Book Review-‘Order and Disorder in the British Navy, 1793–1815: Control, resistance, flogging and hanging’ by T. Malcomson

By Richard Wilson, published November 2020


Despite the title, this book concentrates almost entirely on the War of 1812 as it took place on the American Atlantic seaboard, the Great Lakes, and the Caribbean. The 1797 mutinies at Spithead and the Nore spurred the Admiralty into enforcement of centralized and bureaucratic controls over the commanders of naval fleets and stations, some accessible, most extremely remote. Given the difficulties of communication, waiting weeks or months for contradictory or out-of-date orders placed great stresses on admirals, general officers, and all the way to junior commanders. It may have been that reports from the front line gave rise to political decisions rather than the other way around…

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Filed under: Napoleonic War | War of 1812 | Mutiny & Discipline
Subjects include: Manpower & Life at Sea

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