You’ve probably never heard of Luke Ryan. You probably didn’t know that Benjamin Franklin had his own private navy during American War of Independence and yet Ryan - Franklin’s most dangerous privateer - did more damage to British shipping than any other commander, including the great John Paul Jones.
This is an extraordinary, little-known story of selfless heroism, love, intrigue and betrayal. It is a bold story about bold men, about rough Irish mariners who in the beginning of their adventure sail for money but later find themselves fighting for a new nation’s struggle for liberty, becoming true American patriots along the way.
- 1779 -
Despite French aid, and one impressive victory at Saratoga in New York, the American rebels are losing their life and death struggle for independence against Great Britain and they are losing badly. From north to south and in the west, their ragtag armies are in retreat. The British have swept the Continental Navy from the seas and have blockaded American ports. The fate of a fragile nation - the fate of the Revolution - hangs by a thin thread. In walks Ryan with his fast ships and iron men, eager to fight for the Americans for their own reasons. Before the Irishmen are finished, they’ll sink, burn or capture over 100 British ships, take hundreds of prisoners of war for Franklin and raid many English and Scottish towns along the coast - tying down precious military resources while causing a financial panic in London. For two years the Irishmen sail the oceans with impunity, until treachery finds them…
Mark lives in the Atlanta, Georgia area and enjoys writing.