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Victoria's Blue Jackets & Marines
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Vignettes from many engagements of the Victorian Royal Navy For many, the great age of sail, typified by Nelson and his Royal Navy was the finest hour of British sea power. In its struggle with Napoleonic France it fought its greatest battles, brought to ruin its greatest foe and finally did rule the waves. The issue, perhaps, for those interested in naval warfare is that a navy so dominant does not have great sea battles to fight. The British Empire now expanded quickly due in no small measure to this naval superiority. The Royal Navy was constantly employed, but now its role was the bombardment of troublesome coastal ports and batteries, the suppression of piracy and slavery, exploration and the provision of Naval Brigades and their big guns to fight on land alongside the British Army in the few major and many minor wars of the Queen Empress's long reign. So whilst sea battles like Trafalgar would not come again until Jutland, this was a period full of diversity that took sailors and marines all over the globe in the service of the Empire. We join them in a host of engagements within this book's pages-bombarding the Syrian coast, with Rajah Brooke in Borneo, to Burma, through the Crimea, with the Shannon Brigade in the Indian Mutiny, to polar wastes and afoot in Ashanti, Egypt, against the Mahdi in the Sudan, in collision with the Zulus, the Boers and the Chinese Boxers among many others. This is a fascinating overview of more than half a century of naval warfare as it entered the modern age.
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