In the Age of Fighting Sail (1650-1820), ambitious officers of the navies of many nations sought command of a frigate. Speedy, nimble and formidably armed, frigates often operated independently, unlike the larger ships of the line. Legendary sailors such as Edward Pellew and Charles-Alexandre Léon Durand, Comte de Linoise, found that commanding such a ship offered numerous opportunities for wealth. In this book, four representative frigate duels are examined: first, a battle fought between two closely matched ships HMS Nymphe (36) vs La Cléopâtre (32); second, a victory won by an inferior British frigate over a superior French frigate HMS Pallas (32) vs Minerve (40); third, a victory - the only one - by an inferior French frigate over a superior British frigate HMS Ambuscade (32) vs Baïonnaise (24), and fourth, victory of a superior British frigate over an inferior French frigate HMS Indefatigable (44) of Hornblower fame vs La Virginie (40). Featuring specially commissioned artwork and offering expert analysis, this study provides a vivid account of the bloody combats fought by the most romantic warship of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic era - the frigate.
Mark Lardas holds a degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, but spent his early career at the Johnson Space Center doing Space Shuttle structural analysis, and space navigation. An amateur historian and a long-time ship modeller, Mark Lardas is currently working in League City, Texas. He has written extensively about modelling as well as naval, maritime, and military history.