Fighting Techniques of Naval Warfare Strategy, Weapons, Commanders, and Ships: 1190 BC - Present

Fighting Techniques

Amber Books, Iain Dickie, Phyllis G. Jestice, Christer Jorgensen, Rob S. Rice, and Martin J. Dougherty

Thomas Dunne Books




256 Pages



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Fighting Techniques of Naval Warfare analyzes the tactics, techniques, and weaponry of naval warfare from the ancient period to the modern day. Beginning with Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses III’s victory over the piractical Sea Peoples in 1190 BC, and coming up-to-date with the use of aircraft carriers and the latest computerized weapons technology, the book covers every significant development in naval warfare over the last 3000 years.

The first chapter covers some of the major naval engagements of the ancient era, including the Greeks’ emphatic victory over the Persians at Salamis (480 BC) and Octavian’s decisive defeat of Mark Anthony at Actium (31 BC). The use of galleys as the premier fighting ship for more than 2000 years is explored in detail. The second chapter investigates the development of new types of fighting vessels, such as the northern European cog, at battles such as Sluys (1340 AD), also offering expert analysis of the introduction of cannon at Hansando (1592) and the spectacular use of fireships against the Spanish Armada at Gravelines (1588). The third chapter examines the age of sail, from the early seventeenth century to the late eighteenth century, through famous encounters at the Downs (1639), Medway (1667), and Quiberon Bay (1759). The chapter rounds off with the Russo-Swedish battled of Svensksund (1790), demonstrating one of the last uses of galleys in European naval warfare. The fourth chapter surveys the transformation from the employment of the last great fighting sailing ships at battles such as Copenhagen (1801) and Trafalgar (1805) to the advent of steam-powered ironclads at Mobile Bay (1864). The final chapter covers the development and use of armored battleships at Tsushima (1905) and Jutland (1916), and the revolutionary introduction of aircraft carriers at Cape Matapan (1941) and Midway (1942).

Using specially commissioned color maps and black-and-white artworks, Fighting Techniques of Naval Warfare is an essential companion for anyone interested in naval warfare.


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CHAPTER 1THE AGE OF THE GALLEYA universal truth in the military arena is that battles tend to happen along lines of communication. Until steam power became widely available, waterways -- salt and fresh -were the preferred means of transportation for armies, supplies and building materials. Thus, after the fall of the Romans, a vacuum in naval power allowed the Vikings to land armies where wanted. Not only did they make the sea their motorway, they also sailed far inland along rivers, even besieging Paris in 885 AD. 
During the late twelfth
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  • Amber Books, Iain Dickie, Phyllis G. Jestice, Christer Jorgensen, Rob S. Rice, and Martin J. Dougherty

  • Iain Dickie’s interest in military matters was first inspired by pictures of Roman artillery at the age of 12. Based in Britain, he has been a committee member of the Society of Ancients, the editor of Army & Navy Modelworld, Military Hobbies, and Miniature Wargames magazines.

    Martin J. Dougherty is a freelance writer and editor specializing in weapons technology, military history, and combat techniques. He has previously contributed to Battles of the Ancient World, Battles of the Medieval World, and Battles of the Crusades.

    Phyllis G. Jestice is an associate professor of medieval history and chair of the History Department at the University of Southern Mississippi. A specialist in German history during the central Middle Ages, her teaching of the history of premodern warfare has led her deeper into the study of medieval war and society. She has contributed to several works on the history of warfare, including Battles of the Ancient World, Battles of the Bible, Fighting Techniques of the Early Modern World, and Timelines of Medieval Warfare.

    Christer Jörgensen holds a Ph.D. from University College, London. An expert on military history, Christer has published various books on the history of warfare. He has previously contributed to Fighting Techniques of the Early Modern World and Battles that Changed Warfare.

    Rob S. Rice is a professor at the American Military University, teaching courses on Ancient and Modern Naval Warfare. He has published articles in the Oxford Companion to American Military History and contributed to Battles of the Ancient World, Fighting Techniques of the Ancient World, and Battles of the Bible.