Book Reviews

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The British Civil Wars at Sea, 1638-1653

Edward Hyde, first Earl of Clarendon, described the desertion of the Royal Navy to Parliament in 1642 as an ‘unspeakable ill consequence to the King’s affairs’. For a monarch who was not unmindful of the importance of the Navy, this would have been particularly painful to Charles I. In response, the King attempted to create […]

WWII at Sea - cover

World War II at Sea: a global history

When first approached to review Craig L Symonds’ World War II at Sea, I was somewhat ambivalent about how much value another narrative history of this subject might add to the huge volume of extant literature. I really could not have been more wrong. Symonds’ work is gripping and well written, for sure, but it […]

Last Battle - cover

The Last Battle: endgame on the Western Front, 1918

The General commanding the Bollockyboos Has strictly revised all his previous views… He keeps his battalion, untiring, approving, All moving and firing and firing and moving; They know about guns, they know about tanks, They’ll take any risk you like with their flanks… They are all at one that training is fun And there’s nought […]

Norfolk Admirals

The Other Norfolk Admirals: Myngs, Narbrough, and Shovell

Close to Charing Cross station in London is the oddly named Ship and Shovell pub. Initially, this seems a strange combination, until you realise that the Shovell in question is not a misspelt digging implement but honours Sir Cloudesley Shovell (c.1650-1707), one of the most renowned admirals of the 17th century. Shovell is but one […]

Squadron

Squadron: ending the African slave trade

The West Africa Squadron of the Royal Navy had more or less terminated the slave trade on the West African coast by the 1850s. This book is not about that story. It concerns another unfolding on the opposite side of the continent. As the West African trade collapsed, the East African trade soared. The trafficking […]

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