Wednesday, January 6, 2010

James Cook and a famous mutiny - BTHP

Two episodes came out in quick succession at the Binge Thinking History Podcast. BTHP is busy with its third series. After exploring the British roots of the American Constitution and the battle of Britain it is now going through the history of the British Navy. As goes with amateur history podcasts, the delivery schedule is unpredictable, yet every now and then, even after long hiatus the podcast always comes back with new and excellent episodes.

These last two episodes are especially noteworthy. The first of the two (America, Rodney and reputations) tells of the strategic situation by the 18th century. Host Tony Cocks informs of us how the English apply new tactics and new technology and manage to gain the upper hand over the French, in spite some of the evident advantages the French had. I was especially fascinated by the new technology: copper coating of the ships. It preserved the wooden hulls better in the water and by chance, it made the ships also quicker.

The next episode (Cook, Terra Australis Incognita, Bligh and mutiny) takes on another important subject of the same era: the exploration of the globe. Needless to say captain James Cook features centrally in this chapter. We learn what allowed Cook to succeed in discovering so much on the High Seas. After Cook, light is shed on captain Bligh who commandeered the Bounty, the ship of the (in)famous mutiny. Both episodes are very informative and well narrated.

More BTHP:
The Royal Navy and the Seven Year War,
Britannia Rules the Waves,
Royal Navy,
Win, lose or draw,
Blitz on London.
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