Horatio Nelson was a hero from the time when his dramatic initiative won the battle of St Vincent in 1797, while his last battle, at Trafalgar, reduced the enemy naval forces so thoroughly that they were no longer able to have any bearing on the outcome of the war. As well as being a brilliant study of those naval battles which played such an important role in Napoleon's defeat, it also makes a close study of the admiral's art which, during the last years of the eighteenth century, developed faster than at any time since the previous century and led to Britain's mastery of the seas for more than 100 years. The Seven Years War and the War of the American Revolution stimulated the development of new ideas and the experience gained from them, as well as the developments in ship design and signalling, and the perfection of drill, transformed naval methods. Nelson became a master of them all. This technical prowess, combined with a remarkable ability to lead his men and his genius for making decisive moves, 'the Nelson touch', made him the consummate master of naval warfare. Highly readable, concise and insightful, this new edition will prove a popular choice for those seeking an introduction to naval warfare in the age of sail
- 1996 Nicholas Tracy
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