Book Review-‘The Sloop of War, 1650–1763’ by Ian McLaughlin

By Michael Leek, published November 2020


Research into the technical development of sailing ships of war has seen a significant increase in recent decades, led by the excellent in-depth monographs from the likes of Jean Boudriot in France (although nothing comparable to these has been published on British or American vessels, even though the expertise exists). However, prior to the significant research by the late David Lyon, Sixth Rate and unrated sailing warships of the Royal Navy from 1650 to the end of sail in the nineteenth century tended to be less well documented in published works than was the case with larger ships. The neglect was probably due to the fact that smaller ships were or are perceived as less glamorous, and their contribution to significant battles less important or noteworthy. Indeed this perception is not only applicable to the development of the sailing warship but extends to the Royal Navy’s small ships up to the present day. Nevertheless in spite of this omission there are numerous examples in the history of the Royal Navy where young commanders have laid the foundations for their future careers and eventual promotion to flag rank through service in smaller ships. Furthermore the sailing navy could not have achieved the success it did without the support of smaller vessels…

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Filed under: Other (Early Modern) | Other (Eighteenth C)
Subjects include: Shipbuilding & Design

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