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The Great Gamble: Nelson at Copenhagen

Pope, Dudley

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ISBN 10: 1861761457 / ISBN 13: 9781861761453
Published by Chatham
New Condition: New Hardcover
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1861761457 This is a hardcover book with dust jacket. Bookseller Inventory # 302.POL66

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Title: The Great Gamble: Nelson at Copenhagen

Publisher: Chatham

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

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On 2nd April, 1801, the Royal Navy anchored a few hundred yards off the Copenhagen waterfront and engaged the Danes in a brief but bloody battle. Earlier, inspired by Paul I of Russia, the northern powers had begun to form an armed coalition which could have become a serious threat to British interest; the arrival of a British fleet in the Baltic and the subsequent defeat of the Danes was in answer to that perceived threat. To Nelson, the battle of Copenhagen was more than a great gamble: it was unnecessary. He had believed in a direct attack on the Russian fleet, but, failing that, he convinced Sir Hyde Parker, to whom he was second-in-command, that the best initial step would be an attack on the Danish fleet at Copenhagen. This he was allowed to lead. Dudley Pope looks at what miscalculations, what stupidities, what order of politics combined to put Nelson second-in-command to a man over sixty, a man with no real knowledge of naval warfare, a man who, at the height of battle, when the Royal Navy so obviously had the upper hand, hoisted the signal for Nelson to retreat. Nelson famously disregarded the order for, as he said, he had a right to be sometimes blind, being sightless in one eye. But The Great Gamble is much more than a full-blooded account of one of the greatest sea battles of all time. With his scrupulous eye for detail and unlimited access to both British and Danish sources, Pope throws such fascinating light on the background, the intrigues and the ramifications of the battle that the work can be read as a political, diplomatic, naval and social history of the early years of the Napoleonic wars.

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