SAILING NAVY: MARITIME POWER and the Struggle for Freedom by Peter Padfield
and the Struggle for Freedom. Naval campaigns that shaped the modern world 1788 - 1851
by Peter Padfield
First edition 2003 by John Murray (Publishers), London
Price £12.00 plus postage.A black cloth bound book with silver lettering to the spine. Very little apparent wear; looks un-read. At least in NEAR FINE condition in an un-clipped jacket in at least VERY GOOD PLUS condition. 451 pages - un-wrapped weight 0.87 kilo.
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Of all naval actions in history, none are so glorious as those of the Nelson era. But they are not only stirring; they are fascinating too in revealing a hidden constant of history — the inherent advantage whereby sea powers have, throughout the modern era, always prevailed over land based empires.
Peter Padfield skilfully combines the drama of battle with the deep causes of victory. He sets the reader on the gun deck, amid the cannon, smoke, blood and death — he 'offers naval campaigns and sea battles as vivid as anything you could find in Patrick O'Brian' says John Lehman US ex-Secretary of the Navy. But he also contrasts British power, based on trade and attuned to the needs of trade — individual initiative, freedom of information, and sound credit — with French power, based on conquest and centralized authority. He presents Napoleonic France in a radically new light as essentially regressive, Britain as better equipped for a long war and also, for better or worse, a herald of modern liberties.
Though sea powers always hold most power, the baton of leadership has passed from one to another. In his last book, Maritime Supremacy and the Opening of the Western Mind, Padfield showed the Dutch displaced by the British. That book was widely acclaimed. Saul David wrote in the Sunday Times, for instance: 'A work of stunning originality .. . cogently argued and superbly written, this book confirms Padfield as a historian of the highest order.' Now in this book we see the British at their peak, and see the young United States appear as a rival in the War of 1812.
Maps and Diagrams Acknowledgements
1 The French Revolution, 1789
2 The Terror, 1793
3 The Glorious First of June, 1794
4 St Vincent, 1797
5 Camperdown, 1797
6 The Nile, 1798
7 Copenhagen, 1801
8 Warriors and Merchants
9 Bonaparte's Army of England, 1803
10 Trafalgar, 1805
11 The Empire of the Oceans
12 The Continental Blockade
13 The American War, 1812
14 Lake Erie and Plattsburg Bay, 1813-1814
15 Napoleon's Nemesis
16 The Sceptre of the World
Glossary of Nautical Terms References and Notes
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