In 1854, during the Crimean War, the Russian Navy sunk several ships to blockade entry into Sebastopol harbour. Their objective was to deny British Naval ships assess to the harbour and thus prevent the destruction of their ships and the dry docks. To counter this, the Royal Navy employed divers who, using underwater explosives, would blow up the sunken ships so allowing entry into the harbour. The attempt however was unsuccessful as the divers’ boats were in range on the Russian forts’ guns. This post presents extracts from William Schaw Lindsay’s (1815-1877) papers held in the National Maritime Museum.
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