17 b/w illustrations
During the French wars (1793-1801, 1803-1815) the system of promotion to flag rank in the Royal Navy produced a cadre of admirals numbering more than two hundred at its peak. These officers competed vigorously for a limited number of appointments at sea and for the high honours and significant financial rewards open to successful naval commanders. When on active service admirals faced formidable challenges arising from the Navy's critical role in a global conflict, from the extraordinary scope of their responsibilities, and from intense political, public and professional expectations. While a great deal has been written about admirals' roles in naval operations, other aspects of their professional lives have not been explored systematically.British Flag Officers in the French Wars, 1793-1815 considers the professional lives of well-known and more obscure admirals, vice-admirals and rear-admirals. It examines the demands of naval command, flag officers' understanding of their authority and their approach to exercising it, their ambitions and failures, their professional interactions, and their lives afloat and onshore. In exploring these themes, it draws on a wide range of correspondence and other primary source material. By taking a broad thematic approach, this book provides a multi-faceted account of admirals' professional lives that extends beyond the insights that are found in biographical studies of individual flag officers. As such, it will be of great interest to students and scholars of British naval history.
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