British Napoleonic Ship-of-the-Line
Artwork by Tony Bryan
For anyone who has seen the Hornblower TV series and fallen in
love with the age of sail and fighting ships, then Osprey has
got a very good book that can help fill in a lot of the nautical
Napoleonic Ship-of-the-Line would be my recommendation for
a first-stop guide as it not only looks at the vessels themselves
- the largest man-made structures in the pre-industrialised era
- but also their numbers, their crews, how they were sailed, how
they were rated and a very good glossary.
the Napoleonic Wars all that stood between Britain and a threatening
France was the wooden walls of the Royal Navy and much time and
money was spent making that force the most professional and powerful
on the planet.
as author Angus Konstam points out, the British didn't have it
all their own way and in fact their enemy made far better ships.
The French designs were so good that from 1793 the Royal Navy
copied their designs from captured ships!
explains how the great ships were built - and there is an excellent
cut-away artwork of the Victory by Tony Bryan to show how complex
these vessels were - follows the expansion of the Royal Navy and
has an extremely useful list of all the major ships that served
in it between 1792 and 1815.
are eight pages of colour plates done by Tony Bryan and these
include both action pictures and details images. The latter are
very handy if you don't know your main topgallant from your main
course ... and I didn't.
Keep her steady Mr Hornblower ...