Islamic Seapower during the Age of Fighting Sail

November 2017
20 black and white illustrations
260 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
ISBN: 9781783272303
Format: Hardback
Boydell Press
BISAC HIS027150, HIS026000, HIS037030

Islamic Seapower during the Age of Fighting Sail

Philip MacDougall

Shows how extensive the naval power of Islamic states was, charts the rise and fall of Islamic navies, and outlines the various wars and campaigns in which Islamic navies were involved.
Studies of the "Age of Fighting Sail" have tended to focus on the British or American navies, or sometimes on those of France or Spain. However, there were also at this time very significant navies built by the Islamic powers: the North African Barbary states, whose ships, allegedly pirates, plagued Mediterranean shipping and raided even as far as Cornwall and the south coast of Ireland; the Ottoman Empire, which built some of the largest sailing warships ever; the navies of Arabian and Indian rulers and of Persia, which were forces to be reckoned with in the Indian Ocean; and more. This book presents a comprehensive survey of Islamic seapower from about the beginning of the seventeenth century until the middle of the nineteenth century, charting the rise and fall of different Islamic navies. It focuses on strategy, examining the development and implementation of naval policy and exploring the technology that supported it. It considers the wars Islamic navies participated in, covers all the areas in which Islamic navies operated, and relates Islamic naval power to wider international power politics. The book highlights in particular the importance of the large Ottoman navy, which influenced and gave a lead to other Islamic naval powers.

PHILIP MACDOUGALL was formerly a Lecturer in the Department of Economic History at the University of Kent. He is the author and editor of several books on maritime history, including The Naval Mutinies of 1797 (Boydell, 2011) and Naval Resistance to Britain's Growing Power in India, 1660-1800 (Boydell, 2014).

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Table of Contents

Part One: The Ottoman State Navy in the West: A Systems Failure
Galleons to Attack Galleons
Types of Naval Officers
The Reforms of Selim III
Part Two: North African States and Provinces
Zenith of the North African Ghazi States
To the Shores of Tripoli
Egypt - a Periodic Maritime Interest
Part Three: The Indian Ocean
The Coastal Waters of Arabia
The Muslim States of India


[This] book is certainly an important one. There is very little published on the subject in English, and this may indeed be the first book of its kind . . . [and for] that reason alone, this is a valuable book because it helps to begin to fill that gap in the available literature. MacDougall's analysis offers much to consider when modern strategists reflect on what makes a state into a sea power, and what happens when nations that do not traditionally place high value on the sea attempt to build up large and regionally dominant navies. . . .[L]eads to important questions about how combat leadership mixes with administrative management in the creation of seapower, and the undervalued role of the construction and logistical support of fleets in the development of sustained naval power. THE STRATEGY BRIDGE

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