The Influence of Sea Power upon History

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Contents

Preface[edit]

Introductory[edit]

Chapter I: Discussion of the Elements of Sea Power.[edit]

  • History of Sea Power one of contest between nations, therefore largely military
  • Permanence of the teachings of history
  • Unsettled condition of modern naval opinion
  • Contrasts between historical classes of war-ships
  • Essential distinction between weather and lee gage
  • Analogous to other offensive and defensive positions
  • Consequent effect upon naval policy
  • Lessons of history apply especially to strategy
  • Less obviously to tactics, but still applicable
  • Naval strategic combinations surer now than formerly
  • Wide scope of naval strategy


Chapter II: State of Europe in 1660. Second Anglo-Dutch War, 1665-1667. Sea Battles of Lowestoft and of the Four Days.[edit]

  • The sea a great common
  • Advantages of water-carriage over that by land
  • Navies exist for the protection of commerce
  • Dependence of commerce upon secure seaports
  • Development of colonies and colonial posts
  • Links in the chain of Sea Power: production, shipping, colonies
  • General conditions affecting Sea Power:
    • I. Geographical position
    • II. Physical conformation
    • III. Extent of territory
    • IV. Number of population
    • V. National character
    • VI. Character and policy of governments
      • England
      • Holland
      • France
  • Influence of colonies on Sea Power
  • The United States:
    • Its weakness in Sea Power
    • Its chief interest in internal development
    • Danger from blockades
    • Dependence of the navy upon the shipping interest
  • Conclusion of the discussion of the elements of Sea Power
  • Purpose of the historical narrative


Chapter III: War of England and France in Alliance Against the United Provinces, 1672-1674.--Finally, of France Against Combined Europe, 1674-1678.--Sea Battles of Solebay, the Texel, and Stromboli.[edit]

  • Accession of Charles II. and Louis XIV
  • Followed shortly by general wars
  • French policy formulated by Henry IV. and Richelieu
  • Condition of France in 1660
  • Condition of Spain
  • Condition of the Dutch United Provinces
  • Their commerce and colonies
  • Character of their government
  • Parties in the State
  • Condition of England in 1660
  • Characteristics of French, English, and Dutch ships
  • Conditions of other European States
  • Louis XIV. The leading personality in Europe
  • His policy
  • Colbert's administrative acts
  • Second Anglo-Dutch War, 1665
  • Battle of Lowestoft, 1665
  • Fire-ships, compared with torpedo-cruisers
  • The group formation
  • The order of battle for sailing-ships
  • The Four Days' Battle, 1666
  • Military merits of the opposing fleets
  • Soldiers commanding fleets, discussion
  • Ruyter in the Thames, 1667
  • Peace of Breda, 1667
  • Military value of commerce-destroying


Chapter IV: English Revolution. War of the League of Augsburg, 1688-1697. Sea Battles of Beachy Head and La Hougue.[edit]

  • Aggressions of Louis XIV. on Spanish Netherlands
  • Policy of the United Provinces
  • Triple alliance between England, Holland, and Sweden
  • Anger of Louis XIV
  • Leibnitz proposes to Louis to seize Egypt
  • His memorial
  • Bargaining between Louis XIV. and Charles II.
  • The two kings declare war against the United Provinces
  • Military character of this war
  • Naval strategy of the Dutch
  • Tactical combinations of De Ruyter
  • Inefficiency of Dutch naval administration
  • Battle of Solebay, 1672
  • Tactical comments
  • Effect of the battle on the course of the war
  • Land campaign of the French in Holland
  • Murder of John De Witt, Grand Pensionary of Holland
  • Accession to power of William of Orange
  • Uneasiness among European States
  • Naval battles off Schoneveldt, 1673
  • Naval battle of the Texel, 1673
  • Effect upon the general war
  • Equivocal action of the French fleet
  • General ineffectiveness of maritime coalitions
  • Military character of De Ruyter
  • Coalition against France
  • Peace between England and the United Provinces
  • Sicilian revolt against Spain
  • Battle of Stromboli, 1676
  • Illustration of Clerk's naval tactics
  • De Ruyter killed off Agosta
  • England becomes hostile to France
  • Sufferings of the United Provinces
  • Peace of Nimeguen, 1678
  • Effects of the war on France and Holland
  • Notice of Comte D'Estrees


Chapter V: War of the Spanish Succession, 1702-1713. Sea Battle of Malaga.[edit]

  • Failure of the Spanish line of the House of Austria
  • King of Spain wills the succession to the Duke of Anjou
  • Death of the King of Spain
  • Louis XIV. accepts the bequests
  • He seizes towns in Spanish Netherlands
  • Offensive alliance between England, Holland, and Austria
  • Declarations of war
  • The allies proclaim Carlos III. King of Spain
  • Affair of the Vigo galleons
  • Portugal joins the allies
  • Character of the naval warfare
  • Capture of Gibraltar by the English
  • Naval battle of Malaga, 1704
  • Decay of the French navy
  • Progress of the land war
  • Allies seize Sardinia and Minorca
  • Disgrace of Marlborough
  • England offers terms of peace
  • Peace of Utrecht, 1713
  • Terms of the peace
  • Results of the war to the different belligerents
  • Commanding position of Great Britain
  • Sea Power dependent upon both commerce and naval strength
  • Peculiar position of France as regards Sea Power
  • Depressed condition of France
  • Commercial prosperity of England
  • Ineffectiveness of commerce-destroying
  • Duguay-Trouin's expedition against Rio de Janeiro, 1711
  • War between Russia and Sweden


Chapter VI: The Regency in France. Alberoni in Spain. Policies of Walpole and Fleuri. War of the Polish Succession. English Contraband Trade in Spanish America. Great Britain Declares War Against Spain, 1715-1739.[edit]

  • Death of Queen Anne and Louis XIV
  • Accession of George I
  • Regency of Philip of Orleans
  • Administration of Alberoni in Spain
  • Spaniards invade Sardinia
  • Alliance of Austria, England, Holland, and France
  • Spaniards invade Sicily
  • Destruction of Spanish navy off Cape Passaro, 1718
  • Failure and dismissal of Alberoni
  • Spain accepts terms
  • Great Britain interferes in the Baltic
  • Death of Philip of Orleans
  • Administration of Fleuri in France
  • Growth of French commerce
  • France in the East Indies
  • Troubles between England and Spain
  • English contraband trade in Spanish America
  • Illegal search of English ships
  • Walpole's struggles to preserve peace
  • War of the Polish Succession
  • Creation of the Bourbon kingdom of the Two Sicilies
  • Bourbon family compact
  • France acquires Bar and Lorraine
  • England declares war against Spain
  • Morality of the English action toward Spain
  • Decay of the French navy
  • Death of Walpole and of Fleuri


Chapter VII: War Between Great Britain and Sapin, 1739. War of the Austrian Succession, 1740. France Joins Spain Against Great Britain, 1744. Sea Battles of Matthews, Anson, and Hawke. Peace of Aix-La-Chapelle, 1748.[edit]

  • Characteristics of the wars from 1739 to 1783
  • Neglect of the navy by French government
  • Colonial possessions of the French, English, and Spaniards
  • Dupleix and La Bourdonnais in India
  • Condition of the contending navies
  • Expeditions of Vernon and Anson
  • Outbreak of the War of the Austrian Succession
  • England allies herself to Austria
  • Naval affairs in the Mediterranean
  • Influence of Sea Power on the war
  • Naval battle off Toulon, 1744
  • Causes of English failure
  • Courts-martial following the action
  • Inefficient action of English navy
  • Capture of Louisburg by New England colonists, 1745
  • Causes which concurred to neutralize England's Sea Power
  • France overruns Belgium and invades Holland
  • Naval actions of Anson and Hawke
  • Brilliant defence of Commodore l'Etenduere
  • Projects of Dupleix and La Bourdonnais in the East Indies
  • Influence of Sea Power in Indian affairs
  • La Bourdonnais reduces Madras
  • Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, 1748
  • Madras exchanged for Louisburg
  • Results of the war
  • Effect of Sea Power on the issue


Chapter VIII: Seven Years' War, 1756-1763. England's Overwhelming Power and Conquests on the Seas, in North America, Europe, and East and West Indies. Sea Battles: Byng off Minorca; Hawke and Conflans; Pocock and D'Ache in East Indies.[edit]

  • Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle leaves many questions unsettled
  • Dupleix pursues his aggressive policy
  • He is recalled from India
  • His policy abandoned by the French
  • Agitation in North America
  • Braddock's expedition, 1755
  • Seizure of French ships by the English, while at peace
  • French expedition against Port Mahon, 1756
  • Byng sails to relieve the place
  • Byng's action off Port Mahon, 1756
  • Characteristics of the French naval policy
  • Byng returns to Gibraltar
  • He is relieved, tried by court-martial, and shot
  • Formal declarations of war by England and France
  • England's appreciation of the maritime character of the war
  • France is drawn into a continental struggle
  • The Seven Years' War (1756-1763) begins
  • Pitt becomes Prime Minister of England
  • Operations in North America
  • Fall of Louisburg, 1758
  • Fall of Quebec, 1759, and of Montreal, 1760
  • Influence of Sea Power on the continental war
  • English plans for the general naval operations
  • Choiseul becomes Minister in France
  • He plans an invasion of England
  • Sailing of the Toulon fleet, 1759
  • Its disastrous encounter with Boscawen
  • Consequent frustration of the invasion of England
  • Project to invade Scotland
  • Sailing of the Brest fleet
  • Hawke falls in with it and disperses it, 1759
  • Accession of Charles III. To Spanish throne
  • Death of George II
  • Clive in India
  • Battle of Plassey, 1757
  • Decisive influence of Sea Power upon the issues in India
  • Naval actions between Pocock and D'Ache', 1758, 1759
  • Destitute condition of French naval stations in India
  • The French fleet abandons the struggle
  • Final fall of the French power in India
  • Ruined condition of the French navy
  • Alliance between France and Spain
  • England declares war against Spain
  • Rapid conquest of French and Spanish colonies
  • French and Spaniards invade Portugal
  • The invasion repelled by England
  • Severe reverses of the Spaniards in all quarters
  • Spain sues for peace
  • Losses of British mercantile shipping
  • Increase of British commerce
  • Commanding position of Great Britain
  • Relations of England and Portugal
  • Terms of the Treaty of Paris
  • Opposition to the treaty in Great Britain
  • Results of the maritime war
  • Results of the continental war
  • Influence of Sea Power in countries politically unstable
  • Interest of the United States in the Central American Isthmus
  • Effects of the Seven Years' War on the later history of Great Britain
  • Subsequent acquisitions of Great Britain
  • British success due to maritime superiority
  • Mutual dependence of seaports and fleets


Chapter IX: Course of Events from the Peace of Paris to 1778. Maritime War Consequent upon the American Revolution. Battle off Ushant.[edit]

  • French discontent with the Treaty of Paris
  • Revival of the French navy
  • Discipline among French naval officers of the time
  • Choiseul's foreign policy
  • Domestic troubles in Great Britain
  • Controversies with the North American colonies
  • Genoa cedes Corsica to France
  • Dispute between England and Spain about the Falkland Islands
  • Choiseul dismissed
  • Death of Louis XV
  • Naval policy of Louis XVI
  • Characteristics of the maritime war of 1778
  • Instructions of Louis XVI. To the French admirals
  • Strength of English navy
  • Characteristics of the military situation in America
  • The line of the Hudson
  • Burgoyne's expedition from Canada
  • Howe carries his army from New York to the Chesapeake
  • Surrender of Burgoyne, 1777
  • American privateering
  • Clandestine support of the Americans by France
  • Treaty between France and the Americans
  • Vital importance of the French fleet to the Americans
  • The military situation in the different quarters of the globe
  • Breach between France and England
  • Sailing of the British and French fleets
  • Battle of Ushant, 1778
  • Position of a naval commander-in-chief in battle


Chapter X: Maritime War in North America and West Indies, 1778-1781. Its Influence upon the Course of the American Revolution. Fleet Actions off Grenada, Dominica, and Chesapeake Bay.[edit]

  • D'Estaing sails from Toulon for Delaware Bay, 1778
  • British ordered to evacuate Philadelphia
  • Rapidity of Lord Howe's movements
  • D'Estaing arrives too late
  • Follows Howe to New York
  • Fails to attack there and sails for Newport
  • Howe follows him there
  • Both fleets dispersed by a storm
  • D'Estaing takes his fleet to Boston
  • Howe's activity foils D'Estaing at all points
  • D'Estaing sails for the West Indies
  • The English seize Sta. Lucia
  • Ineffectual attempts of D'Estaing to dislodge them
  • D'Estaing captures Grenada
  • Naval battle of Grenada, 1779; English ships crippled
  • D'Estaing fails to improve his advantages
  • Reasons for his neglect
  • French naval policy
  • English operations in the Southern States
  • D'Estaing takes his fleet to Savannah
  • His fruitless assault on Savannah
  • D'Estaing returns to France
  • Fall of Charleston
  • De Guichen takes command in the West Indies
  • Rodney arrives to command English fleet
  • His military character
  • First action between Rodney and De Guichen, 1780
  • Breaking the line
  • Subsequent movements of Rodney and De Guichen
  • Rodney divides his fleet
  • Goes in person to New York
  • De Guichen returns to France
  • Arrival of French forces in Newport
  • Rodney returns to the West Indies
  • War between England and Holland
  • Disasters to the United States in 1780
  • De Grasse sails from Brest for the West Indies, 1781
  • Engagement with English fleet off Martinique.
  • Cornwallis overruns the Southern States
  • He retires upon Wilmington, N. C., and thence to Virginia
  • Arnold on the James River
  • The French fleet leaves Newport to intercept Arnold
  • Meets the English fleet off the Chesapeake, 1781
  • French fleet returns to Newport
  • Cornwallis occupies Yorktown
  • De Grasse sails from Hayti for the Chesapeake
  • Action with the British fleet, 1781
  • Surrender of Cornwallis, 1781
  • Criticism of the British naval operations
  • Energy and address shown by De Grasse
  • Difficulties of Great Britain's position in the war of 1778.
  • The military policy best fitted to cope with them
  • Position of the French squadron in Newport, R. I., 1780.
  • Great Britain's defensive position and inferior numbers.
  • Consequent necessity for a vigorous initiative
  • Washington's opinions as to the influence of Sea Power on the American contest


Chapter XI: Maritime War in Europe, 1779-1782.[edit]

  • Objectives of the allied operations in Europe
  • Spain declares war against England
  • Allied fleets enter the English Channel, 1779
  • Abortive issue of the cruise
  • Rodney sails with supplies for Gibraltar
  • Defeats the Spanish squadron of Langara and relieves the place
  • The allies capture a great British convoy
  • The armed neutrality of the Baltic powers, 1780
  • England declares war against Holland
  • Gibraltar is revictualled by Admiral Derby
  • The allied fleets again in the Channel, 1781
  • They retire without effecting any damage to England
  • Destruction of a French convoy for the West Indies
  • Fall of Port Mahon, 1782
  • The allied fleets assemble at Algesiras
  • Grand attack of the allies on Gibraltar, which fails, 1782
  • Lord Howe succeeds in revictualling Gibraltar
  • Action between his fleet and that of the allies
  • Conduct of the war of 1778 by the English government
  • Influence of Sea Power
  • Proper use of the naval force


Chapter XII: Events in the East Indies, 1778-1781. Suffren Sails from Brest for India, 1781. His Brilliant Naval Campaign in the Indian Seas, 1782, 1783.[edit]

  • Neglect of India by the French government
  • England at war with Mysore and with the Mahrattas
  • Arrival of the French squadron under Comte d'Orves
  • It effects nothing and returns to the Isle of France
  • Suffren sails from Brest with five ships-of-the-line, 1781
  • Attacks an English squadron in the Cape Verde Islands, 1781
  • Conduct and results of this attack
  • Distinguishing merits of Suffren as a naval leader
  • Suffren saves the Cape Colony from the English
  • He reaches the Isle of France
  • Succeeds to the chief command of the French fleet
  • Meets the British squadron under Hughes at Madras
  • Analysis of the naval strategic situation in India
  • The first battle between Suffren and Hughes, Feb. 17, 1782
  • Suffren's views of the naval situation in India
  • Tactical oversights made by Suffren
  • Inadequate support received by him from his captains
  • Suffren goes to Pondicherry, Hughes to Trincomalee
  • The second battle between Suffren and Hughes, April 12, 1782
  • Suffren's tactics in the action
  • Relative injuries received by the opposing fleets
  • Contemporaneous English criticisms upon Hughes's conduct
  • Destitute condition of Suffren's fleet
  • His activity and success in supplying wants
  • He communicates with Hyder Ali, Sultan of Mysore
  • Firmness and insight shown by Suffren
  • His refusal to obey orders from home to leave the Indian Coast
  • The third battle between Suffren and Hughes, July 6, 1782
  • Qualities shown by Hughes
  • Stubborn fighting by the British admiral and captains
  • Suffren deprives three captains of their commands
  • Dilatory conduct of Admiral Hughes
  • Suffren attacks and takes Trincomalee
  • Strategic importance of this success
  • Comparative condition of the two fleets in material for repairs
  • The English government despatches powerful reinforcements
  • The French court fails to support Suffren
  • The fourth battle between Suffren and Hughes, Sept. 3, 1782
  • Mismanagement and injuries of the French
  • Contrast between the captains in the opposing fleets
  • Two ships of Suffren's fleet grounded and lost
  • Arrival of British reinforcements under Admiral Bickerton
  • Approach of bad-weather season; Hughes goes to Bombay
  • Military situation of French and English in India
  • Delays of the French reinforcements under Bussy
  • Suffren takes his fleet to Achem, in Sumatra
  • He returns to the Indian coast
  • Arrival of Bussy
  • Decline of the French power on shore
  • The English besiege Bussy in Cuddalore by land and sea
  • Suffren relieves the place
  • The fifth battle between Suffren and Hughes, June 20, 1783
  • Decisive character of Suffren's action
  • News of the peace received at Madras
  • Suffren sails for France
  • His flattering reception everywhere
  • His distinguishing military qualities
  • His later career and death


Chapter XIII: Events in the West Indies after the Surrender of Yorktown. Encounters of De Grasse with Hood. The Sea Battle of the Saints. 1781-1782.[edit]

  • Maritime struggle transferred from the continent to West Indies
  • De Grasse sails for the islands
  • French expedition against the island of St. Christopher, January, 1782
  • Hood attempts to relieve the garrison
  • Manoeuvres of the two fleets
  • Action between De Grasse and Hood
  • Hood seizes the anchorage left by De Grasse
  • De Grasse attacks Hood at his anchorage
  • Hood maintains his position
  • Surrender of the garrison and island
  • Merits of Hood's action
  • Criticism upon De Grasse's conduct
  • Rodney arrives in West Indies from England
  • Junction of Rodney and Hood at Antigua
  • De Grasse returns to Martinique
  • Allied plans to capture Jamaica
  • Rodney takes his station at Sta. Lucia
  • The French fleet sails and is pursued by Rodney
  • Action of April 9, 1782
  • Criticism upon the action
  • The chase continued; accidents to French ships
  • The naval battle of the Saints, April 12, 1782
  • Rodney breaks the French line
  • Capture of the French commander-in-chief and five ships-of-the-line
  • Details of the action
  • Analysis of the effects of Rodney's manoeuvre
  • Tactical bearing of improvements in naval equipment
  • Lessons of this short naval campaign
  • Rodney's failure to pursue the French fleet
  • Examination of his reasons and of the actual conditions
  • Probable effect of this failure upon the conditions of peace
  • Rodney's opinions upon the battle of April 12
  • Successes achieved by Rodney during his command
  • He is recalled by a new ministry
  • Exaggerated view of the effects of this battle upon the war
  • Subsequent career of De Grasse
  • Court-martial ordered upon the officers of the French fleet
  • Findings of the court
  • De Grasse appeals against the finding
  • He is severely rebuked by the king
  • Deaths of De Grasse, Rodney, and Hood


Chapter XIV: Critical Discussion of the Maritime War of 1778.[edit]

  • The war of 1778 purely maritime
  • Peculiar interest therefore attaching to it
  • Successive steps in the critical study of a war
  • Distinction between "object" and "objective"
  • Parties to the war of 1778
  • Objects of the different belligerents
  • Foundations of the British Empire of the seas
  • Threatened by the revolt of the colonies
  • The British fleet inferior in numbers to the allies
  • Choice of objectives
  • The fleets indicated as the keys of the situation everywhere
  • Elements essential to an active naval war
  • The bases of operations in the war of 1778
    • In Europe
    • On the American continent
    • In the West Indies
    • In the East Indies
  • Strategic bearing of the trade-winds and monsoons
  • The bases abroad generally deficient in resources
  • Consequent increased importance of the communications
  • The navies the guardians of the communications
  • Need of intermediate ports between Europe and India
  • Inquiry into the disposition of the naval forces
  • Difficulty of obtaining information at sea
  • Perplexity as to the destination of a naval expedition
  • Disadvantages of the defensive
  • England upon the defensive in 1778
  • Consequent necessity for wise and vigorous action
  • The key of the situation
  • British naval policy in the Napoleonic wars
  • British naval policy in the Seven Years' War
  • Difficulties attending this policy
  • Disposition of the British navy in the war of 1778
  • Resulting inferiority on many critical occasions
  • Effect oil the navy of the failure to fortify naval bases
  • The distribution of the British navy exposes it to being out-numbered at many points
  • The British naval policy in 1778 and in other wars compared
  • Naval policy of the allies
  • Dives-gent counsels of the coalition
  • "Ulterior objects"
  • The allied navies systematically assume a defensive attitude
  • Dangers of this line of action
  • Glamour of commerce-destroying
  • The conditions of peace, 1783


This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.