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"Books about AWI Naval War in the Caribbean?" Topic

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benglish02 Sep 2020 12:28 p.m. PST

Can anyone recommend any titles that focus on the American Revolution at sea in general, and the struggle in the Caribbean in particular?

Thoughts appreciated.

whitejamest02 Sep 2020 12:58 p.m. PST

You might try "The Struggle for Sea Power: A Naval History of the American Revolution" by Sam Willis. I've not read it myself, but I've heard good things, and have really enjoyed some of Willis' other work.

Also, this is a really awesome web resource with a fantastic amount of information.

Duc de Brouilly02 Sep 2020 2:56 p.m. PST

Jonathan Dull's The French Navy and American Independence is one of the best history books I've read on this subject or any other.

historygamer02 Sep 2020 3:28 p.m. PST

Well, it depends on how wonkish you want to get. There is the classic by Mahan. I heard the Willis books is good (in my queue to read – on the shelf), and the Government Printing Office put out an 11 volume (might be more now) Naval Documents of the American Revolution.

Blutarski02 Sep 2020 6:34 p.m. PST

Hi benglish,
Willis and Mahan are both good resources. You might want to take a look into Tunstall as well. Here are some others that I can recommend -

John Creswell; "British Admirals of the Eighteenth Century: Tactics in Battle".

E H Jenkins; "A History of the French Navy".

Amandus Johnson; "The Naval Campaigns of Count De Grasse, During the American Revolution 1781-1783".

Charles Lee Lewis; "Admiral De Grasse and American Independence".

Joseph Allen; "Battles of the British Navy". (2 volumes)

Winfield is the "go to" resource for British ship data. If you are looking for ship data for the French, see Jean Boudriot's "The 74 Gun Ship" (which really covers far, far more than just 74 gun ships trust me). This is a four volume set and quite expensive; try inter-library loan you may get lucky. Or post here and I will be happy to share what I have.


benglish02 Sep 2020 7:53 p.m. PST

Great recommendations from you all, gents. Much thanks!

Blutarski03 Sep 2020 1:04 p.m. PST

Le Duc wrote -
"Jonathan Dull's The French Navy and American Independence is one of the best history books I've read on this subject or any other."

Just ordered it on your recommendation.



Duc de Brouilly05 Sep 2020 9:58 a.m. PST

Oh dear, I hope I haven't raised impossibly high expectations grin.

Bombay Marine05 Sep 2020 12:35 p.m. PST

Besides Rif Winfield's British book, British Warships in the Age of Sail 1714-1792," you will need his "French Warships in the Age of Sail 1626-1786."

Blutarski06 Sep 2020 5:58 p.m. PST

Le Duc wrote "Oh dear, I hope I haven't raised impossibly high expectations grin."

By no means. I am familiar with other works of Mr Dull. This volume simply escaped my attention for a few decades. I was actually able to read the book at some length courtesy of Google Books before I purchased it.

Thanks again for the recommendation. Looking forward to receiving it.


Blutarski25 Sep 2020 9:32 a.m. PST

Hi Duc de Brouilly,
Finally received my copy of Dull's "The French Navy and American Independence". I'm only part way through it, but it already confirms that my money was very well spent following your good advice.

Thanks again.


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