The Royal Navy In The Napoleonic Age, Senior Service 1800-1815

The author starts each chapter with a short fictional scene that graphically sets the stage for the thoroughly researched historic detail. The story is told from the point of view of British seamen and civilians. – Highly Recommended.

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NAME: The Royal Navy In The Napoleonic Age, Senior Service 1800-1815
FILE: R3101
AUTHOR: Mark Jessop
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: hard back
PRICE: £19.99                                                               
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Sea power, naval force, sailing ships, line of battle ships, technology, 
leadership, tactics, strategy, United States, France, Battle of Trafalgar, sea lanes, 
arteries of Empire, Dash for Empire, Senior Service

ISBN: 1-52672-037-X

PAGES: 180
IMAGE: B3101.jpg
BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/se4ygfw

DESCRIPTION: The author starts each chapter with a short fictional scene that 
graphically sets the stage for the thoroughly researched historic detail. The story is 
told from the point of view of British seamen and civilians. – Highly 
Recommended.

The story of the establishment of the Royal Navy as the Senior Service is usually told 
in a fragmented manner and, to a degree, this account follows the trend by taking a 
narrow period from 1801 to 1815. The Royal Navy became the Senior Service partly 
as a result of the British distrust of standing armies and partly because Britain and the 
British Empire were built on trade, requiring a considerable effort to protect the sea 
lanes on which that traded depended. The salute of a British soldier is open handed to 
show that a weapon is not held but the sailor is trusted with a closed salute. The Royal 
Navy has also been at the forefront of technology, a warship representing a 
considerable investment in advanced technology.

In the time of Elizabeth Tudor, the Royal Navy was small and augmented by private 
ships that sailed under authorizations of compensation and retribution, often issued by 
the French Protestants at La Rochelle. That did not prevent them from inflicting 
defeat on the Spanish super-power and keeping England safe from invasion. By the 
time of the Seven Years War, the Royal Navy was established as an extension of 
national power. It was a professional organization that had a single structure, training 
and methodology. Against this, the Army was a collection of trained bands, recruiting 
in a narrow geographic area and each with its own traditions and organization, its 
officers in the main having purchased their commissions and advancement.

During the Seven Years War, the Royal Navy had established its dominance over all 
contenders. It did rule the waves. The Battle of Cape St Vincent and the Battle of 
Trafalgar reinforced this superiority and these battles marked the Royal Navy to such 
an extent that its many other achievements are frequently overlooked. The Battle of 
Trafalgar was an epic event that became immediately myth and legend. A novelist 
could hardly create a more dramatic plot, with a young commander dying in the 
moment of triumph over the combined navies of France and Spain, in a ship named 
Victory. To many, the Royal Navy's story ended in 1805, unchallenged for a hundred 
years. In reality, the French still sent squadrons to sea and the British dash to Empire 
was well underway. The young US Navy was able to inflict defeats in a very limited 
way but not in a major sea battle and the French were no longer able to assemble a 
fleet as at Trafalgar. However, there were many actions, including actions in the Baltic 
that have been largely forgotten, including the Russian attempt at its own Trafalgar 
against the British and their Swedish allies, where the Russian commanders took one 
look at HMS Victory, once more cleared for action, leading a Royal Navy fleet into 
battle, turned around and sped back to their home port to send down their yards and 
sails, to sit out the remaining period of conflict.

This is an engaging and informative book.