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How to Survive in the Georgian Navy

Bruno Pappalardo

A SAILOR'S GUIDE
This concise book explores what it was like to be a sailor in the Georgian Navy - focusing on the period from 1714 to 1820, this book examines the Navy within its wider historical, national, organisational and military context, and reveals exactly what it took to survive a life in its service. It looks at how a seaman could join the Royal Navy, including the notorious 'press gangs'; what was meant by 'learning the ropes'; and the severe punishments that could be levied for even minor misdemeanours as a result of the Articles of War.

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Rigidly organised and harshly disciplined, the Georgian Royal Navy was an orderly and efficient fighting force which played a major role in Great Britain's wars of the 18th and early 19th centuries. This concise book explores what it was like to be a sailor in the Georgian Navy - focusing on the period from 1714 to 1820, this book examines the Navy within its wider historical, national, organisational and military context, and reveals exactly what it took to survive a life in its service. It looks at how a seaman could join the Royal Navy, including the notorious 'press gangs'; what was meant by 'learning the ropes'; and the severe punishments that could be levied for even minor misdemeanours as a result of the Articles of War. Military tactics, including manning the guns and tactics for fending off pirates are also revealed, as is the problem of maintaining a healthy diet at sea - and the steps that sailors themselves could take to avoid the dreaded scurvy. Covering other fascinating topics as wide-ranging as exploration, mutiny, storms, shipwrecks, and women on board ships, this ‘Sailor's Guide' explores the lives of the Navy's officers and sailors, using extracts from contemporary documents and writings to reconstruct their experiences in vivid detail.

ISBN: 9781472830876
Format: Hardback
Author(s): Bruno Pappalardo
First Publishment Date: 21 February 2019

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  1. This book despite the litany of ways to die in the Georgian Navy is a jolly good read for history buffs and is full of useful, interesting and distracting information about the Royal Navy during the Georgian period. review by Warship World - PB on 07/03/2019

    When I first review books I flip through the pages and see where luck takes me. When reviewing How to Survive in the Georgian Navy my fingers selected page 63 with the fairly-ominous headline of Yellow Fever and Typhus. In this day and age of medical marvels and long life it is somewhat sobering to think about the life expectations of an average sailor aboard a Georgian sailing warship of the period. Most sailors would rarely see it into their forties, with most having succumbed to a raft of illnesses, diseases and accidents. It is a misconception that most sailors met their end at the end of a musket ball, sabre or gunshot - most died through malnutrition or disease and they died in their thousands.

    The second time I flicked through the pages, my fingers fell on page 123 with the headline of Prostitution in Ports, from where many sailors caught a large number of the diseases that ultimately killed them. This compact hard back book from Osprey Publishing is, despite the litany of ways to die in the Georgian Navy, a jolly good read for history buffs and is full of useful, interesting and distracting information about the Royal Navy during the Georgian period. Other topics covered include shipwrecks, mutiny and exploration. Incidentally the author, Bruno Pappalardo is the Principal Records Specialist (Naval) at the National Archives at Kew, from where he drew much of his information from the amazing collection of archives contained there.


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