Maritime Power and the Struggle for Freedom: Naval Campaigns that Shaped the Modern World, 1788-1857 by Peter Padfield - review by Tom Pocock

Tom Pocock

Britannia Rules the Waves

Maritime Power and the Struggle for Freedom: Naval Campaigns that Shaped the Modern World, 1788-1857

By

John Murray 457pp £20 order from our bookshop
 

AT THE BEGINNING of the twentieth century, the British found a new religion known as Sea Power. proclaimed by such thoughthl naval historians as Sir Julian Corbett and the American Rear-Admiral A T Mahan, its Old Testament was the defeat of Napoleonic France by British maritime supremacy and its New Testament was naval rearmament, the Navy League and the revolutionary Dyeadnought battleships with which the new German threat at sea was to be faced.

Peter Padfield's book is a successor to the works of that time - and a notable addtion to those of his own - but it is also more than that. The first surmise is that the two opening chapters are not about ships and battles but the origins and eruption

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter