- ISBN/SKU: 9781848322028
- Binding: Paperback
- Number of Pages: 384
- Subject: Age of Sail
- Date Available: June 2014
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The Sea Warriors is the true story of the great frigate captains of the Nelsonic Royal Navy who spent long and arduous years away from their homes fighting for king and country, to win and hold control of the seas.
Richard Woodman skillfully dissects the events of the war years, focusing on the cruiser war, that war between opposing frigates which entailed the blockade of enemy ports, the interception of enemy trade and the protection of Britain’s merchant ships. The whole magnificent sweep of this great struggle is set against its political background of the Napoleonic wars and the sea war with America.
With this narrative come an extraordinary array of young, daring and hugely skilled frigate captains whose ability to grasp the chances offered by war made them household names in this savage age. Some, like Warren, Pellew, Cochrane and Collingwood, are still renowned; others are here rescued from under the shadow of Nelson as the author recounts their brave and brilliant exploits.
As well as the thrilling accounts of sea battles and single ship actions, the author describes the darker side to life at sea – the constant danger and harsh discipline, the wearying monotony of sea-keeping, the scourges of disease and the occasional outbreaks of mutiny. This is a stirring story combined with a feast of knowledge.
~ Praise for The Sea Warriors ~
“A marvelous book... which shows where Patrick O’Brian and C. S. Forester got all their stuff from, but it is more exciting to read than either.”
— John Bayley, Times Literary Supplement
“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. “
— Publishers Weekly
“A superb Napoleonic War study, admirably written. It puts Patrick O 'Brian and Homblower in the shade. One of John Bayley's Books of the Year.”
— Daily Telegraph
“An enthralling story of the fighting captains and frigate warfare in the age of Nelson.”
— Robert Harvey, author of Cochrane
“Here the surging thrill of broadside battles under billowing sail is captured with narration that also presents a considerd assessment of the times, of the social, military and political factors that came so powerfully into play; would that all history books could be as arresting'
— This England
Richard Woodman, the well-known seaman and writer, is an Elder Brethren of Trinity House, and is perhaps best known for his Nathaniel Drinkwater series of historical naval novels. He has written a considerable body of naval history including acclaimed studies of the Arctic and Malta convoys of World War II.