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War At Sea In The Age Of Sail (CASSELL'S HISTORY OF WARFARE) [Hardcover]

Andrew Lambert
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description


Part of a unique venture: a twenty-four volume series that will capture the entire history of war and warfare, written by the world¿s leading experts.

Fully illustrated throughout and incorporating computer generated cartography that brings the sea battles to life.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Orion; 1st Edition edition (1 Jun 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0304352462
  • ISBN-13: 978-0304352463
  • Product Dimensions: 27.3 x 20.6 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 241,006 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

The history of maritime warfare in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries from one of the field¿s leading experts.

About the Author

Dr Andrew Lambert is Professor of Naval History at King¿s College, London, and Vice-President of the British Commission for Maritime History. His publications include Warrior: The First Ironclad, and The Crimean War: British Grand Strategy against Russia, 1853-60.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely to look at, not so good to read. 5 Aug 2002
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a beautifully produced book, excellently designed and superbly illustrated. Not only are the pictures visually inspiring, the captions are informative and pertinent. The only problem lies in the frequent inaccuracies in the text, such as "square rig is the best choice for sailing into the wind" (fore and aft rig is better) or that William of Orange "invaded" England (he was invited in), among many others. If so many self evident mistakes occur with familiar facts one wonders about the reliability of information the reader has not come across before.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The book is a detailed history of fighting sail. Very well written, and of course coming from Andrew Lambert very well researched. The tactics of sailing wars at sea are fully covered with diagrams to explain the various moves of the fleet during various engagements. A very well written and informative book. I recommend it to general readers and naval researchers.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.2 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting survey of a rich topic 3 Sep 2000
By J. Wan - Published on
The War at Sea in the Age of Sail is part of the Cassell History of Warfare series, edited by John Keegan. Andrew Lambert, an expert in English naval history during the age of sail, takes on the formidable task. The age of sail is defined for the purposes of this work as being from 1650, [the start of the First Anglo-Dutch war, notable in being nearly exclusively a naval affair and one which blockade and control of merchant shipping was crucial], to 1850, when steam propulsion and iron plating began to appear. It has as its major strengths an excellent survey of the anglo-dutch wars, the organization of the British and French navies (the major navies of the day), and the great naval struggles between first Bourbon France and later Napoleonic France and Great Britain. It is well illustrated and a very attractive book. It would be ideal gift for the military history buff or the C.S Forester Hornblower, or Patrick O'Brian Aubrey/Maturin fan.
The weaknesses of the work are as follows. It is quite Anglocentric and much attention is given to English commanders. Arguably this is because many of the dominant figures of the era were English: Hood, Rodney, Howe, Cornwallis, Jervis, and most of all Nelson. The book is beautiful but the battle plans and maps are not that useful. They use a mixture of illustrations and tactical plans which end up being neither revealing nor artistic. They sort of look like what a small child would draw of a battle! The one exception is a well laid out map showing Villeneuve's attempt at a breakout and Nelson's pursuit from the Mediterranean to the West Indies and back to Spain.
Because of the limited space (~210 pages) many details are skipped over - we are told that Nelson played an important role at the battle of Cape St. Vincent, but there is no actual battle plan or description. The construction of naval ships is discussed in detail at the beginning of the age, but then little mention is made of later developments, prior to the advent of steam and iron. Such improvements in diagonal cross bracing for example are not mentionned. For these greater details, however, an excellent bibliography is supplied.
In short, a beautiful book, which surveys the era of the fighting sail. It is a bit Anglocentric, but forgivably so. Maps could be improved. An excellent gift choice for the military history buff or naval fiction fan, but not for the hard core experts.
The rest of the series should be interesting, especiallyt the forthcoming War at Sea in the Iron Clad Age, and War at Sea: 1914-1945.
10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing and Biased 31 May 2001
By A Customer - Published on
With so many other good books covering the glorious age of fighting sail, this work was perhaps bound to suffer by comparison. The pro-English bias reduces its rating further, however. Of all the frigate actions of the War of 1812, for example, the author treats in detail only the brief duel between the Shannon and the Chesapeake, for no better reason than because it was an English victory over an American ship. The author also repeats all the old English excuses for losing so many actions with the Americans, excuses which Teddy Roosevelt demolished one hundred years ago in his own naval history of the War of 1812. Not worth the money.
6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A pedestrian read for a landlubber 1 Oct 2001
By A Customer - Published on
This book starts off by defining the scope of the coverage and laying down the general tenets of sea warfare. It covers the period from the Anglo-Dutch Wars up to the emergence of the steamship era as this period involved rather large naval engagements. What is surprising is the lack of coverage on the Tudor and Elizabethan era (the Spanish armada and the numerous engagements between the Portuguese and the Dutch). Weren't the Portuguese the first preeminent seafaring nation in the age of sail?
Some engagments are presented but tactical details are lacking as this is a broad coverage. If so, why bother to explain basic ship handling in the introductory sections as these are tactical matters? In addition, the text seems to have been written in a hurry and some examples of naval engagements do not tie in with the accompanying maps.
This series of books is really quite appealing in general scope and presentation but the contents in each volume vary like crazy.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Misleading Title, But . . . 18 Feb 2006
By Pliplup - Published on
This is still a very nice history of the British navy up to the age of steam. This is a fairly brief span of time since an actual navy, as opposed to an occasional ad hoc assembly of ships for a particular purpose, did not come into being until Cromwell's time. Of course this narrow scope leaves out the Iberians, hence the misleading title. Yet this book does some things admiralbly.

It explains the purpose of national naval ambitions and activities and does a fine job of showing us stategic objectives. My grasp of British history is embarassingly thin, and this book helped me to understand a bit about the British Civil War and how this led to conflicts with the Dutch. As a matter of fact it does a fine job of showing us why many of the conflicts the Brits were involved in came about.

It did not do such a good job of helping me understand tactical aspects of naval history. I'm not sure if this is because of the book's shortcomings or if I'm just a hopeless wooden headed lubber who needs to see a video or have someone take me on a boat and explain things to me. I fear tis the latter.
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