- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
An Economist Best Book of 2004: "Destined to remain the reference on the subject for the coming generations."—U.S. Naval InstituteThe Command of the Ocean describes with unprecedented authority and scholarship the rise of Britain to naval greatness, and the central place of the Navy and naval activity in the life of the nation and government. Based on the author's own research in a dozen languages over more than a decade, it describes not just battles, voyages, and cruises but also how the Navy was manned, ...
An Economist Best Book of 2004: "Destined to remain the reference on the subject for the coming generations."—U.S. Naval InstituteThe Command of the Ocean describes with unprecedented authority and scholarship the rise of Britain to naval greatness, and the central place of the Navy and naval activity in the life of the nation and government. Based on the author's own research in a dozen languages over more than a decade, it describes not just battles, voyages, and cruises but also how the Navy was manned, supplied, fed, and, above all, how it was financed and directed.
N. A. M. Rodger provides convincing reassessments of such famous figures as Pepys, Hawke, Howe, and St. Vincent. The very particular and distinct qualities of Nelson and Collingwood are illuminatingly contrasted, and the world of officers and men who make up the originals of Jack Aubrey and Horatio Hornblower is brilliantly brought to life. Rodger's comparative view of other navies—French, Dutch, Spanish, and American—allows him to make a fresh assessment of the qualities of the British.
|List of Illustrations||xiii|
|A Note on Conventions||xix|
|1||A Mountain of Iron: Operations 1649-1654||1|
|2||Cromwell's Hooves: Operations 1654-1659||20|
|3||A Looking-Glass of Calamity: Administration 1649-1660||33|
|4||The Melody of Experienced Saints: Social History 1649-1660||50|
|5||Terrible, Obstinate and Bloody Battle: Operations 1660-1668||65|
|6||Protestant Liberty: Operations 1668-1687||80|
|7||Amazement and Discontent: Administration 1660-1688||95|
|8||Learning and Doing and Suffering: Social History 1660-1688||112|
|9||Mad Proceedings: Operations 1688-1692||136|
|10||Notorious and Treacherous Mismanagement: Operations 1693-1700||152|
|11||An Additional Empire: Operations 1701-1714||164|
|12||Strife and Envy: Administration 1689-1714||181|
|13||Our Mob: Social History 1689-1714||201|
|14||Great Frigates: Ships 1649-1714||216|
|15||Pride and Prejudice: Operations 1715-1744||226|
|16||A Strong Squadron in Soundings: Operations 1744-1748||241|
|17||A Scandal to the Navy: Operations 1749-1758||257|
|18||Myths Made Real: Operations 1758-1763||272|
|19||The Great Wheels of Commerce and War: Administration 1715-1763||291|
|20||Disagreeable Necessities: Social History 1715-1763||312|
|21||The Battle of the Legislature: Operations 1763-1779||327|
|22||Distant Waters: Operations 1780-1783||343|
|23||The British Lion Has Claws: Operations 1784-1792||358|
|24||Plans of Improvement: Administration 1763-1792||368|
|25||A Golden Chain or a Wooden Leg: Social History 1763-1792: Officers||380|
|26||Dividing and Quartering: Social History 1763-1792: Men and Manning||395|
|27||Science versus Technology: Ships 1714-1815||408|
|28||Order and Anarchy: Operations 1793-1797||426|
|29||Infinite Honour: Social History 1793-1802: Men and Manning||442|
|30||The Second Coalition: Operations 1797-1801||454|
|31||A Great and Virtuous Character: Administration 1793-1815||473|
|32||A Thinking Set of People: Social History 1803-1815: Men and Manning||489|
|33||Honour and Salt Beef: Social History 1793-1815: Officers||507|
|34||Gain and Loss: Operations 1803-1805||528|
|35||A Continental System: Operations 1806-1811||545|
|36||No Greater Obligations: Operations 1812-1815||563|
|Appendix IV||Rates of Pay||618|
|Appendix V||Admirals and Officials||629|
|Appendix VII||Naval Finance||640|
Posted January 8, 2013
Naval Historian N.A.M Rodger continues his comprehensive history of the Royal Navy introduced with the first volume, The Safeguard of the Sea. The second book in this study The Command of the Ocean continues beyond the formative years of English sea power, covering the Cromwellian period through the end of the Napoleonic era. Like the structure of The Safeguard of the Sea, each chapter examines a particular aspect of the British Navy within a given time period, such as Ships, Operations, etc. Rodger shows how the navy evolved as a both a tool and facilitator of Empire, as well as Britain’s chief means of defense.
During the period covered, the wooden sailing warship becomes a highly specialized fighting machine, with the line-of-battleship and frigate reaching high states of refinement The author also details improvements in logistics, supply, dockyard facilities, and other matters critical to maintaining sea power. From Lord Admiral to common tar, the issues of manpower such as discipline and promotion are also examined.
The navy’s operational role in both war and peace expands during this period, involving wars with Holland, Spain, France and America. The Mediterranean becomes critical to British naval policy as well. The navy also expands its role in exploration with the voyages of Cook and Anson. It’s role in the defense of Britain spans the often disastrous engagements with the Dutch in the late 1600’s and cumulates in Nelson’s stunning 1805 victory at Trafalgar.
As he has in past works, Rodger effectively combines scholarly research with a highly readable text. While the book may not appeal to all general readers due to its specialized subject matter, anyone with an enthusiasm for British or maritime history will find this an excellent read. The series may prove the definitive naval history of Britain for some time to come. I look forward to the third book in this series!