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Bonhomme Richard vs Serapis: Flamborough Head 1779 (Duel) Paperback – July 24, 2012


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Bonhomme Richard vs Serapis: Flamborough Head 1779 (Duel) + British Frigate vs French Frigate: 1793-1814 (Duel)
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Product Details

  • Series: Duel (Book 44)
  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (July 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781849087858
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849087858
  • ASIN: 1849087857
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.3 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,126,411 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"[The book] is accompanied by some excellent period illustrations as well as more modern illustrations and maps that help to put the reader on board both ships. It makes for a superb read and one I can most highly recommend."
- Scott Van Aken, Modeling Madness (October 2012)

"Any military collection strong in maritime history will find this filled with color artwork, in-depth detail on ships and strategies, history and illustrations and analysis of action."
- The Midwest Book Review (November 2012)

"Lardas compiles a topic of great interest to maritime historians in a short, easily-read volume with beautiful colour illustrations and photographs. Overall, the book makes for an enjoyable introduction into an aspect of maritime and naval history."
--The Northern Mariner (January 2013)

"The book is filled with illustrations in color and in black and white; each includes a caption to clearly identify what is shown. Highlighted diagrams and inserts provide additional information on the vessels, copper bottoms, great guns, hand weapons, press gangs, biographies on the captains, quarterdeck views from both ships, and Paul Jones the Pyrate. Color maps delineate the vessels’ movement. Also included are a bibliography, an index, and a chronology of the captains and the ships, which encapsulates on two pages the high points found within the book. It begins in 1731 with Pearson’s birth and concludes in 1806, when he died. This is a thorough, yet concise and very readable account of this battle. Lardas provides a plethora of information without getting bogged down in complicated, nautical details and language. It’s an excellent introduction for anyone who wants to know about this event, and provides readers with sufficient background knowledge to allow them to read and understand more in-depth accounts."
-- Cindy Vallar, Pirates and Privateers

About the Author

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 modeler, Mark Lardas is currently working in League City, Texas. He has written extensively about modeling as well as naval, maritime, and military history.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Very well illustrated with original artwork and maps.
James D. Crabtree
Heck, even if you are just interested in the American Revolution, I think that you will find this book to be a great read!
Kurt A. Johnson
This book is very informative not only in the sense of the actual battle.
Michael Persico

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By lordhoot on July 24, 2012
Format: Paperback
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 By James D. Crabtree VINE VOICE on October 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
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 By Kurt A. Johnson TOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 29, 2013
Format: Paperback
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 By Rick on November 14, 2014
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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