Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop All Amazon Fashion Up to 70% off Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Shop Amazon Fire TV Shop now Shop Fire HD 6 Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop now

Deliver to your Kindle or other device


Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

The Command of the Ocean: A Naval History of Britain 1649-1815 [Kindle Edition]

N. A. M. Rodger
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £20.00
Kindle Price: £6.99 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: £13.01 (65%)
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £6.99  
Hardcover --  
Paperback £18.95  
Kindle Books Summer Sale
Kindle Summer Sale: Books from 99p
Browse over 600 titles from best-selling authors, including Neil Gaiman, John Grisham, Jeffrey Archer, Veronica Roth and Sylvia Day. >Shop now

Book Description

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. It describes not just battles, voyages 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 organizing 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.

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Page of Start over
This shopping feature will continue to load items. In order to navigate out of this carousel please use your heading shortcut key to navigate to the next or previous heading.

Product Description

Amazon Review

NAM Rodger’s The Command of the Ocean, the second part of his naval history trilogy that began with The Safeguard of the Sea, describes Britain’s rise to naval greatness during the period 1649-1815 when she finally gained sovereignty of the seas around the British Isles. It ably demonstrates the importance of naval history to the life of government and the nation; links naval history with political, social, economic, diplomatic, administrative, medical and religious history and charts the naval histories of Britain’s enemies and neighbors including France, Holland, Spain, Denmark and the United States.

Have no doubt, this is a brilliant piece of scholarship, cleverly organized and wonderfully written. Given the promising subject matter of naval warfare to work with it is not surprising that an historian with literary flair can produce a gripping narrative. Perhaps what is surprising is that half the book is devoted to the seemingly mundane background of naval history--how the Navy was managed, financed, directed, and supplied with materials, how the men were fed and so on--rather than the showy foreground, yet it remains a deeply engrossing read throughout. The secret of Rodger’s success is not just down to the cracking narrative and fine scholarship but partly to the way he has organized his material. The main body of the book is arranged into four parallel streams: policy, strategy and naval operations; finance, administration and logistics; social history; and finally the tools of sea-power, ships and weapons. These four themes are broken up into thirty six relatively small chapters each covering a certain time span. Constructing the book in this way has certain practical advantages for the reader. Most importantly, separating the key themes and alternating between them keeps the narrative fresh and interesting while giving the reader the best chance of taking on board the who, what, where, when, how and why of things without losing either the sense of continuity or one’s bearings. Over 100 pages of information are left outside the main body of the text: the front of the book contains several maps, a useful chart listing dates, battles and the names of the ships involved while the back contains an English glossary, a general chronology and appendixes on ships, fleets, rates of pay, Admirals and officials, manpower and naval finance. Rodger’s choice of structure along with his great story-telling abilities means we can assimilate the maximum amount of information with a minimal degree of effort while being thoroughly entertained along the way. On the whole The Command of the Ocean is one those rare specimens that will simultaneously stimulate the specialist and greatly please the general reader. --Larry Brown


Rodger illuminates the world of Nelson and Hardy and its portrayal by C. F. Forrester in the Hornblower novels and Patrick O Brian in the Aubrey and Maturin cycle . . . to understand the Royal Navy at its peak, Rodger s account is indispensable

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 10668 KB
  • Print Length: 954 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (7 Sept. 2006)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141026901
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141026909
  • ASIN: B002RI9XVK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #196,485 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

3 star
2 star
1 star
4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is not a pub quiz book 19 Aug. 2006
NAM Roger has continued the excellent work he started with his first volume. This is an excellent book, well referenced and remarkably readable. Covering the technical, social and historical aspects of the Royal Navy for the period he has avoided the trap of concentrating on the battles and gives a clear view of the difficulties that the Royal Navy had to overcome to make it the force that it was in the nineteenth century. This is not a pub quiz book, however, anyone who is serious about British naval history should read this book.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant at sea, but also good all round 30 Dec. 2006
This is a brilliant book to read for anyone, whether they are a professional historian, or just as a passing fancy.

It highlights not just the military side of the period, but also the social and political aspects of it, portraying the personalities of the period with the utmost accuracy. There are also some fundamental points made in this book which although complex, are explained so well that they will improve any readers understanding of the period.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great work on Evolution of British Sea Power 7 Jun. 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I owned a paperback, and just wanted the 'real' thing !
This surely must be one of the best works on the subject of the evolution of British sea power yet written. Both my copies are festooned with 'post it note' bookmarks, to highlight various aspects of interest.

A real revelation into the way our navy has evolved. I rate this book as being excellent in content.

Writing style is also very readable, though just a little convoluted at times. This after all is a major subject spanning a considerable time,[166 years] a large numbers of personalities and occurrences of historical significance. and to cram all the information contained into a single volume necessitates the use of a little licence at times.

For anyone with a real interest in the evolution of our Senior Service, through the good as well as the hard pressed times, over the period, this book needs to have a permanent place on your book shelf. You need to own a copy, not just borrow one, as the frequency you will delve into it to confirm aspects of naval history are likely to be frequent. At least judging from my own useage !
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written and dispells many myths 3 Jan. 2008
I picked up this book in Portsmouth after having realised I knew next to nothing about the true history of the Navy (apart from Nelson). This book was a delight, alternating between the naval history, the social background and technical developments. The one bit that really grabbed me was the role of Samuel Pepys in the Royal Navy. Also, the author goes into a few myths and errors that previous historians have introduces in their books, which shows how well researched the book is. I am now going to get the earlier book in the series to see where it all began.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
43 of 50 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If your curiosity about the Royal Navy was whetted by the Command and Conquer film then this excellent account, prepared in what seems a labour of love, should prove the fact belittles the fiction. How women and even entire families served in Nelson's Navy is brought to light by careful examination of naval records.How crews were more like foreign legions than just sons of England and how risk was seen a positive thing to allow common men to rise above their station. An excellent read!
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scholarly but very readable 6 Nov. 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Rodgers works in the best scholarly tradition providing facts and figures to back up what he says and make his opinions convincing, yet he is at the same time very readable. Who were the crews and what were their lives like? He gives the human dimension as the same time as he highlights for the reader the importance of the Royal Navy for the develpment of the Britain that was to come
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Command of Naval History 4 Oct. 2005
I am not an historian but I found this meticulously researched book very readable. It puts the Naval history in its context and is written in a clear and enjoyable style. Despite this there is an enormous amount of detailed research in the appendices. I look forward to the next volume.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a general reader I came on this book by chance & was immediately impressed by the quality of the writing and the comprehensiveness of the material. It is very effectively organised, giving clear outlines of development illustrated by vivid examples & anecdotes. Material is backed by comprehensive notes at the back, for those who wish to see the evidence, but most chapters can be read as uninterrupted narrative. The writing is sharp & vivid, whether he is describing the improvements in the dockyards, feats of navigation or relationships on board ships. There are many fascinating anecdotes which bring real people & situations vividly to life, but they also contribute to the development of a wider account.

N.A.M Rodger fits together wider aspects of the history that most people would not have considered. There are connections in some very unexpected places. Having read the book, I understood much more clearly how a navy worked, & the remarkable effect it had on the history of Britain & the rest of the world.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Ruling the waves
A very readable history of all important aspects of the growth and development of Britain's naval supremacy.
Published 1 month ago by Michael Allen
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 2 months ago by Philip Orpwood
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for those interested in Britain's maritime history
An excellent highly readable and yet in depth view of naval history. Rodger is a renown naval historian and this book shows why he has gained his reputation. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great read
Published 9 months ago by Lord Greymold
5.0 out of 5 stars ng
Very intresting read, found out quite a bit i didnt know especially Samuel Pepys role in the English navy ...
Published 11 months ago by david newman
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read History book
Fantastic book that lives up to the superlative reviews. Want to know how we got an Empire? This book covers most of it
Published 11 months ago by Mr. G. P. Emsden
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent all round.
Very detailed and informative but an easy read nevertheless. Perhaps the definitive study of this period in our Naval history?. Certainly the best i have read. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Mike
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading
If you are reading this then you are probably aware that N A M Rodger is a leading figure in this field. Eminently readable and essential for research.
Published 19 months ago by Mr. Robertson
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Researched
It is a very detailed and informative book. The author has obviously done a lot of primary research and it has made me question the impression I have had on some historical... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Rumpty
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
As soon as I can afford the fhe 3rd volume I shall buy it. Comprehensive reference book for my libray
Published 22 months ago by Robert Hoyle
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category