The Command of the Ocean: A Naval History of Britain 1649-1815
The Command of the Ocean describes with unprecedented authority and scholarship the rise of Britain to naval greatness, and the central place of the Navy and naval activity in the life of the nation and government. Based on the author's own research in half a dozen languages over nearly a decade, and synthesising a vast quantity of secondary material, it describes not just battles and cruises but how the Navy was manned, how it was supplied with timber, hemp and iron, how its men (and sometimes women) were fed, and above all how it was financed and directed. It was during the century and a half covered by this book that the successful organising of these last three victualling, money and management took the Navy to the heart of the British state. It is the great achievement of the book to show how completely integrated and mutually dependent Britain and the Navy then became. The Command of the Ocean is a landmark in naval and military history; but it also allows us to see the history of Britain as a whole in a new perspective. Anyone interested in British history at this crucial stage in it's development will find it both engrossing and enlightening.