Those of you who read Fortune’s Favorite: Sir Charles Douglas and the Breaking of the Line by Christopher J. Valin which was released last year will be interested to know that the original book by Maj.-Gen. Sir Howard Douglas Naval Evolutions: A Memoir last published in 1832 has now been reprinted and is available with an introduction by Valin.
One of the most revolutionary tactics in naval warfare was developed in the 18th Century, and was called “Breaking the Line.” The Royal Navy used it to win fleet engagements ranging from the Battle of the Saints, to Trafalgar. But, who developed it? Years of controversy led to a war of words between supporters of John Clerk of Eldin, Admiral Lord Rodney, and Rodney’s captain-of-the fleet, Sir Charles Douglas. In 1832, the latter’s son, Sir Howard Douglas, set forth the arguments on behalf of his father in his book Naval Evolutions: A Memoir.