PIRATE KILLERS The Royal Navy and the African Pirates

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One hundred and fifty years ago the Royal Navy fought a daring campaign against ruthless pirates and won. On West African shores they killed ‘The King of the Pirates’, Bartholomew Roberts and captured his fleet. Scores of his men were executed by the Admiralty Court. On the Barbary Coast of North Africa pirates preyed on shipping in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic as they had done for centuries and they terrorised the populations of the coastal towns. To them, piracy was a way of life, and the great sea-powers of the day couldn’t stop them. Then, in one of the most remarkable – and neglected – anti-piracy operations in maritime history, the Royal Navy confronted them, defeated them and made the seas safe for trade.

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