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My War at Sea 1914-1916: A Captain's Life with the Royal Navy during the First World War

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This book is based on the wartime recollections of Heathcoat S. Grant, the captain of the HMS Canopus between 1914–1916. It is published in conjunction with the War Letters 1914–1918 series and is based on a series of articles Grant wrote for the Naval Review in the 1920s. It is published primarily to be of interest to those seeking more details about particular aspects of This book is based on the wartime recollections of Heathcoat S. Grant, the captain of the HMS Canopus between 1914–1916. It is published in conjunction with the War Letters 1914–1918 series and is based on a series of articles Grant wrote for the Naval Review in the 1920s. It is published primarily to be of interest to those seeking more details about particular aspects of the war at sea. Grant never intended it to be a great work of naval literature, but a work of historic record. For the first two years of the war HMS Canopus had as eventful a time as any ship in the Royal Navy, being involved at Coronel, the Battle of the Falklands and the attempt to force the Dardanelles. As captain of the ship, Grant’s account, based on his service reports and diary, is a valuable source for those wanting to know more about such key naval events of the First World War. The report of his conversations with Rear-Admiral Sir Christopher Cradock sheds a valuable light on events at Coronel, while his description of the measures taken on land to defend the Falkland Islands details an important aspect of the battle often overlooked in accounts which focus primarily on the battle at sea. The Canopus also played a critical role at the Dardanelles, getting further up the Straits than any other Allied ship, and Grant’s sceptical perspective from inside the higher echelons of the Royal Navy adds further grist, if more were needed, to critics of the campaign. Later his account of the role of the navy in the Smyrna patrol and the subsequent operations against the Turkish coast following the evacuation of the Gallipoli peninsula provide a fascinating view into this frequently forgotten aspect of the conflict. With the kind permission of the Naval Review, I have brought together all of Grant’s articles and reproduced them in a single volume to make them more easily accessible. I have also added the account given by Commander Philip J. Stopford of the Canopus which also appeared in the Naval Review. Stopford’s account is much shorter and considerably less interesting than Grant’s, but it does offer some additional insights.


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This book is based on the wartime recollections of Heathcoat S. Grant, the captain of the HMS Canopus between 1914–1916. It is published in conjunction with the War Letters 1914–1918 series and is based on a series of articles Grant wrote for the Naval Review in the 1920s. It is published primarily to be of interest to those seeking more details about particular aspects of This book is based on the wartime recollections of Heathcoat S. Grant, the captain of the HMS Canopus between 1914–1916. It is published in conjunction with the War Letters 1914–1918 series and is based on a series of articles Grant wrote for the Naval Review in the 1920s. It is published primarily to be of interest to those seeking more details about particular aspects of the war at sea. Grant never intended it to be a great work of naval literature, but a work of historic record. For the first two years of the war HMS Canopus had as eventful a time as any ship in the Royal Navy, being involved at Coronel, the Battle of the Falklands and the attempt to force the Dardanelles. As captain of the ship, Grant’s account, based on his service reports and diary, is a valuable source for those wanting to know more about such key naval events of the First World War. The report of his conversations with Rear-Admiral Sir Christopher Cradock sheds a valuable light on events at Coronel, while his description of the measures taken on land to defend the Falkland Islands details an important aspect of the battle often overlooked in accounts which focus primarily on the battle at sea. The Canopus also played a critical role at the Dardanelles, getting further up the Straits than any other Allied ship, and Grant’s sceptical perspective from inside the higher echelons of the Royal Navy adds further grist, if more were needed, to critics of the campaign. Later his account of the role of the navy in the Smyrna patrol and the subsequent operations against the Turkish coast following the evacuation of the Gallipoli peninsula provide a fascinating view into this frequently forgotten aspect of the conflict. With the kind permission of the Naval Review, I have brought together all of Grant’s articles and reproduced them in a single volume to make them more easily accessible. I have also added the account given by Commander Philip J. Stopford of the Canopus which also appeared in the Naval Review. Stopford’s account is much shorter and considerably less interesting than Grant’s, but it does offer some additional insights.

30 review for My War at Sea 1914-1916: A Captain's Life with the Royal Navy during the First World War

  1. 5 out of 5

    James

    It was really dry reading, no pun intended. The author definitely was only writing it to try to cash in on being a captain during WWI. But it was enlightening about some parts of the British Navy.

  2. 5 out of 5

    James W Meggs

    Good read with good account of daily life Actual account by someone who was there. Well put together and specified actions of a ships action during war time.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ray Melville

    Very good, readable account of the first years of WW1 at sea in an obsolete battleship. Very insightful.

  4. 4 out of 5

    caleb J. klingler

  5. 5 out of 5

    brian richard savage

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mrs Wendy McLachlan

  7. 5 out of 5

    Frederick Rooney

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tom Noakes

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mr P Michell

  10. 5 out of 5

    N P Hickman

  11. 5 out of 5

    Gordon Lawrence

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kieran Morris

  13. 4 out of 5

    Bernard Nosbisch

  14. 5 out of 5

    Robert

  15. 4 out of 5

    martin thirkell

  16. 4 out of 5

    Steven Meadowcroft

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ian Howe

  18. 4 out of 5

    Howard Hill

  19. 4 out of 5

    phillip cole

  20. 5 out of 5

    kenneth john baker

  21. 4 out of 5

    raymond barratt

  22. 4 out of 5

    Malcolm Bartlett

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mr Stephen Gibson

  24. 5 out of 5

    Gunners Tboc

  25. 5 out of 5

    Travis

  26. 5 out of 5

    Tina Brossow

  27. 5 out of 5

    Raymond robson

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tim

  29. 5 out of 5

    Papa Moon

  30. 4 out of 5

    Gayle Kelly

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