The year is 1809 - late autumn. Captain Sir James Abel Merriman is despatched to Gibraltar to take command of a seventy four gun third rate ship of the line - HMS Thunder - with orders to escort a convoy through the Mediterranean to Malta and on to the Adriatic to find Captain William Hoste.
Once again seconded to the Treasury - an arrangement with which he has become very familiar – Merriman is joined by Mr. Clarke who is to secretly go ashore and report on French activity whilst the squadron does as much damage as possible to French ports, forts and convoys.
When given the command, Merriman had felt that he had at last reached the heights of his naval career but he had quickly come down to earth as he realised the greater problems he had to face with command of such a big ship. Dogged by problems with a slow ship in the convoy, a difficult officer and shipboard discipline, there is little time to prepare the crew before they encounter a new French 74 with devastating consequences including severe injury to Merriman himself and the loss of over 150 men.
Author: Roger Burnage
Title: The Threat in the Adriatic
Series: The Merriman Chronicles
First Published by: Burnage Publishing
Date: 1 November 2015