An Illustrated History of the Royal Navy

Front Cover
Casemate Publishers, 2005 - 232 pages
The Royal Navy occupies a central position in the history of Britain's island nation. In Shakespeare's words, the sea is the country's 'moat defensive', and the ships of the Royal Navy are the natural guardians of this barrier. As the 18th century lawyer Sir William Blackstone observed, 'the Royal Navy of England hath ever been its defense and ornament; it is its ancient and natural strength; the floating bulwark of the island'.

In this beautifully illustrated and highly readable history, John Winton records the history of the Royal Navy with consummate skill.

Beginning in the reign of King John, he shows how important progress in the establishment of a standing navy was made during the reigns of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, the monarch against whom Spain pitted the Armada.

Subsequent chapters then detail the two centuries of war between 1600 and 1800, when Britain was almost constantly engaged in either conflict or alliance with France, Spain and Netherlands; the period of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, the time of Nelson and Trafalgar; the 19th-century Pax Britannica; the Dreadnought era and the First World War when technological advance in the form of armor, big guns and submarines changed the face of naval warfare fundamentally; the interwar period and global conflict during the Second World War; and finally the Nuclear Age, during which the Navy has had to accommodate itself to a new world order, new forms of warfare, new weapons, and a new role. Updated to include recent operations in the first and second Gulf wars.

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