Sea Eagles of Empire (K/HC)

Simon Elliott’s new book, Sea Eagles of Empire: The Classis Britannica and the Battles for Britain, will be released in worldwide in Hardcover and for kindle download on 3 August 2016. It is now available for pre-order.

The Roman war machine comprised land and naval forces. Although the former has been studied extensively, less has been written and understood about the naval forces of the Roman Empire and, in particular, the regional navies which actively participated in most military operations and policed the seas and rivers of the Empire.Until the mid third century, in a British context, this navy was the Classis Britannica – a strong fighting force in its own right. The composition, ship types, roles, tactics and technology have never been studied at length. Here Elliot tells the story of this illustrious naval force in their metal-beaked galleys and their exploits defeating enemies of the Empire and keeping the peace around the British Isles.

Source: Sea Eagles of Empire (K/HC)


Knickerbocker Commodore (K) | Historic Naval Fiction

Bruce A. Castleman recently releases a new book available for kindle download worldwide, Knickerbocker Commodore: The Life and Times of John Drake Sloat, 1781-1867. A hardcover version is due to be released in September.

Explores the life and times of John Drake Sloat, the US Navy Pacific Squadron commander who occupied Moneterey and declared the annexation of California at the beginning of the war with Mexico.

Knickerbocker Commodore chronicles the life of Rear Admiral John Drake Sloat, an important but understudied naval figure in US history. Born and raised by a slave-owning gentry family in New York’s Hudson Valley, Sloat moved to New York City at age nineteen. Bruce A. Castleman explores Sloat’s forty-five-year career in the Navy, from his initial appointment as midshipman in the conflicts with revolutionary France to his service as commodore during the country’s war with Mexico. As the commodore in command of the naval forces in the Pacific, Sloat occupied Monterey and declared the annexation of California in July 1846, controversial actions criticized by some and defended by others. More than a biography of one man, this book illustrates the evolution of the peacetime Navy as an institution and its conversion from sail to steam. Using shipping news and Customs Service records from Sloat’s merchant voyages, Castleman offers a rare and insightful perspective on American maritime history.

Source: Knickerbocker Commodore (K) | Historic Naval Fiction

Revolution on the Hudson (K/HC) | Historic Naval Fiction

George C. Daughan has a new book available for pre-order in various formats, Revolution on the Hudson: New York City and the Hudson River Valley in the War of American Independence. It will be available worldwide on 13 June 2016.

The untold story of the fight for the Hudson River Valley―the control of which, both sides firmly believed, would determine the outcome of the Revolutionary War.

No part of this country was more important or contested during the American Revolution than New York City, the Hudson River, and the surrounding counties. Political and military leaders on both sides viewed the Hudson River Valley as the American jugular, which, if cut, would quickly bleed the rebellion to death. Revolution on the Hudson unpacks intricate military maneuvers and investigates the domestic politics and militias of the Hudson River counties. In doing so it answers the greatest question about the war: how a fledgling nation could have defeated the most powerful war machine of the era.

Award-winning historian George C. Daughan constructs a new narrative of the American Revolution that revolves around the central irony of British war aims: that the effort to control the Hudson River–Lake Champlain corridor to Canada transformed the Revolution from a war that Britain should have won easily into a war it could never win.

Source: Revolution on the Hudson (K/HC) | Historic Naval Fiction

Jutland: The Unfinished Battle (HC) | Historic Naval Fiction

This year sees the centenary of the Battle of Jutland and for those interested an excellent resource for both the battle itself and planned commemoration events can be found at

To mark this anniversary Nicolas Jellicoe, the grandson of one of the admirals, as a new book out in hardcover, Jutland: The Unfinished Battle. It is now available in the UK and will be released in the US on 15 May 2016.

One hundred years after Jutland, the first and largest engagement of Dreadnoughts in the twentieth century, historians are still fighting this controversial and misunderstood battle. What was in fact a strategic victory stands out starkly against the background of bitter public disappointment in the Royal Navy and decades of divisive acrimony and very public infighting between the camps supporting the two most senior commanders, Jellicoe and Beatty.

This book not only re-tells the story of the battle from both a British and German perspective based on the latest research, but it also helps clarify the context of Germany’s inevitable naval clash. It then traces the bitter dispute that ensued in the years after the smoke of war had cleared right up to his death in 1935, Admiral Jellicoe was embroiled in what became known as the Jutland Controversy . Nick Jellicoe is uniquely placed to tell the story of Jutland. His naval connections are strong: his father, the second Earl served as First Lord of the Admiralty while his grandfather, Sir John Jellicoe commanded the Grand Fleet for the first two years on the war, from 1914 to 1916 famously described by Churchill as being the only man who could have lost the war in an afternoon .

Source: Jutland: The Unfinished Battle (HC) | Historic Naval Fiction

Review: French Warships in the Age of Sail 1786 – 1862 by Rif Winfield & Stephen S Roberts | Historic Naval Fiction

For those who have read Rif Winfield’s series British Warships in the Age of Sail, this new work on French warships will have a familiar feel, and as the later period covered by the book covers the introduction of steam he is aided by Stephen S Roberts. It starts with an historical overview of the French Navy during the main periods of control, the Royal period, the revolutionary government. Napoleonic era and post war. There is also a section on the naval dockyards with maps and a brief history of Naval operations.

The main body of the book has a chapter for each class of vessel, starting with the three deckers, subdivided into periods starting with those vessels already in service in 1786. These sections have a brief introduction and then a detailed history of each ship and it’s design, including changes such as conversion to steam in it’s later career, and there are some illustrations and ships plans.

Whilst the names of many of the larger ships will be well known the bulk of a navy is of course made up of the smaller ships. To do these vessels justice it is of course necessary to keep the details for all ships fairly brief but this is to some extent helped by grouping ships into their design class.

This comprehensive work is well structured and is an excellent reference work for all those who wish to know more about the French Navy which receives far less attention than it’s main rival the Royal Navy. As the cover description says it is possible to form a clear picture of the overall development of French warships in the latter half of the sailing era and into the age of steam when it started to recover from it’s wartime losses and through technical innovation and invention produced some of the most advanced ships of the age. Recommended.

Source: Review: French Warships in the Age of Sail 1786 – 1862 by Rif Winfield & Stephen S Roberts | Historic Naval Fiction

The Struggle for Sea Power (HC) | Historic Naval Fiction

Sam Willis has a new book available for pre-order in Hardcover, The Struggle for Sea Power: A Naval History of the American Revolution. It will be released in the US on 15 February 2016 and in the UK on 11 March 2016.

The American Revolution was a naval war of immense scope, embroiling twenty-two navies fighting on five oceans. Britain alone launched simultaneous campaigns in the English Channel, the North and Mid-Atlantic, the Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean, the Caribbean, the Pacific, the North Sea, and, of course, the Eastern Seaboard of America. Not until World War II would a single nation fight in so many different theaters. If the British had had the luxury of focusing on their American problem alone, the outcome would have been quite different. But it was thought that losing Jamaica to the Spanish or India to the French would have been much more crippling to the British economy than losing the American colonies.

The Struggle for Sea Power bristles with stunning reversals of fortune and desperate naval encounters. Readers will come away from it with a profound understanding of this global war, of the rise and fall of the British Empire, and of the way in which seapower shaped our world. 8 pages of color illustrations

Source: The Struggle for Sea Power (HC) | Historic Naval Fiction

Mary Rose Owners’ Workshop Manual (HC) – Historic Naval Fiction

Brian Lavery has a new book available for pre-order in Hardcover, Mary Rose Owners’ Workshop Manual: King henry VIII’s Warship 1510-45. It will be released worldwide on 15 December 2015.

Insights into the construction, operation, rescue and restoration of a great Tudor ship and its contents.

From the time that King Henry VIII’s warship Mary Rose was raised from the Solent in 1982 after 437 years on the seabed, to the present day, she has been constantly in the public eye. In 2013 a state-of-the-art new museum opened at Portsmouth to show off the ship in conjunction with the thousands of artefacts in context with their Tudor owners and their locations onboard. The Mary Rose and her fascinating time capsule of life in Tudor times form the centrepiece of this unique Haynes manual.

Source: Mary Rose Owners’ Workshop Manual (HC) – Historic Naval Fiction