Cromwell's Wars at Sea (Kindle)
The 200 years that separate the navy of Drake's day from that of Nelson were critical for the development of Britain's sea power, and the decade of the Commonwealth, of Cromwell's rule, is one of the turning points in the story. In the aftermath of a disastrous civil war and the execution of Charles I, the navy fought to defend the frail republic against the rivalry and hostility of other European nations and to extend British influence across the globe. In this fascinating reassessment of a decisive phase in the growth of British seapower, John Barratt shows how Cromwell's navy confronted the threats that came against it during a decade of almost continuous naval warfare, against the Royalists, the Dutch and the Spanish. At the same time he describes in detail the naval organization of the day and the rapid expansion of the service in the early 1650s, as well as the ships and the seamen who manned them.