From the first British involvement in the French Revolution in 1793 to the end of the War of 1812, England's wooden walls fought off French, Danish, Dutch, Spanish, Turkish and American ships to maintain control of the seas and Britain's essential maritime trade. Rather than concentrate on all the big battles of the period, veteran British writer Richard Woodman, with both history and fictional sea tales to his credit, resuscitates now-forgotten ship captains and their quotidian gun duels with enemy ships in The Sea Warriors: The Fighting Captains and Their Ships in the Age of Nelson. Men like Edward Pellew, Thomas Cochrane and Josiah Willoughby contended with defective ships, bad crews, lack of good hygiene and food, and lack of support from their Royal Navy superiors. Press gangs and oftentimes harsh corporal punishment upped the stakes, and mutinies were fairly common. From Woodman's vivid account, it's not hard to see why.
Reviewed on: 06/01/2001 Release date: 06/01/2001 Genre: Nonfiction