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Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V19, Page 312 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SHIPS BUILDING Battleships . . . E. F. R. G. I. U. J. 9 6 8 8 2 4 3 Armd. Cruisers 3 2 2 3 2 .. I Protected Cruisers, II. 9 • . • • 5 • • • • 3 Unprotected Cruisers 2 .. .. .. . . T.B. Destroyers . . 37 17 .. 12 2 15 . 2 Submarines . . . II 23 3 * 10 3 * Number uncertain. organizations of the ancient world, and of the sea fighting of the time are to be found in the historians of Greece and Rome: Signor G. Corazzini has written a Storia della marina militare antica (Livorno, 1882). Valuable details of the Imperial Roman navy and of the Byzantine navy will be found in Professor Bury's appendices to his edition of Gibbon's Decline and Fall, vol. 1. apx. 5, and vol. vi. apx. 5. General histories of the navies of the world have been written, but they are inevitably apt to be little more than jejune reviews of the dates, and results of battles. This is certainly the case with the great folio of the English writer Josiah Burchett, A Complete History of the most remarkable transactions at Sea, from the earliest accounts of time to the conclusion of the last war with France, wherein is given an account of the most considerable Naval Expeditions, Sea Fights, Stratagems, Discoveries and other Maritime Occurrences that have happened among all nations that have flourished at Sea; and in a more particular manner of Great Britain from the time of the Revolution in 1688 to the aforesaid period (1720). The later part is however valuable, for Burchett, who was secretary to the admiralty, had access to good authorities for his own time, and had served at sea as secretary to Russell, Lord Orford. There is an Histoire de la marine de tous les peuples, by M. A. du Sein (Paris, 1879) which is of no great value. Medieval: As regards the medieval navies the first place may be allowed to the Italians. A general bibliography of Italian nautical literature, Saggio de una bibliografia marittima italiana, occupying fifty-eight pages, drawn up by Signor Enrico Celani, will be found in the Revista marittima, supplement for 1894 (Rome). The histories of the different Republics of the middle ages record their maritime enterprises. An excellent book, which gives far more than its title promises, is the Storia della marina pontificia of A. Guglielmotti, O.P., in Io volumes published at different times, and in two editions, at Florence 1856, &c. The general maritime history of the Mediterranean in the middle ages is well illustrated in the Memorias sobre la marina comercio y arses de Barcelona (1779–1792) by Don A. Capmany. The naval enterprises of the Norsemen are dealt with in a scholarly fashion by M. G. B. Depping, Histoire des expeditions maritimes des Normands (1826); and with newer knowledge by Mr C. F. Keary, The Vikings of Western Christendom (1891). The medieval periods of Western navies are treated in their respective naval histories. Great Britain:—The History of the Royal Navy to the French Revolution, by Sir N. Harris Nicolas (1847), is unfortunately in-complete. It ends at the year 1422, but is the work of a most laborious and exact antiquary, who had been a naval officer in his youth. The administrative history of the British navy until 166o is the subject of the History of the Administration of the Navy and of Merchant Shipping in relation to the Navy (1896) by Mr M. Oppenheim —a most valuable collection of materials. The campaigns and battles of the navy are told, generally from the public letters of the admirals, and with no great measure of criticism in several compilations. The Naval History of England (1735) by Mr T. Lediard, is copious and useful. The Naval Chronology, or an Historical Summary of Naval and Maritime Events from the Time of the Romans to the Treaty of Peace 1802, by Captain Isaac Schomberg (1802), contains a mass of valuable information, lists of ships, dates of construction, &c., and some administrative details. Less comprehensive, but still useful, is such a compilation as The General History of the Late War (that is, the Seven Years' War), by Dr John Entick " and other gentlemen " (1763). A much better book is The Naval and Military Memoirs of Great Britain 1727 10_ 1783 (1804) by Mr R. Beatson, a very careful and well-informed writer who had seen some service as a marine officer. The Lives of the British Admirals, containing a new and accurate Naval History from the earliest periods, by Dr J. Campbell (1779), may he profitably consulted, with caution, for it by no means justifies its claim to novelty and accuracy in all parts. The Naval History of Great Britain, from 1793 to the accession of George IV., by Mr W. James (1827), republished with a continuation by Captain Chamier in 1837, is a standard authority. A far less useful work, which, however, is in parts written from first-hand knowledge, is The Naval History of Great Britain by Captain W. P. Brenton, first published in 1823, and republished in 1836. The Field of Mars, a compilation in dictionary form published in 1781, with an enormous title-page, is not without value for some of the naval transactions of the 18th century. The History of the British Navy from the Earliest Period to the Present Time (1863) by Dr C. D. Yonge, contains some original matter for the naval transactions of the 19th century. The Royal Navy, in 7 large volumes (1897–1903), edited and partly written by Sir W. L. Clowes, is a compilation of unequal value. Some of Sir W. L. Clowes's coadjutors, notably Captain Mahan and Sir C. R. Markham, are of high standing and authority. The book is copiously illustrated. The Naval Chronicle, 1799–1818, a magazine, contains masses of useful matter, for the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. The Royal Naval Biography of Captain John Marshall, giving the lives of all officers on the list in 1823 or promoted later (1823-1835), with a supplement (1827–1830), may be consulted, but is too uncritical and too uniformly laudatory. The Naval Biographical Dictionary: life and services of every living officer (1846), by Lieutenant W. R. O'Bryne, is a solid book of reference. The publications of the Navy Record Society (1894 and subsequent years) contain large and valuable publications of original matter, with some reprints of old authorities, such as Sir W. Monson's Tracts, which were difficult of access. See also A Short History of the Royal Navy, by David Hannay. France:—The naval history of France has been much written about since 184o. Not many of the books published have been of considerable value. The Histoire maritime de la France of M. Leon Guerin (1844), was meant to meet a popular demand and satisfy national vanity. The Histoire de la marine francaise of M. Eugene Sue (1845–1846) is mainly a romance, but it contains some useful evidence. The Histoire de la marine francaise of Le Comte de Bonfils Lablenie (1845), a naval officer, is of more value, but is somewhat wanting in criticism. The Precis historique de la marine francaise of M. Chasseriau (1845); the Histoire generale de la marine (1853); the Histoire de la marine francaise of M. In Saint (1877) ; and the Histoire nationale de la marine frangaise depuis Jean Bart (1878) of M. Trousset are compilations. La Marine de guerre, ses institutions militaires depuis son origine jusqu'a nos jours, by Capne Gougeard (1877); the Essai sur l'histoire de l'administration de la marine francaise of M. Lambert de Sainte Croix (1892); and the excellent little book of M. Loir on La Marine royale, 1789 (n.d.), may be consulted with pleasure and profit. The three books of M. Jai, Archeologie navale (184o), Glossaire nautique .(1848) and Abraham du Quesne et la marine de son temps (1872) are all of high value. Les Batailles navales de la France of Capne Troude (1867), is a carefully written account of naval actions. The Histoire de la marine francaise, pendant la guerre de l'independence americaine (1877); Sous la premiere republique (1886); Sous le consulat et l'empire (1886) ; De 1815 al 87o (1900) and La Marine frangaise et la marine allemande, 1870–1871 (1873) of Capne Chevalier, are thorough and critical. M. G. Lacour-Gayet, Professor at L'Ecole superieure de la Marine, has published two books of serious research, but marked by some national prejudice, La Marine militaire de la France sous le regne de Louis X V. (1902), and La Marine militaire de la France sous le regne de Louis XVI. (1905). The Recherches sur l'ancien clos des galees de Rouen (1864) of M. C. de Robillard de Beaurepaire, and the life of Jean de Vienne by the Marquis Terrier de Loray (1878), are valuable monographs on passages of early French naval history. The Projets et tentatives de debarquement aux Iles britanniques by Capne Desbriere (1900 seq.) is a most valuable authority. A very scholarly Histoire de la marine frangaise was begun in 1899 by M. C. de la Ronciere. Miscellaneous :—The standard authorities for Spanish naval history are, La Marina de Castilla (1892), and La Armada Espanola desde la union de Castilla y Aragon (1895–1901), of Captain Cesareo Fernandez Duro. The Geschienes van het Nederlandsche Zeewezen of Mr J. C. de Jonghe (1858), is an admirable and exhaustive history of the Dutch navy. The History of the Maritime Wars of the Turks, by Haji Khalfa (or Hugji Chalifa), translated by Mr J. Mitchell for the Oriental Translation Fund (1831), may be read with curiosity and some profit. There are two general histories of the navy of the United States by Fenimore Cooper (1839), and by Mr E. S. Maclay (1894) ; the second is the fuller, and the more critical. Captain Mahan's Influence of Sea Power on History 1660–1783 (189o), and his Influence of Sea Power upon the French Revolution and Empire 1793 1812 (1892), must be classed apart as studies of the general inter-action of navies on one another and on international relations. The long series of readable monographs by Admiral Jurien de la Graviere, covering the whole field of naval warfare from the Peloponnesian War to his own time, contain much information and sound criticism. (D. H.)
End of Article: SHIPS

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