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.
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
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.