Thursday, January 23, 2014

Military history books: The English Navy during the Hundred Years' War

The January 2012 volume of the Journal of Military History provides a review of Edward III and The War at Sea: The English Navy, 1327-1377 by Graham Cushway.  The book is a large scholarly work on the evolution of the English Navy during Edward III's reign.  The author addresses the issues facing Edward’s maintenance and control of the fleet considering its high cost and the difficulty in getting English merchants to cooperate with his naval needs.

The book addresses the conflicts with Scotland and France and how those were dealt with over time.  While the book provides a great deal of information of the English navy during the Hundred Years’ War, it is not as informative on the conditions and tactics of naval combat at this time. 

In sum, the reviewer appreciates the great deal of scholarly coverage of Edward III and his military skills in managing a very difficult to manage Navy.  In addition, the author has provided a very large bibliography for further research of English admirals and the English navy in this period.  

The book has also received a strong recommendation from the International Journal of Nautical Archaeology for the information it provides.  I would recommend this book for anyone interested in the early part of the Hundred Years’ War, medieval military history, or naval history.   
Detail of a miniature of a sea fight off of La Rochelle. Last quarter of the 14th century, after 1380

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