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Ramage's Diamond (1976)

de Dudley Pope

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The youngest captain in His Majesty's Navy, with a reputation for landing impossible assignments, Lord Ramage is dispatched to the Caribbean islands of Martinique and Diamond Rock. The mission seems humdrum: barricade the French within Fort Royal. But sent to sea in the Juno with a crew grown restless and undisciplined under the prior commmand of a drunk, Ramage realizes his vssel may not be up to battle with the French.… (més)
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I couldn't follow this very well, perhaps because I've been sick. I'm not too good with block & tackle, but according to the Postscript, "In 1804 Commodore Samuel Hood...reported to the Admiralty that he had taken possession of Diamond Rock...." So this is based on a historical occurrence. ( )
  CAFinNY | Apr 26, 2019 |
Another superb novel of adventure, humour and bold moves.

I pace myself with this series or I would just sit and binge read them all in order...I would enjoy that but what would I read when I really needed a reading fix after that :)

I have read nine books all together with 2 read out of order, regrettably still several more to come. ( )
  Lynxear | Sep 20, 2018 |
Read 11-15-2017
  trexm5qp7 | Nov 21, 2017 |
Assigned to the mutinous frigate, Juno, Ramage must gain their trust and get them ready to fight.on his way to the Caribbean.
Excellent series, sometimes based upon actual events. Always a good story with interesting characters, puzzling quandaries and sometimes quirky solutions. Age of sail tyros should read early in their literary questing for his knowledge and insights into fighting, sailing and British Navy life during these quite fascinating times. Many set in the Caribbean where Pope lived for most of his writing career enabling him to provide very helpful maps, not often found in fiction, for his scenarios. ( )
  jamespurcell | Feb 8, 2014 |
This is number 7 in the Lord Ramage series of nautical novels by Dudley Pope, considered by many (including me) to be a suitable replacement to C. S. Forester. This is also another nautical series I am trying to read in order, somewhat unsuccessfully, I might add.

Ramage is now a post captain. He has been awarded the Juno, a ship whose previous captain had left in disgrace. Ramage must whip the crew into shape (which he does) and then take the ship to the Caribbean and the West Indies to blockade the French at Fort Royal on the island of Martinique. (Apparently, the actions of Ramage are based on the real-life exploits of Commodore Samuel Hood.) After cutting out two small French frigates from the port, Ramage, hearing that a large French naval convoy is soon due, decides to fortify a huge rock that commands the sea lane to the French island. Some of the most interesting detail concerns exactly how the huge guns from the Juno were taken off the ship and hauled up to the top of this rock, substantially higher than the masts of the ship. Much too heavy to be placed on the ship's small boats, the guns were hung in the water on poles between two of the boats to reduce their weight and then towed in this way closer to shore where they could be lofted by a complicated system of blocks and tackles.

The English had advance information of the French convoy of merchant ships and the approximate date when they were to arrive, but not how many escort vessels would accompany the convoy, so they were at considerable risk. Ramage/Hood was very short of men, but he stationed the Juno in such a way that it could not be seen by the approaching enemy, and then he used one of the little French ships he had captured previously to masquerade as a French schooner. At the right moment, with the assistance of a favorable breeze -- and the ineptitude of the French commodore -- he managed to separate the merchant ships from the escort. That two of the escorts ran into each other helped him immeasurably. These actions, coupled with the plunging fire from the batteries he had placed on Diamond Rock, decimated the escorts, which had vastly outnumbered him in men almost five to one.

Pope was apparently "anointed" by C.S. Forester as his successor, and his books do have the flavor of the Hornblower series. Of the many people writing excellent nautical historical fiction, Pope has recreated the atmosphere and style of Forester most similarly. Other wonderful authors are Dewey Lambdin, Patrick O’Brian, Richard Woodman, and recently James Nelson, who approaches the war from the American point of view.

( )
  ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
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There was a faint smell of oil, turpentine and beeswax in the shop, and while an assistant scurried off to fetch the owner Ramage glanced first at the sporting guns in the racks round the walls and then at the pairs of pistols nestling in their mahogany cases which almost covered one end of the counter.
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The youngest captain in His Majesty's Navy, with a reputation for landing impossible assignments, Lord Ramage is dispatched to the Caribbean islands of Martinique and Diamond Rock. The mission seems humdrum: barricade the French within Fort Royal. But sent to sea in the Juno with a crew grown restless and undisciplined under the prior commmand of a drunk, Ramage realizes his vssel may not be up to battle with the French.

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