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The Sea Warriors [Kindle Edition]

Richard Woodman
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $5.32


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Book Description

Extraordinary maritime heroes of the late 18th and early 19th centuries stride across these pages - some, like Warren, Pellew, Cochrane and Collingwood, are still renowned; others are almost unknown today, yet their brilliant exploits deserve to be pulled from under the long shadow of the greatest naval figure of all, Horatio Nelson. The Royal Navy's struggle is set against the political backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars and the sea war with America.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

From the first British involvement in the French Revolution in 1793 to the end of the War of 1812, England's wooden walls fought off French, Danish, Dutch, Spanish, Turkish and American ships to maintain control of the seas and Britain's essential maritime trade. Rather than concentrate on all the big battles of the period, veteran British writer Richard Woodman, with both history and fictional sea tales to his credit, resuscitates now-forgotten ship captains and their quotidian gun duels with enemy ships in The Sea Warriors: The Fighting Captains and Their Ships in the Age of Nelson. Men like Edward Pellew, Thomas Cochrane and Josiah Willoughby contended with defective ships, bad crews, lack of good hygiene and food, and lack of support from their Royal Navy superiors. Press gangs and oftentimes harsh corporal punishment upped the stakes, and mutinies were fairly common. From Woodman's vivid account, it's not hard to see why.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


"- 'A superb Napoleonic War study, admirably written. It puts Patrick O 'Brian and Homblower in the shade. One of John Bayley's Books of the Year.' - Daily Telegraph - 'An enthralling story of the fighting captains and frigate warfare in the age of Nelson.' - Robert Harvey, author of Cochrane. - 'A marvellous book....shows where Patrick O' Brian and C. S Forster got all their stuff from, but is more exciting than either.' - Times Literary Supplement - 'Here the surging thrill of broadside battles under billowing sail is captured with narration that also presents a considerd assessment of the times, of the social, military and political factors that came so powerfully into play; would that all history books could be as arresting' - This England

Product Details

  • File Size: 2406 KB
  • Print Length: 420 pages
  • Publisher: Constable; New Ed edition (August 29, 2002)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #289,911 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could have been a winner. August 12, 2001
By A Customer
With this work Woodman is trying to fill the gap in history on the various British naval officers whose courage and ingenuity and seamanship were all that held revolutionary France at bay for years until the British army got its act together. It's not only a valiant effort, it is -- as Woodman points out -- long overdue.
I'm not sure if the chronological aspect of the telling doesn't do the stories an injustice. It lends a hit-skip atmosphere to the book, as we read about the heroics of one captain, only to find more about him several chapters down the line. After finishing the book I went to the index and collected all the pages on various captains and went back and read them together and I truly think most of the information about their battles would have been better grouped together.
Two HUGE problems with this book from my point of view though. One, the index needs some work. I hate being referred to pages where there is absolutely no mention of the topic/ship/person I am seeking. And two -- who the devil proofed this book? Because I don't think it was anyone accustomed to reading English! The typos and grammatical errors are overwhelming in number. I found this a serious distraction, and frankly, it is inexcusable. Woodman's work deserves better, because even though I would never count this book as one of the great histories of the Age of Sail, it is rather a one-of-a-kind book.
As for the detail content of the book, I've long wanted to read more details of some of the famous sea battles, detail such as how the ships were maneuvered in some of those one-on-one battles, and Woodman does supply this. I still want more, but I confess to some greed on my part there.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stand by to Repel Boarders September 14, 2002
The book is more or less a recounting of the successes of British naval captains of the late 1700s and early 1800s. A period when Britain and France polarized Europe in war. While the ultimate outcome of the conflict bears out the fact that Britain's naval forces were superior, it is hard to believe that there were as few French naval successes as Woodman relates.
But that's a small complaint when taken in context with the overall quality of the content in the book. Woodman's descriptive talent focuses on the telling of the smaller battles. There are ample books relating the events of Trefalgar, this is not one of them, Woodman's narratives are of the frigate battles and smaller ship of the line battles, the cutting outs and ship to ship running fights. The tales of Captains Pellew, Cochrane, Willoughby and such. Stories no less entertaining than those of Forester's Horatio Hornblower. His terminology is accurate, and his research is excellent.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, and Should Have Been Great August 20, 2001
I purchased this book with the appetite of a shark after a seal. It is a very good book, but it has a couple of things that could have improved it beyound measure. 1. There are so many remarkable men in all navies and battles that the reader needs something to distinquish them after the years of war. 2. I wanted more details on the battles, perhaps some diagrams. 3. I would have liked to have known more about what happened to these men after the wars. Cochrane, as an example, died the year the american civil war started. But not to quibble, this is a good book that puts it all together. You just stay hungry.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good condensed history May 28, 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a good historical account of naval warfare between January 1793, when the French fired on the British sloop Childers, to June 30, 1815, when the United States sloop Peacock fired on and captured the Honourable East India Company's Nautilus, after the war had ended (there were a number of actions after the war ended because of the slow communications). It mainly covers the actions of British ships (including fleet actions, flying squadrons, individual ships, convoy duties, and some land actions), but also covers the French (including privateers), the Spanish, the Portuguese, the Turks, the Russians, the Dutch, the Danes, the new United States Navy, and an odd assortment of others (just about everyone who had a ship afloat).

It should be noted that the account is not limited to actions involving British ships. It covers, for instance, the problems between the United States and Tripoli. It does not go into detail about the political situation between the United States and England in 1812 (an agreement had been reached in London, but the hawks in the United States Congress declared war before the papers could reach the United States - not much different than the present day, there was a major split in Congress, with some New England merchants continuing to trade with the English in Canada).

The history mentions, in passing, some of the land campaigns, and the naval support to the armies. There is also some commentary on the politics in England and France, and the clashes with foreign governments including an insult to the Shogun in Japan. Some naval officers were not suited for diplomatic work.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond expectactions for all adventure readers
Furious, fast 5 read. The book tells too much of too many naval actions to be classed as anything less than beyond all expectations for a history. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Harry A. Pierce
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read!
I really enjoyed this. I have ready many, many books in this genre. This book is at an earlier time and it was interesting to ready about the Royal Navy before Napoleon.
Published 19 months ago by Philip Logiudice
3.0 out of 5 stars Too much detail
A mass of research with the result that there are too many names, ships and events to follow the trail. Read more
Published 23 months ago by John K
5.0 out of 5 stars Am rating this highly, but not sure that I should!
This is a great book, but one wonders if the French were as a bad as they are portrayed! Woodman is careful to debunk the fact that it is "gutter press" to say that one British... Read more
Published on May 21, 2006 by John H. Jennings
3.0 out of 5 stars This is history, not a story.
If you are looking for an adventure at sea in napoleonic days you should read Lewis and Pope and Kent, Showell and O'Brian. Read more
Published on January 27, 2006 by Sailoil
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good History of Royal Navy frigate captains in 1790s - 1810s
Richard Woodman, best known for his "Nathaniel Drinkwater" series of Royal Navy fiction and several other nonfiction works about the Royal Navy in the 20th Century, tells a... Read more
Published on October 8, 2005 by John Kwok
4.0 out of 5 stars History of George III's Navy.
Considering the scope of its content, this book is remarkably compact; if any accusation can be made, it's that there is too much information ... Mr. Read more
Published on January 14, 2005 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars an intersting but somewhat biased view
As a fan of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin series, I was interested to learn more of the history and times depicted in the novels. Read more
Published on August 22, 2004 by mike esposito
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