Naval Warfare, 1815-1914 (Warfare and History)

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1st Edition

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Click on the cover image above to read some pages of this book! From the era of Napoleon and Lord Nelson to the Anglo-German naval race before the First World War, naval warfare underwent a slow transition from the era of wooden sailing fleets to that of the modern steel navy. The rivalries of the naval powers, their wars and expeditions are investigated with special attention to the evolving state of naval technology.

Because the relative industrial capabilities of seafaring countries were reflected in their naval building programs, a focus on industrial development provides an important link between the matters investigated and the broader history of the period. The three leading fleets of the period Britain, France and Russia take precedent, but the book also addresses the decline after of the Spanish and Dutch navies, as well as the rise before of German, Japanese, and American sea power.

For that matter, few specialists are likely to be familiar with the entire breadth of Soundhaus' topical concerns. Most of them, too, will find much of value in its pages. Help Centre. Track My Order. My Wishlist Sign In Join. Be the first to write a review. Add to Wishlist.

Naval Warfare, 1815-1914

But the poor design of the Spanish cannons meant they were much slower in reloading in a close-range battle, allowing England to take control. Spain and France still had stronger fleets, but England was catching up.


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From until , the Royal Scots Navy and England's Royal Navy were organised as one force, though not formally merged. Though the Lord of the Isles had a large fleet of galleys in the 13th and 14th centuries, there appears little or no trace of a Scots navy during the Wars of Scottish Independence.

Submarine Warfare of World War II rare documentary

With Scottish independence established, Robert the Bruce turned his attention to building up Scots shipping and a Scots navy. In his later days he visited the Western Isles , which were part of the domain of the powerful Lords of the Isles who owed only a loose allegiance to him, and established a royal castle at East Loch Tarbert, Argyll to overawe the semi-independent islanders. The Exchequer Rolls of record the feudal services of certain of his vassals on the western coast in aiding him with their vessels and crews.

This service probably began in the 13th century, but was intensified under Robert. In the 15th century, James I gave close attention to the shipping interests of his country, establishing a shipbuilding yard, a house for marine stores, and a workshop at Leith. In James went to the Western Isles with one of his ships to curb his vassals there. In the same year Parliament enacted a law that each four merk land on the north and west coasts of Scotland within six miles of the sea was, in feudal service to the king, to furnish one oar. This was the nearest approach ever made in Scotland to the ship money of England.

His successor, James II , developed the use of gunpowder and artillery. In addition, the Scots Parliaments passed legislation in and requiring all seaboard burghs to keep "busches" of 20 tons to be manned by idle able-bodied men. James IV succeeded in building up a navy that was truly royal. Dissatisfied with the sandbanks at Leith , James himself sited a new harbour at Newhaven in May , and two years later ordered the construction of a dockyard at the Pools of Airth.

Naval Warfare, 1815-1914 (Warfare and History)

The upper reaches of the Forth were protected by new fortifications on Inchgarvie. Work on the ship commenced in She was first launched on 11 October at Newhaven, and sailed up the Forth to Airth for further fitting. In the Great Michael was sold to France for 40, francs. The Scottish Reformation in established a government that was friendly to England and this resulted in less military necessity to maintain a fleet of great ships.

With the Union of the Crowns in , the incentive to rebuild a separate royal fleet for Scotland diminished further since James VI now controlled the powerful English Royal Navy , which could send ships north to defend Scottish interests, and which now opened its ranks to Scottish officers. From until union with England in , Scotland and England continued to have separate navies, though they operated as one force. After the English and Scottish fleets were organized together under James I but the efficiency of the Navy declined gradually, while corruption grew until brought under control in an inquiry of James concluded a peace with Spain and privateering was outlawed.

Charles I levied "ship money" from and this unpopular tax was one of the main causes of the first English Civil War from — At the beginning of the war the navy, then consisting of 35 vessels, sided with Parliament. During the war the royalist side used a number of small ships to blockade ports and for supplying their own armies.

These were afterwards combined into a single force. Charles had surrendered to the Scots and conspired with them to invade England during the second English Civil War of — In part of the Parliamentary fleet mutinied and joined the Royalist side. However, the Royalist fleet was driven to Spain and destroyed during the Commonwealth period by Robert Blake. The execution of Charles I forced the rapid expansion of the navy, by multiplying England's actual and potential enemies, and many vessels were constructed from the s onward. This reformation of the navy was also carried out by Blake.

The Navigation Act cut out Dutch shippers from English trade.

The Great War at Sea

Operations of the late 17th century were dominated by the three Anglo-Dutch Wars , which stretched from to Forty new ships were built between and Triggered by seemingly trivial incidents, but motivated by economic competition, they were notable as purely naval wars fought in the English Channel and the North Sea.

In February the English Channel was closed to Dutch ships which were then forced back to their home ports. The Interregnum saw a considerable expansion in the strength of the navy, both in number of ships and in internal importance within English policy. The Restoration Monarchy inherited this large navy and continued the same policy of expansion of the navy, focusing on making a strong navy full of large ships in order to provide a strong defence under Charles II. The administration of the navy was greatly improved by Sir William Coventry and Samuel Pepys , both of whom began their service in with the Restoration.

While it was Pepys' diary that made him the most famous of all naval bureaucrats, his nearly thirty years of administration were crucial in replacing the ad hoc processes of years past with regular programmes of supply, construction, pay, and so forth. He was responsible for introduction of the "Navy List" which fixed the order of promotion. In the "Victualling Board" was set up which fixed the ration scales.

In Blake routed the Barbary pirates and started a campaign against the Spanish in the Caribbean, capturing Jamaica. In the Four Days Battle was a defeat for the English but the Dutch fleet was crushed a month later off Orfordness.


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In the Dutch mounted the Raid on the Medway , breaking into Chatham Dockyard and capturing or burning many of the Navy's largest ships at their moorings, [48] which resulted in the most humiliating defeat in the Royal Navy's history. The experience of large-scale battle was instructive to the Navy; the Articles of War regularizing the conduct of officers and seaman, and the "Fighting Instructions" establishing the line of battle , both date from this period.

The Glorious Revolution of rearranged the political map of Europe, and led to a series of wars with France that lasted well over a century.


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This was the classic age of sail ; while the ships themselves evolved in only minor ways, technique and tactics were honed to a high degree, and the battles of the Napoleonic Wars entailed feats that would have been impossible for the fleets of the 17th century. Because of parliamentary opposition, James II fled the country. The landing of William III and the Glorious Revolution itself was a gigantic effort involving warships and transports carrying 11, infantry and 4, horses.

It was not opposed by the English or Scottish fleets. The English defeat at the Battle of Beachy Head of led to an improved version of the Fighting Instructions, and subsequent operations against French ports proved more successful, leading to decisive victory at La Hougue in They were at first focused on the acquisition of a Mediterranean base, culminating in an alliance with Portugal and the capture of Gibraltar and Port Mahon in Minorca In addition Newfoundland and Nova Scotia were obtained.

Even so, freedom of action in the Mediterranean did not decide the war, although it gave the new Kingdom of Great Britain created by the Union of England and Scotland in an advantage when negotiating the Peace of Utrecht , and made Britain a recognized great power. Spanish treasure fleets were sunk in and , and the Spanish Empire was opened up to British slaving voyages.

The British fleet ended Spanish occupation of Sicily in and in blockaded Panama. The subsequent quarter-century of peace saw a few naval actions.

Naval Warfare , Used - AbeBooks

The navy was used against Russia and Sweden in the Baltic from to to protect supplies of naval stores. There was a war against Spain in over the slave trade. In the navy contributed to collapse of the Jacobite rising. The War of Jenkins' Ear —48 saw various naval operations in the Caribbean under admirals Vernon and Anson against Spanish trade and possessions, before the war subsequently merged into the wider War of the Austrian Succession — This, in turn, brought a new round of naval operations against France, including a blockade of Toulon.

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