Posted by JW on March 11, 1998 at 16:25:26:
In response to Ranks, written by Marie Bernadette on March 10, 1998 at 15:57:50
] ...what rank is before (one step lower than) Captain in the British navy? How many steps are there between Captain and Admiral?
] Dear Lynn,
] Commander is just below Captain in the British navy. Here is a quote from A Sea of Words (by Dean King): "The rank below Captain was Commander. The instition of this rank in 1794 caused som confusion, since up to that point, any commanding officer was properly the commander of his vessel, regardless of his rank, and was called captain.
] From 1794 onward, those promoted to Captain came only from among those who held the rank of Commander. Officers holding the rank of Commander commanded sloops of war, vessels smaller than rated ships but larger than the cutters and gunboats commanded by lieutenants."
] There is one step between Captain and Admiral and that is the rank of Commodore.
] Have you heard of the author Patrick O'Brian? He has written a wonderful naval series that begins in about 1805. I just love his character Jack Aubrey. I think that BookServe may sell this series as well as A Sea of Words which is a very helpful companion book with all sorts of information that you would probably find interesting (I do!). Even if you never read the Aubrey/Maturin series, A Sea of Words will be helpful to you as it lists the ranks, has drawings of different ships and defines many different naval terms.
] Honoured, &c.
] Marie Bernadette
JW: Confusion arises because, in the 18/19th century RN, the Captain commanded the ship, but the sailing was the responsibility of the Master. In small ships the commander might also be the master. Any offficer in charge of a ship might me called Captain as a courtesy,but the crucial step was being made Post-Captain. Usually from Lieutenant, and dependent on merit after passing an examination. Once you had reached the glorious haven of post rank, promotion was by seniority. As those above you died or were wounded, you woul, if you lived long enough, inevitably become an Admiral. Admirals were designated as of the Red, White or Blue Squadrons for active service, and you moved through them in order of seniority again. If you were really hopeless, but had survivrd into the promotion zone, you were Admiral of the Yellow--but you kept the pay!.
- Anybody read Woodson's "Drinkwater" series? Woodhouse 10:11:17 3/12/98 (3)
- Clarification Ken 07:51:07 3/12/98 (1)
- Flags JW 06:36:48 3/13/98 (0)
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