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American history
military history

Perilous Fight: America's Intrepid War with Britain on the High Seas, 1812–1815

Stephen Budiansky.
Publisher Knopf/BOMC  
Format hardcover, BOMC
Product Dimensions 9.5 x 6.5 x 1.4 inches
ISBN 9780307270696
Pages/Publication Date 422/2010
Daedalus Item Code 33296
This item is not available.
The author of Her Majesty's Spymaster and The Bloody Shirt, Stephen Budiansky here revisits the War of 1812—the "forgotten war" of American history—and vividly demonstrates that, far from being an indecisive and unnecessary conflict, it had profound consequences for naval warfare in general and for America's standing as a nation. The "next chapter" of our naval history, following the building of the six super frigates that founded the U.S. Navy, began with decisive American victories in several famous ship-to-ship battles, but it was decided, Budiansky shows, by hit-and-run tactics against Britain's merchant marine.

"[American] frigates scored initial victories in warship-on-warship combat (the Constitution's sinking of the Guerriere) that exhilarated Americans and made U.S. captains famous. But naval war in the chivalric style did not strike the historically unsung William Jones as a sensible strategy. Secretary of the navy during the war, Jones is the most important character in Budiansky's account. Jones thought that attacking Britain's merchant marine would hamper her superior fleet far more than would destruction of her warships, and so it turned out, as Budiansky's analysis of the forces tied to convoy and blockade duties verifies. Conversant in nautical technicalities of the age of sail, Budiansky will absorb the avid naval history audience."—Booklist

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