War at Sea in the Age of Sail (Smithsonian History of Warfare)

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9780060838553: War at Sea in the Age of Sail (Smithsonian History of Warfare)

Our fascination with the drama of war at sea is as strong today as it was in the heyday of the sailing ship.This book, written by one of the world's foremost authors on naval warfare, describes the dramatic battles of an age when sail was supreme. Andrew Lambert's comprehensive history examines key naval conflicts from the highest strategic level right down to the experience of the ordinary sailor. Fully illustrated throughout, this book incorporates computer-generated cartography that brings the sea battles to life.

  • An in-depth look at ship design and the "floating culture" onboard
  • The Anglo-Dutch Wars of 1650–74, when English commanders challenged Dutch sea power with superior speed, close quarters fighting, and fireships
  • The rise and fall of the French Navy under the Sun King, Louis XIV
  • The Napoleonic Wars, the defeat of the French fleet, and the rise of British Royal Navy hero Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson

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About the Author:

Andrew Lambert is professor of naval history at King's College, London, and vice-president for the British Commission for Maritime History. His publications include Warrior: The First Ironclad and The Crimean War: British Grand Strategy Against Russia, 1853–60.

From Booklist:

Every library requires a basic source on sailing ship warfare, a need solidly met by Lambert's profusely illustrated survey of the two centuries of naval dominance, ending about 1850, by the triple-masted, multidecked, heavily gunned ship of the line. Lambert, a naval historian in Britain, efficiently economizes his text, wasting few words to narrate the geopolitical framework for the expensive construction and maintenance of fleets, of strategies for their operation, and, ultimately, of their tactics in battle. Making the important point that few battles between the days of de Ruyter and those of Nelson were decisive, Lambert impresses upon the reader the appreciation strategists reached that naval warfare was characterized by attrition, rarely by the cataclysmic victory a la Trafalgar. And so most naval operations were those of convoy, pursuit, blockade--things rather less exciting than the climax of broadsides in battle, the moment depicted in most of the dozens of paintings reproduced in Lambert's book. Twenty maps and perspective schematics of key battles support this able introduction to the warfare of wooden ships. Gilbert Taylor
Copyright American Library Association. All rights reserved

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