The Naval History of Great Britain, vol 1 : 1793 to
The Naval History of Great Britain vol 1 is an absolute
treasure trove of information on the Royal Navy during the Revolutionary
and Napoleonic Wars, containing more than 400 pages of excellent
detail on the Royal Navy between 1793 and 1796.
was written by William James, a lawyer turned historian, who felt
the need to put right some of the propaganda used by America against
the Royal Navy during the War of 1812.
felt decidedly put out by US claims that their vessels defeated
equal or larger Royal Navy ships in single combat and spent years
talking to survivors, measuring ships and comparing guns.
found that the British did not lose one engagement to an equal
vessel and so began his examination of Great Britain's naval history.
first volume, one of six, looks at the creation of the Royal Navy
and improvements it made to its warships.
the beginning of the Revolutionary Wars James reveals that the
difference between Britain's navy and its enemies was not as much
as is believed, when taken on a per-gun basis, and yet superior
seamanship won the day for the Royal Navy.
his book James includes excellent panels of information on how
many guns the various vessels mentioned had, crew numbers, captains'
names and the like.
also describes famous places - such as Brest and Toulon - and
gives great information on naval campaigns such as the capture
and subsequent loss of islands like Guadaloupe.
all, in this fellow's opinion, the real beauty of The Naval History
of Great Britain vol 1 is James' authoritative accounts of single
ship duels between the Royal Navy and its French and Dutch enemies.
took a lot of time researching his subject and interviewing those
involved in the actions and his painstaking efforts were very
worthile for later historians.
volume is a beauty and if the rest of the series are as good then
it is a must-have naval reference for Revolutionary and Napoleonic