Mackesy, Piers.


Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1st US ed., 1957. Xviii + 430 pp., 9 maps. D.j. 22 x 15cm. Bookplate. V.G. This is the first study which treats as a whole the many aspects of British conduct during a period of the Napoleonic Wars which draws together the naval war, military campaigns, and behind-the-scenes diplomacy. The author provides a unified account of British strategy in the Mediterranean during the critical years when Nelson, succeeded on his death in 1805 by Collingwood, served as Commander-in-Chief, from the breakdown of the Peace of Amiens in 1803 to the visible breach in the Tilsit alliance between Napoleon and the Tsar in 1810. This book explains why successive British ministries thought it necessary to devote such naval, military and diplomatic energy to a theatre of war which produced few decisive results. In addition to the ceaseless activities of the Royal Navy, the main interest lies in the amphibious operations and in the problems peculiar to Combined Operations. The author analyses the opportunities which arose from military intervention in Europe from the sea, and describes the victorious campaign of Maida and operations in Egypt, the Ionian Islands, and on the coasts of Spain and Italy, etc. In passing, the book also sheds light on the designs and hopes of Napoleon, and British efforts to form successive coalitions against French expansion. The book is divided into four main parts : [I] Lord Nelson's Command and the War of the Third Coalition 1803-1806. [II] From Austerlitz to Tilsit, 1806-1807. [III] Isolation ' The Search for a Policy, 1807-1809. [IV] The Receding Tide, 1809-1810. In addition there are eight important Appendices, a useful bibliography and 9 maps.

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