The Barbary Corsairs, Warfare in the Mediterranean 1480-1580

The most complete study of the naval war between Christians and Muslims in the Mediterranean. – A welcome translation of the masterly study of the rise of the Barbary corsairs by a professor at the Sorbonne – Highly Recommended.


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NAME: The Barbary Corsairs, Warfare in the Mediterranean 1480-1580
FILE: R2550
AUTHOR: Jacques Heers, translation Jonathan North
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword, Frontline
BINDING: soft back 
PAGES:  272
PRICE: £14.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Mediterranean, pirates, corsairs, slavers, naval warfare, 
galley, galeasse, brigantine, Knights of Malta, hospitalers, Knights 
of St John

ISBN: 1-47389-425-5

IMAGE: B2550.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/ybhau7kw
LINKS:  
DESCRIPTION: The most complete study of the naval war between 
Christians and Muslims in the Mediterranean.  - A welcome 
translation of the masterly study of the rise of the Barbary 
corsairs by a professor at the Sorbonne  – Highly Recommended.

Piracy in its various forms was endemic in the Mediterranean from 
Ancient times, but the Barbary corsairs were a particular infestation 
that was part of the efforts at Muslim expansion by the Ottomans. 
The period covered is the hundred years where this plague was most 
virulent. Christians devoted increasing efforts to overcoming this 
murderous attempt by Muslims, but although it could be argued that 
the situation was under control by 1580, the problem continued into 
the Nineteenth Century and prompted the US Government to deploy 
their President Class Heavy Frigates to the Mediterranean to protect 
US merchant ships.

Although the Royal Navy undertook regular anti-piracy patrols from 
the 1570s, this is a subject that has not occupied much attention by 
historians in English-speaking publications. This is perhaps 
understandable because those most at risk during the height of the 
problem were French and Italian merchants who depended on the 
Mediterranean for their major trading routes.

In addition to providing insights into continuing Muslim attempts 
at expansion and invasion that continue into the Twenty First 
Century, the war against Barbary corsairs is interesting in terms 
of naval architecture and tactics.

During the period covered, the most numerous warships employed by 
both sides were galleys that may have had sails, but were normally 
powered by oars, the oarsmen being slaves and convicts. In Northern 
Europe, the galley had been largely replaced by the sailing ship, 
with a few exceptions, mainly the Scottish West Highland Galleys and 
the Birlins that formed a key part of the inter-tribal fighting that 
continued on in Scotland. One of the most powerful galley fleets 
operated out of Malta under the Knights of Malta, an order that 
survived from the Crusades and, by some claims, was the last bastion 
of the Knights Templar. The Venetians, a major trading force in the 
Mediterranean, also operated a formidable fleet of galleys and 
galeasses. The differences between these two warships can be 
confusing. The galeasse was still most frequently powered by oars, 
but mounted, typically, three masts with lateen sails. The use of 
oars delayed the introduction of broadside warships because canon 
had to be mounted in bow and stern. The result was that engagements 
still followed much of the tactics developed by the Romans, where 
ramming and boarding were more likely than gun engagements. However, 
the gun and sail gradually took over from the slave powered oars and 
the Venetians also introduced escorted convoys to protect their 
vital merchant fleet.