By the middle years of the nineteenth century, there seem to have been few places on the globe where British and French commercial, colonial, or religious interests could not clash; and thanks to the extent and flexibility of their sea power the two rivals were able to support these interests with naval force virtually wherever there was enough water to float a warship. The Crimean War brought the British and French navies, the most technologically advanced in the world, into alliance after many years of common hostility. It was a period of enormous technological innovation and development, witnessing the transition from sail to screw, and the birth of the ironclad. In this extensively researched and thorough study, C. I. Hamilton traces the technological development of both British and French navies and analyses the political and diplomatic policies which formed the backdrop to the naval history of the period 1840-1870. Dr Hamilton compares the two navies in a variety of important ways: their recruitment and training systems, dockyard facilities, naval administrations, strategy and tactics.
His book makes a noteworthy contribution both to naval history and to our knowledge of Anglo-French relations in the nineteenth century.
Publisher: Oxford University Press