Streams

Knights of the Sea

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

David Hanna describes the sea battle between the sailing ships the Boxer and the Enterprise in the waters off Pemaquid Point, Maine, during the War of 1812. Knights of the Sea tells the story of this military turning point that became emblematic of a maritime era that would soon be gone forever.

Guests:

David Hanna
News, weather, Radiolab, Brian Lehrer and more.
Get the best of WNYC in your inbox, every morning.

Comments [11]

Phil Kasky from Warrenton, VA

I thought this was an informative dialogue between Lopate and Hanna. Great questions from Lopate. Hanna was insightful in discussing his story of the Boxer and Enterprise battle. Interestingly, as a naval battle, he engages the reader (I have read his book) and listener into thought provoking contrasts of military strategies between the ages, but not just from a naval perspective. When you think of modern day resourcing for war from the diplomatic, information (psychological warfare), political, military and economic aspects, there is a dynamic parallel to early 19 century warfare. Hanna did a good job reminding us how important history is in linking our past to our present day thinking.

Jan. 04 2012 03:27 PM
Barry

Leonard, thank you for leading an engaging interview.
As a Canadian, I particularly appreciated hearing David Hanna's explanation and clarification of Canada's role in the war. I am looking forward to reading Knights of the Sea.

Jan. 04 2012 02:29 PM
Kay from Mechanicsburg

Thank you Leonard for introducing Hanna's book and asking good questions.
I enjoyed hearing David's analysis of the war of 1812 and the role the sailing ships played during the war.
I am looking forward to reading Hanna's book.

Jan. 04 2012 11:17 AM
Rick from Vermont

So refreshing to hear historical analysis presented in human terms. Good questions, Leonard...,and thank you for the clear and straightforward explanations of that turbulent time, David. Perhaps some lessons for today as we tend to ascribe godlike powers and motivations to our leaders. In fact, like Burrows and Blyth, they are actually real people.

I look forward to reading the book and enjoying more of David's way with words.

Jan. 03 2012 10:13 PM
bluew

I felt the author addressed this, when he mentioned that the US navy was qualitatively strong, but not quantitatively. And the royal navy's numerical advantage was offset somewhat, by its global commitments. Looking forward to reading Hanna's book.

Jan. 03 2012 04:50 PM
Foxessa

We had five frigates and the brits had a thousand. That guy needs to stop eating so many psychedelic mushrooms.

That's another problem with the observances of the War of 1812 -- few people know much about it, unless they are historians who focus on it. So the vettors get taken in by guys like this one.

He was really bad -- like a private school history teacher I met once who insisted -- and TAUGHT -- that New Orleans was never Spanish.

Jan. 03 2012 03:13 PM
Foxessa

Baltimore also had a large number of refugee slaveholders who had fled from the Revolution in San Domingue -- which became Haiti.

Some of the greatest privateers from there were built in their Baltimore shipyards with the labor of their slaves.

Jan. 03 2012 01:53 PM
Orin from Queens

What was the influence of conservatism on the war? Did the American conservatives of the times, the Loyalists, commit any acts of terrorism or treason against the people's Revolution in fighting against the right-wing British Imperialists?

Jan. 03 2012 01:53 PM
Foxessa

What? We didn't HAVE a navy at the start of the War of 1812. Jefferson reduced it in order to cut spending.

The War was initiated by cost cutting no taxes fantasy believing jingoes -- a war on the cheap, and we lost it. Except for the privateers. Except for the real purpose of the war, which was to get the Indian lands who had treaties with the the Brits. That worked very, very well, thanks to Old Hickory -- otherwise they'd have lost that one too.

The Chesapeake privateers did very well as well.

Jan. 03 2012 01:50 PM
Hugh Sansom

A key difference between Canada and the United States circa 1812: The most fervent anglo-loyalists of the American colonies had fled in the revolutionary era -- the US had few fans of Britain. Many of those loyalists had fled to Canada. If Canada was experiencing any tension with Britain in the late 18th century, that diminished with an influx of wealthy loyalists from the newly-independent US.

Jan. 03 2012 01:44 PM
George from Bay Ridge

What was the state of the navy at the outbreak of the war?

Jan. 03 2012 11:09 AM

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.