Almost everyone knows about the great land battles of history – Hastings, Waterloo, Stalingrad, Gettysburg and so on. But strangely – and perhaps disconcertingly for a sea faring nation – not many British people know much about the important sea battles of history. They are battles that did literally change the world.
One of the earliest but most significant was the Battle of Salamis which took place in 480BC. Victory for the Athenian Navy prevented the Persian fleet of King Xerxes linking up with his formidable army – already victorious in the Pass of Thermopylae – to form an unbreakable force that would have conquered Greece and then marched on into Europe. If that had happened European history, culture and lifestyles would be very different from the way they appear today.