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Fighting Instructions, 1530-1816 Publications Of The Navy Records Society Vol. XXIX.   By: (1854-1922)

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PUBLICATIONS OF THE NAVY RECORDS SOCIETY VOL. XXIX.

FIGHTING INSTRUCTIONS 1530 1816

EDITED WITH ELUCIDATIONS FROM CONTEMPORARY AUTHORITIES BY JULIAN S. CORBETT, LL.M.

PRINTED FOR THE NAVY RECORDS SOCIETY MDCCCCV

THE COUNCIL OF THE NAVY RECORDS SOCIETY 1904 1905

PATRON H.R.H. THE PRINCE OF WALES, K.G., K.T., K.P.

PRESIDENT EARL SPENCER, K.G.

VICE PRESIDENTS BRIDGE, ADMIRAL SIR CYPRIAN PROTHERO, G.W., A.G., G.C.B. LL.D. HAWKESBURY, LORD. YORKE, SIR HENRY, K.C.B.

COUNCILLORS

ATKINSON, C.T. KIPLING, RUDYARD. BATTENBURG, PRINCE LOUIS OF, LORAINE, REAR ADMIRAL SIR G.C.B. LAMBTON, BART. BEAUMONT, VICE ADMIRAL SIR LYALL, SIR ALFRED C., G.C.I.E. LEWIS, K.C.B., K.C.M.G. MARKHAM, SIR CLEMENTS R., CLARKE, COL. SIR GEORGE S., K.C.B., F.R.S. K.C.M.G. MARSDEN, R.G. CORBETT, JULIAN S. NEWBOLT, HENRY. DESART, THE EARL OF, K.C.B. PARR, REAR ADMIRAL A.C. DRURY, VICE ADMIRAL SIR SLADE, CAPTAIN EDMOND J.W., CHARLES, K.C.S.I. R.N. FIRTH, PROFESSOR G.H., LL.D. TANNER, J.R. GINSBURG, B.W., LL.D. THURSFIELD, J.R. GODLEY, SIR ARTHUR, K.C.B. TRACEY, ADMIRAL SIR RICHARD, HAMILTON, ADMIRAL SIR R. K.C.B. VESEY, G.C.B. WATTS, PHILIP, D.SC., F.R.S.

SECRETARY PROFESSOR J.K. LAUGHTON, D.Litt., King's College, London, W.C.

TREASURER W. GRAHAM GREENE, C.B., Admiralty, S.W.

The COUNCIL of the NAVY RECORDS SOCIETY wish it to be distinctly understood that they are not answerable for any opinions or observations that may appear in the Society's publications; For these the responsibility rests entirely with the Editors of the several works.

PREFACE

The inaccessibility of the official Fighting Instructions from time to time issued to the fleet has long been a recognised stumbling block to students of naval history. Only a few copies of them were generally known to exist; fewer still could readily be consulted by the public, and of these the best known had been wrongly dated. The discovery therefore of a number of seventeenth century Instructions amongst the Earl of Dartmouth's papers, which he had generously placed at the disposal of the Society, seemed to encourage an attempt to make something like a complete collection. The result, such as it is, is now offered to the Society. It is by no means exhaustive. Some sets of Instructions seem to be lost beyond recall; but, on the other hand, a good deal of hitherto barren ground has been filled, and it is hoped that the collection may be of some assistance for a fresh study of the principles which underlie the development of naval tactics.

It is of course as documents in the history of tactics that the Fighting Instructions have the greatest practical value, and with this aspect of them in view I have done my best to illustrate their genesis, intention, and significance by extracts from contemporary authorities. Without such illustration the Instructions would be but barren food, neither nutritive nor easily digested. The embodiment of this illustrative matter has to some extent involved a departure from the ordinary form of the Society's publications. Instead of a general introduction, a series of introductory notes to each group of Instructions has been adopted, which it is feared will appear to bear an excessive proportion to the Instructions themselves... Continue reading book >>




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