Author(s): Mark Lardas
The clash between the American Bonhomme Richard and the British HMS Serapis during the American Revolutionary War is perhaps the most famous single-ship duel in history. This epic battle between two very similar ships – and crews – off the coast of Britain in September 1779 created two naval heroes: in victory, John Paul Jones became a figure that all future American naval officers would aspire to emulate, while Richard Pearson, in defeat, became a hero to the British for a tenacious defence that allowed the merchant vessels under his protection to escape. Featuring specially commissioned full-color artwork, this is the story of an epic maritime clash at the height of the Revolutionary War that provided a founding legend for generations of US naval officers and demonstrated the intrepidity and fighting prowess of the fledgling US Navy.
The epic battle off the coast of Britain between John Paul Jones's ship Bonhomme Richard and the Royal Navy's HMS Serapis provided the newly founded US Navy with its most enduring legend and demonstrated to the British that they could be beaten at sea in their own waters.
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" 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)" 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)" [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)""
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.
Introduction /Chronology /The Strategic Situation /Technical Specifications /The Combatants /Combat /Statistics and Analysis /Aftermath /Bibliography