Famed as a classic naval duel, a one-on-one clash between two sailing frigates offered the victor immeasurable fame and glory. During the War of 1812, the Royal Navy and United States Navy squared off in four such duels, the most famous that between the USS Constitution and HMS Guerriere. Ships and tactics between the two nations varied enormously, with the American navy favouring a revolutionary design of frigate, with twenty-four pounder guns and heavy structural timbers, while the British, used to fighting the French and Spanish navies, relied on smaller, eighteen-pounder frigates. Through first-hand accounts of these four single-ship actions and fascinating comparisons of artillery, crew ability and tactical achievements, this book offers an unparalleled insight into the ruthless reality of frigate battles in the War of 1812.
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.