The action between HMS Shannon and the USS Chesapeake was one of the most fierce and bloodily fought during the age of sail even though it lasted just eleven minutes.
If you would like to know more about this book covering the battle together with its wider impact on the war as a whole and its place in the history of the conflict, I have put together my thoughts after reading it.
I’ve not read the book (I will) but from all I’ve encountered in other reading, in 1813 Broke was probably the best frigate captain in the Royal Navy and Shannon’s crew was superbly trained whereas Lawrence was new to Chesapeake as was most of her crew. Shannon may have been the best shooting ship in the world at the time of the engagement.
Given the qualitative differences between the captain and crew of Shannon versus that of the Chesapeake, I’ve always viewed that contest as a forgone conclusion made palatable to US audiences by the whole “don’t give up the ship” dying breath thing somehow obscuring a flat out whipping by a better crew and captain.
A interesting and historically plausible ‘what if’ would be Shannon under Broke versus Constitution under Bainbridge.
Never wrestle with a pig. You both get muddy and the pig just likes it.