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Skilled in the Tactics of 1870

N.A.M. Rodger: So many ships and fleets and armies, 6 February 2020

The War for the Seas: A Maritime History of World War Two 
by Evan Mawdsley.
Yale, 557 pp., £25, August 2019, 978 0 300 19019 9
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... troops had departed. Not for the last time, sea power had sprung a surprise on soldiers.The German army was as skilled as ever in the tactics of 1870, and as sure as ever that winning a great battle would automatically mean winning the war. The British, meanwhile, were as sure as ever that the slow, inexorable pressure of naval blockade would lead to ...

Grieve not, but try again

N.A.M. Rodger: Submarines, 21 September 2016

The Silent Deep: The Royal Navy Submarine Service since 1945 
by Peter Hennessy and James Jinks.
Allen Lane, 823 pp., £12.99, June 2016, 978 1 84614 580 3
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... implies the rejection of legal restraints that did not exist, for international law as yet had taken almost no note of the existence of submarines. The German submarine force was divided into different commands that followed different policies and operated different types of boat, but most of them were occupied with stopping cargo ships on the surface in ...

Keep your eye on the tide, Jock

Tom Shippey: Naval history, 4 June 1998

The Safeguard of the Sea: A Naval History of Britain, Vol. I, 660-1649 
by N.A.M. Rodger.
HarperCollins, 691 pp., £25, September 1997, 0 00 255128 4
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Weapons and Warfare in Renaissance Europe 
by Bert Hall.
Johns Hopkins, 300 pp., £25, June 1997, 0 8018 5531 4
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... to see where it started. The danger is exacerbated even now by memories from school. Till I read N.A.M. Rodger’s book I could not have placed Richard Grenville and the Revenge within twenty years, nor had any idea what he was doing ‘at Flores in the Azores’; nor do I know even yet (for Rodger is certainly not ...

Powered by Fear

Linda Colley: Putting the navy in its place, 3 February 2005

The Command of the Ocean: A Naval History of Britain 1649-1815 
by N.A.M. Rodger.
Allen Lane, 907 pp., £30, September 2004, 0 7139 9411 8
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... early 19th centuries was quintessentially about? The greatest achievement of the second volume of N.A.M. Rodger’s formidable trilogy devoted to British naval history is its determined questioning of any such assumptions. Trafalgar Square is a mid and late Victorian creation. The battle it celebrates took place in 1805, but Nelson’s column was not ...

Battle of Britain

Patrick O’Brian, 7 July 1988

The Spanish Armada 
by Colin Martin and Geoffrey Parker.
Hamish Hamilton, 296 pp., £15, April 1988, 0 241 12125 6
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Armada 1588-1988 
by M.J. Rodriguez-Salgado.
Penguin and the National Maritime Museum, 295 pp., £12.95, April 1988, 0 14 010301 5
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Armada: A Celebration of the 400th Anniversary of the Defeat of the Spanish Armada 1588-1988 
by Peter Padfield.
Gollancz, 208 pp., £14.95, April 1988, 0 575 03729 6
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Froude’s ‘Spanish Story of the Armada’, and Other Essays 
edited by A.L. Rowse.
Sutton, 262 pp., £5.95, May 1988, 0 86299 500 0
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Ireland’s Armada Legacy 
by Laurence Flanagan.
Sutton, 210 pp., £9.95, April 1988, 9780862994730
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The Armada in the Public Records 
by N.A.M. Rodger.
HMSO, 76 pp., £5.95, April 1988, 0 11 440215 9
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The Spanish Armada: The Experience of War in 1588 
by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto.
Oxford, 300 pp., £14.95, June 1988, 0 19 822926 7
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... fact the English fire-power was one-third greater than the Spanish. Furthermore it was delivered in a much more efficient way. The English guns were mounted on a small low carriage with four little wheels or trucks: the gun could be loaded inboard, run out through the port, aimed, discharged and heaved in again, to be swabbed, reloaded and run out once ...

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