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    Re: Captain Bligh's other mutiny
    From: Robert Eno
    Date: 2008 Jan 20, 22:22 -0500
    I happen to be a fan of Captain Bligh. He was, in my opinion, a great seaman and -- considering the period -- a rather humanitarian leader.  Ok, before you laugh me off of the list, I suggest interested list members pick up a book entitled: "Captain Bligh: the man and his mutinies" by Gavin Kennedy. It is one of the best books I have read on the subject matter. When you compare Bligh to the other Captains of the era he fares pretty well.
     
    From what I have read in many other sources, British Officers, even up to WWII, were serious martinets. In the early stages of WWII, a lot of Canadian vessels were commanded by either British or British trained (Canadian) Officers. It is a little known fact that there were several mutinies on Canadian warships during WWII because the Canadian crews, most of whom came from a very egalitarian, hardscrabble prairie towns, were not going to put up with the strict disciplinarian and class-oriented system of the Royal Navy. In fact it was shortly after those mutinies, that the Canadian government decided that they would train their own officers and man their ships with these Canadian-trained officers. I should hasten to add that the mutinies did not involve murdering the officers or casting them adrift. They were more like sit down strikes but cause great embarrassment to the Navy at the time.
     
    Anyway, Bligh was a martinet and a perfectionist. He had a habit of tearing new arseholes in any of his officers who failed to meet his high standards and apparently had a real penchant for cursing and swearing; which he would unleash on his officers in full view of their colleagues. But he was no different than any other commander of that era and, according to Kennedy, really did care about the welfare of his men. 
     
    Robert
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Peter Fogg
    Sent: Sunday, January 20, 2008 4:57 PM
    Subject: [NavList 4431] Re: Captain Bligh's other mutiny



    Geoffrey wrote:
    Bligh pulled off one of the
    greatest feats of seamanship in history when he took his boat to Timor,
    Java, covering 3618 nautical miles in 47 days - without a single man lost.
     
    But he did lose a single man, Geoffrey, at what I think was the first landfall made, not so long after separating from the Bounty.
     
    I don't wish to detract in any way from what I agree was: "one of the
    greatest feats of seamanship in [recorded] history ", but the effect of this murder of one of the crew, in front of the others, was the subsequent determination by Bligh to avoid all potentially inhabited lands, and especially any people they came across.  This made the passage much more difficult than it needed to be, both on their way through the Pacific which is studded with islands in the region they traversed, and then especially while they were making their way along the Great Barrier Reef, off the Australian mainland, then through the Torres Strait.
     
    If you do a bit of searching in our archives you might find previous discussion of all this ...
     
    His career was over after his escapades in NSW, since that was his last command.  He (was) retired.  I'm glad to hear they continued to pay the silly bugger.  Apparently he needed the money.  He still had all those daughters to marry off ...
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