Strike the Red Flag: More thrilling naval warfare with
Today’s Free Kindle eBook: Strike the Red Flag: More thrilling naval warfare with Lieutenant Oliver Anson
Red flags flutter at the mastheads of the Channel Fleet ships gathered at the Spithead anchorage. It is 1797, across the calm waters of the Solent the great naval base of Portsmouth lies impotent. Worse, unrest is spreading – to Plymouth, backdrop to Francis Drake’s Armada heroics two centuries earlier, and to the Nore, the great anchorage at the gateway to London. To the downtrodden sailors whose pay has not been increased for a hundred years and who endure a poor diet, harsh punishments and lack of shore leave, it is time to strike for better pay and conditions. But, according to the rigid Articles of War, akin to holy writ on board His Majesty’s ships, it is mutiny. And at a time when Britain is at war with Revolutionary France and threatened with invasion, the nation is plunged into grave peril.Young Lieutenant Oliver Anson, a distant relative of the legendary circumnavigator Admiral George Anson, is keenly awaiting transfer to duties aboard a frigate in the Mediterranean. Any ideas of idleness while he waits are swept aside when he is ordered to travel to Portsmouth on a mysterious mission. What are the contents of the papers he is to deliver personally to the flag officer there? Who among his fellow travellers on the express Royal Mail coach would try to steal them? How does he survive a more dangerous attack after being despatched to the Nore on a further secret assignment?David McDine’s Strike the Red Flag skilfully uses actual events in the Royal Navy’s history as the backdrop to some great swashbuckling fiction which remains true to social history while examining the idea of duty and the loneliness of command. His knowledge and evocation of the period is impressive, and his pitch-perfect phrasing recreates a fascinating world now lost to us.David McDine, OBE, is a former Admiralty information officer, Royal Navy Reserve officer and Deputy Lieutenant of Kent, and the author of Unconquered: The Story of Kent and its Lieutenancy. He also wrote The Normandy Privateer, another naval adventure featuring Lieutenant Oliver Anson, of whichStrike the Red Flag is a prequel.
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