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Husband and wife Roy Adkins (Nelson's Trafalgar) and Lesley Adkins (Empires of the Plain) team up for this vivid account of the naval campaigns of the Napoleonic Wars (1798–1815). Contending that the wars were won at sea, the authors trace the nautical action from the Battle of the Nile (1798), where a British fleet destroyed the French fleet and stranded Napoleon's army in Egypt, to the decisive Battle of Trafalgar (1805), where the British overwhelmed a combined French and Spanish fleet supporting an invasion of Britain. The narrative concludes with an account of the protracted war of attrition that followed Trafalgar and ended with Bonaparte's final defeat at Waterloo in 1815. This low-grade conflict—coastal blockades and shipping raids—caught neutral nations like the United States in the middle and ultimately led the Americans to declare war on England in 1812—a conflict that was never more than a sideshow for the British. This rollicking saga ranges from the Mediterranean to the Indies, East and West, and ends with Britain in control of the world's sea lanes—the foundation for her future empire. Meticulously researched—drawing on extensive and intimate eyewitness accounts from contemporary journals, letters and memoirs—this lively narrative will delight students and fans of nautical history. (Aug. 20)
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In the nineteenth century, the British created the greatest maritime-based empire in world history. That empire was made possible by the domination of the Royal Navy, which was forged in the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries in the fires of the Napoleonic Wars. The Adkins, who are both historians and archaeologists, have written a narrative history of British naval conflicts from 1798 to 1815. In that span, the Royal Navy engaged almost every major naval power, including France, Spain, Holland, and even the U.S. Naturally, the Adkins describe the exploits of naval icons, including Nelson and Hood, but their account is most engrossing when they utilize eyewitness accounts of ordinary seamen to capture the intensity of battle as well as the grind of day-to-day life aboard a warship. The Adkins display such superb technological knowledge of their subject that they can be excused for their occasional delving into "Britannica Rules the Waves" enthusiasm. A superior work of maritime history that both scholars and general readers should enjoy. Freeman, JaySee all Editorial Reviews
I have a pet peeve about books. They should tell you what they're about, and be honest about it. This otherwise fine book is somewhat deceptive on the front cover, in that it... Read morePublished 11 months ago by David W. Nicholas
This is a great book with tons of first person accounts. The authors have conveyed the battles and events using quotes from those who were directly involved, adding relevant... Read morePublished on February 26, 2013 by Chad Caig
I enjoyed this book very much. I wouldn't mind reading it again if I had the time. It gets into the life of sailors and officers which I found interesting.Published on December 28, 2012 by Stephen M. Barlow
What a great book! Feeling the need to add to my rather too small collection on Nelson I got this book as a present while visiting my son and started to (perhaps rudely? Read morePublished on February 2, 2012 by John the Reader
I'm a big fan of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin novels and felt that I needed some non-fiction background into the era. Read morePublished on January 12, 2012 by Penn '83
The War for All the Oceans covers all major, and some less well known, naval actions from the latter part of the revolutionary war, to the end of the Napoleonic. Read morePublished on December 16, 2011 by A. J. Bond
Readable account of Napoleonic era sea battles and campaigns. Use of primary source material is strong, and the writing is accessible particularly for someone who comes to the... Read morePublished on February 28, 2011 by E.J. Kaye