man of his generation to be misunderstood by his contemporaries. Nineteenth century Irish nationalists invented a romantic myth about Hugh OʼNeill, depicting him as a self-sacrificing idealist who fought for Gaelic freedom. However, modern historians blame OʼNeill for accelerating the demise of Gaelic Ireland. His outlandish attacks against the Tudor dynasty were dictated not by patriotism or altruism but by profane curiosity. His Nine Year War was just a political experiment, a test of his abilities as military leader. ! After his defeat at the Battle of Kinsale in 1601 he was reduced to the statue of guerrilla chieftain and spent a year roaming the Irish countryside with his children and sol- 12 -

www.FireshipPress.com

- 12 -


Chronicles • May, 2010 • Vol 1, No 2 diers. At last he wrote an official letter of surrender to Mountjoy, giving himself over to the mercy of the Tudors and pleading for pardon. Astonishing enough, he received that pardon several days before Queen Elizabeth died and he was later restored to his earldom. Upon returning to Tyrone, he found his former domain a hunger-ridden wasteland. The famished natives greeted him with hatred, volleying him with stones and dirt. The Queenʼs successor, James I, a Stuart and a Celt, was sympathetic towards Ireland. A bit of patience and diplomacy on Hughʼs part and Gaelic Ireland could have been given a second chance. Unfortunately, the truce did not last long. Hugh, an incorrigible provocateur of fate, made it impossible for him and his family to stay in Ireland. His unpopularity with his subjects kept growing, as did his conflict with James I. The final straw was his personal animosity with Sir Arthur Chichester. ! On September 14, 1607 Hugh OʼNeill and Rory OʼDonnell, Earl of Tyrconnel, fled Ireland. The event became known as the Flight of the Earls and ranks among the most celebrated episodes of Irish history, as it ushered Irish migration. Hugh and Rory found temporary shelter in the Netherlands. The winter was brutal, and they did not wish to risk traveling by sea. Then in the spring of 1608 they proceeded to Rome where Pope Paul V welcomed them with open arms, praising them as Catholic avengers. ! The last eight years of his life Hugh OʼNeill spent under the protection of the Pope and the King of Spain, sipping wine and sharing his tales, which inspired many epic ballads home in Ireland.

Two Great Fireship Press Books by Marina Julia Neary Lady with a Lamp Wynfield’s Kingdom

And coming in 2010

Wynfield’s War

- 13 -

www.FireshipPress.com

- 13 -


Chronicles • May, 2010 • Vol 1, No 2

Book Reviews The Isle of Stone: A Novel of Ancient Sparta by Nicholas Nicastro Having brought John Paul Jones and Alexander the Great to life, Nicastro (Empire of Ashes) turns his formidable skills as a historical novelist on an obscure episode in the Peloponnesian War, that almost three-decade conflict between Athens and Sparta, which he labels antiquity's "war to end all wars." The choice to have a narrow focus, rather than an all-encompassing epic sweep, proves a wise one, as it enables Nicastro to go into nitty-gritty detail about the lifestyles of Greece in 425 B.C., making the harsh Spartan attitudes, for example, comprehensible, if not acceptable, to a modern sensibility. The author instills emotional depth in his three main characters—Damatria, a wealthy Spartan woman, and her two sons, Antalcidas and Epitadas—and the supporting cast through adept use of the telling descriptive phrase. The careful research and study that went into this book should enthrall fans of the classics, military history buffs and general readers. Publishers Weekly

- 14 -

www.FireshipPress.com

- 14 -


Chronicles • May, 2010 • Vol 1, No 2

The Line Upon a Wind: The Great War at Sea, 1793-1815 by

Noel Mostert For 22 years, the Napoleonic Wars ravaged Europe, toppled thrones, reshaped empires, and determined the diplomatic and political destinies of European nation-states for the next century. The land battles and chief military figures of those battles are familiar, even to many laypeople. The naval campaigns, perhaps less publicized, were equally as important in the defeat of Napoleon. Mostert, a former foreign correspondent, has written a stirring saga of these campaigns that is both comprehensive and easy to digest. Although Mostert doesnʼt neglect the technical aspects of naval warfare, he avoids the trap of allowing details to overwhelm his exciting narrative. This is a vast, fast-moving chronicle that ranges across great distances while examining a host of characters, both well known and relatively obscure. Mostert does justifiably place great emphasis on Admiral Nelson and the critical battle at Trafalgar. He also offers useful and interesting descriptions of less-prominent aspects of the wars, including conflicts with the Barbary pirates and the British struggles against the rise of American naval power. This is an outstanding survey of a prolonged struggle that helped shape world history. Jay Freeman

- 15 -

www.FireshipPress.com

- 15 -


Chronicles • May, 2010 • Vol 1, No 2

Saga: A Novel of Medieval Iceland by

Jeff Janoda This detail-rich novel is a retelling of a thirteenth-century Icelandic saga written by an unknown author. The original document arose from the colonization of Iceland by Norwegian settlers, and this particular tale unfolds before the enticed reader's eye as an intriguing concoction of abject realism (the day-to-day livelihood as practiced by the colonizers is explained, and the physical features of the land are beautifully described) and flights of fantasy (elves are co-inhabitants of the Iceland presented here). The story line is essentially about land—who owns it, who disputes the ownership of it—in this hardscrabble agrarian society, where inheritance of land means everything, and honor (and necessary revenge against those who would besmirch it) is the essential tenet of life. Tribal organization and clan government are opened to contemporary viewing and appreciation. With the author's ability to pump viability into the characters, the novel does what good historical fiction is supposed to do: put a face on history that is recognizable to us all. Brad Hooper

- 16 -

www.FireshipPress.com

- 16 -


Chronicles • May, 2010 • Vol 1, No 2

New and Notable NAVAL EVOLUTIONS: A Memoir by Sir Howard Douglas Edited and with a New Introduction by Christopher J. Valin One of the most revolutionary tactics in naval warfare was developed in the 18th Century, and was called “Breaking the Line.” The Royal Navy used it to win fleet engagements ranging from the Battle of the Saints, to Trafalgar. But, who developed it? Fireship Press is proud to revisit this controversy with the release of a new edition of the book, with an introduction by Christopher Valin, perhaps the world’s leading expert on the life of Sir Charles Douglas.

True Colours (The Third Book in the Fighting Sail Series)

by Alaric Bond The Royal Navy is immobilized by mutiny, and the only thing that’s standing in the way of an invasion is a commander who is communicating with a fleet that isn’t there. With ship-to-ship duels and fleet engagements, shipwrecks, storms and groundings, True Colours maintains a relentless pace that culminates in one of the most devastating sea battles of the French Revolutionary War—the Battle of Camperdown.

AT ABOUKIR AND ACRE: A Story of Napoleon's Invasion of Egypt (Henty Homeschool History Series)

by George A. Henty At Aboukir and Acre is the story of Edgar Blagrove, a young man whose father was an English merchant in Alexandria. When Napoleon arrives, he is separated from his father, attaches himself to a Bedouin tribe, and fights the French. After witnessing the French defeat at Aboukir Bay, he joins the British Navy as a midshipman, and participates in Napoleon's defeat at Acre by serving as an interpreter to Sir Sidney Smith.

- 17 -

www.FireshipPress.com

- 17 -


Chronicles • May, 2010 • Vol 1, No 2

Fireship Press is looking for a

FEW GOOD WRITERS FOR

CHRONICLES Yes, if your article is selected you get paid (on publication): Feature article: 1000-1500 words - $25 Book Review: 200 - 275 words - $5 (So you wonʼt be able to retire on it. Hey, itʼs the thought that counts!!) All articles must be about some interesting aspect of history. History is defined as anything WW-II or before. Interesting is defined as whatever strikes our fancy. Nautically related articles are especially sought. Nonfiction only at this time. For more information or to submit an article, send an e.Mail to our editor: Barbara Marriott, at: Barbara@Chronicles.us.com

Finally!! Donʼt Miss a Single Issue of

CHRONICLES The eMagazine of Hiory

Sign up for your FREE subscription at

www.Chronicles.us.com

- 18 -

www.FireshipPress.com

- 18 -


CHRONICLES: The eMagazine of History