From the era of Napoleon and Lord Nelson to the Anglo-German naval race before the first world war, naval warfare underwent a slow transition from the era of wooden sailing fleets to that of the modern steel navy.
Naval Warfare 1815-1914 details the technological breakthroughs of steam power, armour, artillery and torpedoes that brought changes not only to warship design, but also to naval strategy and tactics. The rivalries of the naval powers, their wars and expeditions are investigated with special attention to the evolving state of naval technology. Because the relative industrial capabilities of seafaring countries were reflected in their naval building programmes, a focus on industrial development provides an important link between the matters investigated and the broader history of the period.
The three leading fleets of the period (Britain, France and Russia) take precedent, but the book also addresses the decline after 1815 of the Spanish and Dutch navies, as well as the rise before 1914 of German, Japanese, and American sea power.