Britain’s Island Fortresses, Defence of the Empire 1756-1956

The author provides an excellent review of one of the most neglected, but vital, elements in the military capabilities of the expanding British Empire. The Royal Navy has taken most of the focus of military historians and that in turn has provided focus on ships and sailors. However those ships could only operate with reliable bases and those bases had to be defended – Very Highly Recommended.

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NAME: Britain's Island Fortresses, Defence of the Empire 1756-1956
FILE: R3014
AUTHOR: Bill Clements
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: hard back
PRICE: £25.00
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Coastal artillery, fortifications, fixed defences, towers, forts, castles, 
walls, canals, guns, heavy guns, hot shot, troops, naval guns, outposts of Empire, 
local troops, sea lanes, logistics, communications, colonists, traders

ISBN: 1-52674-030-3

IMAGE: B3014.jpg
BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/y2jchm9k
LINKS: 
DESCRIPTION: The author provides an excellent review of one of the most 
neglected, but vital, elements in the military capabilities of the expanding British 
Empire. The Royal Navy has taken most of the focus of military historians and 
that in turn has provided focus on ships and sailors. However those ships could 
only operate with reliable bases and those bases had to be defended –  Very 
Highly Recommended.

The readable text is supported by many illustrations through the body of the book. 
Many of these illustrations are very rare.

There has long been debate as to the real value of fixed defences, particularly when 
they sit within long shore lines. As the British Empire expanded, it needed harbours 
for its merchant and naval ships. Secure locations that could provide stores and 
repairs as required and as a point where the products of trade could be unloaded and 
loaded. In many cases, these fortifications were originally built by an enemy and 
taken in battle, being reinforced and expanded over the years. The fact that many 
were taken from an enemy suggests the level of vulnerability to attack and the British 
advantage was that it could bring its warships to attack any attacker.

The story of the fortifications is also part of the story of maritime history. That it is 
so neglected is more a case of warships being rather more fascinating and mobile, 
than necessarily a reflection of military worth. Remarkably few of these defences 
were ever tested in battle under British control and this is largely due to the 
supremacy of the Royal Navy.