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Spanish Warships in the Age of Sail, 1700–1860 (Hardback)

Design, Construction, Careers and Fates

Colour Books Maritime > Naval Maritime > Seaforth Publishing > Seaforth: Traditional Craft P&S History > By Century > 18th Century P&S History > By Century > 19th Century Photographic Books

By Manuel Blasco Felip, Enrique Garcia-Torralba Pérez, John Tredrea, Rif Winfield
Seaforth Publishing
Pages: 392
Illustrations: 225 black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781526790781
Published: 18th May 2023


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This book is the latest contribution to a unique series in a common format documenting in great detail the warships of the major naval powers during the age of sail. To date, four volumes have covered the British Navy, two have been devoted to the French Navy and one each to the Dutch and Russian Navies. This volume on the Spanish Navy, for much of its history the third largest in the world, fills the final gap in the ranks of the major maritime powers.

This book is the first comprehensive listing of these ships in English and covers the development of all the naval vessels owned or deployed by Spain during the period of the Bourbon monarchy from 1700 to 1860 (including the period of French control during the Napoleonic Wars), but it also sets the scene for that period by summarising the origins of Spanish naval development under the preceding Habsburg regime.

As with previous volumes in the series, the main chapters list all the naval vessels from 1700 onwards (including those 16th century ships which survived into the new regime in 1700) by type, with the first chapters listing the ships of the line (navíos in Spanish terminology) and frigates in descending order of firepower, and subsequent chapters covering minor and ancillary vessels. Where available, a brief service history of each individual ship is given.

A comprehensive introductory section includes a group of background essays designed to provide the reader with a deep understanding of how Spanish naval forces operated, and the context within which they were organised.

Certain to become the standard English-language reference work, its publication is of the utmost importance to every naval historian and general reader interested in the navies of the sailing era.

"This is a handsome book, and a comprehensive resource for anyone interested in the development and evolution of the Spanish Navy overall, an understanding of the technical aspects of classes and the ships within those classes, or tracing a particular vessel’s career. To a slightly lesser degree, it provides some insight into the politics and motivations of the Spanish Navy and its government. It deservedly takes its place alongside its British, French, Dutch, and Russian predecessors."

The Northern Mariner/Le marin du nord (Vol. 33, Nos 3 and 4).

"As we expect from other works in this series, it is lavishly illustrated with plans, drafts, paintings, illustrations and photographs of models of the subjects involved..."

Nautical Research Journal Volume 68 (2023)

"This is a welcome addition to the Seaforth series on warships in the age of sail which has seen the publication so far of four volumes on British ships from 1603 to 1863, two on French ships 1626-1861, one on the Dutch 1600-1714 and one on the Russian 1696-1860."

South West Soundings, South West Maritime History Society

This is a beautiful work, produced to a very high-quality level. It is certain to become the standard work in English on the Spanish sailing navy and is an indispensable volume for any researcher, maritime historian, modeller or serious student of the naval ships of the Spanish nation that was, throughout the period covered, a formidable naval power and one of Britain’s major enemies at sea.

Seaways' Ships in Scale

As featured in

The Bookseller

This book is the latest contribution to a unique series in a common format documenting in great detail the warships of the major naval powers during the age of sail.

Certain to become the standard English-language reference work, its publication is of the utmost importance to every naval historian and general reader interested in the navies of the sailing era.

Society for Nautical Research

About Manuel Blasco Felip

Manuel Blasco Felip enjoys sailing and history novels and has been involved for over twenty years in several online age of sail projects like 3decks and other websites devoted to revealing the riches of Spanish naval archives. He has a degree in Computer Engineering from Universitat Jaume I, which included time at Oklahoma University, and works as an IT Life Science Project Manager for multinational pharmaceutical companies. This book benefited greatly from his skill, experience and knowledge in his role as translator, advisor and coordinator. He lives in the Mediterranean coastal village of Chilches, Castellón with his wife Sara and two daughters Lledó and Balma.

About Enrique Garcia-Torralba Pérez

Enrique García-Torralba Pérez is the leading expert on Spanish warship design in the age of sail, having dedicated the last fifteen years to research in this field. His first work La artillería naval española del siglo XVIII was completed in 2009 and was followed by Las fragatas de vela de la  Armada española, 1600–1860 in 2011. In 2016 he published Navíos de la Real Armada, 1700–1860 and in 2019 completed the coverage of Spanish warships in that period with Buques menores y fuerzas sutiles españolas, 1700–1850. He has also written many articles on the subject in specialist magazines, and has received the Premio del Mar awarded by the Spanish Navy on three occasions. His latest book is Filipinas y el Pacífico. La construcción naval, la navegación y la metalurgia, 1575–1850.

 John Tredrea

About John Tredrea

John Tredrea, the grandson of British immigrants, was born and raised in the Chicago area. He attended the University of Illinois in Champagne and graduated with honours in social studies in 1967 with ancient and medieval history as his speciality. On graduation, he did a two-year tour of active duty in the US Navy during the Vietnam War, primarily in the Tonkin Gulf, followed by an additional four years as an enlisted reservist. From 1972 he was employed, eventually as a bilingual English/Spanish language supervisor, by the Illinois Department of Human Services until qualifying for early retirement in 2002. He is the co-author of Russian Warships in the Age of Sail with a Russian colleague Ted Sozaev. His great love and hobby has always been naval history, with an emphasis on the technical evolution of warships, and it was his initiative that assembled the team that produced Spanish Warships.

About Rif Winfield

Rif Winfield has made a lifetime’s study of the sailing warship. He holds a degree in International Politics, and is a Fellow of the Society for Nautical Research. Besides a number of journal articles, he is the author of The 50-Gun Ship (published in 1997) and First Rate: The Greatest Warships of the Age of Sail (in 2010), and was responsible for bringing to fruition in 2004 The Sail and Steam Navy List: All the Ships of the Royal Navy 1815–1889 (a project begun by the late David Lyon prior to his death in 2000). He is also the author of the comprehensive four-volume series on British Warships in the Age of Sail (covering chronologically all British warships between 1603 and 1863) and – with his co-author Stephen Roberts – a similar two volumes on French Warships in the Age of Sail, in the same series as the current work.

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