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Useful books on combat, sailing and naval history in the age of sail

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It only shows 5 pages of samples, not the entirety of the book.  There might be stuff in there we can't find online.  Of all the major seafaring powers, the most limited knowledge is of the Ottomans.

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On 4/6/2016 at 2:06 PM, Yar987 said:

An Essay on Naval TacticsSystematical and Historical, with Explanatory Plates, in Four Parts, John Clerk, 1824


Part 1 was published in 1790, but was privately distributed in small numbers starting in 1782.


Parts 2-4 were published in 1797.


This version, published in 1824, has footnotes added by the author, editor, a Royal Navy admiral, and an Officer.


Lots of detail on tactics, and great outlining of what when wrong in some engagements. Some insight into fleet compositions, level of ship upkeep, and ship characteristics. It gives a good account of how it took fleets multiple hours to form a line, hours and hours to close on an enemy fleet, and days spent just maneuvering without actual fighting. 


It's primary concern was getting rid of the ineffective tactics used during the 18th century. Nelson put this style of engagement to use at Trafalgar.

An interesting point from this one, in a footnote by Lord Rodney. Pistol shot, half musket shot is here stated to be 400 yds. This is what I had previously been considering as musket shot.... so that changes the assessment of range up by 100%. Making the "line of metal" ranges to be musket shot, or half gun shot..


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