European Navies and the Conduct of War considers the different contexts within which European navies operated over a period of 500 years culminating in World War Two, the greatest war ever fought at sea.

Taking a predominantly continental point of view, the book moves away from the typically British-centric approach taken to naval history as it considers the role of European navies in the development of modern warfare, from its medieval origins to the large-scale, industrial, total war of the twentieth century. Along with this growth of navies as instruments of war, the book also explores the long rise of the political and popular appeal of navies, from the princes of late medieval Europe, to the enthusiastic crowds that greeted the modern fleets of the great powers, followed by their reassessment through their great trial by combat, firmly placing the development of modern navies into the broader history of the period.

Chronological in structure, European Navies and the Conduct of War is an ideal resource for students and scholars of naval and military history.

chapter |12 pages


ByAlan James, Carlos Alfaro Zaforteza, Malcolm Murfett

chapter 1|24 pages

European navies and princely power

ByAlan James

chapter 2|22 pages

The seventeenth century

A first age of modern naval warfare
ByAlan James

chapter 3|28 pages

Globalisation and escalation, 1715–1815

ByAlan James

chapter 4|26 pages

The Vienna Settlement, 1815–1854

ByCarlos Alfaro Zaforteza

chapter 5|17 pages

The collapse of the Congress System, 1854–1870

ByCarlos Alfaro Zaforteza

chapter 6|27 pages

The age of empire, 1870–1914

ByCarlos Alfaro Zaforteza

chapter 7|18 pages

World War One

Blockade, neutrality, and the submarine
ByCarlos Alfaro Zaforteza

chapter 8|26 pages


A time of fractured peace
ByMalcolm Murfett

chapter 9|29 pages

European navies and the war at sea, 1939–1942

ByMalcolm Murfett

chapter 10|20 pages

Redemption, 1943–1945

ByMalcolm Murfett

chapter |8 pages


ByAlan James, Carlos Alfaro Zaforteza, Malcolm Murfett