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See below for a selection of the latest books from Maritime history category. Presented with a red border are the Maritime history books that have been lovingly read and reviewed by the experts at Lovereading. With expert reading recommendations made by people with a passion for books and some unique features Lovereading will help you find great Maritime history books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!
In 1971 Alec Crawford is determined to make his fortune from ship salvage. Early attempts lead nowhere until he teams up with a new partner, Simon Martin. Diving in Hebridean waters, they explore remains of the Spanish Armada, and the wreck of the SS Politician, the vessel made famous in the Whisky Galore. But money is scarce and irregular, and the work is fraught with danger and disappointment. Until they hear of one of the most incredible wrecks of all time - the White Star Liner Oceanic, which, when built in 1899, was the biggest and most luxurious ship in the world. Widely regarded as an 'undiveable' wreck, lying somewhere off the remote island of Foula, they decide to take the challenge. They face unbelievably dangerous waters and appalling weather conditions, and when a large salvage company takes action against them, they also have a huge legal fight on their hands. But if they succeed, the rewards will be enormous...
This biography of John Jervis, who became Admiral Lord Vincent, makes compelling reading. It throws an oblique light on Nelsons personality. St Vincent, who was born twenty-three years before Nelson, and survived for eighteen years after Trafalgar, fundamentally influenced the younger mans career despite the two men being diametrically different characters. Yet without him, Nelsons genius might have been submerged by professional jealousy or emotional fragility. It was St Vincents strategy and preparation which positioned Nelson to win his three famous victories, but St Vincent himself made vital contributions not only to the defeat of Napoleon but to the well-being of the Royal Navy. Before he became First Lord of the Admiralty, the Navy had been severely weakened by corruption in the dockyards, nepotism in appointments and the appalling conditions under which the seamen lived and worked. St Vincent deserves the profound gratitude of the Nation; not only for enabling Nelson to exercise his tactical brilliance, but also for the role he played in preventing Napoleon from invading the British Isles.
Lord Keith, a Scottish admiral who rose to prominence serving His Majesty from 1761 to 1815, ended his career by overseeing Napoleon's surrender in 1815. Born George Keith Elphinstone, Keith at one time or another held nearly every important command in the British navy, and his story illustrates the navy's history during the Age of Fighting Sail. McCranie's book is the first modern biography of Keith, who learned the art of commanding single ships and small squadrons during the American Revolution. Keith eventually commanded four major fleets - the Eastern Seas, the Mediterranean, the North Sea, and the Channel. Though he never led a fleet into battle, Keith supported joint operations with the British army and its allies while simultaneously maintaining command of the sea and ensuring the free passage of commerce. A skilled administrator, who at times controlled more than 200 ships over thousands of square miles of ocean, Keith successfully navigated the political and social waters as well. Drawing on more than 100,000 private and public records, McCranie documents Keith's dealings with the British government, the Royal Family, the Admiralty, the French government, the French navy, the British army, and Britain's allies. Citing letters Keith wrote to his wife, his sister, his oldest daughter, and his father, to whom he described his first impressions of the navy, the author offers a personal portrait and narrative of a career-conscious officer who worried about what others thought of him. This book will appeal to historians of the Royal Navy, the French Revolution, and the Napoleonic era, as well as enthusiasts of the Age of Fighting Sail.
The aim of this book is to explore ethnic, cultural and material changes in the transformative history(s) of oceans and seas, commodities and populations, mariners and ships, and raiders and refugees in Southeast Asia, with particular reference to the Sulu-Mindanao region, or the Sulu Zone. Examining the profound changes that were taking place in the Sulu-Mindanao region and elsewhere at the end of the eighteenth century, this book, the companion volume to The Sulu Zone published in 1981, establishes an ethnohistorical framework for understanding the emerging inter-connected patterns of global commerce, long distance maritime trading and the formation and maintenance of ethnic identity. It also provides a new conceptual framework for understanding the problem of ethnic self-definition and political processes and conflicts in the recent history of the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia. Iranun and Balangingi seeks to probe these themes through an inter-disciplinary approach, using archival sources and literature, as well as period testimony, interviews, diaries, and fieldwork observations from sites primarily located in the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia.
From the foreword: In the 21st century the division between the maritime and terrestrial worlds has virtually disappeared. Events and issues that previously involved only maritime subjects need to be reexamined today from the perspective of those events and developments occurring simultaneously ashore. It is through this approach, as demonstrated by this fine collection of essays, that maritime history truly becomes a vehicle for understanding global history. Maritime events today appear to be tied more closely to events ashore than ever before, and seafaring has been the primary catalyst of much of world history. These essays by many of the world's leading scholars present an up-to-date assessment of the field of maritime history in the early 21st century. They offer fresh insights into the impact of seaborne exploration, warfare, and commerce on the course of history, from the independent traditions of ancient Japanese, Arab, and Mediterranean seafarers to the rapid European expansion around the globe from the 16th century onward. The book is organized around the themes of the sea as a theater of exploration, a highway of commerce, an arena for conflict, and a muse for artistic inspiration. The authors utilize information from the earliest recorded voyages to the present to illuminate an era's interesting and universal attributes and the successful explorers' motivations--usually a combination of scientific, political, economic, and religious reasons. They also show that the competing principles of freedom of the seas versus exclusive governance by political entities are central to all discussions of the sea in history. The book underscores how the myriad events that entwine humankind with the sea--both those of written record as well as those of oral tradition--form the substance of a history of worldwide significance. Its wide-ranging perspective will appeal to all readers who seek an engaging evaluation of the significance of the sea in human history. Published jointly with the Peabody Essex Museum New Perspectives on Maritime History and Nautical Archaeology
This comprehensive reference work contains details of all ships from the Royal and Commonwealth navies, whose primary role is to operate aircraft at sea.
The South Indian Chola kings had developed a sophisticated maritime enterprise based on sea based commerce with trading contacts in Malaya, Sumatra and China. This had resulted in an ocean going fleet that was dispatched by the Chola King Rajendra Choladeva I against the Srivijaya Kingdom. The essays in this volume reflect on the naval expedition, which is also mentioned in the inscription dated 1030-31 of the big temple of Tanjavur in South India. Perhaps the most significant contribution of this volume to Asian maritime history is the translations of ancient and medieval Tamil and Sanskrit inscriptions relating to Southeast Asia and China and the Chinese Texts describing or referring to the Chola Kingdom as Zhunian.
This heavily illustrated volume offers a comprehensive and dramatic history of coastal life saving and rescues at sea from the earliest times to the present day. Divided into four sections, the book first covers the beginning of the humanitarian life-saving ethos in Europe and China and how it spread throughout the world, followed by a section on the milestones in rescue craft design, from the earliest pulling and sailing lifeboats to the high-speed lifeboats of today. The last two sections provide an overview of contemporary maritime rescue organizations and the search and rescue (SAR) network, including radio and satellite communications. Published with the cooperation of the International Lifeboat Federation, Royal National Lifeboat Institution, and U.S. Coast Guard, this book also features some of the most awe-inspiring heroics and epic tragedies of the lifesaving services.
There is no current warship in the Royal Navy called HMS London, but vessels carrying the name have featured for better or worse in some of the most controversial episodes of British naval history. For example, the wooden wall battleship HMS London of the late 18th Century could be called 'the ship that lost America' while the heavy cruiser of WW2 was command vessel for the escort force that failed to safeguard the controversial convoy PQ17. In 'HMS London' the true stories behind those headlines are told, not least providing a grim insider perspective on the Arctic convoys, which literally broke the heavy cruiser in addition to demoralizing the sailors and marines who sailed in her. It is, however, a tale of triumphing over the dark satanic seas of the Arctic, of learning from the mistakes of PQ17 and ultimately enduring in the face of the enemy, the elements and an ungrateful Stalin. Examining the stories of HMS Londons all the way from the English Civil War, through the Battle of Copenhagen in 1801 - where Nelson famously ignored signals to break off the action displayed by HMS London - we also learn of the pre-dreadnought London's participation in the ill-fated Dardanelles campaign of WW1. Iain Ballantyne's fascinating and lively account of the lives of British warships named London primarily looks at history from the perspective of the men who were there, including her post-WW2 mission under a storm of fire from Chinese communist forces to rescue the frigate Amethyst. In addition to research in various archives, among the people Iain interviewed for the book were veterans of the Arctic convoys of WW2, the Yangtse Incident and warriors of the Cold War and 1991 Gulf War. It all adds up to a thoroughly researched and exciting narrative of naval history. Adding to the authenticity of the tale, Iain even sailed to Russia in the last HMS London, a Type 22 guided-missile frigate, in August 1991. During a WW2 convoy re-enactment the ship was almost hit by a practice torpedo launched from a Soviet submarine and had to take evasive action.
In 1606, a Portuguese ship, Nossa Senhora dos Martires, put into Lisbon laden with peppercorns, porcelain, and other products from Cochin. A large vessel for the time, the merchantman displaced twelve hundred tons and carried three to four masts. The ship foundered during a storm in a northern channel of the Tagus River. Within hours the currents and the storm had torn it asunder and spread its precious cargo along the shores of the estuary. The Pepper Wreck tells the story of the ship's excavation by crews working in cold water and fast currents between 1997 and 2000. Author Filipe Vieira de Castro discusses the nautical history of Iberia, with special attention to shipbuilding and the development of the nau, a type of round ship used by the Portuguese on routes to the East. He also considers life aboard the ships, describing a typical menu, musing on the incidence of disease, and distinguishing the privileges of the different social classes. Turning to the excavation of the ship, Castro describes the site, the shifting laws governing archaeology in the region, and the fast currents that limited divers to working during ebb tides. The objects found with the wreck, from pottery to astrolabes, contribute substantially to knowledge of early modern shipbuilding techniques. Valuable to historians of seafaring and of Iberia and to those interested in Portuguese trade with the East Indies, this carefully wrought and generously illustrated volume is a veritable treasure trove for archaeologists.
Hailed as an important contribution both to history and to sea literature when first published in 1961, Richard Hough's book gives a dramatic blow-by-blow account of the June 1905 mutiny on board the Russian battleship Potemkin. The revolt, immortalised in Sergei Eisenstein's famous film, was considered by the Soviets a glorious moment in the people's fight against a tyrannical czarist government, but for others it was a sordid little rebellion over bad meat. Hough chronicles events from the first rumblings of discontent to the closing scenes of the uprising that nearly brought about the Russian Revolution twelve years early. His balanced recounting of events, including the killing of many Potemkin officers and a civil uprising in Odessa quelled by the Cossacks who, slaughtered thousands, show the protagonists not as symbols but as human beings reacting under powerful tensions.