‘Masters of the Seas’ First Battlecruiser Squadron, 1915.

First Battle-Cruiser Squadron in 1915, in line of battle against the setting sun. Oil on canvas by by William Lionel Wyllie, 1915. In collection of National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.

#OTD 21 May 1941 Royal Navy cruisers intercept German convoy off Crete

HMS Dido, HMS Ajax, and HMS Orion in action off Crete, 21st May 1941. The three cruisers and four destroyers (Janus, Hasty, Hereward, Kimberley) formed “Force D” under Rear-Admiral I.G.Glennie. On the night of 21st May, an Axis convoy of twenty caïques escorted by the Italian destroyer-escort Lupo attempted to land German troops at Maleme.

Interception of enemy convoy off Crete, by Rowland Langmaid, collection of National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.

Nelson Boarding the San Josef at the Battle of Cape St Vincent, 14 February 1797

Nelson Boarding the San Josef at the Battle of Cape St Vincent, 14 February 1797, by George Jones, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.

“January 2nd 1795. Thetis, Cleopatra and Thisbe at anchor in Lynhaven Bay at the mount of the Chesapeake.”

“January 2nd 1795. Thetis, Cleopatra and Thisbe at anchor in Lynhaven Bay at the mount of the Chesapeake.” by George Tobin. In collection of National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.

“End of the Action between HMS Magicienne and La Sibylle, 2 January 1783”

“End of the Action between HMS Magicienne and La Sibylle, 2 January 1783” by Robert Dodd. Painting in collection of National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.

Royal Navy battleship HMS Formidable sunk by German U-boat on 1 January 1915

HMS Formidable named and launched at Portsmouth 1898. The battleship served in the Royal Navy until 1915 when she was torpedoed and sunk by the German U-boat U.24 in the English Channel. Print in collection of National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.

Casualty and survivor lists courtesy of the incomparable naval-history.net.

‘General Chart of Terra Australis or Australia’ by Cdr Matthew Flinders, HMS Investigator, 1798-1803

‘General Chart of Terra Australis or Australia’ by Cdr Matthew Flinders, HMS Investigator, 1798-1803. In collection of National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.

SS Great Western “riding a tidal wave” 11 December 1844

The Great Western Riding a Tidal Wave, 11 December 1844. Painting by Joseph Walter in collection of National Maritime Museum, Greenwich (via BBC Your Paintings).

A portrait of the wooden paddle steamer ‘The Great Western’. Built by Brunel, she was the first of his three steamships and pioneered the steam deep water passenger trade. She was launched at Patterson & Mercer’s yard in Bristol on 19 July 1837 and sailed to London later that month to be fitted out.

The ‘Great Western’ sailed from Bristol on her maiden voyage on 8 April 1838, arriving at New York on 23 April. She completed 45 Atlantic voyages to New York for her original owners, the Great Western Steamship Company, before being sold to the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company for its service between Britain and the West Indies. The sale was forced in order to raise funds to salvage the company’s other ship, the ‘Great Britain’ (1843), from Dundrum Bay. Following service to the West Indies, the ‘Great Western’ was employed as a troop transport during the Crimean War. She was broken up at Castle’s Yard on the Thames in August 1856.

The painting is signed ‘J Walter’, and is a smaller version of a painting in the Bristol City Art Gallery and Museum.

Strachan’s Action after Trafalgar, 4 November 1805: Bringing Home the Prizes

“Strachan’s Action after Trafalgar, 4 November 1805: Bringing Home the Prizes” by Francis Sartorius II. Painting in the collection of the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.

OTDIH 25 October 1747 Royal Navy fleet under Admiral Edward Hawke trounced the French at the Battle of Cape Finisterre

‘Admiral Edward Hawke (1710–1781), 1st Baron Hawke’ by Francis Cotes. Painting in collection of National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.