The Successors to Drake

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The Successors to Drake

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Length: 509 pages8 hours


The present work is designed as a sequel to Drake and the Tudor Navy (1898), to which it practically forms a third and concluding volume, carrying the reader through the period of hostilities with Spain which extended from the death of Drake in 1596 to the conclusion of the war at James I.’s accession.

It is a period which, if we except the operations of Essex at Cádiz in 1596, has been much neglected by historians and as much misunderstood. […]

Mainly the work is concerned with naval history, hut not so exclusively as the two previous volumes. Military affairs begin to intrude themselves. Indeed it is doubtful whether the naval and the military history of England should ever be written apart. The real importance of maritime power is its influence on military operations. This is the thesis which lies at the bottom of all the teaching with which Captain Mahan’s name is pre-eminently associated. […]

The direction of a great war can only be followed out in the mutual reaction of the two forces, and how closely they are inter-dependent nothing shows more emphatically than the last years of the Elizabethan war. It is impossible to deal adequately with the naval operations without understanding what the soldiers were doing. To treat, for instance, of the action of the fleet during the Spanish descent on Ireland in 1601 without following the strategy ashore might be naval chronicling. It would not be history.

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