The Royal Navy of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was a legendary force: it claimed supremacy in every ocean, policed the empire and provided the force behind Britain's power in the world. During this period the Service was completely transformed, from the wooden walls of Nelson's time to the steel dreadnoughts destroyers and submarines which fought at Jutland.
Peter Padfield describes the struggle to adapt to the radical changes which affected every aspect of weapons, tactics, education, propulsion, training and social attitudes.
'Rule Britannia' looks, in human terms, at the background to the legends that accumulate about any service as splendid and uniquely powerful as the Royal navy; and sets down the reality in the words of those who served.
How an expedition was mounted to punish an African tribe; a slave dhow detected, captured and punished; what a sailor was paid and how he was disciplined; what he ate and the diseases he suffered; his pride; his moments of frolic and his exhilaration in the chase.
The book penetrates beneath the legend, describing each of the navy's tasks and illustrating the lives and attitudes of both the officers and the men of this superbly arrogant force.
- Publication Date:
- 09 / 06 / 2003