John D. Grainger has a new book which is now available in hardcover, Dictionary of British Naval Battles. It was released wordlwide in April.
This very substantial, comprehensive dictionary contains entries on all the battles fought at sea by British fleets and ships since Anglo-Saxon times. Major battles, such as Trafalgar or Jutland, minor actions, often convoy and frigate actions, troop landings, bombardments and single ship actions are all covered.
Most accounts of British naval power focus on the big battles and the glorious victories – the picture which emerges from the rich detail in this dictionary, however, is of a busy, dispersed navy, almost constantly engaged in small scale activity – taking prizes in the eighteenth century, escorting convoys and being attacked by, and attacking, U-boats in the twentieth century, attacking minor as well as major enemy ports in all periods. Moreover, the action, which very often takes place not in proximity to Britain, but on a world stage, is not always successful and sometimes disastrous.