In Nelson's Wake: The Navy and the Napoleonic Wars

In Nelson's Wake: The Navy and the Napoleonic Wars

by James Davey


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Battles, blockades, convoys, raids: how the indefatigable British Royal Navy ensured Napoleon’s ultimate defeat

Horatio Nelson’s celebrated victory over the French at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 presented Britain with an unprecedented command of the seas. Yet the Royal Navy’s role in the struggle against Napoleonic France was far from over. This groundbreaking book asserts that, contrary to the accepted notion that the Battle of Trafalgar essentially completed the Navy’s task, the war at sea actually intensified over the next decade, ceasing only with Napoleon’s final surrender.
In this dramatic account of naval contributions between 1803 and 1815, James Davey offers original and exciting insights into the Napoleonic wars and Britain’s maritime history. Encompassing Trafalgar, the Peninsular War, the War of 1812, the final campaign against Napoleon, and many lesser known but likewise crucial moments, the book sheds light on the experiences of individuals high and low, from admiral and captain to sailor and cabin boy. The cast of characters also includes others from across Britain—dockyard workers, politicians, civilians—who made fundamental contributions to the war effort, and in so doing, both saved the nation and shaped Britain’s history.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300228830
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 10/24/2017
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 440
Sales rank: 1,053,204
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

James Davey is curator of naval history at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. He lives in Greenwich, London.

Table of Contents

List of Plates vii

List of Maps x

Acknowledgements xi

Note on Conventions xiv

Prologue: Napoleon the Prisoner xvi

Introduction 1

1 The Royal Navy in 1803 18

2 Peeping into Brest: The Defence of Britain, 1803-04 41

3 Masters of the Straits, Masters of the World Thwarting Napoleon, 1804-05 66

4 A Complete and Glorious Victory? Trafalgar and its Aftermath, 1805 90

5 Colonies and Commerce: The War in the Atlantic, 1805-07 113

6 The Elephant and the Whale: The Conflict in Europe, 1806-07 136

7 Production, Prisons and Patriotism: The Naval War on Land 160

8 Sailors and Soldiers: The Navy and the Army, 1808-09 184

9 Imperial Ascendancy: The War in the Indian Ocean, 1803-11 207

10 Economic Warfare and the Defeat of the Continental System, 1806-12 230

11 A Naval Conflict: The War of 1812 254

12 Boney All At Sea: The Royal Navy and the Defeat of Napoleon, 1808-14 277

Epilogue: From Emperor to Prisoner 304

Conclusion 312

Appendix 1 Officials in Government and the Civil Branches of the Navy 321

Appendix 2 Principal Stations and their Commanders 323

Glossary 324

Timeline 328

Notes 337

Bibliography 383

Index 403

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