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Bonhomme Richard vs Serapis: Flamborough Head 1779 [Digital]

4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Digital
  • ISBN-10: 178096448X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780964485
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent account! July 24, 2012
I actually brought this book at Barnes and Nobles on 21 July. Amazon is bit late.

Bonhomme Richard vs Serapis proves to be an excellently written account about John Paul Jones' most famous victory. The book is a "Duel" series so it followed the usual format. I found his analysis of the two ships to be most interesting. I have always thought that the fight was between a British frigate vs an armed merchent ship but both ships were more or less geared as a "fourth rate". Fourth rate is a term used to describe an basic 50 gun ship, like a hybrid between a frigate and a regular ship of the line. The book refers to them often as "two decker" which is a proper term but not a very familiar one. HMS Serapis proves to be a true "two decker" by design but Bonhomme Richard was more of an armed East India ship, slower, older but capable of carrying more men, a key advantage John Paul Jones used to win.

I found the book to be highly well written for me but I think some people might find some of the terms slightly confusing. Up to page 50, the book mainly discussed the ship designs, the men who manned them and the career paths of the two captains. It not a wasted effort as most people will find the information given here to be quite useful. The next 24 pages centered around the actual battle itself. The battle appears to be well researched and it is clear that the victory belonged to John Paul Jones solely on his sheer will and utter stubbornness. As the book pointedly stated, any other commander would have lost that battle long ago but John Paul Jones wasn't just any other commander.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Most of the military history I read is on land forces, followed by air forces and with naval history a distant third. With that said, this book was easy to read and easy to comprehend as well as being thorough for a book of its size.

The 1799 battle between the USS Bonhomme Richard and the HMS Serapis off the coast of England was more than just a one-on-one duel between two closely-matched vessels on opposite sides of the American Revolution... it was a fight which established a hero for the United States Navy in the form of John Paul Jones, who captained the Bonhomme Richard to victory, even though it assured the loss of his own vessel. The inspiration of John Paul Jones still lives on at Annapolis.

With that being said, the author takes the time to outline the technology and personnel employed in these great sailing ships. Everything from how the sails were rigged to the various duties of marines on board vessels to the rank structure of the time. Even if you aren't very knowledgeable on the topic this book makes it easy to follow. Very well illustrated with original artwork and maps.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read! September 29, 2013
On September 23 of 1779, a small flotilla of ship, led by the American John Paul Jones aboard the Bonhomme Richard, encountered a British convoy led by the warship Serapis. Starting at 6:00 PM, the Bonhomme Richard and Serapis locked in a deadly duel that lasted for four hours. During that battle, the captain of the Serapis asked Jones if he was surrendering, to which he famously replied, "Sir, I have not yet begun to fight!"

This excellent little book contains a great deal of information on that famous battle off Flamborough Head. It gives a great deal of information on the ships themselves, along with their equipment and crews. After that, it launches into an in-depth look at how the battle unfolded and what happened.

I must say, I really enjoyed this book. If you are interested in the Battle of Flamborough Head, then I think that you will really appreciate this book and its wealth of information. Heck, even if you are just interested in the American Revolution, I think that you will find this book to be a great read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Purchase Well Worth Making! November 14, 2014
By Rick
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I had held off purchasing this book in the pass for no real reason except I thought I pretty much already knew the story. However, I finally decided to purchased based on other books in the duel series that I have come to enjoy. Good decision on my part. Once again greatly satisfied with the purchase. Even though it is less than 100 pages long, it packs a lot of information into its format. In addition I learned a lot more than I thought I knew about the battle. The description and why the British and French built these 64s were clarified in the book. The battle is covered in good detail including the famous "I have not yet begun to fight!" quote and basically how Jones out-gunned and out-fought stilled prevailed. Even more the book covers what happened to the British Captain after his defeat. I had known what Jones had done after the Revolutionary War, but not the fate of the British captain.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bonhomme Richard vs. Serapis August 26, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book comparing the two vessells, the event, and antagonists. It is short, concise, an easy read. The book is a very good reference source for anyone with an interest in the subject.
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