The Oxford Illustrated History of the Royal Navy

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The feats of the British Navy are known and celebrated world-wide. The force that crushed the Armada in 1588 and defeated the French at Trafalgar in 1805 had a profound impact on world affairs for well nigh two centuries. More than this, it worked its way deep into the national psyche--as seen in the words to Rule, Britannia--not only through its many great exploits, but through the reputation of the ordinary sailors for courage, enterprise, tenacity, and humor.
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Overview


The feats of the British Navy are known and celebrated world-wide. The force that crushed the Armada in 1588 and defeated the French at Trafalgar in 1805 had a profound impact on world affairs for well nigh two centuries. More than this, it worked its way deep into the national psyche--as seen in the words to Rule, Britannia--not only through its many great exploits, but through the reputation of the ordinary sailors for courage, enterprise, tenacity, and humor.
Written by an international team of experts, this lavishly illustrated volume--boasting more than 200 pictures, including sixteen pages of color plates--provides a superb chronicle of the Royal Navy's glorious history. Everything is here--from the building of the Mary Rose, the first great man-of-war, sunk in 1545 (and recently rediscovered); to the Elizabethan navy led by such adventurers as Sir Francis Drake and Sir John Hawkins; to the defeat of the Spanish Armada and the great sea battles at Leghorn and Scheveningen and Trafalgar; to the great admirals, such as Robert Blake, the finest seaman of the commonwealth period, and of course Horatio Nelson, the greatest fighting officer in the history of the Royal Navy. Throughout, the contributors illuminate the Navy's evolving strategy, operations, ship and weapon construction, organization, manning, training, and status in society from medieval times to the present day. And they take great care to place this stirring history against the social, economic, and political climate of the time. There is even a fascinating look at the Royal Navy's role in exploration and discovery, from the great scientific voyages of Captain James Cook, to the travels of the Beagle to the Galapagos, Tahiti, New Zealand, and Australia, with Charles Darwin on board.
The Oxford Illustrated History of the Royal Navy recounts in vivid r laoudone magnificent achievements of the world's most famous Navy. It is an essential volume for anyone interested in maritime or military history.

This lavishly illustrated volume--boasting more than 200 pictures, including 16 pages of color photos--provides a superb chronicle of the Royal Navy's history from the Middle Ages to the present day. It is written by 14 experts ranging from rear admirals to anti-submarine specialists.

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Editorial Reviews

Gilbert Taylor
This eponymous complement to "The Oxford Illustrated History of the British Army" doesn't quite sing "Rule Britannia," but it does lavishly chronicle the many-centuried saga whereby that patriotic anthem's assertion became indisputable. Such at least was the case during Britain's nineteenth-century apogee, a period of somnolent superiority until imperial Germany constructed its fleet. Each of a dozen such phases or aspects in the Royal Navy's development receives the attention of a historian whose uncommon depth, combined with fluid generalizing, disproves Churchill's dismissal of Royal Navy tradition as nothing but "rum, buggery, and the lash." Broadly, the editors have sent their authors after the subjects of naval architecture from galleon to nuclear sub, naval personnel and bureaucracy from piracy to professionalism, and voyages and battles from the Armada to the Falklands. Backed by hundreds of images, the chapters interlock to describe an evolving institution punctuated by famous dramas, such as Cook's voyages or the Battle of Trafalgar, undergirded by the year-to-year chore of funding and crewing vessels. A volume of balance between perspective and detail that delights and informs the nautically minded.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780192116758
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 10/19/1995
  • Series: Oxford Illustrated Histories Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 512
  • Product dimensions: 7.88 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.52 (d)

Meet the Author

About the Editor:
Rear-Admiral J. R. Hill served for over 40 years in the Royal Navy in sea and Whitehall appointments, ending his career in 1983. He has written six books on maritime warfare, strategy, and arms control, and lectures world-wide on these areas. He is editor of The Naval Review and Chairman of the Society for Nautical Research. Bryan Ranft, Consultant Editor, is a Former Professor of History at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich.

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Table of Contents

List of Colour Plates
List of Maps and Action Stations
List of Contributors
Preface
1 The Wall of England, to 1500 1
2 From the King's Ships to the Royal Navy, 1500-1642 24
3 A Permanent National Maritime Fighting Force, 1642-1689 56
4 The Struggle With France, 1690-1815 80
5 The Eighteenth-Century Navy as a National Institution, 1690-1815 120
6 The Shield of Empire, 1815-1895 161
7 Wood, Sail, and Cannonballs to Steel, Steam, and Shells, 1815-1895 200
8 Endeavour, Discovery, and Idealism, 1760-1895 227
9 Life and Education in a Technically Evolving Navy, 1815-1925 250
10 The Battleship Fleet: The Test of War, 1895-1919 280
11 Retrenchment, Rethinking, Revival, 1919-1939 319
12 A Service Vindicated, 1939-1946 348
13 The Realities of Medium Power 1946 to the Present 381
14 The Royal Navy and the Post-War Naval Revolution, 1946 to the Present 409
Postscript 434
Chronology 439
Further Reading 449
Illustration Sources 467
Index 469
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