More wars and battles

From the floating fire the Greeks used to see off their enemies, to the sinking of 20th century warships, we delve into some fascinating stories of war and weapons. Plus, read all about the Battle of the Glorious First of June - the first sea battle between the Brits and the French during the French Revolutionary Wars.


One unassuming print in our collection reveals a different perspective to the extraordinary celebrations that followed the Battle of the Glorious First June. Hazel Vidler, Ship Portrait volunteer, reveals more.

Letter describing the Dutch landing on the Isle of Sheppey and the attack on the Medway

This June marks the 350th anniversary of the Dutch Raid on the Medway which took place 9-14 June 1667. It was humiliating for the English Navy resulting in the loss of thirteen English ships, with the Unity and Royal Charles captured. Mike Bevan, archivist at the Caird Library, takes a closer look.   

Admiral John Byng.jpg

John Byng (1704–57) was a Vice-Admiral in the Royal Navy. He is best known for the loss of Minorca to the French at the Battle of Minorca, marking the start of the Seven Years War in 1756.


Carronades were short heavy guns, similar to canon, used by the British Royal Navy on battleships from the late 18th century until about 1820.

HMS Terrible played a decisive role in two imperial wars and ended her days being broken up and parts of her sold as souvenirs.


The Lusitania was one of the great cruise liners of her day. The sinking of the passenger ship off Ireland in 1915 will live in infamy.

Mauretania was in her day the biggest and fastest – not to mention most luxurious – ship on the seas.

Image from an illuminated manuscript, the Madrid Skylitzes, showing Greek fire in use against the fleet of the rebel Thomas the Slav.jpg

Greek fire was a weapon used by the Byzantine Empire in naval warfare. It was effective as it continued to burn on water.


The Battle of the Glorious First of June in 1794 was the first naval conflict between the British and the French during the French Revolutionary Wars.

The British Navy loaned HMS Victorious to the US Navy in the Second World War. She was given a refit and sent to action in the Pacific.