THE TRANSFORMATION OF BRITISH NAVAL STRATEGY : SEAPOWER AND SUPPLY IN NORTHERN EUROPE 1808-1812.

Davey, James.


£50.00




The Boydell Press, Woodbridge, 1st.ed., 2012. Ix + 237 pp., 15 figures & 13 tables. Pict. boards. 24 x 16cm. FINE. During the period following victory off Cape Trafalgar in 1805, British strategy continued to be chiefly focused on its navy in the struggle to defeat Napoleon. Naval forces were sent to the Baltic to protect essential supplies and trade and to frustrate French ambitions. The Royal Navy, after decades of fighting experience and blockade duty in which it learnt to hold the sea in all weathers, was at the height of its power in terms of ships and the quality of its sailors. And yet there were major problems to be overcome. Fleets were forced off their stations in 1807 owing to lack of provisions, although between 1808 and 1812 an effective system was in place that ensured fleets could maintain their stations under almost all conditions. This required tremendous resources and organization skills. In this important study the author examines Britain's ability to reform itself in time to face the challenges of war, looking closely at national policy, strategic viability, political reform, and economic mobilization. New light is thrown on the Baltic under Saumarez's command.


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