Pirate Killers: The Royal Navy and the African Pirates – Book Review

Nothing is new in history so they say and certainly this true in terms of piracy.  One hundred and fifty years ago, the Royal Navy were busy fighting off the depredations of pirates raiding ships off the African coast. 

Today they are still doing that, albeit on a wider scale on the opposite side of the continent.  From Barbary pirates to modern day Somali pirates, the clash has been dramatic. Pirates have terrorized the populations of seaside towns as well as ships on the sea. 

For many, it was – and still is – their only income.  Fighting back has led to major developments in tactics and ingenuity.  The stories make compelling reading such as the daring rescue of the British Merchant ship The Three Sisters by HMS Polyphemus in 1848 and the activities of HMS Cumberland in 2008. 

Most books on the subject focus on the pirates – what makes this book different is that it focuses on the naval heroes who take on the pirates.  Well worth reading as offers an insight into a little known aspect of history that is still current today.