Send a Gunboat: The Victorian Navy and Supremacy at Sea, 1854-1904

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9780851779232: Send a Gunboat: The Victorian Navy and Supremacy at Sea, 1854-1904
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Published in its original form 35 years ago, ""Send a Gunboat"" remains the standard reference on the remarkable story of the Victorian Royal Navy's fleet of small warships, which enforced the Pax Britannica around the world for half a century. Frequently acting without orders, and largely beyond the reach of Admiralty interference, their young commanding officers intervened to stamp out the slave trade and to stop local rulers from interfering with 'legitimate' trade. The period has been greatly misunderstood, and the phrase 'gunboat diplomacy' is used to suggest a crude use of naval strength to bully and coerce weaker nations. In fact the Pax Britannica was a much more subtle and complex concept, calling for the use of limited force to create a favourable climate for international trade. Although the term 'gunboat' was loosely applied to oared craft in the late 18th Century and a handful of early steam vessels, the first 'proper' gunboats were built to fight the Russians in the Baltic in 1854-55. They proved so useful that a flotilla was sent out to Hong Kong in 1857 for the early skirmishes which led to the Second China War. When peace was restored in 1860 they and a series of replacements remained on station, a state of affairs which did not end until 1941. Conway offers a fully revised edition of this classic, incorporating the results of new research, the lessons applicable to modern limited naval warfare, and above all the wealth of photographs in the Conway Picture Library. The text is revised and, where necessary, expanded; the original structure is retained, with a complete listing of the gunboats, together with details of armament and fates.

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Review:

The book is lavishly illustrated with well-captioned photographs
and diagrams. Professor Andrew Lambert has written the foreword, which
places 'Send A Gunboat' in its strategic context and, perhaps surpringly
for some, concludes that its contemporary relevance has never been greater. -- Warships International Fleet Review, July 2007

This insightful book tells the story of the gunboat's role in
British foreign policy. -- Nottingham Evening Post, April 2007

This revised edition, with many new and rare photographs and a
complete list of the Victorian gunboats, may be a useful supplementary
source for family historians with naval ancestors. It will certainly be
welcomed by all naval historians. -- Family History Monthly magazine, May 2007

When gunboats ruled the waves...read in the context of today's
naval cutbacks and the debacle of Iraq's seizure of a Royal Naval boarding
party in the Gulf, Send a Gunboat makes for fascinating reading.
The new edition is fully illustrated for the first time, including some
marvellous and rare images, and also includes an extensive section
providing a comprehensive listing of all the vessels of the gunboat navy,
with technical specifications and details of their eventual fate.
-- Nautilus UK Telegraph, July 2007

About the Author:

Antony Preston was a world-respected authority on naval matters and the founding editor of the Warship annual.

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Preston, Antony, Major, John
Published by Conway Maritime Press Ltd (2007)
ISBN 10: 0851779239 ISBN 13: 9780851779232
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Antony Preston; John Major
Published by Conway Maritime Press Ltd (2007)
ISBN 10: 0851779239 ISBN 13: 9780851779232
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