Until the end of the First World War, Britain's wealth and power depended crucially on her command of the sea through naval power. No country could challenge Britain's power unless it first deprived her of her capacity to rule the waves.
Philip II of Spain, Napoleon and Kaiser Wilhelm all took up this challenge. On each occasion Britain found herself on the verge of conquest. And yet each time the navy went out to meet the foe and returned victorious. The Spanish invasion force that accompanied the Armada perished in the Channel and the North Sea. At Trafalgar Nelson destroyed Napoleon's capacity to mount an invasion. And at Jutland, Jellicoe's fleet so terrified the German Kaiser that he ordered his ships to remain in port.
Three great naval battles. Each a decisive and overwhelming victory. Each forcing a turning point in a war. Each, if lost, would have had disastrous consequences for Britain. But which was Britain's greatest victory?
This brilliant short book by one the country's leading naval historians examines each battle, placing the conflict in its historical context, explaining how the battle came about and why the Royal Navy succeeded in driving off the enemy fleet. It provides a fresh perspective for naval historians, and a brilliant concise introduction to the key turning points in our naval history for the general reader.
Author: Richard Freeman
Title: Britain's Greatest Naval Battles: The Armada, Trafalgar, Jutland
First Published by: Endeavour Press
Date: 9 February 2012