The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783

Little, Brown, and Company



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Little, Brown, and Company
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Dec 31, 1891
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Naval historians and maritime students alike will welcome this fascinating compendium of writings by one of the world's most influential and respected experts on naval warfare. Considered by many the greatest of all naval theorists, Admiral Mahan was revered by his contemporaries (including Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, who made Mahan mandatory reading for his naval officers) for the quality of his insight and analysis.
Mahan's close reading of history, his evaluation of the lessons of naval events and his predictions and prescriptions for the conduct of future naval policy contributed powerfully to the shaping of the twentieth century. His influence on naval theorists and policy makers in every great nation was profound, but nowhere was it stronger than among the three "upstart" powers, the United States, Japan and Germany. The Mahan-inspired devotion of these three powers to challenging the naval superiority of the existing naval triumvirate, Britain, France and Russia, and then each other, was among the catalysts for the eruptions of 1914 and 1939.
While Mahan's theories received their most cogent statement in his masterwork, The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783, he expanded upon them in many other books, articles and essays. The present volume comprises a rich selection of his shorter pieces. Ranging widely, these selections cover over 40 different topics in a comprehensive discussion of naval principles, sea power in history, and naval and national policies. Taken together, they offer the distilled wisdom, sober evaluations and closely reasoned analysis of a celebrated figure who was an American naval officer in the Civil War, second president of the Naval War College and one of the most outspoken delegates to the Peace Conference at The Hague in 1899.
This single volume of selections will enable naval officers, laymen, armchair sailors and students of world history to grasp quickly the essence of Mahan's ideas and their lasting effect upon naval policy and international affairs.
When Admiral Mahan, passed away in 1914, his ideas and thoughts lived on in his writings, which spanned the naval strategy of his own times and the lessons learnt from history. They are still read at the modern naval academies and the ideas permeate the teachings at Annapolis. A flag officer in the U.S. Navy who fought during the American civil war for the Union forces, his works have gained a fame that makes him the foremost of the naval historians of the late 1800’s.
Of enduring interest is his two volume history of Horatio Nelson, the hero of the Royal Navy and the battle of Trafalgar. An epic and tragic figure in age that abounds with them, the victor of Trafalgar who never lived past that day to see his fame endure is a favourite for biographies however few are as balanced and detailed as Mahan’s.
The first volume covers Nelson’s early years his entrance to the Royal Navy and the patronage that enabled him to progress up the ranks swiftly. His decisive action at the battle of Cape St Vincent is covered in detail. Nelson’s thirst for action and glory is brought out in stark relief with his youthful naivety, and his deeply questionable actions in Naples are discussed in depth. The book ends after the brilliant victory at the battle of the Nile, which in itself would have been enough to be a crowning glory, leaving Napoleon and his expeditionary force stranded in Egypt.
Illustrations – Nelson (aged 22), Captain Maurice Suckling, Captain William Locker, Admiral Lord Hood, Admiral Sir John Jervis, Sir Thomas Troubridge, Lady Nelson, Lady Hamilton, Admiral Lord Keith Maps – Northern Italy and Corsica, Action of the Agammemnon vs the Ca Ira, Fleet action 1795, Battle of Cape St Vincent (3 maps), Mediterranean, Alexandra to Rosetta, Aboukir Bay, Battle of the Nile (2 Maps)
Author – Rear Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan 27/09/2010 – 01/12/1914
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