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Wager Disaster

Condition: BRAND NEW
ISBN: 9781910065501
Author(s): Kit Layman
Format: Paperback
Year: 2014
Publisher: Unicorn Publishing Group
Dimensions: 155 x 27 x 235 (w x l x h)
Pages: 336

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Description:
In 1741, Britain and Spain were at war. Commodore Anson and his small squadron battled round Cape Horn into the Pacific to take the war to the Spanish possessions in the South Seas. It was a notable moment in British naval history, when far-sighted men were beginning to realise the great benefits to British trade from a strong Navy with a worldwide reach. There were no accurate charts of the west coast of South America. The marine chronometer had not been invented, so longitude was largely a matter of guesswork. And before the value of lime juice had been recognised, the dreaded scurvy took a grim toll on the health of ships' companies. One of the squadron, HMS Wager, a 6th rate of 28 guns, was driven onto a lee shore in vicious hurricane-force winds and wrecked on an uninhabited island off the coast of what is now Chilean Patagonia. About 140 Wager men reached the land, most of them then to be lost through starvation, exhaustion, hypothermia, drowning, and sometimes violence. Gunner Bulkeley led a party who mutinied against an unpopular captain, and set off in an open boat with no chart.
No one approves of mutiny, but his 2500 nautical-mile journey from Chilean Patagonia to Brazil, through the world's worst seas, was an epic feat of navigation, and one of the greatest castaway survival voyages in the annals of the sea. Only 36 men (including Midshipman Byron, grandfather of the poet) eventually made it back to Britain, where their tales of
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