british admiralty



“Washington DC is a military-based, privately-owned, non-Constitutional French corporation, which is at the seat of an illegal government entity called the “United States”  (US) and not the “United States of America” (USA).  The legal control system established in Washington operates under British Maritime Admiralty Law of Flags and the Queen of England is the Monarch of America.

 Washington DC has a military mandate to stir up and to foment continual   conflicts and wars globally. These artificial conflicts are intended to generate Commerce and future business opportunities for the European criminal cabal’s international corporations.”

The Great American Adventure pg 73

January 15, 1917 - British Admiralty Announces Losses to German Surface Raiders

Pictured - SMS Seeadler, a German raider and one of the last sailing ships ever used in wartime. Painting by Christopher Rave.

The British Admiralty declared its losses to German surface raiders, noting ten British and 2 French ships had been sunk in the last weeks of 1916. Although most German attacks came from the U-boats, in 1917 Germany still had a number of surface raiders prowling the seas, especially in the Indian and Pacific, where Allied naval supremacy could be more easily avoided. The most remarkable of these vessels was SMS Seeadler,

German for “sea eagle”, Seeadler was a three-mast sailing ship, a windjammer used for merchant shipping. Originally, she was an American ship, but after being captured by a U-boat (and then captured by the British, and then recaptured by another U-boat, with the help of the American crew), she became the property of the German Imperial Navy. So began a strange career as a naval surface raider.

In December 1916, Seeadler set sail disguised as a Norwegian merchantman, but carried hidden 105mm guns, two heavy machine guns, and a well-armed complement of sailors. For almost a year, she led the French and Royal Navies on a chase around the world, capturing some 15 Allied vessels in the Atlantic and Pacific along the way, before finally being shipwrecked in French Polynesia in September 1917.

The USS Nebraska, a United States Navy battleship, with dazzle camouflage painted on the hull, in Norfolk, Virginia, on April 20, 1918. Dazzle camouflage, widely used during the war years, was designed to make it difficult for an enemy to estimate the range, heading, or speed of a ship, and make it a harder target. How well dazzle camouflage worked, or if it worked at all, were never clearly established, despite several attempts by the British Admiralty and others.

The Portuguese were the first European travelers to visit Benin, which they called Beny, this was during the reign of King Ozolua c1472 and 1486 AD. The Portuguese admitted finding a highly developed kingdom with a very advanced system. This visit and subsequent interchanges led to King John II of Portugal who reigned between 1481 to 1495 exchanging correspondences with the King of Benin on a peer like basis. Between 1504 and 1550 AD, the Portuguese established diplomatic and trade relations with Oba Esigie and his kingdom of Benin

By the 16th century the Oba sent an ambassador to Lisbon and the king of Portugal reciprocated by sending Christian missionaries to teach the Binis the gospel.

The English made their first call in 1 553. This visit was a harbinger of lucrative business, for significant trade relationship soon developed between England and Benin. The British anthropology writer and curator, Henry Ling Roth, described Bini as Great Benin. Other European visitors to Benin in the 16th and 17th centuries brought back to Europe tales of the Great Benin”, a fabulous city of noble buildings and efficient administrative system.

The state developed an advanced artistic culture and wrought with unequalled mastery works of arts in bronze, iron and ivory. They expressed events that they considered history-making in carvings. Benin also developed a formidable military establishment.

The Benin Bronzes
The Benin Bronzes are a collection of more than 3000 brass plaques from the royal palace of the Kingdom of Benin. They were seized by a British force in the Benin Expedition of 1897 and given to the British Foreign Office. Around 200 of these were then passed on to the British Museum in London, while the remainder were divided among a variety of collections, with the majority being purchased by Felix von Luschan on behalf of the Königliches Museum für Völkerkunde in Berlin (the present-day Ethnological Museum).

Bronzes are now believed to have been cast in Benin since the thirteenth century, and some in the collection date from the 1 5th and 16th centuries.

Between Benin and Britain
At the end of the 19th century, the Kingdom of Benin retained its independence and the Oba exercised a.monopoly over trade which the British found irksome. Pressure was mounted by figures such as Vice-Consul James Robert Phillips and Captain Gatlwey (the British vice-Consul of Oil Rivers Protectorate) who were pushing for British annexation of the Benin Empire.

Britain needed to establish a sphere of influence so that no other European power could later claim Benin as its own. This period in world history was the period of the scramble for Africa which brought about the Berlin Conference of 1884 and 1885 which partitioned Africa amongst the then European powers.

The agreement at the end of the Berlin Conference was contained in the General Act which has in part the rule of the Principle of Effectivity or Uti Possidetis “as it stands at the present”, which is that a nation could only claim a colony if that nation actually possessed the colony. To lay claim it must have treaties with the local chiefs, fly its flag there, and establish an administration in the territory to govern it. The colonial power must also directly use the economic resources of this colony; otherwise it could not claim it to the exclusion of other European nations.

Thus it became imperative to make local chiefs to put hand on paper and sign treaties with the European nations. Expeditions were therefore dispatched to coerce traditional rulers into signing treaties. At the time of concluding the Berlin conference in 1885, only the coastal areas of Africa were under European rules, 80% of Africa was effectively under the rules of their traditional kings. But by 1902, 90% of all the land that makes up Africa was under European control.

By June 5, 1885, Britain named her Sphere of Influence as extending from Lagos to
River Rio Del Ray near Cameroon. This sphere of influence Britain called Oil Rivers
Protectorate. But Benin in the middle was not part of it.

In March 1892, Henry Gallwey, the British Vice-Consul of Oil Rivers Protectorate (later Niger Coast Protectorate), visited Benin City hoping to annex Benin Kingdom and make it a British protectorate. Although the King of Benin, Omo n’Oba (Ovonramwen), was sceptical of the British motives he was willing to endorse what he believed was a friendship and trade agreement. He refrained from endorsing Gallwey’s treaty when it became apparent that the document was a ploy intended to make Benin Kingdom a British colony. Consequently the King issued an edict barring all British officials and traders from entering Benin territories. Since Major (later Sir) Claude Maxwell Macdonald, the Consul General of the Oil River Protectorate authorities considered the ‘Treaty’ legal and binding, he deemed the King’s reaction a violation of the accord and thus a hostile act.

Between September 1895 and mid 1896 three attempts were made by the Protectorate to enforce the Gallwey ‘Treaty’.

The “Benin Massacre”
In November in a letter to Lord Salisbury, the British Foreign Secretary, Vice-Consu Phillips requested approval to invade Benin and depose the Oba, adding the following footnote: “1 would add that I have reason to hope that sufficient ivory would be found in the King’s house to pay the expenses incurred in removing the King from his stool” In late December 1896, without waiting for a reply or approval from London, he embarked on a military expedition, He had a few Europeans and 250 African soldiers masquerading in part as porters. The force’s weapons were hidden in the baggage carried by the porters’.
The Benin king preferred to let the British enter the city so that it could be ascertained whether or not the visit was a friendly one. The head of Benin Army felt otherwise and without obtaining the kings permission ordered the formation of a strike force to destroy the invaders.

On 4 January 1897, the strike force caught Phillips’ column totally unprepared. Only two British officers survived the annihilation by the Benin soldiers.

Benin Punitive Expedition
On 12 January 1897, Rear-Admiral Harry Rawson was appointed to lead an expedition to capture the Benin king and destroy Benin City. The operation was named Benin Punitive Expedition, and on 9 February 1897 the invasion of Benin kingdom began. The field commanders were instructed to burn down all Benin kingdom’s towns and villages. The invasion force of about 1200 British Marines, sailors and Niger Coast Protectorate Forces, and composed of three columns. They reached Benin City after 10 days of bitter fighting. One column was routed by Benin soldiers.

Immediately after the British invaders secured the city, looting began. Monuments and palaces of many high-ranking chiefs were looted. Homes, religious buildings and palaces were deliberately torched.
The British Admiralty confiscated and auctioned off the war booty to defray the costs of the Expedition.

The dispersal of the Benin art to museums around the world catalyzed the beginnings of a long and slow European reassessment of the value of West African art. The Benin art was copied and the style integrated into the art of many European artists and thus had a strong influence on the early formation of modernism in Europe.

The King of Benin was eventually captured by the British consul-general Moor, deposed and sent to live out his days in Calabar.

On December 27, 1899, Britain at last was able to proclaim and promulgate the Protectorate of southern Nigeria, to take effect from January 1, 1900.

A new beginning
It is in the light of this history, the clamour by many notable persons, the efforts of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments and the positive attitude of these men and women of goodwill, representatives of some of the greatest museums in the world that a new beginning of rapprochement is being fashioned out.

How Britain Won the War of 1812: The Royal Navy's Blockades of the United States, 1812-1815

The title is a bold one, and it’s not mine. It belongs to a book published in 2011, written by one Brian Arthur, which offers the most comprehensive look at the economic impact of the War of 1812 to date. In doing so, it dispels one of that little-known and ill-understood war’s most lingering myths.

The story goes that a gallant US navy, involved in its first ever full-scale maritime conflict, punched well above its weight, embarrassed the far larger, more experienced and better-funded Royal Navy with a string of plucky victories, and savaged British trade on the high seas. The conflict proved that the US Navy had what it took to beat a world power, and provided an example of the fighting quality of American seamen.

Unfortunately, one broadside of hard facts leaves such a pride-inducing narrative holed below the waterline.

For starters, while it’s undoubtedly true that the entirety of Britain’s Royal Navy was far larger than that of the United States in 1812, the idea that Britain could bring its full weight down upon the USA in isolation is ludicrous. Regardless of what US-centric narratives of the war may say, the conflict of 1812 was never more than a sideshow to the British, eclipsed as it was by the momentousness of the latter part of the Napoleonic Wars. The Royal Navy in 1812 was required not only to continue to suppress France and her allies, but also to maintain the defence of far-flung British colonies across the globe, as well as protect vital supply links with the other nations fighting Napoleon. As the US Naval Institute states;

Captain William Hoste, a protege of Vice Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson’s and a master of frigate operations, held the Adriatic in awe in 1812-14. Napoleon had rebuilt his fleet after its heavy defeat at Trafalgar in 1805, and the British had to devote much effort to blockading French ports and supporting land operations in Europe, especially in Iberia. There was great concern about the Toulon-based French fleet. The Royal Navy was stretched in the Mediterranean, and there was particular anxiety about enemy sorties from Toulon in 1811 and 1812. British naval resources were also strained elsewhere. (Jeremy Black)

Because of all this, Britain had 85 ships in American waters at the start of the war. Even this is an unrepresentative figure however, since a number of these squadrons were on station in the Caribbean, and presented little direct threat to the US Navy.  In reality the Royal Navy’s North America and West Indies Station consisted of one small ship of the line, seven frigates and fourteen smaller sloops or schooners. The US Navy, meanwhile, had eight frigates and fourteen sloops.

Sender as it was, a numerical advantage in terms of ships was the only thing going for the supposedly mighty Royal Navy in 1812. The Americans had two major advantages. The first was that in the years before the war the United States had embarked on a shipbuilding project which resulted in the commissioning of three heavy frigates. These ships mounted 56 to 60 24-pound cannons, while the British equivalents possessed only 38 to 50 18-pounders. The US ships were also of the latest design, their heavy timber flanks more resistant to the lighter British roundshot. The second American advantage lay in the fact that, while they had more ships, the Royal Navy was severely short on manpower. Indeed, the Royal Navy’s illegal seizing of American sailors to crew undermanned British ships was part of the reason for America’s declaration of war in the first place. Britain’s Mediterranean and Channel fleets received the lion’s share of sailors for the war with France while those ships stationed in American waters were typically under-crewed. What crew there was were also typically inexperienced and below-average regarding the “requirements of the service.”

The eve of war therefore sees Britain’s navy with the most ships, but with the Americans possessing better-armed, better-built and better-crewed vessels. It should be little surprise, therefore, that the American Navy appeared to come off well during the war’s opening broadsides. Indeed, most of the initial US victories in the naval war were won by the three new heavy frigates, which overpowered their smaller British rivals. Far from a British Goliath tumbling before the little American David, the British Admiralty issued orders that British ships were not to engage the larger American frigates unless they possessed a clear numerical advantage over them. The previous battle experience and numerical advantage of US crews had also given their brigs and sloops an edge over the overstretched Royal Navy.

From the start of the war, the Royal Navy’s strategy was that of blockading. Obviously there was to be no large-scale invasion of the US with the objective of conquest or major annexation. The Americans had started the war, and the British government wished to bring an end to it via terms which gave no concessions on their part, whether regarding territorial claims in Canada or the right to impressment. With the termination of the war in mind, the Royal Navy set out from the start to strangle the US economy and force it to end the war by blocking up its ports and fisheries. This thy did with a high degree of success. The individual ship-on-ship victories won early in the war by the US Navy had no tangible effect beyond raising American morale and convincing the British government to deploy slightly larger and less aged ships and crews to the American theatre. As the Speaker of the US House of Representatives admitted, “brilliant as they are… they [our naval victories] do not fill up the void created by our misfortunes on land.” By May 31st 1814 the entirety of the eastern seaboard was subjected to a British blockade.

Both sides also engaged in privateering and attacks on merchant vessels. The Royal Navy initially struggled to protect its merchant fleets headed to and from Nova Scotia and Halifax, but quickly became adept at dealing with American raiders. Over the course of the war a total of 1,175 British traders were captured, but 373 of these were retaken, usually soon after. The British had therefore suffered a loss of 802 ships by the war’s end, but only 254 were actually seized by the US Navy, the rest being snatched up by American privateers. Conversely, the Royal Navy (with little assistance from privateers) seized 1,407 American ships over the three years of conflict.

The combined impact of the capture of so many American merchant ships, and the fact that so many more were bottled up in port (along with, eventually, the three heavy US frigates, which could no longer single out lone British prey now that Royal Navy ships had learned to hunt in packs) ultimately crushed the USA’s capacity to carry on the war. The US Navy was only able to capture around 7.5% of Britain’s merchant fleet throughout the war, a blow light enough to mean it didn’t impede the flow of supplies to and from British North America or result in a rise in insurance losses. Conversely, US exports plummeted from $130 million in 1807 to just $7 million in 1814. Even worse for the US, a portion of this $7 million was actually garnered by New England grain merchants who sold their stock to the British to feed the redcoats fighting in the Peninsula War. Throughout the war New Englanders frequently proved willing to do business with the British in defiance of their own Congress, and even contemplated secession.

By the close of 1813 the Royal Navy had also redressed the balance in terms of individual ship strength, and wiped away some of the stains of previous defeat:

In the frigate Essex , Captain David Porter had successfully attacked British commerce in the South Atlantic and the South Pacific, capturing 12 whalers and their valuable cargo off the Galapagos Islands in 1813. This was part of a major extension in American trade warfare, but two British warships forced Porter to surrender off Valparaiso, Chile, on 28 March 1814 after they cannonaded his disabled ship from a distance. Six months later, the British suffered far more casualties than the Americans when they attacked the privateer General Armstrong in the Azores’ Faial Harbor, but the Americans eventually scuttled and burned the ship.

In addition, the British were often successful in conflicts between individual ships. On 1 June 1813, HMS Shannon beat the Chesapeake off Boston in a bloody clash fought at close range in which a lack of preparedness on the part of the American commander was a key factor. On 14 August 1813, the USS Argus was captured off Wales by the similarly gunned Pelicanafter the British gunners proved superior. The next year, the British frigate Le Rhin captured the largest privateer to sail from Charleston, the Decatur , which had boarded and seized the British sloop Dominica in August 1813. (William Dudley)

As an extension of the blockading strategy, the British also undertook numerous effective amphibious operations. The impotence of the US Navy was highlighted by the British ability to land substantial troops almost anywhere they pleased, which could then strike inland at will. The most famous instance of these raids was, of course, the burning of Washington DC on August 24th 1814. There were many more however, and they would continue unabated until peace brought an end to operations. Indeed, it seemed as though the Treaty of Ghent arrived just in time for the citizens of New York, for a British force under Admiral Sir George Cockburn was poised to attack it just before peace was declared. Despite the well-demonstrated British capacity for combined services operations, amphibious raids, even large ones like the attack on Washington, were always secondary in strategic considerations when it came to the blockade. The First Lord of the Admiralty wrote that landings “must be given up” if such missions interfered or detracted from the blockade.

Ultimately the blockade ensured that “the parlous American economy was thrown into chaos with prices soaring and unexpected shortages causing hardship.” (Donald Hickey) In the past decade a number of revisionist historians have put the naval and maritime activities during the War of 1812 into their full perspective, namely that;

British economic warfare had deprived the US government of the means of continuing the war into 1815. Dramatically lower customs receipts, a major source of government income, created budget deficits which forced the government to depend increasingly on public credit. The curtailing of American coastal trade meant that goods had to proceed to and from markets by land, taking more time and at greater expense. In Arthur’s view, the result of all this was unemployment and currency inflation which created popular hardships and discontent with the war. The US Navy’s few unblockaded frigates were unable to lift the British blockade and to prevent British amphibious landings. The number of American merchant ship owners willing to risk voyages declined sharply meaning there were far fewer vessels engaged in foreign trade. (William Dudley)

This view only has one serious modern challenger, Wade G. Dudley, whose work attempts to prove that far from being economically strangled, the USA ‘was quite self-sufficient – no one starved, and the implements of war continued to be produced – its government had little money, thanks to the tremendous expenses associate with warfare, Madison’s embargo, and the blockade.’ Brian Arthur’s latest addition to the subject, however, puts down Dudley’s challenge early on - 'Dudley’s conclusion that the British blockades [commercial and naval] of the United States were comparatively unsuccessful neither appraises their consequences nor bears close examination.’ Arthur continues: 

The successful British naval blockade, by incarcerating much of the United States Navy, protected Britain’s commercial blockade and facilitated the capture of Washington. The fiscal and financial consequences of the resultant run on American banks far exceeded the value of property destroyed. The Royal Navy’s damage to the American economy, although sometimes indirect, was decisive. Britain achieved its most important war aim in retaining its ‘right’ to stop and search neutral vessels in wartime and to impose maritime blockades on continental enemies, as in 1914 and 1939. 

If anything the fate of the American “super frigates” at the war’s end is instructive. Of the three, one was captured by the British and another had been reduced to a disarmed, crewless hulk by 1814. One frigate taken, one stripped, and the third still victorious - it sums up the balanced nature of the War of 1812, the war that nobody won. 


Arthur, Brian, How Britain won the War of 1812: The Royal Navy’s Blockades of the United States, 1812-1815 (London, 2011).

Black, Jeremy, A British View of the Naval War of 1812 (2008).

Hickey, Donald, The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict (Chicago, IL, 1989).

Dudley, Wade G., Splintering the Wooden Wall: The British Blockade of the United States, 1812–1815 (Annapolis, MD, 2003).

Dudley, William, review of How Britain won the War of 1812: The Royal Navy’s Blockades of the United States, 1812-1815, (review no. 1215).

The Panjandrum was a creation of the Department of Development of Various Weapons (Department of Miscellaneous Weapons Development, or DMWD), an agency of the British Admiralty whose job was to research and design of unconventional weapons. It was a self-propelled bomb that would destroy coastal theoretically concrete bunkers several meters thick. It would be launched from a boat at a considerable distance from the coast and was expected to reach its target without guidance, thus paving the way for the subsequent assault landing forces. It consisted of a loaded with up to 1,800 kg of explosives that had been added to it at its ends two large wooden wheels and iron tread three meter diameter drum. A small solid rocket placed on wheels would spin the engine and provide the propulsion needed to reach a speed of about 100 Km / h, pass over any obstacle in its path encontrase and crashing his goal


April 25th 1915: Gallipoli campaign begins

On this day in 1915, during World War One, the doomed Gallipoli campaign began on the Gallipoli peninsula in the Ottoman Empire. The plan was the brainchild of British Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill, who intended to weaken the Ottoman war effort by opening another front in the Dardanelles, forcing Germany to split their army and send troops to aid their Turkish allies. Churchill’s proposal was risky, underestimating the ability of the Turkish army, and was hastily pushed through the War Office. The initial naval attack in the Dardanelles in February had some success, but British and ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) troops were soon called in to push inland and capture Constantinople. The landings began on April 25th, with Allied troops deployed at separate beaches. One of the most famous landings were the ANZAC forces at Anzac Cove, where they faced fierce resistance from the Turks. The British fared little better at Cape Helles, and by May, 20,000 of the 70,000 men deployed suffered causalities. The campaign continued for months, with Allied soldiers living under Turkish fire and shelling, and suffering poor conditions in the trenches. Eventually, fierce critics of the operation began to speak out, and in December and January the Allied forces were evacuated from Gallipoli. The campaign was a disaster for the Allies, who lost around 45,000 men, and failed to make any strategic gains. While the Turkish successfully and bravely defended their country, it proved a Pyrrhic victory as they lost 86,000 soldiers in the campaign. This day is commemorated in Australia and New Zealand as Anzac Day, in honour of the over 10,000 soldiers who died during the Gallipoli campaign representing their countries as independent nations.

“Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives…you are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours.”
- Turkish leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who fought at Gallipoli, on the ANZAC dead in 1934

100 years ago