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The Line upon a Wind: The Great War at Sea, 1793-1815

The Line upon a Wind: The Great War at Sea, 1793-1815

4.7 17
by Noel Mostert

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The thrilling story of Britain's death-struggle with Revolutionary France, wherein Napoleon is checkmated by Nelson's brilliant naval exploits.
In February 1793 France declared war on Britain, and for the next twenty-two years the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars raged. This was to be the longest, cruelest war ever fought at sea, comparable in scale only to the


The thrilling story of Britain's death-struggle with Revolutionary France, wherein Napoleon is checkmated by Nelson's brilliant naval exploits.
In February 1793 France declared war on Britain, and for the next twenty-two years the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars raged. This was to be the longest, cruelest war ever fought at sea, comparable in scale only to the Second World War. New naval tactics were brought to bear, along with such unheard-of weapons as rockets, torpedoes, and submarines. The war on land saw the rise of the greatest soldier the world had ever known—Napoleon Buonaparte—whose vast ambition was thwarted by a genius he never met in person or in battle: Admiral Horatio Nelson.Noel Mostert's narrative ranges from the Mediterranean to the West Indies, Egypt to Scandinavia, showing how land versus sea was the key to the outcome of these wars. He provides details of ship construction, tactics, and life on board. Above all he shows us the extraordinary characters that were the raw material of Patrick O'Brian's and C. S. Forester's magnificent novels.

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Kirkus Reviews
An exhaustive look at the epic sea battles that constituted the first truly world war. Mostert (Frontiers: The Epic of South Africa's Creation and the Tragedy of the Xhosa Peo, 1992, etc.) provides a staggeringly thorough examination of the centuries-long buildup to the formidable navies created by Britain and France, which ultimately clashed in devastating battles led by Admiral Horatio Nelson and Napoleon. Given the aggressive maneuvers of the Russian Empire in the Baltic and the French Republic in practically every other body of water, the Royal Navy in 1793 had to speed up its readiness for war. It did this by chopping down England's glorious oak forests to make ships and impressing unwilling men to sail them. Mostert follows the ensuing naval battles in this spiraling "Great War" (as it was then named) during the next 22 years. It opened with the British-French collision at Toulon, which brought Nelson and Napoleon into unwitting close proximity. The decisive Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 saved England from invasion but felled the legendary Nelson. The finale came with the naval clashes between American and British forces on Lake Champlain and outside New Orleans during the War of 1812. Mostert's account is no bludgeoning litany of military maneuvers, but a vast, impressive canvas of the era's dynastic squabbles, economic imperatives and political goals, all pursued by epic personalities. He dwells with special admiration on Nelson's complex character and Napoleon's military genius. Routine life onboard ship, mutiny, disease, homosexuality and flogging are among the relevant topics also addressed. In the end, Mostert demonstrates skillfully that the Great War was a global conflictdeployed across all oceans and most seas, notable for such innovations as the torpedo and submarine, that ultimately proclaimed the ascendance of both the Royal Navy and the United States. Ambitious, sweeping and painstakingly delineated.

Product Details

Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.48(w) x 9.42(h) x 1.97(d)

Meet the Author

Noel Mostert was the Montreal Star correspondent in New York and Europe during the 1950s and has since reported for different American magazines from Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. He lives in Tangiers.

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The Line upon a Wind: The Great War at Sea, 1793-1815 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Name:Sunnystrike Gender:she cat Rank:young warrior she will stay that forever Fur color:orange with a white stripe from the top of het head to her nose Eye color:red Powers:shes a vampire so she can turn into a bat she can show her fangs she can contol cats with her red eyes and can suck blood she doesnt get angrey she gets hungry can alow show giant bat wings on her back and she can use vamp speed Story:)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
–Realizes his mistake in running here and keeps going to the next result.– #L
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
NAME: Stormtalon RANK: Warrior APPEARANCE: Dark gray with deep blue eyes. STORY: Reincarnated from a cat that had been here the longest when that cat got his throat ripped out. Starclan had pity on him and reincarnated him into Stormtalon. What they didnt fix or couldnt fix was his throat. So he cant speak anymore.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Name: Lunaclaw #Rank: Medicine cat apprentice# Age:12 moons# Colors: Silver pelt with one white paw,and one brown and one blue eye# Personality: Funny, smart and usually quiet.She is also connected very deeply to her lost sister Noname,a white she- cat who used to be a kittypet.# Mate: none(ew!)# Siblings: Noname, Soar, Midnight, and Iowan( a light gray tom with milk- white paws, a white she-cat with amber eyes, and a grey and brown wolf with brown eyes who used to Bubble, a black tabby tom reincarnated after dying in battle.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Name: Fangdusk | Gender: Shecat (female) | Age: 7 1/2 moons | Rank: Warrior | Personality: Determined, hot-headed, prankster, fiercly loyal and always stands up for her friends, whatever the cost | Fur: Sleek, waterproof like duck feathers. Dark, stormy gray with three white paws and one black forepaw | Eyes: Bright green | Wings: Dark gray | Build: Lithe, with well-developed muscles that are nearly unnoticable | Likes: Storms, nighttime, fish, swimming, tree-climbing, eating | Dislikes: Boredom, lonliness, being helpless | Mom: Moonchaser (in StarClan) | Dad: Tinystrike | Brothers: Grizzlykit (never RPed), Sparrowpaw (RPer vanished), and Lightningfrost | Sister: Finchkit (Never RPed) | Apprentice: None :( | Mentor (when she was an apprentice): Geckoleaf | Friends: Geckoleaf, Kingsfoot, Mistystar, Lightningfrost, Hawkfire, Leafkit, anyone else who's nice to her. | Enemies: Anyone who threatens her Clan | Mate: None :( but hopes to find the right cat (she might've already) | Kits: Aurorakit (adopted, dead). Other than her, none. :( | Special abilities: None | Other: Scourge kind of... talks to her |
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Name:Tigermouth|Gender:Shecat|Mate:None|Rank:Senior warrior|Age:a little younger than Mistystar, was there when she was still Wingpaw/Wingflower|Apprentice:Tinystrike and Red?(not sure of his warrior name.)|Appearince:Black with a orange strip, is rencarnation of Hollyleaf|Father:Stormer|Mother:Amber|Story:Was abused by her parents and abondened at a young age and was found by a member of hurracaneclan who dissapered soon afterward. She was made Blacktails apprentice by Leafstar and became friends with Wingpaw and Lightpaw (now Mistystar and Lightfur) then became a warrior soon after them. She voted for Mistystar when she was tring to be leader, has allways been helpful to the clan but almost left when some cats where insulting her. Has always wanted a mate but has never goten one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
•~|DARKDREAM|~•Name: Darkdream | Age: I'm not going there. She's OLD | Gender: She-cat (Female) | Rank: Senior Warrior/Deputy. Almost an elder | Personality: Grumpy, sarcastic, hot-headed, fiercly loyal, moody, can be friendly | Likes: Moongazing, fighting, hunting, watching storms | Dislikes: Cats who make fun of her age or how she never had a mate/kits, cats who give themselves the most RIDICULOUS powers, cats who make themselves the star of another cats story, being ignored | Fur Color: Jet black, with flecks of gray on her muzzle (Age Dx) | Eye Color: Used to be sky blue, now is a faded blue | Build: Thin and has an injured shoulder, so she has a limp, long red claws, hard muscles | Friends: Mistystar, Geckoleaf, Infernopaw, Kingsfoot, Sundapple, Ambershine, Lightcloud, Lightningfrost, Fangdusk. | Enemies: She doesn't get along with Karateclaw :/ | Apprentice: Infernopaw | Mate: None and is no longer searching | Kits: None :/ | Mother: Rainheart(StarClan) | Father: Foxfur(Dark Forest) | Siblings: Deathfang(Dead..?) | Special Abilities: She can control shadows, but can hardly do it now | History: Too long | Signature: -DD- | ••-TORNADOCLAW-•• Name: Tornadoclaw | Age: 17 moons | Gender: Tom (male) | Rank: Warrior | Personality: Laid back, friendly, caring, protective | Fur Color: Smokey gray with dark gray flecks | Eye Color: Amber | Build: Muscular | Friends: Everyone who is nice to him | Enemies: None | Mother: Lightcloud(StarClan) | Father: Karateclaw | Siblings: Vividlight and Rosefire(Both dead) | Mate: Geckoleaf | Kits: Destructivepaw and Tornadokit (Both adopted) | Special Abilities: He can heal blood wounds | Signature: -TC- |
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Name- Moonkit. Rank- Kit. Age- Five moons. Fur Color- Pure black with a moon colored mark on her forehead. Eye color-Bright blue, actually blind. Personality- Feircly loyal and very mischevious. Always trying to prove herself. Story- Was born to two nameless rogues. When they found out she was blind, they threw Moonkit out into the wild. She went from clan to clan trying to find a place. She hopes this clan can accept her.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gender:tom Mate:none Looks: sleek brown fur with blue eyes Description: fearless,smart,strong,and fast I want/need pretty mate.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Firepaw(-*-) Name: firepaw. Age: 6 moons. Gender: tom. Mate: none. Siblings and parents: unknown. Power: does not know but he is pretty strong. Scars: none. Appearence: has orange fur and a bit of black at the tip of his tail. He also has navy blue eyes and white paws.---------- Karateclaws ghost(-*-) Name karateclaws ghost. Age: 18 moons when he died. Mate: all his had bad luck but none. Gender: tom. Siblings and parents: unknown. Power: can stealth and can summon tae. The lich king. And lukkazz. Scars: has a scar on his front left paw. Appearence: he used to have gray fur with red and orange stripes on his neck to tail. Now he looks like himself only u can see through him. Story: he was a kit in blazeclan when a twoleg dropped a cigarret and set the clan on fire. I was a lucky survivor and came to hurricane island. I was automattically apprenticed by blacktail and trained hard. He became a warrior when he met lightcloud. They lived happy till everything happened at once. She had kits and after there warrior ceremony we still lived. The two she cat warriors died from badger and lightcloud went suicide. Then ravenwing and mistyclaw died and he got greencough and died. Signitures: FP KC G.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Name: flameclaw Gender: male Rank:deputy Mate: irisheart Kits: rosepaw Apprence: red fur w/ blue eyes Parents: dead Brothers: redflight Sisters: none Powers: speed,stength,sprit of the lion, sence others feelings Story:grew up with doveclan and as a kit his parents where killed by the deputy well after that he escaped a drowing and parted with his bro and went after he deputy that killed his parents soon after found hurricaneclan and bcame deputy now he has a kit a mate and cool friends he couldnt have asked for more
Anonymous More than 1 year ago