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The State of Naval and Maritime History 

edited by 
John B. Hattendorf 


Naval War College 
Historical Monograph Series 

No. 11 

The Historical Monograph series are book-length studies of the history of 
naval warfare, edited historical documents, conference proceedings, and bibli- 
ographies. They are the products of the Naval War College's historical studies 
and are based, wholly or in part, on source materials in the College's Naval 
Historical Collection. Financial support for research projects, conference support 
and printing is provided by the Naval War College Foundation. 

Other volumes in the series are: 

No. 1. The Writings of Stephen B. Luce, edited by John D. Hayes and John B. 

No. 2. Charleston Blockade: The Journals of John B. Marchand, U.S. Navy, 
1861-1862, edited by Craig L. Symonds (1976). 

No. 3. Professors of War: The Naval War College and the Development of the Naval 
Profession, by Ronald Spector (1977). 

No. 4. The Blue Sword: The Naval War College and the American Mission, 
1919-1941, by Michael Vlahos (1980). 

No. 5. On His Majesty's Service: Observations of the British Home Fleet from the 
Diary, Reports, and Letters of Joseph H. Wellings, Assistant Naval Attache, London, 
1940-41, edited by John B. Hattendorf (1983). 

No. 6. Angel on the Yardarm: The Beginnings of Fleet Radar Defense and the Kamikaze 
Threat, by John Monsarrat (1985). 

No. 7. A Bibliography of the Works of Alfred Thayer Mahan, compiled by John B. 
Hattendorf and Lynn C. Hattendorf (1986). 

No. 8. The Fraternity of the Blue Uniform: Admiral Richard G. Colbert, U.S. Navy, 
and Allied Naval Cooperation, by Joel J. Sokolsky (1991). 

No. 9. The Influence of History on Mahan: The Proceedings of a Conference Marking 
the Centenary of Alfred Thayer Mahan' s "The Influence of Sea Power Upon 
History, 1660-1783," edited by John B. Hattendorf (1991). 

No. 10. Mahan Is Not Enough: The Proceedings of a Conference on the Works of Sir 
Julian Corbett and Admiral Sir Herbert Richmond, edited by James Goldrick and 
JohnB. Hattendorf (1993). 


The State of Naval and Maritime History 

Edited by 
John B. Ha t ten dor f 

Ernest J. King Professor of Maritime History 
Naval War College 

Newport. Rhode Island 


The cover illustrations are from the 

collections of the Henry Eccles Library, 

Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island 

Front: Paul Hoste, L'art des Armees Navales 

ou Traite des Evolutions Navales (Lyon, 1727). 

Back: L'art de Naviguer de M. Pierre de Medine 

Espagnol (Rouen, 1607). 

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data 

Ubi sumus?: the state of naval and maritime history/edited by John 
B. Hattendorf. 

p. cm. — (Naval War College hisotrical monograph series; no. 11) 

Includes bibliographical references 

ISBN 1-884733-04-2 

1. Naval art and science — History. 2. Naval history. 
3. Navigation — History. I. Hattendorf, John B. II. Series: U.S. 
Naval War College historical monograph series; no. 11. 
V27.U23 1994 94-34667 

359'.009— dc20 CIP 


Acknowledgements rx 

Ubi Sumus? What Is the State of Naval and Maritime 

History Today? 1 

John B. Hattendorf 
Naval War College 

1. The Ancient World 9 

Lionel Casson 

New York University 

2. Argentina 15 

Captain Guillermo J. Montenegro 
Argentine Navy, Retired 

3. Australia 23 

Commander James Goldrick 
Sub-Lieutenant Alison Vincent 
Royal Australian Navy 

4. Belgium 33 

Christian Koninckx 

President, Royal Belgian Marine Academy 

5. Britain 41 

N.A.M. Rodger 

National Maritime Museum, Greenwich 

6. Maritime History in Canada: The Social and 

Economic Dimensions 59 

Lewis R. Fischer 
Gerald E. Panting 

Memorial University of Newfoundland 

7. The Historiography of the Canadian Navy: The State 

of the Art 79 

Marc Milner 

University of New Brunswick 

8. Chile 93 

Captain Carlos Tromben, Chilean Navy 
Oficina de Historia Naval, Valparaiso 

vi Contents 

9. Denmark 103 

Hans Christian Bjerg 
Military Archives 
Rigsarkivet, Copenhagen 

10. Dominican Republic Ill 

Rear Admiral Cesar A. De Windt Lavandier 
Dominican Republic Navy Retired 
Escuela Naval, Punta Torrecilla 

11. France 115 

Herve Coutau-Begarie 

12. Germany 137 

Kapitan zur See Dr. Werner Rahn, German Navy 
Militargeschichtliches Forschungsamt, Potsdam 

13. India 159 

Captain C. Uday Bhaskar, Indian Navy 

The Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses 
New Dehli 

14. Ireland 163 

John E. de Courcy Ireland 
Dalkey, Co. Dublin 

15. Israel 169 

Meir Sas 

Israeli Nautical College, Acre 
Nadav Kashtan 

National Maritime Museum, Haifa 
Sarah Arenson 

The Man and Sea Society 

16. Twentieth Century Italy 175 

Brian R. Sullivan 

National Defense University, Washington, D.C. 

Comments on Brian Sullivan's "Twentieth Century Italy" .... 191 
James J. Sadkovich 

University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg 

Contents vii 

17. Japan 213 

Mark R. Peattie 

Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace 

Stanford University 
David C. Evans 

University of Richmond 

18. Republic of Korea 223 

Kim 111 Sang 

Naval War College 
Chung Mu Dong, Jinhae 

19. The Netherlands 227 

Jaap R. Bruijn 

Rijks Universiteit Leiden 

20. New Zealand 245 

Ian McGibbon 
Gavin McLean 

Historical Branch 

Department of Internal Affairs, Wellington 

21. Norway 253 

Captain Tore Prytz Dahl, Royal Norwegian Navy 
Sjokrigskolen, Ytre Laksevag 

22. Pakistan 263 

Commodore S. Z. Shamsie 
Pakistan Navy, Retired 

23. Peru 269 

Commander Jorge Ortiz, Peruvian Navy 
Institutio de Estudios Historico 
Maritimos del Peru 

24. Poland 275 

Jerzy Litwin 

Centralne Muzeum Morskie, Gdask 
Commander Dr. Wincenty Karawajczyk, Polish Navy 

Instytut Nauk Humanistycznych 

Akademia Marnarki Wojennej, Gdynia 

25. Portugal 295 

Commander J. A. Rodrigues Pereira, Portuguese Navy 
Academia de Marinha, Lisbon 

vlii Contents 

26. Singapore 301 

Malcolm H. Murfett 

National University of Singapore 

27. South Africa 313 

C.I. Hamilton 

University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg 

28. Spain 325 

Carla Rahn Phillips 

University of Minnesota 

29. Sweden 345 

Jan Glete 

Stockholms Universitet 

30. Chinese Maritime History in Taiwan 353 

Vice Admiral Liu Ta-tsai, Republic of China Navy, Retired 

Society for Strategic Studies 

Republic of China 
Wang Chia-chien 

National Taiwan Normal University 

31. The State of American Maritime History in the 1990s 363 

Benjamin W. Labaree 

Munson Institute of American Maritime History 
Mystic Seaport, Connecticut 

32. Mahan Plus One Hundred: The Current State 

of American Naval History 379 

Kenneth J. Hagan 

U.S. Naval Academy Museum 

Mark R. Shulman 

National Strategy Information Center 

Washington, D.C. 

33. Beyond Toddlerhood: Thoughts on the Future 

of U.S.Naval History 417 

David Alan Rosenberg 
Temple University 


I would like to thank the International Security Studies program at Yale 
University and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation for hosting the first 
Yale-Naval War College conference on naval and maritime history in June 1993. 
I am especially appreciative of the work and enthusiastic interest of Professor 
Paul M. Kennedy, Mark R. Shulman, and Anne Bitetti, who planted the seed 
for this volume. 

At the Naval War College, Commander John W. Kennedy, Barbara Prisk 
and Jim Collins played key roles in making preparations for the conference. For 
their assistance during the final editing of the papers, I am particularly grateful 
to Lieutenant-Commander J. T. Dunigan, Barbara Prisk and Commander Roger 
Lerseth in the Advanced Research Department, Pat Goodrich at the Naval War 
College Press, Ian Oliver, Carole Boiani, Jerry Lamothe and typesetters Vicky 
Florendo and Allison Sylvia in the Visual Information and Publishing Branch. 

The generous support of a donor to the Naval War College Foundation 
provided for publication of this book. 




Ubi Sumus? 
What Is the State of Naval and Maritime 

History Today? 

John B. Hattendorf 

Navigators need to ask "Where are we?" before they can ask "Where are 
we going?" Thus, the purpose of this volume is, to let naval and maritime 
historians ask "Ubi sumus?" rather than "Quo vadimus?" 

A number of specialists in the United States have been deeply concerned that 
the serious historical study of man's relationships to and activities at sea has not 
had the firm institutional support that we believe it should have. In 1985, a group 
of American scholars involved in maritime studies saw that the field was close 
to extinction in this country and they suggested a national effort to revitalize and 
to coordinate work in the field. In response to this initiative, the Council of 
American Maritime Museums established a committee on higher education to 
examine the issue. In 1989, the committee reported that public education in the 
field was disadvantaged and that there was a general lack of awareness of the field 
within the academic community. For maritime museums, the lack of academic 
training in the subject was a serious, and even a critical, issue. Many shared the 
committee's views and impressions of the situation in the United States and have 
tried to take steps toward a remedy. In the course of this, we have had little exact 
knowledge about the situation in other countries; our careful attention to them 
had been deflected by the hurdles of language and national boundaries. At best, 
we have known only what we have gained through fragmentary personal 
knowledge and our own experience in the course of individual research and 
reading. This volume is an attempt to take a step toward a broader and more 
basic analysis of the field, but in moving in this direction we are faced with a 
dilemma. It is the dilemma that nationality forces upon us. On the one hand, 
we are organized as scholars in terms of national structures, language, and 
institutions. On the other hand, our topic ranges across national borders as well 
as across standard academic boundaries. 

Council of American Maritime Museums, Report of the Higher Education Committee: Survey Results, 
Stuart M. Frank, Chairman (Sharon, Mass.: The Kendall Whaling Museum, April 1989). 

2 Introduction 

More usually than not, it is national governments, national coordinating 
groups, state-funded museums, universities and libraries, foundations and navies, 
operating within the context of one country, that provide our wherewithal. Our 
first order of business, therefore, is to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of 
maritime and naval history in terms of scholarship, scope of teaching, supporting 
organizations, publishing houses, journals, and any other way in which our 
subject organizes itself. Thus, it is appropriate to ask our initial questions in 
national terms. We have asked the contributors to this volume to answer the 
following broad questions insofar as they apply to each individual country: 

Who is teaching naval and maritime history, where is it being taught, and 
what facets of it are being taught? 

Is this being done only in naval and merchant marine academies, govern- 
ment offices, and museums, or is it being done also in universities? 

What organizations bring these studies together, or fail to: museums, 
universities, institutes, historical societies, journals? 

What are the major intellectual trends in the literature on each country's 
maritime and naval history? 

What period of history or aspects are covered best, and which are in need 
of more emphasis? 

Is there a gulf between the study of military affairs on the seas and of 
non-military maritime history? 

How do ideology and politics shape the debates about maritime and naval 

The answers to these questions provide us with a basis for our enquiry to 
proceed. Yet, in some cases, these answers are themselves not always easy to 
find. As one naval officer in an Asian country wrote, "I seem to be like Don 
Quixote since such a task does not seem to have been even attempted ever 

With a collection of responses on this series of questions, we can begin to 
compare and contrast the situation in various countries, and in that process, move 
above and beyond national boundaries, as appropriate to our subject. In doing 
this, we must see the subject of maritime and naval history more clearly. While 
we can not forget its national dimensions, we must be aware that sea history, 
maritime trade and naval rivalry touch on several nations simultaneously. At the 
same time, it is a theme that brings together a wide variety of different vantage 
points and disciplines. Within it, we find a dynamic interaction at a variety of 
levels. We can see relationships and trends between technological development 
and industry, the formation and growth of sciences, changing economic trends 

Hattendorf 3 

and financial instruments, politics, international relations, law, theories of 
economics and warfare, sociological and anthropological issues, along with 
reflections of cultural, intellectual, and religious impulses with additional 
perspectives to be found through art and literature. All of these are broad subjects 
in themselves, worthy of study in their own right, but defining them through 
their relationship to men and ships at sea provides us with a distinct series of 
related themes that we can follow over long periods of history. To my mind, 
this broad perspective justifies the academic pursuit of maritime and naval affairs 
as a subject. Lest I be misunderstood, I hasten to emphasize that the subject, as 
I see it, is not a closed category of human activity. Its academic legitimacy is to 
be found not in isolation from other types of history but in the breadth and range 
of historical interconnections which one can intelligibly make in following, over 
time, the varied developments surrounding ships, sailors, and their related 

At universities and in research institutions, it is appropriate to stress the 
academic value of our field and to discuss its state in terms of the highest historical 
scholarship. At the same time, however, there is a different level of attention to 
the subject that should not be ignored. Here, I want to draw attention to the 
importance which seamen themselves place on naval and maritime history. Their 
focus is designed to serve the maritime and naval profession. In this sense, it 
differs somewhat in emphasis and in objectives from that of the academic, while 
at the same time it shares much. In one respect, it is a means of maintaining an 
institutional memory for the organizations involved. On a larger scale, however, 
the history of a profession — for a professional within it — is clearly part of the 
specialized body of knowledge relating to its professional skills and practice as 
well as a tool for promoting the profession's special interests. 

Since the nineteenth century, navies in particular have cultivated this ap- 
proach. Naval historians such as Sir John Knox Laughton, Sir Julian Corbett, 
Captain Mahan, and Admiral Sir Herbert Richmond were certainly among the 
founding fathers of this method in the Anglo-American world. Illustrating the 
professional mode, Sir Herbert Richmond identified "three classes of individuals 
to whom an acquaintance of naval history is needful: the general public, the 
statesman, and the sea officer." 

The general public, he said, needs to understand the navy as an integral part 
of national and general history. For this audience, he stressed the need to promote 
an understanding of the Navy's role in maintaining a maritime country's security 
at sea. 

The statesman, Richmond said, needs to understand how naval power has 
been employed, applied, and even misapplied. A statesman who understands 

H.W. Richmond, "The Importance of the Study of Naval History," The Naval Review, 27 (May 
1939), pp. 201-18; quote from p. 201. The article was reprinted in The Naval Review 68 (April 1980), 
pp. 139-50. 

4 Introduction 

these issues in history, Richmond argued, "would be more capable of under- 
taking the tremendous responsibilities attached to policy, preparation and 
direction of war than one to whom naval history is a closed book." 

The sea officer will gain several things from a study of naval history. First, he 
will find an understanding of the elements of the use of sea power. From this he 
can develop a foundation upon which to build up knowledge of naval war, 
starting from a record of practical experience rather than futuristic speculation. 
The officer will find naval history a groundwork of strategical study and a mental 
stimulant that will serve as a guide to conduct. Moreover, Richmond suggested, 
a study of tactics from the age of sail could have practical value for the modern 
officer in the twentieth century, when naval weapons and equipment changed 
beyond recognition. Even though the tactics of earlier times are themselves of 
little practical use to the present, a study of them reveals "the principles of the 
use of force and human nature, which expresses itself in its methods of 
command." For the professional naval officer, the study of naval history brings 
out the need for clear thinking on a wide range of professional issues, while at 
the same time providing illustration, stimulation, and guidance to officers on the 
nature and character of naval command. 

In other words, from a professional point of view, the general public should 
know enough about the history of naval and maritime affairs to appreciate and 
to support public expenditure on current programs; the statesman, to maintain, 
guide and use it appropriately; the sea officer, to understand the nature of the 
issues he faces and to absorb the ideals of the profession. Many of these points 
are ones which a professional academic would hesitate to endorse, seeking 
instead a broader and more dispassionate understanding of the maritime dimen- 
sion in human affairs. 

This book of essays had its origin in a two and a half-day joint Yale-Naval 
War College conference held in New Haven, Connecticut, at the invitation of 
Professor Paul M. Kennedy. This conference was limited by time and resources 
to focussing on the naval and maritime history of only eight countries: Canada, 
France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the 
United States. Our thought in organizing this meeting was to have time for an 
exchange of ideas. Thus, it was convenient to limit both the size of our group 
and the number of papers presented. To encourage our discussion, we invited 
knowledgeable commentators to stir our thoughts on the issues, perhaps leading 
us in directions we had not previously examined. The countries that we chose 
for the conference are those where naval and maritime studies are highly active. 
Yet, maritime and naval history is still so specialized a field that we found 
difficulty in finding speakers and commentators for all the countries we wanted 

3 Ibid., p. 203. 

4 Ibid., p. 212. 

Hattendorf 5 

to include. At the same time, we found that the division between maritime and 
naval studies in North America was so great that many specialists were unwilling 
to cross their self-imposed boundaries. In order to get a full understanding of 
the issues involved, we doubled the representation of papers from Canada and 
the United States. 

Nevertheless, despite the practical restraints on what we could achieve, even 
in a very intense and busy conference, the papers were only the core of a larger 
project. Eight North American and European countries do not represent the 
world! To supplement our ideas, we solicited more essays, posing the same 
questions, from as many different countries as we could locate maritime and 
naval historians. Some did not respond; others, for one reason or another, were 
unable to provide essays. Reluctantly, we have had to accept the fact that we 
could not have complete representation and still publish a timely volume. Thus, 
despite the omission of so many African and Middle Eastern countries as well as 
Brazil, The People's Republic of China, Finland, Greece, Indonesia, Mexico, 
the Philippines, Russia, and Turkey, all of which have key maritime interests, 
this volume is large enough to suggest some of the main trends and issues in the 
current state of maritime and naval history. 

As we look across the scope of the present state of maritime and naval history, 
we find a variety of situations, varying from country to country. In some, there 
are only a handful of professional seamen who are doing the heroic work of 
maintaining this field of historical work. Their work tends to center in the 
professional service academies, staff colleges, or in contributions from retired 
officers and merchant mariners. In other countries, the professional seamen have 
made links with academics and with research organizations that have helped to 
raise historical standards and broaden out understanding of events at sea. In other 
places, it is the museums that have taken the lead in research and writing, as well 
is in educating the public on the historical role of sea affairs. In a few places, 
maritime and naval history has become a subject for research and courses at the 
university level. Yet, perhaps, nowhere has it reached the highest level at which 
we would like to have it. 

Overall, maritime and naval history is an area with tremendous potential for 
serious historical research, yet as a field, it often lacks methodological standards. 
Professional seamen have been the first to promote study in this area, finding it 
valuable for their own professional concerns. However, when interest in the 
field expands, too often it consists initially of only a fascination with ships or in 
some romantic notion of seafaring, rather than in broader, historical under- 
standing. In order for the general study of maritime and naval history to reach 
a higher level, its focus must break out beyond a confined, self-contained and 
self- referenced view to make links with wider events and with trends of broad, 
general interest. Indeed, the best studies in naval and maritime history, up to this 
point, are those that specifically use naval and maritime affairs as examples, 

6 Introduction 

extensions or variations of already established general themes in topics like the 
history of science and technology or economic, social, political, international or 
intellectual history. Yet, maritime and naval history affairs are more than just 
stray examples. Man's activities at sea involve complex interrelationships of many 
strands in human affairs. When seen together, they constitute a broad theme 
within general history that should be neither isolated nor ignored. The develop- 
ment, over time, in the technologies of ships, the range of the nautical sciences, 
the skills and character of seamen, form the central strands of this theme as one 
traces its interaction with other areas of human activity. 

Taken as a whole, the essays in this volume suggest both the strengths and 
weaknesses in the field of maritime and naval history. As a field, it is generally 
underdeveloped when compared to other historical topics. Nevertheless, some 
very important basic work has been done in laying the foundations for proper 
study: Significant progress has been made in establishing some key bibliographies 
and there are already available some important research guides to manuscript 
materials. Scholars have begun to publish critical editions of key documents and 
they are identifying, where available, the standard works which new research 
work can test and expand upon. Pressures from both within and without the 
maritime community are slowly opening its closed, self-referenced shell that was 
originally so valuable for early professional development. The wider contacts 
and perceptions benefit equally the modern professional seaman as well as the 
historian who wishes to observe them. In order to use them effectively, however, 
those who work in maritime and naval history must be more fully aware of 
progress that is being made toward improving methodology in the field. 

The teaching area is the least developed of all. Aside from professional 
academies which sometimes still deal with the subject only in outmoded 
hagiographic, romantic, or nationalistic styles, there are only a very a few serious 
academic courses that examine the broad historical implications of the subject. 
With a few exceptions, university courses have tended to ignore the natural 
international and comparative perspectives that maritime and naval affairs 
naturally involve. Few have attempted to deal in the alternative patterns to 
national history that such distinctive features of the subject as ocean currents and 
the pattern of maritime trade might suggest. Some of the rare academic chairs, 
designed to be filled by scholars who should be leading the teaching and work 
in the maritime and naval field at great research universities, are unfilled or 
diverted to specialists in distantly related themes. At universities, both under- 
graduate and graduate students approaching the broad spectrum of historical 
issues often entirely miss the maritime dimension. One hopes that, as methodol- 
ogy improves and more researchers and writers in maritime and naval history 

5 This is the subject of another volume of essays: John B. Hattendorf, ed., Doing Naval History: Essays 
Toward Improvement (forthcoming). 

Hattendorf 7 

demonstrate the wider dimensions of the field, they will provide the materials 
for teaching. 

Where are we with the field of maritime and naval history? It is among the 
"youngsters" in the historical profession; it is a field that needs to become more 
sophisticated. By and large, we need to improve our methodologies and 
techniques as well as to consolidate the intellectual foundations for our field. To 
do that, we have the materials at hand. The following essays, however incom- 
plete a collection, provide one basis for moving forward. These essays report 
where we are now, and with this knowledge, we can begin to look for new 
approaches and new linkages to improve the quality of future work in maritime 
and naval history. 


The Ancient World 

Lionel Casson 

The history of the sea in ancient times is a fledgling discipline. It came into 
being, strictly speaking, only in the twentieth century. To date, it has 
dealt almost exclusively with the technical aspects of ships. There are two reasons 
for this. The first is that, in this century, new disciplines were developed, such 
as archaeology, epigraphy, numismatics, art history, and, most importantly, 
marine archeology in the latter half of the century, and these have transformed 
our knowledge of the technical aspects, filling in what hitherto had been black 
holes. Inevitably, research has concentrated on these. The second reason is that, 
for the ancient world, we lack information on which to base meaningful exploration of 
larger historical aspects. 

Until the dramatic revelations of Near Eastern archaeology, for the many 
centuries prior to ca. 1000 B.C., all ancient history, not merely the history of the 
sea, was a blank. And, for the centuries after that, naval history was hindered by 
a long-standing argument concerning the oarage of ancient war galleys, while 
maritime history was hindered by widely held misconceptions that the ancients 
used only relatively small sailing ships, that they clung to the coasts, that they 
were unable to sail against the wind. 

Naval History 

The first genuinely scholarly contribution to the history of the sea was Cecil 
Torr's Ancient Ships, published in 1895, in which Torr presented all the 
information that could be gleaned from Greek and Latin writers. For maritime 
history it was a notable contribution, since it not only made clear that the ancients 
had ships of considerable size but provided details about their rig and equipment. 
Naval history, however, was another matter. The standard warship of the 

Lionel Casson, The Ancient Mariners, 2nd ed. (Princeton: 1991). A presentation for the general reader 
of the maritime aspects of ancient history from the earliest beginnings to the end of the ancient world. 

L. Casson, Ships and Seamanship in the Ancient World, 2nd ed. (Princeton: 1986). A scholarly 
presentation with full documentation of all aspects of naval technology. 

Lucien Basch, Le musee imaginaire de la marine antique (Athens: 1987). Over 1,100 figures reproduce 
almost all the representations of ships that have survived from the ancient world. 

C. Torr, Aticient Ships. (Cambridge: 1895). A reprint edition (Chicago: 1964). 


William L. Rodgers, Greek and Roman Naval Warfare. (Annapolis: 1937; reprinted 1980). A 

1 The Ancient World 

ancient world was a galley called a trieres in Greek and triremis in Latin — a trireme 
in our nomenclature. The first means "three-fitted," the second "having three 
oars," and centuries before Torr wrote, authorities had been arguing hotly over 
how this was to be understood. Most held that the tri- indicated there were three 
superimposed levels of oarsmen, and, since the evidence from written sources 
pointed in this direction, it was the view Torr followed. However, a British 
historian, W.W. Tarn, who wielded a skilled pen and was a master at polemics, 
in the early decades of this century convinced the scholarly world otherwise, 
that such an arrangement was impossible, that triremes must have had a single 
line of oars arranged in clusters of three. The problem was complicated by the 
fact that, in the fourth and third centuries B.C., ever bigger war galleys bearing 
similar nomenclature came into being, "four-fitteds," "five-fitteds," right up to 
a brobdingnagian "forty-fitted." The armchair experts of the nineteenth century, 
preferring logic to maritime reality, were convinced that, since a trireme was a 
ship with three levels of oars, the other names must embody this principle, and 
so from their drawing boards came reconstructions of ships with four levels of 
oars, ships with five levels, and so on up, monstrosities that would hardly stand 
up to a zephyr to say nothing of the rigors of a sea battle. Tarn, of course, insisted 
they were all one-level, even though this produced some meaningless arrange- 

Tarn's views reigned until 1941, when a British scholar, John Morrison, 
published a watershed article in which, exploiting not only information from 
ancient writers but also some representations that he convincingly demonstrated 
were of triremes, ended the argument: the trireme did indeed have three levels 
of oars, the uppermost of which rowed over an outrigger. The tri- referred to 
the three oarsmen in a vertical line: the oarsman in the lowest level, the oarsman 
in the middle level seated above him, and the oarsman in the topmost level seated 
more or less over the one in the middle. Four decades later, in the eighties, 
Morrison, with the aid of naval architect John Coates, directed the building of 
a replica of a trireme, the Olympias. It was launched in 1987 and put through 
trials during subsequent years with spectacular success. 

comprehensive review of the major sea battles and the strategy and tactics involved. Much of the 
presentation requires revision on the basis of the evidence that has become available since the time of 

Tarn's chief articles have been reprinted in the reprint edition of Torr, Ancient Ships. 

5 J. Morrison and R. Williams, Greek Oared Ships 900-322 B. C. (Cambridge: 1968). A fully illustrated 
study of the origin and development of the Greek war galley based on all surviving representations. 

6 J. Morrison and J. Coates, The Athenian Trireme. (Cambridge: 1986). A study of all aspects of the 
trireme — its development, construction, crews, equipment, use in battle. A chapter is devoted to the 
principles on which the building of the replica was based. 

7 J. Morrison and J. Coates, An Athenian Trireme Reconstructed: The British sea trials of Olympias, 1987. 
BAR [British Archaeological Reports] International Series, 486 (1989). A monograph that presents the 
results gained in the earliest trials. See also P. Lipke in Archaeology (March- April 1988), pp. 22-9. 

Casson 1 1 

What of the bigger ships, the "four-fitteds" and "five-fitteds" and so on? The 
ancients never went beyond three levels of oars. The best explanation of these 
galleys is that they had several men to each oar in one, two, or three levels, 
although exactly how many is a matter of guesswork. A "four-fitted," for 
example, may have had three levels with two men to the oar in the topmost and 
one each in the other two. A "nine-fitted" may have had three levels with three 
men to the oar in each, or two levels with five to the oar in the upper level and 
four to the oar in the lower. The huge "forty-fitted" was probably a catamaran, 
with three levels of multiple-rower oars in each hull (e.g., a top level of eight-man 
oars, middle level of seven-man oars, lowermost level of five-man oars). 

These huge war galleys, no doubt about it, did exist and — save for the extraor- 
dinary "forty" — were by no means display pieces but saw action in many a battle; 
they were the ancient world's equivalent of dreadnoughts. This has been put beyond 
doubt by a recent dramatic archaeological find and the solving of a mystery posed 
by an earlier find. The dramatic find was the recovery in the waters off Athlit, a 
town on the coast of Israel near Haifa, of the ram of a warship (ancient war galleys 
had a projecting forefoot which was sheathed in bronze; this, the ram as it is called, 
was the vessel's key weapon). It was a mighty casting with an overall length of just 
under seven and one-half feet and weighing somewhat more than a thousand 
pounds. The mysterious earlier find was a series of curious sockets carved in a 
retaining wall that formed part of a memorial monument set up by the Roman 
emperor Augustus to commemorate his naval victory over Mark Antony at the 
Battle of Actium in 31 B.C. The sockets were roughly graduated in size; the biggest 
was almost two meters wide and three-quarters of a meter high. We know that 
Augustus had included in the monument a display of rams removed from the enemy 
ships that had been taken. An American scholar, William Murray, noticing that the 
ram from Athlit would fit right into one of these sockets, realized that they must 
have held the rams that were displayed as trophies; they varied in size because 
they held rams from warships of different sizes. The socket nearest in size to fit 
the Athlit ram shows that this, for all its weight of one thousand pounds, must 
have come from a war galley of relatively modest size, a "four-fitted" or a 
"five-fitted"; the ram that fitted into the largest socket, three times as wide and 
proportionately bigger all around, must have been gargantuan. 

New studies have clarified how warships were manned (never by state-owned 
slaves but by free citizens or by hired rowers who were very well paid), built, 

L. Casson and J.R. Steffy, ed., The Athlit Ram. (College Station: Texas A & M University Press, 
1991). A comprehensive report on the ram found off Athlit. 

W. Murray and P. Petsas, Octavian's Campsite Memorial for the Actian War. Transactions of the 
American Philosophical Society, n.s. 79, pt. 4, (Philadelphia: 1989). Includes a detailed study of the 
sockets that held the trophy rams. 

On the manning of warships, see Casson, Ships and Seamanship (1986), chapter 13; Morrison and 
Coates, The Athenian Trireme (1986), chapter 7; Chester Starr, The Roman Imperial Navy 31 B.C.-A.D. 
324, 2nd ed. (Cambridge: 1960), chapters 3-5. 

1 2 The Ancient World 

1 1 
equipped, and maintained, as well as the organization of the major fleets, that 


of Athens in the fifth and fourth century B.C. and that of Imperial Rome in 
the first three centuries A.D. In addition, the determining of the nature of the 
oarage of ancient war galleys, together with an appreciation of their size, has 
made possible a better understanding of the nature of naval battles. 

Maritime History 

The development around the middle of this century of SCUBA diving has 
transformed our knowledge of ancient sailing ships, throwing light on critical 
areas about which we had hitherto been totally in the dark. It brought into being 
a new discipline, marine archaeology, in which archaeologist-divers locate ancient 
wrecks and dig those that repay excavation as carefully and scientifically as their 
colleagues on land dig sites. By now they have identified and studied over a 
thousand ancient wrecks, most in more or less preliminary fashion, but a few 
they have excavated completely. It soon became apparent that if a wreck had 
been carrying a cargo that could stand up to erosion, such as clay shipping jars 
or slabs of building stone or copper ingots and the like, the cargo would preserve 
from destruction the portion of the hull it lay over — and these remains have 
supplied vital information about an area which hitherto had been a blank, namely 
ancient shipbuilding. We now know that ancient shipwrights had their own 
special way of assembling a hull. They did not start with a skeleton of keel and 
frames and clothe this with planks, as has been Western practice since at least 

On equipment and maintenance, see Casson, Ships and Seamanship (1986), chapter 11, part 3, and 
chapter 16, part 2; Morrison and Coates, Tlie Athenian Trireme (1986), chapters 8-9; Morrison and 
Williams, Greek Oared Ships, chapter 8. 

B. Jordan, The Athenian Navy in the Classical Period. Classical Studies, vol. 13 (Berkeley: University 
of California Publications, 1975). A presentation of what is known about the organization of Athens' 
fleet and its administration. 

Starr, Roman Imperial Navy. A masterly study of the administration and organization of the major 
fleets based in Italy and the provincial fleets based around the Mediterranean and elsewhere. In addition, 
Starr reviews the history of each. 

On the nature of sea battles, see Morrison and Coates, The Athenian Trireme (1986), chapters. 3-5; 
Casson and Steffy, Athlit Ram, chapter 7; Murray and Petsas, Octavian's Campsite, chapter 6 on the battle 
of Actium. 

P. Gianfrotta and P. Pomey, Archeologia Subacquea (Milan: 1981). A comprehensive review of the 
techniques of marine archaeology and the nature of their findings. See also International Journal of Nautical 
Archaeology. This journal, started in 1972, specializes in the publication of articles dealing with marine archaeology. 

16 G. Bass, ed., A History of Seafaring Based on Underwater Archaeology . (London: 1972). A review of 
underwater finds in both the Old and New World. 

A. Parker, Ancient Shipwrecks of the Mediterranean & the Roman Provinces. BAR International Series, 
580 (1992). An invaluable catalogue of over 1,250 wrecks found so far, giving for each all known details 
and a comprehensive bibliography. A series of terse introductory chapters summarizes marine 
archaeology's key findings to date. 

G. Bass and F. van Doorninck, Jr., Yassi Ada. I, A Seventh- Century Byzantine Shipivreck (College 
Station: Texas A & M University Press, 1982). A comprehensive report of the results of a full-scale 
excavation of a small freighter that went down off the southwest coast of Asia Minor about A.D. 625. 

Casson 1 3 

the Middle Ages. They started with the creation of a shell of planks by fastening 
each plank to its neighbors by multiple mortise and tenon joints transfixed by 
dowels, and then strengthening the shell with the insertion of frames. The 
procedure goes back certainly to the fourteenth century B.C., and very likely 
earlier, and lasted throughout ancient times. During the best period, from at least 
the fourth century B.C. through the first A.D., the procedure was carried out with 
rigorous care: the mortise and tenons were set so closely that at times they were 
but a centimeter or so apart, the tenons fitted snugly in the mortises, each part 
above and below the seam was transfixed by a dowel to keep the joint from ever 
coming apart, and into this sturdy shell of planking was inserted a complete set 
of frames. One wreck, of a small coastal freighter that had gone down around 
300 B.C. off Kyrenia on the north shore of Cyprus, was so well preserved that 
its excavators were able to construct a full-scale replica, Kyrenia II; in a series of 
voyages it demonstrated excellent sailing qualities, including the ability to make 
good progress against the wind. Not only merchant vessels but war galleys were 
built in this fashion, as was revealed by the bow timbers that were found encased 
in the Athlit ram. 

After the second century A.D., the workmanship gradually got more careless: 
the joints were placed further apart, the tenons fitted loosely, and the frames 
were set further apart. A wreck of the seventh century A.D. clearly reveals changes 
in the direction of skeleton-first construction; a wreck of about A.D. 1025 shows 
the last step, full skeleton-first construction. 

Marine archaeologists have been busy as well in the investigation of ancient 
harbors and have provided welcome information about their shape, orientation, 
and construction. 

Europe and the British Isles 

The discovery in western Europe and the British Isles of remains of boats in 
or along lakes and rivers has supplied firsthand evidence of the craft used there 
from early times through the period of Roman domination. Finds in Britain 
reveal that as early as the second millennium B.C., skilled boatbuilders were 
constructing planked craft at least 16 m long. Finds in Europe indicate that 
boatbuilders there may have been using a form of skeleton-first construction by 
at least the first century A.D. 

On ancient shipbuilding, see Casson, Ancient Mariners (1991), chapters 3, 14; Casson, Ships and 
Seamanship (1986), chapter 10; Casson, "Greek and Roman shipbuilding: New Findings," The American 
Neptune, 45 (1985), pp. 10-9. On Kyrenia II, see Casson, Ancient Mariners (1991), p. 113 with 
bibliography, p. 227 and illustration, fig. 30. On the wreck of the 7th century A.D., see Bass and van 
Doorninck, YassiAda. On the wreck of A.D. 1025, see F. van Doorninck and J. R. Steffy in International 
Journal of Nautical Archaeology, 11 (1982), pp. 7-34; on pp. 26-8, StefFy provides a brief, but invaluable, 
survey of the gradual change in the ancients' method of shipbuilding. 

1 ft 

On harbors, see Casson, Ships and Seamanship (1986), chapter 16. 

E. Wright, The Ferriby Boats: Seacraft of the Bronze Age (London: 1990). A detailed report on the 

1 4 The Ancient World 

Sea Power 

As the above reveals, the emphasis in this century has been upon the technical 
aspects of maritime history: shipbuilding, harbor construction, naval tactics, fleet 
organization, etc. These subjects had hitherto been either totally or imperfectly 
known, and the emergence of fresh evidence provided by the newly developed 
technologies understandably gave them a leading role in scholarly research. But 
the larger historical issues have not been ignored. A recent study, following in 
Mahan's footsteps, surveys the influence of sea power on ancient history. A small 
book, it says just about all that one can currently and safely say on the subject. 

remains of several boats dating ca. 1300 B.C., including one that was 16 m long, that were found 
along the Humber River. They were made in skilled fashion of massive oak planks, bound edge to edge 
by lashings of yew withes. 

P.Johnstone, The Sea-craft of Prehistory (Cambridge, Mass.: 1980). A worldwide survey, with chapters 
1 1 and 12 dealing with the British Isles and Europe. 
20 Chester G. Starr, The Influetice of Sea Power on Ancient History (New York: 1989). 



Captain Guillermo J. Montenegro 
Argentine Navy, Retired 

he state of naval and maritime history in Argentina is characterized by two 
general features: 

First, research and publication on Argentine naval and maritime history 
has had, and still has, a strong emphasis on early nineteenth century naval 

Second, naval and maritime history has remained mainly inside the realm 
of the sea-oriented community and with only a limited projection into the 
outside world. 

There are several reasons for the preeminence of studies on early nineteenth 
century naval history: 

• A long period of Argentine noninvolvement in international wars, 
between the Wars of Independence and the War against Brazil (1810— 
1828), and ending in 1982 with the Falklands/Malvinas War. In this long 
period, the only exceptions were the Anglo-French interventions in the 
1830s and 1840s and the so-called War of the Triple Alliance, involving 
Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina against Paraguay in 1864—70. 

• A national sense of naval success in the early nineteenth century wars. 

• A very limited naval participation in the civil wars that harried Argentina 
later in the nineteenth century. 

• A very limited maritime development in the merchant marine, fishing 
and shipbuilding industries until the 1940s. 

In spite of Argentina's geographical location and strong dependence on sea 
communications, Argentineans were not, and still are not, strongly sea-minded 


people. Using Mahan's concepts, Argentina has a large, fertile territory, a 
comparatively small population, but the lack of natural harbors has worked 

1 Alfred T. Mahan, The Influence of Sea Power upon History, 1660-1783 (Boston: Little Brown & Co., 
1890), pp. 35-39. 

16 Argentina 

against a smooth, self-sustained maritime development. This has led to the navy's 
initiatives, or navy-sponsored initiatives, to try to educate the public about the 
significance of sea power. The initiative in using naval and maritime history as 
a means of giving an overall view of early Argentine naval history came from a 
civilian, Anjel Justiniano Carranza, whose four volume work was published in 
1914—16. It covered the Wars of Independence and the War against Brazil. It 
was, and perhaps still is, the main reference work on that period. Later on, 
Teodoro Caillet-Bois, a retired naval officer working on an individual initiative 
basis wrote his well-balanced summary of Argentine naval history, with some 
hints on the maritime field, covering the period from colonial times up to the 
late 1920s. A third pioneer was Hector R. Ratto, also a retired naval officer, 
who published some works on early nineteenth century naval heroes. Villegas 
Basavilbaso, a former naval officer who went into the practice of law, made an 
important contribution in a small booklet of 35 pages, putting a Mahanian touch 
on the history of the wars of Argentine Independence. In parallel with these 
efforts, the Centro Naval (Naval Club), published some firsthand accounts by 
participants in early nineteenth century wars. There was an American author, 
Lewis W. Bealer, who also made a contribution to early Argentine naval history 
by writing about the corsairs of Buenos Aires. 

The mid- 1930s also witnessed the publication of the first significant work that 
focused on late nineteenth and early twentieth century Argentine naval history: 


Los Viajes de la "Sarmiento, " depicting the twenty-nine round-the-world 
midshipmen training cruises performed by the well known square-rigger, ARA 
Presidente Sarmiento, between 1899 and 1931. 

In addition to these publications, the Naval Museum, settled in 1892 in 
downtown Buenos Aires and later moved to El Tigre, on the outskirts of Buenos 
Aires in the early 1940s, gave an increasing momentum to spread the knowledge 
of naval and maritime history. 

Besides researching, publishing, and spreading Argentine naval and maritime 
history, there was a deep interest within Argentine naval circles in foreign, 

Anjel J. Carranza, Campanas Nauales de la Republica Argentina, 4 vols. (Buenos Aires: Ministerio de 
Marina, 1914-16). 

Teodoro Caillet-Bois, Ensayo de Historia Naval Argentina (Buenos Aires, 1929). 
4 Hector R. Ratto, Hombres de Mar en la Historia Argentina (Buenos Aires: Circulo Militar, 1934); 
Hector R. Ratto, Historia de Browti, 2 vols. (Buenos Aires: Facultad, 1939). 

Benjamin Villegas Basavilbaso, La Injlueticia del Dominio del Mar en las Guerras de EmancipaciSn Argentina 
(Buenos Aires: Ministerio de Marina, 1935). 

6 Antonio Somellera, La Ultima Campana de la Guerra con el Brasil (Buenos Aires: Centro Naval, 1930); 
Memorias del Almirante Guillermo Broiim sobre las Operaciones Nauales de la Escuadra Argentina de 1814 a 
1828 (Buenos Aires: Centro Naval, 1936). 

Lewis W. Bealer, Los Corsarios de Buenos Aires (Buenos Aires: Imprenta Coni, 1937). The original 
is a Ph.D. dissertation, University of California, 1935. 

Los Viajes de la Sarmiento (Buenos Aires: Ediciones Argentinas, 1931). 

Montenegro 17 

contemporary naval history. The Russo-Japanese War and the First World War 
provided the subject for a massive amount of foreign literature which, in many 
cases, was translated and published either by the Centro Naval (Navy Club), the 
Naval War College (which was founded in 1934), or the Navy General Staff. 
In addition to purely historical works, contemporary authors dealing with naval 
and maritime strategy, such as Mahan, Corbett, Wegener, Groos, Di Giamber- 

nardino, and Castex, were also translated and published by the same naval-related 


Two main naval-related periodicals were publishing, and still publish, a 
reasonable amount of historical work. One is the Boletin del Centro Naval (Naval 
Club Bulletin), founded in 1882, which publishes primarily original works and 
is a good source of Argentine naval and maritime history, as well as foreign naval 
affairs. The second periodical is the Revista de Publicaciones Navales (Naval 
Publications Review), founded in 1902. It is published by the Navy General 
Staff and is intended primarily for reproducing translations of significant articles 
appearing in foreign periodicals. As the reader may imagine, the 1920s and 1930s 
were full of essays about the First World War (including translations of some 
chapters of Corbett's Naval Operations). 

Historical literature about the Russo-Japanese War deserves special mention. 
On the eve of the war, Argentina sold to Japan two armored cruisers that were 
being built in Italy for the Argentine Navy. The ships became HIJMS Nisshin 
and HIJMS Kasuga. Commander Manuel Domecq Garcia, senior Argentine 
officer supervising construction in Italy, traveled to Japan and was present in 
several actions, including the battle of Tsushima. Domecq Garcia wrote a 
five-volume report which was printed by the Argentine Navy as classified matter 
and distributed amongst serving officers in the mid-1 9 10s; and, it still remains 
one of the most interesting reports by a qualified, neutral witness. 

Another impulse came from the Navy League, founded in 1933, which 
worked hard to acquaint the general public with concepts such as sea power, sea 
interests, the navy itself, naval traditions and, of course, maritime history. The 

Alfred T. Mahan, Injluencia del Poder Naval en la Historia. 1660-1783, 2 vols. (Buenos Aires: Escuela 
de Guerra Naval, 1935); Alfred T. Mahan, Estrategia Naval, 2 vols. (Buenos Aires: Escuela de Guerra 
Naval, 1935); Julian S. Corbett, Algunos Principios de Estrategia Maritima (Buenos Aires: Escuela de Guerra 
Naval, 1936); Wolfgang Wegener, La Estrategia Naval en la Guerra Mundial (Buenos Aires: Estado Mayor 
General, 1935); Otto Gross, ha Doctrina de la Guerra Maritima segun las Ensehanzas de la Guerra Mundial 
(Buenos Aires: Estado Mayor General, 1935); Oscar Di Giambernardino, El arte de la Guerra en el Mar 
(Buenos Aires: Estado Mayor General, 1940); Raoul Castex, Teorias Estrategicas, 5 vols. (Buenos Aires: 
Escuela de Guerra Naval, 1938-1942). 

Julian S. Corbett, "La Batalla de Las Malvinas" (Chaps. 28 and 29 in Naval Operations, vol. 1) Revista 
de Publicaciones Navales (Buenos Aires), 440 (July-September 1937), pp. 409-43; Julian S. Corbett, "La 
Batalla de Coronel" (Chap. 25 in Naval Operations, vol. 1), Revista de Publicaciones Navales (Buenos Aires), 
441 (October-December 1937), pp. 677-91. 

Manuel Domecq Garcia, Guerra Ruso-Japonesa 1904-05, 5 vols. ([Buenos Aires: Ministerio de 
Marina], 1917). 

1 8 Argentina 

Navy League started its own periodical, Marina, in 1934, which deals with both 
naval and maritime affairs, and, given its life span, it provides an interesting record 
for prospective researchers. 

The Second World War produced a massive array of foreign naval historical 
works, but this time the Argentine Navy's participation was less significant in 
translating and publishing this literature than it was after the First World War. 
The "classic" periodicals, (i.e., Boletin del Centro Naval and Revista de Publicaciones 
Navales) kept on printing a large number of papers relating to the Second World 
War, some by Argentine authors. On the naval side, Muratorio Posse's history 
of naval operations during the war was the main work, intended primarily as a 
textbook for the Naval War College. 

The Navy-sponsored Instituto Browniano was founded in 1948. Its main task 

1 'K 

is to improve the knowledge about William Brown, his deeds and his times. 
This Institute started publishing its own periodical, Boletin del Instituto Browniano, 
in 1950. Later on, in 1953, its name was changed to Revista del Mar. The 
commemoration of the centennial of Admiral Brown's death in 1957 led to the 
creation of a Naval Historical Center. This office started a long line of publica- 
tions. Among the first we may cite a new edition of Carranza's Campanas 
Navales, as well as Burzio's Armada Nacional-Resefia Historica de su Origen y 
Desarrollo Organico and Historia del Torpedo y sus Buques en la Armada Argentina, 
Entraigas' Piedra Buena-Caballero del Mar, and Lenzi's Carlos Maria Moyano- 
Marino, Explorador y Qobernante. The Naval Historical Center not only central- 
ized historical research and publishing, but also took charge of the Navy Museum 
and two historic ships: The aforementioned ARA Presidente Sarmiento (former 
midshipmen training square-rigger) and the corvette ARA. Uruguay (a sail and 
steam-propelled vessel which rescued the Swedish Nordenskjold expedition 
from the Antarctica in 1904). 

*2 See Guillermo J. Montenegro, "Research about the History of the Second World War in Argentina" 
in Neue Forschungen zum Zweiten Weltkrieg, ed. Jiirgen Rohwer and Hildegard Muller (Koblenz: Bernard 
und Graefe Verlag, 1990), pp. 10-12. 

William Brown was an Irish Catholic who came to the Argentine service in the early 1810s and 
distinguished himself as a leader and fighter in the Wars of Independence and in the war against Brazil. 
He settled in Argentina, serving his adopted country loyally until his death. He is regarded as Argentina's 
chief naval hero. 

14 Anjel J. Carranza, Campanas Navales de la Republica Argentina, 4 vols., 2nd ed. (Buenos Aires: 
Departamento de Estudios Historicos Navales, 1962). 

Humberto F. Burzio, Armada Nacional-Resefia Historica de su Origen y Desarrollo Organico 
(Buenos Aires: Departamento de Estudios Historicos Navales, 1960); Humberto F. Burzio, Historia del 
Torpedo y sus Buques en la Armada Argentina 1874-1900 (Buenos Aires: Departamento de Estudios 
Historicos Navales, 1968); Raul A. Entraigas, Piedra Buena. Caballero del Mar (Buenos Aires: 
Departamento de Estudios Historicos Navales, 1966); Juan H. Lenzi, Carlos Maria Moyano: Marino, 
Explorador y Gobernante (Buenos Aires: Departamento de Estudios Historicos Navales, 1962). Luis Piedra 
Buena and Carlos Maria Moyano were two pioneers involved in nation-building on the Patagonia area, 
the southern tip of Argentina, during the second half of the nineteenth century. 

Montenegro 19 

Works dealing with maritime history are not so numerous as the naval ones. 
Some focus on subjects such as the merchant marine and harbors, giving 
historical information as a by-product. In this first group, we may cite works by 
Russo and Ortiz. A second group is of purely historical works, such as those 
by Pinasco, Madero, and Gonzalez Climent. 

The Naval Historical Center undertook a significant effort to commemorate 
the Centennial of the Escuela Naval Militar (Naval Academy) in 1972. Two 
major works deserve mention: Historia de la Escuela Naval Militar and Apuntes 

1 8 

sobre los Buques de la Armada Argentina. As the reader may imagine, both dealt 
extensively with late nineteenth and twentieth century naval history. The late 
1970s and early 1980s gave way to a series of works dealing with special aspects 
of twentieth century Argentine naval history. Among them were two articles 
published in German, "Latin American Dreadnoughts," by the American 
historian, Robert Scheina, as well as this author's "The Argentine Navy since 
1945,"' and Arguindeguy 's history of naval aviation. The Naval Historical 
Center started a massive work in 1980: the ten-volume Historia Maritima 
Argentina, covering both naval and maritime fields since early Spanish dis- 
coveries up to current times.. 

Among the periodicals, there are two more sources of interest to the historian. 
The first is the "Foreign Navies' Section" in the March issues of U.S. Naval 
Institute's Proceedings. This section has been published since 1980 and regularly 
carries references to the Argentine Navy. The second is Boletin de la Escuela de 
Guerra Naval, started by the Argentine Naval War College in 1969 (later on, in 
1979, its name was changed to Revista de la Escuela de Guerra Naval). In the same 
style as the U.S. Navy's Naval War College Review, it has a varying portion of its 
pages dealing with historical issues, both Argentine and foreign. Another 
broad-scope work edited by the then Director of Naval History was published 

Luis A. Russo, La Marina Mercante Argentina (Buenos Aires: Facultad de Ciencias Economicas, 1938); 
Ricardo M. Ortiz, Valor Economico de los Puertos Argentinos (Buenos Aires: Losada,1943). 

1 7 

Eduardo H. Pinasco, El Puerto de Buenos Aires: Contribucion al Estudio de su Historia 1536-1898 
(Buenos Aires: L. Lopez y Cia., 1942); Guillermo Madero, Historia del Puerto de Buenos Aires (Buenos 
Aires, 1955); Aurelio Gonzalez Climent, Historia de la Industria Naval Argentina (Buenos Aires: Astilleros 
y Fabricas Navales del Estado, 1973); Aurelio Gonzalez Climent and Anselmo Gonzalez Climent, 
Historia de la Marina Mercante Argentina, 19 vols. (Buenos Aires, 1972—74). 

1 ft 

Humberto F. Burzio, Historia de la Escuela Naval Militar, 3 vols. (Buenos Aires: Departamento de 
Estudios Historicos Navales, 1972); Pablo E. Arguindeguy, Apuntes sobre los Buques de la Armada Argentina, 
7 vols. (Buenos Aires: Departamento de Estudios Historicos Navales, 1972). 

Robert L. Scheina, "Lateinamerikanische Dreadnoughts" Marine Rundschau, 9 (1979), pp. 571-80. 

Guillermo J. Montenegro, "Die Argentinische Marine seit 1945," Marine Rundschau, 6 (1978), pp. 

Pablo E. Arguindeguy, Historia de la Aviacion Naval Argentina, 2 vols. (Buenos Aires: Departamento 
de Estudios Historicos Navales, 1980). 

' Laurio H. Destefani, ed., Historia Maritima Argentina, 9 vols, to date, vol. 10 in press (Buenos Aires: 
Departamento de Estudios Historicos Navales, 1980-1993). 

20 Argentina 

in 1984. It is essentially an illustrated summary of Argentine history, depicting 
the contemporary naval participation. 

The naval side of the Falklands/Malvinas War (1982) provided a large amount 
of British and American published works, but Argentine production has not 
been so significant. The main sources for the Argentine side of the naval war are 
several papers published by participating naval officers in Boletin del Centro 
Naval, plus Busser's book on "Operation Rosario." Other good sources 
showing an Argentine viewpoint are Scheina's article on "The Malvinas Cam- 
paign" and the chapters in his general history Latin America. In addition, volume 
10 of Historia Maritima Argentina has a chapter on the Argentine naval 
participation in the war. 

Scheina's Latin America: A Naval History gives very good coverage of twentieth 
century Argentine naval history, including the navy's intervention in Argentine 
internal politics in the mid-1950s. A recently begun project is going to fill an 
important gap in modern Argentine naval history: a history of the Naval War 
College. As mentioned before, the college was founded in 1934 and its 
development and its up and downs, have paralleled the Navy itself. 

Naval and maritime history in Argentina is taught mainly at the navy's 
academies and schools. The institutions at which it is taught are: the Naval War 
College, the Naval Postgraduate School, the Naval Academy, and four navy-run 
high schools (called "Liceos Navales" in Argentina). A word should be said about 
the focus of this teaching. Due to the fact that, with the exception of the 
Falklands/Malvinas War, there was no actual Argentine war experience during 
this century, the analysis of World War II campaigns receive a good deal of 
attention, especially at the War College and Postgraduate School level. As the 

Enrique Gonzalez Lonzieme, ed., Evocation hacia el Futuro. La Armada en la Vida de los Argentinos 
(Buenos Aires: Instituto de Publicaciones Navales, 1984). 

Luis Anselmi, "La Aviacion Naval en las Malvinas" Boletin del Centro Naval, 735 (April-June 1983), pp. 
1 17—38; Rodolfo Castro Fox, "La Tercera Escuadrilla de Caza y Ataque durante el Conflicto del Atlantico 
Sur (1982)," Boletin del Centro Naval, 734 (January-March 1983), pp. 1-9; Jorge Colombo, "Operaciones 
de aviones navales Super Etendard en la guerra de las Malvinas," Boletin del Centro Naval, 17>2> 
(October-December 1982), pp. 319—30; Carlos Molteni, "Malvinas . . . Asi lo vivi yo," Boletin del Centro 
Naval, 736 (July-September 1983), pp. 223—42; Norberto Pereiro, "La Segunda Escuadrilla Aeronaval de 
Sosten Logistico Movil. Campana Aerea en Malvinas" Boletin del Centro Naval, 739 (April-June 1984), pp. 
185—95; Miguel Pita, "Operaciones en la Guerra del Adantico Sur en 1982. Intervention de la Brigada de 
Infanteria de Marina No. 1," Boletin del Centro Naval, 739 (April-June 1984), pp. 117-54; Carlos Robacio, 
"El Batallon de Infanteria de Marina No. 5 en las Malvinas," Boletin del Centro Naval, 735 (April-June 1983), 
pp. 139—62; Cesar Trombetta, "Ocupacion de las Islas Georgjas durante el conflicto del Atlantico Sur en 
1982," Boletin del Centro Naval, 735 (April-June 1983), pp. 107-15. 

Carlos Busser, ed., Operation Rosario (Buenos Aires: Atlantida, 1984). 
26 Robert L. Scheina, "The Malvinas Campaign" USNI Proceedings, 109 (May 1983), pp. 98-117; 
Robert L. Scheina, Latin America: A Naval History, 1810-1987 (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1987), 
Chapters 14 and 15. 

"El Conflicto Armado de 1982 con Gran Bretana por las Islas Malvinas," Chapter 18 in Historia 
Maritima Argentina, ed. Laurio H. Destefani, vol. 10 in press. 

Montenegro 21 

reader may imagine, the Falklands/Malvinas War is also a principal field of study 
for those colleges. For both World War II and the Falklands/Malvinas War, the 
naval schools and colleges emphasize "the lessons," and not only "the facts." In 
recent times there has been a promising departure from this state of affairs: In 
1990, the Catholic University of Buenos Aires and the Navy League started a 
jointly sponsored, two-year postgraduate course on "Sea Sciences." One of the 
subjects of the curriculum in this course is "Naval and Maritime History" (this 
is the word-by- word translation of the actual name in Spanish). The course is 
given at the Catholic University to students who are mainly civilians. Perhaps 
this is a short step, but it is a positive one towards moving naval and maritime 
history a little closer to the academic community. 

As the reader may recognize, when approaching the end of this paper, naval 
and maritime history has remained mainly inside the realm of the sea-oriented 
community and has had a limited projection into the outside world. At the same 
time, research and publication on Argentine naval and maritime history is still 
dominated by a strong emphasis on the early nineteenth century. There is still 
a long way to go to fill the gaps in Argentine naval and maritime history, to 
integrate both of them, and to take naval and maritime history out of the 
professional, sea-oriented world and on to the general public. This is a significant 
challenge facing current and future Argentinians, as well as motivated foreign 
naval and maritime historians. 

Two main references for future researchers are: Robert L. Scheina, "Unexplored Opportunities in 
Latin American Maritime History," The Americas, XLVIII (January 1992), pp. 397-406, and Hector J. 
Tanzi, "Historiografia Naval" Chapter 15 in Historia Maritima Argentina, ed. Laurio H. Destefani, vol. 
10 in press. 


Commander James Goldrick and Sub-Lieutenant Alison Vincent 

Royal Australian Navy 

This paper aims to examine the status of naval and maritime history in 
Australia. Its scope extends not only to the research and teaching activities 
of tertiary institutions, but to work conducted under the auspices of the Royal 
Australian Navy and other government organizations, by maritime museums, 
and by societies and individuals, both professional and amateur. This survey 
highlights matters of importance rather than attempting a comprehensive 
coverage of the field and seeks to suggest the likely directions of further activity 
in the field. 

The Navy and Naval History 

The attitude of the Royal Australian Navy to historical studies tends to 
ambivalence. Although the RAN derives from the Royal Navy, and in tradition, 
organization, and culture is closely related to it, the RAN has long been 
uncomfortable with the apparent inconsistencies between much of the naval 
ethos and the developing Australian identity. This discomfort has been magnified 
by the fact that most of the active operations of the RAN were conducted on 
the basis of integration into the Royal Navy's or the United States Navy's 
operations, without a specific national identity above the level of individual ships 

About the authors: James Goldrick is a warfare specialist commander in the RAN, 
presently in charge of the Navy's warfare officer training and tactical development at 
HMAS Watson. Having earned a BA (UNSW) and MLitt (University of New England), 
he has contributed articles to a variety of journals on contemporary and historical naval 
topics. His first book, The King's Ships Were at Sea: The War in the North Sea August 
1914-February 1915, was published by the U.S. Naval Institute in 1984. Edited works 
include With the Battle Cruisers (1987), and co-editor of Reflections on the Royal Australian 
Navy (1991), and Mahan Is Not Enough (1993). Alison Vincent is a Sub-Lieutenant 
presently completing seaman officer training at HMAS Watson. She graduated BA 
(Honours) from University College of the University of NSW (the Australian Defence 
Force Academy) in 1991, her thesis being "Women are Here to Stay: The Reintroduc- 
tion of the Australian Women's Services, 1942-1955." 

24 Australia 

or small squadrons. Thus, anniversaries which could be claimed by the RAN as 
significant to its history — such as the Battle of Cape Matapan (1941), Lingayen 
Gulf (1945), or the Korean War (1951—53) — are more often seen as belonging 
to the larger navies with which the RAN operated. 

The history of the RAN has also been one of mixed success. Much of the 
Navy's effort in both wars went to trade protection work in subsidiary theaters 
which, while extremely important, was hardly glamorous or exciting. When the 
RAN was involved in first-line operations, particularly during the Second World 
War, this came at a time when naval forces were hard-pressed and heavy losses 
were experienced in holding the line against the Germans and the Japanese. 
Although there have been considerable efforts in recent years to focus the 
traditions of the Navy on events such as the sinking of the Emden and the 
successful passage by HMA Submarine AE2 of the Dardanelles in 1915, there 
remains a certain reticence on the subject. 

The other factor which has tended to overwhelm official support for naval 
history has been the deliberate concentration of the Australian War Memorial 
(AWM) on the activities of the First and Second Australian Imperial Force (AIF). 
Charged with both a memorial role and a duty as a museum and center for the 
production of the country's official war histories, the AWM was set on its path 
by the remarkable C.E.W. Bean, a journalist who was the official historian of the 
First AIF. The slant towards the Army was not unreasonable, considering the 
scale of Australia's contribution to the land conflict in both world wars, and it 
was certainly in proportion to the number of men and women involved. 

Unfortunately, the fact that the official history task went in its entirety to the 
AWM prevented the RAN — and the other services- — from developing a histori- 
cal branch in the sense understood in the United States or Canada. Competent 

1 9 

and comprehensive histories of the RAN in the First and Second World Wars 

were produced in good time, but these were commissioned works and the 
authors' formal involvement with naval historical studies ended with publication 
of their books. Since the RAN lacked the internal capacity to produce staff 
histories, there was never any development of a historical analyses section. 
Significantly, there was never any significant attempt to supplement the British 
naval staff monographs with the Australian perspective of operations in the 
Indian and Pacific Oceans. 

Small and undermanned, the Directorate of Naval History within Navy 
Office came to function as a source of information, not a center for analyses. A 
succession of historical officers became highly expert in their ability to locate 

1 A. W. Jose, The Royal Australian Navy, The Official History of Australia in the War of 1914-1918, 
series ed., Robert O'Neill, vol. 9 (St Lucia: University of Queensland Press in association with the 
Australian War Memorial, 1987). Reprint edition with minor corrections. 

2 G. Hermon Gill, Royal Australian Navy, 1939-1945, The Official History of Australia in the War 
of 1939-1945 (Canberra: Austrailian War Memorial, 1957, 1968), 2 volumes. 

Goldrlck and Vincent 25 

and distribute responses to specific questions of fact, but there were never the 
resources to do more. There were some attempts to centralize the historical 
effort within the Department of Defence, but the reality of the Directorate's 
role is now recognized by its incorporation as a section of the Directorate of 
Public Information. 

More coherent interest in historical studies began to emerge with the 
formation of the Australian Naval institute in 1975 by a group of naval officers. 
While concerned primarily with contemporary issues, the institute resulted from 
an increasing belief within the Navy that the service required the development 
of a more active intellectual life. It accompanied moves within the RAN to 
extend the nascent degree program to more junior officers and to allow more 
arts degrees within a training scheme which had hitherto naturally emphasized 
technical studies. It was in the 1970s, too, that naval history became a formal 
part of the diploma-level Creswell Course which was undertaken by career 
seamen and supply officers not chosen for degree studies. This elective within 
the course did not, however, lead to further courses, and it remained a purely 
in-house activity until the end of the diploma program a decade later. More 
recent efforts in this area fall more properly within the frame of the following 
discussion of Australian tertiary institutions. 

What did occur within the Journal of the Australian Naval Institute was the 
publication of a small but steady stream of articles with historical focus. It was 
not the articles themselves that were so greatly important, but the interest in 
history that they generated within the Service. When a Maritime Studies 
Program was created within Navy OSice under the direction of Commodore 
W.S.G. Bateman in the late 1980s, this included naval historical studies within 
its charter as part of an attempt to improve the RAN's "corporate memory." At 
the same time, the Australian Naval Institute embarked on a small oral history 
program, which is now beginning to bear fruit. 

Efforts by a number of naval officers and the support of the then Chief of 
Naval Staff in combination with the staff of the Australian War Memorial 
brought about a Naval History Seminar in 1989. This combined effort enjoyed 
international participation and the proceedings were published in 1991 . Shortly 
afterwards, a naval history workshop on the future of naval historical studies was 
staged in Sydney. 

It is too early to assess the direct results of this workshop, which canvassed a 
range of issues. The key gap that has been identified, however, is the Navy's 

Published quarterly. Membership in the Australian Naval Institute is available by writing to: 
The Secretary, Australian Naval Institute, PO Box 18, Campbell ACT 2601, Australia 

The oral history has so far concentrated on former Chiefs of Naval Staff and interviews have been 
conducted with Admiral Sir Victor Smith and Vice Admiral Sir Richard Peek. 

T.R. Frame, J.V.P. Goldrick, and P.D. Jones, Reflections on the Royal Australian Navy (Sydney: 
Kangaroo Press, 1991). 

26 Australia 

lack of a historical section that can focus not on public information services but 
on research and advice to policymakers. At the time of this writing, the subject 
remains under discussion within Navy Office. One project that is in hand is a 
history of Australian naval policy since Federation. Sponsored by the Chief of 
Naval Staff, this work is intended to provide a comprehensive treatment of the 
factors and considerations which have driven the development of policy in the 
last eighty years. 

Non-Government Organizations-— Naval 

The Naval Historical Society of Australia was incorporated in Sydney in 1968 
and included several state chapters. Formed by a band of retired officers, sailors, 
and naval enthusiasts, the Society did much to highlight interest in RAN history 
through its association with several memorials, a museum at Garden Island 
Dockyard, and the publication of a series of ships' histories, as well as a regular 
journal — the publication of which continues to this day. The early promise of 
the Society to become a focus for naval historical studies was not, however, 
fulfilled, largely because the organization remained preoccupied with the inter- 
ests of veterans and enthusiasts. Australia's small population and the great 
distances between its chapters stifled initiative for joint action. Thus, the Society 
never acquired a substantial membership and therefore lacked the funds necessary 
to realize professional standing. 

The same difficulties apply to the various naval museum ships such as the 
River-class frigate Diamantina in Brisbane and the Bathurst-class corvette 
Castlemaine in Melbourne. The small societies of enthusiasts who have done the 
remarkable work in preserving and displaying these ships are too small to conduct 
or sponsor other historical activity and their focus remains very much upon the 
ships and their crews. 

A number of efforts have been made by professional associations to produce 
histories of their branch or specialization. They, too, have suffered from a lack 
of resources. Unable to employ professional researchers or writers, these semi- 
official histories have tended to be produced in a form that is of interest only to 
association members. For the naval historian, there is much good material but 
little more than that. 

Non-Government Organizations — Maritime 

The leading organization in Australian maritime historical studies is undoubtedly 
the Australian Association for Maritime History, formed in May 1978. This body 
of over four hundred members has strong academic connections and is affiliated 
with the International Commission of Maritime History. Apart from sponsoring 

6 A history of the Radar branch has been written but not published, while the Anti-Submarine 
Officers' Association is in the course of producing a 1939-45 history of HMAS Rushcutter and the 
antisubmarine warfare branch. 

Goldrlck and Vincent 27 

many historical studies, the Association publishes the internationally circulated 
journal, Great Circle, which has achieved a sound reputation in historical circles 
and functions as the public forum for Australian maritime history, garnering high 
quality contributions from both Australia and overseas. The subject matter covers 
a wide spectrum of maritime affairs, although it has — to the chagrin of the editor, 
Dr. Gray don Henning of the University of New England — enjoyed relatively 
little support in the way of articles on Australian naval history. The Association 
publishes a quarterly newsletter and has sponsored several books, including 
Shipping Arrivals and Departures, Sydney, and the essay series, Minor Ports of 

The Association's intent, which is to improve the status of maritime history 
studies, is demonstrated by its sponsorship of a conference on "New Directions 
in Maritime History" held in Fremantle, the port of Perth, in December 
1993 — the focal point of a week of activities staged under Western Australia's 
Maritime Year 1993 program. The organizers noted that the conference "is 
proposed to provide a full coverage of all major aspects of maritime history." 

The Australian branches of the World Ship Society also deserve mention. 
This organization enjoys a healthy membership across the nation. While its focus 
is very much on the ships themselves, the Society has published a number of 
very useful monographs and represents a largely untapped source of data, both 
in the records and photographs held and in the membership itself. 

Government Organizations 

The Australian War Memorial holds responsibility for official histories and 
for the preservation and display of war relics. Official histories that address the 
naval component in the Vietnam War and the confrontation with Malaysia are 
now in the course of preparation. The bias towards the Army in the Memorial's 
displays has steadily declined, putting the roles of both the RAN and Royal 
Australian Air Force into perspective, and the Memorial sponsors naval research 
projects whenever it can. The truth is that few scholars have offered substantial 


proposals to the Memorial, and there has been little more success with amateur 


efforts, several of which have been funded. Apart from the 1989 Naval History 
Seminar, the annual history conferences of the War Memorial have enjoyed only 
very limited participation by naval historians. 

The Australian National Maritime Museum at Darling Harbour in Sydney 
was long in gestation and was also the subject of some controversy because of 
cost over-runs in the construction of the museum buildings. Since its recent 
opening, however, the museum has definitely proved to be a public success. It 

The major success has been Where Fate Calls, the book on the Voyager disaster of 1964 written by 
Tom Frame as the product of his PhD thesis at the Australian Defence Force Academy. 

Projects on the World War II career of the cruiser Australia (1985), the earlier Pioneer (1986), and 
Australia in the Boxer Rebellion (1980) have not produced concrete results. 

28 Australia 

has succeeded in producing an exhibit program that reflects a fair balance in both 
traditional and more recent historical studies and covers both naval and maritime 
issues. The museum's interest in naval matters was displayed by its support for 
the 1989 Naval History Seminar and its sponsorship of a 1992 conference on 
the Battle of the Coral Sea. Several recent publications of works on maritime 
subjects reflect the broad approach taken by the museum, which will likely 
become a center for historical work in the future. A particularly encouraging 
sign is the museum's readiness to cooperate with other government organizations 
and with bodies such as the Australian Association for Maritime History. 

Tertiary Institutions 

Maritime historical studies are in a generally healthy but limited state in 
Australia. Maritime history is quite often included as an aspect of study in 
economic, colonial, and Asian history, reflecting the nature of Australia's origins 
and environment. While few universities run complete courses, many teach 
maritime history as a component of other areas, although far fewer are active in 
naval history. 

The topics that the various history departments teach tend, naturally, to reflect 
the specialties and interests of the academics concerned, and there is wide variety 
in the approaches adopted by the six institutions, which do place emphasis on 
maritime or naval history within their teaching programs; they are the Australian 
Defence Force Academy (University College of the University of New South 
Wales) (AD FA), the Australian National University (ANU), the University of 
Sydney, the University of Western Australia (UWA), the University of New 
England (UNE) and Bond University. 

Although it has an obvious interest in defence-related subjects, ADFA attempts 
a balanced approach to naval and maritime history. In 1994, the academy's 
history department will introduce Australia's first undergraduate course on 
specifically naval history. This will be taught by Dr. Malcolm Murfett, a visiting 
lecturer from the University of Singapore and is to be a survey of the age of 
steam, covering the international naval history of the nineteenth and twentieth 
centuries. Naval history is also used as a component of politics units, notably in 
the undergraduate course on the "Politics of Australian Defence Policy." 
Postgraduate courses include several for the Master of Defence Studies program, 
such as "Seapower and Australian Society" (Dr. Anthony Bergin and Com- 
modore W.S.G. Bateman), "Australian Defence Since Vietnam" (Dr. Graeme 
Cheeseman), "Armed Forces and Society" (Dr. Hugh Smith) and "Problems in 
the History of Australian Defence and Foreign Policy" (Professor John Mc- 
Carthy). Some undergraduate courses include a component of foreign naval and 
maritime history, such as Dr. Stuart Lone's courses on Japanese and Chinese 

In the case of the latter, the museum and the AAMH are cooperating to produce an index to vessel 
illustrations within The Illustrated London Neivs in the nineteenth century. 

Goldrick and Vincent 29 

history. A purely maritime course is offered on the maritime history of Southeast 
Asia from the eighteenth to the early twentieth centuries under the tutelage of 
Dr. Charles Glynn-Daniel. 

The other universities place more emphasis on maritime history. The Univer- 
sity of New England, however, teaches some naval history components in its 
courses and will increase its coverage with the introduction of a Master of 
Defence Studies course in 1994. The University of Sydney conducts under- 
graduate courses such as "Technology and Imperialism under the Southern 
Cross" (Dr. Macleod), "The Sea and History" (Associate Professor S.M.Jack) 
and "Australia and the World" (Associate Professor Meaney), while The 
Australian National University offers "Whaling History" (H.C. Forster). At 
Bond University, Dr. Ian Cowman conducts an undergraduate course on 
"Strategic Policy in Australia's Relations," which has a naval component. 

Perhaps most prominent is the University of Western Australia, due largely 
to the energies of Professor Frank Broeze, who can fairly be described as a driving 
force in Australian maritime historical studies. Until 1988, Professor Broeze 
taught a full-year course that incorporated three areas: the British Empire, Britain 
being overtaken by the USA, and the American Empire. The course covered 
naval development and merchant shipping, set within a framework of interna- 
tional political, technological, and economic change. Due to changes in univer- 
sity rules, Professor Broeze now teaches a semester-long course on "Maritime 
Australia." This study covers a wide variety of subjects, from ports and port cities 
to overseas trade and the Australian "surf culture." 

Research and Publication 

The extent of academic research and publication within Australia is rather 
wider than indicated by the availability of undergraduate and postgraduate 
courses. In a survey of maritime history in Australia, published in the Australian 
Historical Association Bulletin in late 1990, Frank Broeze noted that the numbers 
of active researchers are increasing rapidly. Broeze suggested that Professor 
Geoffrey Blainey's book, The Tyranny of Distance (Melbourne, 1966), was 
seminal in focusing attention on the significance of the maritime element in 
Australia's development; his thorough survey of works in the field since that date 
indicates that exploration, shipping, and ports have been his primary topics. 

Broeze also suggested that "gaping holes" in both maritime and naval history 
exist in regard to social and cultural history and that much work remains to be 
done in these areas. Australian historians need to continue the limited efforts 
made so far to connect Australian maritime history with that of the greater 
Pacific, Indian Ocean, and Southeast Asian regions. 

The authors note their debt to Professor Broeze for his assistance with compilation of this paper. 

Frank Broeze, "Maritime History in Australia," Australian Historical Association Bulletin, Numbers 
64-65, October-December 1990. pp.43-53. 

30 Australia 

That research activity has increased is indicated by the fact that other journals 
in addition to Great Circle are publishing maritime material. In September 1992, 
the Australian Economic History Review published an issue entitled "Land and Sea," 
which featured five articles on shipping in Australia and New Zealand. Five 
more articles were published on maritime topics in Studies in Western Australian 

There is, however, a dearth of research in non-military academic circles into 
naval subjects. The Australian Historical Association annually prints a bulletin 
showing topics under research in universities. In 1992, there were virtually no 
naval projects listed. Perhaps the only university faculty member working in the 
field without direct professional connections to the Defence Force is Ian 

1 *K 

Cowman of Bond University, who is researching a history of the RAN. 


The distinction between professional academic publications and those of 
amateurs becomes less discernible when the focus shifts from articles to books. 
Apart from the healthy number of authors within the universities themselves, 
several retired academics continue to produce good work, and this is supple- 
mented by authors who, although not possessing formal training, are, nonethe- 
less, highly capable historians. An attempt to recite a complete history of 
maritime publications in the last two decades would necessarily be incomplete, 
but a few are worth mentioning. Professor John Bach's two books are 
important works, as is Frank Horner's study of French exploration, and 
Marsden Horden's acclaimed study on Stokes. Professor Oskar Spate com- 
pleted his three-volume history of the Pacific in 1988. Alan Frost produced 

1 R ■ 

his study on the early settlement in 1980, a work complemented by Margaret 

Steven in 1983. Tom Frame's study of the Melbourne- Voyager collision was, 

by any standards, a best-seller and is shortly to appear in paperback. Other naval 

12 Volume 13 (1992). 

Ian Cowman presented a paper at the Institute of Historical Research in London in February 1991 
entitled "Indecent Obsession: Australia's Search for a Blue Water Navy." 

John P.S. Bach, A Maritime History of Australia (Melbourne, Australia: Nelson, 1976); John P.S. Bach, 
The Australia Station: A History of the Royal Navy in the South West Pacific, 1821-1913 (Kensington, 
N.S.W.: New South Wales Univ. Press, 1986). 

F.B. Horden, The French Reconnaissance: Baudin in Australia 1801-1903 (Carlton, Vic: Melbourne 
Univ. Press, 1987). 

Marsden Horden, Mariners are Wanted! John Lort Stokes and HMS Beagle in Australia 1837-1843 
(Carlton, Vic: Melbourne Univ. Press, 1989). 
17 O.H.H. Spate, The Pacific Since Magellan (Canberra: Australian National Univ. Press, 1979-1988). 

Alan Frost, Convicts and Empire: A Naval Question 1116-1811 (Melbourne and New York: Oxford 
Univ. Press, 1980). 

Margaret Steven, Trade, Tactics and Territory (Carlton, Vic: Melbourne Univ. Press, 1983). 

T.R. Frame, Where Fate Calls: The HMAS Voyager Tragedy (Sydney: Hodder and Stoughton, 1992). 

Goldrlck and Vincent 31 
works of interest include Robert Hyslop's two volumes on naval adrninistra- 

1 00 

tion as well as Ray Jones' work, which covers the development of Australian 
naval aviation up until 1944 and which nearly constitutes a history of operational 
policy in the inter- war years. 

These scholarly books are supplemented by a number of more or less popular 
works. While the majority of academic publications within Australia are essen- 
tially maritime in nature, it is ironic that the "popular" effort tends more towards 
naval subjects, either dealing with ships or war history. The retired journalist 
Frank Walker has produced books on the Australian involvement in midget 
submarine attacks on the Tirpitz and the sinking of HMAS Armidale. Other recent 

works have dealt with subjects such as the Japanese submarine campaign against Australia 

and the disastrous battle of Savo Island. 

Enthusiasts such as Ross Gillett and John Bastock have produced a number 

of beautifully illustrated and comprehensive guides to Australian warships, useful 

reference material for any historian. This emphasis on pictorial work is a feature 

of the Australian popular scene, and, although a maritime and naval photographic 

data base has yet to be assembled, the country is particularly rich in such material. 

Facing the Future 

The striking feature of any survey of the maritime and naval historical scenes 
in Australia is the fragmentation of activity and the division between military 
and civil spheres. The Australian Association for Maritime History has done 
much good work to bring together the maritime historians, and both its work 
and that of the National Maritime Museum will continue this process. It is not 
too much to assert that maritime history is now a thriving section of the discipline 
and is gaining increasing attention. Its broad appeal will continue to draw interest 
from special interest groups ranging from economists to conservationists to 
merchant mariners. 

The difficulty will be to bring naval history into the mainstream of historical 
work. One of the obstacles to this process may be ideological; there are strong 
anti-military sentiments within much of Australian society and within intellec- 
tual circles in particular. The growth of conservation and peace organizations 
has led to increased interest in related topics, such as whaling and, for many, an 
aversion to military history as a whole. Such aversions can be overcome only if 
naval historians produce a far greater volume of substantial work than has 

21 Robert Hyslop, Australian Naval Administration 1900-1939 (Melbourne: Hawthorne Press, 1973) 
and Robert Hyslop, Aye Aye, Minister: Australian Naval Administration 1949-1959 (Canberra: AGPS, 

Ray Jones, Seagulls, Cruisers and Catapults: Australian Naval Aviation, 1913-1944 (Hobart: Pelorus, 

Denis and Peggy Warner with Sadao Seno, Disaster in the Pacific (Sydney: Allen & Unwin and 
Annapolis: U.S. Naval Institute Press, 1992). 

32 Australia 

occurred to date. The gaps in social and cultural studies which Professor Broeze 
has noted are particularly acute in the history of the Royal Australian Navy and 
efforts will have to be made to supplement the present activity, albeit limited, 
in the areas of naval policy and technical development. The process is beginning 
in a small way, largely under the auspices of the Australian Defence Force 
Academy, and there remains much to be done. Critical to this process will be 
the support that the Royal Australian Navy itself can give to historical studies. 


Christian Koninckx 

To present and comment on a survey of maritime historiography, the very 
least one needs at one's disposal is an inventory summing up, preferably 
in a methodic way, monographs, articles, and reference works. Only then does 
a first evaluation of the printed output on maritime history become possible. 
Without a minimum of quantitative data, even the slightest analysis is unthink- 
able if it is to avoid being criticized as impressionable or unscientific. In short, 
an adequate and reasoned bibliography has to be available. 

When a scientific committee was set up in November 1979 within the Royal 
Belgian Academy of Sciences to promote research into Belgium's maritime 
history, one of the most important tasks facing it was to draw up a bibliography 
of published literature relating to all aspects of shipping, with special reference 
to Belgium, from the earliest times to the present day. In so doing, the committee 
was carrying on the tradition of the series, Bibliographie de l'histoire des grandes 
routes maritimes, which had already appeared. Apart from the practical ad- 
vantages of such a bibliography to research fellows and people interested in 
maritime history in general, once completed, it would make it possible to 
determine just how far research had progressed. Gaps could be traced and future 
research could be stimulated and pushed in new directions in order to fill those 
gaps. It is perhaps not superfluous to note that a bibliography really does offer a 
possibility for evaluation, although it is all too often neglected. In addition, all 

Wetenschappelijk Comite voor Maritieme Geschiedenis van de Koninklijke Academie voor Wctenschappen 
Letteren & Schone kunsten van Belgie (Brussels). This Committee represents Belgium in the International 
Commission for Maritime History. In fact, the Committee was not the only one and even not the first 
to promote maritime historical research in Belgium. The Royal Belgian Marine Academy, founded in 
1935, includes a section for Maritime History & Archeology, which has been active since that time, if 
not the most active of the Marine Academy's five sections. 

Bibliographie de l'Histoire des Grandes Routes Maritimes, edited by Charles Verlinden: 

Tome I: Allemagne, Danemark, Frame, Pologne by H. Kellenbenz, K. Glamann, M. de la Ronciere, R. 
Herve and M. Malowist in Boletin International de Bibliografia Luso-Brasileira, vol. IX, nos. 2 and 3 (1968). 

Tome II: Etats-Unis d'Amerique by Philip Lundeberg in ibid., vol. X, no. 4. (1969) and vol. XI, no. 1, 

Tome III: Espagne, Greceby F. Perez-Emid and F. Morales Padron in ibid., vol. XIII, nos. 1 and 2 (1972). 

Tome W .Grande Bretagne by W.E. Minchinton in ibid., vol. XIV, nos. 1, 2, and 3 (1973). 

Tome V: Ocean Indien by M. Roda (Saint-Denis-de-la-Reunion, 1976). 

34 Belgium 

of us who are involved in maritime history must take advantage of the 
conclusions of workshops or seminars. 


As happens whenever a historical bibliography is compiled, a number of 
methodological problems arise. From the very beginning, one must set limits 
on the time span and geographical areas to be covered, as well as to consider the 
classification and the types of publications to be included. Where a maritime 
bibliography is concerned, one has to cope with similar methodological 
problems. Because of Belgium's general history, the case of Belgian maritime 
historiography is certainly not an easy one. 

In fact, the problem of the delimiting periods of time is very closely connected 
with the geographical frame of reference. Throughout the ages, the provinces 
constituting present-day Belgium — call them regions, if you please — have 
frequently formed part of larger political entities. However, we consider his- 
toriography as Belgian, even when it deals with history before Belgium became 
a sovereign and independent state in 1830, as a result of the Congress of Vienna 
in 1815. But this does not make it any easier to evaluate the specific role played 
by Belgians among all the activities within and contributions to the domain of 
shipping, even though they may have been "Belgians" avant la lettre. To mention 
only a few, albeit very significant examples, the "Belgian" world of shipping and 
that of these foreign powers were closely interwoven as part of the Burgundian 
empire (1419—1477), subsequently under the rule of the Austrian (1477—1555) 
and Spanish Habsburgers (1555—1716), for a long time unified with the northern 
Netherlands, later still under Austrian regime, then called Austrian or Southern 
Netherlands (1716-1795), under French domination (1796-1814), and then, 
once again united, for the last but very short time, with the Northern Netherlands 
(1815—1830), and finally, under German occupation in the two world wars. 

Consequently, it was not always possible to draw a clear distinction between 
genuinely local aspects and influences from abroad with a view to making an 
inventory of everything in print. In doubtful cases, therefore, it was wisely 
decided to include the publications. 

Regardless of the foreign rulers — in some circumstances the interpretation 
given to the term "foreign" may be open for discussion — we may not overlook 
the fact that the Belgian provinces were not always the same entities as those 
recognized today. For many a year, our provinces, or part of them, were ceded, 
removed, or annexed. While this may be of less importance regarding the 
maritime history of the inland provinces — except in the case of inland naviga- 
tion — the case is quite different with regard to the coastal areas. For example, 
one need look no further than to Zeeland Flanders and French Flanders or to 
Dunkirk in the South. The same kind of problem arises when considering the 
former colonies and overseas territories. Accordingly, the bibliography also 

Koninckx 35 

includes literature relating to these areas, including the independent Congo, 
subsequently the Belgian Congo (1909) and, from 1960, the Republic of the 
Congo (called Zaire from 1971 onwards), the mandated territories of Rwanda 
and Burundi (1923—1962), the short-lived 18th century Banquibazar factory in 
Bengal, the polar stations in Antarctica (1897— ), and so on. 

In short, literature on the whole world of ships and shipping was taken into 
consideration, so long as there was some clear relation with our part of the globe, 
either as a collective entity or through the presence of individuals from our 
regions. Because it is clear that maritime activities, in general, develop beyond 
national frontiers, there will be a great difficulty in the future in supporting the 
idea of a national historiography. 


Another methodological aspect is related to the classification of the printed 
works on maritime history. The committee classified them under thirteen 
headings, convinced that this could be done in other ways too. No classification 
can give complete satisfaction, and ours is no exception to the rule. But the 
system finally adopted is modelled partly on that used for the catalogue in the 
library of the National Maritime Museum in Antwerp, and partly on that of the 
contents of the monumental Maritieme Geschiedenis der Nederlanden (Bussum, 
1976—1979, 4 vols.). This major work stressed precisely how difficult it is to 
write Belgian maritime history without considering together the southern 
(Belgium) and northern Netherlands (Holland). 

The main headings of the bibliography are as follows: 

I. Generalities; II. Shipbuilding; III. Merchant shipping; IV. Naval shipping; 
V. Fisheries; VI. Inland navigation; VII. Ports and harbours; VIII. Seafarers; IX. 
Voyages of discovery and shipping routes; X. Navigation; XI. Maritime law; 
XII. Education — science — culture; XIII. Personalia. 

Of course, there is a measure of overlap among certain of the main sections. 
For instance, merchant and naval shipping were for a long time closely linked; 
it is only in more recent times that the distinction has become clearer. The same 
can be said of inland and oceangoing shipping proper. In former times especially, 
though it is true even today, it was not always possible to make a clear distinction 
between the two. Coastal vessels can penetrate deep into inland waterways, just 
as inland vessels occasionally sail in coastal waters. This is closely bound up with 
the type of vessel used, but also with the depth of navigable waterways and with 
the increased dredging of ship canals to allow oceangoing ships deeper into the 
hinterland. Canal-building started under Grand-Duke Albert of Austria, at the 
beginning of the 16th century, to link the major cities with the North Sea, 
circumventing Dutch obstruction of the Scheldt. 

For example, Rio Nunez in Guinea (1848-1852) and Belgian occupation forces in the Rhincland 
(FRG) from 1945 on. 

36 Belgium 

The problem of overlap is even more acute in connection with overseas 
territories. This is especially true of the Belgian Congo, since, in its dealings with 
the homeland, just about all the strongest and most important links were built 
up through maritime activity. 

Evaluation of the Maritime Historiography 

In processing the items for the bibliography, the committee discovered that 
Belgian maritime historiography has mainly focused on ports and harbours, 
accounting for close to 30 percent of the total production. This is not surprising 
perhaps, since Belgian ports have always played, as they still do, a continuing 
role in the maritime activity of the country. Even when foreign powers were 
ruling the country controlling or supervising the maritime traffic, ports and 
harbours were free to a greater or lesser extent to develop their activities. Not 
infrequently, the existence of Belgian ports, serving a wide hinterland, made 
them keenly pursued objectives if not targets. 

The bibliographic heading "Ports and Harbours" includes port policy, port 
authority, infrastructure and equipment, port activities and pilotage as well. 
Because of their important networks, inland waterways and inland ports were 
included here, too. The particular attention paid to the history of ports is not 
surprising at all, since Belgium's economy was and still is highly dependent on 
its maritime traffic and on its easy connections with neighbouring countries. 
Thanks to a favourable topography, facilitating the development of inland 
navigation on the Scheldt and the Meuse, which are linked in turn by adequate 
canals, it is possible to reach from the sea, the Ruhr in Germany, the Swiss border 
via the Rhine, and, closer to home, the coal mines in Wallonia, where the 
industrial revolution started on the Continent. It is not necessary, perhaps, to 
underline the fact that the port of Antwerp was studied in depth; but Bruges in 
the Middle Ages, Zeebrugge in more recent times, and Ghent, too, were not 
overlooked. Attention was paid to Liege, which, like Antwerp, is located at one 
of the extremities of the well-known Albert Canal, Unking the sea, the Scheldt, 
and the heavy industrial areas inland. Studies were also made of Matadi, the outer 
harbour of Leopoldville-Kinshasa, although its historiography cannot be com- 
pared with the research carried out on the metropolitan ports. 

The arguments presented to explain the interest shown by historians in ports 
and harbours are reinforced by quantifying the historiography: Studies on 
merchant shipping comprise 11.2 percent of the total, with 9.85 percent devoted 
to inland navigation. This illustrates, once more, the evidence of Belgium's 
dependence on a maritime economy, based on a well-developed network of 
inland waterways that in turn have stimulated inland navigation for two 
centuries. One can, perhaps, observe the paradox more clearly if inland naviga- 
tion is included in maritime historiography. Indeed, there are arguments for and 
against doing so. We have taken this into consideration in the present paper, 

Koninckx 37 

because the heading appears in the already mentioned bibliography, although 
personally we believe that inland navigation is not part of maritime history, in 
a strict sense, and subsequently it is hard to insert it in the framework of maritime 
historiography. It is true, as we have already pointed out, that in earlier times 
the distinction between inland and oceangoing shipping was sometimes unclear. 
But when looking at what is listed under the heading "Inland Navigation," 
focusing as it does on inland shipping during the last century, on inland shipping 
to neighbouring European countries on the Rhine and in the colonies, repre- 
senting all in all the majority of the items, we feel bound to assert that the 
terminology of maritime historiography is no longer appropriate. Once again, 
we are convinced that inland navigation would fit far more neatly into the 
framework of economic history. 

One cannot make the same remark when speaking about merchant shipping. 
It is not surprising that a large quantitiy of publications deal with shipping during 
the 19th and 20th centuries. Navigation on the Scheldt became free from 1863 
on — we recall that the Scheldt had been officially obstructed by the Dutch since 
1648 — and the gate to the seven seas opened only gradually for Antwerp. This 
development was amplified by the colonial era, starting from the end of the 19th 
century as far as Belgium is concerned. 

It is appalling, however, to note the exaggerated interest historians have 
shown in the history of the 18th-century East India Company at Ostend, called 
the Ostend Company even though its Board of Trade was located in Antwerp. 
Appalling, because this company was very short-lived. It is little wonder, then, 
that its historiography should exaggerate its significance a little, compared to the 
great East India companies, abroad. However, the Ostend Company remains 
important for the country, and the huge interest shown in it can be explained 
by the availability of sources, since the archives are still preserved. However, 
interest in this topic contributes to the fact that maritime economic historiog- 
raphy is dominant. 

Looking at the other categories of Belgian maritime historiography: ship- 
building (4.57 percent), naval shipping (4.97 percent), seafarers (4.75 percent), 
discoveries (4.88 percent), navigation techniques (4.5 percent), maritime law 
(3.9 percent), we observe that historical research seems to have been directly 
proportional (see the diagram: Belgian Maritime History). Somewhat greater 
attention has been paid to the study of fisheries (6.29 percent) and to the topic 
of education, science and culture (5.89 percent). The minor role played by 
naval history is self-explanatory due to the many foreign rulers; privateering was 
included here, also. In fact, a genuine Belgian Navy did not exist before the end 

Percentages are related to the number of publications. If not the most ideal method, the approach 
is quite valuable as offering indications. Publications published from the 19th century until the eighties 
of the 20th century were considered. 

Although we do not mention the subheadings here, all bibliographical items have been computed. 

38 Belgium 




3 90% 
ROUTES 4.88% 












of the Second World War. Concerning Belgian participation in discoveries, the 
same remark can be made; maritime history in this category is principally limited 
to the contemporary period. 

This very brief survey of Belgian maritime historiography cannot be con- 
cluded without a word about the heading "generalities," which includes such 
works as encyclopedias, reference works, dictionaries, bibliographies, inven- 
tories, catalogues, and so on; these works are the necessary tools for successful 
historical research. However, only Belgian production was taken into account 
here. We do not intend to analyse every subheading, but something has to be 
said about the inventories of records. 

Looking at these, we observe that many important record collections had 
already been inventoried, even those of foreign repositories. This is the case of 
records kept in Paris concerning Belgian maritime history, as well as in Genoa, 
Venice, Florence, and Simancas, to cite just a few examples. But limiting 
ourselves to records kept in Belgium, we have to conclude that there is still a 
great many records available. 

Nevertheless, we are inclined to state that maritime historical research has not 
made much progress in Belgium, in relation to what has been achieved in the 
Netherlands, a country of comparable size. But, it can be stressed that there is 
now a Belgium maritime bibliography, which is not yet the case in the Netherlands. 

Koninckx 39 

Perhaps, there is a lack of enthusiasm for maritime history, in general. Further, 
we have to point out the striking lack of maritime history in the programmes of 
Belgian universities and even in that of the Nautical College at Antwerp. When 
one considers scientific research in this area, it has to be said that it is very much 
limited to associations outside the universities, such as the Royal Belgian Marine 
Academy at Antwerp and the Scientific Committee for Maritime History in 
Brussels. However, the people involved are often members of both associations, 
simultaneously. In addition, there is, of course, the National Maritime Museum 
at Antwerp, housing in fact the Maritime Academy, and from which historical 


maritime research is also promoted. 

In view of these facts, it is hardly surprising that maritime history in Belgium 
is stagnating and still in its infancy. If this is a quite pessimistic view, our 
survey — and by the way, the bibliography, itself — offered the opportunity to 
make this statement. 

Since 1935, the Academy has published a yearbook dealing mainly with maritime history. 
The Committee established a series, entitled Collectanea Maritima, in which five volumes have already 
been published: 

Vol. I: Bibliography of Belgian Maritime History (Brussels, 1984), on which the present paper is based. 

Vol. II: Source Material for the History of Antwerp Shipping Particularly the England Trade 1404-1485, by 
G. Asaert (Brussels, 1985). 

Vol III: Nautisch en Hydrografische kennis in Belgie en Zaire. Historische Bijdragen (Brussels, 1987), with 
English summaries. 

Vol. IV: Bijdragen tot de intemationale maritieme geschiedenis (Brussels, 1988), with English summaries. 

Vol. V: Proceedings of the international colloquim: "Industrial Revolutions and the Sea" (Brussels, 1991). 


Nationa Scheepvaartmuseum , Antwerpen, by A. de Vos, Coll. Musea Nostra, vol. 17, (Brussels, 1989). 


N.A.M. Rodger 

The most important single fact about naval and maritime history in Britain 
today is conveyed by the awkward form of words which it is necessary to 
adopt as a title. "Naval and maritime" history is widely conceived as an amalgam 
or an uncomfortable hybrid of two distinct subjects, and not everybody would 
accept that the connections between the two are or ought to be very close. This 
seems to be a peculiarity of the English-speaking world, and it can be difficult 
to find words in English to express the unified subject of maritime history as it 
is understood in most European countries, or to translate into European 
languages the distinctions implied in English academic usage by "naval" and 
This problem of definition is the key to the present state of the subject. All 
historians can agree that in principle history is a seamless web in which every 
country, every subject, and every period is bound closely to its neighbours; but 
for the practical purposes of study in school and university, it is necessary to 
divide it. Any subject that does not form one of the accepted divisions is at risk 
of becoming fragmented if not ignored. This has been the fate of naval and 
maritime history in Britain. Probably few historians, if pressed, would actually 
deny the significance of the sea in British history, but many of them would 
assume that it belonged naturally in someone else's department. The result has 
tended to be that particular aspects of maritime history have received attention 
in circumstances that tended to isolate them. Economic historians have studied 
the history of overseas travel and fisheries, but have ignored anything to do with 
warfare. Naval historians have studied battles and campaigns but supplied very 
little historical context in which to locate them and establish their significance. 
Military historians have in theory admitted the importance of the sea in warfare, 
but in practice very often ignored it. Students of strategic studies have plundered 
the recent past for case studies without penetrating far below the surface. The 

I am very grateful for the comments and suggestions of Dr. Michael Duffy, Dr. Stephen Fisher, Dr. 
R.J.B. Knight, Dr. A.D. Lambert, Dr. H.M.Scott, Professor Geoffrey Till, and Mr. David Williams. 

French histore maritime, German Seegeschichte, Dutch Zeegeschiedenis, Italian storia marittima, Spanish 
historia marltima, all refer to the history of man's use of the sea in general; in all these languages the word 
marine or marina is not limited to the fighting service alone. 

42 Britain 

result has been that naval and maritime history, especially in universities, has 
tended to be reduced to a number of disconnected minority interests in different 
departments, often departments which themselves are regarded as peripheral to 
the main business of the university. 

In this context the breadth of the subject may be a practical disadvantage. It 
has been well said of naval history, and might be as well said of maritime history 
at large, that it is "a microcosm of national history; it is not a subject with its 
own particular technique, but an application of different subjects, each with its 
own technique, to a particular field. It has its own economic and constitutional 
history, its own legal problems and its own relations with diplomacy and politics. 
If national history may be compared to a cake, the different layers of which are 
different aspects of national life, then naval history is not a layer but a slice of the 
cake."" The breadth of the subject and the multitude of connections it has, or 
ought to have, with many areas of history, explain much of the importance and 
the excitement of the subject, but they also explain the difficulty of treating it 
in its entirety and the ease with which it can be parcelled out among many 
historians or history departments whose central interests lie elsewhere. However 
desirable it may be in theory to abolish academic demarcation lines, in practice 
there is no better way to get a neglected subject studied than to establish courses 
and departments dedicated to it. 

It is only possible to explain how and why English-speaking historians have 
come to perceive the subjects of naval and maritime history as distinct by dipping 
briefly into the history of history as a serious scholarly pursuit in Britain. For our 
present purposes we may begin exactly a century ago in 1893, with the 
foundation of the Navy Records Society, which shows most of the characteristic 
features of its time. This was a period in which history was overwhelmingly the 
record of great men and of the state; it was the history of gentlemen, for 
gentlemen. Maritime history therefore naturally became naval history, and it was 
naval history with a purpose. The founders of the N.R.S. included some 
academics, notably its moving spirit, Professor J. K. Laughton, but most of them 
were naval officers and civilians closely connected with the Navy who regarded 
naval history as directly relevant to their professional concerns. The study of 
history as a means of rediscovering the fundamental verities of naval strategy and 
tactics was a key element in the institutional and intellectual reforms which were 
then affecting the Navy. Young officers who thought seriously about their 
profession were likely to be interested in history, and they conceived of naval 
history as a source of guidance as well as inspiration, both in their own careers 
and in the reform of the Service at large. It is also probable that the foundation 
of the Society in 1893, just as Mr. Gladstone was fighting his last great political 

3 John Ehrman, The Navy in the War of William III: Its State and Direction, 1689-1697 (Cambridge: 
1953), p. xxii. 

Professor of Modern History at King's College London, formerly a Naval Instructor. 

Rodger 43 

battle to cut the Navy Estimates, was not without political intent; the former 
Conservative First Lord of the Admiralty, Lord George Hamilton, was 
prominent among its founders, and the then First Lord, Earl Spencer, whose 
sponsorship of some of the admirals' demands did so much to drive the Prime 
Minister from office, accepted the presidency. Naval history was highly relevant 
to the Navy of the day, and at times it had a radical, even subversive flavour, the 
more so as many of the naval historians came to oppose the "materiel" school 
of Sir John Fisher. They were prominent among the officers who in 1912 
founded The Naval Review "to promote the Advancement and Spreading within 
the Service of Knowledge relevant to the Higher Aspects of the Naval Profes- 
sion," and the Review continued for many years to publish historical scholarship 
of a high standard amongst papers on the current professional concerns of the 

The subject which interested these early naval historians was essentially the 
history of naval operations, often studied in close detail. Many of them — notably 


Sir Julian Corbett and the then Captain H.W. Richmond — were keenly 
concerned to trace the relationship of the Navy to strategy and diplomacy: The 
Navy as an Instrument of Policy, to use the title of one of Richmond's books. They 
were not much interested in other aspects of naval history which did not echo 
their current professional concerns, nor in the history of merchant shipping 
except as an aspect of the defence of seaborne trade. Few of them were academic 
historians, indeed there were still few teachers of history in British universities, 
but in spite of this the subject enjoyed the same high public esteem as the Navy 
itself. The Council of the Navy Records Society in the first twenty years of its 
life included King Edward VII and two royal princes, five Cabinet ministers, 
eleven peers, twenty-seven admirals, four generals, and a variety of other 
luminaries including two distinguished novelists (Kipling and Erskine Childers), 

I owe this suggestion to Dr. Michael Duffy; it is also made by W.M. Hamilton, The Nation and the 
Navy: Methods and Organisation of British Navalist Propaganda 1889-1914 (New York: 1986). 

6 The Red Earl: The Papers of the Fifth Earl Spencer 1835-1910, ed. Peter Gordon (Northamptonshire 
Record Society Vols. 31 and 34, 1981-86) II, pp. 28-32, gives the background. 

For example the studies of eighteenth-century campaigns by Commander J. H. Owen printed in the 
1930s. It still prints historical articles, but would no longer claim to be a vehicle for original historical 


Corbett's life has been written by Donald M. Schurman: Julian S. Corbett 1854-1922: Historian of 
British Maritime Policy from Drake tojellicoe (Royal Historical Society Studies in History No. 26: 1981). 
Richmond has no less than three biographies: Arthur J. Marder, Portrait of an Admiral (London: 1952); 
D.M. Schurman, "Historian in Uniform," in The Education of a Navy: The Development of British Naval 
Strategic Thought, 1867-1914 (London: 1965); and Barry D. Hunt, Sailor- Scholar: Admiral Sir Herbert 
Richmond, 1871-1946 (Waterloo, Ontario: 1982). See also, James Goldrick and John B. Hattendorf, 
eds., Mahan Is Not Enough: The Proceedings of a Conference on the Works of Sir Julian Corbett and Admiral 
Sir Herbert Richmond (Newport: 1993). 

But the few were eminent; besides Laughton, the Society's early editors included S.R. Gardiner and 
Sir Charles Firth. 

44 Britain 

two Directors of Naval Construction, two Princes of the Holy Roman Empire, 

the Secretary of the Admiralty, and the Lord Provost of Glasgow. No academic 

discipline, then or now, could boast of such social prestige. 

After the First World War naval history tended to suffer from the public's 

disenchantment with all things military. The Vere Harmsworth Chair in Naval 

history at Cambridge, endowed by Lord Rothermere in 1911, was converted 

to one of Imperial and Naval History in 1932; since then only one naval historian 

has held it, Sir Herbert Richmond, who was appointed in 1934 and was later 

elected Master of Downing College. Richmond's election was applauded by a 

previous holder of the chair as a signal that naval history would not be "pushed 

1 1 
into the background," but that is exactly what happened. In Cambridge, as 

also in Oxford and London, naval history continued to be regarded as a serious 

subject, but it was not a popular one. King's College London, which had agreed 

to found a department of naval history in 1913, was unable to find a scholar to 

1 9 
continue Laughton's interests. At the same time it ceased to be the mark of 

1 ^ 
the intellectual naval officer to engage in serious research. Richmond himself, 

who had written part of one of his most important books while commanding 

HMS Dreadnought, had no successors in this respect. The Second World War 

had surprisingly little effect in changing this. Though the importance of sea 

power had again been convincingly demonstrated, weariness and distaste for war 

was hardly less marked in 1945 than it had been in 1918. In the 1940s several 

British university historians with interests in maritime history began their careers, 

notably C.N. Parkinson and A.N. Ryan at Liverpool, but the subject could not 

be said to have established itself as a subject in British universities. It was 

characteristic of the postwar years that while some maritime or naval historians 

rose to become professors (notably John Bromley at Southampton and JCenneth 

Andrews at Hull), scholars of ability were more likely to begin their careers as 

naval historians, but to advance by moving rapidly into other areas. In 

10 John B. Hattendorf, "The Study of War History at Oxford, 1862-1990," in The Limitatiotis of Military 
Power: Essays presented to Professor Norman Gibbs on his eightieth birthday (London: 1990), pp. 3—61, at pp. 26—7. 

Hunt, Sailor- Scholar, p. 217. 
12 Ex inf. Dr. A.D. Lambert. 

1 ^ 

And not only naval officers: A.W. Tedder (the future Air Marshal) was a young official in the Colonial 
Service when he published The Navy of the Restoration (Cambridge: 1916). 
14 The Navy in the War of 1 739-48, eventually published in 1920. 

John Ehrman (The Navy in the War of William III) is a notable example, though he also abandoned 
academic life for private scholarship. Others are Professor C.J. Bartlett of the University of Dundee 
(Great Britain and Sea Power 1815-1853, Oxford: 1963), Professor H.T. Dickinson of Edinburgh 
University ("British military and naval operations: Catalonia and Valencia, 1701-11," Durham M.A. 
thesis, 1963; his Ph.D. thesis was on "Henry St. John and the Struggle for the Leadership of the Tory 
Party 1702-14," Newcastle, 1968), Professor C.S.L. Davies ("Supply services of the English armed 
forces, 1509-50," Oxford D.Phil, thesis: 1964), Professor Bernard Dietz ("Privateering in North- West 
European waters, 1568 to 1572," London Ph.D. thesis: 1959), and Professor Norman Hampson of the 
University of Newcastle-upon Tyne (La Marine de VAn II, Paris: 1952). 

Rodger 45 

Cambridge Captain S.W. Roskill, the official historian of the Royal Navy in 
the Second World War, and undoubtedly one of the most distinguished naval 
historians of this century, was offered a fellowship at Churchill College, but was 
never elected to the Harmsworth Chair for which he was so well qualified. 

The half century since the end of the Second World War has been marked 
by a rapid growth in the size and number of British universities, and an equally 
sharp decline in the size of the Royal Navy. For much of this period the study 
of warfare in any form attracted little interest in universities. The largest research 
institutions, with room for all sorts of minority interests, continued to produce 
some work, and in Oxford the Chichele Chair in the History of War sustained 
courses in military history and grand strategy which contained a naval element, 
but until the late 1960s, naval history in universities had become almost 
invisible. The period was, however, fruitful for the new subject of maritime 
history. Its practitioners were predominantly economic historians by training, 
appointed to positions in departments of economic history, and perhaps anxious 
to demonstrate the superior scientific rigour of a numerate discipline compared 
to the amiable vagueness of traditional historical scholarship. They did not feel 
they had much in common with naval history as it had generally been studied. 
Part of the problem here was that naval history was by this time being studied 
largely by people outside university departments, people who were by definition 
amateurs in the sense of not earning their living by scholarship, and also (it was 
often implied) in the sense of not matching professional standards. The deroga- 
tive implications of the term "amateur" were not entirely unjustified, for naval 
history in the postwar years did indeed fall behind the professional standards of 
the academic world, as well as losing touch with its fashions. It was until recently 
a stronghold of the nationalist and triumphalist tradition, and it was late to be 
marked by such academic fashions as social history. It is still almost untouched 
by the spread of quantitative history, in spite of the existence of sources of 
unequalled richness. This made it easier for university historians to ignore the 
subject, and contributed to generations of history books which overlooked 
maritime, and especially naval, history or accorded it brief and embarrassed 
mention before turning to more agreeable matters. Another factor here may 
have been fear of the complex technology of the sailing ship: to tackle it was to 
risk making a fool of oneself before those who understood it, and perhaps also 
to risk lowering one's status before those historians for whom real history was 
the history of high politics and policy, and who shared the traditional English 

16 John Ehrman, "Stephen Wentworth Roskill, 1903-1982," Proceedings of the British Academy, LXIX 
(1983), p. 579-94, at pp. 589-91. His deafness would admittedly have hampered him in the chair, but 
it did not stop him teaching for the History Tripos. 

17 Hattendorf, War History at Oxford. 

18 Table 1. 

46 Britain 

view that technical expertise was what distinguished the player from the 

All this continued to be true throughout the 1950s and 1960s when British 
universities were expanding and creating new posts and departments. It only 
began to change in the 1970s, and was soon overtaken by a deepening crisis in 
university finance and morale. Faced with public hostility towards students and 
their teachers, dependent for funds on a government which identified univer- 
sities as a cause of economic decline and talked seriously of closing some or even 
many of then as superfluous, academics entered a prolonged and uncomfortable 
period of change which shows no signs of ending. Among the many consequen- 
ces have been departments and whole institutions closed, merged or struggling 
for survival; a collapse of morale in some quarters; the departure of some of the 
ablest and most ambitious for early retirement or the United States; and the loss 
of a generation of younger scholars unable to enter or make a career in the 
academic world. This has meant that there has been little money to spare for 
new ideas and new subjects. University departments have devoted all their 
attention to survival, meaning in practice the survival of their existing courses. 
Always conservative and bureaucratic institutions, difficult to steer onto new 
courses, British universities have until recently been in a particularly poor 
position to respond to new intellectual currents. 

Among these has been the revival, change, and even to some extent the 
merging of naval and maritime history. By the 1980s the political climate in 
universities, following somewhat behind that of Britain as a whole, was turning 
more conservative, and both naval and military history were regaining some 
degree of respectability. The Department of War Studies established at King's 
College London in 1965 had a notable influence on military history? and in 
particular on the new theme of "war and society," which linked the hitherto 
old-fashioned world of military history with the post-war interest in social 
history. "Just as some thought war too serious a matter to be left to the generals," 
wrote Professor Geoffrey Best, 

so the history and scientific analysis of war seemed too serious a matter to be left 
to the military men and war enthusiasts who did most of the writing about it. Not 
that they had the whole of the field. The study of war has attracted, and still attracts, 
the attentions of scholars of the finest kind. But such men were to be found, no 
doubt reluctantly, in company with a huge crowd of narrower-minded writers, 
for whom "military historian" was the most complimentary title that could be 
found, military enthusiast or even war maniac often the more apposite. War and 
society studies began largely in reaction against that kind of stuff Sometimes 

It is not irrelevant to note here that books on ship design are published in Britain not by academic 
presses but by specialist houses like Conway Maritime Press or Arms and Armour Press, whose products 
are associated by publishers and much of the learned public with the world of model-makers, 
train-spotters and collectors of all sorts of memorabilia, and are not reviewed in academic journals. 

Rodger 47 

sinking to uniforms, badges and buttons, it rarely rose above campaigns and battles; 
it viewed them from the professional soldier's angle; it tended to extract the 
fighting side of war from its total historical context; and it usually meant a view 
of an army, navy or air force from within, little concerned about the nature of 
their connections with the society on whose behalf war was, nominally, being 
fought. Much might be learnt from such books about the way an army did the 
job set for it and, especially from between the lines, about the ways soldiers viewed 
themselves; little, however, about how soldiers got to be like that, and nothing at 
all about how armed forces fitted into, emerged from, and perhaps in their turn 
made impressions upon the societies to which they belonged. 

The election of Professor Michael Howard, former head of the Department 
of War Studies at the University of London, and subsequently Chichele Professor 
of the History of War at Oxford, to the Regius Chair at Oxford in 1980 did 
much to enhance the respectability of the new military history. So did the skill 
with which Sir Michael handled the History Faculty at Oxford, still on his 
election inclined to be suspicious of a former soldier. At the same time some 
university scholars, notably Paul Kennedy, were making their names in naval 
history, or at least the naval aspects of economic history and high policy. These 
trends gathered pace in the late 1980s, with substantial contributions to naval 
history by established university scholars who had made their reputations in other 
fields. During this decade the proportion of doctoral and other theses in naval 
history completed in British universities rose for the first time to a substantial 
fraction of those in "maritime" history. ~ What did not happen was any 
significant number of new appointments to university departments of scholars 
with such interests. When so few posts were being filled anyway, a department's 
major interests always took priority. The renewed vigour of the subject was 
indicated by the interest shown in it by established scholars rather than by new 
appointments. Only the King's College Department of War Studies could be 
said to have a continued, if not central concern for the subject, and in 1992 it 
appointed its first naval historian to a lectureship. By contrast, the position of 

20 "Editor's Preface" toJ.R. Hale, War and Society in Renaissatice Europe 1450-1620 (Leicester: 1985), p.7. 

It should be noted that the Regius Chair is in the gift of the Crown, not the University. 

David Loades, The Tudor Navy: An Administrative, Political and Military History (AJdershot: 1992); 
Bernard Capp, Cromwell's Navy: The Fleet and the English Revolution 1648-1660 (Oxford: 1989); Loades 
is Professor of History at the University College of North Wales, Capp is Reader in History at the 
University of Warwick; they represent the schools of Sir Geoffrey Elton and Christopher Hill 
respectively. One might also cite the eminent military historian John Terraine's Business in Great Waters: 
The U-Boat Wars 1916—1945 (London: 1989), though he has never held a university post. 

See Table 1: doctoral theses on naval subjects represented 18 percent of those in maritime history 
in general in the 1950s, 40 percent in the 1960s, and 42 percent in the 1970s and 1980s. 

Hitherto, the subject had been sustained by the volunteer and part-time efforts of two successive 
Professors from the P^oyal Naval College Greenwich, Bryan Ranft, and Geoffrey Till. It is also worth 
mentioning that on filling each of the last two vacancies in the Harmsworth Professorship, the electors 
were instructed not to ignore the claims of naval historians, though the chair was advertised in terms 
calculated to discourage them, and none was appointed. 

48 Britain 

maritime history, like that of all minority subjects in universities, tended to weaken. 
Several of its leading practitioners retired or died during the crisis years and were 
not replaced. Possibly it also suffered from a reaction against economics, by no means 
the most admired and respected academic discipline of the 1990s. The maritime 
historians had always been interested especially in the economics of trade and the 
business history of shipping firms, and had tended to see history from the perspective 
of the boardroom rather than the forecastle or the quarterdeck. They were not 
perfectly placed to profit from the post-war interest in social history. 

University historians in general, preoccupied with survival in the 1980s, were 
taken somewhat by surprise by the rise in the popularity of history as a subject among 
the general public. At the very time when professors of history were publicly 
agonising over the future of their discipline, amateur historians of every age and 
condition were tackling a remarkable range of subjects with skills ranging from the 
negligible to the sophisticated, but with an enthusiasm which some academics had 
lost for ever. One engine driving this movement was the growth of local history 
among adults, and of school "projects," often in local history, among children. 
Another was the rapid rise in genealogy, which has been the route by which many 
beginners have advanced to historical knowledge of some sort, often no more than 
antiquarianism, but in some cases attaining the level of serious scholarship. Naval 
and maritime history has certainly participated in this popular revival. One inter- 
esting symptom of public enthusiasm has been the revival of the naval historical 
novel. Originally a product of the early nineteenth century, rediscovered in the 
1940s by OS. Forester, it has become a phenomenon of modern publishing and in 
Patrick O'Brian has produced one of the best modern English novelists. 
Another symptom has been the increase in the number of maritime museums 
and of people eager to visit them. The Merseyside Maritime Museum, the 
Scottish Maritime Museum, the Royal Naval Museum, the Submarine 
Museum and Chatham Historic Dockyard are among the best-known estab- 
lished within the last twenty years, and there are many smaller institutions. 
Coupled with them has been the rapid increase in the number of historic 
ships preserved and open to the public. Where a generation ago there was 
little more than the Victory and the Cutty Sark, there are now literally scores 
of preserved ships large and small. Among the most notable recent additions 
are the Tudor warship Mary Rose, the sailing frigates Unicorn and Trincomalee 
(ex-Foudroyanf) , Brunei's Great Eastern, Scott's Discovery, the cruiser Belfast, 
the Royal Navy's first submarine Holland No. 1, and its first ironclad battleship 
the Warrior. It is still an open question whether maritime history benefitted any 
more than, say, military history, country houses, or industrial museums from the 
boom years of the 1980s, and it is already clear that there is now a serious problem 
in generating sufficient income to support the number of ships which has grown 

And museums: some of the smaller maritime museums, notably the Exeter Maritime Museum, are 
known or rumoured to be in serious financial difficulties. 

Rodger 49 

even faster than public enthusiasm, but on the most pessimistic assessment there 
is now a large public interest in maritime history which did not exist twenty 
years ago. 

Until very recently, university history departments lacked the money and the 
freedom of manouvre to respond to it. Only now is this beginning to change, 
and one reason for the change is the growing tendency for university finances 
to be to some extent "market- driven." Universities are being obliged, some 
more reluctantly than others, to recruit growing numbers of students from a 
wider range of ages and qualifications than before and to compete for them on 
a basis on the range and quality of their teaching. Specialist post-graduate courses, 
until recently unusual in British university history, are proliferating, and it is 
becoming common for departments to be credited with part of the fees they 
bring to the university by recruiting people onto their courses. This gives them 
an incentive to identify and promote popular subjects and to tap the enthusiasm 
of amateur historians with the time (and, most importantly, the money) to 
engage in serious study. Among the fruits of this new situation is the Centre for 
Maritime Historical Studies at Exeter University, established in 1991, which 
combines existing lecturers from the separate departments of Economic and 
Social History, and History and Archaeology. It is still necessary to establish a 


special institution to associate naval and maritime historians, but the early 
indications are that the Centre is drawing substantial numbers of students to its 

Maritime history is also attracting attention at other universities. At St. 
Andrew's, the Institute of Maritime Studies teaches an M.A. course in maritime 
archaeology and runs a seminar in maritime history. The University College of 
North Wales at Bangor now offers a B.A. degree in History and Marine 
Archaeology, which draws on Professor Loades's interest in naval history. The 
Economic and Social Research Council has funded two large studies of the Port 
of London by Professors Roseveare and Minchinton and Dr. Sarah Palmer of 
Queen Mary College London. But these new projects do not yet have an assured 
future, and it is not clear that departments and universities entering the field are 
doing more than balancing the loss of others. The pattern for many years has 
been of interest in maritime history generated by individual scholars, but that 
interest does not survive their departure. Southampton in Professor Bromley's 
time, Liverpool for much of the post-war period, were centres of maritime 
history and are so no longer. The same may easily happen to other universities 
and colleges, and the same observation could be made of other minority subjects, 
such as diplomatic history, whose fortunes have depended on individual scholars 
rather than established departments. Indeed there is an obvious connection 

In Exeter, as in many universities, economic and "traditional" historians are in separate departments and 

Table 2 shows this quite clearly. 

50 Britain 

between foreign policy and naval history, and a number of historians are 
prominent in the recent revival of both. Underwater archaeology has provided 
a notable intellectual stimulus to maritime history in recent years, but it has not done 
much to bridge the traditional division between historians and archaeologists, 
so that here again maritime history suffers from fragmentation. 

It is a mistake, however, to concentrate on universities alone, for much of 
what institutional support the public enthusiasm for maritime history has 
received, has come from other institutions. This has been notably the case with 
the maritime museums. The National Maritime Museum has expanded its 
activities to run a range of lectures and courses, to support research fellowships 
in naval and maritime history, and to run a (heavily over-subscribed) conference 
for new researchers in maritime history. To some extent these are intended to 
replace the major scholarly projects for which curators nowadays seldom have 
time, as well as to provide a home for serious scholarship in subjects not 
supported by university departments. Other public institutions, notably the 
Public Record OfEce and the record offices of counties and cities, have provided 
facilities for a large increase in interest in naval and maritime history. At the 
Public Record Office, where amateur historians make up more than three- 
quarters of the readers, naval and military records are the single most popular 
category of records used. Much of this use is not very sophisticated, but the 
amateur researchers, who include a significant minority of children, display an 
enthusiasm for research (and a respect for the archives) which are by no means 
universal among professionals. Moreover there is evidence that they are 
willing to explore a wider range of sources than professional historians, whose 
research tends to be confined to the record classes cited in other people's 

Public institutions concerned to train officers for either the Navy or the 
merchant service have not made a notable contribution to naval and maritime 
history. The training of merchant navy officers ashore takes place in departments 
unconnected with history, by lecturers brought up as seafarers, engineers or naval 
architects, and there are only a few who maintain a serious interest in history. 
The former Naval Historical Branch of the Ministry of Defence is too small and 
overworked to undertake scholarly projects of significance, and in recent years 
has been somewhat isolated from both academic and amateur historians. Young 
officers under training for the Royal Navy now spend only six months at the 

28 Such as Dr. Jeremy Black of Durham, Dr. Michael Duffy of Exeter, and Dr. Hamish Scott of St. 

But not necessarily with enthusiasm. 

P.R.O. statistics from the early 1980s suggest that amateur researchers consult about three times as 
many record classes as professionals, including many of value to the serious historian. 

Dr. Ian Buxton, Reader in Marine Transport at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, is a notable 

Rodger 51 

Royal Naval College Dartmouth before going to sea, and no serious attempt 
is made to cram history into a curriculum already grossly overloaded. Those 
officers who attend courses at the Royal Naval College Greenwich later in their 
career have some opportunity to make contact with naval history, but until 
recently it was unusual for them to take advantage of it. The Staff Course, 
however, has now been accredited as an M.A. degree, including options to study 
maritime history, and in this, the first year of the new course, about a score of 
officers have chosen to study some history. The Professor of History and 
International Affairs at Greenwich, a historian of repute, is now teaching a 
significant amount of history (as distinct from strategic studies) for the first time 
since his appointment. 

Outside public institutions, interest in naval and maritime history is sustained 
by several historical societies, notably the Navy Records Society, which still 
flourishes, and the Society for Nautical Research. The S.N.R. originally repre- 
sented the amateur and antiquarian interest, especially in medieval shipping, 
which the Navy Records Society did not accept as respectable, or at least useful. 
Throughout its history it has acted both as a society of (in most cases) amateur 
enthusiasts, and as a vehicle for scholarship of a high standard. It is not always 
an easy balance to achieve, and for much of the past thirty years its journal, The 
Mariner's Mirror, has not been regarded in universities as a scholarly publication 
of the first rank, but under its present editor, the quality of its articles has been 
excellent. At the same time it has not abandoned its original, not to say eccentric 
character, which has retained the loyalty of a society with a membership of over 
two thousand. Unusually, among either academic or amateur bodies, the S.N.R. 
has never accepted the division between "naval" and "maritime" history, and 
has always published material on an electric variety of "nautical" subjects and 
periods, but it is perceived by many "maritime" (meaning economic) historians 
as biased towards naval history, and this is certainly true of the interests of its 
membership. Undoubtedly the recent revival of The Mariner's Mirror owes 
something to healthy competition from the new International Journal of Maritime 

The institutional division, and consequently the weakness, of naval and 
maritime history in Britain is in contrast to the situation in many other countries, 
and it is worth mentioning contacts with other countries to illustrate aspects of 
the subject in Britain. The biennial Anglo-French Naval Historians' Conferen- 
ces, of which the fifth took place at Lorient in 1994, are now established and 
successful, but it is noteworthy that the initiative came from the French Service 

But engineer officers spend four years at R.N.C. Manadon, where they take a degree which includes 
some non-technical courses. 

33 Professor Geoffrey Till. 

Dr. Michael Duffy of the Exeter Centre for Maritime Historical Studies, who has started the practice 
of "peer-review" of articles. The Review Editor, Dr. David Starkey, is also from the same Centre. 

52 Britain 

Historique de la Marine, which has published all the proceedings so far, and that 
no public or private body could at first be found to take responsibility for 
organising them in Britain, though the Society for Nautical Research has now 
assumed the burden. Neither the Royal Navy nor any British university has 
shown interest. When the Dutch Navy organized a conference on the occasion 
of the third centenary of the 1688 revolution, British historians were invited 
and the British government was represented diplomatically, but the only 
institutional response was made possible by the generosity of a commercial 
sponsor. There appear to be no significant institutional links with maritime 
historians in Germany, Spain, or Italy, other than through the International 
Association of Maritime Museums. The Association of North Sea Societies, 
"which organises a biennial conference, provides an important connection 
between Britain, the Scandinavian countries, Germany, and the Netherlands, 
but it is largely confined to maritime historians in the narrow sense, particularly 
historians of the fisheries. The International Commission for Maritime History 
at its international level does not appear to regard naval history as forming part 
of its subject, though the British Committee (in conjunction with the S.N.R.) 
organises a lively and eclectic lecture series covering every aspect of the subject. 
In international relations, where institutional coherence matters, the picture is 
one of disorganisation and division. 

If we turn from the question of who organises research, to what subjects are 
being studied and how, we find that naval and maritime history is in many 
respects flourishing. It is true that maritime history in the narrow sense is suffering 
from a smaller university base, but it remains strong, particularly in the 
nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the periods for which the materials survive 
for economic and quantitative analysis and for business history. It has moreover 
been enriched by contact with imperial historians, who have long been interested 
in the economic causes and consequences of empire, and have lately noticed 
that it was ships which bound the British Empire together. The result has been 
some notable studies of merchant shipping in relation to wider issues. A good 

The first British conference of the series, at Portsmouth in 1 988, was organised by an ad hoc committee 
with much support from Hampshire County Council and Portsmouth City Council, but none at all 
from the Royal Navy. 

At the Koninklijke Instituut voor de Marine at Den Helder: its proceedings were published as Navies 
and Armies: The Anglo -Dutch Relationship in War and Peace 1688-1988, ed. G.J.A. Raven and N.A.M. 
Rodger (Edinburgh: 1990). 

1688: The Seaborne Alliance and the Diplomatic Revolution, the proceedings of a conference sponsored 
by Shell International Petroleum (National Maritime Museum: 1989). 
38 The last was at Aberdeen in 1993. 

Table 1 shows that the number of theses produced in maritime history has declined in recent years, 
but no more than the decline in university research in all subjects. 

For example Andrew Porter's Victorian Shipping, Business and Imperial Policy: Donald Currie, the Castle 
Line and Southern Africa (Royal Historical Society: 1986). 

Rodger 53 

deal of valuable work is being undertaken, much of it by amateurs, in the history 
of the coasting trades and fisheries. For earlier periods it is more difficult to find 
evidence for commercial shipping, but there is a long and eminent tradition of 
extracting the history of medieval shipping and overseas trade from the Customs 
Ports Books. It is particularly interesting to observe that historians of the 
sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries — a period in which it always made 
particularly little sense to distinguish naval and maritime history — are now 
treating overseas trade, exploration, piracy, privateering, and naval warfare as a 
common subject. There is still a tendency for scholars to stick to the records 
they are familiar with — the naval historians with the State Papers, the 
privateersmen with the High Court of Admiralty and so on — but the 
movement is in the right direction, and it is to be hoped that it will be imitated 
in other periods in which the academic demarcation lines have not been much 

Naval history has undoubtedly suffered from its isolation from the academic 
world, but it has at least preserved an electric variety and profited from the 
explosion of popular interest in all aspects of history. The present century, 
especially the Second World War and more recent naval wars which are within 
living memory, continue to attract immense public enthusiasm and to justify 
large numbers of publications of varying levels of scholarship. The eighteenth 
and nineteenth centuries are attracting strong interest again, especially in such 
areas as the technical history of warships, where our understanding has been 
transformed by recent research. A number of outstanding younger scholars are 
working in seventeenth century naval history. Naval administration has received 
a good deal of attention, and such important auxiliary subjects as naval medicine 
have been attacked from various directions. "The Navy as an instrument of 
policy" is once again receiving serious attention and figures prominently in 
recent books on grand strategy and diplomacy, as well as in the studies of 
economic historians interested in the relationship between Britain's maritime, 
colonial, and economic expansion. The social history of the Navy, however, 
and of seafarers in general, remains largely unexplored, and the naval and 
maritime history of the Middle Ages is very much neglected. Moreover the study 
of actual warlike operations remains much less popular than hitherto, and study 
of tactics in battle is now completely abandoned. 

Dr. Wendy Childs of Leeds University is the best-known scholar now working in this field. 

Such as H.M. Scott's British Foreign Policy in the Age of the American Revolution (Oxford: 1990). 

Notably Professor P.K. O'Brien, now Director of the Institute of Historical Research of London 

The recent publication of Brian Tunstall's Naval Warfare in the Age of Sail: The Evolution of Fighting 
Tactics 1650-1815, ed. Nicholas Tracy (London: 1990), is an apparent rather than a real exception, as 
the book was largely written in the 1930s. 

54 Britain 

A valuable collaborative work, The New Maritime History of Devon, combines 
the work of a large number of maritime and naval historians. It is particularly 
encouraging not only that it attempts to span the full width of the subject, but 
that the editors have chosen contributors from a variety of institutions and walks 
of life other than universities. Moreover, it was supported by the Leverhulme 
Trust and the British Academy as well as other national and local sponsors. This 
is one approach which evidently has the potential to heal many of the damaging 
divisions and weaknesses within the subject. It is, however, a complex, 
expensive, and unwieldy one, and not likely to be suitable for general application; 
nor does the assembling of contributions, from many hands, on everything to 
do with the sea necessarily define the subject. 

There remain many areas and periods of maritime history which have been 
neglected, but it may be suggested that the most urgent wants are less the 
coverage of neglected topics than the definition of the subject. At present, 
maritime history suffers from a lack of coherence. It is neither clearly identified 
as a discrete subject nor properly integrated into national and international 
history at large. It may seem paradoxical to suggest that a subject fragmented 
among many departments is yet not properly connected with any of them, but 
in practice it is easier to ignore a minority subject on the periphery of your own 
interests than a subject of major importance to others. If the importance of 
maritime history is to be recognized, it must be understood as forming an 
essential element in all sorts of history, but the best way of demonstrating that 
it does is to define it as a coherent subject in itself. Naval and maritime history 
would be stronger if it had more practitioners with the ability and the self-con- 
fidence to write big books, which would both define and project the subject. 
Here the lack of institutional base tells, for few historians outside universities 
(and fewer and fewer within them at present) have the time to write books on 
a grand scale. Many excellent books and articles on diverse aspects of the subject 
are being written, but we need historians able to take a large view and present 
the sweep of maritime history, both to a public hungry to read it and to the 
learned readers who need to be educated in its importance. At present journalists 
rush in where historians fear to tread, not always with happy results. In this 
connection it matters that no body in Britain giving grants for historical research, 
with the limited exception of the Leverhulme Trust, will accept applications 
from persons not holding full-time university posts. No other institution, not 

Vol. I, From Early Times to the Late Eighteenth Century, eds. Michael Duffy, Stephen Fisher, Basil 
Greenhill, David J. Starkey and Joyce Youings (London: 1992); Vol. II is not yet published. This work 
was begun before the formal institution of the Centre for Maritime Historical Studies but is closely 
associated with it. 

The contributors to the first volume are as follows: thirteen university historians, three university 
scholars of other subjects, two lecturers in other institutes of higher education, six museum staff, three 
officials of other public institutions, and five others. 

The possibility of a similar work on Cornwall is now being investigated. 

Rodger 55 

even the British Museum, is regarded as a home of respectable scholarship. 
Without financial backing, few people will have the luck or ingenuity to support 
a big book. 

It must also be said that not all historians are completely qualified to do 
so. Parochialism is a real weakness of both naval and maritime history in 
Britain, which is too often vigorous but narrow. This is a natural weakness 
in the self-taught amateur, and not as rare as it should be among people with 
an academic training. It is especially unfortunate that a subject which by its 
very nature is an international one, the history of the sea which brings men 
of different nations together in war and peace, is usually written from a 
national if not from a nationalist perspective. Though many British historians 
study the history of other countries, very few are interested in foreign 
navies. Comparative studies of one nation with another are extremely rare, 
and much published work is still more or less monoglot. " This is not a 
problem confined to Britain, or to maritime history, but it is a serious flaw 
in any sort of scholarship. 

So the state of naval and maritime history in Britain is in many respects 
vigorous and hopeful, but there remain notable weaknesses. The subject has 
never been more popular among the general public, and its inclusion in the 
new National Curriculum for English schools ought to ensure that it remains 
so. University departments that recognize and exploit this popularity ought 
to profit by doing so as well as strengthen the subject in process. At the same 
time it would be rash to ignore the existence of prejudice against it among 
academics of an older generation, meaning the generation now at the head 
of their profession. At a time when university departments are being graded 
on the quality of their research by committees of their peers, departments 
fear that exploiting vulgar popularity will earn them a low mark and lose 
them research funds. This matters, because no institutions outside universities 
are likely to be able to provide the support the subject needs if its importance 
is to be recognised. The national museums, especially the National Maritime 
Museum, are hard-pressed to cover their core responsibilities and unlikely to 
be able to increase their backing. The Navy sees almost no value in the study 
of history for its officers and is indifferent to the rise of popular interest in 
naval history, which, with imaginative handling, might do much for the 
Navy's popular constituency. Maybe the Navy's decision to participate in the 
celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic in May 

48 An exception is R.A. Stradling of the University of Wales, Cardiff, author of The Armada of Flanders: 
Spanish Maritime Policy and European War 1568-1668 (Cambridge: 1992). 

Capp's Cromwell's Navy recently offered an unfortunate example; the author was unaware of 
Hans-Christoph Junge's Flottenpolitik und Revolution: Die Enstehung der englishchen Seemacht wahrend der 
Herrschaft Cromwells (Stuttgart: 1980), which had already covered much of the same ground. 

56 Britain 

1993 marks a change of heart, but we are still very remote from any official 
support for naval or maritime history. 

Of all the desiderata, it may be suggested, the most to be wished for is 
some large books, conceived of with breadth and imagination, written with 
a skill to attract the general public, founded on scholarship which will compel 
academic acceptance, and sold too widely to be ignored. This may seem a 
tall order, but it has been done in our own day by historians, including one 
who made his name in naval history, and it could be done again. What 
maritime history needs is essentially the same as history in general needs — a 
strong scholarly base linked to wide popular interest. A good deal of that is 
in place already, but the situation will remain unsatisfactory until the subject 
is better recognized in universities. 

Table 1: University Theses by Subject, 1900-1990 


Source: A Select Bibliography of British and Irish University Theses about Maritime History, 1 792—1990, 
eds. David M. Williams and Andrew P. White, International Maritime Economic History 
Association, Research in Maritime History No. 1 (St. John's: Newfoundland, 1991). 

The figures in table 1 are for doctoral theses plus masters' theses (including 
B.Litt. and B.Phil.). In this table "Naval" includes combined operations, 
grand strategy and war planning; "Maritime" includes commercial shipping, 
overseas trade, fisheries and ports (other than dockyard ports); "Both" 
includes piracy, privateering, seaborne trade in wartime, and the connections 
between commerce, strategy, and policy. Economic geography, maritime 
law, and tourism are not included. Theses dealing with periods less than 
twenty years earlier than the date of submission have been excluded as dealing 
with current affairs rather than history. The classifications are based on the 
thesis titles and are inevitably subjective, so the figures should be taken as 
indicative only. 






1 + 1 



1 + 12 



































) Paul M. Kennedy, author of The Rise and Fall of British Naval Mastery and The Rise and Fall of the 
Great Powers. 

Rodger 57 

Table 2: Theses of Selected Universities, 1900-1990 











































Cambridge St. Andrew's Wales 
















48 29 318 128 80 13 45 

In this table the theses are those listed in table 1 from the three most prominent 
"research universities" and some others with interests in maritime history. 

Maritime History in Canada 

The Social and Economic Dimensions 

Lewis R. Fischer and Gerald E. Panting 

Canada is a nation with a significant maritime heritage. The aboriginal 
peoples who first occupied the land were overwhelmingly maritime in 
orientation. The earliest Europeans to visit the shores of the "New Found Land" 
were attracted principally by the lure of maritime resources, and they built the 
richest fishery in the world. The non-aboriginal portion of the population was 
comprised overwhelmingly of intra-continental migrants, most of whom arrived 
by sea. Until the coming of the railways in the middle of the nineteenth century, 
settlements almost always abutted water, and the penetration of the great North 
American landmass utilized the system of rivers and lakes that cut deeply into 
the continent. In the nineteenth century Canada built upon its comparative 
advantages to amass the third largest merchant fleet in the world. In the current 
century, offshore resources, especially oil, offer the promise of the latest in a 
series of resource booms that have shaped much of the Canadian experience. 

Given the importance of marine features to its history — and as one of the few 
countries in the world to border on three oceans — it might be imagined that 
maritime topics would occupy a central place in the national consciousness. Such 
an assumption, however, would be erroneous. That maritime interests have 
always been peripheral to Canadians reflects a reality similar to that in the United 
States: the main currents of our historical thought have always been concerned 
with the dramatic saga of filling what Europeans perceived to be an "empty" 
continent. As in the U.S., the North American landmass has been associated 
with progress and opportunity; the sea, on the other hand, has been a moat 
which protects us from the depravity from which our ancestors fled in the old 

world. Moreover, as a non-imperialist nation, Canadians have never seen the 


sea as a route to expansion, as have the people of many other nations. 

Canadian expansionism has assumed an economic rather than a political character. In particular, this 
has been reflected in the penetration by Canadian banks into certain parts of the Caribbean and Canadian 
resource companies into various parts of Latin America. But as a nation which has traditionally been 
more concerned with protecting its sovereignty from the American leviathan, the activities of Canadian 
businesses overseas remain virtually unknown to the majority of the population. 

60 Maritime History in Canada 

As a result, maritime history in Canada has not been blessed with a surfeit of 
public support. To make matters worse, the subject has been largely ignored in 
Canadian universities. While in part this reflects the state of public interest, much 
of the responsibility for this state of affairs rests with those who have chosen to 
study maritime subjects. Many of the questions posed by maritime historians 
have not been illuminated by mainstream scholarly ideas or debates, and a good 
deal of maritime history in Canada — as in most of the rest of the world — has 
been compromised by an unhealthy dose of antiquarianism. These characteristics 
have often made it difficult for the bulk of the historical profession to take 
maritime history seriously. 

Fortunately, there is evidence that the constraints which have prevented 
maritime history from being central to the way we think about the past are being 
overcome. A new awareness of the importance of the maritime past has been 
reflected in the past two decades by the construction of major new maritime 
museums in Halifax and Kingston, Ontario, as well as the opening of a spate of 
smaller museums elsewhere. As well, many of our more established museums, 
such as the Maritime Museum of British Columbia, are undergoing significant 
facelifts and expansions, even in a time of general fiscal restraint. Maritime 
heritage organizations and societies for marine enthusiasts grew substantially in 
the 1980s and show no signs of stagnation in the 1990s. 

The scholarly community has also been part of this ferment. A new generation 
of scholars is finally asking questions of interest to other historians, who are 
conversely beginning to comprehend the way that the fruits of maritime 
historical research can illuminate their own scholarship. These relatively new 
phenomena have led to an expansion in the number of scholars willing to identify 
themselves as maritime historians as well as to growth in the number of courses 
and programs offered. 

All of this makes us reasonably optimistic about the state of maritime history 
in the Dominion. This paper presents evidence to support this assessment. Our 
concern is with the state of non-naval maritime scholarship in Canada. Despite 
the intellectual artificiality of separating naval and non-naval maritime scholar- 
ship, as a heuristic tool this division has some justification. This is because in 
important ways the Canadian contribution to the study of the social and 
economic aspects of maritime history has been relatively greater than in many 

To refer to the non-naval side of the topic, we will generally use the term "maritime history." This 
conforms to the distinction between naval topics and the remainder of the historical study of man's 
relationship to the sea first suggested by the Robert G. Albion in his series of bibliographies; see Maritime 
and Naval History: An Annotated Bibliography (Cambridge, Mass.: 1951). This semantic convention was 
enunciated even more clearly by Robin Craig in his editorial in the first issue of the journal Maritime 
History, I (1971), pp. 1—3, and by the late Ralph Davis in his review essay, "Maritime History: Progress 
and Problems," in Sheila Marriner ed., Business and Businessmen: Studies in Business, Economic and 
Accounting History (Liverpool: 1978), p. 169. We are grateful to David M. Williams for drawing these 
references to our attention. 

Fischer and Panting 61 

other nations. While this is certainly not true if measured by the quantity of 
scholarly output, the judgement is defensible when Canadian scholarship is 
placed in international perspective. Although space does not permit us to set out 
the complete international context, a careful comparison of the Canadian 
contribution with what is described elsewhere in this volume will, we believe, 
sustain this point. 

We make no pretence in this essay to being complete, and we apologize that 
so much of importance has necessarily been omitted. Our focus is on Canadian 
scholars and scholarship, and we have little to say about maritime history in its 
more "popular" manifestations. This same caveat extends to our discussion of 
historians, university programmes, and historiography. For the most part we 
intend to focus on those areas in which we believe Canadians have made 
particularly significant contributions and to a lesser extent on areas in which 
Canada has been especially weak; we generally exclude the great middle ground 
from consideration. Likewise, we will have little to say about non-historians 
who probe the maritime past except where they have had a demonstrable 
influence on the work of historians. Although we recognize the legitimate role 
of those from other disciplines, to make the subject manageable requires us to 
sharpen our focus. 

We begin by examining the Canadian scholarly community with an interest 
in maritime history. The place of maritime history in Canadian universities is 
dealt with in the second part. The third section discusses scholarly organizations 
and journals dealing with maritime history. The final part of the paper focuses 
on some important Canadian contributions in the realm of scholarly publishing. 
Although our focus will be on scholarship about Canada written by Canadians, 
it would be parochial to ignore the contributions of non-Canadians who have 
written about this country or the achievements of those who have focused on 
the historical experience elsewhere. Because our purpose is to present a picture 
of the state of maritime scholarship in Canada today, we will limit our discussion 
in the last section to works written since the mid-1970s, with a particular 
emphasis on what has been produced in the last decade. 

Canadian Maritime Scholars 

One of the authors present has conducted several surveys in the past few years 
of Canadian maritime scholars. They are worth citing here, both as an introduc- 
tion to the Canadian maritime scholarly community and as a context in which 
to place it. In 1987 the Canadian Nautical Research Society (CNRS), the 
Canadian sub-commission of the International Commission for Maritime His- 
tory (ICMH), published a research directory in its newsletter, ARGONAUT A. A 

While the term "scholarly community" in this paper includes historians employed not only in 
universities and community colleges but also in archives and museums, we do not intend in this essay 
to discuss the state of Canadian museums and archives. 

62 Maritime History in Canada 

breakdown of the directory shows that approximately two-thirds of the scholarly 
membership had a primary focus on maritime rather than naval topics. 4 An 
analysis of an updated directory published in 1990 yielded similar results. While 
the membership of CNRS is not perfectly representative of Canadian maritime 
scholars, we estimate that about 90 percent of the historians who have made 
maritime topics a significant part of their research are included in one or the 
other of the directories. The naval to non-naval ratio underscores the relative 
importance of non-naval topics in Canada. This is in stark contrast to findings 
elsewhere. A breakdown of the U.S. membership in the North American 
Society for Oceanic History (NASOH) shows that the relationship between naval 
and non-naval scholars is almost exactly the obverse of Canada. And a published 
study of German maritime historians shows that the vast majority have naval 
rather than maritime interests. Canada is thus somewhat unique in having such 
a high proportion of maritime specialists. 

A spatial analysis of the interests of Canadian maritime scholars suggests its 
strengths and weaknesses. The largest concentrations were concerned with 
the East Coast and the Great Lakes— St. Lawrence system; together, they 
comprised the geographic foci of about two-thirds of Canadian maritime 
scholars. The Arctic and the West Coast account for almost a quarter, 
although the proportions would be higher if we included scholars interested 
in contemporary events in the Arctic and non-historians for the West Coast. 
About 10 percent of Canadian maritime scholars are interested in international 
maritime history. The international component is certainly higher than in 
most European countries, although it is not clear if it is higher than in the U.S. 
Nonetheless, it reflects a condition to which we will return later in the paper: 
the fact that some Canadian scholars have attempted to study maritime history 
in a larger, less place-specific context than is the case in many other nations. 
Not surprisingly, the largest components of this international group have been 
interested in topics such as merchant shipping and exploration. 

In a nation which by world standards has a relatively short history, it is not 
surprising that the vast majority of Canadian maritime historians have focused 
on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Those scholars who study earlier 

4 For a full discussion of the interests of members, see Lewis R. Fischer, "Maritime History around 
the World: Canada, ARGONAUTA, V, no. 2 (March 1988), pp. 2-4. The directory appeared in 
ARGONA UTA, IV, no. 4 (October 1987). For an opposing view, see Eric W. Sager, "Counterpoint," 
ARGONAUTA, V, nos. 2-3 (June-September 1988), pp. 6-7. 

5 ARGONAUTA, VII, Special Supplement (October 1990). 

This estimate is, of course, somewhat arbitrary, since maritime history cuts across a variety of other 
sub-disciplines. We make this estimate based upon our knowledge of the field rather than on any precise 
empirical criteria. 

See Rolf Walter, "Maritime History in Germany," Maritime Economic History Group Neivsletter, I, no. 
2 (September 1987). 

Fischer and Panting 63 

periods tend to be concentrated in exploration, ethno-history, and the fisheries 
of the East Coast and the St. Lawrence Paver. 

The vast majority of Canadian maritime historians writing scholarly works 
are employed in universities. Unlike in many European nations, Canadian 
maritime museums have not traditionally funded research posts only tangentially 


related to the mounting of exhibits. A similar survey taken twenty or thirty 
years ago would likely have found a larger contribution from archives, but the 
professionalization of archival work has reduced the number of historians 
employed in such repositories who are able to devote a significant amount of 
time to scholarship. Since maritime scholarship in Canada has clearly been 
concentrated in universities — and since it is in the universities that new maritime 
historians are being trained — an examination of the place of maritime history in 
academe is essential for comprehending the state of the field. 

Maritime History in Canadian Universities 

At an international congress in the mid-1980s, an informal poll was taken among 
the maritime historians in attendance concerning their training. Not surprisingly, 
the overwhelming majority indicated that their graduate preparation was in some- 
thing other than "maritime history." On one level, this is not surprising. After all, 
the techniques of business history can be applied equally well to studying a steel 
company or a shipping firm; the insights of social history are applicable to both 
landward and maritime-oriented groups; and so on. Indeed, maritime historians 
need to admit that their field has no discrete boundaries to separate it from other 
historical experiences and no particular set of insights or approaches which mark it 
as a distinct historical sub-discipline. Yet it is also true that a focus on the relationship 
between man and the sea provides a clear distinction from which to build a 
sub-discipline. Moreover, maritime history has spawned a literature which, if not 
wholly separate from other realms of history, at least contains some common 
characteristics. This suggests that it ought to be possible to develop undergraduate 
and graduate programs in maritime history and hence to produce a body of graduates 
with unique perspectives and knowledge. Such programs will of course not be 
isolated from other parts of the discipline; rather, they will borrow insights and 
approaches where necessary. 

If we accept that it is legitimate to offer programs in maritime history, we 
must also concede that Canada has been slow to develop identifiable courses and 
programs in the field. This does not make the country unique; indeed, a survey 


Although some European museum people might take exception to this characterization, it must be 
assessed comparatively. It is unquestionable that relative to conditions in North America museum 
employees in Europe (at least outside Britain) in general have more time for research. 

Another argument for providing training in maritime history is that traditional preparation, organized 
as it is for the most part around national histories, may not be the most appropriate approach for 
understanding what is, after all, one of the most international of phenomena. 

64 Maritime History in Canada 

of the state of the teaching of maritime history in most other countries would 
produce strikingly similar results. It is therefore safe to say that the majority of 
the next generation of maritime historians will be trained in more or less the 
same way as were their predecessors. 

But this will not be true for the entire new generation of Canadian maritime 
historians. The number of universities which offer regular courses in maritime 
history is increasing gradually and currently includes Dalhousie and Queen's 
University, as well as the Universities of Calgary, British Columbia, and Victoria. 
A number of others offer maritime courses on an irregular basis. But the school with 
the greatest commitment to maritime history is Memorial University of New- 
foundland, which is the only institution in North America to offer a regular program 

of both undergraduate and graduate courses in the field. Indeed, to our knowledge, 

1 n 
only the University of Leiden in the Netherlands offers comparable training. 

Memorial's core undergraduate program is not all-inclusive. Instead, it focuses 
on the maritime history of the North Atlantic since 1450. In addition, there are 
a series of advanced seminars in specific aspects of maritime history and a variety 
of supplemental cognate courses. On the graduate level, Memorial offers a series 
of seminars leading to both the MA and PhD degrees. Since the program is 
relatively new, it is too early to judge its success with any degree of confidence. 
But it does represent an acceptance of the significant role that maritime history 
has to play in the training of undergraduate and graduate students. 

In early 1991 we did a survey of graduate theses currently in progress in maritime 
history at Canadian universities. To compile this overview, we contacted every 
director of graduate history programs at all Canadian universities. Although some 
failed to respond, most did. At the time there were seventeen theses underway, nine 
of which were on non-naval topics. Of the latter group, six were being pursued at 
Memorial (four PhDs and two MAs); the others were being written at the 
Universities of Guelph, New Brunswick, and York. 

It is clear that regardless of how the Memorial program evolves, many (and 
perhaps most) future Canadian maritime historians will be trained in traditional 
ways. Basically, this means that they will write maritime theses at a variety of 
universities. Although many will be supervised by maritime historians, they will 
not be trained specifically in maritime history. 

Canadian Maritime History Organizations and Journals 

In most nations in which maritime history has a reasonably high profile, there 
are a variety of organizations to encourage and promote its study. Many such 

10 In the U.S., the Williams College program may develop similarly, as may East Carolina's program, 
if that school is ever granted approval to offer the PhD. Texas A&M offers a similarly comprehensive 
program in nautical archaeology. 

11 The graduate student research directories appeared in ARGONAUTA, VIII, No. 1 (January 1991) 
and no. 2 (April 1991). 

Fischer and Panting 65 

groups, such as the World Ship Society and the Steamboat Historical Society, 
are unabashedly popular in orientation, providing a home for enthusiasts and 
only occasionally promoting what we recognize as scholarship. Others, such as 
the Society for Nautical Research (SNR) in Britain, are umbrella organizations 
which cater to both enthusiasts and scholars. There are relatively few maritime 
organizations which are devoted solely to scholarly work. 

Canada has some of each type of organization. Those that have enjoyed the 
most rapid growth in the past two decades are almost certainly the support groups 
which have evolved around maritime museums and heritage societies. While 
they deserve recognition for the important work they have done in helping to 
alter the public consciousness, their accomplishments fall outside the purview 
of this paper. In keeping with the focus enunciated in the introduction, we 
would like to concentrate here on the second two categories. 

Canada's equivalent to the SNR, or to NASOH in the U.S., is the Canadian 

Nautical Research Society (CNRS), which is also the Canadian national commission 

1 9 
of the International Commission for Maritime History. Current membership is 

approximately three hundred, about one-third of whom are actively engaged in 
scholarly research and writing. While CNRS is far from the largest of the twenty- 
three national commissions that comprise ICMH, a reflection of its success is that it 

has roughly twice the membership of NASOH, although Canada's population is 

1 ^ 
only one-tenth that of the United States. CNRS seeks to promote interest in 

maritime history through an annual conference, a series of awards for books and 
articles to honour excellence in Canadian maritime history, and by publishing both 
a quarterly newsletter, ARGONAUTA, and a quarterly scholarly journal, The 
Northern Mariner /Le Marin du nord. CNRS members also frequently are members 
of other marine organizations, although the goals of many of these societies tend to 
be popular rather than scholarly. Many Canadian maritime historians are also 
members of NASOH. Indeed, NASOH's immediate past president, Barry Gough, 
is a distinguished Canadian maritime historian. 

To achieve its goal of promoting Canadian maritime scholarship, the publi- 
cation of The Northern Mariner /Le Marin du nord is probably the most significant 
activity of CNRS. TNM/LMN, which began in 1991, accepts both naval and 
maritime articles. Its first ten issues have contained a variety of essays on maritime 
historical subjects, including Canadian whaling, fishing, harbour development, 
shipbuilding, merchant shipping, and the Arctic. Especially significant has been 

Like CNRS, NASOH is a national commission affiliated with ICMH. SNR, on the other hand, is 
not the British national commission. 

1 "\ 

Lest the comparison prove offensive, we should admit that about 10 percent of the CNRS 
membership is drawn from abroad, with the U.S. providing the largest component. But it is also the 
case, as we suggest below, that many Canadians are members of NASOH. 

Both of these publications are published at Memorial University of Newfoundland and edited by 
Lewis R. Fischer, Gerald E. Panting, and Olaf U. Janzen. 

66 Maritime History in Canada 

the development of what is arguably the most comprehensive maritime book 
review section in the world. TNM/LMN has been averaging about sixty reviews 
per issue; its policy is to attempt to review all books on Canadian maritime 
history and the most important volumes published elsewhere, including a 
number written in languages other than English. 

Also important for promoting the scholarly study of Canada's maritime past 
are the Keith Matthews Awards, presented annually to the best book and best 
article either on a Canadian marine subject or by a Canadian on a foreign topic. 
There are also honourable mentions awarded at the discretion of the committee. 
The book award, which was inaugurated in 1984, has gone to non-naval books 
about half the time. The article award, which began in 1985, has been dominated 
by non-naval essays. 

Canada also occupies a key role in the umbrella organization of which CNRS 
is a part, the International Commission for Maritime History. The Secretary- 
General of ICMH is currently Canadian, which means that the secretariat of the 
largest international maritime and naval organization is in Canada. ICMH's 
newsletter, ICMHNews, is edited at Memorial University of Newfoundland. 
Moreover, the next quinquennial congress of the ICMH, traditionally the largest 
maritime history conference in the world, will be held in Montreal in 1995 and 
is being organized by a Canadian. This prominent role in ICMH helps to ensure 
greater visibility for Canadian scholarship in international circles. 

Canadians also play significant roles in the only international maritime history 
organization solely for scholars. This is the International Maritime Economic 
History Association (IMEHA), which is concerned principally with the 
economic and social aspects of maritime history. Founded in 1986, one of the 
two Vice-Presidents is a Canadian, as are both the Secretary and the Treasurer. 
As with the ICMH, the secretariat of the IMEHA is located at Memorial. 

The IMEHA also sponsors an international scholarly congress every four 
years. The First International Congress of Maritime History, held in Liver- 
pool, England, in August 1992 attracted more than one-hundred scholars 
from over thirty nations. Fifteen percent of the papers were presented by 

In addition, the IMEHA publishes the leading scholarly journal in maritime 
history, the International Journal of Maritime History. Although the IJMH, which 
began publishing in 1989, has an international focus, it has included a respectable 
sample of Canadian maritime writing. The IMEHA also publishes monographs, 

It is worth noting, however, that Marc Milner, who contributes an essay on Canadian naval history to this 
volume, was a winner of the article award in 1 989 for his essay "The Implications ofTechnological Backwardness: 
The Royal Canadian Navy: 1939-1945," Canadian Defense Quarterly, DC, no. 3 (Winter 1989). 

The Second International Congress of Maritime History will be held in Amsterdam in 1996; the 
third will be in Esbjerg, Denmark, in the year 2000. 

Fischer and Panting 67 
bibliographies and reprints in a regular series entitled Research in Maritime 

1 7 

History. Both are edited and published at Memorial. 

There is one other Canadian maritime journal that publishes a reasonable 
proportion of scholarly essays. FreshWater, a journal of Great Lakes maritime 
history published at the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes in Kingston, has in 
a short time attained a reputation for scholarly publishing at least equal to its 
American counterpart, Inland Seas. But because its subscription list is heavily 
weighted toward museum supporters, it is unlikely that Fresh Water will ever 
become primarily a scholarly journal. 

On balance, we feel safe in asserting that Canadian maritime historians are 
well-served by the existing maritime organizations and journals in the country. 
Although precise comparisons are difficult, given the size of the community we 
would judge that Canadian maritime scholars are served at least as well as any 
comparable group in the world. 

Recent Canadian Contributions to Maritime Historical Scholarship 

Any judgement about the state of Canadian maritime history scholarship 
depends on the approach adopted. For example, within the country some 
geographic regions, such as the East Coast, have been reasonably well-served 
while others, such as the West Coast, have been studied less adequately by 
scholars. Canadians have made major contributions in the histories of merchant 
shipping, methodology, fishing (including whaling and sealing), and maritime 
social and economic history, but have been relatively neglectful of topics such 
as the history of shipping firms and the impact of technological change. Among 
Canadian scholars whose focus has been outside the country, it is more difficult 
to discern any particular specialties. 

Ultimately, though, a balanced evaluation depends on the choice of criteria. 
If we assess their contribution to national scholarship, Canadian scholars fare 
better than if we use international recognition as a standard. This should not be 
taken as a criticism, however, since there is little doubt that a similar verdict 
could be made about maritime historians virtually anywhere. Our view is that 
on balance the Canadian contribution has been above average. To support this 
contention we examine below some of the main trends in recent Canadian 
maritime scholarship. 

The Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Maritime History is Lewis R. Fischer, who also is 
series editor of Research in Maritime History. 

1 ft 

FreshWater is edited by a board including Maurice D. Smith, M. Stephen Salmon, Walter Lewis, 
Ken Macpherson, and Gordon D. Shaw. 

The organization below is based loosely on a number of topics. The discerning reader will recognize 
that many of the works discussed could have been included in two or more categories. To avoid 
repetition, however, we have discussed particular books and articles only once. 

68 Maritime History in Canada 

One of the topics in which Canadians have made internationally recognized 
contributions is the history of merchant shipping, especially on the East Coast. 
Twenty years ago the recognized authority on the subject was still Frederick William 
Wallace, whose romantic and often antiquarian books dated from the 1 920s. That 
this has changed is largely, but not entirely, due to the work of individuals associated 
with the Atlantic Canada Shipping Project (ACSP) at Memorial University of 
Newfoundland. Since both of the present authors were associated with this 
project, we feel compelled to admit that its reputation and output were at least 
as much a function of the resources available as the people involved. This is not 
to deny that the ACSP benefitted from the talents of some exceptional scholars, 
especially the late Keith Matthews, who conceived of the study in the first place; 
the late David Alexander, who provided much of the intellectual direction; and 
Eric W. Sager, who has gone on to become one of the most prolific and insightful 
maritime historians not only in Canada but also in the world. Yet without the 
benefit of six years and more than $1 million, this project to examine the rise 
and decline of the eastern Canadian shipping industry in the nineteenth century 
would never have produced the results it did. 

The best place for a neophyte to begin to understand the contributions of the 
ACSP is with Eric Sager and Gerry Panting' s Maritime Capital, which not only 
summarizes many of the project's conclusions but also extends the analysis in new 
directions. Yet a full appreciation of the topics investigated by those associated 
with the project requires more comprehensive reading. The micro-level work 
of the ACSP can be found in six volumes of essays, which include not only 
contributions from project members but also papers by a wide range of national 
and international scholars for context. In addition, there are a series of other 
publications which contain material and insights not found in Maritime Capital. 

See Frederick William Wallace, Wooden Ships and Iron Men (London: 1924); Wallace, In the Wake 
of the Wind Ships (Toronto: 1927); Wallace, Record of Canadian Shipping (London: 1929). 

Eric W. Sager with Gerald E. Panting, Maritime Capital: The Shipping Industry in Atlantic Canada, 
1820-1914 (Montreal: 1990). 

Keith Matthews and Gerry Panting, eds., Ships and Shipbuilding in the North Atlantic Region (St. John's: 
1978); Lewis R. Fischer and Eric W. Sager, eds., The Enterprising Canadians: Entrepreneurs and Economic 
Development in Eastern Canada, 1820-1914 (St. John's: 1979); David Alexander and Rosemary Ommer, 
eds., Volumes not Values: Canadian Sailing Ships and World Trades (St. John's: 1979); Rosemary Ommer and 
Gerald Panting, eds., Working Men Who Got Wet (St. John's: 1980); Lewis R. Fischer and Eric W. Sager, 
eds., Merchant Shipping and Economic Development in Atlantic Canada (St. John's: 1982); and Lewis R. Fischer 
and Gerald E. Panting, eds., Change and Adaptation in Maritime History: The North Atlantic Fleets in the 
Nineteenth Century (St. John's: 1985). 

Chief among these are a series of works by Eric W. Sager and Lewis R. Fischer, including "Patterns 
of Investment in the Shipping Industries of Atlantic Canada, 1820-1900," Acadiensis, IX, no. 1 (Autumn 
1979), pp. 19-43; "Atlantic Canada and the Age of Sail Revisited," Canadian Historical Revieiv, LXIII, no. 
2 (June 1982), pp. 125-50; and Shipping and Shipbuilding in Atlantic Canada, 1820-1914 (Ottawa: 1986). 
See also David Alexander and Gerald Panting, "The Mercantile Fleet and Its Owners: Yarmouth, Nova 
Scotia, 1840-1889," Acadiensis, VII, no. 2 (Spring 1978), pp. 3-28; Rosemary Ommer, "Anticipating the 
Trend: The Pictou Ship Register, 1840-1889," Acadiensis, X, no. 1 (Autumn 1980), pp. 67-89; Ommer, 

Fischer and Panting 69 

Given the complexity and cost of the ACSP, it is not surprising that it has 
failed to stimulate comparable studies of other Canadian fleets. This point 
notwithstanding, it is nonetheless disappointing that scholarly research on 
merchant shipping in other parts of the country has been disappointing. The best recent 
work on the St. Lawrence has been done by Jean Leclerc. On Canadian merchant 
shipping on the Great Lakes the contributions by Steven Salmon, Walter Lewis, and 
Kenneth Mackenzie have been first-rate, but merchant shipping on the Lakes has by and 
large been left to the popularizers. For the west coast, there is no comprehensive work, 
although the recent volume by Ken Coates and Bill Morrison and a preliminary essay 
by Eric Sager give a good feel for what might be done. If the approach of the ACSP 
to merchant shipping has not been emulated for other parts of the country, it has been 
applied to Norway and the international economy by Lewis Fischer in collaboration 


with Helge Nordvik. 

But aside from the ACSP, the most important work on merchant shipping done 
by Canadians has been on foreign fleets. Richard W. Unger is an acknowledged 
authority on medieval shipping, concentrating mostly on the Low Countries. Jake 
Knoppers, a pioneer in applying computer-assisted analysis to maritime history, has 
written a seminal work on the shipping involved in eighteenth-century Dutch trade 


with Russia. And David Eltis has made important contributions to the ongoing 


debate about shipping in the slave trade. 

"The Decline of the Eastern Canadian Shipping Industry, 1880-95," Journal of Transport History, V, 
no. 1 (March 1984), pp. 25-44. 

24 Jean Leclerc, Le Saint-Laurent et ses pilotes 1805-1860 (Montreal: 1990). 

See, for example, M. Stephen Salmon, "'Rank Imitation and the Sincerest Flattery': The Dominion 
Marine Association and the Revision of the Canadian Coasting Regulations, 1922—1936," The Northern 
Mariner/he Marin du nord, I, no. 3 (July 1991), pp. 1-24; Kenneth S. Mackenzie, "C.C. Ballantyne and 
the Canadian Government Merchant Marine, 1917—1921," The Northern Mariner /Le Marin du nord, II, 
no. 1 (January 1992), pp. 1-13. 

Ken Coates and Bill Morrison, The Sinking of the Princess Sophia: Taking the North Down with Her 
(Toronto: 1990); Eric W. Sager, "The Shipping Industry in British Columbia from 1867 to 1914," The 
Northern Mariner /Le Marin du nord, III, no. 3 (July 1993), pp. 45-50. 

See, for example, Lewis R. Fischer and Helge W. Nordvik, "A Crucial Six Percent: Norwegian 
Sailors in the Canadian Merchant Marine, 1863-1913," Sjefartshistorisk Arhok, 1984 (Bergen: 1985), pp. 
139-59; "Myth and Reality in Baltic Shipping: The Timber Trade to Britain, 1863-1908," Scandinavian 
Journal of History, XII, no. 2 (Summer: 1987), pp. 99-116; and "Finlandere i den Kanadensiska 
Handelsflottan, 1863-1913," Historisk Tidskrift for Finland, LXXIII, no. 3 (1988), pp. 373-94. As with 
the ACSP, much of their work is based on large-scale data sets. 

See, for example, Richard W. Unger, The Art of Medieval Technology: Images of Noah the Shipbuilder (New 
Brunswick, N.J.: 1991); Unger, "The Tonnage of Europe's Merchant Fleets, 1300-1800," American 
Neptune, LII, no. 4 (Fall 1992), pp. 247-61; Unger, "Marine Paintings and the History of Shipbuilding," 
in David Freedberg and Jan DeVries, eds., Art in History, History in Art: Studies in Seventeenth Century Dutch 
Culture (Los Angeles: 1991), pp. 75-93; Unger, "Integration of Baltic and Lower Countries Grain Markets," 
Interactions of Amsterdam and Antwerp with the Baltic Region, 1400-1800 (Leiden: 1983), pp. 1-10. 

Jake V.T. Knoppers, Dutch Trade with Russia from the Time of Peter I to Alexander I: A Quantitative 
Study of Eighteenth Century Shipping (2 vols., Montreal: 1976). 

See, especially, David Eltis, Economic Growth and the Ending of the Transatlantic Slave Trade (Oxford: 1987). 

70 Maritime History in Canada 

The other contribution of the ACSP was in pioneering techniques in the 

computer-assisted quantitative analysis of large masses of historical material. 

Indeed, some of its data sets remain among the largest yet created by historians. 

Here the spin-offs have been slightly more encouraging; the software and 

techniques developed by the project have been used in Canada by the Marine 

Museum of the Great Lakes and abroad by the National Maritime Museum in 


the United Kingdom and the Bergen Maritime Museum in Norway. Lewis 
Fischer has also used ACSP material as part of the data base for an international 
study of maritime wages in the nineteenth century. 

Fishing has also attracted a good deal of recent Canadian interest. Although 
no one has yet expanded on the seminal work of the late Keith Matthews on 
the seventeenth and eighteenth-century migratory fishery from the west of 


England, there has been a flurry of work on the French period on the East 
Coast, in particular by Jean-Francois Briere, Olaf Janzen, and Laurier Turgeon. 

The best introduction to the project's methodology is Lewis R. Fischer and Eric W. Sager, "An 
Approach to the Quantitative Analysis of British Shipping Records," Business History, XXII, No. 2 (July 
1980), pp. 135-51. 

2 For some examples of the study of international wages, see Lewis R. Fischer, "International Maritime 
Labour, 1863-1900: World Wages and Trends," The Great Circle, X, no. 1 (Spring 1988), pp. 1-21 ; "Seamen 
in a Space Economy: International Regional Patterns of Maritime Wages on Sailing Vessels, 1863-1900," 
in Stephen Fisher, ed., Lisbon as a Port Town, the British Seaman and Other Maritime Themes (Exeter: 1988), 
pp. 57-92; "Seamen in the Industrial Revolution: Maritime Wages in Antwerp during the Shipping 
Transition, 1863-1900," Collectanea Maritima, V (1991), pp. 331-42; "Around the Rim: Seamen's Wages 
in North Sea Ports, 1863—1900," in Lewis R. Fischer et ah, eds., The North Sea: Twelve Essays on the Social 
History of Maritime Labour (Stavanger: 1992), pp. 59—78. In collaboration with Helge W. Nordvik, Fischer 
has also completed a number of wage studies of the Norwegian maritime sector; see, for example, Fischer 
and Nordvik, "From Namsos to Halden: Myths and Realities in the History of Norwegian Seamen's Wages, 
1850-1914," Scandinavian Economic History Review, XXXV, no. 1 (1987), pp. 41-65; "Wages in the 
Norwegian Maritime Sector, 1850-1914: A Re-Interpretation," in Lewis R. Fischer, Helge W. Nordvik 
and Walter E. Minchinton, eds., Shipping and Trade in the Northern Seas, 1600-1939 (Bergen: 1988), pp. 
14-35; "Regional Wages in the Age of Sail: The Price of Sailing Ship Labour in Towns along the Oslofjord, 
1899-1914," Norsk Sjofartsmuseum Arsberetning 1987 (Oslo: 1988), pp. 159-86; "Salaries of the Sea: Maritime 
Wages in Stavanger, 1892-1914," Stavanger Historisk Arbok 1987 (Stavanger: 1988), pp. 103-32; 
"Norwegian Matroser. Seafarers and National Labour Markets in Norway, 1850-1914," 
Scandinavian-Canadian Studies, IV (1989), pp. 58-81; "The Regional Economy of Late Nineteenth Century 
Norway: Maritime Wages as a Measure of Spatial Inequality, 1850-1914," in Illka Nummela, ed., Sita 
Kuusta Kuulenincn (Jyvaskyla: 1990), pp. 89-112. 

33 Keith Matthews, "A History of the West of England-Newfoundland Fisher" (unpublished D.Phil, 
thesis, Oxford University, 1968). 

Among Briere 's most important contributions are La Peche francaise en Amerique du Nord au XVIII siecle 
(Montreal: 1990); "The Safety of Navigation in the 18th Century French Cod Fisheries," Acadiensis, XVI, 
no. 2 (Spring 1987), pp. 85-94; "Le commerce triangulaire entre les ports terre-neuviers francais, les 
pecheries d' Amerique du nord et Marseilles au XVIIIe siecle," Revue d'Histoire de V Amerique Francaise, XL, 
no. 2 (September 1986), pp. 193—214; and "Peche et politique a Terre-Neuve au XVIIIe siecle: la France 
veritable gagnante du traite d'Utrecht?" Canadian Historical Review, LXIV, no. 2 (June 1983), pp. 168—87. 
Olafjanzen's meticulous work can be sampled in "'Une Grande Liaison': French Fishermen from lie Royale 
on the Coast of Southwestern Newfoundland, 1714—1766 — A Preliminary Survey," Neivfoundland Studies, 
III, no. 2 (Fall 1987), pp. 183-200; "The American Threat to the Newfoundland Fisheries, 1776-1777," 
American Neptune, XLVIII, no. 3 (Summer 1988), pp. 154—64; "'Une Petite Republique' in Southwestern 

Fischer and Panting 71 

For the nineteenth century there are recent books by Shannon Ryan and 
Rosemary Ommer, the former focusing on the marketing of Newfoundland 
cod overseas and the latter on the rise and decline of Jersey-dominated fishing 
in the Baie des Chaleurs. Sandy Balcom's study of the Lunenburg fishery, 
which originated as graduate thesis at Memorial, also has much to recommend 
it. The sociologist Peter Sinclair has produced a string of books and articles 
on the nineteenth and twentieth-century Newfoundland fishery and its com- 
munities. A recent superb collection of essays puts the credit system which 
bound labour to the fisheries in international perspective. For the more recent 
Newfoundland fishery, the magnum opus is David G. Alexander's The Decay of 

While the Great Lakes fisheries have received much less attention from 
historians, the West Coast has been better served. Of particular importance is 
the collaborative volume written by Patricia Marchak, Neil Guppy, and John 
McMullan, which not only examines the history of the industry but also advances 
important theoretical considerations. Several works by Dianne Newell have 
added to our understanding of the Pacific salmon fishery. The most important 
Canadian contributions to foreign fishing history have unquestionably been 
Laurier Turgeon's work on France and Daniel Vickers' series of studies on 
colonial Massachusetts. 

Newfoundland: The Limits of Imperial Authority in a Remote Maritime Environment," in Lewis 
R. Fischer and Walter Minchinton, eds., People of the Northern Seas (St. John's: 1992), pp. 1-33; and 
"'Bretons . . . sans scruple': The Family Chenu of Saint-Malo and the Illicit Trade in English Cod during 
the Middle of the 18th Century," in Proceedings of the Fifteenth Meeting of the French Colonial Historical Society 
(Lanham, Md: 1992), pp. 189-200. Turgeon's best essay on the Canadian east coast fishery is "Colbert et 
la peche francaise a Terre-Neuve," in Roland Mousnier, ed., Un Nouueau Colbert (Paris: 1985), pp. 255-68. 

35 Shannon Ryan, Fish Out of Water: The Newfoundland Saltftsh Trade, 1814-1914 (St. John's: 1986); 
Rosemary E. Ommer, From Outpost to Outport: A Structural Analysis of the Jersey- Gaspe Cod Fishery, 
1767—1886 (Montreal: 1992). Nicolas Landry, "Les peches canadiennes au XIXe siecle," The Northern 
Mariner /Le Marin du nord, II, No. 4 (October 1992), pp. 23—30, is a recent review essay which puts the 
writings on the nineteenth-century eastern Canadian fishery in perspective. 

B.A. Balcom, History of the Lunenburg Fishing Industry (Lunenburg: 1987). 

The most historically-minded of these is Peter R. Sinclair, From Traps to Draggers: Domestic Commodity 
Production in Northwest Newfoundland, 1850-1982 (St. John's: 1985). 

Rosemary Ommer, ed., Merchant Credit and Labour Strategies in Historical Perspective (Fredericton: 

David Alexander, The Decay of Trade: An Economic History of the Newfoundland Saltftsh Trade, 
1935—1965 (St. John's: 1977. Many of Alexander's seminal essays on the fishery and other matters were 
collected posthumously in Eric W. Sager, Lewis R. Fischer and Stuart O. Pierson, comps., Atlantic 
Canada and Confederation: Essays in Canadian Political Economy (Toronto: 1983). 

An exception is A.B. McCullough, The Commercial Fishery of the Great Lakes (Ottawa: 1989). 

Patricia Marchak, Neil Guppy, and John McMullan, Uncommon Property: The Fishing and 
Fish- Processing Industries in British Columbia (Toronto: 1987). 

See, for example, Dianne Newell, ed., The Development of the Pacific Salmon- Canning Industry: A 
Grown Man's Game (Montreal: 1989). 

Turgeon's most important work is "Le temps des peches lointaines, Permanences et transformations 

72 Maritime History in Canada 

In recent years there has also been a flurry of publications dealing with whaling 
and sealing. On the east coast, Chesley Sanger and Anthony Dickinson have 
virtually re-written the history of shore-based whaling in Newfoundland. In 
addition, they have made important contributions to our understanding of this 
activity on the Pacific coast and Sanger has also written on international 
whaling. The West Coast has also been blessed with a superb history of whaling 
by the American scholar, Robert Lloyd Webb. ' While less scholarly — but 
ironically more popular — a work that has appeared in recent years on the Arctic, 
a book by Dorothy Harley Eber, has deepened our understanding of the human 
dimension of this important industry. The most impressive body of work on 
a non-Canadian topic has been Danny Vickers' magnificent work on Nantucket 

On sealing, the place to begin is with Tony Busch's The War against the Seals, 
a comprehensive account of the development of this important, if currently 
unpopular, occupation. Jim Candow's study of the development of the 
Newfoundland seal fishery is the standard source on the topic, but should 

(vers 1500-1850)," in Michel Mollat, ed., Histoire des Piches Maritimes en France (Toulouse: 1987). 
For a flavour of Daniel Vickers' achievements, see "Merchant Credit and Labour Strategies in the Cod 
Fishery of Colonial Massachusetts," in Ommer, ed., Merchant Credit and Labour Strategies in Historical 
Perspective, pp. 36—48; and '"A Knowen and Staple Commoditie': Codfish Prices in Essex County, 
Massachusetts, 1640-1775," Essex Institute Historical Collections, CXXIV (1988), pp. 186-203. 

Their key essays include "The Origins of Modern Shore Based Whaling in Newfoundland and 
Labrador: The Cabot Steam Whaling Co. Ltd., 1896—98," International Journal of Maritime History, I, no. 
1 (June 1989), pp. 129-57; "Modern Shore-Based Whaling in Newfoundland and Labrador: Expansion 
and Consolidation, 1898-1902," International Journal of Maritime History, II, no. 1 (June 1990), pp. 
83-1 16; and "Expansion of Regulated Modern Shore-Station Whaling in Newfoundland and Labrador, 
1902-03," The Northern Mariner/Le Mann du nord, I, no. 2 (April 1991), pp. 1-22; "Modern 
Shore-Station Whaling in Newfoundland and Labrador: The Peak Season, 1904," International Journal 
of Maritime History, V, no. 1 (June 1993), pp. 127-54. 

C.W. Sanger and A.B. Dickinson, "They Were Clannish as Hell": Origins of Modem Shore-Station 
Whaling in British Columbia — The Newfoundland Factor (Halifax: 1991); and "Newfoundland Involvement 
in Twentieth -Century Shore-Station Whaling in British Columbia," Newfoundland Studies, VII, No. 2 
(Fall 1991), pp. 97-123; Sanger, "'On Good Fishing Ground but Too Early for Whales I Think': The 
Impact of Greenland Right Whale Migration Patterns on Hunting Strategies in the Northern Whale 
Fishery, 1600-1900," American Neptune, LI, No. 4 (Fall 1991), pp. 221-40; Sanger, "'Saw Several Finners 
But No Whales:' The Greenland Right Whale (Bowhead) — An Assessment of the Biological Basis of 
the Northern Whale Fishery during the Seventeenth, Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries," 
International Journal of Maritime History, III, No. 1 (June 1991), pp. 127-54. 

46 Robert Lloyd Webb, On the Northwest: Commercial Whaling in the Pacific Northwest, 1790-1967 
(Vancouver: 1988). 

47 Dorothy Harley Eber, When the Whalers Were up North: Innuit Memories from the Eastern Arctic 
(Montreal: 1989). 

48 See Vickers, "Nantucket Whalemen in the Deep-Sea Fishery: The Changing Anatomy of an Early 
American Labor Force," Journal of American History, LXXII (1985), pp. 277-96; and "The First 
Whalemen of Nantucket," William and Mary Quarterly, Third series, XL (1983), pp. 560-83. 

49 Briton C. Busch, The War against the Seals: A History of the North American Seal Fishery (Montreal: 

Fischer and Panting 73 

be supplemented by several works by Shannon Ryan and Chesley Sanger. 
Anthony Dickinson has published several works on sealing outside of 

Another area which has received attention is maritime social history. Bor- 
rowing insights from the social sciences, some talented scholars are beginning to 
use them to illuminate previously dark corners of the maritime experience. Any 
discussion of the writing of maritime social history by Canadians must begin 
with books by Eric Sager and Judith Fingard. Sager's Seafaring Labour, which 
appeared in 1989, is a pathbreaking analysis of life at sea which does for the 
nineteenth century what the American historian Marcus Rediker did for the 
eighteenth and the British historian Nicholas Rodger did for the Royal Navy. 
Judith Fingard'sjdc/e in Port is a penetrating study of the "sailortowns" in Halifax, 
Saint John and Quebec. Both have been widely cited and emulated overseas. 
We suspect that the same will be true for Sager's new book, Ships and Memories. 

Sager and Fingard have not, however, made the only significant contributions. 
Gilles Proulx, for example, has written an under-rated volume on conditions at 
sea in the trade between France and New France. And of special note is a 
recent collection of essays which brings many of the best Canadian and American 
scholars into the field. Canadian social historians also have had a special interest 

50 J.E. Candow, "Of Men and Seals": A History of the Newfoundland Seal Hunt (Ottawa: 1989); Shannon 
Ryan, Seals and Sealers: A Pictorial History of the Newfoundland Seal Fishery (St. John's: 1987); Ryan, "The 
Industrial Revolution and the Newfoundland Seal Fishery," International Journal of Maritime History, IV, 
no. 2 (December 1992), pp. 1-44; Ryan, "Newfoundland Sealing Disasters to 1914," The Northern 
Mariner/he Marin du nord, III, no. 3 (July 1993), pp. 15—43. Ryan is currently writing a history of the 
seal fishery which should supersede previous works. See also Chesley W. Sanger, "The 19th Century 
Newfoundland Seal Fishery and the Influence of Scottish Whalemen," Polar Record, XX (1980), pp. 
231-52; Sanger, "Dundee Steam-Powered Whalers and the Newfoundland Harp Seal Fishery," 
Newfoundland Studies, IV, no. 1 (Spring 1988), pp. 1-26; Sanger, "Changing Resources and Hunting 
Grounds of Scottish Whaling-Sealing Vessels in the Second Half of the Nineteenth Century," Scottish 
Geographical Magazine, CVII, no. 3 (1991), pp. 187-97. 

See especially Anthony Dickinson, "Some Aspects of the Origin and Implementation of the 
Eighteenth-Century Falkland Islands Sealing Industry," International Journal of Maritime History, II, no. 
2 (December 1990), pp. 33-68. 

52 Eric W. Sager, Seafaring Labour: The Merchant Marine of Atlantic Canada, 1820-19 14 (Montreal: 1 989) ; 
Marcus Rediker, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: Merchant Seamen, Pirates, and the Anglo-American 
Maritime World, 1700-1750 (Cambridge: 1987); N.A.M. Rodger, The Wooden World: An Anatomy of 
the Georgian Navy (London: 1986). The importance of the Sager and Rediker books can be seen most 
clearly by consulting the "Roundtable" feature in the International Journal of Maritime History. This format 
features six to eight analyses of the book under consideration, with a response by the author. The 
roundtable on Sager's book appeared in International Journal of Maritime History, II, no. 1 (June 1990), 
pp. 227-74, while the roundtable on Rediker was in I, no. 2 (December 1989), pp. 311-57. 

Judith Fingard, Jack in Port: Sailortowtis of Eastern Canada (Toronto: 1982). For a perspective that 
dissents from some of her main conclusions, see Richard Rice, "Sailortown: Theory and Method in 
Ordinary People's History," Acadiensis, XIII, No. 1 (Autumn 1983), pp. 154-68. 

Eric W. Sager, Ships and Memories: Merchant Seafarers in Canada's Age of Steam (Vancouver: 1993). 

Gilles Proulx, Between France and New France: Life aboard the Tall Sailing Ships (Toronto: 1984). 

Colin Howell and Richard Twomey, eds., Jack Tar in History (Fredericton: 1991). 

74 Maritime History in Canada 

in labour relations, and a spate of books have appeared in the past few years on 


the histories of Canadian maritime unions. Internationally, the work by TJ.A. 
LeGoff on eighteenth-century French mariners and Lewis Fischer on Nor- 
wegian seamen is part of this same trend. 

The history of maritime exploration has also enjoyed a rebirth in recent 
years, particularly on the West Coast. Although the Columbia quincentenary 
did little to inspire a renewed interest in exploration history on the East 
Coast, the two hundredth anniversary of George Vancouver's voyage and 
a series of anniversaries of Spanish exploration had a more important impact 
in the West. 

Finally, we would like to draw attention to an approach in which 
Canadians have taken a particularly important international role. This is the 
attempt to treat maritime history in its broad international context. Although 
maritime history has almost always been studied in particular local, regional, 
or national contexts, it has an equally important international dimension. One 
Canadian scholar who has chosen this approach is the economic historian C. 
Knick Harley, who has contributed important analyses on such subjects as 
trends in maritime productivity and international freight rates. The imperial 
historian, Ian K. Steele, who has written a superb book on seventeenth and 

5 Among the most influential have been John Stanton, Life and Death of a Union: The Canadian Seamen 's 
Union (Toronto: 1978); Jim Green, Against the Tide: The Story of the Canadian Seamen's Union (Toronto: 
1986); William Kaplan, Everything that Floats: Pat Sullivan, Hal Banks and the Seamen's Unions of Canada 
(Toronto: 1987); Sue Calhoun, A Word to Say: The Story of the Maritime Fishermen's Union (Halifax: 

See, for example, T J .A. LeGofF, "Le rerecrutement geographique et social des gens de mer bretons 
a la fin de TAncien Regime," in La Bretagne, une province h I'auhe de la Revolution (Brest: 1989); LeGofF, 
"Les gens de mer devant le systeme des classes, 1755—1763: resistance ou passivite?" Revue du Nord, I 
(1986), pp. 463-78; LeGofF, "L'impact des prices efFectuees par les Anglais sur la capacite en hommes 
de la marine francaise pendant le guerres de 1744—1748, 1755-1763, 1778-1783," in Martine Acerra 
et al., eds., Les marines de guerre europeennes XVII-XVIIIe siecles (Paris: 1985), pp. 103—22; Fischer, "Fish 
and Ships: The Social Structure of the Maritime Labour Force in Haugesund in the 1870s," 
Sjofartshistorisk Arhok, 1986 (Bergen: 1987), pp. 139-70; Fischer, "The Sea as Highway: Maritime Service 
as a Means oFlnternational Migration, 1863—1913," in Klaus Friedland, ed., Maritime Aspects of Migration 
(Koln: 1990), pp. 293-307. 

An exception is J.C.M. Oglesby, "In Search of Christopher Columbus," The Northern Mariner /Le 
Marin du nord, II, no. 4 (October 1992), pp. 37-41. 

See, for example, Christon I. Archer, "The Voyage of Captain George Vancouver: A Review 
Article," BC Studies, No. 73 (Spring 1987), pp. 43-61; Archer, "The Voyages of the Columbia to the 
Northwest Coast, 1787-1790 and 1790-1793," BC Studies, no. 93 (Spring 1992), pp. 70-81; John 
Kendrick, The Voyage ofSutil and Mexicana, 1192: The Last Spanish Exploration of the Northwest Coast of 
America (Spokane: 1991); Kendrick, The Men with Wooden Feet: The Spanish Exploration of the Northwest 
Coast (Toronto: 1985); Barry Gough, The Northwest Coast: British Navigation, Trade and Discoveries to 
1812 (Vancouver: 1992). 

61 C.K. Harley, "Ocean Freight Rates and Productivity, 1740-1913: The Primacy of Mechanical 
Invention Reaffirmed, "Journal of Economic History, XXVIII, no. 4 (December 1988), pp. 851-75; Harley, 
"Coal Exports and British Shipping, 1850-1913," Explorations in Economic History, XXVI, no. 3 (July 
1989), pp. 311-38. 

Fischer and Panting 75 

eighteenth-century trans-Atlantic communication 'would also fall into this 
category. So, too, would much of Lewis Fischer's work on nineteenth-century 
international shipping. 

Despite all the scholarly activity in recent years, there are some rather large 
gaps in our knowledge of Canadian maritime history. One which can be 
inferred from this brief survey is the maritime history of the West Coast, 
which has by and large been the preserve of popular historians rather than 
scholars. Another is the business history of shipping. Aside from some of the 
work cited previously by Gerry Panting, there are virtually no scholarly 
studies of Canadian maritime businesses. But some Canadians have adopted 
a business history perspective to delve into non-Canadian topics. The best 
and most prolific of these scholars is William D. Wray, whose work has 
become the standard interpretation on late nineteenth and twentieth-century 
Japanese shipping, especially the NYK. Also important is the contribution 
of Jack Bosher, who has written an important book on the structure of the 
La Rochelle business community that traded with Canada in the first half of 
the eighteenth century. Lewis Fischer has recently begun a project to 
examine the business history of modern shipbroking. And J.D. Alsop has 

Ian K. Steele, The English Atlantic 1675—1740: An Exploration of Communications and Community 
(New York: 1986). 

See especially Lewis R. Fischer and Helge W. Nordvik, "Maritime Transport and the Integration 
of the North Atlantic Economy, 1850-1914," in Wolfram Fischer, R. Marvin Mclnnis, and Jiirgen 
Schneider, eds., The Emergence of a World Economy, 1500-1914 (Wiesbaden: 1986), pp. 519-44; Fischer, 
"A Flotilla of Wood and Coal: Shipping in the Trades between Britain and the Baltic, 1863—1913." In 
Yrjo Kaukiainen, ed., The Baltic as a Trade Route: Competition between Steam and Sail (Kotka, Finland: 
1992), pp. 36—63. Many of his works cited previously also fit this description. 

Wray's most important work is Mitsubishi and the N. Y. K. , 1870- 1914: Business Strategy in the Japanese 
Shipping Industry (Cambridge, Mass.: 1984), which is the first of a projected three-volume set. See also 
his "The NYK and World War I: Patterns of Discrimination in Freight Rates and Cargo Space 
Allocation," International Journal of Maritime History, V, no. 1 (June 1993), pp. 41-63; "Kagami Kenkichi 
and the N.Y.K., 1929-1935: Vertical Control, Horizontal Strategy, and Company Autonomy," in 
Wray, ed., Managing Industrial Enterprise: Cases from Japan's Prewar Experience (Cambridge, Mass.: 1989), 
pp. 183-227; "NYK and the Commercial Diplomacy of the Far Eastern freight Conference, 
1896—1956," in Tsunehiko Yui and Keiichiro Nakagawa, eds., Business History of Shipping: Strategy and 
Structure (Tokyo: 1985), pp. 279-311; and "'The Mitsui Fight,' 1953-1956: Japan and the Far Eastern 
Freight Conference," in Lewis R. Fischer and Helge W. Nordvik, eds., Shipping and Trade, 1 750-1950: 
Essays in International Maritime Economic History (Pontefract: 1990), pp. 213—34. 

65 J.F. Bosher, The Canada Merchants 1713-1763 (Oxford: 1987). See also Bosher, "The Imperial 
Environment of French Trade with Canada, 1660-1685," English Historical Review, CVIII, No. 1 
(January 1993), pp. 50-81. 

Lewis R. Fischer and Anders M. Fon, "The Making of a Maritime Firm: The Rise of Fearnley and 
Eger, 1869-1917," in Lewis R. Fischer, ed., From Wheel House to Counting House: Essays in Maritime 
Business History in Honour of Professor Peter Neville Davies (St. John's: 1992), pp. 303-22; Fischer and 
Helge W. Nordvik, "The Growth of Norwegian Shipbroking: The Practices of Fearnley and Eger as 
a Case Study, 1869-1914," in Fischer, ed., People of the Northern Seas, pp. 135-55. Fischer and Nordvik, 
"From Broager to Bergen: The Risks and Rewards of Peter Jebsen, Shipowner, 1864-1892," 
Sjefartshistorisk Arbok, 1985 (Bergen: 1986), pp. 37-68, also adopts a business history approach. 

76 Maritime History in Canada 

shed a good deal of light on the business practices of traders during the slave 
trade period. A third topic which remains relatively untouched is technological 
history. Most of what has appeared have been narrow studies of single vessels or 
types of ships. Nonetheless, there has been some important recent work on the 
history of canal technology on the Great Lakes. Also worth consulting is Bill 
Wray's essay on the transition from sail to steam in Japan and Knick Harley's 
paper on the same topic in Britain. 

Despite these lacunae, in general the state of Canadian maritime scholarship is 
healthy. Indeed, the exponential increase in published works in the past two decades 
has gone far to alleviate gaps in our knowledge. If the trend continues — and there 
is no reason to believe that it will be reversed — it may be that even some of the 
neglected topics identified here will find their scholars in the near future. 


This essay has rendered some positive judgements on the state of Canadian maritime 
history. A mere two decades ago it would have been difficult to make such optimistic 
assessments. But the state of Canadian maritime history is much healthier today than 
any realistic observer would have predicted. The principal reason for this improvement 
is not funding, because Canadian universities have hardly been immune from the 
cutbacks and retrenchment that have haunted post-secondary institutions around the 
world in the past few years. Instead, the impetus behind the advance of the discipline 
has come from people. The increased awareness of the importance of maritime heritage 
by the general public has been part of this. But most of the credit must go to the 
maritime historians who, through hard work, have built respectable programs and 
organizations as well as a world-class body of scholarly literature. They are to be found 
in colleges and universities from coast to coast. 

In the late 1970s, an eminent British maritime historian could identify the 
essence of what we believe has underpinned this resurgence of scholarly interest 
in maritime history in Canada. Robin Craig, then of University College, 
London, reminded participants at the Third Conference of the Atlantic Canada 
Shipping Project that the most recent ACSP volume was entitled The Enterprising 
Canadians. Noting the impressive work that was being done not only in St. 
John's but also elsewhere in Canada, he exclaimed "I will say Amen to that." It 

See, for example, J.D. Alsop, "The Career of William Towerson, Guinea Trader," International 
Journal of Maritime History, IV, no. 2 (December 1992), pp. 45-82. 

68 Brian S. Osborne and Donald Swainson, The Sault Ste. Marie Canal: A Chapter in the History of Great 
Lakes Transport (Ottawa: 1986); Robert W. Passfield, Technology in Transition: The "Soo" Ship Canal, 
1889-1985 (Ottawa: 1989). 

William D. Wray, "Shipping: From Sail to Steam," in Marius Jansen and Gilbert Rozman, eds., 
Japan in Transition: From Tokugawa to Meiji (Princeton: 1986), pp. 248—70; C.K. Harley, "The Shift from 
Sailing Ships to Steamships, 1850-1890: A Study in Technological Change and Its Diffusion," in C.N. 
McCloskey, ed., Studies on a Mature Economy: Britain after 1840 (London: 1971), pp. 215-34. 

Fischer and Panting 77 

is indeed by their enterprise that Canadian maritime historians have earned the 
positive evaluation in this paper. 

The Historiography of the Canadian Navy 

The State of the Art 

Marc Milner 

Of all the nations under discussion in this volume, Canada scarcely ranks 
as a naval power in the historical sense. The Canadian Navy dates only 
from 1910, and although it had flexed its nascent "sea power" muscle during 
convoy duty in the First World War, only in the Second World War and the 
Cold War did it show strength of any international importance. As a nation 
Canada has fought no wars on its own, nor have its armed forces been the object 
of particular enemy attention. Indeed, one might say that Canada has no 
independent national naval history at all. Moreover, as a distinct field of 
scholarship, Canadian naval history is a very recent phenomenon. It is also, at 
present, a sub-field of Canadian military history, and as such is poorly integrated 
into the wider maritime history of the country. Not surprisingly, the brevity and 
peculiar nature of Canada's naval history have profoundly shaped its historiog- 
raphy and the extent to which Canadian naval history is taught. 

For these reasons, any discussion of the state of Canadian naval history must 
be prefaced by a short discourse on the nature of that history. Perhaps more than 
other nations, Canada's naval history is but a thin thread in a much larger tapestry. 
This situation is somewhat paradoxical, since by the end of the nineteenth 
century Canada had become a very considerable maritime state, as Professors 
Panting and Fisher demonstrate. But Canada — like its antecedents, the British 
North American colonies — rested secure in the bosom of British sea power. 
With the mother country as the predominant naval power in the world, it would 
have been absurd for the new self-governing Dominion of Canada to even try 
to develop its own navy in the nineteenth century. Quite apart from the fact 
that Britain retained responsibility for Canadian foreign affairs, the metropolitan 
power, whether French or British, had always been responsible for the maritime 
security of its North American colonies. It was the colonists' task to defend the 
land frontier, and so it remained after 1867 when the new Dominion's military 
efforts were devoted to the raising of militias. Paradoxically then, Canada was a 

I am especially grateful to J. A. Boutilier, W.A.B. Douglas, M. Hadley, R. Sarty, and D. Zimmerman for 
their comments on the draft of this paper. The final conclusions, errors or omissions remain entirely my own. 

80 The Historiography of the Canadian Navy 

"British" nation, dependant upon the sea for her well-being. Though many of her 
people followed the sea, her military heritage was decidedly continental in flavour. 

The founding of the Royal Canadian Navy in 1910 did little to alter that 
situation. The debate over the establishment of a naval service reflected the 
increasing ambiguity over Canada's constitutional position: should Canada 
simply give money to Britain to support her naval armaments race with 
Germany, or establish a Canadian branch of the Imperial Navy. A Canadian 
Navy might keep problems at arm's length, it was argued, but conversely, it also 
might draw Canada into confrontations which might otherwise be avoided. 
Something also had to be done about policing Canada's fishing grounds. It is a 
moot point whether it was German hostility in war or the American threat to 
the fisheries that was more responsible for the establishment of the RCN. Sir 
Wilfrid Laurier's Liberal government prevailed and the RCN was born on 10 
March 1910. The issue of a tiny local navy — too small to fight and big enough 
to get into trouble — was so contentious that the 1911 federal election was fought 
partly around it. The Conservatives, who favoured direct financial aid to Britain, 
won the election. But Robert Borden's government could not bring itself either 
to nurture the new navy or abolish it entirely. 

The RCN's tenuous existence in the defence firmament lasted for the next 
thirty years. The First World War did nothing to salvage it from obscurity. The 
fleet in 1914 consisted of two aged cruisers acquired for training purposes. One 
of these, Rainbow, was at sea off Vancouver Island when war was declared. Slow, 
tired, under-gunned and equipped only with sand-filled training rounds, Rain- 
bow was ordered to search for von Spee's powerful East Asiatic squadron of 
modern cruisers off the U.S. coast. Admonished by Ottawa to "Remember 
Nelson and the British Navy," she got by all accounts to within fifty miles of at 
least one German ship (Leipzig), but the enemy "escaped." What Edwardian 
writers would have made o£ Rainbow's valiant and utterly futile end at the hands 
of such powerful ships we can only guess. But no gallant tradition of death and 

For a discussion of this issue see, Roger Sarty, "Canadian Maritime Defence, 1892—1914," Canadian 
Historical Review, vol. LXXI, December 1990, pp. 48-73. 

The debate over German naval armaments and the need to assist the Mother Country is the traditional 
context for the Canadian naval debate of 1909-1910, for example in Gilbert Tucker's The Naval Service 
of Canada, volume I (Ottawa: King's Printer 1952). The problem of fisheries protection — although not 
to the exclusion of the German problem — has been the focus of much recent debate, as in Richard 
Gimblett's '"Tin Pots' or Dreadnoughts?: The Evolution of the Naval Policy of the Laurier 
Administration, 1896—1910," unpublished MA thesis, Trent University, 1981. And then there is the 
"Sarty Thesis": the little known, but sophisticated and sound, view that the development of a small 
Canadian navy in the early 20th century was crucial to the perfection of Canada's existing system of 
coast defence based on long range gunnery — what might be called, "the Navy as an outgrowth of coast 
artillery theory" of the origins of the RCN. See Roger Sarty, "'There will be trouble in the North 
Pacific': The Defence of British Columbia in the early Twentieth Century." B.C. Studies, 61, Spring, 
1984, pp. 3-29. 
4 Tucker, I, pp. 261-79. 

Milner 81 

glory befell the fledgling service. Instead, Canada poured troops onto the western 
front, where the Canadian Corps earned an enviable reputation for its fighting 
effectiveness. The First World War also produced a number of internationally 
famous Canadian airmen, with the likes ofBishop, Collishaw, and Barker household 
names within Canada and throughout the Empire by 1918. Nothing in the RCN's 
wartime experience compared; most of it was a dreary war of patrols. Even the U-boat 
operations of 1918 off the east coast failed to feed the public imagination with images 
of Canadian naval heroes. Quite the contrary, newspapers unfairly maligned the RCN 
for its supposed bungling and post-war critics accused the Navy of incompetence, 
"culpable negligence" and worse. 

The Navy nearly disappeared in the inter-war years despite some attempts to 
put the RCN on a firmer footing after the war. At the height of the Depression, 
the General Staff, dominated by the Army and the Air Force, voted to reduce 
the RCN to care and maintenance status; ships laid-up, recruiting and training 
halted, and bases all but closed. Though it was ultimately saved, the RCN never 
forgot its brush with extinction and came to see that its principal enemies were 
perhaps those closest to home. 

As another major war loomed on the horizon in the late 1930s, another Liberal 
government, this time under W.L.M. King, saw the RCN as a marvelous vehicle 
for contributing to imperial security without sending thousands of troops 
overseas again. Although King could not forestall public clamouring for another 
big Canadian army on the western front once the war got underway, he did 
develop a very large navy (and a large air force as well) . The Navy, in particular, 
suited King's desire to involve Canadian industry in war production, because 
many of the basic ships needed for the escort fleet could be built in Canada. By 
1943 fully half of the Allied escorts in the main theatre of the Atlantic war were 
RCN, and by the end of the Second World War Canada — for a brief moment — 
had the third largest navy in the world. 

The wartime fleet was overwhelmingly small-ship and reservist in flavour. 
The ships themselves were almost all war-built for basic escort roles and had 
little long-term value to the post-war Navy. Their crews too were "hostilities 
only." Only 5,000 of the Navy's wartime personnel strength of nearly 100,000 
belonged to the professional naval service. Not surprisingly, the tiny fraternity 
of professional RCN officers used the war to secure the basic elements of a 
balanced post-war Navy and kept most of its own personnel in "proper" 
warships: fleet class destroyers, cruisers, and the like. This dichotomy of wartime 
experience between the reservists in small ships battling U-boats and the RCN 
waging a struggle for long-term viability coloured not only the conduct of the 
war itself, but also much of the writing that followed. 

See M. Hardley and R. Sarty, Tin-Pots and Pirate Ships (Kingston/Montreal: McGill-Queen's Press, 
1991), p. 301. 

See for example W.A.B. Douglas' seminal piece, "Conflict and Innovation in the Royal Canadian 

82 The Historiography of the Canadian Navy 

The expansion of the RCN during the Second World War was a remarkable 
accomplishment — truly staggering by Canadian standards and a significant event 
in naval history in general. For the RCN, however, it was a precarious victory, 
and the Navy's fortunes were salvaged only by the advent of the Cold War. 
Under King's successor, Louis St. Laurent, post-war Liberal governments built 
a large and capable navy in the 1950s. To a considerable extent this early Cold 
War fleet was simply an outgrowth of the wartime experience. Moreover, the 
wave of new construction and modernization of reserve vessels that followed 
the Korean War was part of a general military expansion. While the Navy was 
large and modern by the early 1960s, in terms of budgets and personnel the RCN 
remained clearly in third place within the Canadian defence establishment. Little 
new was added after the early Cold War building boom, and by the 1980s the 
Navy faced block obsolescence. The last deep freeze in the Cold War produced 
orders for a new fleet in the mid-1980s, which is just now being completed. 
None of the new ships saw service in the Gulf War, where the Navy fought 
largely without incident and without loss. It is too early to tell just how the Navy 
will fare in the new world order. 

Several key points affecting the development of Canadian naval historical 
writing emerge from this very brief survey. The first — and most obvious — is 
that the history itself is only some eighty years old. It is difficult, although by no 
means entirely impossible, to push the antecedents of the RCN much further 
back than 1900. Secondly, much of that history is uneventful. Apart from the 
Second World War and the early years of the Cold War, the RCN has lived a 
low-key, often marginal existence. The third point is that since the Navy's 
founding in 1910, Canada has acted within the confines of much larger 
international organizations, initially the British Empire and latterly NATO and 
the UN. This has left little scope for distinctly Canadian naval operations and 
none whatever for distinctly Canadian wars. Where other nations might well 
have resorted to gunboat diplomacy abroad to secure their national interests, 
Canada has been able to rely on collective action. After all, who was Canada 
likely to fight — on her own — in the twentieth century? Canadian naval his- 
tory — as presently structured — is, therefore, drawn from a very narrow base in 
space and time. Ironically, the only uniquely Canadian naval missions in defence 
of Canadian sovereignty have been typically directed at our friends in peacetime. 
The final point is that for the first sixty years of its existence the RCN defined 
itself within a largely British context. Until 1939 the RCN was simply a flotilla 
of the Imperial Navy; training, uniforms, equipment, ships, tactics, doctrine were 
all British, and Canadian officers appeared on a combined Empire and Com- 
monwealth seniority list. This was much less so after 1945. But the notion of 

Navy 1919—1945," in G. Jordan, ed., Naval Warfare in the Twentieth Century: Essays in Honour of 
Arthur Marder (New York: Crane Russack, 1977), pp. 210—32, for a discussion of the tension between 
fighting the war against the Germans and the battle for long-term viability at home. 

Milner 83 

the RCN as a direct descendant of Nelson's Band of Brothers survived in the 
RCN until the full effects of armed forces unification were felt in the early 1970s, 
and even now Nelson's ghost surfaces on occasion. 

It is important to understand, therefore, the very restricted nature of the Canadian 
naval experience, its very "British" character, and the importance of Canada's powerful 
militia tradition when assessing the development of Canadian Navy historiography. 

While many recent works on the origins and early days of the RCN take their 
accounts back into the latter stages of the nineteenth century, the colonial period 
and great age of sail have not been embraced as part of Canadian naval heritage. In 
part this is because the Canadian military establishment has been loath to adopt any 
of the military or naval traditions of the French era. The work of Guy Freqault on 
the first distinctly Canadian naval hero, Pierre le Moyne d'Iberville, and Jacques 
Mathieu's work on French naval building in Quebec in the eighteenth century 
remain solidly part of Canadian colonial history. D'Iberville, a native son of New 
France, sailed his lone ship Pelican into Hudson's Bay in 1697 and in a brilliant action 
with three English ships sank two and secured command of the area, a feat 


unremembered in the myths and culture of the Canadian navy. In fairness, though, 
the British colonial period also stands outside of mainstream Canadian naval history, 
despite the efforts of W.A.B. Douglas, Faye Kert, Richard Wright, and others. Even 
the substantial body of work done by Barry M. Gough on naval activity in British 
North American waters during the nineteenth century, such as his The Royal Navy 
and the Northwest Coast of North America, 1810-1914 (1971), fall into imperial, 
colonial or maritime history, not naval. 

The failure of the often desperate and typically disparate naval efforts of the 
colonists of New France and British North America to find resonance within 
Canadian naval history remains enigmatic. Among academics this disconnection 
is almost certainly due to the fact that the study of history itself is subdivided 
into fields which often do not talk to one another — like military and colonial 
history. But the Navy, too, cleaving first to its Royal Navy lineage and involved 
in a constant battle to maintain its blue-water capability, finds little of value in 
these puny antecedents. The result is that Canadian naval history as presently 

Guy Fregault, Pierre le Moyne d'Iberville (Montreal/Paris: 1968), and Jacques Mathieu, La Construction 
Navale Royale a Quebec, 1739-1759 (Quebec: 1971). 

A replica of Pelican was launched in Montreal in 1993. 

W.A.B. Douglas, "The Anatomy of Naval Incompetence: The Provincial Marine of Upper Canada 
before 1813," Ontario History, LXXXI, 1979, pp. 3-26, and "Nova Scotia and the Royal Navy, 
1715-1766," unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Queen's, 1973; Faye Kert, "The Fortunes of War: 
Privateering in Atlantic Canada in the War of 1812," Unpublished MA Thesis, Carleton University, 
1986, Richard J. Wright, "Green Flags and Red-Coated Gunboats: Naval Activities on the Great Lakes 
during the Fenian Scares, 1866-1870," Inland Seas, XXII, no. 2, Summer 1966, pp. 91-110. 

Barry M. Gough, 77ie Royal Navy and the Northwest Coast of North America, 1810-1914 (Vancouver: 
UBC, 1971) and Gunboat Frontier: British Maritime Authority and Northwest Coast Indians, 1846-90 
(Vancouver: UBC, 1984). 

84 The Historiography of the Canadian Navy 

constituted derives none of its traditions from the age of sail — the key formative 
period for many of the navies of the world. 

Moreover, nothing occurred in RCN history prior to 1939 to save it from 
obscurity, particularly when set against the deeply entrenched national militia 
tradition and the tremendous accomplishments of the Canadian Corps in the 
First World War. Prior to 1939 legitimacy for the RCN derived from its 
connection with the RN. But set against the RN standard — the only measure 
suitable among Canadians until a generation ago — there was not much to say of 
Canada's experiment in naval power before the Second World War. 

The first thirty years of RCN history were thus seen as something of a 
wasteland; little but policy and unfulfilled dreams. By contrast, the scope and 
scale of the RCN's Second World War accomplishment captured the imagina- 
tion of the first generation of post- 1945 historians — and with good reason. The 
RCN rose from utter obscurity to a global standing in a few short years. And 
while the wartime fleet had not been a balanced one in the traditional sense, the 
acquisition of heavy cruisers and light fleet carriers at the very end of the war 
gave promise that one day it would be. Further, Canada had demonstrated her 
naval potential in time of crisis, and the myriad of small ships required of modern 
naval warfare gave Canada tremendous leverage. Not surprisingly, the RCN's 
post-war official histories, Gilbert Tucker's The Naval Service of Canada (two 
volumes, 1952) and, more especially, Joseph Schull's The Far Distant Ships (1950, 
reprinted in 1990), were celebrations of Canadian accomplishment. Tucker's 
first volume covered naval developments up to 1939 and seemed to say all that 
was needed about that colourless period. His second volume, on naval ad- 
ministration ashore between 1939 and 1945, chronicled the growth of the RCN's 
institutions as they coped with the rapid expansion of the fleet. Tucker planned 
a series of three operational volumes on the war, but these were axed by the 
Naval Staff and a Minister of Defence, who were not interested in a detailed 

1 9 

accounting of the exploits of reservists in small, hastily built escorts. What the 
Navy wanted, and what it commissioned Schull to write, was a popular history 
which would foster support for post-war naval expansion plans. Schull's delight- 
fully written The Far Distant Ships was therefore long on colour and short on 
analysis or context. To what extent it helped in the building boom of the RCN 
during the 1950s is an interesting — and unexplored — historical question. 

What is clearer is that the combination of Tucker and Schull — both official 
histories — satisfied the need for information on the wartime RCN for a genera- 

G.N. Tucker, The Naval Service of Canada: Its Official History, volume I, Origins and Early Years and 
volume II, Activities on Shore during the Second World War (Ottawa: King's Printer, 1952), and Joseph 
Schull, The Far Distant Ships: An Official Account of Canadian Naval Operations in the Second World War 
(Ottawa: King's Printer, 1950), reprinted by Stoddart of Toronto in 1990. 

See C.P. Stacey, "The Life and Hard Times of an Official Historian," Canadian Historical Review, 
LI, no. 1, March 1970, pp. 21-47. 

Milner 85 

tion. Two other monographs on RCN history appeared over that period, Thor 
Thorgrimsson and E.G. Russell's Canadian Naval Operations in Korean Waters, 
1950-1955 (1965), and J.D.F. Kealy and E.C. Russell's A History of Canadian 
Naval Aviation (1967). These too were official histories, and it is possible to see 
them both as celebrations of Canadian naval maturity and broadsides in the 
on-going budgetary battles of the 1960s. Until the 1980s these official histories 
constituted the total of scholarly monographs on RCN history. 

The lack of scholarly monographs on the Navy — or even wider academic 
interest in the RCN by non-government historians in the twenty-five years 
following the war — is hard to explain. It may be that the RCN's wartime 
experience failed to capture anyone's imagination. Certainly the notion of 
Canada as a sea power was a new — and perhaps transitory — experience, and few 
Canadian academics were interested in the subject. Gerald Graham, a Canadian 
who became a distinguished historian of imperial Britain, had served briefly as 
an official historian during the war, but he preferred to concentrate on the 
intellectually more rewarding delights of the British Empire. So, too, did Donald 
Schurman. A veteran of the RCAF, Schurman was drawn to naval history 
through an interest in the intellectual roots of twentieth-century British maritime 
strategy. Both of these men, Graham and, perhaps more so Schurman (whose 
career has been spent at the Royal Military College of Canada and Queen's 
University, both in Kingston), profoundly influenced the way in which aspiring 
Canadian academic naval historians viewed their field. Both foreswore the 
particular in favour of breadth and depth, emphasising the larger context of naval 
history. It seems fair to say that the very recent nature of Canada's expression of 
sea power and Tucker and Schull's emphasis on the uniqueness of the Canadian 
experience failed to stir them. Moreover, while the Army's historical section 
under C.P. Stacey nurtured a coterie of young historians who went on to 
academic posts — Reg Roy, George Stanley, Jack Hyatt, Don Goodspeed to 
name a few — the collapse of Tucker's project in the late 1940s left Canadian 
naval history in the hands of a few devoted amateurs in the naval historical 
section. In the end, however, perhaps the most compelling reason for the 

Thor Thorgrimsson and E.C. Russell, Canadian Naval Operations in Korean Waters, 1950-1955 
(Ottawa: Queen's Printer, 1965) and J.D.F. Kealy and E.C. Russell, A History of Canadian Naval Aviation, 
1918-1962, (Ottawa: Queen's Printer, 1965) 

Schurman's influence has been unquestionable; among his former pupils was the late Barry Hunt, 
who taught naval history at RJV1C for twenty years and Schurman's friend and former colleague at RMC 
W.A.B. Douglas, has for the last twenty years been writing the official history of the Canadian Armed 
Forces. Gerald Graham's influence has been perhaps less direct, but no less profound. Much of recent 
academic activity on the RCN has been at the University of New Brunswick, where one of Gerald Graham's 
former students, Dominck S. Graham, ran the military history program until 1986. Milner and Zimmerman 
were products of that program, which Milner now runs. The latest UNB naval historian, Michael 
Hennessey, has taken the late Barry Hunt's position in the History Department at PJV1C. 

J. M.S. Careless left the naval historical section to pursue a career in Canadian history at Toronto. 

86 The Historiography of the Canadian Navy 

dearth of published material on the RCN in the generation after 1945 is that the 
files were still closed to everyone except the official historians. 

It was possible, therefore, until 1970, to count the number of monographs 
on RCN history on the fingers of one hand- — and all of them were government 
publications. There were a few memoirs of note, a few articles, some passages 
on the RCN in Don Goodspeed's The Armed Forces of Canada, 1867—1967 
(1967), and some wartime public relations publications. But apart from the 
official histories, the only thing that passed for serious scholarship on the RCN 
were the sections in James Eayrs' first two volumes of In Defence of Canada (1964 
and 1965). 17 

Several things conspired to alter this complacency during the 1970s. Perhaps 
the most important was that sometime between 1 960 and 1 980 Canada cast off 
its colonial mentality and Canadians started measuring the RCN in its own right, 
as the service of an independent, sovereign state. This was facilitated by armed 
forces unification, announced in 1964 and put into effect on 1 January 1968. 
With that the Royal Canadian Navy ceased to exist, becoming "Maritime 
Command" of the new Canadian Armed Forces and adopting the new standard 
green uniform of the combined forces. Unification shook the navy to its very 
core, forced a process of redefinition, and forced the retirement of many of the 
last wartime veterans who either did not or could not accept Canadianization 
of the Navy. The Navy, which had seen itself in 1960 as more Royal than 
Canadian, was by 1980 distinctly Canadian in outlook — right down to its green 
uniforms and the replacement of Trafalgar Day in favour of Battle of the Atlantic 
Sunday as the feast day of the Canadian fleet. The Navy has since gone back 
into distinctive naval uniforms, derived — appropriately enough given its new 
"imperial" orientation — largely from those of the United States Navy. Con- 
current with this altered state within the Navy and the nation was the opening 
of wartime archive material which allowed non-official historians a more critical 
look at the Navy's most significant experience — the Second World War. 

The need to look more closely at the RCN's Second World War ex- 
perience — and the inadequacies of Tucker and Schull on the subject — had been 
evident for some time. The only critical assessment of the RCN's contribution 
to the actual fighting to appear in the generation after 1945 came from the pen 

16 See Alan Eastern's superb wartime memoir 50 North (Toronto: Ryerson, 1963), William Sclater's 
excellent Haida (Toronto: Oxford UP, 1946), and W.H. Pugsley's two volumes on the lower deck, 
Saints Devils and Ordinary Seaman (Toronto: Collins, 1945) and Sailor Remember (Toronto: Collins, 1948). 

James Eayrs, In Defence of Canada: From the Great War to the Great Depression (Toronto: Univ. of 
Toronto, 1964) and In Defence of Canada: Appeasement and Rearmament (Toronto: Univ. of Toronto, 

Much of the old RN tradition still survives, however, as evidenced by the practices outlined in 
Lt.(N) Graeme Arbuckle's Customs and Traditions of the Canadian Navy (Halifax: Nimbus Publishing 
Ltd., 1984). Indeed, one is hard-pressed to find anything distinctly Canadian in the customs and traditions 
which Arbuckle describes. 

Milner 87 

of Captain Donald Macintyre, RN. One of the war's best escort commanders 
and a naval historian of note, Macintyre savagely attacked the RCN's wartime 
operational efficiency in his memoir U-Boat Killer (1956). Macintyre charged 
the RCN with bungling incompetence, described its fleet as "travesties of 
warships" and accused the Canadian naval staff as bent on nothing more than 
placing the maximum number of RCN ships on operational plots. 

The issue of the fleet's efficiency was addressed briefly in C.P. Stacey's official 
volume on Canadian defence policy during the war, Arms, Men and Governments 
(1 970) . However, by the 1 970s the conventional wisdom on the wartime RCN 
was a blend of both the Canadian and Macintyre themes; the Navy had been 
big, but probably misguided. The difficulties of such a limited Canadian literature 
and its concentration on the peculiarly Canadian exploits of the war years were 
demonstrated in 1979 with the publication of John Swettenham's Canada's 
Atlantic War. Swettenham, one of Canada's best known military historians, 
produced a very conventional account of the war at sea into which he 
attempted — without much luck — to integrate the Canadian story. What he 
achieved in the end was the standard British interpretation of events, punctuated 
by Canadian incidents. In that sense, Canada's Atlantic War accurately reflects 
the state of the art — at least with respect to Second World War history — at the 
end of the 1970s. It was hardly Swettenham's fault. 

By the 1970s, however, Canadians were beginning to awaken to their naval 
history largely, although by no means exclusively, through the experience of the 
Second World War. Several major research projects were underway and the 
voice of veterans began to be heard in the first of what has become a fairly steady 
stream of memoirs and nostalgia. In 1972 the first postwar graduate master's 
thesis in RCN history was completed, and another followed by the end of the 
decade. By the end of the 1970s two doctoral dissertations were underway, 
and the appearance of two new wartime naval memoirs, James Lamb's The 
Corvette Navy (1977) and Hal Lawrence's A Bloody War (1979) marked the 
beginning of a series of books by these two writers and the commencement of 
a significant memoir phase in the field. The decade also brought the first 

Captain Donald Macintyre, U-Boat Killer (London: Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 1956). 

C.P. Stacey, Arms, Men and Governments: The War Policies of Canada, 1939-1945 (Ottawa: 
Department of National Defence, 1970). 

21 W.G. Lund, "Command Relationships in the North West Atlantic, 1939-1943," unpublished MA 
thesis, Queen's University 1972 and M. Milner "Canadian Escorts and the Mid Atlantic, 1942-1943," 
unpublished M.A. thesis, University of New Brunswick, 1979. See W.A.B. Douglas, "Canadian Naval 
Historiography," Mariner's Mirror, 70, no. 4, November 1984, pp. 349-62, for a list of other theses and 
dissertations in related fields, such as imperial maritime history. 

22 Marc Milner, "No Higher Purpose: The Royal Canadian Navy 's Mid-Atlantic War, 1939-1943," 
University of New Brunswick, 1983 (and published by University of Toronto Press in 1985 as North 
Atlantic Run) and Thomas Richard Melville, "Canada and Sea Power: Canadian Naval Thought and 
Policy, 1860-1910," unpublished Ph.D., Duke University, 1981. 

James B. Lamb, The Corvette Navy: True Stories from Canada's Atlantic War (Toronto: Macmillan, 1977) and 

88 The Historiography of the Canadian Navy 

serious, scholarly questioning of the Navy's wartime policy in the form of W.A.B. 
Douglas' seminal article in Arthur Marder's festschrift. 

If the 1970s was the decade of gestation, the birth of modern Canadian naval 
historical writing (it cannot truly be called a renaissance) dates from a historical 
conference convened in 1980 at Royal Roads Military College, Victoria BC. The 
conference was the work of Dr. Jim Boutilier, a member of the RRMC Department 
of History and Political Economy. Boutilier was spurred by what he saw as the 
astonishing failure of both historians and naval personnel to analyze RCN history. 
His solution was to get the Navy and a few scholars together to think and write 
about the subject for a conference convened in March 1980, the first on RCN 
history. It brought together many — if not most — of the surviving senior officers of 
the RCN, who dominated the program. Of the nineteen speakers during the three 
day conference, eleven were "Old Salts" speaking largely within their own sphere 
of expertise. Among the more innovative elements of Boutilier's conference were 
papers on RCN history prior to 1939, especially its origins. Significantly, no paper 
dealt with operations in the First World War. 

"The RCN in Retrospect" Conference was not an academic tour de force, 
but it met Boutilier's expectations; the Navy awoke to its history. The 
publication of the conference proceedings in 1982 marked a watershed in RCN 
historiography. When Alec Douglas produced his review of Canadian naval 
history for the Mariner's Mirror in 1984, he could count the five volumes of official 
history, the proceedings of Boutilier's conference, a few more memoirs (includ- 
ing the first of a series of collective reminiscences published as Salty Dips by the 
Naval Officers Association of Canada (Ottawa Branch)), "a half dozen theses," 
a number of scholarly articles, and the first volume of Jeff Brock's two-volume 
memoir, The Dark Broad Seas (1981) and The Thunder and the Sunshine (1983), 
the only memoir of any substance — however fanciful — by a senior RCN 
officer. Douglas tactfully omitted reference to another memoir and the only 
biography ever written on a Canadian naval officer. H.N. Lay's Memoirs of a 
Mariner (1982) had potential to make a major contribution to the field, but spoke 
more to his family than to those interested in the Navy. J.M. Cameron's Murray: 
The Martyred Admiral (1980), was a seriously flawed attempt to vindicate the 
career of the RCN's most famous operational commander, R.Adm. L.W. 

Hal Lawrence, A Bloody War: One Man's Memories of the Canadian Navy 1939-45 (Toronto: Macmillan, 

For a full reference see footnote 6. 

The conference proceedings were published as The RCN in Retrospect (Vancouver: Univ. of British 
Columbia Press, 1982). The table of contents is unaltered from the list of speakers. 

The model was used later by Commander James Goldrick, RAN, to spur interest in Australian naval 
history. The proceedings were published as Reflections on the Royal Australian Navy, T.R. Frame, J.V.P. 
Goldrick and P.D.Jones, eds. (Kenthurst, NSW: Kangaroo Press, 1990). 

As discussed in W.A.B. Douglas, "The prospects for Naval History," The Northern Mariner, vol. 1, 
no. 4, October, 1991, p. 19. 

Milner 89 

Murray, who moved to England in 1945 after rioting servicemen destroyed 
much of downtown Halifax. Cameron's hagiographic account of Murray's life 
is notable only because it remains the only biography ever published on a 
Canadian naval figure. Douglas' 1984 listing also neglected two substantial 
recent books on RCN history, Fraser Mckee's The Armed Yachts of Canada and 
Macpherson and Burgess' Ships of Canada's Naval Forces, 1910-1980. 

Alec Douglas gave this burgeoning field a push in 1985 with his own 
conference commemorating the 75th anniversary of the founding of the RCN. 
He filled the program with a largely academic crowd. Among their contributions 
were the first serious scholarship on the First World War since Tucker's Volume 
One and the first serious academic work on the post- 1945 period to emerge 
since Eayrs' earlier material in the 1960s. 

The proceedings of "The RCN in Transition" Conference were published 


in 1988, when the stream of publications in Canadian naval history had — to 
use Douglas' words — "turned into a torrent." By 1991 Douglas was able to list 
as many substantial publications in the seven short years since his Mariner's Mirror 
article appeared as had been published in the previous 74 years of RCN history 
combined. The first scholarly monographs on Canadian naval history by 
academic historians were published in 1985, both dealing with the Second 
World War: Michael Hadley's U-Boats Against Canada and Marc Milner's North 
Atlantic Run (the latter was one of the two Ph.D. dissertations completed on 
RCN history up to that point). David Zimmerman's The Great Naval Battle of 
Ottawa (1989) had also begun as a Ph.D. dissertation (the third in RCN history) 
at the University of New Brunswick. Amid this torrent of new publications 
were more memoirs and David Perkins' monograph on Canadian submariners 
in the First World War, Alan Snowie's history of the carrier Bonaventure, and 
some popular and privately published histories of individual ships and ship 
types. Indeed, there was enough scholarship available by the late 1980s to 

28 Rear-Admiral H. Nelson Lay, OBE, CD, RCN (Retd), Memoirs of a Mariner (Stittsville, Ontario: Canada's 
Wings, 1982) and James M. Cameron, Murray: The Martyred Admiral (Hantsport, NS: Lancelot press, 1980). 

Fraser McKee The Armed Yachts of Canada (Erin, Ontario: Boston Mills, 1983), and Ken Macpherson 
and John Burgess The Ships of Canada's Naval Forces, 1910-1981 (Toronto: Collins, 1981). 

30 W.A.B. Douglas, ed., The RCN in Transition (Vancouver: University of British Columbia, 1988). 

31 See Douglas, "The Prospects for Naval History," The Northern Mariner, vol. 1, no. 4, October 1991. 
Michael L. Hadley, U-Boats Against Canada: German Submarines in Canadian Waters 

(Montreal/Kingston: McGill-Queen's, 1985), Marc Milner, North Atlantic Run: The Royal Canadian 
Navy and the Battle for the Convoys (Toronto: Univ. of Toronto Press, 1985), and David Zimmerman, 
The Great Naval Battle of Ottawa (Toronto: Univ. of Toronto Press, 1989). 

33 Gordon W. Stead, A leaf Upon the Sea: A Small Ship in the Mediterranean (Vancouver: UBC, 1988), 
James B. Lamb, On The Triangle Run (Toronto: Macmillan, 1989), Hal Lawrence's Tales of the North 
Atlantic (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1989) and Victory at Sea (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 
1990), Salty Dips volumes I and II, Anthony Law, White Plumes Astern (Halifax, NS: Nimbus Publishing, 
1989) and Frank Curry, The War at Sea (Toronto: Lugus, 1991). 

34 David Perkins, Canada's Submariners, 1914-1923 (Erin, Ontario: The Boston Mills Press, 1989), 

90 The Historiography of the Canadian Navy 

permit the writing and publication of Tony German's The Sea Is at Our 
Gates, the first popularly written comprehensive one-volume history of 
the RCN. 35 

The 'eighties, then, mark a major watershed in the historiography of 
the RCN. Since then the pace has not slackened. There is no space here 
to list all of the new work, but some key works warrant mention. In 1991 
the first scholarly monograph on pre-1939 RCN history appeared: Tin- 
Pots & Pirate Ships: Canadian Naval Forces & German Sea Raiders 1880— 
1918, by Michael Hadley and Roger Sarty. The heavy emphasis on the 
Second World War has continued apace, and many new, young scholars 
are entering the field. In recent years substantial scholarly articles on the 
RCN have appeared in The Mariner's Mirror, The Northern Mariner, The 
Canadian Historical Review, The Canadian Defence Quarterly, Military Af- 
fairs, Canadian Military History, The Naval War College Review, and The 
RUSI Journal. Many of these new historians are working on the Cold War 
era, for which the documents are becoming available. Others are 
pushing their research back into the pre-1939 period, and volume I of 
the forthcoming new official history of the RCN will go a long way to 
filling that crucial gap. Work is underway at the University of Victoria 
on the social history of the pre-1939 Navy and an official account of the 
Gulf War is forthcoming from the Department of National Defence. 

Alan Snowie, The "Bonnie" (Erin, Ontario: the Boston Mills Press, 1987) and, for example, Tom 
Blakely's privately published Corvette Cobourg: The Role of a Canadian Warship in the Longest Sea Battle 
in History (Cobourg, Ontario: Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 133, nd), and Ken Macpherson's 
River Class Destroyers of the Royal Canadian Navy (Toronto: Charles Musson, 1985), and Frigates of the 
Royal Canadian Navy (St. Catharines, Ontario: Vanwell, 1989). 

Commander Tony German, The Sea is at Our Gates: The History of the Canadian Navy (Toronto: 
McClelland and Stewart, 1990). German's book was accompanied by a video tape as part of the attempt 
to popularize the Navy's history among a younger generation. See also Jack Macbeth's Ready, Aye, 
Ready: An Illustrated History of the Royal Canadian Navy (Toronto: Key Porter Books, nd). 

Published by McGill-Queen's Univ. Press of Montreal and Kingston. 

See for example Peter T. Hay don's, The 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis: Canadian Involvement Reconsidered 
(The Canadian Institute of Strategic Studies, 1993), which contains new information on the RCN's 
role, as does his chapter, "The RCN and the Cuban Missile Crisis," in M. Milner, ed., Canadian Military 
History (Copp Clark Pitman, 1993), pp. 349-67. 

See BJ.C. McKercher, "Between Two Giants: Canada, the Coolidge Conference and Anglo-American 
Relations, 1927," in Anglo-American Relations in the 1920s, BJ.C McKercher, ed., (Edmonton: Univ. of 
Alberta Press, 1990), pp. 81-124, Michael J. Whitby, "In Defence of Home Waters: Doctrine and Training 
in the Canadian Navy during the 1930s," Mariner's Mirror, May 1991, pp. 167—77, and a series of works by 
Roger Sarty; "The Naval Side of Canadian Sovereignty, 1909—1923," The Niobe Papers, volume rV, F.W. 
Crickhard and K. Orr, eds. (Halifax, NS: Nautical Publishing, 1993): "The Origins of Canada's Second 
World War Maritime Forces, 1918-1940, papers of the 1990 Society for Military History AGM 
(forthcoming), '"Entirely in the hands of the friendly neighbour': The Canadian Armed Forces and the 
Defence of the Pacific Coast 1909-1937," in D. Zimmerman, ed., Redirection: Defending Canada, the Pacific 
Perspective (forthcoming), and "Mr. King and the Armed Forces, 1939," paper to the Canadian Committee 
for the History of the Second World War, Elora, Ontario 1989. Sarty is also the principal author of the 
pre-1939 volume of the new official history of the RCN. 

Milner 91 

Ships, too, remain a source of interest, especially Second World War escort 
vessels and two major books on Canadian corvettes appeared in 1 993. If there 
is a major gap in the current state of Canadian naval historiography, it would 
be on the role of individuals. At present only one biography, that of Engineer 
Rear Admiral G.L. Stephens, is in the wind, as are a couple of memoirs by retired 
senior officers. 

A complex and comprehensive Canadian naval historiography is, therefore, 
a very recent phenomena. Probably for that reason there is little evidence that 
Canadian naval history is yet widely seen as a viable field of instruction for 
academic credit in Canada. Military history, of which naval history in Canada 
is a part, is offered as a bona fide academic subject at only a few Canadian 
universities and within the three military colleges. The emphasis in such courses 
is usually on Canada's military past or on the broader international military 
experience, approaches which are strongly biased towards land warfare. Few of 
those who teach military history in Canada have either the expertise or the 
interest to separate Canadian naval history from the general pattern of the 
nation's military history. In that sense, the Canadian Navy's experience remains 
an aberration even in Canadian military history courses; an obligatory reference 
in an otherwise traditional survey of Canada's long and colourful army heritage. 

Those, like this writer, who teach both Canadian military history and courses 
in the history of sea power, also invariably set the Canadian naval story in a much 
wider context. It forms a piece, sometimes bigger, usually quite small, of a much 
larger tapestry. Perhaps surprisingly, Canadian naval historians accept such an 
approach as a given. They do not see an independent existence for the RCN 
outside of the large context of either the empire or the collective security 
organizations joined since 1945. In that sense, Canadian naval history is always 
subordinated to another mainstream military or naval (sea power) field. In only 
one instance — from what could be determined — has the focus been reversed 
and a Canadian naval history course been given for academic credit. In 1991, 
Michael Hadley, of the Germanic Studies Department at the University of 
Victoria, gave a one-time term-length honours seminar on naval history funded 
by the university's Military and Strategic Studies Program. Hadley was given the 
liberty by the Department of History to do whatever he wished in a seminar on 
sea power, so he turned it into a case study using the RCN as the model. The 
course, "The Canadian Navy and the Major Powers," has since became a regular 
undergraduate offering. Apropos of the comments made earlier here, there is 

John Harland and John Mackay's The Flower Class Corvette Agassiz (Anatomy of the Ships Series) 
(London: Conway, 1993) and Ken Macpherson and Marc Milner's Corvettes of the Royal Canadian Navy 
(St. Catharines, Ontario: Vanwell, 1993). 

Information courtesy of Michael Hadley, who, in addition to being an accomplished historian in 
his own right, is also a retired naval reserve captain. 

92 The Historiography of the Canadian Navy 

no indication that Canadian naval history is ever taught within the context of 
Canadian maritime history. 

It remains to be seen whether Hadley's course itself is an aberration or a 
reflection of the maturity of Canadian naval historical writing. In 1980 it was 
possible to conduct a couple of individual seminars on aspects of Canadian naval 
history, especially its origins and the controversy over fleet efficiency, as part of 
a course on naval or Canadian military history. But it would have been difficult 
to do more. Hadley demonstrated that by 1990 it was possible to mount at least 
a term length course for academic credit on Canadian naval history. It is ironic, 
and indicative of the strong contextual bias evident among naval historians (writ 
large) within Canada, that many of them consulted for this paper could still not 
see the merit in offering a course in Canadian naval history. Maybe they are 
right, since much remains to be done. Important new scholarship on the early 
Cold War will emerge within the next few years with Ph.D. theses from Mike 
Hennessey and Shawn Cafferky. Hennessey's work, in particular, draws together 
many of the elements of national naval and maritime policy and will help bridge 
that gap between naval history proper and the wider fields of which it is a part. 
There are now a number of substantive articles available on the inter- war years 
and a new and thorough volume of official history in the wings. Hadley and 
Sarty's Tin-Pots and Pirate Ships seems to have satisfied interest in the First World 
War for the time being. However, despite their efforts a comprehensive 
monograph on the Navy prior to 1914 is still needed. So too is some way of 
bridging the gap between the events of the twentieth century and all that went 
before. Perhaps when the Navy finds its roots in the age of sail and in the larger 
context of Canadian history, Canadian naval history will truly have come of age. 

See for example his, "Canada, The Navy and the Shipbuilding Industry: Plus ca Change?" in Michael 
A. Hennessey and Kenrick G. Hancox, eds., Canada, the Navy and Industry (Toronto: Canadian Institute 
for Strategic Studies, March 1992); "The State as Innovator: Controlling Command Technology for 
Warship Production in Canada, 1949—1965," in Peter A. Baskerville, ed., Canadian Papers in Business 
History, vol. II (Victoria, BC: Public History Group, University of Victoria, 1993); and "Post-War 
Ocean Shipping and Shipbuilding Policy in Canada: An Agenda for Research," The Northern Mariner, 
vol l,no. 3, July 1991. 


Captain Carlos Tromben, Chilean Navy 

Chile's naval and maritime history can be traced in a vast bibliography whose 
main titles are included in this paper. This history is the result of the work 
of Chilean and foreign researchers and authors, who through the years have 
shown their interest in describing, documenting, and analyzing the facts and 
ideas related to these topics. 

The period before Ferdinand Magellan discovered Chile's southern tip in 
1520 and Diego de Almagro explored the central zone in 1536, has not been 
the subject of in-depth studies, probably because the major source materials are 
in Spanish archives. The aboriginal civilizations were less developed, if compared 
with the degree reached by the people of what is today Peru, Mexico, and 
Central America. In spite of this, Chile's native inhabitants were skilled coastal 
navigators, due to the fact that they obtained an important part of their food 
from the sea. 

Likewise, Hispanic presence in Chile is a subject that has not been thoroughly 
investigated. Only recently, with Spanish support in connection with the 
celebration of the quincentenary of Columbus's arrival in America, one of the 
interesting aspects of this period, the Hispanic forts at Valdivia and Corral, are 
being studied and restored. For Chilean scholars, the major problem is that most 
of the related documentation is in Europe. 

The war for independence, which took place intermittently between 1811 
and 1826, was full of naval events. These naval events were at the forefront of 

Histories that include general aspects of Chilean maritime affairs are: 

Francisco Antonio Encina, Historia de Chile desde la prehistoria hasta 1891 (Santiago: Nascimento, 
1940-1952); Jaime Eyzaguirre, Historia de Chile (Santiago, 1965); Jay Kingsbruner, Chile, a historical 
interpretation (New York: Harper Torch Book, 1973); Jose M. Martinez-Hidalgo y Teran, Enciclopedia 
general del mar (Barcelona: Garriga, 1968), 8 volumes; Benjamin Subercaseaux, Tierra de oceano (Santiago, 
nd); Gonzalo Vial, Historia de Chile 1891-1973 (Santiago: Santillana, 1984). 

Early naval histories and chronicles of Chile include: 

Luis Novoa de la Fuente, Historia naval de Chile (Valparaiso: Imp. de la Armada, 1944); Francisco 
Rojas M., Administracion naval de Chile comparada: su desarrollo, evoluciSn y organization 1817—1932 
(Santiago: Imp. Chile, 1934); Carlos Sayago, Cronicas de la Marina militar de Chile (Copiapo: Imp. de la 
Union, 1864); Alberto Silva Palma, CrSnicas de la Marina chilena (Santiago: Talleres del estado Mayor 
Jeneral, 1913); Horacio Vio Valdivieso, Manual de historia naval de Chile (Valparaiso: Imp. de la Armada, 

94 Chile 

opening the Chilean economy to international trade, spawning the birth of a 
strong maritime activity. The new state that emerged out of the far off and, 
probably, the poorest of the Spanish colonies, with its particular geography of 
extended and fragmented coasts, attracted the attention of many Europeans and 
Americans, who registered their experiences in memoirs or narratives that have 
become the main historical source for this period. Among the many authors 
was Mary Graham, a dynamic and learned British woman, who arrived in 
Valparaiso on board a ship commanded by her husband, who passed away a few 
days before their arrival. She stayed in this country for a prolonged period and 
depicted the facts, people, and customs of the period between 1822—23 in a very 
interesting book. 

Another important author of this era is John Miller, who penned the memoirs 
of his brother, General William Miller, who held a high command post in what 
has become the Chilean Marine Corps. 

Famous for his memoirs on the Chilean independence period is Admiral 
Thomas Alexander Cochrane, who came to Chile from England at the invitation 
of General Bernardo O'Higgins. In the four years that Admiral Cochrane 
remained in command of the fleet — created with great effort by Chile — he was 
able to eliminate completely the Spanish naval presence in the American Pacific. 
While in command, he proposed several initiatives that failed to come to fruition 
due to the internal conflicts that were present during General Bernardo 
O'Higgins' term of rule. His memoirs, published in London several decades 
later, are interesting, detailed, and valuable, allowing historians to understand 
this distinguished mariner and his times. 

Another important source on this period is the papers of General Bernardo 
O'Higgins, a thirty-three volume work, edited by the Chilean Government and 
published in 1950, containing many letters and documents related to the 
founder of the Chilean Navy, who was an important ruler of those initial days. 

Fernando Campos Harriet, Los defensores del rey (Santiago: Andres Bello, 1958); Brian Loveman, Chile 
the legacy of Spanish capitalism (New York: Oxford University Press, 1979). 

J.F. Coffin, Diario de unjoven norteamericano detenido en Chile durante elperiodo revolucionario 1817—1819 
(Santiago: Imp. Elzeveriana, 1898); Coleccion de Historiadores i de Documentos relativos a la Independencia de 
Chile (Santiago: varios impresores, 1900-1937), 30 volumes. 

Maria Graham, Diario de mi residencia en Chile en 1822 (Santiago: Del Pacifico, 1956). 

John Miller, Memorias del general Miller al servicio de la Republica del Peru (Santiago: Imp. Universitaria, 
1912), 3 volumes. 

Books on the subject viceadmiral Thomas Alexander Cochrane: 

James Blakwood, The life and daring exploits of Lord Cochrane (London: Paternoster Row, 1861); 
Enrique Bunster Tagle, Lord Cochrane (Santiago: Zig-Zag, 1942); Francisco Garcia Reyes, La primera 
escuadra nacional (Santiago, 1860). 

Thomas Cochrane, Earl of Dundonald, Autobiography of a Seaman (London, 1860); Narrative of Service 
in the Liberation of Chile, Peru and Brazil from Spanish and Portuguese domination (London: James Ridway, 
1859), 2 volumes. 

Archivo Nacional, Archivo de Don Bernardo O'Higgins (Santiago: Nascimento, 1946-50), 33 volumes. 

Tromben 95 

These volumes abound in material related to the difficulties of creating a fleet 
and merchant navy in a country that lacked resources and was worn out by war. 

Admiral Cochrane returned to England at the end of Spanish dominion of 
what was then Chile and Peru. The Chilean Navy experienced a period of 
neglect. Nevertheless, foreign travellers and scientists still kept coming, and they 
left impressions on a variety of different matters, particularly about Chilean 
maritime geography. 

The next conflict involving the Chilean Republic was the war against the 
Peru-Bolivian Confederation, but the actors involved in this war left no books 
describing the maritime campaign in particular, in spite of its importance in 
dismantling the Confederation. 

Something similar happened in Chile and Peru's joint war against Spain 
between 1865 and 1866. However, many years later, the commander of the 
Chilean-Peruvian naval force, Rear- Admiral Juan Williams Rebolledo, wrote 
about the events in which he participated. 

In contrast, the War of the Pacific, 1879—1883, inspired many books of 
narrative, documents, and analysis on the most serious foreign conflict that 
Chile had faced since its independence. The writers were either civilian 
historians or members of the Navy. Among the first were Diego Barros 

Eugenio Pereira Salas, Las actuaciones de los ojiciales navales norteamericanos en nuestras costas, 1813—1840 
(Santiago: 1935); Eduard Poepping, Testigo en la alborada de Chile: 1826-1829 (Santiago: Zig-Zag, 1960); 
William Bennet Stevenson, A Historical and Descriptive of Twenty Years of Residence in South America 
(London: Hurst, Robenson & Co., 1825), 3 volumes. 

Benjamin Vicuna Mackenna, Historia de laguerra de Chile con Espana (Santiago: 1883); Juan Williams 
Rebolledo, Guerra del Pacifico: Breve narracion historica de la contienda de Chile y Peru contra Espana 
(1865—1866) (Santiago: Imp. Elzeveriana, 1901); Herbert W. Wilson, Ironclads in action (London: Marston 
Low, 1896); Pedro Novo y Colson, Historia de la Guerra contra Espana en el Pacifico (Madrid: 1882). 

Books about the war between Chile, Peru and Bolivia started in 1879: 

Correspondencia de Don Antonio Varas sobre la Guerra del Pacifico (Santiago: Imp. Universitaria, 1918); 
Arturo Cuevas, Estudio estrategico sobre la campana maritima de la guerra del Pacifico (Valparaiso: Imp. de la 
Armada, 1901); Miguel Grau, Correspondencia general de la Comandancia de la 1 Division Naval (Santiago: 
Imp. de la Libreria de "El Mercurio," 1880; Joaquin Larrain Zanartu, El 21 de Mayo. Homenaje de "La 
Patria" a los heroes de "La Esmeralda" y "La Covadonga" , en el primer aniversario delglorioso combate de Inquique 
(Valparaiso: Imp. de "La Patria," 1880; Jacinto Lopez, Historia de laguerra del guano y del salitre; o Guerra 
del Pacifico entre Chile, Bolivia y Peru (New York: De Laisne and Rossboro, 1931); Francisco A. Machuca, 
Las cuatro campanas de la Guerra del Pacifico (Valparaiso: Imp. Victoria, 1927); Clements Markham, History 
of the War between Peru and Chile (London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle Rivington, 1883); Lieutenant 
W.T.B.M. Mason, USN, War on the Pacific Coast (Washington: 1883); Nicanor Molinari, Asalto y toma 
de Pisagua, 2 de noviembre de 1879 (Santiago: Imp. Cervantes, 1912); Nicanor Molinari, Asalto y toma de 
Pisagua, 2 de noviembre de 1819 (Santiago: Imp. Cervantes, 1912); Pedro Nolasco Prendez, La Esmeralda 
(Santiago: Imp. de la Repiiblica de Jacinto Nunez, 1879); Juan Williams Rebolledo, Guerra del Pacifico: 
Operaciones de la escuadra mientras estuvo a las ordenes del contra- almir ante Williams Rebolledo, 1819 (Valparaiso: 
Imp. del Progreso, 1882); Herbert W. Wilson, Battleships in Action (London: Marston Low, 1927). 

Much writing on this period focuses on Arturo Prat: 

Arturo Prat I El Combate Naval De Iquique (Santiago: Imp. Gutenberg, 1880); Jose Toribio Medina, 
Arturo Prat (Valparaiso: Imp. de la Armada, 1952); Marfisa Munoz Yurazeck, Arturo Prat (Santiago: Imp. 
Universitaria, 1914); Juan Peralta Peralta, Arturo Prat Chacon: Hkroe del Mar (Valparaiso: Imp. de la Escuela 

96 Chile 

Arana and Benjamin Vicuna Mackenna. Others include the already men- 
tioned Admiral Juan Williams Rebolledo, who wrote another book about his 
participation as commander of the fleet in the early part of the war, and 
Vice- Admiral Luis Uribe Orrego, who was a lieutenant at the beginning of the 
conflict. The latter's works refer not only to this war, but to the complete 
history of the Chilean Navy and Merchant Navy. Pascual Ahumada Moreno 


and Justo Abel Rosales compiled documents that are an interesting source for 
consultation about this period. 

In spite of the Chilean victory in the War of the Pacific, some logistic and 
organizational weaknesses were acknowledged. These facts, together with the 
rapid evolution of navies, gave way to a stage of great intellectual and professional 
development within the Chilean Navy. At the same time, the armed forces 
participated in the positive educational development that was taking place in the 
country. As a result of this, in 1885, the Naval Circle [Circulo Naval] was 
established. Initially chaired by Vice-Admiral Uribe, it is an organization 
dedicated, among other things, to debate and to publication of developments in 
the naval and maritime sciences. The Navy Review [Revista de Marina] originated 
in this organization, and for over a century, historians and analysts have written 
and published, uninterruptedly in its pages. This bimonthly publication is an 
important source for those who want to get acquainted with Chilean naval 
history and the professional activities of the folio wing generations. 

At the end of the nineteenth century, there was a bloody civil war that took 
place in 1891, and there were acute tensions in Chilean relations with Argentina 
and the United States of America. The Chilean Navy reached an important new 
stage, as the fleet gained power and obtained the consensus of support for its 
activities in controlling the sea, so important for a country with a geographic 
configuration like Chile. 

Naval, 1953); Arturo Prat Chacon, Observaciones a la lei electoral vijente (Valparaiso: Imp. de "El 
Mercurio", 1876); Juan Simpson, Algunos rasgos ineditos de la personalidad de Arturo Prat (Valparaiso: Imp. 
Victoria, 1925); Carlos Toledo de la Maza, Arturo Prat: Vida y obra de un hombre ejemplar (Valparaiso: 
Ediciones Prat, 1975). 

Diego Barros Arana, Historia General de Chile (Santiago: Rafael Jover, 1884-1902), 16 volumes. 
1 Benjamin Vicuna Mackenna, Las dos Esmeraldas (Santiago: 1879). 

Juan Williams Rebolledo, Guerra del Pacifico: Operaciones de la escuadra mientras estuvo a las drdenes del 
contra- almit 'ante Williams Rebolledo (Valparaiso: Imp. del Progreso, 1882). 

Luis Uribe Orrego, Los combates navales en la Guerra del Pacifico: 1879-1881 (Valparaiso: Imp. de la 
Patria, 1886); Neustra Marina militar (Valparaiso: Tipografia de la Armada, 1910). 

Pascual Ahumada Moreno, Guerra del Pacifico (Valparaiso: Imp. del Progresso, 1884-1891), 8 volumes. 

Justo Abel Rosales, La apoteosis de Arturo Prat i de sus compaheros de heroismo muertos por la patria el 21 
de mayo de 1879 (Santiago: Imp. de los Debates, 1888). 

Julio Banados Espinosa, Balmaceda: su gobiemo y la reuolucion de 1891 (Paris: Libreria de Gernier 
Hermanos, 1894); Jose Miguel Barros Franco, Apuntes para la historia diplomdtica de Chile: el caso del 
Baltimore (Santiago: Casa Nacional del Nino, 1950); Maurice H. Harvey, Dark Days in Chile (London: 
1892); Antonio Ifiiquez Vicuna, El golpe de estado y la reuolucion, primero y siete de enero 1891 (Santiago: 
Imp. Victoria, 1891); Emilio Rodriguez Mendoza, Ante la descendencia (Santiago: Imp. Moderna, 1899); 

Tromben 97 

To the publications of Admirals Williams and Uribe, we may add those of 
Captain Francisco Vidal Gormaz that refer to scientific matters and the story of 
the explorations performed by Spanish navigators in the southern tip of Chile, 
based in documental reseach done by this notable naval hydrographer in Spain. 

At the turn of the century, the trend increased toward more critical, historical, 
and scientific research, supported by many officers who were sent to study in 
European countries with greater naval development. The arrival of British officers 
in Chile, who came to act as instructors, promoted this trend toward professional 
improvement by creating the Naval War College and other initiatives. This 
increased the spreading of the doctrines on sea power developed in Europe and in 
the United States, particularly those of Captain Alfred T. Mahan. Since that time, 
there has been a tendency to analyze past events, stressing these doctrines. 

In Chile, during the first half of this century, a new generation of naval 
historians and analysts developed. Among them were Rear Admirals Luis 
Langlois Vidal, Alejandro Garcia Castelblanco, and later, Captain Horacio 
Vio Valdivieso. Simultaneously, the First World War and the serious political 
events of the 1920s and 30s, with their repercussions in the Chilean military, 
gave origin to different articles published in the Revista de Marina and to the 
memoirs of Admirals Jose T. Merino Saavedra, and Edgardo von Schroeders 
Sarratea. By mid-century, Vice Admiral Juan Agustin Rodriguez Sepulveda 
finished his work of historical research, reaching a wide audience. 

The Chilean Academy of History, a center for the study and publication of 
history, was founded in 1933. Among its membership are notable researchers 
and specialists in naval history. One of its founding members was the already 
mentioned Admiral Garcia Castelblanco. Other members that joined the 
academy later were Captain Rodrigo Fuenzalida Bade, author of a large work 
on the history of the Chilean Navy, and Dr. Carlos Lopez Urrutia, who lives 

Fanor Velasco, La revolution de 1891: Memorias de don Fanor Velasco, 2nd ed. (Santiago: Direccion 
General de Talleres, 1925); P. WycrofF, "The Chilean Civil War, 1891" U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings 
88 (October, 1962), pp. 58-63. 

Luis Langlois Vidal, Injluencia delpoder naval en la historia de Chile desde 1810a 1910 (Valparaiso: Imp. 
de la Armada, 1911). 

Alejandro Garcia Castelblanco, Estudio critico de las operaciones navales de Chile (Valparaiso: Imp. de la 
Armada, 1929). 

Horacio Vio Valdivieso, Resena historica de los nombres de las unidades de la Armada (Santiago: 1938); 
Manual de Historia Naval de Chile (Valparaiso: Imp. de la Armada, 1972). 

Jose T. Merino Saavedra, La Armada National y la dictadura militar. Memorias del ultimo Director General 
de la Armada (Santiago: Imp. de la Direccion General de Prisiones, 1932.) 

Edgardo von Schroeders, El delegado del gobierno y el motin de la escuadra (Santiago: Imp. y Litografia 
Uni verso, 1933). 

Juan Agustin Rodriguez Sepulveda, Cronicas nacionales y navales (Valparaiso: Imp de la Armada, 1953.) 

Rodrigo Fuenzalida Bade, La Armada de Chile desde la alborada al sesquicentenario (Santiago: Talleres 
Empresa Periodistica "Aqui Esta," 1978), 4 volumes; Marinos ilustres y destacados del pasado (Santiago: 
Sipimex Ltda., 1985). 

98 Chile 

and teaches in the United States and is the author of several books and articles 

on the same topic. The current commander in chief of the Chilean Navy, 

Admiral Jorge Martinez Busch, author of an extensive bibliography on historical 

and geopolitical matters, recently joined the Chilean Academy of History. 

Throughout its existence, the Chilean Academy of History has contributed 
to the research of many aspects related to naval and maritime history, the 
publication of the O'Higgins archives among them. One of the academicians 
that participated, Luis Valencia Avaria, has published books and articles specializ- 
ing on the independence period and on the efforts of the O'Higgins government 
to create the Chilean Navy. Another academician, Alamiro de Avila Martel, 
completed several month's of research in English and Scottish archives on 
Admiral Cochrane, sponsored by the academy, and later published a biography. 
A collection of edited documents is awaiting publication. 

It is worthwhile noting that the academician Gabriel Guarda Geywitz has 
developed part of his work on the history of architecture and urbanization in 
Chile considering the Spanish fortifications at the south of the country, where 
many important events related to the Chilean Navy took place. One of his books 
treats the topic of the seizure of Valdivia during the War of Independence. 

The civilian researchers who are more oriented toward naval history are at 
the Catholic University of Chile (Universidad Catolica de Chile) in Santiago. 
Some of these individuals include Professors Roberto Hernandez Ponce, 
Ximena Rojas Valdes, and Emilio Meneses Cuiffardi. The latter is a political 
scientist oriented toward topics in geopolitical and international relations. He 
has published a book on difficulties in the naval relations between Chile and the 
United States. 

David Mahan Marchese, M.D., has done a great and valuable research effort 


on naval historiography and iconography. He is in possession of a private 
collection that is the widest and best organized in the country, collaborating with 
many researchers on the subject. 

In the field of Chilean maritime history, Admiral Uribe and Claudio Veliz 
have publications on the merchant navy. Also worth mentioning in this 
context are Pedro Sapunar, Jorge Lira, Mateo Martinic, and Manuel Fernandez, 
who have referred to the history of Chilean ports in different periods of this 

El Mercurio publishes, in several of its newspapers, a supplement entitled Our 
Sea (Nuestro Mar), under the direction of Rear Admiral Francisco Ghisolfo 
Araya, Chilean Navy (retired), who is a prolific author of essays on historical, 

Carlos Lopez Urrutia, Historia de la Marina de Chile (Santiago: Andres Bello, 1969). 

Alamiro de Avila Martel, Cochrane y la independencia del Pacifuo (Santiago: Universitaria, 1976). 

Emilio Meneses Ciuffardi, El factor naval en las relaciones de Chile y EE. UU., 1881-1951 (Santiago). 

David Mahan, La Marina de Chile: Proyecto de ensayo Bibliografico (Valparaiso: 1974). 

Claudio Veliz, Historia de la Marina Mercante de Chile (Santiago: Universidad de Chile, 1961). 

Tromben 99 

strategic, and tactical topics. This publication characteristically publishes inter- 
esting articles on naval and maritime activities. Otherwise unavailable back- 
ground information can also be found in its pages. 

In Chile, in general terms, there is a trend to treat naval and maritime subjects 
without any distinction between them. The Chilean Navy has a special concern for 
the latter. Furthermore, there is a branch of the Navy that performs the coast guard 
function, and merchant marine officers are educated at the Naval Academy. 

The Naval Review [Revista de Marina], normally publishes articles on subjects 
relating to naval history. In addition to this Review, the Chilean Navy publishes 
Lookout [Vigia], which includes similar topics, although graphically treated and 
in a lighter manner, providing both knowledge and entertainment. It also 
includes notes on current naval and maritime situations that will become future 
sources of information for historians. 

Several books relating to the special branches of the Chilean Navy have been 
published during the last decade, some of them with many illustrations and 

-1-1 io 

references. Such is the case of books about naval aviation, naval engineering, 
supply, the submarine force, and naval artillery, and Marine Corp. 

English speaking countries have developed recently an interest in Chilean 
naval history. Different factors might account for this interest. In the case of 
British authors, the reason might lie in the important naval influence their 
country exerted in the days of the independence, when many British officers 
and personnel came here, either with Cochrane or by themselves, and in the 
great amount of naval shipbuilding that was performed by British shipyards for 
the Chilean Navy by the middle of the past century. Later, at the beginning of 
this century, through the First World War, and even after this conflict, British 
instructors came to Chile, while a great number of Chilean officers were 
educated in Britain and in Europe. 

The work of Philip Somervell on the subject is quite important. We can 
also name Adrian English, who is a journalist who publishes articles on 

Carlos Tromben Corbalan, La Aviation Naval de Chile (El Belloto: Comandancia de Aviacion Naval, 

Carlos Tromben Corbalan, Ingenierta naval, una especialidad centenaria (Valparaiso: Imp. de la Armada, 

Francisco Astudillo Tapia, y Fernandez A., Marco Historia de la especialidad de Abastecimiento, 
1818-1940 (Valparaiso: Imp. de la Armada, 1991). 

Armada De Chile, Fuerza de Submarinos (Concepcion: Comandancia en Jefe de la Fuerza de 
Submarinos, 1992). 

Juan Anderson Diaz, Centenario de la Escuela de Armamentos, 1892-1992 (Valparaiso: Imp. de la 
Armada, 1992). 

Curpo de Infanteria de Marina (Santiago: Sipimex Ltda., 1994). 

Philip Somervell, "Amistad naval anglo-chilena", Revista de Marina, 102: 767 (July-August, 1985), 
pp. 481-93. 

100 Chile 

the Chilean Navy in specialized reviews; in time they will be a source of 
historical data. 

The Chilean Navy has also been a subject of study in the U.S. Besides the articles 
of the aforementioned Dr. Carlos Lopez, we should mention the books by William 
Sater and Robert L. Scheina and others who have written their degree theses 
for different American and British universities. All of these scholars share a curiosity 
for this small country with its huge coastline that throughout its history has had a 
rather important naval force compared to its territorial size and which, by the end 
of the last century, was even able to threaten the emerging naval superiority of the 
United States in the Pacific Ocean. A subject of interest for American authors is the 
participation of the Chilean Navy in internal conflicts and the influence exerted by 
the U.S. Navy, particularly since the Second World War, when Great Britain 
notably decreased its presence in this part of the world, but Americans have also 
done some substantial work on earlier periods. 

An interesting book on Chilean sea power [El Voder Naval Chileno], was 
published to celebrate the centennial of the Revista de Marina. Several distin- 
guished historians and analysts, some of them already mentioned, directed by 
Captain Claudio Collados Nunez, reviewed the historical evolution of the 
concept of sea power in Chile from different perspectives. 

Currently, there is no official professorial chair in maritime and naval history, 
except at the Naval Academy. The Chilean Navy focusses research in the field in 
the Historical Division of the Naval Museum and Historical Archives, and Naval 
History Bureau in the General Secretariat of the Navy. These two centers of work, 
research, and analysis are supporting several current research projects to be published. 

The transfer of the Naval Museum (which until 1967 had been occupied 
by the Naval Academy) to its current building in Valparaiso meant not only 

Adrian J. English, Armed forces in Latin America (London: Jane's Publishing Co., 1984). 

William F. Sater, The Heroic Image in Chile: Arturo Prat, Secular Saint (Berkeley: Univ. of California 
Press, 1973). 

40 Robert L. Sheina, Latin America: a Naval History 1810-1987 (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1987); 
The Influence of Sea Power Upon Latin America: A bibliography (2nd ed. Offset, 1972); "Indigenous Latin 
America Sea Power" Ph.D thesis, Catholic University of America, 1976). 

Robert N. Burr, By Reason of force: Chile and Balance of Power in South America, 1830-1905 (Berkley: 
Univ. of California Press, 1967); David J. Cubitt, "Study of the Naval Aspects of the War of 
Independence of Chile" (Portsmouth, UK: Portsmouth Polytechnic, 1978-79); D.J. Cubitt, Lord 
Cochrane and the Chilean Navy (1818—1823), with an Inventory of the Dundonald Papers relating to his service 
with the Chilean Navy (University of Edinburgh); Leland Henschel Jackson, "Naval Aspects of the War 
of the Pacific" (M.A. thesis, University of Florida, 1963); Donald E. Worcester, "Sea power and Chilean 
Independence" (thesis, University of Florida.) 

Edward Baxter Billingsley, In Defense of Neutral Right: the United States Navy and the Wars of 
Independence in Chile and Peru (Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1964); Hanson U. Hancock, 
A history of Chile (Chicago: Sergei and Co., 1983); Robert Hart, The Great White Fleet (Boston: Little 
Brown & Co., 1965); Robert Erwin Johnson, Thence round Cape Horn (Annapolis U.S. Naval Institute, 
1963). For the recent period, see Robert L. Sheina, Latin America: A Naval History. 

Armada de Chile, El poder naval chileno (Santiago: Alfabeta, 1985). 

Tromben 101 

the renewal of the museum's exhibits in accordance with latest standards for 
museums, but the creation of the specialized Historiography Division, headed 
by Professor Jorge Garin Jimenez (who has been involved in a research at the 
National Archives) to select and to classify naval and maritime-related material. 
The first volume of the papers of Vice- Admiral Thomas A. Cochrane is the fruit 
of this work, jointly developed with the Naval History Bureau of the General 
Secretariat of the Navy. It will be published soon with the sponsorship of the 
office of the commander in chief of the Navy. 

The Chilean Navy has two other important on-going projects. The first 
consists of continuing research at the National Archives, and in other places, 
in order to make available the most important documents, enabling special- 
ized researchers to use them. The second is a project to remodel an additional 
part of the old building of the Naval Academy, supplementing the current 
Naval Museum with a library and archive for naval and maritime history. 

As a final consideration we can add that the independence period and, in 
general, all of the last century have been treated in depth by Chilean naval 
and maritime historiography, probably because it was mainly a time of 
external conflicts and it is easier to agree on their interpretation. By the same 
token, recent events are less addressed, probably because naval and even 
maritime affairs are related to internal political problems or other aspects that 
are subject to the most different interpretations. 

There are many newspaper and specialized review articles, together with 
professional theses written by naval and military officers about the events of 
the 1920s and 30s. The published institutional histories for this period 
cover controversial matters lightly, but there is very little published about 
the following decades. Due to a lack of perspective, it is certainly not 
easy to provide a fair historical judgment on recent events. Nevertheless, 
this should not be an excuse to dispense with the personal viewpoints of 
recent events, as authors such as Admirals Uribe and Williams did in the 
past century or as von Schroeders and Merino Saavedra did at the 
beginning of this one. The works of Admirals Ismael Huerta Diaz and 
Sergio Huidobro Justiniano, especially Admiral Huerta's work, which is 
undeniably valuable in literary and documentary terms, seem to be isolated 

Jorge Garin Jimenez, Archivo Historico Naval, Volume I Book I: Vicealmirante Thomas Alexander 
Cochrane (Valparaiso: Imp. de la Armada, 1993). 

Ricardo Donoso, Alessandri, agitador y demoledor (Mexico: 1954); Ernesto Gonzalez, El parto de los 
monies o la sublevacion de la marineria (Santiago: Talleres Graficos "Condor," 1932); Leonardo Guzman 
Cortes, Un episodio olvidado de la historia national, julio-noviembre de 1931, (Santiago: Anrdes Bello, 1966); 
Antonio Quintanilla, Memorias del general Quintanilla (Santiago: 1960); Ramon Vergara Montero, Por 
rutas extraviadas (Santiago: Imp. Universitaria, 1933); Lorenzo Villalon Madrid, Combate naval de Inquiaue, 
Valparaiso 21 de mayo e 1925 (Valparaiso: Fisher e Ihnen, 1925). 

Ismael Huerta Diaz, Volveria a ser marino (Santiago: Andres Bello, 1988). 

Sergio Huidobro Justiniano, Decision Naval (Valparaiso: Imp. de la Armada, 1989). 

102 Chile 

efforts that find their way amid many newspaper publications and books that 
treat these subjects partially or antagonistically. The lack of good analytical and 
interpretative works on the naval aspects of recent events is a void that we 
cannot but regret. 


Hans Christian Bjerg 

Denmark commands a significant maritime geostrategic position. It is 
beyond dispute that this position has played a decisive role in the 
development of our country and has given it the essence of its historical identity. 

It's curious, therefore, to observe that the maritime aspect of Danish history has 
been assigned a relatively humble position in historical literature, research, inter- 
pretation, and consciousness. Apparently, in the general consciousness of the Danish 
people, their country is more an agricultural nation than a maritime one. 

Fortunately, that state of affairs seems to be changing. In the last three decades 
the interest for naval and maritime history has increased significantly in Denmark. 

One of the reasons for the previous lack of comprehensive research in naval 
and maritime history in Denmark is that we used to speak about maritime issues 
in terms of traditional grievances. We did not consider the maritime cultural 
concept as a whole, wherein all the diffuse but important maritime aspects come 

It would be fair at this point to note that the situation described above is 
obviously not unique to Denmark. 

The Museums 

The Royal Danish Navy has maintained museum collections since the 
eighteenth century. Still, the public was not normally given access to these 
collections and therefore a general interest in naval history was not stimulated. 

R. Steen Steensen, Orlogstnuseet Marinehistorisk Selskabs Skrifternr, 6 (Kobenhavn: 1961), and Hans 
Chr. Bjerg, "Den marinehistoriske forskning og Sovsernets museumsproblemer," in Marinehistorisk 
Tidsskrift no. 1, 1973, pp. 7-18. 

Hans Christian Bjerg graduated from the University of Copenhagen in 1971. He was 
Assistant Keeper at the Danish National Archives 1971-81, Consultant on Naval History 
of the Royal Danish Navy in 1974, Lecturer in Naval History at the Royal Naval 
Academy in Copenhagen in 1975, and Chief Archivist and head of the Military Archives 
in 1981. He is author of several books and articles about naval history and was editor of 
the Danish Naval Historical Review from 1967 to 1978. He has been a member of the 
board of the Society for Danish Naval History since 1964. 

104 Denmark 

The first maritime museum was founded in Denmark in 1914. It was named 
The Museum for Trade and Shipping, (Handels og Sefartsmuseet) and was 
located in the old castle of Kronborg, near Elsinore. For a long time this museum 
was the center for the only research in maritime history officially undertaken in 

Starting in 1958, parts of the naval collections were put on permanent 
exhibition. That exhibition eventually evolved into a genuine museum. The 
Royal Naval Museum [Orlogsmuseet] finally moved into its own building in 
Copenhagen in 1989. Unfortunately, due to lack of financial support, the 
opportunities for the Royal Naval Museum to initiate and attract research 
projects in naval history has been restricted. 

In 1964, The National Museum established a special laboratory for ship 
history, primarily to develop research on the ships during the Viking age and in 
the Early Middle Ages. A Viking museum was connected to this laboratory in 
1968 and is located in Roskilde on Zealand. Since 1993 this museum's activities 
have expanded and should develop into a more ambitious Research Center for 
Maritime Archaeology, which will be supervised by a special council of experts. 

In 1908 the a screw frigate Jylland, which had been launched in 1860, was 
stricken by the Royal Danish Navy in order to be scrapped. Instead, the frigate 
was bought by a group of private individuals who, for a period, used it as a 
floating exhibition platform. In 1960 it was placed at Ebeloft on Jutland and 
opened as a museum ship. At the end of the 1980s, support from a private 
foundation made it possible to completely restore the ship. That process was 
finished in early 1994. The ship is a success as a museum and it has stimulated 
an interest for the special development of warships and the history of the Navy 
and its men. 

In 1993 an integrated maritime museum was open for the public in Aaiborg 
on Jutland. There it is possible to visit a submarine and a fast patrol boat and to 
view collections showing the nation's general maritime and naval development. 

It warrants mention that the Arsenal and Arms Museum [Tejhusmuseet] in 
Copenhagen also contains rich collections related to naval development and that 
the historians of that museum have also contributed to research and publishing 
of naval history. 

Within maritime ethnology and the development of fishing, which also had 
an important role for the country's economy, The Museum for Fishing and 
Shipping [Fisker i og Sefartsmuseet] at Esbjerg on Jutland has made exceptional 
studies in the research of this aspect of our history. 

Olde Crumlin-Pedersen "Marinarkaeologisk Forskningscenter i Roskilde — en aktuel orientering," 
in Fortid og Nutid (1994), pp. 24-52. 

The history of the museum ship can be found in R. Steen Steensen, Fregattenjylland, Marinehistorisk 
Selskabs Skrifter (Kobenhavn: 1965); and F.H. Kjoolsen, "The Old Danish Frigate," in Mariner's Mirror 
(1965) pp. 27-33. 

Bjerg 105 

All in all, the museum situation in Denmark regarding the nation's naval and 
maritime history is more favorable today than ever. 

Instruction and Education 

One of the reasons for the lack of the interest on naval and maritime history 
in general in Denmark is due to the fact that there has never been a Chair on 
this subject at the Danish Universities. Of course, courses in maritime aspects of 
certain disciplines have been held. But the concept as such has never been object 
for profound and comprehensive research. As of this writing, only three doctoral 
dissertations have been prepared in this field. 

The situation at the universities for the last two decades seems to be following 
the general trend noted above. In advanced classes in history, several now choose 
to prepare papers about relevant naval and maritime subjects and related 

There is, however, no formal education or instruction on the maritime history 
at the schools for the merchant marine and shipping. Only at the Royal Naval 
Academy do they provide regular instructions and lectures on Danish Naval 
History and development of the naval tactics during the ages. But, once again, 
there is no formal chair. The lectures are given by the historical adviser of the 
Royal Danish Navy, who is a naval historian and also head of the military archives 
in Denmark. 


For many years the only forum for discussions about naval and maritime 
history was the so-called Society of Naval Lieutenants (See-lieutenant- 
Selskabet), founded in 1784. In the beginning, only lieutenants of the Navy 
could be members. Later, all naval officers of the line could be members. The 
Society is a closed circle and is only visible for the public through the Society's 
the Naval Review [Tidsskrift for Sevssen], which the Society has published since 
1856 when it took over from private sources who had published it since 1826. 
Now it is one of the oldest reviews on naval affairs in the world. 

In 1951 a small group of interested naval officers and historians founded the 
Naval Historical Society (Marinehistorisk Selskab). Their intention was to 
stimulate research in, and interest for, the history of the Royal Danish Navy. 
Furthermore, another goal was to develop a naval museum where the rich 
collections of the Navy could be shown to the public. 

Ever since 1951 this society has been the primary forum for discussions on 
primarily naval history and, to a lesser extent, on maritime history in general. 

Henning Henningsen, Crossing the Equator: Sailor's Baptism and Other Initiation Rites (Copenhagen: 
1961); Ole Feldbaek, India Trade under the Danish Flag 1 7 12- 1 #0# (Scandinavian Institute of Asian Studies 
Monograph Series no. 2) (Copenhagen: 1969); Anders Monrad Moeller, Fra Galeoth til Galease. Studier 
i de kongerigske provinsers so/art i det 18. arh. (Kobenhavn: 1981). 

106 Denmark 

From its inception, the society published books on Danish naval history. In 1967 
it began to publish the Naval Historical Review [Marinehistorisk Tidsskrift], for 
which the first editor was the present author. This Review has fulfilled its purpose 
and has really stimulated research on naval historical matters. Today the Review 
constitutes an important forum for naval and maritime matters. 

From 1959—73, a naval officer was attached to the naval staff as a consultant on 
historical questions. In 1974 a civilian historian became the consultant of the Navy 
on naval historical matters and has, in reality, worked as the official naval historian. 

The Board of Marinehistorisk Selskab discussed in 1971 the general condition 
of naval historical research in Denmark and how it could stimulate general 
interest in seeing naval and maritime history as a whole and as aspects of the 
same overall concept. The discussions were also inspired by the development in 
Sweden of an official council for maritime research in 1971—72. As a conse- 
quence, the Board decided to initiate the First Danish Conference on Maritime 
History in March 1974. The purpose of the conference was to develop a baseline 
for research on Danish maritime history and to investigate the possibilities for 
coordinating the efforts of the different disciplines. 

The result of the conference was the creation of the Contact Committee for 
Danish Maritime Historical and Social Research, which, since 1974, has ar- 
ranged a biennial conference for maritime research. Furthermore, the committee 
had taken the initiative to publish surveys periodically of on-going research as 
well as a guide to where sources for maritime history can be found. Each year 
the Committee publishes a bibliography of books and articles related to naval 
and maritime matters. 

Naval History Research and Literature 

The research and publishing of Danish naval history, until the second part of 
the present century, has been dominated by naval officers. The literature on 
these matters was characterized by general works and very few special investiga- 
tions. As a matter of fact, very few educated historians had previously dared to 
step into the field. 

One who did was H.D.Lind, a vicar, who in the last decades of the nineteenth 
century has published works about the sixteenth and seventeenth century Danish 
Navy. His works are still used as textbooks today. 

The first survey of relative modern Danish naval history was printed in small 
booklet form in 1818 by W.A. Graah, a naval officer. After comprehensive 
studies of the archives, another naval officer, H.G. Garde, published a four- 

7 _ 

volume history of the Dano-Norwegian Navy dating from 1500. The edition 

Hans Christian Bjerg, "Den maritimhistoriske forskning i Denmark," in Fortid og Nutid XXVI (1976), 
pp. 392-7. 

W.A. Graah, Udkast til Danmarks Soekrigshistorie (Kobenhavn: 1818). 
7 H.G. Garde, Efterretninger on den danske og norske Semagt, bd. I-IV (Kobenhavn: 1832-35). 

Bjerg 107 

was not a continuous history, but rather a chronological synthesis of periodic 
information. It does, however, remain a useful work. 

Garde expressed the hope that its publication would inspire historians to write 
about Danish naval history, but he was to be disappointed. It was Garde himself 
who would, in 1852 and 1861, publish two general works on the history of the 


Danish Navy, covering the period 1500—1814. He later brought that history 
up to 1848. General works on Danish naval history were not produced until 
1875 and 1906 respectively. The authors, once again, were naval officers. 

The same was the case when a new general naval history was published in 
1934. A two-volume publication emerged in 1941—42, following the same 
model. The two last mentioned books must be considered in view of the existing 
political context. With regard to the first publication, it must be noted that, in 
the 1930s, the wave of disarmament nearly strangled the Navy in Denmark, and 
the naval officers had to profile their occupation. When the two-volume work 
was published, Denmark was occupied by German troops, and one purpose of 
the publication was apparently to emphasize the long history of Denmark and 
the strength of the national will which, over the ages, had been secured by the 

The last publication in the list of general books about history came in 
1961-62. It followed the same model as its predecessors, but for the first time, 
some of the contributors were civilian historians. This was apparently a result of 
the efforts of Marinehistorisk Selskab since 1951. The general works did not 
communicate new knowledge to the naval history other than the contemporary 
activities of the Royal Danish Navy. 

The increase of interest in naval history from the beginning of the 1 970s 
produced a demand for new knowledge about naval history. Therefore, the time 
for general works had passed and several books and articles about special and 
narrower subject areas based on a scientific approach emerged. However, one 
general work from this period was produced. It is a two-volume book about the 
shipbuilding activity in the Danish-Norwegian Navy in the period of the sailing 
warship, 1690—1860, which was published in 1980. That book revealed the 
richness of the huge collections of technical drawings and plans which existed 
in the naval files of the Danish National Archives. It has contributed to our 
knowledge of an important aspect of our maritime heritage which had not been 

8 H.G. Garde, Bidrag til Semagts Historie 1 700-1814 (Kobenhavn: 1 852), and Den dansk-norske Semagts 
Historie 1535-1 100 (Kobenhavn: 1 86 1 ) . 

9 H.G. Garde, "Bidrag til Somgtens Historie 1814-48," Historisk Tidskrift, 3.Rk. V. Bd. (1866-67), 
pp. 165-216. 

Fldden gennem 450 Ar, Red. af R. Steen Steensen, G. Honnes de Lichtenberg og M. Frils Metier, 
(Kobenhavn, 1961) (vol. 1), and Fladen - administration, teknik og civile opgauer, Red. af K.G. Konradsen, 
G. Honnens de Lichtenberg og M. Frils Moller, (Kobenhavn, 1962) (vol. 2). 

Hans Christian Bjerg and John Erichsen, Danske Orlogsskibe 1690-1860, Konstruktion og Dekoration, 
Bd. I-II (Kobenhavn: 1980). 

108 Denmark 

researched previously. It also inspired basic studies about technical development 
in Denmark where, for a long time, the Naval Shipyard in Copenhagen was the 
largest workplace in the country. In the 1980s, profound and comprehensive 
studies were published on the ships and shipbuilding of the Danish Navy in the 

1 9 

seventeenth and the eighteenth centuries. 

Now we also have a comprehensive knowledge on the Navy in the last part 
of the seventeenth century, thanks to discussions among the Danish naval 
historians about the course of the Naval Battle of K0ge Bugt on the 1st of July 

1 'X 

1677. This discourse has brought many new facts to light on that period. 
Contemporary research also exists on the last part of the eighteenth century and 
on the first decade of the nineteenth century. 

Much remains to be done. For example, we still need modern research on 
the administration of the Navy, its political role, the social conditions for the 
officers and the crews, and among other things, new investigations on the naval 
battles fought by the Navy. 

In 1975 the present author published A Bibliography of Danish Naval History 
from 1500-1975 [Dansk Marinehistorisk Bibliografi 1500-1975]. It lists 2,086 
items, most of them small articles and booklets. Unintentionally, the bibliog- 
raphy became a chronicle of the status of Danish naval history prior to the 
increasing interest which appeared in the 1970s. Since then, there have been 
around 500 items published, which, on average, are far more detailed and 
extensive than most of the items listed in the mentioned bibliography. It is not 
surprising, therefore, that a revision to that bibliography is planned for publica- 
tion in the next two to three years. 

Danish naval historians realize today that a lot of trends common to other 
European naval development can be recognized in the Danish materials. But they 
are also of that opinion that knowledge of the development of the small Danish 
Navy can provide important pieces to an understanding of the general puzzle. 
Heretofore, very few books or articles on Danish naval history have been published 
in English or another major language. It is, therefore, the claimed intention ofDanish 
naval historians today to publish more in English in the future. 

Maritime History Research and Literature 

As compared to naval history, maritime history has thus far been characterized 
by general surveys and sporadic scientific research. It is worthwhile to observe 

See for instance, Niels M. Probst and Frank Allan Rasmussen in several articles in Marinehistorisk 
Tidsskrift in the 1980s and 1990s. 

Jorgen H. Barfod, Niels Juel, liv oggeming i den danske seetat (Arhus: 1977). The discussions about the 
Battle of Koge Bugt can be followed in articles in Tidsskrift for Sevcesen og Marinehistorisk Tidsskrift in the 
beginning of the 1950s and from 1977 and on. 

14 Ole L. Frantzani Trualan tra vat. Dansk-norsk fladepolitik 1769-1807, Marinehistorisk Selskabe 
Skrifter, no. 16 (Kobenhavn: 1980) and Ole Feldbaek, Slaget pa Reden (Kobenhavn: 1985). 

Bjerg 1 09 

that the two disciplines have followed separate tracks. But, in general, the interest 
in maritime history has been greater than that shown for naval history. 

In 1919 a huge book in two volumes was published. The title was The Shipping 
and Trade of Denmark during the Ages [Danmarks Sofart og Sohandel fra de oeldste 
Tider til vore Dage]. The contributors were esteemed historians, naval officers, 
and men working with the shipping trade. For a long time this book represented 
the general knowledge of the maritime history of Denmark, but did not inspire 
further research. 

Research and writings about maritime history have concentrated around the 
Handes og Sofartsmuseet and its yearbook, the articles which represent the main 
part of the published maritime history up to current times. A lot of information 
may also be found in the jubilee publications of the different Danish shipping 

Denmark and the Sea [Danmark og Havet] was the title of a general two-volume 
book about the maritime history of Denmark and the maritime contemporary 
institutions in the country. It was published in 1948. 

The 1970s were also a breakthrough for the maritime historical interest and 
research centered around the Conference for Maritime History and the Contact 
Committee mentioned above. In 1980 the Contact Committee began to publish 
the Maritime Contact [Maritim Kontakt] , which now, in addition to the yearbook 
of the Museum for Trade and Shipping, is the main forum for published maritime 
research in Denmark. One of the few doctoral dissertations on maritime history 
was published in 1981. 

The situation for maritime historical research in Denmark is, therefore, 
generally in very good shape at the moment. An example of this is the working 
plan for a general and comprehensive work on the maritime history of Denmark, 
which is going to be published within the next 3—4 years in 4—5 volumes, written 
by historians who belong to the new school that emerged after the 1970s. It is 
expected that this new history will compile all the new knowledge provided by 
the modern and scientific research approach. 


By Anders Monrad Moller, cfr. note 4. 

Dominican Republic 

Cesar A. De Windt Lavandier 
Rear Admiral, Dominican Republic Navy, Retired 

Following twenty-two years of Haitian military occupation, Dominican 
Republic independence was proclaimed on 27 February 1844. On that very 
same day, Commander Juan Alejandro Acosta took possession of the port 
facilities at the Harbor on the Ozama River, and the Dominican Navy, known 
as the National Fleet, was born. 

The Navy was initially composed of five converted merchant ships provided 
by three Dominican businessmen, and was organized by its founders, Com- 
manders Juan Bautista Cambiaso and Juan Bautista Maggiolo. The first ship to 
carry the Dominican banner was the schooner Leonor, which departed Santo 
Domingo on 2 March 1844 bound for Curacao. Her mission was to return 
previously exiled patrician Juan Pablo Duarte, the founder of the Dominican 
Republic, to his newly independent homeland. 

The Navy's first five converted merchant vessels were soon joined by seven 
other ships that had been purchased for use in the new nation's defense. The 
Dominican Navy then comprised twelve ships, with attendant Naval Artillery 
and Naval Infantry units from 1844 to 1861. It was to play a leading role in 
securing the independence of our fledgling country. This was particularly true 
during the war between the Dominican Republic and Haiti from 1849 to 1850, 
when the Navy successfully met the Haitian Navy in combat while transporting 
substantial quantities of troops and supplies in that conflict. 

Despite this proud and significant introduction, however, much of the 
Dominican Republic's naval and maritime history has fallen into a state of neglect 
in recent times. It is this issue which merits our attention. 

Authentic historiography in the Dominican Republic began with Jose Gabriel 
Garcia who, during the last decade of the nineteenth century, wrote wrote four 
volumes in a compendium of the history of Santo Domingo dating back to the 
arrival of the Spaniards to the islands. Garcia, it should be noted, also served as 

Duarte was destined to be exiled again that same year by his Dominican rival, Pedro Santana, and 
would lead a wandering lifestyle, largely in Venezuela, until his death in 1876. Still, he is widely regarded 
as the founder of the Dominican independence movement. 

Jose Gabriel Garcia, Historia Moderna De La Repubica Dominicana (Santo Domingo: Garcia hermanos, 

112 Dominican Republic 

an artillery lieutenant in one of the warships that fought against the Haitian forces 

during the 1849—50 war. He took part in the naval battle of Aux Cayes off the 

southern coast of Haiti in December 1849, from which the Dominican Republic 

emerged victorious. 

Antonio del Monte y Tejada, another author who actually preceded Garcia, 


made reference to the Dominican Corsairs activities from 1738 to 1760. Both 
writers based their ideas on their studies of the West Indian Chronicals. Since 
Garcia did not have access to many primary sources of information, it is possible 
that he used del Monte y Tejada's notes, as Antonio had traveled to Havana, 
Cuba to conduct extensive research in the official files and deposits held there. 

Also ranking among the noteworthy researchers of our history is Emilio 
Rodriquez Demorizi, who, most notably, made reference to the evolution of 
our merchant marine as well as the Dominican Navy in many of his books. 

In fact, in our country the military affairs dealing with seafaring events are 
very closely related to non-military maritime issues. All matters associated with 
port authorities are in the hands of the military officials. Since the Dominican 
Republic is a small nation, the Navy supervises all activities concerning all of 
our ports of call, including trade, defense and security. Thus, our naval heritage 
is very much a part of our national history. 

Unfortunately, there is no institution in the Dominican Republic, 
governmental or private, intended solely to teach our naval history. The only 
entity currently teaching maritime history is the Dominican Naval Academy, 
and even those courses are taught under precarious conditions. Appropriate 
research facilities are nonexistent, and the lack of resources, materials, and 
primary documents prevent students from obtaining a validated understanding 
of that history. 

The Academy of History (Academia de la Historia de la Republica 
Dominicana) is an official institution founded by a group of prominent and 
distinguished historians dedicated to the study of the history of the two countries 
sharing the island of Hispaniola: the Dominican Republic and the Republic of 
Haiti. As such, it concerns itself with many aspects of the island's history, but it 
has not undertaken the study of either the Dominican Navy or its merchant 

Several individuals in the private sector have accumulated documents relating 
to events that took place during our War for Independence and those chronicling 
the Dominican Republic's naval participation in World War II, but those efforts 
have not enjoyed the support of our public institutions. 

1893-1906; reprint 1968), 4 vols. 

Antonio del Monte y Tejada, Historia de Santo Domingo (1890; reprint: Ciudad Trujillo, 1952-1953), 
3 vols. 

See, for example, Emilio Rodriguez Demorizi, Hostos en Santo Domingo (Ciudad Trujillo, 
1939-1942), 2 vols. 

De Windt Lavandier 1 1 3 

In my personal opinion, our country is in great need of institutions that 
promote the studies of naval historiography. For example, the creation of a 
special department at Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo, the oldest 
university in the New World and a very prestigious institution, to study maritime 
and naval history would be extremely important. 

It would also be possible to integrate a special branch for the study of maritime 
history with the collaboration of other international organizations with our 
government. Proposals for such a development could be made through the 
Museum of History and Geography or through the Academy of History of the 
Dominican Republic. 

The absence of a sound and vigorous branch of maritime history in the 
Dominican Republic is due largely to the imperatives of national priorities; we 
are a small and poor country and must husband resources accordingly. The 
potential for cooperative or collaborative efforts with international organizations 
dedicated to maritime research may provide the opportunity to overcome the 
resource limitations and permit us to more thoroughly develop and better 
understand this important aspect of our nation's history. 



Herve Coutau-Begarie 

For much of the twentieth century, France has maintained a leading role in 
the study of history. At the turn of the century, the positivist school helped 
decisively to settle the emerging rules of scholarly history. In the 1930s, the 
Annales school played a leading role in the revival of historical studies with its 
interests in economy and social history. Today, Fernand Braudel, Emmanuel Le 
Roy-Ladurie, and Pierre Chaunu are well known to the international com- 
munity of historians. Yet, despite this rich relationship with historical studies 
in general, it is not at all certain that the same positive observations can be made 
about the influence of the French school on maritime history. 

Such an assertion may be surprising. France, after all, has played an important 
role in the International Commission of maritime history. It was through French 
influence that the revision of the Glossaire nautique by Jal, and the creation of a 
maritime history working group five years later at the Stockholm Congress, was 
approved at the 10th International Congress of Historical Sciences in Rome in 
1955. The first international symposia were organised in Paris from 1956 to 1959 
by the Academie de Marine, the Comite de documentation historique de la 
Marine, the Centre national de la recherche scientifique and the IVe Section de 
l'Ecole pratique des Hautes Etudes. Subsequent symposia have taken place all 
over the world, but the mainspring has always been a French source. Symposia 
products were also for some time published by the S.E.V.P.E.N. in France, in 
a collection known to all maritime historians. 

Given all this, how could one have doubts as to the influence of French 
maritime historiography? The balance sheet is impressive, but it is essentially the 
work of one man: Michel Mollat, President of the International Commission of 
Maritime History for twenty-five years. Mollat authored many books, served as 
the head of the working groups for the revision of the Glossaire nautique, of a 
survey concerning the marine ex-votos, and of a bibliography of oceanic routes. 
He was a leading figure in dozens of national or international symposia and, 
finally, was founder of the Laboratorie d'Histoire maritime. An entire article 
devoted just to his work would not suffice to relate his contribution to maritime 

Herve Coutau-Begarie, Le phSnomene Nouvelle Historie, Grandeur et dkadence de I'ecole des Annales 
(Paris: Economica, 2e ed., 1989). 

1 1 6 France 

history. Following him are those who are today known to the international com- 
munity: Jean Meyer, Etienne Taillemite, Jean Boudriot, and Philippe Masson. 

But French maritime historians have been unable to establish a common 
methodological approach with which to challenge the Anglo-Saxon hegemony in 
this field. The reasons for this situation are, of course, complex. First, we have to 
consider the absence of a structure around which French maritime historians could 
gather. For instance, there is no counterpart to the British Navy Records Society in 
France. The Commission francaise d'Histoire maritime (CFHM), is relatively new, 
dating back only to 1976, and its means have always been very modest. For various 
reasons, the integration of the Commission into the Comite de documentation 
historique de la Marine, which was logically appropriate, has not been possible. 

Furthermore, there is no real center for research within academia except the 
Laboratoire d'histoire maritime. That laboratory was created in 1973 by Michel 
Mollat at the Sorbonne when the IVeme section de l'Ecole pratique des Hautes 
Etudes was finally integrated into the Centre National de la Recherche Scien- 
tifique. Additionally, no journal of maritime history enjoying the same impor- 
tance as the American Neptune or the Mariner's Mirror exists in France. As a result, 
the professional articles which are produced are dispersed in various reviews, the 
most important of which do not give them the space or attention they deserve. 

In 1979, the CFHM began publication of a Chronique d'histoire maritime, which, 
in fact, is more a simple bulletin than a true review. Of course, we have the 
excellent review, Neptunia, published by the Musee de la Marine, but it is more 
interested in archeology than in history, and its size prohibits the publication of 
extensive articles. The review Marins et Oceans, published for the first time by 
the CFHM in 1990, was stopped after the third issue with a change in the 
Commission's editorial policy. The same situation exists in the publishing of 
other scholarly maritime and naval history; for instance, the well-known 
S.E.V.P.E.N. no longer exists after having once been the publishing resource 
for substantive studies. 

The Service historique de la Marine publishes certain works, but only when 
they are the result of researchers using the documents kept by that Service. Some 
works remain unpublished, particularly if they are extensive, unless it is possible 
to adopt the imperfect solution of the anastatic process. For example, the work 
on the Chinese Navy by Jacques Dars was published more than twenty years 
after its examination by the university, and the book by Claude Huan on the 
Soviet Navy in the Arctic during the 1940-1945 war waited more than ten years 
for a publisher. These are but two examples among others. 

This lack of structure has created an unfortunate separation between naval 
history and maritime history. The former has suffered from a long-lasting 

2 Naturally there are other centres of research having fewer resources such as Centre d'historie des 
Espaces atlantiques in Bordeaux under the supervision of Paul Butel. 

Coutau-Begarle 117 


prejudice against military history, anathematised by the Annales school. The 
study of naval history has been relegated for decades to retired naval officers or 
ship lovers, interested in the ships themselves. Thus, naval history has long 
focused on technique and tactics and emphasized activities of ships-of-the-line 
or the actions of privateers in the guerre de course. Maritime history, on the other 
hand, survived by adapting itself to external subjects such as economic history, 
through which its revival began. 

In a Revue historique article in 1971, Professor Andre Martel foresaw a revival 
of military history in France. It is not going too far to say that a similar occurrence 
has been observed for the last two decades in the studies of naval and maritime 
histories. Both have finally reached, if not unity, at least a complementarity 
which allows them to coexist in academia. The number of studies has increased 
in various spheres. Today, French maritime history covers almost all historical 
research fields, although, unfortunately, some important areas exhibit weakness 
or obsolescence. As an initial conclusion, therefore, we may say that the results 
of this progress remain mixed. 

The distinction between naval history and maritime history has given rise to 
some disputes. The most common point of view, in accordance with the 
etymology currently being accepted, is that naval history should include every- 
thing which concerns the ships themselves, while maritime history would be 
more one of the environment. It does not seem necessary to debate that question 
here, but to remain with the commonly accepted interpretation, naval history 
means the history of the military forces used at sea, while maritime history 
concerns all the rest. This division has the advantage of being easily under- 
standable and also corresponds in a certain way to an institutional reality which 
is almost sociological: naval historians form a particular group in which academics 
remain a minority; maritime historians are much more numerous and more 
diversified, while at the same time more closely connected to academia. 

Naval History 

Before 1940, France seemed to have a promising and solid base in naval 
history. Famous historians had dedicated their studies to it: Lacour-Gayet wrote 
a whole set of volumes on French maritime and colonial policy before the 
Revolution. Charles de la Ronciere wrote a monumental, six volume Histoire 
de la marine francaise. Although his history was never completed, the final volume 
he produced, concerning Louis XIV's navy, is still considered a reference for today's 

Herve Coutau-Begarie, "L'histoire militaire face a la nouvelle histoire," Strattgique, 18, 1986. 

This statement is in no way exhaustive. Its aim consists in bringing tendencies to the fore and in not 
seeking an exhaustive evaluation. The only works mentioned are the most important or the most 
significant as such. 

1 1 8 France 

The historical method also remained highly regarded in French naval circles despite 
the consequences of the First World War. Officers studying at the Ecole de guerre 
navale were typically required to write a thesis, and most often they were of a historical 
nature, with a predilection for works on the seventeenth and eighteenth century 
periods. For this reason, we have a number of important studies based on archival 
research and presenting original interpretations which have been brought to the 
attention of the public by historians since the Second World War. 

This tradition continued through the 1950s, with an inclination towards 
contemporary history. Then, in the following decade, it was interrupted when 
military teaching turned from history and gave priority to technical subjects. 
This lack of interest, demonstrated by both the Navy and academia, was very 
harmful to the progress of research. It was only in the 1980s that naval history 
was revived and claimed its rightful place among historical studies. 

Contemporary Naval History. Contemporary naval history reached an excep- 
tional level of development in France between the two world wars, when the 
memory of the First War was still vivid, furthering the publication of works on 
naval warfare. The undisputed leader of that form of literature was Paul Chack, who 
published a number of small works with much success, and which have recently 
been collected in one volume by Jacques Antier. Simultaneously the Service 
historique de la Marine, created in 1920 by Captain Raoul Castex, began publishing 
some strategical studies through its historical section. Other purely historical studies, 
written primarily by Captains Adolphe Laurens and Louis Guichard, are remarkable 
for the way the authors scrupulously used official records. These works remain useful 

This worthy historical effort was brought to a sudden halt by the Second 
World War. Of course, at the end of that war, just as in 1918, a number of 
popular works on naval war emerged. Some of them have achieved great success, 
particularly those by Jacques Mordal (pen name of naval doctor Herve Cras, 
who also wrote several other works on the Second World War) . At the same 
time, just as in 1918, the historical section of the Service historique de la Marine, 
renewed publication of historical studies through official histories. Cras and 
Captain Caroff wrote most of those studies, which deal with almost all the 
theaters of operation: Mediterranean, Atlantic, the Channel, North Sea, and 

See for instance the works listed in the bibliography of Philippe Masson, Histoire de la Marine (Paris: 
Lavauzelle, 1982, volume I). 

Paul Chack et Jean-Jacques Antier, Histoire maritime de la premiere guerre mondiale (Paris: France-Empire, 
1970 in 3 volumes and 1992 in one volume). 

Adolphe Laurens, Histoire de la guerre sous-marine allemande (Paris: Editions maritimes et coloniales, 
1930); he commandement naval en Mediterranee (Paris: Payot, 1931); Precis d'histoire de la guerre navale (Paris: 
Payot, 1929); Louis Guichard, Histoire du blocus naval 1914-1918, (Paris: Payot, 1929). 

Coutau-Begarie 119 
Indochina. Other similar works have been devoted to certain postwar events, 


particularly the colonial war in Indochina and the Suez crisis. 

Unfortunately, this effort was stopped in the 1960s for several reasons. The 
primary one was the lack of resources available to the Service historique de la 
Marine, but the slow progress of granting access to official records or documents 
to unofficial researchers also contributed to the problem. Thanks to the 1979 
change in French national security law, which reduced the required time delay 
for opening records to the public from fifty to thirty years, part of the access 
problem has been alleviated. Still, we must contend with the fact that many of 
our historical records suffered significant disorder, or even destruction, both 
during the 1940 French collapse and during military actions before and after 
Liberation. Therefore, reconstitution of naval archives has been difficult and 
only partially successful. Additionally, some of the series in the French naval 
archives are incompletely listed or without detailed inventories. This, of course, 
further complicates the researcher's task. 

Despite the various limitations, the contemporary period is the best studied. 
Among the best works are those by Philippe Masson, head of the historical 
section of the Service historique de la Marine, and those by Claude Huan, 
dispersed through many articles and conference papers. 

A number of French researchers have extended their consideration of 

maritime issues beyond France. Here too, Captain Claude Huan has studied 

Soviet and German naval history in a number of important articles and begun a 

history of the German-Soviet war, the first volume of which has just been 

published. Captain Francois-Emmanuel Brezet chose to study the Imperial 

1 o 
German Navy; his original analysis of the Jutland battle replaces the famous 

book by Captain Georg von Hase, La bataille du Jutland vue du Derflinger, which 

had impressed many French naval officers in the 1930s. 

We are, however, unable to mention any noteworthy study on the Royal 

Navy (contrary to what happens on the other side of the Channel), or on the 


Herve Cras, Les forces maritimes du Nord, 1955; C.F. Caroff, Le thS&tre atlantique, 1958—1959; Le tht&tre 
mtditerranken, 1960; Les formations de la marine aux armies, 1953, reed. 1984; La campagne de Norvege, 1955, 
reed. 1986; Herve Cras, L'armistice de juin 1940 et la crise franco-britannique, 1959; C.F. Caroff, Les 
dSbarquements alliis en Afrique du Nord (Novembre 1942), 1960, reed. 1987; Andre Reussner, Les conversations 
franco-britanniques d'Etat-Major (1935-1939), 1969; V.A.E. Chaline et C.V. Santarelli, Historique des Forces 
navalesfrancias libres, t. 1, 1989; Jacques Michel, La marine francaise en Indochinede 1939 a 1956, 1972-1977, 
reed. 1991-1992; Philippe Masson, La crise de Suez, 1966. 

Claude Huan, La marine sovietique en guerre. I Antique (Paris-Caen: Economica-Memorial, 1990). 
Two other volumes will follow: one for the Black sea, another for the Baltic. Huan has already published 
a great number of studies, mainly in the 1960s in Revue Maritime. 

This author has previously published important articles: "Une flotte contre l'Angleterre. La rivalite 
navale anglo-allemande 1897-1914" in Marins et Ockans /(Paris: 1991); "Le croiseur de bataille: mythe 
ou realite," in Marins et Odans II (Paris: 1992). 
11 F.E. Brezet, Le Jutland 1916 (Paris: Economica, 1992). 

120 France 

navies of Italy and Japan. Contemporary naval history in France remains 

markedly introverted. 

Despite the individual efforts noted above, there are a considerable number 

of lacunae in contemporary French naval history. It is, for instance, obvious that 

biographical research lags in France. Most of the British admirals of the First 

World War had their biographies written; this is not the case for the French 

admirals. Admiral Guepratte, well known for his gallantry during the First World 

War, was the only one to be the subject of biographies, but they are all too often 

anecdotal or hagiographic. None of the chiefs of the naval staff nor the 

commanders-in-chief of the French fleet have been accorded this honor. 

1 o 
With regard to the Second World War, only two admirals, Castex and 

Darlan, have had biographies published; the former as a naval thinker and the 

latter for his political importance. This course of events seems surprising, 

particularly when we recall the important role played by several other admirals, 

such as de Laborde, Commander in Chief of the French High Sea Forces at the 

time of the scuttling of the French Navy in Toulon in November 1942; or 

Muselier, Commander of the Free French Naval Forces until his break with de 

Gaulle; or Abrial, who defended Dunkirk, was governor of Algeria after 1940, 

and Secretary of State for the Navy during the dramatic events leading to the 

scuttling of the fleet. 

There are many more examples of the lack of biographical research of French 

naval history in France. Through the work of Philippe Masson, we do have a 

general history of the French Navy during the Second World War. This work 

replaces the obsolete and inadequate one by Admiral Auphan and Jacques 

Mordal, whose work suffered from the research restrictions noted earlier. The 

history by Philippe Masson is a synthesis of complementary investigations into 

the mass of documents kept in Vincennes. There is no comparable work for the 

First World War, which has been widely neglected since the death of Henri Le 

Masson. The fundamental reference about the Navy of the Belle Epoque remains 

American Theodore Ropp's work, written between the two wars at the time 

when the public record offices were closed (although there is a study in progress 

by Admiral Ausseur). Another key work is the study by Genevieve Salkin 

on naval attaches, bringing to naval history the methods of prosopography. 

Herve Coutau-Begarie, Castex le stratege inconnu (Paris: Economica, 1985). 

Herve Coutau-Begarie et Claude Huan, Darlan (Paris: Fayard, 1989), followed by Lettres et notes de 
I'amiral Darlan, (Paris-Caen: Economica-Memorial, 1992). 

Philippe Masson, La marine Jrancaise et la guerre 1939-1945 (Paris: Tallandier, 1991). 

Amiral Auphan et Jacques Mordal, La marine Jrancaise pendant la seconde guerre mondiale (Paris: Hachette, 

Unpublished for a long time, this book has been magnificently edited by Stephen Roberts: Theodore 
Ropp, The Formation of a Navy (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press 1987). 

Genevieve Salkin-Laparra, Marins et diplomates. Les attache's nauals 1860-1914 (Vincennes: Service 
historique de la Marine, 1990). 

Coutau-Begarle 121 

Another work by Philippe Masson concerns the postwar mutinies, but no 
fundamental study exists on naval law. A thesis on interwar naval policy 
was abandoned, but we shall soon have a book published, unfortunately 
posthumously, by Admiral de Lachadenede, which considers the French 


Navy during the Spanish Civil War. As for the study of the officer corps 

by Ronald Chalmers Hood, it is slightly exaggerated and warrants some 



Today, ships' histories are pursued by passionate specialists. One of the 
best is Robert Dumas, the matchless connoisseur of the battleships. While 


the French Fleet Air Arm looks forward eagerly for a historian, Henri Le 
Masson, publisher of the Flottes de Combat and a renowned historian, 
produced several remarkable studies on the history of the light craft and of 
submarines from a broader perspecive than that usually employed. Captain 
Huan is also working on a revised history of French submarines. 

The history of French naval thought actually lay essentially fallow until 
the launching of the international programme under the supervision of the 
Fondation pour les Etudes de Defense Nationale (FEDN), to which historians 
from eleven countries contributed. The studies on naval disarmament, 
which proliferate in the Anglo-Saxon world, are very rare in France. The 
Washington Conference aroused the attention of a German historian who 

97 >-»-. 

has written a thesis on the subject. The London Conferences also await 


a French historian's approach. 

Philippe Masson, La marine francaise et la mer Noire (Paris: Publicatioons de la Sorbonne, 1982). 
1 Captain Huan is working on this subject.Philippe Masson, La marine francaise et la mer Noire (Paris: 
Publications de la Sorbonne, 1982). 

Rene Sabatier de Lachadenede, La marine francaise et la guerre civile d'Espagne (Vincennes: SHM, 1994). 

Ronald Chalmers Hood, Royal Republicans, French Naval Officers Corps between the Wars (Batan Rouge: 
Louisiana Univ. Press, 1985). 

Robert Dumas, Les cuirassh de 23 000 tonnes (Brest: Editions de la Cite, 1980); Le cuirasse Jean Bart 
(Bourg-en-Bresse: Marine Editions, 1992). 

Let us mention the recent creation of an Association pour la recherche de la documentation sur 
l'histoire de l'aeronautique navale (ARE) HAN), 3 Avenue Octave Greard. 00300 Armees. 

Henri Le Masson, Du Nautilus au Redoutable (Paris: 1960); Histoire du torpilleur en France (Paris: 
Academie de Marine, 1966). 

L'AGASM (Association generale des anciens sous-mariners) has a remarkable review of little 
diffusion, Plongee, which has published several issues treating of highly technical questions on submarines 
of the main sea powers. 

France, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Belgique, Portugal, Rumania, Sweden, Finland, United 
States, Argentina. Three volumes have been published under the title L'evolution de la penste navale, 
(Paris: FEDN, I, 1991; II, 1992; IN, 1993). At least two other volumes are programmed. 

Hannsjorg Kowar, Die Franzosische Marinepolitik 1919-1914 und die Washingtoner Konferenz 
(Stuttgaart: Hochschulverlag, 1978); a digest of this work is about to be published in French. 

The study by Maurice Vai'sse, Securite d' aboard (Paris: Pedone, 1980) is most particularly dedicated 
to general disarmament according to the rules of the SDN. 

1 22 France 

Today, some famous events need reinterpretation. For instance, the 1916 
Athens affair still provokes a misplaced reserve in historical circles. Nobody wants 
to shed light on the causes which resulted in that show of force which culminated 
in tragic failure. That is not so for the Mers el-Kebir episode, but, even fifty 
years later, that tragedy warrants historical clarification. For instance, all existing 
sources continue to give the erroneous number of losses as 1 ,294 killed, while 
many aspects of the decision-making process are left undisclosed. The same 
can be said of the scuttling of the French fleet in Toulon. A number of important 
messages between Toulon and Algiers remain unknown, while everyone tells 
the legend of a major SS operation, which participated with only a small 

The deficiencies of French contemporary naval history are, in fact, logical, if 
we take into account the lack of interest which surrounds naval strategy in 
France. The tradition personified by Admiral Castex in the interwar years and 
following the renowned authors at the turn of the century, Admirals Daveluy 
and Darrieus, has fallen by the wayside. There is not a single work concerning 
French naval strategy, outside some historical works, since Espagnac du Ravay's 
1941 essay, Vingt arts de politique navale, written by order of Admiral Darlan. By 
contrast, consider, for instance, that in the 1970s and 1980s, approximately ten 
books concerning naval strategy were published in England by authors such as 
Sir James Cable, Eric Grove, and Rear- Admiral Richard Hill. 

This is the result of a political censorship enduring from the memory of the 
Second World War (as exemplified by the absence of a commemoration of the 
fiftieth anniversary of Mers el-Kebir, the official celebration of which was strictly 
the work of the British). It is due also to an instinctive suspicion towards any 
reflection that could threaten the delicate consensus about defence policy. Further- 
more, it is the consequence of a sensitive juxtaposition of hierarchical interests, 
divided between a lack of interest for genuine research and a particular interest in 
preventing even a muffled criticism of its actions. The freedom of expression that 
favored research on strategy and history through the 1930s simply does not exist 
anymore. There is, of course, the beginning of a scholarly interest in French naval 
strategy following 1945, but the results of these efforts are still undetermined. 

Contemporary naval history, despite all, is tied to an understanding of 
previous periods. 

Ancient Naval History. The deficiencies in French maritime and naval 
historiography are particularly manifest with regard to antiquity. We can note 
only a few works, which are generally governed by an archeological approach. 

Herve Coutau-Begarie et Claude Huan, Mers el-Kebir. La rupture franco-britatmique, (Paris: Economica, 

For example, studies still unpublished by Philippe Ouerel on the naval policy of the 4th Republic 
and Jean-Marc Balenci on naval diplomacy in the Indian ocean since 1967. 

Coutau-Begarie 123 

The most impressive study concerning Roman history was presented by Michel 

Redde, and focused on the Roman Imperial Navy. This monumental work 

stands out because of a very erudite analysis of the infrastructure of naval bases 
at the disposal of the Roman Navy. On the other hand, it must be noted that 
his consideration of naval tactics and strategic employment of fleets was some- 
what thin; Redde did not take a keen interest in these important aspects of naval 
warfare. It is to Jean Pages' works that one must turn for treatment of those 
features of ancient naval warfare. 

There has been little work on Greek naval history (with the singular exception 
of a small book by Jean Rouge, who presented a very short synthesis of the 
subject) until the studies by Jean Pages on naval thought, armament, tactics, and 

thalassocracies. Still, these articles, dispersed in different publications, provide 


materials for synthesis in future publications. 

The current disinterest in ancient naval history contrasts notably with the 
nineteenth when Admiral Jurien de la Graviere, Admiral Serre, and Professor 
Cartault acted as pioneers in the field. Historians of ancient naval wars still 
appreciate their studies, despite their age. One must also note that there is a 
recent work in French on ancient ships, Le Musee imaginaire de la marine antique. 
It was, however, written by Lucien Basch, a Belgian specialist, and to credit his 
excellent work to the French school would be inappropriate. 

Medieval Naval History. Medieval history is just slightly better off. Here 
again, there are only a few names worthy of mention. One, of course, must be 
Professor Mollat, whose interests lay more in maritime history than in naval 
history. Nevertheless, he contributed to naval history in a number of his works. 
Another historian, Anne Martin-Chazelas, has shed light on the question of the 
Clos des Galees, which was the first real attempt to establish a naval dockyard 
in France. Her study, however, is based on a set of unique documents. 
Furthermore, the life of Jean de Vienne still awaits a sound biography. 

Some incidents mentioned in the works by Charles-Emmanuel Dufourq on 
Catalonia, Michel Balard on Genoa, Freddy Thiriet on Venice, and Clause 
Cahen on the Crusades make one regret the absence of naval historical studies 
on those subjects. Maurice Lombard has opened new avenues for consideration 

% 1 

Michel Redde, Mare Nostrum Les infrastructures de la marine romaine h Vepoque imperiale (Rome: Ecole 
francaise de Rome, 1987). 

Jean Pages, "La pensee navale atheienne au Ve siecle" in Herve Coutau-Begarie, L'evolution de la 
pensee navale I, 1991; "La pensee navale hellenistique" in L'euolution de la pensee navale //(Paris: FEDN, 
1992); "Les armes navales dans l'Antiquite," Marins et Oceans II (Paris: FEDN, 1991); "Etudes sur le 
combat naval antique," Marins et Oceans III, 1992; "Y a-t-il eu une pensee navale romaine?" V Evolution 
de la pensee navale III; "Les Thalassocraties antiques" et "Geostrategie maritime d'Athenes" in Herve 
Coutau-Begarie, La lutte pour V empire de la mer (Paris: 1993). 

For instance, La vie quotidienne des gens de mer en Atlantique, Moyeti-Age-XVe sikle (Paris: Hachette, 1983). 

See Economic History in the present paper. 

1 24 France 


in his work, but they, too, have not been pursued. In France, there are no 
works comparable to those of Lewis or Pryor. 

It is important when discussing this era to mention the activities of scholars 
devoted to research of Byzantine history and among these, particularly Helene 
Archweiler, with her primary work on this subject, Byzantium and the Sea. 
This enormous work, almost exhaustive for all that concerns the structure and 
the organization of the Byzantine navy, has, unfortunately, serious shortcomings 
in the areas of tactics and strategy. We find the same institutional tendencies in 
the works of Helene Antoniadis-Bibicou. For example, the nearly total absence 
of reference to the very rich Byzantine naval thought, which is known only by 
the work of Alphonse Dain, who is preoccupied with establishing a critical 
edition of historical texts and providing a philological study of them without 
trying to single out main trends in tactical or strategic terms. 

Very few works can be mentioned on Arab or Ottoman naval histories in the 
Mediterranean. One exception, Michel Lesure, has devoted several works to 


the Ottoman fleets and to Turkish naval thought. It is symptomatic to note 
that the remarkable work by John Guilmartin on galley warfare has made little 
impact in France. 

Modern Naval History. Modern naval history is, save for the contemporary 
era mentioned above, the period best represented in French historiography. It 
is the period in the French Navy's heritage which has the richest and most 
interesting information. Richelieu is the true founder of the modern French 
Navy, and nineteenth century historians have already emphasized the Cardinal's 
impact on naval issues. Following Richelieu, the credit for the resurrection of 
the French Navy during the reign of Louis XIV belongs to Jean Baptiste Colbert. 
The question has been entirely reexamined during the last two decades. Cardinal 
Richelieu has been subject of several studies, but the most interesting results, 
covering the end of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, have been 
achieved by Jean Meyer and his colleagues, who have worked since the 1970s 
with the group at the Laboratoire d'histoire maritime (CNRS Paris-Sorbonne). 
Jean Meyer started his career as historian of nobility, but his research turned 

Maurice Lombard, Espaces et reseaux du haut Moyen-Age (Paris-La Hayre: Mouton, 1972). 

Archibald Lewis, Naval Power and Trade in the Mediterranean, AD 500-1100 (New Jersey: Princeton 
Univ. Press, 1951) and John H. Pryor, Geography, Technology, and War: Studies in the Maritime History of 
the Mediterranean 649-1571 (Mass.: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1988). 

Helene Archweiler, Byzance et la mer (Paris: Presses Universitaries de France, 1966). 

Michel Lesure, Lepante (Paris: Gallimard-Julliard, Archives, 1974). 
39 Ibid. 

John Guilmartin, Gunpowder and Galleys, Changing Technology and Mediterranean Warfare at Sea (Mass.: 
Cambridge Univ. Press, 1974). Jean Pages prepares a translation accompanied by commentaries of Delia 
Milizia Marittima (1542) composed by the Venitian admiral Da Canal who, in the third book, exposes 
the tactics of the Venetian fleet at Lepanto (1572). 

Coutau-Begarie 125 

progressively towards naval history, where he has achieved very important 
results, and has compiled his studies in works of synthesis written in collaboration 
with Martine Acerra. Daniel Dessert produced a revisionist work on the navy 
of Louis XIV. It is a very remarkable work, though unfortunately it is marred 
by hostility to Colbert. The systematic study of the documents dealing with the 
shipyards, and maritime administration, particularly the records of the Inscription 
maritime (administration of the French professional seamen created by Colbert) , 
has opened new avenues to maritime scholarship, which are quite different in 
many aspects from those obtained through the classical approach founded on 
the studies of naval campaigns and ministers' papers. For example, this new 
approach has ended the myth about the effects of the battle of la Hougue and 
partly rehabilitates Pontchartrain's reputation. 

Andre Corvisier observed at the beginning of the 1 970s that the revival of 
military history was achieved by means of the history of military men; in other 
words, through social history applied to the army. A similar approach may be 
observed in naval history, particularly in modern times. Indeed, naval history 
benefits directly from the results of research in economic and social history. In 
terms of social history, one can see this in the monographs on ports, such as those 
produced by Alain Boulaire on Brest, by Martine Acerra on Rochefort, and by 
Jean Peter on Toulon. In his thesis on la guerre de course, Philippe Villiers 
succeeded in reviving the subject from a military point of view, largely by using 
methodologies belonging to economic history. 

The studies on social history are widely dispersed at the extremeties of the naval 
hierarchy. They range, on the one hand, from lower work by Andre Zysberg on 
galley rowers, and Alain Cabantous' study on mutineers and deserters, to several 
studies on officers, most particularly on admirals. The thesis by Jacques Aman on 
"blue" officers was widely noted when it was published in 1976. More recently, 
we have the enormous work by Michel Verge-Franceschi on flag officers, which 
is full of details on admirals' genealogies. Unlike earlier studies, these works do 
not focus on tactics or strategy. 

Martine Acerra et Jean Meyer, La grande epoque de la marine a voile (Rennes: Ouest-France, 1988); 
Marine et Revolutions (Rennes: Ouest-France, 1991). Let us mention also his contribution "L'Europe et 
le mer," in Andre Corvisier et al., L'Europe a Louis XVI, 1990. On "la guerre de course," see the 
posthumous work by Auguste Toussaint: Avant Sucouf; Corsaires en ocean Indien (Aix: Publications de 
l'Universite d'Aix-Provence, 1989). 

Patrick Villiers, Le commerce colonial atlantique et la guerre d'Independance americaine, 1976 and Marine 
royale, corsaires et traffic dans V Atlantique de Louis XIV ci Louis XVI, 1990. On "La guerre de course"; the 
posthumous work by Auguste Toussaint, Avant Surcouf: Corsaires en I'ocian Indien (Aix: Publications de 
l'Universite d'Aix-Provence, 1989). 

Andre Zysbert, Les galeriens (Paris: Le Seuil, 1987). 

Alain Cabantous, La vergue et lesjers. Mutins et deserteurs dans la marine de Vatiaetme France (Paris: Tallandier, 1 984) . 

Jacques Aman, Les offiders bleus dans la marine jrancaise au XVIIIe siecle (Paris-Geneve: Droz, 1976). 

Michel Verge-Franceschi, les officers generations de la marine au XVIIIe rikle (Paris: Librarie de l'lnde, 1990). 

1 26 France 

It must be pointed out that the studies which formerly would have been 
labelled "naval," that is to say, focused on tactics and strategy, are not insig- 
nificant. The research led by Jean Meyer and his colleagues, specially those on 
ports and naval bases, gave historians a better understanding of the logistical 
imperatives which weighed heavily on navies in the days of sailing ships. 
Research on galley rowers have also allowed scholars to create a model which 
explains the way galleys were manned and operated in battle (Zysberg, for that 
purpose, obtained assistance from a physicist). The research concerning officers 
and, particularly, admirals has brought to light masses of documents that provide 
a better view on naval operations. Finally, it is important to mention the 
fundamental contribution that Jean Boudriot has made, which offers new insight 
on the technical aspects of battleships. Boudriot's contribution is fully as 
important as J.S. Morrison's on the problem of the trireme. 

Besides the works which disassociate themselves from the old approach, one 
can not ignore the persistence or, rather, the revival of studies having a more 
traditional perception; that is to say, a viewpoint centered on tactics and strategy. 
First among them are those by Captain F. Caron on the capitulation of 
Louisbourg in 1758 and on the War of Independence, to which he will soon 
add a work on Suffren's campaigns. Francois Caron has reached conclusions 
which have been disputed by some Anglo-Saxon authors, but his detailed 
knowledge of seafaring has helped him to take the lead in certain, little 
understood aspects of naval warfare, such as the problem of the continuity in 
the line-ahead battle formation. 

Other studies are in process. Michel Depeyre is writing an anxiously awaited 
thesis, the first of its kind, on naval thought during the seventeenth and 
eighteenth centuries. There is also a revival of biographical studies after several 
decades of indifference. The well- written and popular biographies based on 
rather limited documentation by Jean de la Varende have been followed by new 
studies on Duquesne by Michel Verge-Franceschi, and on Tourville by Marc 
Vigie. Suffren has been the subject of less convincing biographies. 

The period of the French revolution and the Imperial period have tradition- 
ally remained the field of a very learned but isolated group of historians. 

Jean-Boudriot, Le vaisseaux de 14 cations (Paris: 4 vol., 1976-1978); Les vaisseaux de la Compagnie des bides 
(Paris: 1990). 

Francois Caron, La guerre iticomprise ou les raison d'un echec. Capitulation de Louisbourg (Vincennes: SHM, 
1983). La victoire volee. Bataille de la Chesapeake (Vincennes: SHM, 1989). Jacques Aman, Utie campagne navale 
meconnue A la ueille de la guerre de Sept Ans. L'escadre de Brest en 1755 (Vincennes: SHM, 1986). 

See his study on "Le vicomte de Grenier: Heritier de Bigot de Morogues ou disciple de Suffren?" 
in L' evolution de la pensee navale ///(Paris, 1993). 

See his articles on Hoste and Clerk in L'evolution de la penske navale I et II. 

Michel Verge-Franceschi, Abraham Duquesne, huguenot et matin du Roi Soleil (Paris: France-Empire, 1992). 

52 Marc Vigie, Tourville (Paris: Fayard, 1993). 
Marc Vigie, Tourville (Paris: Fayard, 1993). 

Coutau-Begarie 1 27 

Following A. Thomazi and Captain Muracciole, Rear-Admiral Maurice 
Dupont has just crowned his extensive research with a biography of Decres, 
Minister of the Imperial Navy Department. The nineteenth century is not so 
well represented, despite an extensive field of research which has scarcely been 
explored. Bernard Lutun is currently working in this area. 

The Contribution of French Orientalists. France has always had a great 
interest in the Far East, but naval studies in that area, while important, are few 
in number. Arab sources have been studied by Rear Admiral Henri Labrousse 
in articles recently gathered in a single volume concerning, principally, the Red 
Sea. Chinese naval history has benefited from the thesis by Jacques Dars, although 
it was long delayed in publication, as mentioned earlier. Dars deepened the intuitive 
ideas of Lo Jun Pang, whose pioneer work dealt with the expansion of the Chinese 
Navy from the Song period to the Ming period. It is a very highly focussed work, 
but one of very high quality. 

Compared to what is typical practice in Great Britain and the United States, 
the results achieved by French naval historians are, all in all, rather poor. The 
chasm which has for so long divided the Navy and acadamia, the lack of tradition 
in maintenance of archives, and the destructive effects of domestic and interna- 
tional disruptions have taken their toll on French sources. The harmful effect of 
this combination of factors continues to hamper research. 

For instance, we must observe that the continued publication of important 
documents has never been the rule in France. The Fench naval classics, from Hoste 
to Castex, have not been republished. The memories of most of the great sailors cannot 
be found today, and there are no collections of documents similar to those so frequendy 
found in political, administrative and economic history. This is a real and eminendy 
prejudicial deficiency, for which there appears to be no solution whatsoever. 

All the same, French naval history remains largely inward-looking. However, it 
is true that international contacts are increased, as demonstrated by the Franco- 
British symposium on maritime history, held since 1986 on the initiative of the 
Service historique de la Marine, as well as many other symposia. But, it is 
impossible to mention any wide-ranging study on Great Britain, Italy, or Japan. 
Claude Huan's research on the Kriegsmarine and the Soviet Navy are an exception. 

Particularly his very important contribution to the Dictiomtaire Napoleon, by Jean Tulard, (Paris: Fayard, 1 987) . 

Amiral Maurice Dupont, L'amiral Decres et Napoleon (Paris: CFHM-Economica, 1991). 

An enormous work of almost 1 ,000 pages on the Guerigny forges; "L'epuration dans la marine 
1814-1817." Revue historique 285 (1992). 

Amiral Labrousse, Recits de la mer Rouge et de V ocean Indien (Paris: CFHM-Economica, 1992). 


Jacques Dars, La marine chinoise du Xe siecle au XIV e siecle (Paris: CFHM-Economica, 1992). 

The acts have been published by the Service historique de la Marine: Guerres et paix, 1660-1815 
(1986); Les empires en guerre et en paix 1793-1860 (1988); Francais et Anglais en Mediterranee 1789-1830 

Les marines de guerre europSennes au XVIIIe siecle (Paris: Presses de l'Universite de Paris-Sorbonne, 

128 France 

Such an attitude contrasts sorely with the numerous contributions coming from 
abroad which have been beneficial to the French naval history. Consider, for 
instance, the works of Jenkins, Bamford, Symcox, T. Le Goff, Dull, Halpern, 
Ropp, Kowark. 

Nevertheless, a perceptible improvement has been observed during the last two 
decades as the summary sketched out here shows. For several years we have had at 
our disposal some instruments of research which were previously lacking and which 
now signal new developments. Rear Admiral Fremy has published a splendid 
dictionary of ships. Etienne Taillemite, for his part, is the author of an exhaustive 
but eminendy readable dictionary on French sailors. In the same period, we have 
witnessed the publication of a vast synthesis concerning the history of the French 
Navy by Philippe Masson. It is rather paradoxical that, previously, the primary 
reference was the work of a British historian, H.E.Jenkins, which was published 
in 1973 and translated into French five years later. In that book, Jenkins 
expressed the perfect synthesis of the traditional points of view, certain of which 
were being challenged by the conclusions of more recent research. Philippe 
Masson's book was followed by one of Etienne Taillemite in such a way that 
we have at hand two works with diverging views on the same subject. They 
provide a genuine basis for setting aside the caricature suggesting that "if France 
is not ashamed of her Navy, the Navy has some grounds to be ashamed of France" 
(Jenkins). It is wrong to say, notwithstanding a few exceptions, that the French 
governments have never understood their Navy. Masson would better accuse 
the naval men themselves, with their lack of great leaders and with a chronic 
lack of discipline in the officer corps. For his part, Etienne Taillemite considers 
first the structural handicaps, the insufficient coastal populations, the lack of good 
Channel harbours. All this remains a problem of determinism which must be 
considered anew. 

1985); Fleurieu et la marine en son temps (Paris: CFHM-Economica, 1992); Marine et technique au XIXe 
siecle (Paris: IHCC-SHM, 1989); Les marines de guerre du dreadnought au nucleaire (1988), (Paris: 
IHCC-SHM, 1991). 

Paul W. Bamford, Forest and French Sea Power 1660-1783 (Toronto: Univ. of Toronto Press, 1956); 
Jonathan Dull, The French Navy and American Independence: A Study in Arms and Diplomacy 1774—1781 
(New Jersey: Princeton Univ. Press, 1975); Paul R. Halpern, The Mediterranean Naval Situation 
1908—1914 (Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 1971); Hannsjorg Kowark, Die Franzosische Marinepolitik 
1919-1924 und die Washingtoner Konferenz (Stuttgart: Hochschulverlag, 1978); TJ.A. Le Goff, 
"Problemes de recrutement de la marine francaise pendant la Guerre de Sept Ans," Reuu Historique, 283 
(1990), pp. 205-33; Theodore Ropp, The Development of a Modem Navy: French Naval Policy 1871-1904. 
Edited by Stephen S. Roberts (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1987); and Geoffrey Symcox, The Crisis 
of French Sea Power 1688—1697: From the guerre d'escadre to the guerre de course (The Hague: Martinus 
Nijhoff, 1974). 

Raymond Fremy, Des noms sur la mer (Paris: ACORAM, 1991). 

Etienne Taillemite, Dictionnaire des marins francais (Paris: Editions maritimes et d'outremer, 1982). 

H.E.Jenkins, Histoire ignore" e de la marine francaise (Paris: Albin Michel, 1978). 

Philippe Masson, Histoire ignoree de la marine (Paris: Lavauzelle, volume 1, 1982 and volume 2, 1983). 

Etienne Taillemite, Histoire ignoree de la francaise (Paris: Perrin, 1988). 

Coutau-Begarie 129 

But, again, we must not forget that those very few works are insignificant 
compared with the flowering of those in other branches of the French historical 
research. It simply indicates that a vast area of historical research remains to be 
carried out. 

Maritime History 

If naval history has a clearly delimitated field of research, the same does not 
hold true for maritime history. At different levels, all human activities have 
something to do with the sea in such a way that maritime history deals with all 
fields of historical research. Despite its slow development in France, maritime 
works are numerous, and it is difficult, within the scope of this paper, to provide 
an indicative example. Therefore, it seems better to look to the main tendencies 
of research by theme rather than by period. 

Bibliographies and Aids to Reseach. Maritime bibliography was overlooked 
for a long time. Finally, in the 1970s, it required a remarkable collection through 
the work of Jean Polak, which is well-known and used among the French 
maritime historians. One can follow it through all the different categories in the 
Bibliographie ennuelle de Vhistoire de France. 

Some remarkable work has been done to inventory archival sources. Etienne 
Taillemite and Philippe Henrat have done this for the Archives Nationales. The 
Service Historique de la Marine has made a similar great effort but, for lack of 
money, the inventories made during the last few years, particularly those 
concerning contemporary events, have not all been published. 

Among these means of research, while we must regret the absence of ships 
lists or the lack of biographical dictionaries (the one by Taillemite being mostly 
centered on naval officers), we still must mention one of the most interesting 
efforts in contemporary maritime history: the revision of the Qlossaire nautique 
by Jal, initiated by Professor Michel Mollat du Jourdin and pursued under 
Christiane Villain-Gandossi's leadership within the scope of a seminar compris- 
ing several dozens of specialists. As of this writing, six sections have been 
published, as far as the letter "I," and a seventh has gone to press. It is needless 
to insist here upon the exceptional importance of such a revision. Nevertheless, 
one must keep in mind that the original work contains much information that 
is not included in the revised edition. 

In the same vein, but on a different subject, we must point out another 
undertaking initiated by Michel Mollat: the survey of the votive ships. This 
investigation, started in the 1970s within the Laboratoire d'histoire maritime, is 
now completed. Such a work is extremely useful, not only for art history, but 
also for the history of ship-building and for the history of seafaring peoples. 
Unfortunately, because of budget difficulties, we regret that nothing of it has yet 
been published. 

1 30 France 

General Works. We have a clear idea of the ground lost by French maritime 
history when we perceive the scarcity of that kind of work. Marine et Oceans by 
Philippe Masson, which concerns only the contemporary period, is an excep- 
tion. There is no recent scholarly synthesis on maritime history except the very 
recent work by Michel Mollat: L'Europe et la met. It is clear that there are no 
general studies in French about the history of the oceans. L'Histoire de VAtlantique 
by Jacques Godechot dates back to 1947 and, so far, has not been replaced. On 
the Indian ocean, we have Histoire de V ocean Indien (1961) by Auguste Toussaint. 
The author died before completing the second edition. Such an important work, 
still partly obsolete, can only be completed by fragmentary eighteenth century 


studies and by others on the history of the Mascarenhas Islands. We may well 
ask if Auguste Toussaint, although born in Mauritius and a French-speaking 
historian, may be considered as belonging to the French maritime history, rather 
than to that of Mauritius. 

We have no general French study on the Pacific ocean. On the other hand, 
it is much more surprising when we see the lack of a similar work on the 
Mediterranean; the sea so close and so dear to the heart of many Frenchmen. 
The principal work of Fernand Braudel, la Mediterranee et le monde mediterraneen 
h Vepoque de Philippe II, belies the lack of general study on the Mediterranean in 
French. However, we must mention Jean Rene Vanney, author of an erudite 
study on the Southern Seas, which helped to fill the gap. In spite of all, there 
is much to do in order to ensure that non-specialists might easily have sufficient 
documentation at hand. The bibliographical references at the end of Vanney's book 
contain a warning which could be valid for many oceans of the world: "The place 
occupied by the often translated French works is so modest that a grave question is 
posed as soon as we want to facilitate an easy access for the non-specialist."' 

What is true for the regional synthesis is also true, to a large extent, for very 


particular studies. French maritime studies are very much in need of works 
designed to put within easy reach of the readers research results which, in spite 
of all, are still going on very actively. 

Underwater Archeology. Naval archeology has been somewhat neglected by 
academia, but it has succeeded in becoming implanted in the CNRS and also in 
the Ministere de la Culture. The benefit of this was the creation in 1970 of the 
Department of submarine archeological research (DRASM), which from that 

Philippe Masson, Marine et oceans (Paris: Imprimerie nationale, 1982). 

Michel Mollat du Jourdin, L'Europe et la mer (Paris: Le Seuil, 1993). 

Auguste Toussaint, Histoire de I 'ocean Indien (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1961); L'ocean Indien 
au XVIIIe siecle (Paris: Flammarion, 1973); Histoire des iles Mascareignes (Paris: Berger-Levrault, 1972). 

Jean-Rene Vanney, Histoire des mers australes (Paris: Fayard, 1986). 
70 Ibid., p. 699. 

Philippe Masson's book, Grandeur et misere desgetis de mer (Paris-Limoges: Lavauzelle, 1986), is an exception. 

Coutau-Etegarie 131 

time has managed all underwater finds. The results of that research have appeared 
in Gallia and in Gallia Informations. A review of underwater research, Cahiers 
d'archeologie subaquatique, began publication in 1972 and, in 1977, CNRS com- 
menced publishing another, Archeonautica. The research covers, at the same time, 
harbours and ships; the wreck called epave de la madrague de Giens (1st c. B.C.) 
for instance, has been the subject of a very careful research. Among the 
prominent scholars are Patrice Pomey for ancient archeology and Eric PJeth on 
medieval archeology. These authors recently presented an overall survey of 
researches in process during a recent symposium on maritime heritage. 

Additionally, as a matter of interest, we must not forget to mention the 
archeological excavations near Bercy. These two 4,500-year-old dugouts were 


recently brought to light thanks to a research group of the Vieux Paris. In yet 
another area, Gabriel Camps has published the results of his research on early 
navigation in the Mediterranean in several articles. 

Modern naval archeology in France today is brilliantly represented by Jean 
Boudriot. All maritime historians know his works (I have already mentioned 
those on the 74-gun ships-of-the-line, and on the French vessels of the 
Compagnie des Indes), among others on merchant ships. Jean Pierre Moreau 
has worked on finds in the Caribbean and specialized in archeological treasures. 

With regard to contemporary naval techniques, we could bring together with 
industrial archeology certain research on the first steamships, or those on the 
passengers ships, which have always been popular with the public. 

Without commenting on the relationship between maritime history and 
interior navigation history, it is important to remember, just as a matter of 
interest, the very active groups working on river history today. 

Finally, we must speak of the efforts in favour of the maritime preservation. 
Without coming under maritime history, in the strict sense, preservation is 
closely linked to it. The international symposium held in Nantes in 1991, 
organised by both the Ministere de la Culture and the CFHM, provided a 
summation of work and the recent initiatives taken in a long neglected area of 
historical research. The symposium papers, just published, define a part for 
maritime historians in the process of restoring maritime heritage. 

Economic History. Economic history was one of the strong points of the 
Annales school, and it is only natural that the maritime trade benefited from its 
study. This is clearly demonstrated by the important theses published between 
the 1950s and 1970s which cover all the periods. Regarding antiquity, the work 

Le patrimoine maritime etjluvial (Paris: Colloques du patrimoine, 1993). 

There is also the discovery of the Henri Cosquer cave, but that only indirecdy concerns maritime history. 
Jean-Pierre Moreau, Giude des trSsors archeologiques sous-marins des petites Antilles (Paris: J. -P.M., 1988). 
Most particularly, the numerous works by Francois Beaudouin. 

132 France 

by Jean Rouge on Roman sea-trade, followed by the less imposing, but very 
rich work by Julie Velissaropoulos on ancient greek maritime institutions set the 
stage. Considering the medieval period, the fundamental thesis by Michel 
Mollat on Norman trade, and the publication, fifteen years later, of a study by 


Henri Touchard on the commerce of Brittany as well as one on the Bordeaux 
trade by Jacques Bernard, continue the tradition. 

The Mediterranean has been the subject of several important studies; Henri 
Bresc on Sicily, Jean-Claude Hocquet on Venetian salt trade, Jacques Heers 
on Genoa, Jean Delumeau on Rome, Michel Balard on Genoese Romania 

. 8£ 

and, finally, Freddy Thiriet on Venetian Romania. Spain has been less studied 
than Italy, but we cannot ignore the work of Charles-Emmanuel Dufourcq on 


Catalonian Spain and the Maghreb, and another on Valencia by Catherine 


Guiral. The north of Europe, in comparison, has received much less investiga- 
tion than the Mediterranean. Still, there are at least two important studies: one 
by Stephane Lebecq on the medieval Frisians, which is an exemplary collabora- 


tion between the use of written sources and archeology, and another by 
Philippe Dollinger on the Hanse, which extends substantially into modern 
times. For this last period we have in the first place, the monumental and justly 
famous thesis by Pierre Chaunu on Sevilla, those by Frederic Mauro on 

09 Q^ 

Portugal and the Atlantic, Victor Magalhaes-Godinho in the Indian ocean, 

Jean Rouge, Recherches sur I 'organisation du commerce maritime en Mkditerranke sous I'Empire romain 
(Rome: Ecole fracaise de Rome, 1966). 

Julie Velissaropoulos, Les nauchUres grecs. Recherches sur les institutions maritimes en Grece et dans V Orient 
hellenise (Paris-Geneve: Minard-Droz, 1980). 

Michel Mollat, Le commerce maritime normand a la fin du Moyen-Age (Paris: Plon, 1952). 

Henri Touchard, Le commerce maritime breton & la fin du Moyen-Age (Paris: Les Belles-Le teres, Annales 
litteraires de l'Universite de Nantes, 1967). 

Jacques Bernard, Nauires etgens de mer & Bordeaux vers 1450 - vers 1550, (Paris: S.E.V.P.E.N., 1968). 

81 HenriBresc, UnmondemSditerraneeti. Economic etsodeteen Sidle 1300-1450 (Rome: Ecole ftancaise de Rome, 1986). 

82 Jean-Claude Hocquet, Le sel etlafortum de Venise, 1200-1650 (Lille: Presses de l'Universite de Lille, 1978-79). 

83 Jacques Heers, Genes au XVe siecle (Paris: S.E.V.P.E.N., 1961). 

84 Jean Delumeau, Vie konomique et sociale de Rome dam la seconde moitU du XVJe siecle (Paris: S.E.V.P.E.N., 
1957-1959); L'alun de Rome (Paris: S.E.V.P.E.N., 1962). 

85 Michel Balard, La Romaine genoise, Xlle debut de XVe siecle (Rome, Ecole francaise de Rome, 1978). 
Freddy Thiriet, La Romanic vtnitienne au Moyen-Age. Le developpement et I' 'exploitation du domaine coloniale 

vetiitien, Xlle-XVe siecle (Paris: de Boccard, 1975). 

87 Charles-Emmanuel Dufourcq, L'Espagtie catalane et le Maghreb, (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1 965) . 

Catherine Guiral, Valence, port mediterraneen (Paris: Presses de la Sorbonne, 1975). 

Stephane Lebecq, Marchands ettiavigateursjhsotis du Haut-Moyen-Age (Lille: Presse Universitaire de Lille, 1983). 

90 Philippe Dollinger, La Hanse (Paris: Aubier, 1968). 

91 Pierre Chaunu, Seville et I'Atlantxque 12 vol. (Paris: S.E.V.P.E.N., 1955-1960). 

92 Frederic Mauro, Le Portugal et I'Atlantique (Paris: S.E.V.P.E.N., 1960). 

Victor Magalhaes-Godinho, L'economie de I'empire portugais au XVe et au XVIe siecle (Paris: Fondation 
Gulbenkian, 1969). 

Coutau-Begarie 133 

and those on the French trade during the eighteenth century by Paul Butel, 
Charles Carriere, Christian Huetz de Lemps, Louis Dermigny, Jean Tar- 
rade and, finally, the very recent one by Jean Ducoin. 

The contemporary period has received much more attention by the 
economists and historians. For example, I note the work of Jean HefFer on New 
York harbour during the second half of the nineteenth century, who employed 
the methods of New Economic History. All the works just mentioned above 
are the best known and are directly focused on maritime history. There are, 
however, many others which also consider sea-trade. The slave-trade, which no 
one dares put under the single heading "Economic History," has given impetus 
to rather numerous studies of mixed interest. 

There is also a branch of maritime history which is all too often forgotten: the 
history of fishing. It is usually left to local historians who have produced works not 
easily accessible: we cannot, however, ignore important contributions in this field, 
such as the one by Thierry du Pasquier on the French whaling industry. 

Among all these works published during the last years, we must preserve a 
special place for those concerning the history of Marseilles. This is largely because 
of their quality, but it is also thanks to the support constantly provided historians 
by the Chamber of Commerce of this premier French port. This fortunate 
collaboration has allowed publication of numerous works in a unique situation 
in France. Just the same, there are also numerous histories of coastal towns. 

History of the French Seafaring People. Social history has been another 
strong point of the Annales school, but it may be that maritime history has not 
benefited from this as much as it has from economic history. Among the regional 
studies, which have so much for French historians, some theses deal with 
maritime populations. The northern part of France has an advantage by virtue 

of the 1963 work by Jacques Toussaert on the population of the Flemish coast 

1 o^ 
at the end of Middle Ages, and more recently another by Alain Cabantous, 

Paul Butel, Les negotiants bordelais au XVIIIe siecle. L' Europe et les iles (Paris: Aubier, 1974). 
Charles Carriere, Negotiants marseillais au XVIIIe siecle. Contribution & I'etude des economies maritimes (Paris: 

Christian Huetz de Lemps, Geographic du commerce bordelais alafin du regne de Louis XIV (Paris: La Haye, 
Mouton, 1975), 

Louis Dermngy, La Chine et VOccident. Le commerce a Canton au XVIIIe siecle (Paris: S.E.V.P.E.N., 1964). 


Jean Tarrade, Histoire du commerce atlantique au XVIIIe siecle, these inedite (1976). 

Jean Ducoin, Naufrages, conditions de navigation et assurances dans la marine de commerce. Le cas de Nantes 
et de son commerce colonial avec les Us britanniques (Paris: Librairie de l'lnde, 1993). 

Parmi les plus recents, Jean-Michel Deveau, La traite rochelaise (Paris: Karthala, 1990); Serge Daget, La 
traite des Noirs (Rennes: Ouest-France, 1990). 
101 Thierry du Pasquier, Les baleiniersfrancais de Louis XVI a Napoleon (Paris: H. Veyrier, 1990). 

See the series edited by Lindt and published in Toulouse. 

Jacques Toussaert, Le sentiment religieux en Flandre maritime a la Jin du Moyen-Age (Paris: Plon, 1963). 

1 34 France 

which covers an adjacent region in more modern times. Still, one would 
expect to find a greater number of studies concerning the coastal regions. In fact, 
many often give only a secondary place to maritime subjects. 

The revival in understanding seafaring populations was accomplished through 
the history of mentalites. Alain Cabantous has made an important contribution 
to this subject. It is a field in which many promising points of view have 
recently been observed, for example, in Alain Corbin's original consideration 
of the coastal region during the nineteenth century. The path followed by 
Corbin is particularly interesting, since he started with a study on a mountainous 
region far from the sea. 

This very short account should be considerably extended by listing all the 
studies that dealt incidentally or substantially with social history, and this is also 
the case with almost all of the studies under the rubric of economic history. The 
work by Michel Mollat, which bears a significant subtitle, "Studies of Economic 
and Social History," is typical of the Annales school. Among recent works which 
illustrate this connection, there is the thesis on the merchants of St. Malo by 
Andre Lespagnol. To all this, one could add other numerous works, symposia 
proceedings or books belonging to the much known series, La vie quotidienne des 
gens de met dans I'Atlantique, IXe—XVIe siecle by Michel Mollat; La vie quotidienne 
dans les ports mediterraneens, by Charles-Emmanuel Dufourcq, or La vie quotidienne 
a Bordeaux au XVIIIe siecle by Paul Butel and Jean-Pierre Poussou. 

Colonial history. There is a close relation between maritime history and 
colonial history, the latter being called in France today, "overseas" history. 
During the nineteenth century, the dependence of maritime and colonial affairs 
on a single ministry was institutional in France but has since been abandoned. 
Nevertheless, the bond between them has remained present in academia. During 
recent years, colonial history has enjoyed a brilliant revival, reaching a peak at 
the end of the 1980s with several remarkable works. In particular, one by 
Philippe Haudrere, La Compagnie francaise des Indes 1719-1795, and another by 
Jacques Weber Les etablissements jrancais en Inde au XIXe siecle 1816—1914, were 
both submitted for consideration within a period of several weeks in 1987. 

These two theses confirm the vitality of the French research on the Indian 
Ocean. Additionally, a group led by Jean Aubin started a publication, Mare 

104 Alain Corbin, Le territoire du vide. U Occident et le desir du rivage 1 750-1850 (Paris: Aubier, 1988). 

Alain Cabantous, Dix mille matins face a Voce" an. Les populations maritimes de Dunkerque au Havre vers 1 660- 1 194 
(Paris: Publisud, 1991). 

106 Alain Corbin, he del dans la met. Christianisme et civilisation maritime XVe-XIXe siecle (Paris: Fayard, 

107 Andre Lespagnol, Ces Messieurs de Saint-Malo. Une elite negociante au temps de Louis X/K(Saint-Malo: 
L'Ancre de Marine, 1991). 

See for instance, the Symposium of Boulogne on the seafaring populations; the proceedings were 
published in a special issue of Revue du Nord, 1986. 

Coutau-Begarie 135 

Luso-Indicum, in the 1970s. There also are a number of works by Genevieve 
Bouchon on India during the Portuguese investiture. The French have also taken 
an active part in researching South-East Asian history, the maritime aspect of 
which is clearly evident. This sector has also a specialized review, Archipel, and 
has recently benefited by the monumental thesis on Java by Denys Lombard. 

Nineteenth-century colonial history has generated many works, some of 
which contribute to the maritime dimension; consider, for instance, those by 
Jean-Louis Miege, former president of the CFHM. The idological aspect in some 
of them was denounced several years ago by Francois Caron, and provoked 
a controversy with Charles-Robert Ageron, but this must not overshadow 
their important role in the development of maritime history. 

The history of explorers cannot be ignored either. Jehan Desanges has 
produced a very important study of the Roman activity along the african coast. 
But nothing exists yet in French which equates to the remarkable analytical 
editions of the ancient Peripli that have just been published in English. Michel 
Mollat studied medieval sea voyages and edited a volume on the Verrazano 
voyage; Etienne Taillemitte, for his part, edited the diary of La Perouse; Admiral 
de Brossard did the same with the journal of Bougainville; and Numa Broc did 
so with the journal of Pager. Special mention must also be made of Jean-Pierre 
Faivre, for his important study of the South Pacific during the first half of the 
nineteenth century. 

A very productive and specialized branch also contributes to the work on the 
explorers. For instance, the history of map-making, as exemplified by Mireille 
Pastoureau's Voies Oceanes, or the oft-ignored thesis by Yoro K. Fall on 
Majorcan portolan charts (showing that certain coasts were known before the 
dates of their official discovery), add substantially to our body of knowledge. 
For the contemporary period, Jacqueline Carpine-Lancre has published a 
number of works on oceanography. 

A good example of the link existing between both disciplines is the history 
of naval and colonial medicine. This is a specialized subject, but demonstrates 
the evolution of maritime history in France. As General medical doctor Niaussat, 

Denys Lombard, Le carrefour jauanais (Paris: Editions de l'EHESS, 1990). 

Francis Caron, La Frame des patriotes, volume V ofHistoire de France by Jean Favier (Paris: Fayard, 

This is clarified in a long letter which has remained unpublished but is widely known. 

1 1 

Jehan Desanges, Recherches sur les activities des MediterranSens le long des cStes africaines (Rome: Ecole 
francaise de Rome, 1980). 

Jean-Paul Faivre, L 'expansion francaise dans le Pacifique, 1800-1842 (Paris: Nouvelles editions latines, 1953). 
Mireille Pastoureau, Voies oceanes. Cartes marines etgrandes decouuertes (Paris: Bibliotheque nationale, 

Yoro K. Fall, L'Afrique ci la connaissance de la cartographie modeme, (Paris: Karthala-CRA, 1982). 
Jacqueline Carpine-Lancre, Souuerains ocSanographes: Dom Carlos Ier roi de Portugal et Albert Ier prince 
de Monaco (Paris-Lisbonne: Fondation Gulbenkian, 1992). 

1 36 France 

one of the leaders of the naval and colonial medicine, put it, "It has been, if not 
ignored, at least neglected ..." until a recent date. Here, France was unques- 
tionably behind Great Britain, Germany, or Italy. There are only several isolated 
individuals, (General medical doctor Carre on history of the naval medical 
schools, Dean Jean-Pierre Kerneis on medical officers serving at sea, and 
Professor Pierre Huard on the Far East) who can be cited in this field. Even so, 
starting around the 1980s, we have observed several efforts in that field, along 
with the organization of conferences on the history of naval and colonial 
medicine and with the increase in the number of studies under the auspices of 
Niaussat or Carre. Historians have stood somewhat apart from this process, 
largely because of their lack of technical knowledge. Unfortunately, Jacques 
Leonard, who was the exception, was not able to create a viable school because 
of his untimely death. 

• • • 

This brief survey cannot pay homage to all the numerous authors who 
contributed to, enhanced, and revived the knowledge of maritime history in its 
diverse aspects. To the individual studies cited here, one must add a great number 
of essay collections, particularly when considering the numerous symposia and 
countless articles of high quality that have been produced. We hope, however, 
that a vision of a French maritime and naval history, after a too long period of 
marginalization, will emerge, fully integrated into the historical studies pursued 
in academies and in the CNRS, including the irreplaceable contribution of the 
amateurs, particularly those belonging to learned societies or coming from the 
maritime professions. There are considerable deficiencies in the field, but there 
is no doubt that maritime history is one of the most promising fields for future 
work and development in the years to come. 

Cf. P.M. Niaussat, "A propos d'une disciple historique trop meconnue: l'histoire de la medecine 
navale et d'outremer," Chronique d'histoire maritime, ler semestre 1984, no. 9. 



Kapitan zur See Dr. Werner Rahn, German Navy 

Before we deal with naval history and the history of shipping in Germany, 
a few preliminary remarks of a linguistic nature and definitions with regard 
to contents are called for in order to prevent any misunderstandings. 

Military History and Naval History: Some Remarks on Basic Terms 

The German term Schiffahrtsgeschichte, literally translated as the "history of 
shipping," can, without hesitation, be equated with the Anglo-Saxon term 
"maritime history." This field of research centers on the ship as a system of 
transportation with its economic, social, and technological context. The 
development, construction, operation and handling, manning, and ultimately 
the fate of the ship as well as many other spheres are fields of research in "maritime 

If we take the terms "military history" and "naval history," it is clear and 
simple to most Anglo-Saxon historians what these terms involve. In the case 
of "military history," research interest focuses on land forces, i.e. the army, 
while in the case of "naval history" this interest focuses on naval forces or — to 
put it in more general terms — the navy as an armed service. Both these spheres 
are subordinate elements of general history, in particular that of strategy and 

In contrast, since 1945 in Germany, the term "military history" has come to 
be accepted as a generic term for that part of the study of history whose central 
subjects of research are the armed forces and war. Military history deals with 
the evolution and structure of the armed forces and their position in state and 
society. Military history studies the importance of armed forces as a means of 
policy and as an instrument of state authority. It analyzes the problems associated 
with the exercise of command and control over armed forces in peacetime and 
in war at the various levels. 

A recent summary of the development of military historiography in Germany may be found in 
Roland G. Foerster, "Military History in the Federal Republic of Germany and the Bundeswehr," in 
David A. Charters, Marc Milner, and J. Brent Wilson, eds., Military History and the Military Profession 
(Westport, Conn, and London: Praeger, 1992), pp. 191-210. 

138 Germany 

In this sense, "naval history" in Germany is taken to mean that part of military 
history which focuses its study of the above-mentioned fields of research on the 
"navy" as an armed service. When the term "military history" is used in the 
following basic remarks, it always includes "naval history." 

However, when dealing with the above-mentioned fields of research, there 
is one sphere that must not be neglected, as it is the greatest challenge for military 
history — I am referring to war! Ultimately, armed forces are raised, equipped 
and trained so that they can one day be sent into battle. Thus, it is not only 
legitimate but imperative that military history also deal with war and warfare in 
the widest sense. This approach to research would appear, on the face of it, to 
be self-evident; however, many years ago, John Keegan, in his seminal book The 
Face of Battle, pointed out critically that many professional historians are shy of 
exploring and portraying the profundities and realities of the phenomenon of 
"war." This inhibition is also widespread in Germany. 

Generally speaking, it can be expected of the military historian that he also 
has a certain affinity with the subject of his research, namely the military, and 
that he possesses a modicum of basic theoretical — and if possible also practical — 
knowledge about the military in the same way that we naturally expect an 
economic historian to have a sound basic knowledge of economic theory. John 
Keegan is thus justified in demanding that the military historian should spend as 
much time as possible among military personnel, "because the quite chance 
observation of trivial incidents may illuminate his private understanding of all sorts 
of problems from the past which will otherwise almost certainly remain obscured."' 

The same is true for naval history. A historian who studies the origins and use 
of naval forces will find that his research profits greatly if he has ever had the 
opportunity to spend some length of time aboard a warship. He will find it easier 
to evaluate and integrate most of his sources, such as reports, memoranda, and 
planning documents from all levels of naval command. This is true especially 
since some structural factors for the building and deploying of naval forces change 
only very little over time. 

Like any historian, the naval historian bears a great responsibility in his striving 
after historical truth, if he wants to be taken seriously. This striving will never 
be free of subjective values. The uncritical patriotic history which used to glorify 
military and naval actions and successes is a thing of the past. Today, some 
military historians tend to judge personalities, events, and structures according 
to today's moral categories, and they end up "putting the past on trial, and since 
the critical historian, armed with his generation's self-confidence or with his 

See Carl von Clausewitz, Vom Kriege, Erstes Buch, II: "Der Soldat wird ausgehoben, gekleidet, bewaffnet, 
geiibt, erschlaft, ifit, trinkt und marschiert, alles nur, urn an rechter Stelle und zu rechten Zeit zufechten." 

John Keegan, The Face of Battle (London: Jonathan Cape, 1976), p. 29. 

4 Ibid., p. 34. 

Rahn 139 

progressive concept of the future, knows everything better, in this trial he will 
be prosecutor, judge and legislator all in one. 


Research into German Naval History after 1945 

After 1945, the documents of the German Navy, preserved almost in their 
entirety, were available initially only to the Allied forces' historical research 
sections. The files were transferred onto microfilm on a large scale; where more 
than one original copy existed — e.g., several original copies of war diaries — the 
British kept copy no. 1, while the second copy went to Washington D.C. This 
was the case with numerous U-boat war diaries and the War Diary of the Naval 
Staff. The Allied historians evaluated the material for their respective official 
accounts of World War II, as is apparent from numerous references in the various 
volumes. In most cases, however, the evaluation was confined to strategic and 
operational sectors in order to make the Allies' corresponding actions and 
reactions more easily understandable. 

On the German side, initially, only former naval officers were allowed access 
to selected files. On behalf of the British Admiralty or the U.S. Navy, they 
compiled special operational and tactical studies that seemed necessary given the 
fact that a conflict with the Soviet Union could no longer be ruled out. The 
long-serving Head of the Historical Research Department of the Navy, Vice 
Admiral Kurt Assmann, for example, worked in London writing an account of 
the naval war in the Arctic Sea from the German point of view. Grand Admiral 
Karl Donitz's son-in-law, Commander Giinter Hessler, was given unlimited 
access to all files of the Naval Staff and the U-boat Command, in order to write 
a comprehensive operational history of the Battle of the Atlantic. Hessler 
performed this task in an outstanding manner and produced an operational 
history which comprises an abundance of material and provides precise refer- 
ences throughout, and which will surely remain unequaled for a long time to 
come. The British Admiralty had the three-volume study translated, and from 
1950 onwards had it distributed among the Royal Navy as Confidential Book 
OB. 4523, later renamed B.R. 305. The third volume, covering the period June 
1943 to May 1945, was, however, not published until 1977. For the translation, 

Thomas Nipperdey, "Wozu Geschichte gut ist," Militargeschichtliche Mitteilungen, 41 (1987), pp. 7-13, 
quotation p. 9. 

See, for example, Stephen W. Roskill, The War at Sea 1939-1945, vol. I, The Defensive, (London: 
HMSO, 1954), pp. xix, 51-60. 

See Christian Greiner, "'Operational History (German Section)' und 'Naval Historical Team,' 
Deutsches militarstrategisches Denken im Dienst der amerikanischen Streitkrafte von 1946 bis 1950," 
in Manfred Messerschmidt, Klaus A. Maier et al., eds., Militargeschichte. Probleme — Thesen — Wege, 
(Stuttgart: DVA, 1982), pp. 409-35. 

Vizeadmiral a.D. Kurt Assmann, "Die deutsche Kriegflihrung gegen den englisch-russischen 
Geleitverkehr im Nordmeer 1941-1945," (unpublished manuscript, Bundesarchiv-Militararchiv, 
Freiburg: RM 8/1126). 

140 Germany 

the German original version was somewhat abridged. It was not until 1989 that 
the British Ministry of Defence decided to publish the study in the form of a 
facsimile edition. The German Military History Research Office is currently 
preparing the publication of the original German version. 

The favorable source situation — due to the fact that the majority of the naval 
documents were soon accessible and were extensively transferred onto 
microfilm — at an early stage prompted a number of historians in America to deal 
with the individual phases and problems of German naval history. In addition, 
this group of documents provided an excellent starting point for studying the 
German conduct of war and politics during World War II. 

From among the numerous research studies, this article will mention only 
the works of Keith W. Bird, Holger H. Herwig, Daniel Horn, Ivo Nikolai 
Lambi, L.W. Lewis, Janet M. Manson, Eric C. Rust, Allison W. Saville, Charles 
Thomas, Gerhard L. Weinberg, and Gary Weir. 

Any new research into German naval history will first of all fall back on a 
book which has been available since 1985 and which is likely to be used not 
only as an indispensable aid but in many cases also as a sound guide: I am referring 
to Keith W. Bird's bibliography, which he compiled in an exemplary manner, 
entitled German Naval History. A Guide to the Literature. This work completely 
covers and comments on the entire German naval literature of the nineteenth 
and twentieth centuries. In addition, it is a comprehensive research report which 
contains only few gaps. Bird not only lists sources and literature, but also provides 
a comprehensive academic historical survey to which the individual titles are 
allocated accordingly. Bird divides German naval historiography from the 
nineteenth century to the present into six periods, and the demarcation lines 
between the periods are generally undisputed. In this context, only the last two 
periods are of interest: the period from 1945 to 1965 and the period from 1965 
to the present. For research in Germany, the year 1965 constituted a turning 

9 Ministry of Defence (Navy), German Naval History: The U-Boat War in the Atlantic, 1939-1945. 
Facsimile edition with Introduction by AndrewJ. Withers, 3 parts in 1 volume (London: HMSO, 1989). 

Militargeschichtliches Forschungsamt or MGFA. 

For complete bibliographical datas of their publications up to 1984, see Bird, Keith W., German Naval 
History. A Guide to the Literature (New York, London: 1985). Cf. further Janet M. Manson, Diplomatic 
Ramifications of Unrestricted Submarine Warfare, 1939-1941 (New York: Greenwood Press, 1990), Gary E. 
Weir, Building the Kaiser's Navy: The Imperial Naval Office and German Industry in the von Tirpitz Era, 
1890-1919 (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1992), Eric C. Rust, Naval Officers under Hitler: The Story of 
Crew 34, (New York: Praeger, 1991) and for the recent publications of Holger H. Herwig: "The Failure 
of German Sea Power, 1914—1945: Mahan, Tirpitz, and Raeder Reconsidered," The International History 
Review, February 1988, pp. 68-105; "Wolfgang Wegener and German Naval Strategy from Tirpitz to 
Raeder" Introduction to Wolfgang Wegner, The Naval Strategy of the World War, Classics of Sea Power 
series (Annapolis: Naval Institute, 1989), pp. xv-lv; "The Influence of A.T. Mahan upon German Sea 
Power," in John B. Hattendorf, ed., The Influence of History on Mahan, (Newport, R.I.: Naval War College 
Press, 1991), pp. 67-80. 

12 Keith W. Bird, German Naval History. A Guide to the Literature (New York: Garland, 1985). 

Rahn 141 

point in that the process of returning most of the naval documents to Germany 
was concluded in that year. Only the U-boat files of World War II remained 
until 1978 in the custody of the British Ministry of Defence, which was very 
restrictive in allowing use of these documents. 

Besides the already mentioned naval officers who worked for the British 
Admiralty or for the U.S. Navy, Walther Hubatsch, in 1956—57, was the first 
German civilian historian to be allowed access to the German naval files in London; 
he could, however, only evaluate them in parts. His findings resulted in the book 
Der Admiralstab und die obersten Marinebehorden in Deutschland 1848—1945 (Naval Staff 
and Supreme Naval Commands in Germany 1848—1945). This book and other 
works by Hubatsch determined for a long time how the historical development of 
the Navy was viewed, not least by the Navy itself! Thus, initially, one book remained 
largely unnoticed, a book that was published in 1965 and which Bird justly calls a 
"turning point": It is Jonathan Steinberg's work, Yesterday's Deterrent. Tirpitz and the 
German Battle Fleet. For the first time since 1945, Steinberg — who consulted an 
extensive wealth of original sources — examined the background against which, in 
the late nineteenth century, Tirpitz was appointed Secretary of the Navy and 
Germany began building a battle fleet. 

After the return of the naval documents to Germany, from 1969 onwards a growing 
interest also emerged among researchers in Germany in studying more thoroughly 
the strategic and political aims as well as the individual military-technical plans of the 
German Naval Command, using the source material that was then accessible. In this 
context, it is noticeable that research focused on the following points: 

• Naval arms policy in Imperial Germany, with the Secretary of the Navy, 
Grand Admiral Alfred v. Tirpitz, in charge of building up the high seas fleet 
(Volker Berghahn, Wilhelm Deist); 

• The continuity or discontinuity of naval armaments from Emperor William 
II to Hitler (Jost Dulffer, Werner Rahn, Michael Salewski); 

Walther Hubatsch, Der Admiralstab und die obersten Marinebehorden in Deutschland 1848—1945 
(Frankfurt/M.: 1958). 

For complete bibliographical datas of their publications, see Bird, German Naval History, passim., and 
recendy Volker R. Berghahn and Wilhelm Deist, Rustung im Zeichett der wilhelminischen Weltpolitik. 
Grundlegende Dokumente 1890-1914 (Dusseldorf: Droste 1988) and Wilhelm Deist, "Kiel und die Marine 
im Ersten Weltkrieg," in J. Elvert, J. Jensen, and M. Salewski, eds., Kiel, die Deutschen und die See (Stuttgart: 
Steiner, 1992), pp. 143-54. 

For complete bibliographical datas of their publications, see Bird, German Naval History, passim., and 
recently Michael Salewski, "Das maritime Dritte Reich — Ideologic und Wirklichkeit 1933-1945," in 
Deutsches Marine-Institut and Militargeschichtliches Forschungsamt, eds., Die deutsche Flotte im 
Spannungsfeld der Politik 1848-1985. Vortrage und Diskussionen der 25. Historisch-Taktischen Tagung der Flotte 
1985, Schriftenreihe des Deutschen Marine Instituts, Band 9 (Herford: Mitder, 1985), pp. 1 13-39; Werner 
Rahn, "Kriegfuhrung, Politik und Krisen — Die Marine des Deutschen Reiches 1914-1933," ibid., pp. 
79-104; M. Salewski, "Deutschland als Seemacht," Kiel, die Deutscheti und die See, pp. 21-34; Jost Dulffer, 
"Wilhelm II. und Adolf Hitler. Ein Vergleich ihrer Marinekonzeption," ibid., pp. 49-69. 

142 Germany 

• The ideological orientation in the Naval Command's strategic and political 
thinking up to 1945; and the planning and decision-making of the Supreme 
Naval Command during World War II (Michael Salewski, Gerhard Schreiber, 
Werner Rahn). 16 

After Volker Berghahn published his seminal book on Der Tirpitz-Plan in 
1971, a gap still remained in the research on the Imperial Navy which was 
closed only recently by Michael Epkenhans' study Die Wilhelminische 

1 R 

Flottenriistung 1908—1914. On a broad basis of sources, he analyses the phase 
of naval armament policy which Berghahn had already characterized as a "decline 
of Tirpitz' original concept." Epkenhans establishes that Tirpitz succeeded until 
1914 in keeping his armaments program going despite declining public en- 
thusiasm for the fleet and despite political doubts. 

As historians concentrated on the Tirpitz era, two important phases of the 
Imperial Navy were long neglected: the time before 1890, and World War I. 
Recently , Jorg Duppler presented a comprehensive analysis of the development 
of the Navy from 1848 to 1890, which concentrates mainly on naval relations 
between Germany and Britain. Duppler proves in great detail that since 1848 
the Royal Navy, by selling ships and training officers, gave a kind of "develop- 
ment aid" to the fledgling German Navy. 

The naval historians' reluctance to take a closer look at war itself has been 
mentioned before. It is particularly evident for World War I. All the documents 
are well catalogued and easily accessible in the archives, and they challenge the 
historian to revise the official version as presented in Der Krieg zur See 1914— 
19 IS. Even so, in recent years only two historians dealt with questions relating 
to the war at sea from 1914 to 1918. Bernd Stegemann's doctoral dissertation 
analyzed naval policy from 1916—1918, mainly concentrating on the interdepen- 
dence of fleet deployment and submarine warfare. In his Ph.D. dissertation 

For complete bibliographical datas of their publications, see Bird, German Naval History, passim., and 
recendy Werner Rahn, "Der Seekrieg im Adantik und Nordmeer," Derglobale Krieg. Die Ausweitung zum 
Weltkrieg und der Wechsel der Initiative 1941-1943 (Stuttgart: 1990) [= Das Deutsche Reich und der Zweite 
Weltkrieg, ed. by MGFA, Vol. 6], pp. 275-425. [Paperback edition: Die Welt im Krieg 1941-1943, vol. I: 
Von Pearl Harbor bis zum Bombenkrieg in Europa (Frankfurt a.M.: Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, 1992), pp. 
329-496], and W. Rahn, "Strategjsche Wechselwirkung zwischen Nord- und Ostseekriegfuhrung im 19. 
und 20. Jahrhundert," Kiel, die Deutschen und die See, pp. 89-103. 

Volker R. Berghahn, Der Tirpitz-Plan. Genesis und Verfall einer innenpolitischen Krisenstrategie unter 
Wilhelm II (Dusseldorf: Droste, 1971). 

1 R 

Michael Epkenhans, Die wilhelminische Flottenriistung 1908-1914. Weltmachtstreben, industrieller 
Fortschritt, soziale Integration (Munich: Oldenbourg, 1991) [ = Beitrage zur Militargeschichte, ed. by 
MGFA, vol. 32]. - Cf. in this context also, Weir, Building the Kaiser's Navy. 

Jorg Duppler, Der Juniorpartner. England und die Entwicklung der deutschen Marine 1848-1890, 
Schriftenreihe des Deutschen Marine-Instituts, Band 7 (Herford: Mittler, 1986). 

Der Krieg zur See 1914—1918, ed. by Marinearchiv, by Kriegswissenschaftliche Abteilung der Marine 
and by Arbeitskreis fur Wehrforschung, 22 vols. (Berlin/Frankfurt/M.: 1920-1966). 
21 Bernd Stegemann, Die deutsche Marinepolitik 1916-1918 (Berlin: 1970). 

Rahn 143 

presented in 1989, Gerhard P. GroB — an Army major! — concentrates entirely 
on the conduct of the naval war in 1918. A comprehensive study of the 
Imperial Navy, with particular emphasis on the naval war of 1914— 1918, similar 
to Arthur J. Marder's exemplary five volumes on the Royal Navy, cannot be 
expected in the foreseeable future. 

Even the Handbuch zur deutschen Militdrgeschichte 1648—1939 (six volumes, 
completed in 1981) makes a point of excluding the individual campaigns and 
wars. The military, as a means of conducting war, was meant to be eclipsed by 
the military as a structural part of society. However, the historical process called 
"war" always influences the thoughts and actions of the military, even in 
peacetime. It is regrettable that, while this seminal handbook contains an article 
on the principles of land warfare, a similar chapter on naval warfare was not even 

With regard to the German naval campaign during World War II, and the 
U-boat campaign in particular, an abundance of widely varying literature is 
available, ranging from popular general accounts to special studies rich in material 
that deals with operational and tactical questions regarding the employment of 
surface units and anti-convoy operations by U-boats. However, there is as yet 
no comprehensive learned overall account of the naval war compiled on the 
basis of both German and British files. The World War II series edited by the 
MGFA entitled Das Deutsche Reich und der Zweite Weltkrieg is not comparable 
in its conceptional approach to corresponding works published in Great Britain 
by Stephen W. Roskill and in the USA by Samuel Eliot Morison. Thus, for 
instance, in volume 6, Der globale Krieg. Die Ausweitung zum Weltkrieg und der 
Wechsel der Initiative 1941—1943, the account of the Battle of the Atlantic from 
the spring of 1941 to May 1943 had to be confined to one hundred fifty printed 
pages, since this volume with a total length of 1,181 pages was, after all, 
designed to give an account of everything that happened in the war in Europe, 
the Mediterranean, the Atlantic and also the Pacific. With his three-volume 
work, Die deutsche Seekriegsleitung 1935—1945, Michael Salewski, too, was not 

Gerhard P. GroB, Die Seekriegfuhrung der Kaiserlichen Marine imjahre 1918 (Frankfurt/M., Bern: Peter 
Lang, 1989). 

For the naval aspects, see Wolfgang Petter, "Deutsche Flottenriistung von Wallenstein bis Tirpitz" and 
Jost Dulffer, "Die Reichs- und Kriegsmarine 1918—1939," Handbuch zur deutschen Militdrgeschichte 
1648-1939, ed. by Militargeschichtliches Forschungsamt, vol. 4 / part VIII (Munich: 1978). 

See Wolfgang Petter, "Ein neues Handbuch zur Marinegeschichte," Marineforum, 53 (1978), pp. 
201-3, and the critical comments of Paul Heinsius, Hans-Otto Steinmetz and Thilo Bode, ibid., pp. 
236 and 314-15. 

Volumes 1-6, to be continued; English translation published by Oxford University Press under the 
title, Germany and the Second World War. 

Cf. Werner Rahn, "Der Seekrieg im Atlantik und Nordmeer," Derglobale Krieg, pp. 275-425. 
27 Michael Salewski, Die deutsche Seekriegsleitung 1935-1945, vol.1: 1935-1941 (Frankfurt a.M.: 
Bernard & Graefe, 1970), vol. 2: 1942-1945 (Munich: 1975), vol. 3: Denkschriften und Lagebetrachtungen 
1938-1944 (Frankfurt a.M.: 1973). 

144 Germany 

able to study and describe the actual naval war; rather, he concentrates mainly 
on the events at the heart of the Naval Command, i.e., in the Naval Staff, where 
the strings were pulled and the decisions taken. With regard to the U-boat war, 
the interested historian continues to be dependent above all on the numerous 
works by Jiirgen Rohwer. In addition, the memoirs of Erich Raeder and Karl 
Donitz, which the two published soon after their release from Spandau, are 
consulted time and again. English translations followed a few years later. Today 
we know fairly well how these memoirs came to be written. Raeder's memoirs 
were for the most part the work of a team of former flag officers led by Erich 
Forste, who felt particularly attached to their former commander-in-chief. Karl 
Donitz, on the other hand, was able to rely on the already-mentioned work 
by his son-in-law, Giinter Hessler, of which the latter had at his disposal a 
complete copy — either unknown to his British employers or with their tacit 
permission. At any rate, it later struck the historians in Germany that the U-boat 
files used by Hessler, and later also quoted by Donitz, had not been freely 
accessible to researchers until 1977. It was not until 1978 that they were 
returned to the Federal Republic of Germany, and they are now in Freiburg 
where they are available to historians. 

In addition, the notes left by the two commanders-in-chief, Raeder and 
Donitz, on their conferences with Hitler continue to remain an indispensable 
source for any research activity into the German Navy during World War II. 
The edition of these conferences with their numerous annexes contains a lot of 
source material on all problems of naval warfare and naval armaments, illustrating 
the Naval Command's struggle for resources and priorities. These conferences 
were first published in English in 1948 in Brassey's Naval Annual. In this version, 
however, the original texts were abridged in places, and some important annexes 
to the conferences are also missing. This information is of particular importance 
to historians from English-speaking countries, since an unaltered reprint of the 
1948 edition was published in 1990 without mentioning the missing sections. 
This reprint unfortunately also contains a preface giving a misleading statement 

For complete bibliographical datas of his publications, see Bird, German Naval History, passim. Cf. 
also the recently published new edition of J. Rohwer and G. Hiimmelchen, Chronology of the War at 
Sea 1939-1945. The Naval History of World War Two (Annapolis: Naval Institute, 1992). 

Erich Raeder, Mein Leben, vols. 1 and 2 (Tubingen: Schlichtenmayer, 1956-57), English translation 

in one volume: My Life (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1960). Cf. Salewski, Seekriegsleitung, vol. 2, 

p. 590. 

Karl Donitz, Memoirs, Ten Years and Twenty Days, with an introduction and afterword by Jiirgen 

Rohwer (Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 1990). Cf. also Dieter Hartwig, "Karl Donitz - Versuch 

einer kritischen Wurdigung," Deutsches Schiffahrtsarchiv, 12 (1989), pp. 133-52. 

See the critics of Salewski, Seekriegsleitung, vol. 2, p. 276, note 21 and p. 658. 

' Gerhard Wagner, ed., Lagevortrage des Oberbefehlshabers der Kriegsmarine vor Hitler 1939-1945, 

(Munich: Lehmanns, 1972). 


Fuehrer Conferetues on Naval Affairs 1939-1945, (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1990). 

Rahn 145 

on the genesis of the German original edition of 1972. Michael Salewski, in his 
comprehensive and fundamental study of the German Naval Staff, was right in 
pointing out that the topic "German naval armaments" deserved "extensive 
special treatment." As far as the history of the entire German U-boat construc- 
tion is concerned, a work by Eberhard Rossler, rich in material, has been 
available for quite a few years. It is indispensable, above all, concerning 
technical details of the individual types of U-boats and their variants as well as 
for problems concerning the mass production of U-boats. In Das Deutsche Reich 
und der Zweite Weltkrieg, the problems of the German war economy are examined 
primarily at the level of the Wehrmacht High Command and the Reich Ministry 
of Armaments and Ammunition. The analysis focuses on Army and Luftwaffe 
armaments. Naval armaments are only touched upon, which means that the 
special study of German naval armaments during World War II based on the 
documents, as suggested by Salewski, will continue to remain a desideratum. 

Apart from the OKW (German Supreme High Command) War diary, the 
War Diary of the Naval Staff, Part A, is one of the most important and most 
comprehensive sources for World War II. Day by day, it documents the 
situation, the strategic and operational deliberations, and decisions of the naval 
high command, as it strove assiduously for an adequate role of the naval 
component within German overall warfare. In 1988, the MGFA began to publish 
a facsimile edition. It will include a reprint of all sixty-eight volumes, covering 
a month each, from August-September 1939 to April 1945. In view of the 
enormous size of this publication, which will run to some 35,000 pages when 
it is completed, the editors had to cut rigorously their critical apparatus. Their 
annotations concentrate on clarifying difficult handwritten alterations, notes and 
inserts as well as on cross-references to other Naval Staff documents. Even so, 
on average, each volume contains some two hundred footnotes. Even if this 
does not reach the standard of a comprehensive critical edition, this procedure 
was the only feasible option if this important source for the history of World 
War II is to be made available to researchers at large. Forty-four volumes have 

Salewski, Seekriegsleitung, vol. 1, p. 130, note 98. 

Eberhard Rossler, The U-boat. The evolution and technical history of German Submarines (Annapolis: 
Naval Institute Press, 1981). 

Cf. Das Deutsche Reich und der Zweite Weltkrieg, vol. 5, part I: B. Kroener, R.D. Muller, H. Umbreit, 
Organisation und Mobilisierung des deutschen Machtbereichs, part I: Kriegsverwaltung, Wirtschaft und personelle 
Ressourcen 1939-1941 (Stuttgart: DVA, 1988), pp. 570-74, 626-30 (Muller) and pp. 966-80 (Kroener). 
Compare in this context the documentation of Werner Rahn, "Einsatzbereitschaft und Kampfkraft 
deutscher U-Boote 1942," Militargeschichtliche Mitteilungen, 47 (1990), pp. 73-132. 

P.E. Schramm, ed. Kriegstagebuch des Oberkommandos der Wehrmacht (Wehrmachtfuhrungsstab) 
1940-1945, vols. 1-4, (Frankfurt a.M.: Bernard & Graefe, 1961-1979). 

Werner Rahn and Gerhard Schreiber with the assistance of Hansjoseph Maierhofer, eds., 
Kriegstagebuch der Seekriegsleitung 1939-1945, Teil A, vol. 1 (August/September 1939 ); vol. 44 (April 
1943) (Bonn, Herford: Mittler, 1988-93), [to be continued]. 

146 Germany 

been published so far, containing 20,150 pages, covering the period up to April 

In concluding, I should like to point out some gaps in research. So far, there 
are no comprehensive biographical analyses for either Raeder or Donitz, nor 
for the leading admirals of the Imperial Navy, including Tirpitz. For the 
post- 1945 period, there are only very few studies which, based on original 
sources, cover the origins and development of the two German navies between 
1955 and 1990. The three-volume series Anfdnge westdeutscher Sicherheitspolitik 
1 945— 1 956, however, presents first results of ongoing research into the origins 
and beginnings of the Federal German Navy. 

Naval History: The State of Teaching 

German universities offer naval history neither as an independent subject nor 
in specialized courses. As a consequence, the forces are the only organization to 
teach naval history on various levels of their cadet and officer training programs. 
The naval cadets receive an instruction in naval history as part of their term with 
the Naval Academy, Flensburg. The level they are expected to achieve is defined 
as follows: 

The cadet will be able to describe the development, structure and tasks of German 
naval forces during the 19th and 20th centuries as well as German strategy and 
naval strategy during both World Wars. As a future leader of men, he has to be 
able to instruct his subordinates on the origins and role of the Navy within the 

During a cadet course, which lasts for four or six months, twenty or thirty 
hours respectively will usually be allotted to the naval history teacher. He will 
explain the basic pattern of naval development from 1 848 to the present, with 
particular emphasis on the twentieth century. The naval cadet will be acquainted 
with the strategic aims and political repercussions of Tirpitz' fleet-building 
program as well as with the command problems of the World War I German 
Navy. Another period which receives special attention is the inter-war years and 
naval warfare 1939—1945. 

The Bundesmarine, the Federal German Navy, has been in existence for 
nearly forty years now, which is longer than the combined lifespan attained by 
the Reichsmarine and Kriegsmarine from 1919 to 1945. Therefore, it is 
necessary and legitimate to place particular emphasis on teaching about this 

Militargeschichtliches Forschungsamt, ed., Anfdnge westdeutscher Sicherheitspoltik 1945-1956, vol. 1: 
Roland G. Foerster et al., Von der Kapitulation bis zum Pleven-Plan (Munich: Oldenbourg, 1982); vol. 
2: Lutz Kollner et al, Die EVG-Phase (Munich: Oldenbourg, 1989); vol. 3: Hans Ehlert et al., Die 
NATO -Option (Munich: Oldenbourg, 1993). 

Information from Commander Dr. Dieter Hartwig to the author, May 1993. 

Rahn 147 

period, even more so, since the present navy was founded as a result of the Cold 
War, which has shaped its development and structure up to 1990. 

Since 1958, a large "historical collection" has been available as a valuable 
teaching aid. In 1976, it was reorganized into the "Naval Historic Training 
Center," which combines naval history, tradition of the Navy, and teaching. 
This collection largely resembles a museum, and will be discussed later. 

Following their first military training period, the cadets or young officers continue 
their education at one of the Bundeswehr universities, either in Hamburg or 
Munich. These universities do offer a course in history, but it is largely unconnected 
with military or naval history. Since the professors who teach history at these 
universities are intent on preserving their academic independence, they will not 
discuss subjects drawn from military history on a regular basis. 

After taking his degree, the young officer will return to the Naval Academy 
for a few months to prepare himself for his first posting in the Navy. At this 
point, a more thorough naval historical education is envisaged, but experience 
shows that most officers have lost virtually all previous knowledge they might 
have acquired in this field, making the job more challenging for teachers. 

As part of their continued training, some 10 to 12 percent of every class attend 
the two-year course for general-admiral staff officers at the Armed Forces 
General Staff College in Hamburg. During this course, eighty-six hours are 
scheduled for military and naval history. Here, the intended level of achievement 
is defined as follows: 

The officer on Admiral Staff Duty should be able to understand the interdepen- 
dence and mutual influence of political and military leadership. He should 
understand the influence of the various elements of war on past concepts of warfare 
and draw conclusions which apply to the present. Based on historical examples, 
he should be able to follow some basic principles of military commanders. 

In this course, particular care is taken that the officer will get to know und 
understand German and international concepts of naval strategy, of both the 
ninteenth and twentieth centuries. Selected examples should enable him to 
realize the nature and the elements of the reality of war. About thirty-five hours, 
i.e., about 40 percent of the total reserved for the entire discipline, are scheduled 
for these two fields of naval historical teaching. A special form of academic 
training at the Armed Forces General Staff College is the requirement that 
students write a thesis. This will analyze a specified, limited subject and must be 
written during their stay at the Staff College. The lecturers in military history 

41 Jorg Duppler, "Das Wehrgeschichtliche Ausbildungszentrum Flensburg-Miirwik," in Nordseestadt 
Wilhelmshaven/Der Oberstadtdirektor, ed., Dokumentation Symposium Deutsches Marine-Museum 
(Wilhelmshaven: 1988), pp. 91-5. 

Curriculum of Fuhrungsakademie der Bundeswehr for the 34th AdmiralstafF Course (information 
from Commander Dr. Nagler to the author, May 1993). 

148 Germany 

regularly offer a choice of historical topics, some of which will be researched 
using original sources. A number of especially qualified papers have been 
published, indicating the high standards of teaching at the Armed Forces General 
Staff College. 

Beginning in 1957, the German Navy began to develop a new approach in 
studying its own history. That year, the first Commander-in-Chief Fleet, Rear 
Admiral Rolf Johannesson, organized the first Historical-Tactical Convention. 
Since then, it has been held every year, and it is now a standard element of the 
entire naval officer corps' historical education. Admiral Johannesson's aim was 
to distance himself from the subjective naval historiography about World War 
I. He hoped that a critical discussion of the past would teach the officers truth, 
loyalty, and moral courage, and that they would determine their own position 
more solidly by a recourse to history and to the federal constitution. One of his 
successors, Vice Admiral Giinter Fromm, summed this up in 1985 in a phrase 
which can be taken as exemplary for any serious dealing with the past: "Yet, 
there must be no taboos. What is necessary is rather a permanent effort to come 
closer to the truth. Only truth, however difficult it may be to attain and to bear, 
can give us the security of a sound foundation." 

Up to 1993, thirty-three conventions have been held, covering a wide variety 
of subjects. Papers are usually presented by junior officers (commanders and 
captains are exceptions) from the fleet who are assisted in their preparations by 
naval historians. The papers presented in some of the conventions have been 
collected and published as books. The contents and results of the conventions 
are regularly reported in the monthly naval journal, Marineforum. The papers do 

Cf. H. Schuur, R. Martens, W. Koehler, Ftihrungsprobleme der Marine im Zweiten Weltkrieg, 2nd ed. 
(Freiburg: Rombach, 1986); Diether Hiilsemann, "Die Versorgung des deutschen Kreuzergeschwaders 
1914 und ihr EinfluB auf seine Operationen," Die Bedeutung der Logistikfiir die militarische Ftihrung von 
der Antike bis in die neueste Zeit (Herford, Bonn: Mittler, 1985) [= Vortrage zur Militargeschichte, vol. 
7], pp. 167-209; Uwe Dirks, "Julian S. Corbett und die britische Seekriegfuhrung 1914-1918," 
Militargeschichtliche Mitteilungen, 37 (1985), pp. 35-50; and Wulf Diercks, "Der EinfluB der 
Personalsteuerung auf die deutsche Seekriegfuhrung 1914—1918," Militargeschichtliches Beiheft zur 
Europaischen Wehrkunde, Nr. 1/1988. 

Statement of Rear Admiral Rolf Johannesson (Ret.) to the audience in Deutsches Marine Institut, 
ed., Der Marineoffizier als Ftihrer im Gefecht. Vortrage auf der Historisch-Taktischen Tagung der Flotte 1983 
(Herford: Mittler, 1984), p. 241. 

Giinter Fromm, "SchluBbemerkungen des Befehlshabers der Flotte," in Deutsches Marine-Institut 
and Militargeschichtliches Forschungsamt, eds. Die deutsche Flotte im Spannungsfeld derPolitik 1848—1985. 
Vortrage und Diskussionen der 25. Historisch-Taktischen Tagung der Flotte 1985, Schriftenreihe des 
Deutschen Marine instituts, Bd 9 (Herford: Mittler, 1985), p. 223. 
46 See "Generalthemen der Historisch-Taktischen Tagungen 1957-1985," ibid., pp. 225-7. 

Cf, for example, Bild der russischen und sowjetischen Marine. Vortrage der 5. Historisch-Taktischen Tagung 
der Flotte, 6.-7- Dezember 1961 (Frankfurt a.M.: Mittler, 1962) [= Beiheft No. 7/8 of Marine 
Rundschau]; Die EntuHcklung des Flottenkommando. Vortrage der 7. Historisch-Taktischen Tagung der Flotte 
am 5. und 6.12.1963 (Darmstadt: Wehr und Wissen, 1964); and Deutsches Marine Institut, ed., Der 
Einsatz von Seestreitkraften im Dienste der auswartigen Politik. Vortrage auf der Historisch-Taktischen Tagung 
der Flotte 1981 (Herford: Mittler, 1983). 

Rahn 149 

not always live up to the standards of the professional historian, but their 
presentation and the candid, often lively, discussion of subjects relevant to the 
business of the day usually give testimony of the multiple intellectual talents 
among the Navy's officer corps. Many an admiral-to-be made his mark when, 
as a lieutenant, he presented some sharply critical theory in the Naval Academy's 
Grand Hall, provoking the older generation's opposition. 

Maritime History: State of Research and Publications 

The field of maritime history extends its range far back into ancient history 
and covers the central aspects of the age of exploration. A key German language 
work in this area is the comprehensive multivolume collection of documents 
covering the history of European expansionism, covering the entire period of 
European expansionism prior to the age of imperialism. However, the sources 
have been translated into German only. The first volume covers the period from 
about 500 A.D. to 1500, i.e., the beginnings of the age of exploration. 

The second volume covers the great voyages of exploration from Henry the 
Navigator in the fifteenth century to the opening up of the Pacific in the 
eighteenth century. The third volume deals with the origins of the colonial 
empires from about 1500 through the mid-eighteenth century. 

The Deutsches Schiffahrtsmuseum (DSM — German Maritime Museum) at 
Bremerhaven is the only learned institute in Germany that is exclusively 
concerned with maritime history. At present, eleven historians and scholars of 
other branches work in this museum. Their research covers, among others, 
subjects such as: passenger shipping, merchant shipping, whaling, oceanography, 
social history of navigation, marine painting, naval industrial archeology. 

For a long time, the museum's research was focussed on maritime archeology, 
which was justified by the finding and restoration of the Hanse Cog of 1380. 
This aspect will be presented in more detail later on. Another focus of museum 
work is the social and economic history of navigation. Recent publications by 
members of the museum's staff deal mostly with problems of social history, such 
as harbor workers, shipbuilders and the sailors' work. 

Eberhard Schmitt, ed., Dokumente zur Geschichte der europaischen Expansion, 7 vols. (Munich: Beck, 
1984 ff.). 

Eberhard Schmitt, ed., Dokumente zur Geschichte der europaischen Expansion,, vol. 1 : Die mittelalterlichen 
Urspriinge der europaischen Expansion, ed. by Charles Verlinden and Eberhard Schmitt with contributions 
of Hanno Beck et al. (Munich: Beck, 1986). 

Eberhard Schmitt, ed., Dokumente zur Geschichte der europaischen Expansion, vol. 2: Die grofien 
Entdeckungen, ed. by Matthias Meyn et al. (Munich: Beck, 1984). 

Eberhard Schmitt, ed., Dokumente zur Geschichte der europaischen Expansion, vol. 3: Der Aujbau der 
Kolonialreiche, ed. by Matthias Mey et al. with contributions of Annegret Bollee et al. (Munich: Beck, 
1986). Vols. 4 through 7 cover economy, trade, and life in the colonies, their role in international politics 
and the end of the colonial system. 

1 50 Germany 

This varied research results in a large number of specialized publications which 
are listed every year in the museum's annual report. These annual reports are 
published in the museum's journal, Deutsches Schiffahrtsarchiv, which has existed since 
1975 and has been published annually since 1980. It is now one of the leading 
publications on maritime history in the German language. Also, the traditional 
Hansische Geschichtsbldtter, which appeared in its 111th annual volume in 1993, 
contains important contributions to the research of maritime history. Its regular 
report on publications, called Schiffahrt und Schiffbau (Navigation and Shipbuilding), 
and edited with profound knowledge by the museum's director, Professor Dedef 
Ellmers, deserves particular attention. Out of the numerous tides published by 
members of the museum's staff, only a few can be listed here. Arnold Kludas's 
five- volume Geschichte der deutschen Passagierschiffahrt (History of German Passenger 


Shipping) is by now complete. Lars U. Scholl, a well-known expert in history of 
German marine painting and economical aspects of maritime history, has published 
the results of his research in several articles and catalogues. However, there is still 
no comprehensive history of German merchant shipping. Any interested historian 
will have to make do with representative volumes whose individual articles offer 
important summaries of the latest research. 

Maritime History: State of Teaching 

So far, there are no courses in maritime history in any German university. 
However, the departments of history in several north German universities 
regularly offer seminars on subjects that are closely related to maritime history: 
history of emigration, social history of shipbuilders and sailors. The lecturers will 
often be staff members of the German Maritime Museum in Bremerhaven or 
historians who have touched upon questions of shipbuilding and ship design as 
part of their work on the history of technology. 

Maritime and Naval Museums and Collections. Archaeology of Ship- 
ping and Private Maritime Collections 

Before World War II, Germany had a central institution for the study and 
display of objects relating to shipping, namely the Museum fur Meereskunde 

Arnold Kludas, Die Geschichte der deutschen Passagierschiffahrt, vols. 1-5, (Hamburg: Kabel, 

53 Lars U. Scholl: Claus Bergen 1885-1964. Marinemalerei im 20.Jahrhundert (Bremerhaven: 1982); Felix 
Schwormstadt 1870-1938 (Herford: Koehler, 1990) and Der Marinemaler Hans Peter Jurgens (Herford: 
Koehler, 1991); "Shipping Business in Germany in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries," in 
Tsunehiko Yui and Keiichiro Nakagawa, eds., Business History of Shipping. Strategy and Structure (Tokyo: 
University of Tokyo Press, 1985), pp. 185-213, and "The Harriman-Hamburg- American Line 
Agreement of June 1920: The Foremost German Shipping Company's Return to the Seas," Research 
in Maritime History, 2 (1992), pp. 349-81. Dr. Scholl presented a paper, "German Maritime Historical 
Research during the past twenty-five years. A critical survey" at the conference on New Directions in 
Maritime History (December 1993, Perth-Freemantle, Australia). 

Cf., for example, Volker Plagemann, Ubersee. Seefahrt und Seemacht im deutschen Kaiserreich (Munich: 
Beck, 1988). 

Rahn 151 

(Museum of Oceanography) in Berlin. During the war, the building and large 
parts of its collections were destroyed. Only a few pieces survived, and today 
they are scattered among various collections and museums. Not least, the division 
of Germany and of her capital Berlin meant that for several decades it was 
impossible to fill this gap in an appropriate manner. 

As a result of the vacuum created by the lack of a central museum, smaller 
museums in the port towns and cities gained in importance. Thus, today, almost 
every German port from Emden in the West to Stralsund in the Fast has a small 
maritime museum. They often developed from private collections, and today 
they provide the maritime historian and ship lover with an abundance of material 
from different eras of maritime history. From the point of view of their location 
and tasks, they naturally concentrate their collections on local peculiarities and 
those of the adjacent coastal region. 

The city of Wilhelmshaven has been canvassing for a central German Naval 
Museum since 1988. However, this project did not get beyond its initial stage, 
i.e., the preparation of a small collection. In 1992, an attempt failed to take 
over the former naval training vessel, the Deutschland, and to set it up as a museum 

From among these numerous museums, one museum stands out, which is to 
be described in greater detail here. This is the Deutsches Schiffahrtsmuseum 
(German Maritime Museum) in Bremerhaven. The starting point for the 
foundation of the museum lay in three different spheres: 

• When the Bremerhaven Morgenstern Museum moved to new premises in 
1961 , a maritime section was also opened. In the years that followed, the museum 
succeeded in acquiring important estates and collections, which today form a 
major foundation of the German Maritime Museum. 

• In 1962, the city of Bremerhaven decided not to fill in the old docks located 
directly on the Weser but to preserve them as an expanse of water. This created 
ideal conditions for a subsequent museum harbor, which got its first old ship in 

• The salvage in 1962 of a medieval Hanseatic cog was a pioneer achievment 
in the archaeology of shipping. Immediately after the ship had been salvaged, 
funds for its lengthy restoration were also obtained. Thus, there was a major 
impulse for the establishment of a central German maritime museum. The 
museum was subsequently founded in 1971 and opened in 1975. 

In the museum's charter of foundation, its tasks are described as folio ws: 

Nordseestadt Wilhelmshaven/Der Oberstadtdirektor, Dokumentation Symposium Deutsches 
Marine-Museum (Wilhelmshaven: 1988). 

Cf. Wolf-Dieter Hoheisel, "Aufgaben und Aufbau des Deutschen Schiffahrtsmuseums," Hansische 
Geschichtsblatter, 91 (1973), pp. 54—7, and Deutsches Schiffahrtsmuseum '75, Fiihrer des Deutschen 
Schiffahrtsmuseums, Nr. 1 (Bremerhaven: 1975), and "Deutsches Schiffahrtsmuseum Bremerhaven," 
Museum, Januar 1/1977 (Braunschweig: Westermann, 1977). 

152 Germany 

1 . To collect historical exhibits, to illustrate and to document German maritime 
history and its correlations; 

2. To conduct academic research into all fields of German maritime history; 

3. To use the museum's scientific and technological capabilities at its disposal in 
order to work for the public on behalf of German maritime history. 

In January 1972, the first ships were able to dock in the museum harbor. From 
1970 to 1975, the museum's main building was constructed to a design by Hans 
Scharoun. The concept of this building was to combine systematically arranged 
exhibits in the building with an open-air collection of museum ships. 

One of the major difficulties of maritime history exhibitions is caused by the size 
of the ships, which precludes the use of originals to illustrate the evolution of ship 
types. It is necessary to resort to scale models and accept the effect of niinirnization 
that this involves. To counterbalance this, the German Maritime Museum has 
attached particular importance to establishing the relation to the original dimen- 
sions — the ships in the Old Docks and on the Weser can be seen from the exhibition. 
At the same time, these ships, plus a few original-size systems, form the centerpieces 
of the individual exhibition sections, to which the other exhibits are clearly 
subordinated. From among the museum ships, I should like to mention only the 
naval ships: they are a fast patrol boat from the early days of the post-war 
Bundesmarine and the only surviving Type XXI World War II submarine. The 
museum includes a separate naval department which displays, inter alia, an original 
type Seehund midget submarine of fifteen tons. 

The Hanse Cog 

Archaeology of shipping and reconstruction is exemplified by the Hanse 


cog. On 9 October 1962, during dredging work in the Weser river, the wreck 
of a ship was discovered which, on the basis of numerous symbols on seals, was 
identified as a medieval Hanseatic cog. This type of ship was not only the 
regular cargo ship of the early Hanseatic league until well into the fifteenth 
century, the cog was also the means of early Hanseatic naval warfare. As this 
wreck had been found by chance, nobody was prepared for salvaging such a 
ship. However, the rescue of the find had to commence immediately, as the cog 
was in danger of breaking apart as soon as the supporting masses of sand were 

Cf., Technikmuseum U-Boot "Wilhelm Bauer." Kleine Geschichte und Technik der deutschen U-Boote 
(Bremerhaven: 1990). 

58 The following part is based on the special journal Museum, 1 (1977), pp. 20-24. (This chapter was 
written by Wolf-Dieter Hoheisel) . Cf. also Klaus-Peter Kiedel and Uwe Schnall, The Hanse Cog of 1380 
(Bremerhaven: 1985) and Die Kogge von Bremen, vol. 1, Werner Lahn, Bauteile und Bauablauf, Schriften 
des Deutschen Schiffahrtsmuseums, 30 (Hamburg: Kabel, 1987) with 37 plans and 161 illustrations. 

See Paul Heinsius, Das Schiff der hansischen Fruhzeit, 2nd ed. (Cologne and Vienna: Bohlau, 1986). 

Rahn 153 

removed. Eventually, a great effort made it possible to complete most of the 
salvage operation before the onset of the winter of 1962— 63. However, another 
ten years were to elapse before it was possible to lay down the keel of this 
Hanseatic ship for a second time, this time in the purpose-built "Kogge-Haus" 
of the German Maritime Museum on 1 November 1972. As nobody knew the 
exact size and shape of the cog, the restorers had to put the ship back together 
by assembling some 2,000 pieces. It was one big jigsaw puzzle. They often had 
to rely on conjectures, which were then checked by using the actual conditions. 
In the course of their work, the restorers tested new measurement, damp wood 
bonding, and preservation techniques. The reconstruction of the cog took place 
in a foggy atmosphere, since otherwise the saturated, almost six-hundred-year- 
old oak would have shrunk by 25 to 30 percent. Then, a preservation basin had 
to be constructed around the ship in which the cog is impregnated with a 
preservation fluid for many years. During this time, the water-soluble preserva- 
tion agent, polyethylne glycol, slowly penetrates all the components starting 
from the surface. In the process, the water present in the cells of the wood is 
gradually replaced by the polywax, which then, during the subsequent drying 
process, forms a "supporting corset" and prevents shrinkage. This process should 
be completed in around 10 years. The cog is now the central exhibit of the 
"Middle Ages" section at the German Maritime Museum. 

Once the restoration of the original cog had progressed so far that it was 
possible to clearly distinguish the design of the ship, the suggestion was made to 
build an exact reproduction of the cog. It was hoped that tests with this replica 
under actual sea conditions in the area in which it used to operate, i.e., primarily 
the North Sea and the Baltic, might answer questions as to the cogs' sail-carrying 
ability, their seaworthiness, load capacity, navigation, etc. 

The replica's length overall is 23 meters, its beam over all is 7.26 meters. 
When loaded with the maximum cargo of 87 metric tons, the draught is 2.25 
meters, giving a displacement of about 120 metric tons. The cog, which was 
salvaged from the Weser, had been lost in an accident in 1380 while being built. 
Because none of the rig's original parts were found near the wreck, which would 
have provided clues to the ship's sail-carrying ability, replicating the rig posed 
special problems. The rig's reproduction had to be based on old representations; 
a description by the Italian, Timbotta, dating from 1 444 could also be used. Final 
details such as the sail area of 200 square meters were eventually decided upon 
after a model had been tried in a wind tunnel. 

From 1987 to 1990, two replicas of the cog were built, one in Kiel and another 
in Bremerhaven. They were meant for two different purposes: 

The following description is based on Wolf-Dieter Hoheisel, "A Full-Scale Replica of the Hanse 
Cog of 1380," Yearbook of the International Association of Transport Museums, 15/16 (1988/1989), pp. 
26-33. Cf. also Wolf-Dieter Hoheisel, "Rekonstruktion der Bremer Hans-Kogge," fahrbuch der 
Schiffbautechnischen Gesellschaft, 82 (1988), pp. 223-9. 

154 Germany 

• The Kiel replica was built as true to the original as possible, to permit a 
better analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of the medieval structure and 
its influence on the ship's characteristics. Without an engine or any other aids, 
it was used to determine exactly how a Bremen cog sailed in the Middle Ages. 

• The Bremerhaven replica was built for a different purpose. It was to 
undertake studies in long-term cruises along the Hanseatic sailing routes in the 
North Sea and in the Baltic. For safety reasons, an engine and modern navigation 
aids had to be included to prevent accidents, e.g., on a lee shore. Of course, the 
city of Bremerhaven also sees visits of this cog to former Hanse cities as good 
public relations for Bremerhaven and its German Maritime Museum. 

In June 1991, the first sailing trials of the Kiel cog commenced. Their results 
confirmed the prior calculations. Up to wind-force 4—5, the cog could run under 
full sail, heeling less than 15 degrees. With wind-force 6—7 from nearly abaft, 
the cog made slightly more than 7 knots. However, during the first trials the cog 
was unable to beat against the wind. Scientific results of the trials, however, are 
not expected until 1994—5, and will probably be published in the Jahrbuch der 
Schiffbautechnischen Gesellschaft. 

Until 1945, the Museum fur Meereskunde (Museum of Oceanography) in 
Berlin included a large department of naval history. Among other items, it held 
the first German submarine, the Brandtaucher, built by Wilhelm Bauer in 1848. 
When this museum was destroyed, Germany lost its most valuable exhibits, 
which had documented naval history. 

Before 1990 the German Armed Forces had no central museum of military 
history which might have included a separate section for naval history. This was 
for a variety of reasons, not the least being a lack of funds. After reunification in 
October 1990, the Bundeswehr took over the former East German Army (NVA) 
Museum of Military History, which had been established in Dresden. At the 
moment, it looks as if that museum will eventually be the central German 
museum for military history. It includes a naval department with a number of 
valuable exhibits and good models. Its showpiece is certainly the Brandtaucher 
which, although very badly damaged during World War II, was rescued from 
among the ruins of the Museum of Oceanography and later restored. 

The best collection documenting naval history can be found in the Naval 
Historic Training Center of the German Naval Academy at Flensburg. When 
this collection originated in 1958, its aims were defined as follows: 

Information from Professor Dr. Detlev Ellmers and Dr. Lars U. Scholl, both of German Maritime 
Museum, Bremerhaven, to the author, May-September, 1993. 

Cf. Wolf-Dieter Hoheisel, "Erste Segelversuche mit dem Kieler Nachbau der Bremer Hanse-Kogge 
von 1380," Deutsche Schiffahrt, 2 (1991), pp. 23-5. 

Cf. Klaus Herold, "Der Kieler Brandtaucher. Ergebnisse einer Nachforschung," Kiel, die Deutschen 
und die See, pp. 123-42. 

Rahn 155 

The Historic Collection, as part of the Center of Military History, will illustrate 
the various epochs of the German naval past to the officer cadets and officers as 
part of their education, so as to motivate them for their chosen profession as naval 
officers. Also, it will serve to cultivate naval tradition and to inform the public 
about Germany's maritime interests, past and present. The exhibition will there- 
fore center on the development and history of naval forces from the end of the 
19th century. 

Based on a Naval Staff order dated April 1958, the Naval Academy developed 
a department which was initially called the "Historical Collection." Renamed 
"Naval Historical Training Center" in 1976, it united naval history, the tradition 
of the Navy, and teaching into an organic whole, with all three components 
enjoying equal status. 

This collection started from humble beginnings in 1958, and it is not actually 
a museum. Still, in view of the large number of exhibits, some of which are 
extremely valuable, it compares favorably with other, similar institutes. Today, 
it holds some 150 model ships, 350 oil paintings and prints, 300 flags and 
pennants, 15 busts, 7 figureheads, 25 coats of arms from ships' bows, 80 situation 
maps, 300 ships' diagrams as well as several thousand photographs depicting 
individuals, ships, and events. The photographs are often from old albums which 
have been presented to the collection by former officers and men of the Navy. 
The collection is mainly used for the instruction and education of the officer 
cadets. Also, some 6,000 visitors per year, excluding Navy personnel, find it a 
source of valuable information for their historical interests. The manuscript 
collection now numbers about 17,000 items, and it is used increasingly by 
historians, both from Germany and from abroad. Meanwhile, the exhibition has 
found better accommodation in what used to be the commandant's villa, making 
it more accessible to outside visitors. 

This report on German museums and collections relating to maritime and 
naval history can by no means be complete; it can only present a selection. 
However, one private collection has to be mentioned. It has a special position 
as one of the largest and most important of its kind. Its owner is the publisher 
and former Chief Executive of Springer Publishing Company, Peter Tamm, in 
Hamburg. This collection includes not only a special library of about 60,000 
volumes, it consists of a vast number of extremely valuable ship models, paintings 

Jorg Duppler, "Das WehrgeschichtlicheAusbildungszentrum Flensburg-Muiwik, " Dokumentation Symposium 
Deutsches Marine-Museum, pp. 91-5, and Franz Hahn, "Ein Rundgang durch das Wehrgeschichtliche 
Ausbildungszentrum," in Deutsches Marine Institut. Conception and Redaction: Dieter Matthei, Jorg 
Duppler and Karl Heinz Kruse, Marine schule Murwik (1910-1985), 2nd rev. ed. (Herford: Mittler, 1989), 
pp. 213-20. 

Cf. Heinrich Walle, "Private Sammler maritimer Kunst," in Deutsches Marine Institut and 
Militargeschichtliches Forschungsamt, eds., Seefahrt und Geschichte (Herford and Bonn: Mittler, 1986), 
pp. 220-5, and [without author] "Das Wissenschaftliche Institut fur Schiffahrts- und Marinegeschichte," 
Marinejorum, 67 (1992), pp. 426-7. 

1 56 Germany 

dating from the sixteenth century to the present, innumerable manuscripts, 
charts, uniforms, decorations, weapons, and other historic maritime exhibits. 
The collection is now a part of the private Institute of Maritime and Naval 
History, which is still in the process of development. Large parts of the collection 
have time and again enriched major exhibitions elsewhere. 

Correlations between Naval and Maritime History 

The close relationship between maritime and naval history makes it obvious 
that there is an interdependence between the two fields of research. Even so, 
cooperation between historians dealing with maritime and naval history, respec- 
tively, has so far been sporadic rather than intensive. As there was always a tension 
between naval and merchant navigation, this distance is also quite discernible 
between historians researching naval and maritime history. The much-regretted 
general tendency of all historians to specialize also contributes to a neglect of 
subjects which cover more than one narrow field. A number of learned 
associations exist, but they do not care to improve cooperation. In view of the 
forthcoming cuts in research grants, cooperation will be more essential than ever 
if the available monetary and staff resources are to be employed effectively for 
fundamental naval and maritime research. 


It is a basic, and perennial challenge to historians to try and come close to 
historic truth. Today, the German Navy has both a lively interest in its history 
and also a special relationship with it. A clear link can be seen between the 
historical self-perception of its officers and the history of their service. In the 
past, this link often served only to legitimize and to secure the Navy's own 
position in its fight for recognition and even for its existence, during a relatively 
short period. In such situations, there is a danger if historical interest is limited 
only to the Navy itself and to naval warfare, and too little attention is paid to 
the "general context, to the subordination of the individual aspect under the 
varied panorama of historical development." 

The various aspects of highly specialized maritime historiography are beset by 
similar dangers. The commercial success of popular publications as well as the 
number of visitors attracted to the museums indicate how many people have 
some historical interest. This continuing interest is a stimulating challenge for 
the professional historian. We should continue to try and present our findings 
about past backgrounds and structures in such a way that the message gets across, 
i.e., in such a way that historical knowledge and sensitivity become a stabilizing 
factor for a liberal society. And if this calling sounds ponderous enough, we 

Wilhelm Deist, "Auflosungserscheinungen in Armee und Marine als Voraussetzungen der deutschen 
Revolution," in MGFA, ed., Menschenfiihrung in der Marine, Vortrage zur Militargeschichte, 2 (Herford 
and Bonn: Mittler, 1981), p. 37. 

Rahn 157 

should not forget the humorous touch — it always was and always will be a 
refreshing element of human life. 

In 1943, the following story received clearance for publication in Germany: 

A circus had been hit during an air raid on Berlin. Two lions escaped and were 
on the loose without anyone having any idea where they might be. 

After two weeks had passed, one of the lions returned ruefully to his cage. He 
looked worn out and thin and swore to his fellows: "Never again! I'd rather put 
up with bad horse meat than have to find my own food in Berlin!" 

The next day, the other lion came back; proud as anything and fatter than he had 
ever been before. "Hello! Where have you been?" the others called to him, "what 
have you been up to?" 

"Who me? — I was in Naval Command Headquarters and every day I had an 
admiral for my supper. But be careful not to tell anyone — no one's noticed yet." 
And back he ran to the Naval High Command. 

To draw an analogy from this story, you could say that after World War II, 
German naval archives were indeed eaten by British and American historians 
while German historians, without any access to the original documents, looked 
worn out and thin for a long time. 

• • • 

The collation of this material and its translation into English was generously 
supported in a variety of ways by a number of colleagues. I am grateful to Colonel 
(GS) Dr. Roland Foerster and Major Winfried Heinemann, both of the MGFA, 
as well as to Commander Dr. Dieter Hartwig of the Naval Academy in 
Flensberg, Lieutenant Commander Dr. Frank Nagler of the Armed Forces Staff 
College, Hamburg, Professor Dr. Detlev Ellmers and Dr. Lars U. Scholl, both 
of the German Maritime Museum, Bremerhaven, and Professor John Hattendorf 
of the Naval War College. 

Peter Ernst Eiffe, Seemannsgam. "Splissen und Knoten " zweite Folge. Heitere Marinegeschichten mit einem 
Geleitwort des Admiralinspekteurs der Kriegsmarine des GroBdeutschen Reiches GroBadmiral Raeder 
(Magdeburg: 1943), pp. 45—6. 


Captain C. Uday Bhaskar, Indian Navy 

The study of naval and maritime history offers a curious paradox in the 
Indian context. For a nation whose recent political history has been 
inextricably linked with the dictates of sea power and whose maritime history 
goes back to earliest antiquity — namely to the Mohenjo— Daro— Harappa period 
(c. 3000—1500 B.C.) — the actual study of naval and maritime subjects in India is 
modest, to say the least. 

History itself, as interpreted in the Western context, is something alien to the 
Indian psyche. There are various reasons for this trait. At the broad level of 
civilizations, it is averred that the timelessness of Indian thinking and metaphysics 
defies the special perch of history. The continuum of time is seen as an endless 
cycle punctuated by the birth, life, death, and rebirth of the protagonist — be it 
the individual or the soul — the only perennial entity being the essence of 
civilization. At a more simplistic level, a casual observer may look at language 
and deduce that in Hindi, the national language of the country, the word for 
yesterday and tomorrow is the same, kal, thereby diluting the need to preserve 
the past in a codified and rigorous manner. 

Be that as it may, a preliminary survey suggests that, barring the professional 
naval establishments, there is no dedicated institutional infrastructure for the 
study of naval and maritime history in India. All the universities in India offer 
detailed courses in the study of history per se, but the division is more traditional 
in the sense that ancient Indian history, the medieval period, and the British 
period are some of the broad areas studied. These may be explored further in 
their political, social, and economic dimensions, but the actual study of military 
history, with specific reference to the naval and maritime dimension is currently 
in its infancy. 

A wealth of material remains to be excavated. For instance, the linkages 
between sea power and the political fortunes of the early Indian dynasties — the 
Satavahanas and the Mauryans — need to be authoritatively analyzed and, in like 
fashion, specific linkages in maritime commerce, ship-building, and contacts 

Captain C. Uday Bhaskar, Indian Navy, is currently Senior Fellow at the Institute for 
Defense Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. 

160 India 

with the rest of the ancient world need to be rigorously examined. Some research 
at the post-graduate level is now being encouraged in certain universities in 
India, such as those in Delhi, Calcutta, Bombay, and Madras. A more detailed 
survey of Indian academia may be warranted at a later stage to fill in the 
inadvertent omissions of this preliminary report. 

Among the service establishments, naval and maritime history receives 
tangential attention at the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, Nilgiris, 
Tamil Nadu, and at the College of Naval Warfare, Bombay, and the National 
Defence College, Delhi. But none of these three establishments teach the 
subjects in the pristine, academic sense. In an effort to infuse a historical sense 
into their respective studies, these colleges correlate naval and maritime history 
strands with the specific issue or subject being studied. Here, the threshold at 
which the students come to the college is relevant and this gives one an insight 
into the manner in which naval and maritime history are woven into the 

The Defence Services Staff College is the first stepping stone for higher 
command in the Indian armed forces, and officers enter at the grade of lieutenant 
commander and its equivalent, major or squadron leader. Here, naval and 
maritime history are related to specific tactical studies and are undertaken in 
groups. Campaign studies receive greater attention, and, here again, the correla- 
tion is between the principles of war and twentieth century naval battles and 
campaigns. The Atlantic and Pacific campaigns of World War II are studied in 
detail, specifically the Battle of Midway, the Normandy landing, along with the 
Korean War landing at Inchon. More recently, the Falklands campaign and the 
Gulf War have become logical priorities in the Defence Services Staff College. 

In sum, the Defence Services Staff College does not teach maritime or naval 
history, but it deals with specific historical issues that encompass naval battles at 
sea or amphibious operations that are taken up in the syndicate and divisional 
portions of the group study program. Each group makes a final presentation to 
the entire college, at which stage certain relevant aspects of naval and maritime 
history are discussed. 

The College of Naval Warfare conducts courses for officers at the rank of 
senior commander or captain. Here also, there is no attempt to teach naval and 
maritime history. However, in the effort to infuse a historical sense into studies 
of naval strategy, the discussions on ancient and medieval Indian history include 
specific aspects of naval and maritime history. This syllabus is still being refined, 
and I believe that there will be a gradual shift from the political science content 
to a marked maritime strategy content in the years ahead. Currently, the College 
of Naval Warfare offers a separate session on the maritime heritage of India and 
the ancient methods of navigation in these waters. The latter aspect is also 
receiving attention in the Bombay University. 

Bhaskar 161 

The National Defence College, New Delhi, is the apex college for the Indian 
Armed Forces and also has representatives from other nations. Student officers 
are of brigadier and equivalent rank. Here again, there is no formal teaching of 
naval and maritime history. However, during this one year— long course at the 
National Defence College, sea power per se is analyzed. The historical perspec- 
tive, the Indian context, and the colonial paradigm are explored. Guest lecturers 
are invited to address these subjects and, for the last two years, I have been 
involved in structuring lectures around these subjects. For example, subject 
themes, such as "Maritime Rivalry in the Indian Ocean: A Historical Perspec- 
tive" and "The Impact of Sea-power on the Littoral of the Pacific and Indian 
Oceans: Prognosis in the Post— Cold War," have evolved to cover all the salient 
political, economic and military aspects of naval and maritime history. 

There is no single intellectual trend or critical theory that is adhered to in the 
discussions at the above institutions, but there is little doubt that the perspective 
of the naval and maritime events under study is from that of a non- white, former 
colony. It is often averred in India that the lack of adequate appreciation about 
the relevance of sea power by early Indian rulers led to the later colonization of 
the sub-continent. This theme has been amply dealt with by K.M. Panikkar in 
his books on the subject and provides the basic intellectual thrust to the current 
Indian interpretation. 

No Indian university offers any specific courses in naval/maritime history per 
se. These subjects are dealt with as part of a larger sub-heading, e.g., in addressing 
economic history of a period or region, the maritime trade aspects are covered. 
In like fashion, while naval battles or capabilities receive little individual attention 
in the universities, references are made to the maritime strand while dealing with 
the specifics of political history. 

While it has not been possible to survey all the Indian universities individually, 
one has been able to look more closely at the syllabus of the Jawaharlal Nehru 
University, New Delhi and some of the findings here may be extrapolated to 
the larger Indian university canvas as a general indicator of the current trend. 

For example, one of the courses offered at the post-graduate level in the 
Center for Historical Studies at the Jawaharlal Nehru University is entitled: 
"Economic History of India: Trade, Commerce and Industry in India in the 
17th and 18th centuries." The subject is treated in the following manner: 
Structure of Asian trade: 10th-15th centuries; the Portuguese domination of the 
Indian Ocean in the 16th century; the response of Indian merchants and rulers 
to Portuguese hegemony; the Dutch rule in intra-Asian trade; Dutch trade in 
India; the English East India Company; the economy of Gujarat; the Indian 
merchants and their trading practice; the role and position of merchants in 

K.M. Panikkar, India and the Indian Ocean (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1962). 

162 India 

economy and society; the Coromandel; the economy of Bengal; and some 
aspects of technology and industry. 

In like fashion, while dealing with medieval Indian history, for instance, the 
Cholas in the ninth to thirteenth centuries of peninsular India are the subject of 
a separate course. In this course, the maritime trade practices of the Cholas and 
their expeditions into Sri Lanka and South East Asia are dealt with as part of the 
economic and political history of the period. 

Further, a course on "Trade Networks in the Indian Ocean: Fifteenth to 
Eighteenth Centuries" examines the geographical setting of the Indian Ocean, 
the pre-European concepts, nature and meaning of the Indian Ocean as a world 
economy, the Indian Ocean trade network before the fifth century, the con- 
tribution of European trading companies, the role of China and East Asian 
countries and ship-building technology. 

These illustrative examples from the Jawaharlal Nehru University are 
symptomatic of the larger trend in Indian academia, wherein there appears to 
be a lack of any specialization in naval and maritime history perse. This is a glaring 
gap as far as the professional sailor is concerned, and more recently there has 
been an attempt by the Indian Navy to make a modest contribution in this 
regard. Naval Headquarters has been encouraging naval historians to research 
specific subjects, and in the last few years retired Rear Admirals Satyindra Singh 
and K. Sridharan have made noteworthy contributions. 

A small but significant step in creating a national maritime consciousness has 
been the addition of a naval-maritime wing to the National Museum in New 
Delhi. Despite the claims to an ancient maritime past that goes back to about 
4000—6000 B.C., there was no dedicated maritime museum in India barring the 
few naval museums outside of Delhi. This lacuna was partially redressed by the 
addition of this new maritime wing to the National Museum in 1992. 

However, there is a need to encourage greater specialist studies in Indian naval 
and maritime history in the first instance and then attempt an interdisciplinary 
study of the different strands that, taken collectively, will point to a more holistic 
understanding of the Indian past. 

Academic Perspectives (New Delhi: Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharal Nehru University, 1989), 
pp. 105, 106. 

3 Ibid., p. 113. 

4 Ibid., p. 118. 

Rear Admiral Satyindra Singh, Under Two Ensigns: The Indian Navy, 1945-50 (New Dehli: Oxford 
and IBH Publishing Company, 1985); Rear Admiral Satyindra Singh, Blueprint to Bluewater: The Indian 
Navy, 1951-65 (New Delhi: Lancer International, 1992). 

6 Rear Admiral K. Sridharan, History of the Naval Dockyard Bombay — 250 Years, 1735-1985 (Bombay: 
The Admiral Superintendent, Naval Dockyard, 1989). 



John E. de Courcy Ireland 

The independent Irish State was set up in 1922 after centuries of unrest 
following the definitive English occupation of the island early in the 
seventeenth century. The Irish had always been a maritime people, and in the 
two centuries preceding the definitive English occupation, Irish seamen and 
shipowners were engaged in lively maritime commerce with England and 
Scotland, Portugal, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Germany, and Scandinavia. 
There is powerful evidence that as well as a variety of traditional— type vessels, 
Irish shipowners had ships of the most modern types available in Europe. The 
Irish sea fisheries were very rich and were frequented by continental as well as 
Irish fishermen. Some of them were fishing the Grand Banks by the 1550s, and 
the wealth of these fisheries was one of the reasons for the English government 
undertaking a final conquest of Ireland later in the sixteenth century. 

Being divided into nearly one hundred petty principalities, with about a score 
of largely autonomous seaport towns and no centralized Irish authority, the Irish 
people had no navy or naval policy and only rudimentary systems of maritime 
law. In the past, a remarkable English seaman, Thomas Stucley from Devon, 
with ambitions to become a power in Ireland, was the first person to realize the 
strategic importance of Ireland. He presented Philip II of Spain with detailed 
ideas on the subject of Waterford as an ideal base for Spain to seize to exercise 
permanent strategic pressure on England. After Philip ignored the advice, Stucley 
fell out with the government in London and offered his services to Spain. Only 
Hugh O'Neill, leader in the last phase of resistance to the English invasion, 
understood the need to create an Irish state with a navy and merchant ships at 
its disposal. 

Very few leaders of the numerous movements that arose in Ireland in the 
centuries after 1607 showed serious interest in the economic potential of 
Ireland's geographical situation, if it attained freedom, or in the end, was given 
independence, in some kind of naval defence forces, nor, indeed, in considera- 
tion of means, during a struggle for independence, to try to cope with the fact 
that the struggle was against the leading sea power in the world. In the final and 
successful phase of the independence struggle, only one leader, Arthur Griffith, 

164 Ireland 

had thought profoundly about the importance of the sea to an independent 
Ireland, and he died within a few months of the establishment of the new state. 

Yet, throughout the centuries of English occupation and despite the imposi- 
tion of restrictions, particularly on the development of the fisheries, an Irish 
maritime economy continued to function, given a particular boost by the arrival 
of maritime Protestant refugees from France in the late seventeenth and 
eighteenth centuries. Thousands of Irishmen served in the British Navy (probab- 
ly 15 percent of its personnel were Irish over a long period) and in the merchant 
navy. Shipbuilding flourished in Ireland and hundreds of Irishmen distinguished 
themselves at sea in the navies of France, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, 
Austria— Hungary and in at least ten countries on the American continent, North 
and South. 

The state that was set up in 1922 introduced no legislation establishing an 
Irish merchant fleet; therefore, merchant ships registered in Irish ports continued 
to fly the British ensign until such legislation in September 1939, and no attempt 
was made to create a coast defence navy until August of that year. 

Maritime history was ignored in the schools and in the universities to the 
point where, thirty years ago, the head of Ireland's oldest university, a historian, 
wrote publicly that Ireland had no maritime history or traditions. In the 1930s, 
with the likelihood of a world war growing closer, isolated individuals, all of 
whom were later to become active in the Maritime Institute of Ireland set up 
in 1941 to crusade for the creation of a strong Irish maritime economy and for 
the revival of Ireland's great maritime tradition, spoke out about the need to 
operate an Irish merchant navy and coast guard fleet and to revive the almost 
defunct fishing fleet. When, ten years ago, the Department of Defence archives 
were opened to the public, I was immediately shown a detailed document, 
marked Top Secret and evidently left to smoulder quietly in a pigeon hole for 
half a century, in which two officers of the Irish Army, on instructions from the 
Chief of Staff, demonstrated clearly what sort of coastal defence navy would be 
suitable for Ireland. They then reasoned that the provision of such a navy would 
be of little ultimate value unless a merchant navy and a revived fishing fleet also 
became part of policy. This document had never before seen the light of day 
nor awoken the smallest echo in political circles. 

The 1939—45 war led to the improvisation of a navy, the establishment of an 
Irish merchant fleet, and the revival of the fishing fleet, though that did not really 
start to grow until 1962. Since then it has increased quite phenomenally in size 
and catching capacity in spite of a variety of problems associated with the 
over-fishing of Irish waters and the slow growth of the essential research work. 

1 See for example, John de Courcy Ireland, "The Confederate States Navy 1861-1865: The Irish 
Contribution," Mariner's Mirror, 66 (August 1980), pp. 259—63 and "Irish Naval Connections in Brest 
in the Eighteenth and Ninteenth Centuries," Irish Sword, 17 (Summer 1987), pp. 57-60. 

de Courcy Ireland 1 65 

From its foundation, the Maritime Institute of Ireland, an independent 
non-official body, has conceived the teaching of maritime history — general or 
even Irish — to be one of its absolute priorities. It runs regular lectures and 
occasional conferences on maritime historical topics, provides lectures for any 
organization, society, or college that requests one; has published books and 
pamphlets on both maritime history and actualities; and has since 1946 (though 
with a break of several years in the late 1960s) published, under different titles, 
a journal, at first monthly, now quarterly, containing maritime historical 
information as well as information on maritime activities. The Institute has been 
able to interest the official radio— television station and several local radio stations 
in transmitting maritime historical material quite regularly. It has encouraged 
primary and secondary schools to allow students to specialize on maritime topics, 
although it has not yet persuaded the state educational authorities to recognize 
maritime history as a subject. The Institute has helped undergraduate and 
graduate students at Irish universities and at foreign ones, allowing them to 
choose maritime topics for degree theses, and it has enabled the Free University 
of Ireland, set up in Dublin in 1986, to offer annually a course in maritime 
history. Each of the country's local history societies is invited to study its own 
local maritime history and to invite a lecturer from the Institute. The Institute 
helped to found the Military History Society of Ireland in 1949 and has provided 
lecturers for its annual October-March lecture programme. Institute members 
have contributed frequently to its prestigious twice-a-year journal, The Irish 
Sword. In 1959 the Institute founded (and operates through volunteers as with 
all its other work) the non-state subsidized National Maritime Museum of 
Ireland, which presents a series of lessons on Irish and general maritime and naval 
history. Schools and learned societies that visit the museum are provided with a 
guide competent in maritime history. 

The museum is affiliated with the International Congress of Maritime 
Museums and is represented at its triennial conferences. Members of the Institute 
form the Irish section of the International Conference of Maritime Historians 
and have provided papers at its conferences, which began in 1975 and are held 
every five years, as well as at conferences organized by the French and British 
sections. The Institute has helped in the last five years to persuade the universities 
at Cork, Limerick, and Belfast in Northern Ireland to consider seriously the 
introduction, in the next few years, of courses on maritime studies, including 
maritime history. It has also assisted in the establishment of a local maritime 
historical research center for Northwestern Ireland at Derry, Northern Ireland. 
The Institute can also take some credit for the fact that, whereas between 1948 
and 1981 only one maritime book was published in Ireland, now three or four 

The Maritime Institute of Ireland, B. Donnelly, Hon. Sec, Haigh Terrace, Dun Laoghaire, Co. 
Dublin, Republic of Ireland. 
The Irish Maritime Journal. 

166 Ireland 

are published annually. Ten books on maritime history published in Ireland in 
the last twelve years were either written or edited by Institute members. 

Outside of the Institute, whose members are all volunteers, Irish maritime 
history is taught to the cadets at the maritime division of Cork Regional 
Technical College (formerly the Irish Nautical College) by Captain Brunicardi, 
a staff member who has also written a history of the Irish Naval Service and 
whose father, Commander Brunicardi, has written and lectured locally in West 
Cork on local maritime history. 

The officers of the Naval Service receive rather elementary education in the 
history of their service and some very sketchy international naval and maritime 
history as part of their training. Occasional arrangements are made for officers, 
cadets, or seamen to attend lectures by Captain Brunicardi; but, apparently, 
unless they do courses abroad (at which some have excelled) Irish naval officers 
are not adequately educated about naval history. 

Other than the Institute and its members on the Free University staff, no 
academics in Ireland teach these subjects, though some good economic historians 
do deal with aspects of maritime history inevitably (and quite well), and moves 
are being made for the academics who run the archives at Cork to start 
propagating maritime history based thereon. Some fishery history is taught at 
the fine Fisheries Training College, Greencastle, County Donegal. 

There is no coordination of Irish maritime studies. The innate and more or 
less unconscious anti-British bias with which history is generally approached in 
Ireland tends to be nullified by the fact that outside the Institute maritime history 
is dealt with in English and from British sources. The periods least covered are 
probably the medieval, eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries. Most 
help is needed in the post-medieval field in getting at the vast amount of archival 
material which we know to be available in the National, Cork city, and Northern 
Ireland archives, and in archives abroad (e.g., France, Britain, Portugal, Spain, 
the United States and the Netherlands), where Institute members have identified 
material and done much preliminary work on it. The gulf between naval and 
general maritime history is not great as presented in Ireland, and it should be 
possible to prevent its swelling when the study of maritime history in Ireland 
becomes better organized and less elementary. 

A very recent and very welcome development was the Argentine Navy's 
invitation to the Irish Naval Service to send one of its most promising young 
Irish officers on a training cruise in the famous Argentine naval sail-training ship, 

Among recent works, see for example, John de Courcy Ireland, Ireland and the Irish in Maritime History 
(Dun Laoghaire: Glendale Press, 1986) and Ireland's Sea Fisheries: A History (Dublin: Glendale Press, 
1989); Nicholas Rossiter, Wexford Port: A History (Wexford: Wexford Council of Trade Unions, 1989). 

A History of the Irish Naval Service (Haulbowline: Naval Base, 1989), 10 pages. 

For example, Niall Brunicardi, Haulbowline, Spike and Rocky Islands in Cork Harbour (Fermoy, n.d.). 

See Thomas A. Adams, Irish Naval Service (Kendal, Cumbria: World Ship Society, 1982). 

de Courcy Ireland 1 67 

the Libertad. The invitation followed, but may not have been inspired by, a long 
lecture tour in the autumn of 1993 by the Maritime Institute's research officer, 
author of the soon-to-be published first English-language biography of the 
Irishman, William Brown (1777—1857), founder of the Argentine Navy. In 
1922, Argentina was the first country to recognize the separate Irish state. Irish 
Naval Service officers have been trained in Britain, but it is hoped that this first 
serious contact with another naval tradition may become permanent. 
Meanwhile, the Irish Navy's ships are kept busy protecting, with their insuffi- 
cient numbers, Irish and European fishery zones from frequent intruders, varied 
from time to time with a visit abroad, notably to revictual Irish military units on 
peace-keeping duty in the eastern Mediterranean basin. 


Meir Sas, Nadav Kashtan, and Sarah Arenson 

Geographical and historical factors give Israel an important role to play in 
the contacts between the two seafaring systems, the Red Sea and Indian 
Ocean on the one hand, the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean on the 
other. Since the days of King Solomon and his maritime expeditions in the 
South seas, through the maritime exploits of the Hasmonean Kings and Herod's 
Caesarea Maritima, to the tragedy of the Great Jewish Revolt against Rome, 
there was a sound link between the land, the people, and the sea. 

After the destruction of the Second Temple, the Talmud and other literary 
sources point out the continuity of Jewish maritime activity in the diaspora. All 
through the Middle Ages, and especially under Charlemagne, the Jews carried 
on a vast maritime, commercial network. They shared in the development of 
astronomy and cartography prior to the period of the great discoveries, fought 
Spain along with the Barbary corsairs, and were among the first settlers in the 
New World. 

The rise of the Jewish national movement at the end of the nineteenth century 
changed radically the situation of the Jewish people. Nevertheless, agriculture 
took the lead at first, and there was no awareness of the sea until the 1930s. 
During those years, the first attempts were made to train Jewish mariners at 
Riga in Latvia and Civitavecchia in Italy. These first attempts were superseded 
by the Haifa Nautical School of Technology, which later moved to Acre to 
become the still active Israel Nautical College. In 1936 a new port was built in 
Tel Aviv, due to the Arab Revolt and the difficulties in using the ports of Jaffa 
and Haifa. 

The British Mandate on the land of Israel (1918—1948) put severe restrictions 
on Jewish immigration. During those years, especially in the last four years of 
British rule, illegal immigration by sea, which had already started in the 1930s, 
took on growing proportions. There are many written works that deal with this 
period, offering general descriptions and monographs of particular ships and 

The first portion of this essay is by Dr. Meir Sas of the Israeli Nautical College, Acre. Dr. Sas passed 
away on 26 July 1993. His two coauthors dedicate this chapter to his memory. 

J. Halperin wrote about his experience in his book in Hebrew, The Renaissance of Jewish Seamanship 
(Tel-Aviv: Hadar, 1962). 

170 Israel 

actions, but due to the authors' general ignorance of conditions at sea, they do 
not contribute much to the analysis of Jewish, illegal, maritime immigration as 
a historical phenomenon during this period. 

In those years, the prevalent opinion was to strengthen the maritime inclina- 
tion of the people through the study and revival of old traditions. The first 
historical essay was by R. Patai and dealt with Biblical and Talmudic times, 700 
B.C. to A.D. 700. N. Slouschaz wrote another historical study, centering around 
Carthage and the Phenico-Punic achievement, and S. Tolkowsky wrote a 
general history of Jewish involvement in naval affairs. 

Since the moment that the State of Israel was declared on 15 May 1948, it 
started fighting for its existence. The same vessels that had served the immigrants 
were converted to form the nucleus of the new marine corps of the Israel 
Defence Forces. The role of the Navy in the Israel War of Independence was 
summed up by E. Tal in the best work on any of the Israeli Defence Forces' 
naval operations, which, since then, have been covered only by journalistic essays 
in various Hebrew language military and naval magazines. The Encyclopedia of 
Army and Security has published one volume dedicated to the Navy, but it consists 
mainly of pictures accompanied by a short text. 

Meir Sas has published many short articles on the history of seafaring and 
naval affairs, including translations from the classics such as A.T. Mahan's The 
Influence of Sea Power upon History. He has also written a monograph on the history 


of Acre. As there are no textbooks in Hebrew for the general history of seafaring 
and sea power, Dr. Sas has compiled several textbooks for high school and naval 
college students. 

Z. Herman is another prolific writer of maritime themes in Hebrew* Most 

1 o 
of his books deal with the ancient world, but he has dealt also with modern 

Jewish commercial shipping. His most recent book deals with the history and 

1 o 
challenge of oceanography. 

R. Patai, JeuHsh Seafaring in Ancient Times, a Contribution to the History of Palestinian Culture (Jerusalem: 
Mass, 1938) in Hebrew. 

4 N. Slouschaz, The Book of the Sea (Tel Aviv: 1948) in Hebrew. 

5 S. Tolkowsky, They Took to the Sea (New York: Yoseloff, 1964). 

E. Tal, Naval Operations in the Israeli War of Independence (Tel Aviv: Ministry of Defence Publications, 
1964) in Hebrew. 


Zahal Beheilo (Tel Aviv: Revivim, 1 982) in Hebrew. 


Meir Sas, Maritime Acre (Acre: Israel Nautical' College, 1981) in Hebrew. 

Meir Sas, The Book of the Sea (Haifa: Renaissance, 1970) and Oars and Sails Qerusalem: Ministry of 
Education, 1973). His most recent book is Seapower through the Ages (Jerusalem: Ministry of Defence 
Publications, 1991) in Hebrew. 

For example, Z. Herman, Man and the Sea (Haifa, 1979); People, Seas and Ships (Tel Aviv: Massada, 
1964) and Carthage, A Maritime Empire (Tel Aviv: Massada, 1963) in Hebrew. 

Z. Herman, History of Hebrew Shipping (Tel Aviv: 1978) in Hebrew. 
12 Z. Herman, The Depth of the Sea (Haifa: 1985) in Hebrew. 

Sas, Kashtan and Arenson 1 71 

The Academy of the Hebrew Language has summarized the professional, 

1 % 
linguistic innovations that maritime activity has brought to Hebrew. 

Haifa University Center for Maritime Studies 

The Leon Recanti Center for Maritime Studies at the University of Haifa 
was established in 1972. Guided by an interdisciplinary concept, the center 
conducts and promotes research projects which encompass man's activities 
relating to the sea, bringing to light what was known in the past, man's 
involvement in the present, and what man can accomplish by using the sea in 
the future. By combining disciplines, such as history, archaeology, earth sciences, 
and marine resources, the Center has found a way of bridging between 
humanities, sciences, and technology. This is reflected in the graduate program 
of the Department of Maritime Civilizations, initiated by the Center for 
Maritime Studies in the framework of the Faculty of Humanities. 

The Department of Maritime Civilizations offers courses that aim to broaden 
and deepen the historical, archaeological and geographical knowledge of cul- 
tures, people, countries, and coastal settlements whose history and development 
were or are affected by the sea. Emphasis is placed on maritime activities and 
interrelations in the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. These courses include 
subjects such as: history of naval power, coastal and marine archaeology, 
development of ships in antiquity, navigation and seamanship, ancient harbors, 
marine ecology and geology. 

The National Maritime Museum in Haifa 

Founded forty years ago, the National Maritime Museum in Haifa, Israel 
celebrated the twentieth anniversary of the opening of its current, 1972 pur- 
pose—built facility. The Museum grew out of the significant personal collection 
of Arie L. Ben— Eli, who at the time in 1953 was a lieutenant commander in the 
Israeli Navy. By the end of the following year, the museum had been turned 
over to the Haifa Municipality with the full support of the Israel Maritime 
League. Its first premises were on one floor of the League's building near the 
port of Haifa. Arie L. Ben— Eli became its first Director. 

Soon a familiar pattern emerged. As the collections grew, the facility became 
overcrowded, while interest and demand grew for a proper museum building 
that could do justice to the museum's programs. This was finally built and opened 
in 1972. Named the National Maritime Museum, Haifa, the new museum aimed 
at establishing itself as the major maritime museum in Israel. It has achieved its 
goal, while attracting substantial donors along the way. 

Dictionary of Maritime Terms, Hebreiv-English— French— German (Jerusalem: The Academy of the 
Hebrew Language, 1970). 

The following section is by Dr. Nadav Kashtan, Director, of the National Maritime Museum, Haifa. 

172 Israel 

The overall theme of the museum is the "History of Seafaring," which is 
presented in two complementary ways: chronologically and through the il- 
lumination of specific themes. The chronological approach has four main 
periods: ancient seafaring, seafaring in the Middle Ages, modern seafaring, and 
present— day shipping. This history is richly illustrated by artifacts acquired by 
the museum or donated by collectors. Objects which are relevant to ancient and 
medieval seafaring have come primarily from underwater archaeological activity. 
These artifacts include anchors, storage jars, statuettes, terra-cotta oil lamps, and 
ancient coins. An important core of the museum's collection is a large number 
of ship models. Sub-themes have also been developed which include: geography, 
including discoveries and cartography; economics, including maritime trade, 
types of ships and cargoes; science and engineering, including warships and naval 
battles; and art and culture, including the development of coastal cities and ports 
along with the relationships between peoples. 

The museum has produced a number of temporary exhibits that have travelled 
within Israel and abroad. A wide range of educational programs are offered, and 
a university course on the "Maritime History of Israel in Antiquity" is held in 
cooperation with Haifa University. The first two Directors, Arie Ben— Eli and 
Joseph Ringel, created an active publication program and produced several 
monographs, but most important of all is the scholarly journal Sefunim, of 
which eight volumes have been published since 1966. 

The museum has a research library of over 5,500 volumes and subscribes to 
a number of periodicals. Over 190 periodical titles are represented in the 

The current director's goals are to maintain the museum's excellent standing 
among the world's maritime museums and to continue the development and 
expansion of its collections and programs. Construction of a new floor of 
exhibition space is planned. The museum also needs to strengthen its finances 
and to introduce environmental controls in the entire building. 

Maritime Research and Activity in Israel 

The following is a list of marine-related institutions and activity centers in 

The National Maritime Museum in Haifa exhibits ancient seafaring from 
Pharaonic times to the end of the Middle Ages and modern shipping. Special 
items include The Athlit ram, Jewish ship graffiti, anchors and amphoras 

A. Ben-Eli, ed., Ships and Parts of Ships on Ancient Coins (Haifa: National Maritime Museum, 1975); 
A. Zemer, Storage Jars in Ancient Sea Trade (Haifa: National Maritime Museum, 1977); D. Avrahami, 
Eskimo and N. W. Indian Art at the Maritime Museum, Haifa (Haifa: National Maritime Museum, 1979); 
and J. Ringel, Marine Motifs on Ancient Coins (Haifa: National Maritime Museum, 1984). 

The following section was compiled by Mrs. Sarah Arenson, Director of the Man and Sea Society, 

Sas, Kashtan and Arenson 1 73 

discovered by marine archaeology, Greek Fire containers, figurines of sea-god- 
desses, and coins with marine symbols. The museum has a fine collection of old 
maps of the Holy Land and its shores, as well as rare nautical instruments. 

The Museum of Illegal Immigration, also in Haifa and adjacent to the National 
Maritime Museum, is concerned with Jewish seaborne immigration to Israel, 
mostly between the Second World War and the establishment of the State of 

The National Oceanographic and Limnological Institute in Haifa conducts 
basic and applied research, mainly in marine geology, biology, and chemistry. 
It cooperates in international projects such as MAP and other regional plans 
concerned with marine resources and pollution. It has a branch on the Lake of 
Galilee and another on the Red Sea, in Eilat. Its publications include annual 
conference reports and special issues in English. 

The Fisheries Research Institute is centered in Haifa, as well, and conducts 
field research projects in the Eastern Mediterranean and brackish waters along 
the coast. The Ministry of Agriculture has a central research institute, Vulcani, 
which is also involved with fishing experimentation. Its publications are in 

The Research Institute of Shipping and Aviation is concerned with the 
planning of ports, the economics of shipping, the welfare of seamen, and weather 
problems. It is located at Haifa University. Its publications are mostly in English 
with a few in Hebrew. 

Zim Shipping company has its own research unit located in Haifa and 
publishes its work in Hebrew. 

The Technion, Israel Technological Institute, has a naval engineering 
laboratory, which conducts research in port engineering and the architecture of 
ships. Its reports are published mostly in English. 

The Hyperbaric Medicine Institute (M.R.I) is affiliated with the Navy and 
situated at the Rambam Hospital in Haifa. It does both basic and applied research 
in all aspects of physiology and medicine related to the sea, on the surface and 
underwater, and treats both civil and military cases. Its publications are in English. 

The Center for Maritime Studies at Haifa University is occupied with 
academic and applied research in all fields concerned with man and sea relations, 
such as marine archaeology, marine biology, and oceanography. There is also a 
Department for the History of Maritime Civilizations, granting the master's 
degree. Publications in English and Hebrew. 

Marine Biology Department at Tel Aviv University is academically active and, 
together with several other universities in the country, maintains a laboratory in 
Eilat. Its publications are in English and Hebrew. 

The Center for Strategic Research is affiliated with Tel Aviv University and is 
involved also with naval affairs. Its publications are in Hebrew and English. 

174 Israel 

The Israeli Defence Forces Navy has an academic historical branch which 
conducts historical and practical research in naval affairs. Its publications are 
mostly in Hebrew and with restricted circulation. 

In Jerusalem, the government Geological Institute has a marine section, which 
conducts surveys in all Israeli waters. 

The Antiquities Authority has a marine section, situated at present in Kibbutz 
Neve-Yam, South of Haifa. It is concerned with guarding the coasts against 
damage to the cultural heritage and conducts surveys and salvage excavations as 
necessary. Its publications are in Hebrew and English. 

The Society for the Preservation of Nature in Israel (SPNI) has a network of 
field-schools, several of which are marine related, such as the ones at Akhziv, 
Maagan-Michael, and Eilat, as well as Kinrot and Yarkon. It publishes Eretz 
magazine, in English. 

The Man and Sea Society of Israel is concerned with educational 
programs for the youth and the wider public. It has initiated a major TV series, 
"The Encircled Sea: Mediterranean Maritime Civilization," a British-Israeli 
joint venture production. Among other projects, there is an innovative high- 
school program of maritime studies and a summer course, "A Maritime Ex- 
perience in Israel." 

Twentieth Century Italy 

Brian R. Sullivan 

An understanding of the present state of Italian naval and maritime history 
benefits from a review of the context in which such history has been and 
is being researched and written. Perhaps most useful for American readers in this 
regard are some relevant comparisons between Italy and the United States. Such 
comparisons involve both material and non-material factors. 

Perhaps the most significant physical factors involve considerable differences 
in scale between the United States and Italy. Italy is considerably smaller in terms 
of territory and population than the United States. Furthermore, their national 
income makes contemporary Italians somewhat less wealthy on a per capita 
average than Americans. More relevant is the fact that, while the gap between 
average individual incomes in the United States and Italy has narrowed consid- 
erably in the last twenty years, previously, Americans enjoyed a far higher 
standard of living, particularly before 1960. Certainly the differences between 
Italian and American national geography are likely to remain permanent. The 
Republic of Italy covers 301,000 square kilometers, with a coastline of about 
5,000 kilometers long, entirely within the Mediterranean; the territory of the 
United States is over thirty-one times larger and includes a coastline of almost 
20,000 kilometers on the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic Oceans and the Gulf of 
Mexico. In mid-1993, the Italian population reached 58 million, while that of 
the United States rose to nearly 257 million. In 1991, the American gross 
domestic product was $5,695 trillion, Italian GDP for that year was about $1 .099 
trillion. The Italian merchant marine numbers about 1,600 vessels of some 8 
million gross tons, while that of the United States counts over 6,300 vessels of 
nearly 20 million gross tons. 

But ratios in favor of the United States are even more imbalanced when navies 
are compared. Proportionately, the United States has far outspent Italy on 
defense, even when differences in size of populations and economies are taken 
into consideration. The following table compares American outlays on defense 

1 Central Intelligence Agency, Tlte World Fact Book 1992 (Washington: 1992), pp. 167-69, 358-60; 
International Monetary Fund, International Financial Statistics August 1993 (Washington: 1993), pp. 304, 

1 76 Twentieth Century Italy 

with Italian defense budgets in the 1985 to 1991 period, each expressed in billions 
of dollars. 

Year Italy United States 

1985 8.6 245.2 

1986 9.8 265.5 

1987 13.4 274.0 

1988 16.1 282.0 

1989 16.7 294.9 

1990 19.6 289.8 

1991 19.7 262.4 

Even with the marked decrease in American defense spending and the 
doubling of Italian defense spending over the past decade, the Italian government 
expends far less per capita on its armed forces than does the American govern- 
ment. At present, Americans spend about 5.7 percent of their GNP on defense, 
Italians about 2.2 percent. These disparities are reflected in the different sizes 
of the two national navies. 

In mid-1993, the United States Navy numbered about 515,000 and the U.S. 
Marine Corps about 180,000, for a total of roughly 695,000 men and women. 
In comparison, the Italian Navy and Marine Corps comprised some 54,500 
personnel. True, the U.S. Navy is expected to decline from its present strength 
of 452 ships to about 340 by 1999; the Italian Navy is expected to retain its 
present strength, thanks to a healthy building and replacement program. How- 
ever, this will maintain the Italian Navy at only about 60 major warships and 
support vessels. In addition, the U.S. Navy not only vastly outweighs the Italian 
Navy in numbers of warships but in size of warships. At present, the U.S. Navy 
has 23 ships of over 39,000 tons full-load displacement in commission, compared 
to just two ships of over 9,000 tons in the Italian Navy. Even with the coming 
decommissioning of a number of the largest American warships and the 

construction of a second Italian light aircraft carrier and several large destroyers, 


these differences in scale between the two navies will remain indefinitely. 

A glance at the history of the American and Italian navies emphasizes the 
smaller and less prominent role of the latter in its nation's development. The 
United States came into existence in 1776 and fought ten major wars over the 
next 215 years. Its navy took a significant part in every conflict and had a major 
role in at least seven. Perhaps more important, the American Navy established 
a highly favorable reputation during the first decades of its existence, as a result 
of its actions during the Revolution, the Quasi- War with France, the naval 
campaign against the Barbary Pirates and, most of all, the War of 1812. The 

2 The International Institute for Strategic Studies, The Military Balance 1986-87 (London: 1986), p. 
70; ibid.: 1987-88, p. 68; ibid.: 1988-89, p. 69; ibid.: 1989-90, p. 67; ibid.: 1990-91, p. 71; ibid.: 
1991-92, p. 63; ibid.: 1992-93, pp. 17, 49; The World Factbook 1992, pp. 169, 360. 

3 Richard Sharpe, ed., Jane's Fighting Ships 1993-94 (London: 1993), pp. 321-40, 753-802. 

Sullivan 177 

exploits of Paul Jones, Biddle, Barry, Truxton, Preble, Bainbridge, Decatur, 
Hull, Lawrence, Stewart, Perry, and Macdonough and their sailors helped create 
the worshipful attitude of the American people toward their navy that has 
sustained its popularity ever since. Equally important for maintaining interest in 
and support for the U.S. Navy were American naval actions after the early 
nineteenth century, especially during the Civil War, the Spanish American War 
and, of course, the Second World War. Such successful campaigns have 
encouraged a strong interest in American naval history among both the general 
public and the scholarly community. 

The Italian naval tradition offers a rather stark contrast. Following its unifica- 
tion in 1861, Italy engaged in seven major wars in which six involved naval 
activity but only four in a major way. In contrast with the history of the U.S. 
Navy, the early decades of the Italian Navy proved extremely difficult. Its first 
war in 1866, the short mid-summer conflict with Austria, ended in the disastrous 
Italian naval defeat at Lissa, marred by the incompetence of the Italian com- 
mander, Admiral Carlo Persano, and the treachery and cowardice of his 
subordinates, Admirals Giovanni Battista Albini and Giovanni Vacca. There- 
after, the Italian Navy experienced no significant wartime action until 1911, 
although draining its impoverished nation of significant resources to little 
practical end until the turn of the century. While the subsequent history of the 
Italian Navy offers numerous examples of heroism, Italy's only major victorious 
naval conflict came to an end in 1918, and its last serious naval conflict ended 
in humiliation in September 1943 with the surrender of its battle fleet. At the 
moment of its capitulation in World War II, the Italian Navy enjoyed its all-time 
maximum size: 259,000 officers and men. In contrast, the United States Navy 
reached a maximum strength of 3.4 million in 1944—45, joined with a U.S. 
Marine Corps of 475,000. 5 

These facts help explain Italian political and psychological attitudes toward 
their navy and merchant marine, as well as the limited degree of general Italian 
interest in the history of these institutions. In brief, Italians have shown and 
continue to exhibit far less fascination with their naval and maritime history than 
do Americans with their own. But the major negative influence on the Italian 
attitude in these regards — indeed on the Italian attitude toward almost all public 
institutions — comes from widespread perceptions of the defunct monarchy and 
of the Fascist regime, culminating in the disasters of 1940— 45. Such attitudes 

The Italian Navy engaged in considerable action in the Italian-Turkish War of 1911-12; World 
War I, 1915-18; Italian intervention in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-39; World War II, 1940-43 (as 
well as providing some naval assistance to the Allies in 1943—45). The Italian Navy fought one losing 
battle in the war of 1866 with Austria and provided major naval support in the Italian-Ethiopian War 
of 1935-36, without engaging in hostilities. 

For a survey of Italian naval history, see the relevant portions of Lucio Ceva, Leforze annate (Turin: 

1 78 Twentieth Century Italy 

have created additional obstacles to the pursuit of naval and maritime history in 

Throughout the first eighty-odd years of Italian unification, despite severe 
national poverty, the state spent very heavily on its armed forces. Well into the 
twentieth century, the House of Savoy and the ministers who served it relied 
on the army to hold together a kingdom whose subjects felt little sense of 
nationalism. In turn, the royalist officer corps was expected not only to provide 
internal security but to enhance the prestige of the monarchy and the weak sense 
of Italian nationalism by waging expansionist wars. In the mid— 1880s, with the 
enthusiastic support of the monarchy, Italy founded an African empire and began 
a series of foreign wars that were to last until 1943. Naturally, the establishment 
of an overseas empire stimulated the expansion of the Italian Navy. In the 1860s, 
spending on the Navy amounted to only 22 percent of spending on the Army. 
By the 1890s, following the creation of the Italian colonial empire, that 
percentage had expanded to 39 percent. In the first decade of the twentieth 
century, thanks to a surge in national industrialization and wealth, spending on 
the Italian Navy rose to 51 percent of military spending. It remained on roughly 
that level until the Second World War. 

As much as such oppressive military and naval spending burdened the subjects 
of the Kingdom of Italy, it could be justified to some degree by Italian successes 
in the Italian-Turkish War of 191 1—12 and, especially, the First World War. But 
the arms spending of the Fascist dictatorship from the mid— twenties onward 
reached unprecedented levels, crushing the ordinary Italian under an array of 
ever— mounting direct and indirect taxes. Simultaneously, Italians were bom- 
barded by hysterical militarist and navalist propaganda in support of such 
spending. Such propaganda efforts included considerable official support for 
highly subjective naval historical publications and navalist sloganeering at every 
level of the Italian school system. The argument of national prestige was also 
enlisted in support of the expansion of the Italian merchant marine, devastated 
by submarine warfare in the Great War, and the construction of such giant 
trans-Atlantic ocean liners as Rex and Conte di Savoia. 

The monarchy maintained an attitude of reserve toward some aspects of the 
Fascist regime and, as a means of self-protection, remained closely associated 
with the highly royalist officer corps. But the approval of the naval officer corps 
for the Fascist regime's large program of naval and maritime construction and 
the bestowal of many monarchist names on the Italian vessels built in the 1920s 
and 1930s necessarily linked the House of Savoy with Mussolini's navy in the 
public mind. 

For statistics on Italian naval spending, see Giorgio Rochat and Giulio Massobrio, Breve storia 
dell'esercito italiano dal 1861 al 1943 (Turin: 1978). Despite its title, the book deals with all the Italian 
armed forces. 

Sullivan 179 

By 1940, the Fascist dictatorship had constructed a navy roughly the same 
size as the French Navy but — due to autarkist economic policies and officially- 
tolerated corruption — at about twice the expense it should have cost, in a 
country of approximately half the wealth of France. When these sacrifices were 
followed by the humiliating Italian naval defeats of 1940-41, the loss of the 
colonial empire, the destruction of most of the merchant marine, the surrender 
of the battle fleet to the British in September 1943 and the ruinous war fought 
up the length of the Italian peninsula in 1943—45, it is no wonder that the Italians 
abolished their monarchy in 1946 and rejected with disgust the legacies of the 
Fascist era. Among that baggage was excessive navalism and heavy official support 
for naval and maritime history. Such attitudes continued to affect very negatively 
the study of those areas of Italian history for the next several decades. The fact 
that in the generation after 1945 a certain number of historians who could be 
described as ex-Fascist or neo-Fascist continued to work in the fields of military 
and naval history made it difficult for others to write on those subjects and to 
be judged objectively. 

The end of the Cold War, Italy's rise to third in rank among the European 
economies, and the simultaneous earthquake shaking the Italian political system 
marks the end of what may be called the post-Fascist period of Italian history. 
While it is too soon to state with certainty, a greater degree of Italian national 
assertiveness and of Italian willingness to deploy armed force abroad will probably 
become evident over the next few decades. In fact, such tendencies have been 
discernible for the past ten years or so and have stimulated a growing interest in 
Italian naval and maritime history. The study of such history, long tainted by 
its unfortunate association with the Fascist regime, has already begun a modest 
revival since the 1970s. Nonetheless, while these areas of Italian history will 
almost certainly benefit from growing official and public support in the future, 
the present state of their study is hardly robust. 

For a detailed examination of aspects of corruption in the naval shipbuilding industry under the 
Fascist regime, see Lucio Ceva and Andrea Curami, Industria bellica anni trenta. Commesse militari, I'Ansaldo 
edaltri (Milan: 1992). 

For an appraisal of the influence of domestic politics on Italian historiography since 1945, see chapter 
6, "The eclipse of anti-Fascism in Italy," ofR.J.B. Bosworth, Explaining Auschwitz and Hiroshima. History 
Writing and the Second World War 1945-1990 (London & New York, 1993). 

One recent example of increased national pride in naval accomplishments is the renaming of two 
Italian destroyers, completed in 1992—93. The names originally to be given to these ships were Animoso 
and Ardimentoso. Before commissioning, however, they were renamed Luigi Durand de la Penne and 
Francesco Mimbelli. 

Durand de la Penne was the commander of the two-man guided torpedo that sank HMS Valiant in 
Alexandria harbor in December 1941. Mimbelli commanded the torpedo boat Lupo, which engaged 
three British light cruisers at point-blank range and escaped while escorting a German troop convoy to 
Crete in May 1941. Mimbelli later led motor torpedo boat flotillas in many legendary actions in the 
Black Sea and off Sicily against Soviet and British forces. See Marc' Antonio Bragadin, The Italian Navy 
in World War II (Annapolis: 1957), pp. 108-9, 269, 278, 284-6, 301; Callum MacDonald, The Lost 
Battle: Crete 1941 (New York: 1993), pp. 237-42; Jane's Fighting Ships 1993-94, p. 326. 

1 80 Twentieth Century Italy 

Within the Italian university system, the teaching of naval and maritime 
history has been limited recently to only two schools, the Universities of Pisa 
and Rome, and to two scholars, the highly respected Mariano Gabriele and his 
student, Alberto Santoni. For many years earlier in this century, the University 
of Rome had a chair in naval history and policy, held by the illustrious expert 
on World War I at sea, Camillo Manfroni. After the Second World War, 
Manfroni was effectively succeeded by Gabriele. However, since Gabriele was 
and remains a civil servant in the Ministry of Finance, he has been forbidden 
under Italian law from being an official professor at the University of Rome and 
has been only an incaricato (adjunct). Since such a position within the Italian 
university system has been abolished recently, it is now legally impossible for 
Gabriele to go on teaching at the University of Rome. Barring the unexpected, 
when Santoni eventually retires from the University of Pisa, the teaching of naval 
and maritime history may well cease there. In fact, officially, Santoni holds a 
chair in military history and technology and will probably be succeeded by a 
scholar of land warfare. 

The situation within the Italian Navy educational system is slightly better. 
The Italian Naval Academy at Livorno offers a three-year course in naval history 
and policy taught by Commander Pier Paolo Raimono. In effect, Raimono has 
attempted to carry on the work initiated by Camillo Manfroni at the University 
of Rome. In this effort Raimono collaborates closely with Alberto Santoni, aided 
by the proximity of the Livorno Academy and the University of Pisa. Raimono 
is attempting to expand his course to four years. However, most of the subject 
matter covered by Raimono involves the naval and maritime history of other 
countries, rather than of Italy. 

The Istituto di Guerra Marittima, also located on the grounds of the Italian 
Naval Academy, is roughly equivalent in purpose and functioning to the U.S. 
Naval War College. That is, the Istituto di Guerra Marittima offers both a junior 
and senior course, corresponding to the command and staff college level and the 
war college level. For these courses, Commander Raimono teaches a one-year 
course in naval strategy and history, with somewhat greater emphasis on Italian 
matters than is the case for his courses at the Naval Academy. However, the 
stress on the above-mentioned course at the Istituto di Guerra Marittima is on 
naval strategy, rather than history. Raimono has succeeded in getting a number 
of prominent Italian military and naval historians to give guest lectures at the 
Italian Naval War College and to expand the teaching of Italian naval history 
there. However, given the politically sensitive nature of many aspects of of Italian 
naval history, Raimono has encountered difficulties. In fact, many of his students 

Manfroni's most significant published works include La marina militate durante la guerra mondiale 
(Bologna: 1923); / nostri alleati nauali (Milan, 1927); Storia della Marina italiana durante la guerra mondiale 
19 1 5- 1918 (Bologna: 1933). 

Sullivan 181 

seem to have a greater knowledge of the naval history of Britain or the United 
States than of their own country. 

The schools of the Italian Army and Air Force largely ignore naval history, 
whether that of Italy or of other nations. The two-year Italian Military Academy 
at Modena has abolished the teaching of the history of ground, sea, or air warfare. 
When the graduates of the academy at Modena pass on to the two-year Scuola 
di Applicazione at Turin, they receive a one-year course in military history that 
includes a modest naval component. However, this is limited to such points as 
a passing mention of the battles of Trafalgar, Jutland, or Midway. The Italian 
Army War College (Scuola di Guerra) at Civitavecchia offers a one-year course 
in military history. Naval history is covered by an annual conference with 
lectures by a few naval officers. Neither the Italian Air Force Academy nor the 
Italian Air War College offers any naval history whatsoever. 

Italy has no equivalent of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, although it 
does have a number of government high school-level vocational schools for 
mariners. The University of Naples offers a program in maritime studies that 
provides roughly the type of education available in the United States from Kings 
Point. However, in none of these schools is Italian maritime history taught, 
except for passing references. 

In pleasant contrast to the state of the teaching of naval history is the status of 
Italian Navy official history. Such history falls under the jurisdiction of the 
Ufficio Storico della Marina Militare (USMM). The archives and publication 
service of the USMM are located in Rome, at present under the able direction 
of Admiral Renato Sicurezza. 

The Navy historical archives are undoubtedly the best organized and most 
accessible of the three Italian services. They are devoted to the history of the 
Italian Navy since the amalgamation of the Sardinian and Neapolitan Navies in 
1861, obviously covering only the age of steam. Utilizing teams of professional 
archivists and historians, the USMM directorate is completely reorganizing the 
archive and creating comprehensive finding aids as it progresses through its huge 
collection of documents. The USMM staff is extremely knowledgeable and very 
helpful. Probably the only serious criticism that one can make of the USMM 
archive is its lack of adequate photocopying services. 

Two other archives in Rome also contain much material relevant to Italian 
naval and maritime history. The Archivio Centrale dello Stato in the EUR 
suburb holds the records of the Naval Ministry, the Merchant Marine Ministry, 
and also the records of cabinet discussions that sometimes touched on naval 
matters, Air Ministry records from the Fascist period that occasionally deal with 
relations with the Navy, and records of the Fascist-era Ministry of Communica- 
tions that controlled ports and the merchant marine. The archives of the Foreign 
Ministry are located separately in the Foreign Ministry office and contain 
diplomatic records of naval and disarmament conferences. Both these archives 

1 82 Twentieth Century Italy 

are quite well ordered and researchers can have access to good rinding aids. 
However, those using such archives must be prepared to deal with the frustrating 
practices of the Italian bureaucracy, especially those of its lowliest members. 

The publications of the USMM are generally well researched and of high 
quality, although they are devoted almost exclusively to technical and narrative 
questions. The single most impressive of the USMM publications remains its 
excellent twenty-three-volume history of the Italian Navy in World War II, ha 
marina italiana nella Seconda Guerra Mondiale, published between 1950 and 1988 
(including revisions of earlier volumes) . The value of this massive work lies in 
its objectivity, accuracy, thoroughness and honesty of self-appraisal. It stands in 
striking contrast to the Navy's eight-volume official history of World War I 
(published under the heavy hand of Fascist censorship in 1935—42), to the Italian 
Army's official history of its operations and activities in World War II — -the 
earlier volumes of which fall so short of historical objectivity that newer volumes 
are being produced to supercede the older — and to the Italian Air Force historical 
effort, which has never even issued an official history of the 1940—45 period that 
it has been willing to publish. 

Much of the credit for the success of the Italian Navy's official history of 
World War II should go to Admiral Giuseppe Fioravanzo, the director of the 
USMM at the time of its publication. Admiral Fioravanzo was himself the author 
of a number of the twenty-three volumes and ensured the adherence of the 
entire project to the high standards that he laid down. Fioravanzo was ably 
assisted in the project by its other authors, notably Carlo De Risio, Aldo Cocchia, 
and P.F. Lupinacci. It is a pleasure to note that Admiral Sicurezza has restored 
the USMM to that same high level of performance. 

Admiral Sicurezza is also president of the Commissione Italiana di Storia 
Militare, which is in the process of publishing a series of volumes entitled L'ltalia 
in Guerra, on the history of Italy in the Second World War. These volumes, one 
for each year of Italian participation in the conflict, are resulting from annual 
conferences that began to be held in 1990. Each volume explores topics of 
considerable depth and breadth, going beyond the operations of the three 
services to include strategy, diplomacy, civil-military relations, propaganda, 
industrial production, weapons design and procurement, intelligence, logistics 
and German-Italian relations. 

It is to be hoped that such an approach to official history will be reflected in 
future USMM publications in general. For too long even its best publications 
have been rather narrowly focussed. The USMM can be rightly proud of 
Giovanni Bernardi's massive work, // disarmo navalefra le due guerre mondiali (1975) 
or Ezio Ferrante's short but excellent La grande guerra in Adriatico (1987). 
Nonetheless, both studies would have benefitted from a greater and more frank 

For the records of the naval and merchant marine ministries, see Guida generate degli ArchitH di Stato 
Italiani (Rome: 1981), vol. 1, pp. 179-93. 

Sullivan 183 

analysis of related political and strategic questions. The naval historical office has 

recently issued a long-awaited monograph on a previously taboo subject: Mario 

Bargoni, L'impegno navale italiano durante la Guerra Civile Spagnola (1936—1939) 

(1992). In many ways, Bargoni's book is admirable, offering the first complete 

narrative of Italian naval operations in the Spanish Civil War, revealing many 

previously unknown facts and offering a candid assessment of the Navy's tactical, 

operational, and technical weaknesses. However, again there is a disappointing 

lack of strategic and political discussion and a failure to place Italian naval 

activities within the broader context of international naval, military, and 

diplomatic developments. 

One hopes for the appearance of USMM publications on the development of 

Italian naval doctrine, strategic thinking, and warship design akin to such official 

Italian Army publications as Filippo Stefani, La storia della dottrina e degli 

ordinamenti delVesercito italiano (1984-85); Ferruccio Botti and Virgilio Ilari, II 

pensiero militare italiano dalprimo al secondo dopoguerra (1985), and Lucio Ceva and 

Andrea Curami, La meccanizzazione delVesercito fino al 1943 (1989). Mariano 

Gabriele has produced such monographs for the USMM on the earlier years of 

the Italian Navy: Le convenzioni navali della Triplice (1969) and in collaboration 

with Giuliano Friz (Fritz) : Lajlotta come strumento di politica nei primi decenni dello 

stato unitario (1973), and La politica navale italiana dal 1885 al 1915 (1984). But 

there is a serious scholarly need for similar studies on the period of World War 

I, of Mussolini's expansion of the Italian Navy in the 1920s and 1930s, the naval 

aspects of the Italian-German alliance, and the Italian Navy as part of NATO's 

1 o 
southern flank forces. 

Of indisputable merit is the USMM's quarterly Bollettino d'Archivio dell Ufficio 
Storico della Marina Militare, which has been published since 1987. Each 300 to 
400-page issue is divided into two sections. One describes a section of the USMM 
archives and provides a detailed finding aid, the result of the ongoing reorganiza- 
tion and indexing project. (Eight recent issues provide a complete guide to the 
archive's holdings related to the Spanish Civil War.) The other section of each 
Bollettino contains fine scholarly articles on various aspects of post-1861 Italian 
naval history, often accompanied by complete documents. 

Of related interest are the historical publications of the official Italian naval 
journal, Rivista Marittima, which are produced under the overall direction of 
Admirals Vincenzo Pellegrino and Francesco Pascazio. Rivista Marittima itself 
usually contains at least one historical article in each issue. However, such articles 
are aimed at Italian naval officers in general and are not always of the same high 

However, USMM has published Mariano Gabriele, Operazione C.3: Malta (1965) on the strategic 
and operational planning for the aborted Axis seizure of Malta in mid-1942. Also useful in regard to 
Italian Navy strategy in World War II is the Italian Army Historical Office publication of the transcripts 
of the chiefs of staffs discussions during their 1939-43 meetings: Stato Maggiore dell'Esercito, Ufficio 
Storico, Verbali delle riunioni tenute dal capo di SM Generate, 3 vols. (Rome: 1982-85). 

1 84 Twentieth Century Italy 

scholarly quality as those that appear in the Bollettino. On the other hand, one 
or more times a year, Rivista Marittima is accompanied by usually superb historical 
supplements in the same format as the journal. Among such supplements are 
Ezio Ferrante's short but illuminating biography, // Grande Ammiraglio Paolo 
Thaon di Revel (1989), his examination of all-too-neglected subjects, II potere 
marittimo. Evoluzione ideologica in Italia, 1861—1939 (1982), and Ilpensiero strategico 
navale in Italia (1988), and Erminio Bagnasco and Achille Rastelli's he costruzioni 
navali italiane per Vestero (1991). 

Beyond official publications, a fair number of Italian books and articles on 
Italian naval history have appeared since 1945. Most are popular and only a few 
scholarly; the majority, as might be expected, devoted to the Second World War 
period. However, recently, publications devoted to naval and maritime history 
prior to 1915 have appeared in increasing volume. Until the last twenty— five 
years or so, the general quality of such works was not very high, with the 
exception of the studies and memoirs of Admirals Alberto Da Zara, Vittorio 
Tur, Romeo Bernotti, and Angelo Iachino, and the work of Mariano Gabriele. 
Recently, however, as one sign of the revival of Italian military and naval history, 
a number of good studies have been published. These include the books and 
articles of the above-mentioned Alberto Santo ni, Lucio Ceva, Andrea Curami, 
Ezio Ferrante, as well as Walter Polastro, Giorgio Giorgerini, Matteo Pizzigallo 
and Francesco Mattesini. Admittedly, some twenty or so Italians working in 
the field is not many. In fact, as an indication of the number of Italians devoted 

13 Alberto Da Zara, Pelle d'ammiraglio (Milan: 1949); Vittorio Tur, Plancia ammiraglia, 3 vols. (Rome: 
1958—63); Romeo Bernotti, Cinquant'anni nella marina militate (Milan: 1971); idem., Storia delta guerra 
nel Mediterraneo 1 940-43 (Milan: 1960); Angelo Iachino, La campagna navale di Lissa, 1866 (Milan: 1966); 
idem., Le due Sirti (Milan: 1953); idem., Gaudo e Matapan (Milan: 1946); idem., Hpuntosu Matapan (Milan, 
1969); idem., La sorpresa di Matapan (Milan, 1962); idem., Tramonto di una grande marina (Milan, 1959). 
In addition to Gabriele's works cited elsewhere in this article, noteworthy are his La politica navale 
italiana dall'Unith alia vigilia di Lissa (Milan: 1958) and Da Marsala alio stretto. Aspetti navali delle campagne 
di Sicilia (Milan: 1961). 

Among the more important publications of these authors not already cited are: Alberto Santoni, U 
vero traditore. U ruolo documentato di ULTRA nella guerra del Mediterraneo (Milan: 1981); idem., La seconda 
battaglia delta Sirte (Rome: 1982); idem., Da Lissa alia Falkland: storia e politica dell'eta contemporanea (Milan: 
1987); idem., "Strategia marittima ed operazioni navali dell'anno 1940" in L'ltalia in guerra, il primo 
anno — 1940 (Rome: n.d. [but 1991]); Francesco Mattesini, H giallo di Matapan (Rome: 1985); idem., 
La battaglia di Punto Stilo (Rome: 1990); Santoni and Mattesini, La participazione tedesca alia guerra aeronavale 
nel Mediterraneo (Rome: 1980); Lucio Ceva, "L'evoluzione dei materiali bellici in Italia" in Ennio Di 
Nolfo, Romain Rainero and Brunello Vigezzi, eds., L'ltalia e la politica di potenza 1938—1940 (Milan: 
1985); Ezio Ferrante, "Un rischi calcolato? Mussolini e gli ammiragli nella gestione della crisi di Corfu" 
in Storia delle relazioni intemazionali, no. 2, 1989; idem., "L'ammiraglio Lais, Roosevelt e la 'beffa' delle 
navi" in Storia delle relazioni intemazionali, no. 2, 1991; Walter Polastro "La marina militare nel primo 
dopoguerra, 1918-1925" in II Risorgimento no. 3, 1977; Giorgio Giorgerini, La battaglia dei convogli in 
Mediterraneo (Milan: 1977); idem., "La preparazione e la mobilitazione della Marina italiana nel giugno 
1940" in L'ltalia inguerra, il primo anno — 1940 (Rome: n.d. [but 1991]); idem., "II problema dei convogli 
e la guerra per mare" in L'ltalia inguerra, ilsecondo anno — 1941 (Gaeta, 1992); Matteo Pizzigallo, "L'ltalia 
alia conferenza di Washington (1921-1922)" in Storia e Politica July-September and October-December 

Sullivan 185 

to naval and maritime history of all kinds, the International Naval Research 
Organization lists only about seventy— five Italian members. 

However, one other group of Italians deserve to be mentioned as enthusiasts 
of Italian naval and maritime history: the Associazione Italiana di Documen- 
tazione Marittima e Navale (AIDMEN) and the Associazione Navemodellisti 
Bolognesi. Together, these organizations number about 250 members and are 
devoted to preserving photographs of ships and original builder's plans, building 
models, and publishing books and articles on ship designs. Prominent among 
these passionate experts are the famous Aldo Fraccaroli, as well as Erminio 
Bagnasco, Giorgio Giorgerini, Augusto Nani, Franco Gay, Elio Ando, Achille 
Rastelli and Gino Galuppini, each of whom has written one or more books on 
merchant or naval ship design, construction or armament. All these men have 
aided USMM over the years in its superb publications devoted to the specifica- 
tions of Italian naval vessels and have authored many of them. Such work 
constitutes more the raw material for naval and maritime history rather than the 
heart of such studies, but it deserves mention for the painstaking care that has 
gone into its creation. Italian research and publication on ship design — perhaps 
reflecting Italian superiority in design of all kinds — is of particularly high quality. 

Italian maritime history has been advanced by an extensive series of excellent 
publications subsidized by the Istituto per la Ricostruzione Industriale (IRI), the 
government holding agency created by the Fascist regime in 1933, which still 
plays a huge role in the Italian economy. IRI also maintains an extensive and 
well-ordered archive in Rome devoted to the history of Italian industry, 
especially the state-sponsored naval armaments, steel and shipbuilding industries, 
and the government-supported Italian ports. In contrast to the publications of 
the USMM, IRI's volumes have been devoted to Italian shipyards, ports, maritime 
and naval industries, and seaborne commerce from the end of the Napoleonic 
period to the present. V. Marchese, Mariano Gabriele, Fulvio Babudieri, and 
L.A. Pagano have all produced volumes notable for their detail, accuracy and 
careful research. Equally excellent private scholarship on the history of the 

Aldo Fraccaroli, Italian Warships of World War /(London: 1970); idem., Italian Warships of World War 
II (London: 1968); Erminio Bagnasco, Submarines of World War Two (London: 1977); idem., Le armi 
delle navi italiane nella seconda guerra mondiale (Parma: 1978); Erminio Bagnasco and Elio Ando, Naui e 
marinai italiani nella seconda guerra mondiale (Parma: 1977); Erminio Bagnasco and Mark Grossman, Italian 
Battleships of World War Two (Missoula, Mont.: 1986); Erminio Bagnasco and Achille Rastelli, Le 
costruzioni navali italiane per Vestero (Rome: 1991); Giorgio Giorgerini and Augusto Nani, Gli incrociatori 
italiani 1861-1964 (Rome: 1964); idem., Le navi di linea italiane 1861-1961 (Rome: 1962); Franco Gay 
with Elio Ando and Franco Bargoni, Orizzonte mare. Naui italiane nella seconda guerra mondiale, 14 vols. 
(Rome: 1972-79); Franco and Valerio Gay, The Cruiser Bartolomeo Colleoni (London & Annapolis, 1987); 
Gino Galuppini, Guida alle naui d'ltalia. La marina da guerra dal 1861 ad oggi (Milan: 1982). 
16 V. Marchese, L'industria armatoriale italiana dal 1815 al 1859 (Rome: 1955); idem., L'industria ligure 
delle costruzioni nauali dal 1815 al 1859 (Rome: 1957); idem., Ilporto di Genoua dal 1818 al 1891 (Rome: 
1959); Mariano Gabriele, L'industria armatoriale nei territori dello stato pontificio dal 1815 al 1880 (Rome: 
1961); idem., L'industria delle costruzioni nauali nei territori dello stato pontificio dal 1815 al 1880 Rome, 

1 86 Twentieth Century Italy 

Italian merchant marine, shipbuilding, maritime law and, of particular, Italian 
ports was pioneered by Arturo Assante after the First World War. More 
recently, such work has been continued and expanded (to include studies of the 
seafarers' union and maritime law, among other subjects) by Vito Dante Flore, 
Tomaso Gropallo, Francesco Ogliari, Ennio Poleggi, Guglielmo Salotti, 
Pasquale B. Trizio, and Ludovica De Courten. Thanks in particular to the 
work of Gabriele in the area of Italian maritime history, there has been an unusual 
and happy integration of naval and maritime history in Italy. Whatever other 
criticism can be fairly leveled at IRI, its support of such scholarship deserves high 

Outside of Italy, few historians have paid much attention to that country's 
naval and maritime history. What work has been done has been almost 
exclusively limited to the period from the Italian— Turkish War to the end of 
World War II and often in the context of Italian naval activities in alliance with 
or in conflict with other powers. Paul G. Halpern deserves special mention for 
his studies of the Mediterranean naval situation from 1908 to 1918. Other 
Americans include MacGregor Knox, James Sadkovich and the author. Also, 

1961); idem., Iporti dello stato pontificio dal 1815 al 1880 (Rome: 1963); Fulvio Babudieri, L'industria 
artnatoriale di Trieste e della regione giulia dal 1815 al 1918 (Rome: 1966); idem., I porti di Trieste e delta 
regione giulia dal 1815 al 1918 (Rome: 1967); L.A. Pagano, L'industria artnatoriale siciliana dal 1816 al 
1880 (VLome: 1966). 

Arturo Assante, II porto di Napoli (Naples: 1938); idem., Lafunzione mediterranea del porto di Napoli 
(Naples: 1941). 

Vito Dante Flore, L'industria dei trasporti marittimi in Italia, 1860—1943 (Rome: 1970); idem., 
L'inserimento nei mercati intemazionali (Rome: 1973); idem., Le emergenze nazionali (Rome, 1973); Tomaso 
Gropallo, Naui a vapore ed armamento italiano dal 1818 ai nostri giomi (Milan: 1976); Francesco Ogliari, 
Trasporti marittimi di linea, 1 vols. (Milan: 1975-87); Ennio Poleggi, Porto di Genoua: Storia e attualith 
(Genoa: 1977); Guglielmo Salotti, Giuseppe Giulietti: il sindicato dei marittimi dal 1910 al 1953 (Rome: 
1982); Pasquale B. Trizio, La marineria a vapore del Levante d'ltalia 1876-1932 (Bari: 1983); Ludovica 
De Courten, La Marina mercantile italiana nella politica di espansione, 1860-1914: industria,finanza e trasporti 
marittimi (Rome: 1989). 

19 Paul G. Halpern, The Mediterranean Naval Situation, 1908-1914 (Cambridge, Mass.: 1971); idem., 
The Naval War in the Mediterranean, 1914-1918 (London: 1987). 

20 MacGregor Knox, Mussolini Unleashed 1939—1941. Politics and Strategy in Fascist Italy's Last War 
(New York: 1982); idem., "The Italian Armed Forces, 1940-3" in Allan R. Millett and Williamson 
Murray, eds., Military Effectiveness, vol. Ill, The Second World War (Boston: 1988); James Sadkovich, 
"Aircraft Carriers and the Mediterranean: Rethinking the Obvious " in Aerospace Historian, December 
1987; idem., "Re-evaluating Who Won the Italo-British Naval Conflict, 1940-42" in European History 
Quarterly October 1988: idem., "The Italian Navy in World War II: 1940-1943" in Sadkovich, ed., 
Reevaluating Major Naval Combatants of World War II (Westport, Ct.: 1990); Brian R. Sullivan, "Prisoner 
in the Mediterranean: The Evolution and Execution of Italian Maritime Strategy, 1919-1942" in 
William B. Cogar, ed., Naval History. The Seventh Symposium of the U.S. Naval Academy (Wilmington, 
Del.: 1988); idem., "A Fleet in Being: The Rise and Fall of Italian Sea Power, 1861-1943" in The 
International History Review, February 1988; idem., "The Italian Armed Forces, 1918—1940" in Millett 
and Murray, op. cit., vol. II, The Interwar Period; idem., "The Strategy of the Decisive Weight: Italy, 
1882-1922" in Williamson Murray, Alvin H. Bernstein, and MacGregor Knox, eds., The Making of 
Strategy (New York, 1993); "Italian Naval Power and the Washington Disarmament Conference of 
1921-1922" in Diplomacy & Statecraft, Fall 1993. 

Sullivan 187 

the French Pierre Barjot, Jean Savant, and Raymond De Belot stand out for 

their work several decades ago on the naval aspects of the Second World War 

in the Mediterranean. The Germans, Michael Salewski, Walter Baum, and 

most of all, Gerhard Schreiber deserve praise for their more recent studies, as do 


Josef Schroder and Jiirgen Rohwer for their more specialized research. In the 
area of Italian ship design and construction, Siegfried Breyer, Robert O. Dulin, 


Jr., and William H. Garzke, Jr., have published outstanding work. 

This brief survey of the state of Italian naval and maritime history indicates 
that much work in the field remains for the future, particularly in naval history. 
To begin with, there is no truly adequate history of the Italian Navy. Fioravanzo's 
La marina militare nel suo primo secolo di vita 1861—1961 (Rome, 1961) and 
Giuliano Colliva's Uomini e navi nella storia della marina militare italiana (Milan, 
1971) are the best available. But neither are sufficiently detailed nor analytical, 
nor based on primary research, nor on extensive use of foreign sources. Both 
are also outdated, even in regard to recent Italian publication in the field. 

Scholarly biography, until recently, has not been emphasized in any area of 
Italian history. This is certainly true in regard to Italian naval history. Carlo 
Persano, Simone de Saint-Bon, Benedetto Brin, Augusto Riboty, Carlo 
Mirabello, Vittorio Cuniberti, Giovanni Bettolo, Giovanni Sechi, Luigi di 
Savoia, Paolo Thaon di Revel, Alfredo Acton, Costanzo Ciano, Umberto 
Pugliese, Giuseppe Sirianni, Domenico Cavagnari, Arturo Riccardi, Angelo 
Iachino, Inigo Campioni, and Romeo Bernotti all deserve modern, detached 
biographies. Ezio Ferrante has written a short study of Brin and the previously 
mentioned brief biography of Thaon di Revel. Recently, Aldo Santini has 
published a biography of Costanzo Ciano that covers his naval career to some 


extent. Otherwise, with the exception of the short, although generally excel- 
lent, sketches and bibliographies that have appeared in the forty— odd volumes 

Pierre Barjot and Jean Savant, Histoire mondiale de la Marine (Paris: 1961); Raymond De Belot, La 
guerra aeronavale nel Mediterraneo 1939-1945 (Milan: 1971). 

Michael Salewski, Die deutsche Seekriegsleitung 1935—1945, 3 vols. (Frankfurt am Main & Munich, 
1970—75); Walter Baum, Der Krieg der "Achsenmachte" im Mittelmeer-Raum. Die "Strategic" der Diktatoren 
(Ottingen, Zurich & Frankfurt am Main: 1973); Gerhard Schreiber, "Italien im machtpolitischen Kalkul 
der deutschen Marinefuhrung 1919 bis 1945" in Quellen und Forschungen aus italienischen Archiuen und 
Biblioteken, no. 62, 1982; idem., Revisionisms und Weltmachtstreben. Marinefuhrung und deutsch-italienische 
Beziehungen 1919 bis 1944 (Stuttgart: 1978); idem., "Die Seeschlacht von Matapan" in Marineforum, no. 
50, 1975; Gerhard Schreiber et al., Das Deutsche Reich in der Zweite Weltkrieg, vol. 3, Der Mittelmeerraum 
und Sudosteuropa: Von der 'non belligeranza' Italiens bis zum Kriegseintritt ver Vereinigten Staaten (Stuttgart, 
1984); Josef Schroder, "Weicholds Plane zur Aktivierung der Seekriegfuhrung im Jahre 1943" in 
Wehrwissenschafliche Rundschau, no. 19, 1969; Jiirgen Rohwer, Axis Submarine Successes 1939—1945 
(Annapolis: 1983). 

23 Siegfried Breyer, Battleships and Battle Cruisers 1905-1970 (Garden City, N.Y.: 1973); William H. 
Garzke, Jr. and Robert O. Dulin, Jr., Battleships. Axis and Neutral Battleships in World War II (Annapolis: 

Ezio Ferrante, Benedetto Brin e la questione marittima italiana 1866-1898 Rome, 1983). 


Aldo Santini, Costanzo Ciano, ilganascia delfascismo (Milan: 1993). 

1 88 Twentieth Century Italy 

of the far from completed Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani (Rome, I960-) (up 
to the "Ds" so far) and the even shorter entries by MacGregor Knox and the 
author in Philip V. Cannistraro's Historical Dictionary of Fascist Italy (Greenport, 
Ct.: 1982), all the above-mentioned major Italian naval figures lack objective 
studies of their lives. 

A third aspect of Italian naval history that has been neglected is the period 
since 1945. Given the Italian political situation described above, this is to be 
expected. Bernardi's monograph for the USMM on the naval aspects and 
consequences of the 1947 peace treaty, the latter parts of Admiral Franco 
Maugeri's two books of memoirs, Enea Cerquetti's Marxist analysis of the Italian 
armed forces, 1945—1975, and Elizabeth Macintosh's unpublished doctoral 
dissertation on Italian naval arms sales and foreign policy, 1949—89, are the only 
major works known to the author. The revelations that have emerged in recent 
months about the degree of corruption that has tainted relations between the 
Italian government and private industry will probably expand to Italian shipyards 
and naval armaments firms. If true, this would present yet another impediment 
to the study of recent Italian naval history. 

For those interested in seeing Italian naval history, Venice provides its 
excellent Museo Storico Navale. The museum is only a short walk from St 
Mark's catherdral and illustrates the naval history of both Venice and of modern 

The gaps in Italian naval and maritime historiography have been mentioned 
above. The most serious appears to be the near-total neglect of the teaching of 
naval and maritime history in Italian universities. Given Italy's re-emergence as 
a major power in the Mediterranean region, the Balkans, and in the European 
Community, and given the likely diminution of American naval power in the 
waters surrounding Italy, it is very much in the interest of Italian democracy that 
Italy's citizens understand such aspects of their nation's history. Over the last 
dozen years, Italian naval forces have returned to taking a major role in Italy's 
foreign policy, making operational deployments to the Suez Canal and the Red 
Sea, to the waters off Lebanon, Libya and Somalia, to the Persian Gulf and to 
the coastlines of Albania and Croatia. Given the turbulence in North and East 
Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe, such Italian naval operations seem 
likely to increase in future. Italy's citizens seem on the brink of remaking their 
nation's politics and of creating a new, far more accountable system of govern- 
ment. While it is presumptuous for a non-Italian to so state, to make wise 

Giovanni Bernardi, ha marina, gli armistizi e il trattato di pace, settembre 1943-dicembre 1951 (Rome: 
1979); Franco Maugeri, From the Ashes of Disgrace (New York: 1948); idem., Ricordi di un marinaio. La 
Marina italiana dai primi del Nouecento al secondo dopoguerra nelle memorie di uno dei suoi capi (Milan: 1980); 
Enea Cerquetti, Leforze armate italiane dal 1945 al 1915 (Milan: 1975); Elizabeth Macintosh, "Italy: 
Defense Industries and the Arms Trade, 1949-1989," Ph.D. dissertation, University of Edinburgh, 1989. 

Sullivan 1 89 

decisions about their national security, it would be best for Italians to have a far 
better knowledge of their naval and maritime past and present. 

In the writing of this article, the author has relied heavily on two publications of the Centro 
Interuniversitario di Studi e Ricerche Storico-Militare of the Universities of Padua, Pisa, and Turin: La 
storiografta militare italiana negli ultimi venti anni (Milan: 1985) and Bibliograjia italiana di storia e studi militari 
1960-1984 (Milan: 1987). In addition, he wishes to express his gratitude for help from his friends Lucio 
Ceva, Willard C. Frank, Jr., and Paul G. Halpern. 

Comments on Brian Sullivan's 
"Twentieth Century Italy" 

James J. Sadkovich 

Dr. Sullivan has presented an excellent paper on those Italian archives, authors, 
and publications that are concerned with contemporary naval and maritime 
history. He has raised a number of issues, including the question of whether the 
Italian peninsula's naval and maritime history is synonymous with twentieth-century 
Italy's naval and maritime history or should it also include those of the maritime 
republics of the late medieval and early modern periods as well as those of the 
pre-Risorgimento navies of Naples, Sardinia, Venice, and Tuscany. 

Italians have certainly been preoccupied with the role of the Regia Marina 
since unification, and they have debated its performance during the Fascist 
ventennio and World War II in numerous books and articles, including such 
popular histories as those by Arrigo Petacco and Gianni Rocca. That Rocca's 
book, Fucilategli ammiragli [Shoot the Admirals] was published in 1987 and reissued 
in 1990 as one of Monadadori's popular Oscar Storia series indicates that there 
is a large public for such offerings, and its title, like that of Di Sambuy's Match 
pari fra due grandi Jlotte [Drawn Match between Two Great Fleets] , hints at the 
polemical nature of the historiography on World War II. The publication over 
the past two decades of a large number of technical and scholarly studies on 
World War II and the fascist era by both academics and former naval officers 
demonstrates that if the Italians have not adopted a "worshipful attitude" toward 
their navy, they certainly are interested in recent naval history. 

At the same time, there is also an interest in ancient and early modern naval and 
maritime history, and there appears to be a public for books on such subjects as 

This essay is an expanded version of the remarks that I made during the Conference on Naval and 
Maritime Affairs and contains a number of observations that I neglected to make in June. I have tried to 
retain the spirit of my comments, while including bibliographic information and interpretive comments 
precluded in an oral presentation. Both Dr. Sullivan and I concentrated on contemporary naval and 
maritime history, much to the distress of Dr. Herve Coutau-Begarie, who correctly observed that Italian 
naval and maritime history extends far beyond the twentieth century. I have therefore alluded to works 
on the medieval and modern period as well. The bibliographic notes are not comprehensive, but are 
intended to serve as a guide to recent publications, many of which have excellent bibliographies. 

Gianni Rocca, Fucilategli ammiragli: la tragedia delta Marina italiana nella seconda guerra mondiale (Milan: 
Mondadori, 1987, 1990) and La battaglia di Matapan (Milan: Mondadori, 1985); and Arrigo Petacco, Le 
battaglie navali del Mediterraneo nella seconda guerra mondiale (Milan: Mondadori, 1977). The interest in 
recent naval history has tended, perhaps properly, to blur the lines between amateur enthusiast and 
professional historian and to move popular and academic history closer together. 


maritime archaeology and folklore. There are also strong regional and local 
organizations, such as the Centro Veneto per le Ricerche Storiche, which 
launched a new journal, Ricerche Venete, in December 1989, and the University 
of Genoa's Istituto di Medievistica, which has published a number of studies on 
Genoa and Liguria, including a series of volumes that deal with everything from 
early modern business women (donne d'affari), to deserters, pirates, foreign affairs, 
and Genoese colonies in the Black Sea. The Institute has also published a 
number of studies dealing with the history of Liguria, among them Laura 
Balletto's interesting collection of essays on piracy, fishing, and port operations. 
It is therefore no surprise that the Italians have continued their tradition 
of publishing popular and scholarly works on maritime centers such as 
Ancona, Carrara, Florence and Tuscany, Genoa, Manfredonia, 

3 For example, Attilio Delia Porta, Marina di Vietri: Storia, vicende, folklore (Cava dei Tirreni: Arti 
Grafiche Palumbo & Esposito, 1984); Peter Throckmorton, Atlante di archeologia subacquea: la storia racconta 
dal mare: dall'Oddissea di Omero al Titanic (Novara: Istituto Geografico De Agostini, 1988); Anna Maria 
Crino's edition of Petruccio Ubaldini, La disfatta dellajlotta spagnola, 1588: due commentari autobiografi 
inediti (Florence: L. S. Olschki, 1988). Also see Elizabeth Bostwick Shuey, Etruscan Maritime Activity in 
the Western Mediterranean c. 800-400 B.C.: An Archaeological Perspective on Historical Interpretations (Ph.D., 
University of California at Santa Barbara, 1982). For the importance of archaeology to Italians during 
the early 1900s, see Maria Petricoli, Archaeologia e Mare Nostrum (Rome: Valerio Leri, 1990). 

4 Istituto di Medievistica, Miscellanea di storia ligure, vols-. I and IV (Genoa: 1958, 1966), vols. II and 
HI (Milan: 1961, 1963); Miscellanea di storia ligure in onore di Giorgio Falco, (Milan: 1962 and 1966); 
Miscellanea di studi storici (Genoa: 1969); Miscellanea di storia italiana e mediterranea per Nino Lamboglia 
(Genoa: 1978); Miscellanea di storia savonese (Genoa: 1978). The Centro per la Storia della Tecnica del Consiglio 
Nazionale delle Ricerche (Sezione 4), has published Studi di storia navale (1975). 

5 Laura Balletto, Genova nel Duecento: uomini nelporto e uomini sul mare (Genoa: 1983) is volume 36 of 
the Institute's Collana storica di fond e studi. Also see her Battista de Luco mercante genovese del secolo XV 
e il suo cartulario (Genoa: 1979), and Mercanti pirati e corsari nei mari della Corsica (Genoa: 1978). Among 
the more recent publications by the Institute are G. Airaldi, Studi e documenti su Genova e Voltremare 
(Genoa: 1974); M. L. Balletto, Navi e navigazione a Genova nel quattrocento. La "Cabella marinariorum" 
(1482—1491) (Genoa: 1973); and G. Forcheri, Navi e navigazione a Genoa nel Trecento. H "Liber Gazarie" 
(Genoa: 1974). 

6 Alberto Caracciolo, Le port franc d'Ancone: Croissance et impasse d'un milieu marchand su XVIIIe siecle 
(Paris: SEVPEN, 1965), and Francesco Trionfi: capitulista e magnate d' Ancona (Milan: Giuffre, 1962). 

7 Antonio Bernieri, H porto di Carrara (Genova: Sagep, 1983), a volume in the Collana I Manufatti 

The recent works by Cesare Ciano, footnote 81, below, and Camillo Manfroni's early study, La 
marina militare del granducato mediceo (Rome: Forzani & C, 1895). 

9 Mario Bottaro, Genova 1892 e le celebrazioni colombiane (Genoa: F. Pirella, 1984); Georg Caro, Genova 
e la supremazia sul Mediterraneo, 1257—1311 (Genoa: Societa Ligure di Storia Patria, 1974); Giovanni 
Forcheri, Navi e navigazione e Genova nel Trecento, op. cit., Antonino Ronco, Genova tra Massena e 
Bonaparte: storia della Repubblica ligure, il 1800 (Genoa: Sagep, 1988). Also B. Z. Kedar, Mercanti in crisi 
a Genoa e Venezia nel '300 (Rome: 1981), and Camillo Manfroni, Banco di Genova (Genoa: A. Donath, 
1911); and Anita Ginella Capini, Enrica L. Aronica, and Maria G. Buscaglia, eds., Immagini di vita tra 
terra e mare: la Foce in eta moderna e contemporanea, 1500-1900: mostra storico-documentaria (Genoa: Azione 
Cattolica S. Zita, 1984), an exhibition held in Genoa from 31 May to 8 June 1984. 

Vincenzo Gennaro Valente, Manfredonia: Storia della citta di Manfredi (Rome: Manzella, 1986). 

Sadkovich 193 

Massa, Messina, Milan, Naples, Sardinia, Taranto, Trieste, and Venice. 
Genoa hosted two international congresses on maritime history over the last decade, 
Ancona held a conference on Zara and other Yugoslav cities, and even Lake Como 
has its historians. Authors such as Gino Galuppini, Marc 'Antonio Bragadin, Ezio 

11 Stefano Giampaoli, Vita di sabbie e d'acque: il litorale di Massa, 1500-1900 (Massa: Palazzo di S. 
Elisabetta, 1984). 

^ R. Battaglia, Mercanti e imprenditori in una citta marittima. H caso di Messina (Milan: Giufire, 1992). 
13 Milan functioned as an inland port, whose superb canals made it a major commercial center. Giuseppe 
Codara, J navigli delta vecchia Milatio (1977). For a general history, Domenico Sella, U Ducato di Milano 
dal 1535 al 1196 (Turin: UTET, 1984). 

Among the many works on Naples and Sicily, Antonio Calabria, The Cost of Empire: The Finances of 
the Kingdom of Naples in the Time of Spanish Rule (New York: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1991). 

15 Giorlamo Sotgiu, Storia della Sardegna sabauda, 1720-1847 (Rome: Laterza, 1984). 

* Giacinto Peluso, Taranto, 1919—1953: una citta, un monumento: cronaca, fatti, personaggi (Taranto: 

Mandese, 1984); Giuseppe Mataluno, "Cenni storici sull'arsenale M. M. di Taranto," Riuista marittima 


For example, Fulvio Babudieri's many works, e.g., Industrie, commerci e navigazione a Trieste e nella 
regione Giulia dall'inizio del Settecento ai primi anni del Novecento (Milan: Giuflre, 1982), La funzione 
dell'emporio marittimo di Trieste nell'ambito della Monorchia absburgica nell' Ottocento (Milan: 1980), II porto di 
Trieste nel quadro della politica absburgica dell' Ottocento (Innsbruck, 1977), Iporti di Trieste e della regione Giulia 
dal 1815 al 1918 (Rome: 1965), L'industria armatoriale di Trieste e della regione Giulia dal 1815 al 1918 
(Rome, 1964), and La nascita dell'emporio commerciale e marittimo di Trieste (Genoa: 1964). Also Spiridione 
P. Nicolaidi, La presenza greca a Trieste (Triest: B & MM Fachin, 1990); Gottfried von Banfield, L'aquila 
di Trieste: V ultimo caualiere di Maria Teresa nana la propria vita (Triest: LINT, 1984) (originally published 
in German as Der Adler von Triest: der letzte Maria-Theresien-Ritter erzahlt sein Leben (1984). 
18 For example, the late Roberto Cessi's Venezia ducale (Venice: Deputazione di Storia Patria per la 
Venezia, 1963), Studi sul Risorgimento nel Veneto (Padua: Liviana, 1965), and Storia della Repubblica di 
Venezia (Milan/Messina: G. Principato, 1968); and Armando Lodolini's, Le repubbliche del mare (Rome: 
Ente per la Diffusione e l'Educazione Storica, 1967), part of the Biblioteca di Storia Patria series. Also 
Thomas F. Madden's recent dissertation, Enrico Dandolo: His Life, His Family, and His Venice before the 
Fourth Crusade (Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana— Champagne, 1993); Frederic Chapin Lane's 
classic history, Venice. A Maritime Republic (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1973), published in 
Italy as Storia di Venezia (1978), vol. 137 of the Biblioteca di Cultura Storica. Lane's bibliography is still 

Raffaele Belvederi, ed., Atti del congresso internazionale di studi storici. Rapporti 
Genoua — Mediterraneo — Atlantico nell' eta modema (Genoa: Prima Cooperativa Grafica, 1982). 

S. Anselmi, ed., Sette citta jugo— slave tra Medioevo e Ottocento (Ancona: Quaderni di Proposte e ricerche, 
1991). The "seminario" was held in September 1989 and focused on a number of cities, including Zara. 

L'idea del lago: un paesaggio ridefinito, 1861-1914 (Milan: G. Mazzotta, 1984), was published on the 
occasion of an exhibition on Lake Como. 

In addition to Guida alle navi d'ltalia dal 1861 a oggi (Milan: Mondadori 1982), Gino Galuppini has 
published La bandiera tricolore nella Marina sarda (Rome: Ufficio Storico della Marina Militare, 1987), "La 
scuola per i sottufficiali della marina borbonica," Rivista marittima (1985), and "Lo schnorchel e una 
invenzione italiana," Rivista marittima (1975). 

Marc' Antonio Bragadin's Le repubbliche marinare (Milan: Mondadori, 1974) is a popular, illustrated 
history of Venice, Pisa, Genova, and other maritime republics prior to Venice's capitulation to Napoleon 
in 1797. It has neither bibliography nor notes, but does have a definite nationalist bias that credits the 
Italian republics with writing "many of the most luminous chapters" of human history, notes that Europe 
is indebted to Venice for repelling the Turks and insists that the spirit of the early modern republics lives 
on in today's Italian mariners. 

1 94 Comments 

Ferrente, and Lamberto Radogna, have dealt with the Bourbon and Sar- 
dinian navies of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries as well as those of the 
early modern maritime republics of Venice, Genova, and Pisa and the modern 
Italian Navy. 

But if early modern history is fairly robust, my impression, perhaps skewed 
by my own research, still is that contemporary naval history dominates Italian 
bookstores and that since 1945 relatively little has been done on the nineteenth 
and early twentieth centuries. To the best of my knowledge, there is no 
organization comparable to the Italian Naval League, which popularized naval 
affairs from 1897 to the 1920s, although the Historical Office of the Italian Navy 
has done a great deal to keep naval and maritime history before the Italian 
public. Such studies by historians, as those by Caracciolo on early modern 
capitalism in Ancona and by Babudieri on the shipbuilding industry in Triest, 
are notable, but more is needed on the development of maritime industries, ship 
design, and maritime law, and it is reassuring to know that IFJ is sponsoring 

In addition to Benedetto Brin e questione marittima italiana, 1866-1898 (Rome: Rivista Marittima, 
1983) and La sconfitta navale di Lissa (Rome: Vito Bianco, 1985)., Ezio Ferrente has published "Romanze 
navali e guerre ipotetiche nel secolo XIX," Informazioni parlamentari difesa (1982), "August Vittorio 
Vecchj: lugotenente di vascello e storico della Marina," Rivista marittima (1972). 

Lamberto Radogna, Cronistoria delle unita di guerra delle marine preunitarie (Rome: Ufficio Storica della 
Marina Militare, 1981). This is an extremely useful listing of the ships of the various Italian navies prior 
to unification. 

26 Also Carlo Zaghi, P. S. Mancini, I' Africa e il probkma del Mediterraneo 1884-1885) (Rome: Casini, 
1955); and the numerous articles published in Rivista marittima, including Augusto De Toro, "La squadra 
austriaca prima e dopo Lissa: interessanti elementi da due immagini fotografiche," (1987); Nunzia 
Esposito Elefante, "La marina Sarda nella guerra di Crimea" (1986); Antonio Formicola and Claudio 
Romano. "L'industria navale nel regno delle due Sicilie sotto Ferdinando II" (1986), and "1860: Marina 
borbonica ultimo atto" (1984); Giovanni Macchi, "La marina italiana a Creta in una operazione 
multinazionale di fine ottocento," (1985); Arturo Marcheggiano, "Le operazioni navali italiane nella 
prima guerra di indipendenza (1848-49)" (1984). 

For example, Ferruccio Botti's articles in Rivista marittima: "Esercito e armata navale nel pensiero 
militare 'terrestre' dalla fine del secolo XIX all'inizio della prima guerra mondiale" (1987), "La 
'correlazione terrestre marittima': un precedente italiano dell'attuale cooperazione interforce all'inizio 
del secolo XX" (1987), and "Aviazione navale in Italia agli inizi del secolo i un raffronto con le intuizioni 
precorritrici di Clement Ader" (1986). Botti has also published on armored forces and military doctrine 
with Nicola Pignato and Vicenzo Ilari. Also see Luigi Romani, D'Annunzio e il mare (Rome: Rivista 
Marittima, 1988) and Timothy W. Childs, Mediterranean Imbroglio: The Diplomatic Origins of Modem Libya 
(The Diplomacy of the Belligerents during the Italo-Turkish War, 1911—1912) (Ph.D., Georgetown 
University, 1982). 

The Lega Navale Italiana published an illustrated periodical, La lega naval (Florence, 1897-98, La 
Spezia, 1898-1901, Rome, 1901-19), as well as a number of studies on naval and maritime affairs. For 
example, the patriotic The Adriatic Avenged: The Apotheosis ofNazario Sauro (Rome: E. Armani, 1917) 
and La marina italiana nella guerra mondiale, 1915-1918 (Rome: 1920). The League also published the 
Album marinaresco (Rome: 1914), as well as Luigi Castagna, Dizionari Mamaro (Rome: LNI, 1955) and 
Giuseppe di Maceo, La battaglia di Lepanto e il mare di Gaeta (Gaeta: Tipografia Salemne, 1930). For the 
League's official history, Angjolo Ponti, Venticinque anni di vita della Lega navale italiana (1899-1924) 
(Rome: LNI, 1924). 

Sadkovich 1 95 

studies on maritime industries and commerce. I agree with Dr. Sullivan that 
a great deal also needs to be done on the Italo-Turkish war of 1911—12 and 
World War I, both significant, if neglected, victories for the Italian Navy that 
were crucial to its development and affected the evolution of such naval 
weapons as MTBs, pioneered as Mas (Motoscafi antisommergibili) by the 
Italians. Nor is there an abundant biographical literature on those who 
shaped and implemented Italian naval policy. And even many official 
histories are now out of date. 

^ Above for Babudieri and Caracciolo. The recent study that Dr. Sullivan has cited by Lucio Ceva 
and Andrea Curami has interesting data on naval weaponry and the scandal at Ansaldo in the 1930s; see 
Industria bellica anni Trenta (Milan: Franco Angeli, 1992). Also Michele Nones, "L'industria militare in 
Liguria da 1945 al 1975." Storia contemporanea (1986); Maria Ottolino, Commercio e iniziativa marittima in 
Puglia, 1876-1914: la Societa di navigazione a uapore Puglia (1981); Donato Riccesi (1956—), Gustavo 
Pulitzer Finali: il disegno della nave: allestimenti interni, 1925—1967 (1985); Valerio Staccioli, "II linguaggio 
architettonico nel disegno della nave passeggeri: I. Dai transatlantic! di Brunei agli anni vend." "II. Dagli 
anni trenta ai nostri giomi," Rivista marittima (1987). Also see Francesco La Saponara, The Shipping Industry 
and Statistical Information in Italy: A Survey (1986). For maritime law Riniero Zeno, Storia del diritto 
marittimo italiano nel Mediterraneo (Milan: Giuffre, 1946), vol. 3 of the series Fondazione Vittorio Scialoia 
per gli Studi Giuridici and Documenti per la storia del diritto marittimo nei secoli XIII e XIV (1970/1936), 
vol. 4 of the series Documenti e Studi per la Storia del Commercio e del Diritto Commerciale Italiano; 
and Luigi Benvenuti, Lafrontiera marina (Padua: CEDAM, 1988), who examines the concept of territorial 

Most of the studies on these topics are dated, e.g., Adolfo Balliano and Giuseppe Soavi, L'ltalia sul 
mare nella grande guerra (Turin: Successore Loescher Ermanno, 1934); Capitano di Fregata Roncagli, 
Guerra italo-turca. I. Dalle origini al decreto di sovranita su la Libia (Milan: Hoepli, 1937); and Camillo 
Manfroni's works, Guerra Italo—turca (1911—1912). Cronistoria delle operazioni navali (Milan: Hoepli, 
1918-26), which is the official history of the war; Tripoli nella storia marinara d'ltalia (Padua: Drucker, 
1911); LTtalia nelle vicende marinare della tripolitania (Intra/ Verbania: A. Airoldi, 1935/1942); Marina e 
aviazione italiane nella guerra mondiale (Milan: F. Vallardi, 1937); and Storia della marina italiana durante la 
guerra mondiale, 1914-1918 (Bologna: Zanichelli, 1923). 

Among the more recent works on early twentieth-century naval history are the two works Dr. 
Sullivan has cited by Paul Halpern, and E. Europoli, "La lega navale italiana," Rivista marittima (1980). 
Among the works that are now dated are those by Adolfo Balliano and Camillo Manfroni; Guido Po, 
II grande ammiraglio Paolo Thaon di Revel (Turin: Lattes, 1936); Ettore Bravetta, La grande guerra sul mare, 
2 vols. (Milan: Mondadori, 1925); Bernardo Melli, La guerra italo-turca (Rome: E. Voghere, 1914); 
Whitney Warren, The Role of the Italian Navy in the Great War: A Lecture Given at the Colony Club, Netv 
York, 22 January 1920 (New York, 1920/microfilm); and A. Thomazi, La guerre navale dans VAdriatique 
(Paris: Payot, 1927); and La guerre navale dans la Mediterranee (Paris: Payot, 1929). 

Most of the early histories tended to fall within the category of pamphlets and apologies more than 
scholarly analysis. La Marina italiana (Rome: Ministero della Marina, 1918), was only eleven pages long; 
La marina italiana nella guerra mondiale, 1915—1918 (Rome: Ufficio Storico dello Stato Maggiore della 
Marina, 1920), only 84 pages; and The Italian Navy in the World War 1915—1918. Facts and Figures (Rome: 
Ufficio Storico della Regia Marina Italiana, 1927) was a defense of Italian naval operations during the 
war. Also see G. Almagia and A. Zoli, La marina italiana nella grande guerra. I. Vigilia d'armi sul mare 
(Florence: Vallecchi, 1935), published by the Office of the Chief of Staff of the Royal Italian Navy's 
Historical Section (Ufficio Storica dello Stato Maggiore della Regia Marina Italiana); and Storia della 
campagne oceaniche della regia marina (Rome: Ufficio Storico della Stato Maggiore della Regia Marina 
Italiana, 1936, 1960), 4 vols. 


On the other hand, since the 1940s there has been a continual outpouring 
of literature on the fascist era, often of a polemical nature. Why this is so is 
not clear, but it certainly is due partially to the impression that the Italian fleet 
was largely intact when it surrendered in 1943, because it had elected to stay in 
port rather than fight during the war. But if a handful of cruisers and most 
battleships survived the war, few smaller vessels did so, because they played the 
major role in a war that was characterized by convoy, not fleet, operations. 
Nonetheless, the polemical conflagration that touched off efforts to assign blame 
for the apparent failure of the Navy to perform well during the war has been 
fuelled by the difficulty of reconciling antifascist postwar politics with a 
patriotism that was compromised by fascism during the Ventennio. As a result, 
there is a massive literature on World War II and the fascist era, and a great many 
historians have contributed to it. 

Among the better known are Erminio Bagnasco, Franco Bargoni, Giovanni 
Bernardi, Marc 'Antonio Bragadin, Carlo De Risio, Vittorio Di Sambuy, ' 

For example, Achille Rastelli, "II naviglio mercantile requisito nella storia della marina militare," 
Rivista marittima (1984); Ernesto Giuriati, "Storia e tradimento," Riuista marittima (1981); Gino Jori, "La 
crittologia nelle operazioni navali in Mediterraneo (1940-1943)," Riuista marittima (1982); Nino Bixio 
Lo Martire, Naui e bugie (1983); Gianni Padoan, Laguerra nel Mediterraneo (Bologna: Capitol, 1978); and 
Dobrillo Dupuis, Lajlotta bianca: le naui ospedale italiane nel secondo conjlitto mondiale (Milan: Mursia, 1978). 
Also Renzo De Felice, Mussolini I'alleato. I. L'ltalia in guerra 1940-1943. II. Crisi e agonia del regime 
(Turin: Einaudi, 1990), 2 vols., who discusses the Navy's role; Salvatore Minardi, Italia e Francia alia 
conferenza nauale di Londra del 1930 (1989); and Rosaria Quartararo, "Imperial Defence in the 
Mediterranean on the Eve of the Ethiopian Crisis (July-October 1935)," Historical Journal (1977). 

Erminio Bagnasco collaborated with Elio Ando on Naui e marinai italiani nella seconda guerra mondiale 
(Parma: Ermanno Albertelli, 1977/1981), and with Marco Spertini on J mezzi d'assalto della X" MAS, 
1940-1945 (Parma: Ermanno Albertelli, 1991). On his own has published a number of studies, including 
Le armi delle naui italiane nella seconda guerra mondiale (Parma: Ermanno Albertelli, 1978); Italian Battleships 
of World War II: A Pictorial History (1986); La portaerei nella marina italiana. Idee, progetti e realizzioni dalle 
origini a oggi (Rome: Rivista Marittima, 1989); Submarines of World War Two (Annapolis: USNIP, 1977); 
"Navi incorporate nella Marina italiana durante la seconda guerra mondiale." Riuista marittima (1961); / 
M.A.S. e le motosiluranti italiane, 1906-1968 (Rome: Ufficio Storico della Marina Militare, 1969). 

Franco Bargoni, L'impegno nauale italiano durante la Guerra ciuile spagnola (1936—1939) (Rome: Ufficio 
Storico della Marina Militare, 1992); Corazzate italiane classi Duilio— Italia— Ruggiero di Lauria, entrate in 
seruiziofra il 1880 e il 1892 (Rome: Ateneo e Bizzarri, 1978); and Le prime naui di linea della marina italiana 
(1861-1880) (Rome: Bizzarri, 1976). 

Giovanni Bernardi, La Marina, gli armistizi e il trattato di pace: settembre 1943 — dicembre 1951 (Rome: 
Ufficio Storico della Marina Militare, 1979); and 7/ disarmo nauale tra le due guerre mondiali, 1919—1939 
(Rome: Ufficio Storico della Marina Militare, 1975); "La dibattuta questione della parita navale tra Italia 
e Francia nel periodo tra le due guerre mondiali," Reuue intemationale d'histoire militaire (1978). 


Marc Antonio Bragadin, U dramma della marina italiana, 1940-1945 (Milan: Mondadori, 1982), and 
The Italian Nauy in World War //(Annapolis: USNIP, 1957, 1980). Both works are slightly revised reissues 
of earlier studies. 

Carlo De Risio, Naui diferro, teste di legno: la marina italiana, ieri e oggi (Rome: Ciarrapico, 1976). 


Vittorio Di Sambuy, Match pari tra due grandeflotte. Mediterraneo, 1940-1942 (Milan: Mursia, 1976); 
and "Un segreto svelato — il segreto 'Ultra'," Riuista marittima (1976). 

Sadkovich 197 

Mariano Gabriele, Giorgio Giorgerini, Tullio Marcon, 4 \ Francesco 
Mattesini, Riccardo Nassigh, Sergio Nesi, and Alberto Santoni. Al- 
though the fascist period is relatively narrow and early approaches were often in 
the nature of reciprocal reproaches, a rather wide spectrum of approaches has 
evolved, while a keen interest in such elite units as the San Marco marine division 
and the X Mas has remained high. Bagnasco, Di Sambuy, Mattesini, Nassigh, 

40 Mariano Gabriele, Operazione C/3: Malta (Rome: Ufficio Storico della Marina Militare, 1965, 1990); 
"La guerre des convois entre l'ltalie et l'Afrique du nord," in Comite d'Histoire de la 2e Guerre 
Mondiale, La guerre en Mediterranke, 1939-1945. Actes du colbque International tenu Paris du 8 au 11 avril 
1969 (Paris: Editions du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 1971). He has also written on 
other periods, e.g., Lajlotta come strumento di politica nei primi decenni dello stato unitario italiano (Rome: 
Ufficio Storico della Marina Militare, 1973); La politica navale italiana dal 1885 al 1915 (Rome: Ufficio 
Storico della Marina Militare, 1982); "La politica navale italiana alia vigilia del primo conflitto mondiale," 
Riuista marittima (May 1965): pp. 15-32; "La convenzione navale italo-franco-britannica del 10 maggio 
1915," Nuoua antologia (April-May 1965): pp. 483-502, 69-84. 

Giorgio Giorgerini, La battaglia dei convogli in Mediterraneo (Milan: Mursia, 1977); Da Matapan al Qolfo 
Persico: la Marina militare italiana dalfascismo alia Repubblica (Milan: Mursia, 1989); Almanaco storico delle 
naui militari italiane: la Marina e le sue navi dal 1861 al 1915 (Rome: Ufficio Storico della Marina Militare, 
1978); "The Role of Malta in Italian Naval Operations, 1940-43," in New Aspects of Naval History 
(Annapolis: U.S. Naval Institute Press, 1985); and with Aldo Nani, Le naui d'ltalia. I. Le naui di linea 
italiane, 1961—1969 (Rome: Ufficio Storico della Marina Militare, 1969), Gli incrociatori italiani, 
1861—1975 (Rome: Ufficio Storico della Marina Militare, 1976), and Almanacco storico delle naui militari 
d'ltalia, 1861-1915 (Rome: Ufficio Storico della Marina Militare, 1980). 

Tullio Marcon, "Operazione Malta due owero il rispetto del nemico," Riuista marittima (1976); AH 
marine: gli osseruatori della Regia Marina nella seconda guerra mondiale (Milan: Mursia, 1978). 

Francesco Mattesini, La battaglia aeronauale di mezzo agosto (Rome: Edizioni dell'Ateneo, 1986); II 
giallo di Matapan. Reuisione di giudizi (Rome: Edizioni dell'Ateneo, 1985); La battaglia di Punta Stilo 
(Rome: Ufficio Storico della Marina Militare, 1990); I sommergibili di Betasom 1940—1943 (Rome: Ufficio 
Storico della Marina Militare, on press); "Navi da guerra e mercantili della Gran Bretagna e nazioni 
alleate affondate e danneggiate in Mediterraneo (10 giugno 1940 — 5 maggio 1945)" Archiuio Storico 
Marina. XI (9); "I retroscena inediti del mancato intervento delle navi di superficie italiane nella battaglia 
di mezzo agosto 1942," II Giomale d'ltalia (5 January 1984); "La battaglia aeronavale di mezzo agosto," 
Aeronautical mensile dell' auiazione italiana (1985), nos. 8, 9, 10, 11. 

Riccardo Nassigh, Guerra negli abissi. I sommergibili italiani nel secondo conflitto mondiale (Milan: Mursia, 
1971); Operazione mezzo agosto. (Milan: Mursia, 1976). 

Sergio Nesi, Decimaflottiglia nostra: i mezzi d'assalto della Marina italiana al sud e al nord dopo Varmistizio 
(Milan: Mursia, 1986). 

As Dr. Sullivan has noted, Alberto Santoni has published a number of important works on 
contemporary naval history, especially // uero traditore: il ruolo documentato di ULTRA nella guerra del 
Mediterraneo (Milan: Mursia, 1981). He has also collaborated with Theodor Fuchs on "Der Einfluss von 
'ULTRA' auf den Krieg im Mittelmeer," Marine Rundschau (1981); and with Francesco Mattesini on 
La partecipazione tedesca alia guerra aeronauale nel Mediterraneo (1940-1945) (Rome: Edizioni dell'Ateneo 
eBizzarri, 1980). 

The official history has a volume on the X Mas, which was popularized by Julio Valerio Borghese, 
Sea Deuils (Chicago: Henry Regnery, 1954). Among the recent publications on the unit is the excellent 
volume by Bagnasco and Spertini, and Ricciotti Lazzero, La decima Mas (Milan: Rizzoli, 1984). Also 
see Pieramedeo Baldrati, San Marco. . .San Marco. . .Storia di una diuisione (Milan: San Marco Infantry 
Division, 1989); Guido Bonavicini, Decima Marinai! Decima comandante! Lafanteria di marina, 1943—45 
(Milan: Mursia, 1988); and Aurelio Scardaccione, Ildelfino dorato: in guerra sui sommergibili (Fasano: Schena, 
1988), a diary by a former submariner. 

1 98 Comments 

Nesi, and Santoni have generally focused on the technical and operational aspects of naval 
affairs; Bargoni, Bernardi, and Gabriele have been more concerned with policy and 
diplomacy; and Giorgerini and Bragadin have written synthetic works on the Italian 
Navy. In short, there are a great many Italians who are currendy working on naval and 
maritime topics. While the number of foreign scholars is much smaller, as Dr. Sullivan 
notes, many, such as Germany's Gerhard Schreiber, have made contributions to the 
field 49 

Recent naval history thus seems to be thriving; and if some cliaff remains, that is the 
price the Italians pay to stimulate interest in the subject. The firms of Mursia, Rizzoli, 
and Mondadori may not always publish scholarly studies, but they provide a valuable 
service by issuing memoirs and popular studies that keep the public interested in naval 
and maritime history, while Edizioni dell' Ateneo e Bizzarri and Ermanno Albertelli focus 
on a more restricted audience interested in the nuts and bolts of naval history. 

In short, while there are undoubtedly enormous differences between the United States 
and Italy, I am not sure that Italians are less enthused with their naval history than we are 
with ours; and if ground forces played a much greater part in Italian development than 
naval forces, that was also true of the United States, save in the Caribbean, where our 
Navy and Marines consolidated an informal empire against weak forces, and in the Pacific, 
where a combination of naval and air secured victory in the early 1940s. Our Navy is 
certainly larger than the Italian Navy, and it is better publicized in this country, where 

I am indebted to Admiral Renato Sicurezza, who currently heads the Italian Navy's Historical Office 
and to Admiral Francesco Pascazio, the former editor of Rivista Marittima, for their generous help in 
identifying those Italian historians who are currently working in the contemporary era; to Professor 
Domenico Sella for his suggestions regarding the early modern period; to Professor Alberto Santoni for 
his courteous and informative reply to my inquiries; and to Admiral Carlo Gottardi, for his interest. 
Among those who are currently writing on contemporary history are Vittorio Barbati, Franco Bargoni, 
Colonel Ferruccio Botti, Admiral Alfredo Brauzzi, Augusto De Toro, Admiral Luigi Donini, Admiral 
Antonio Flamigni, Antoni Formicola, Aldo Fraccaroli, Professor Mariano Gabriele, Commandante 
Franco Gay, Admiral Gino Galuppini, Giorgio Giorgerini, Admiral Carlo Gottardi, Tullio Marcon, 
Francesco Mattesini, Riccardo Nassigh, Franco Puddu, Admiral Luigi Romani, Claudio Romano, 
Professor Alberto Santoni, and Admiral Pietro Zancardi. 

See Gerhard Schreiber, "Italien im machtpolitischen Kalkiil der deutschen Marineflihrung 1919 bis 
1945," in Quellen und Forschungen aus italienischen Archiven und Bibliotheken (Tubingen: Istituto Storico 
Germanico in Roma, 1982) vol. 62; "Les structures strategiques de la conduite de la guerre 
italo-allemande au cours de la deuxieme guerre mondiale" RHDGM (1980); "Sul teatro mediterraneo 
nella seconda guerra mondiale: inediti punti di vista della marina germanica del tempo." Rivista marittima 
(1987). Also see Josef Schroder, "Les pretensions allemands a la direction militaire du theatre italien 
d'operations en 1943" RHDGM (1974). 

Given that the United States has five times the population of Italy and is considerably wealthier, the 
disparities between the two states diminish or disappear. Multiplying Italy's budget by five, one gets an 
annual outlay of $120 billion, not $24 billion, about a third of the US budget of $290 billion; the adjusted 
size of the Italian navy is 275,000, about half that of the USN; and the number of ships about 300, 
comparable to the 340 that Dr. Sullivan projects for the USN. Indeed, the adjusted merchant figures 
yield 8,000 Italian ships displacing 40 million GRT, compared to 1,600 American vessels displacing 8 
million. It is also worth noting that while there is a considerable public for works on the Navy in the 
United States, there is not a large market for histories of such maritime organizations as the Coast Guard 
and merchant marine. 

Sadkovich 1 99 

only a handful of academics have devoted any attention to Italian naval matters 
over the past twenty years. But that is to be expected, given our preoccupation 
with superpowers. 

Whether "the major negative influence" on Italian attitudes toward the Navy, 
merchant marine and public institutions in general have derived from 
"widespread perceptions of the defunct monarchy and of the Fascist regime" is 
debatable, although there is no doubt that during the 1950s the Italians had 
nothing comparable to America's Victory at Sea to extol their Navy, and a spate 
of critical works, such as Antonio Trizzino's Navi epoltrone, censured the Italian 
Navy as so inept as to be treasonous. 

But such attitudes predated Mussolini's era and seem to be rooted in the 
problems that accompanied the creation of a unitary Italian state, including the 
monarchy's emargination of Mazzini and its "betrayal" of Garibaldi, the South's 
resistance to Piedmontese rule, and the influence of socialism, syndicalism, and 
anarchism in areas as diverse as Puglia, the Romagna, Lombardy, and Sicily. A 
great many Italians thus came to view the armed forces as repressive, and Italy's 
failure to realize an African empire disillusioned the more patriotic, even if it 
stimulated Enrico Corridoni and the ANI to clamor for even more spending on 
overseas expansion and eventually led Mussolini to discern and exploit the 
political advantages of the concept of an Italian "proletarian" nation. In other 
words, if the Fascist regime disillusioned many Italians, the liberal Italian state 
had already alienated many others. Since 1945, pugnacious and partisan media 
have helped to keep political debate lively and censorious in Italy, whereas in 
the United States the mass media have usually fallen into line behind government 
efforts to glorify its military and naval exploits. And, as noted above, the 
difficulties of reconciling postwar antifascism with a patriotism and navalism 
tainted by their association with the fascist regime has created a climate in which 
polemics flourish. 

51 Brian Sullivan, "A Fleet in Being: The Rise and Fall of Italian Sea Power, 1861-1943," The 
International History Review (1988); and Marco Rimanelli, The "Least of the Powers": Italy's Foreign, Security, 
and Naval Policy in the Quest for Mediterranean Pre-eminence, 1860s- 1989, (Ph.D, Johns Hopkins Univ., 
1989). Bernard MacGregor Knox, Mussolini Unleashed, 1939-1941. Politics and Strategy in Fascist Italy's 
Last War (Cambridge: UP, 1982), also deals with naval matters in his survey of Italy's war effort. Jack 
Greene is an aficionado of naval history and his Mare nostrum: The War in the Mediterranean (Watsonville, 
Calif.: Typesetting, etc., 1990) is a useful compilation of data, all the more so because few academic 
studies have been published in this country. Also see James J. Sadkovich, The Italian Navy in World War 
II (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 1994); "The Italian Navy," in Reevaluating Major Naval Combatants 
of World War II (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 1990); "Aircraft Carriers and the Mediterranean, 
1940-1943: Rethinking the Obvious," Aerospace Historian (1987); and "Re-evaluating Who Won the 
Italo-British Naval Conflict, 1940-42," European History Quarterly (1988). 


Antonio Trizzino, Navi e poltrone (Milan: Longanesi, 1966). From 1945 into the 1960s, American 
films exalted our victory in the war, but in Italy such fare as Citth aperta and Bicycle Thief reflected a 
resigned weariness with the whole subject of war, as Fellini and others created a pacifist postmodern 


Yet I do not think that one can simply dismiss the fascist era and its naval and 
maritime achievements. It seems to me that the success of the fascist campaigns in 
Africa and the prestige conferred on Italy by its trans- Adantic liners more than offset 
earlier defeats. The Rex's brief appearance in Fellini's Amarcord underlined the effect 
on the Italian psyche of such spending, even if in retrospect the achievements proved 
as illusory as the ship's illuminated outline on a summer night. The defeat of 1943 
was unquestionably a major blow to the Italians, but there were no decisive defeats in 
1940-41, except in the minds of Allied wartime propagandists and some postwar 
historians, and after 1945 the Italians had no choice but to reject those "legacies of the 
Fascist era" not approved by the Allies. But if the neo-fascists have been reduced to 
a fringe group in postwar Italy, the referendum mounted by the Radical Party in 1977 
reminded everyone that their legacy included the penal code and IRJ, both integral 
parts of the postwar liberal regime. 

Italy's excessive navalism and heavy official support for naval and maritime history 
prior to 1945 was fairly typical of great powers, and its more moderate military 
pretensions since then characteristic of such former imperial powers as Britain. There 
were a number of ex-fascist or neo-fascist historians in the postwar era who tried to 
refurbish the fascist ventennio, but the greatest impact on the historiography of the war 
has been that of such naval officers as Angelo Iachino, Marc'Antonio Bragadin, and 
Giuseppe Fioravanzo, who had served in the "fascist" navy and sought to set the record 
straight by challenging an Allied wartime propaganda that was anything but objective. 

Although the fascist media were hardly objective, I think it still a safe assumption that many Italians shared the 
pride in Italy's naval achievements expressed in such articles as Domenico Cavagnari, "La Marina delTltalia fascista." 
Rassegna italiana (1938). 

Of course, prior to 1943, the fascist regime issued its own propaganda, e.g., Vincio Araldi, Marittai d'ltalia sulk 
vie della gloria (Bologna: Cantelli, 1942); Marc'Antonio Bragadin, Vittoria sui man di Roma, 15 giugno XX (1942) 
(Verona: Mondadori, 1942); Vittorio Calvino, La guardia del mate: Vaviazione da ricognizione marittima (Rome: 
Editoriale Aeronautica, 1942); Giuseppe Fioravanzo, U Mediterratieo, centra strategico del mondo (Verona: Mondadori, 
1943); Vittorio G. Rossi, Laguerra dei marittai (Milan: Bompiani, 1941); Ministero della Marina, Amanecer heroico 
en el Mediterramo: dos torpederos contro utia escuadra britanica. La epica empresa de los torpederos "Circe y Vega" (Milan: 
1941), and Appello cd mare (Rome: Tipografia Novissima, 1940). 

' Aldo Cocchia and Giuseppe Fioravanzo, who oversaw the writing of the first official monographs on the 
Navy, were both members of the fascist navy, the one a war hero, the other a serious theorist. A prolific writer, 
Fioravanzo wrote on theory in the 1930s, composed propaganda during the 1940s, and was instrumental in issuing 
the Italian official histories in the 1950s, e.g., Manuale teorico-pratico di cinematka aero-ttavale e d'impiego delle uniti in 
combattimetito (Livomo: Accademia Navale, 1930), Laguerra sul mare e laguerra integrate (Turin: Enrico Schioppo, 
1931), 2 vols, Basi navali ml mondo (Milano: Istituto per gli studi di politica intemazionale, 1936), History of Naval 
Tactical Thought (Annapolis, Md: USNIP, 1979), U Mediterratieo, centro strategico del mondo (Verona: Mondadori, 
1943). Iachino published a number of books and articles, e.g., Le due Sim' (Milan: Mondadori, 1953), Gaudo e 
Matapan. Storiadiun'operazione della guerra navale nel Mediterramo, 27-28-29 marzo 1941 (Milan: Mondadori, 1946), 
Operaziom mezzo giugno. Episodi dell 'ultima guerra sul mare (Milan: Monadadori, 1955), Hpunto su Matapan (Milan: 
Mondadori, 1969), and Tramonto di unagrande marina (Milan: Mondadori, 1959). See above for Bragadin, and the 
official histories for Aldo Cocchia, as well as "II peso strategico di Malta fu veramente determinante?" Rivista 
marittima (1964). Virgilio Spigai also published on the war, e.g., "Italian Naval Assault Craft in Two World 
Wars." United States Naval Institute Press (1965); and V. Spigai and L. D. De la Penne, "The Italian Attack 
on the Alexandria Naval Base." United States Naval Institute Press (1956). 

Sadkovich 201 

Dr. Sullivan's observations regarding the Italian university system are not 
encouraging, but essentially the same could be said of our own system, with the 
caveat that ours is so much bigger than the Italian's that it can accommodate a 
few more professors in fields such as naval and maritime history. Like Camillo 
Manfroni, Mariano Gabriele has been crucial to the development of Italian naval 
history, and Alberto Santoni has written a number of valuable works, including 
his work on Ultra and the study he co-authored with Francesco Mattesini on 
German participation in the Mediterranean during World War II. But as valuable 
as Santoni's contributions have been, like those of Mattesini, they tend to be 
pointedly revisionist and critical of the performance of the Italian armed forces, 
while on occasion appearing to rationalize German failures in the Mediterranean 
theater. It thus seems that polemics are an unavoidable part of doing contem- 
porary Italian naval history. 

Professor Raimono's efforts to continue Manfroni's work at the Naval 
Academy at Livorno are laudatory, as are the activities of the Istituto di Guerra 
Marittima. But I would be curious to know what sorts of "difficulties" Raimono 
has encountered and wonder if the acquaintance of his students with Anglo- 
American naval history is more a function of the number of works published on 
the subject than of "the politically sensitive nature of Italian naval history." 

That the other service academies ignore naval history is to be expected, 
although it seems a shame that there has been no effort to coordinate at least air 
and naval studies, especially since historians like Nino Arena and Nicola Malizia 
have written works that include both areas and there is no question that to fully 
understand the war in the Mediterranean between 1940 and 1945 it is necessary 
to integrate naval and air actions. In this regard, it is worth noting that the 
publications of the Italian Foreign Ministry and the Italian army are useful to 
those doing naval history. 

The holdings of the Naval Archives, the State Archives (Archivio Centrale 
dello Stato), and the Foreign Ministry's Archives (Archivio Storico del Ministero 

Nino Arena, Bandiera di combattimento: Storia delta Marina militare italiana (1925—1945) (Rome: CEN, 
1974), 2 vols., and La regia aeronautica, 1939—1943 (Rome: Ufficio Storico dello Stato Maggiore 
Aeronautica, 1981-1984); and Nicola Malizia, Inferno su Malta. Lapiu lunga battaglia aeronauale della second 
guerra mondiale (Milan: Mursia, 1976), and with Christopher Shores, and Brian Cull, Malta: The Hurricane 
Years, 1940-1941 (London: Grub Street, 1987), and Malta: The Spitfire Year, 1942 (London: Grubb 
Street, 1991). 

The Army is in the process of publishing the General Staffs war diary, and its volumes on the minutes 
(verbali) of the meetings held by Comando Supremo during the war are indispensable. See Ufficio 
Storico dell'Esercito, Diario storico del Comando Supremo [Antonello Biagini, Fernando Frattolillo] (Rome: 
1986), Vol. I— III. and Verbali delle riunioni tenute dal capo di Stato Maggiore Generate (Rome: 1985), Vols. 
I— III. For the Foreign Ministry, Ministero degli AfFari Esteri, Commissione per la pubblicazione dei 
documenti diplomatici, I documenti diplomatici italiani. Ottava serie, 1935-39 (Rome: 1952, 1953), Vols. 
XII, XIII; Nona serie, 1939-43. (Rome, 1957-1988), Vols. I-VIII. Also see Istituto Centrale di Statistica 
del Regno d'ltalia, Compendio statistico italiano, 1939-1942, (Rome, 1939-42) Vols. XIII-XVI, and 
Sommario di statistiche storiche italiane, 1861-1958 (Rome: 1958). 


degli Affari Esteri) are useful to anyone working in naval history, and the 
helpfulness of their personnel is well known. It is also noteworthy, as Dr. Sullivan 
stresses, that only the Navy has published solid monographs of World War II. 
Although I am not as critical of the Army's publications as he is, there is no 
question that the Air Force has lagged behind the other services, and despite its 
length, even Arena's recent work is not a great improvement on earlier studies 


by Santoro and Licheri. However, the recent publication of two volumes of 
Superaereo's directives should help to fill in gaps in our knowledge of the 
air-naval war during 1940. 

Admiral Sicurezza's efforts to reorder the MM's archives and to bring together 
contributions by established historians on strategy, diplomacy, and other aspects 
of naval and maritime history are laudatory. But long-range activities are also 
needed, as well as support for historians new to the field, especially given that 
while maritime history can disguise itself as social or economic history, naval 
history suffers from the same sort of emargination within the academic com- 
munity as diplomatic, political, and military history. And if it is unreasonable to 
expect naval historians to become postmodernists, it seems equally unrealistic to 
expect that traditional ways of doing naval history will retain a large audience. 
Yet those of us writing on contemporary naval affairs seem mired in yesterday's 
polemics and content with an approach that seems increasingly dated and 
irrelevant, and I can personally attest to how difficult it is to shake off traditional 
approaches and find a way out of the polemical maze, which I still regularly 

Although service histories may be expected to have a narrow focus and a 
certain bias because of institutional restraints, Dr. Sullivan's praise for the high 
standards maintained by the Italian Navy's historical office is not misplaced. 
Bemardi's works are exceptionally well-done analyses of diplomatic matters and the 

Arena, op. cit.; Giuseppe Santoro, L'aeronautica italiana nella seconda guerra mondiale (Milan: Edizioni 
Esse, 1957), 2 vols., and Sebastiano Licheri, L'arma aerea italiana nella seconda guerra mondiale, 10 giugno 
1940 — 8 settembre 1943 (Milan: Mursia, 1976). Also Mario Angelozzi and Ubaldo Bernini, H problema 
aeronavale italiano (Livorno: Belforte, 1981); M. Circi and A. Guglielmetti, Gli attuali reparti A.M. della 
aviazione per la marina. Note storiche dal 1926 al 1912 (Rome: Grafica Veant, 1977); Carlo Unia, Storia 
degli aerosiluranti italiani (Rome: Bizzarri, 1974); Corrado Ricci, II corpo aereo italiano (CAI) sulfronte della 
Manica (1940-1941) (Rome: Ufficio Storico dell'Aeronautica Militare, 1980); Corrado Ricci and 
Christopher E. Shores, La guerra aerea in Africa Orientate, 1940-41 (Rome: Ufficio Storico 
dell'Aeronautica Militare, 1979); and Vincenzo Lioy, V Italia in Africa. Serie Storico-Militare. Vol. III. 
L'opera dell'Aeronautica (Rome: Ministero degli Affari Esteri, 1964). Lioy has also written two early works 
on the Italian air force and operations during the war, Elementi storici nell' Aeronautica Italiana (Nisida: 
Accademia Aeronautica, 1960), and Gloria senza allori (Rome: Failli, 1953). Others, like Giulio Lazzati, 
have contributed to the literature on air operations, e.g., his Stormi d' Italia. Storia dell' aviazione militare 
italiana (Milan: Mursia, 1975). Also see Guido Bonavicini, Carlo Gaffioni e gli aerosiluranti italiani (Milan: 
Cavallotti, 1987), and Andrea Curami and Giancarello Garello, "L'aviazione ausiliaria per la Regia 
Marina fra le due guerre (1923-1940)," Riuista marittima (1985). 

59 Franco Mattesini and M. Cermelli, eds., Le direttiue tecnico- operative di Superaereo (Rome: Stato 
Maggiore Aeronatuica/Ufficio Storico, 1992), 2 vols. 

Sadkovich 203 

Italian official histories in general are of a very high quality that compares 
favorably with the best that has been done by Italian, British, and American 
academics. On the other hand, more detailed monographs on the evolution of 
the Italian Navy, recruitment, contracting, and the formulation of naval policy 
would be welcome. 

The publications mentioned by Dr. Sullivan, from the Bollettino d'archivio 
delVufficio storico della marina militare to Kivista marittima are extremely useful, and 
the organizations he mentions (Associazione italiana di documentazione marit- 
time e navale and Associazione navemodellisti bolognesi) have helped to 
stimulate interest in naval affairs and provided some of the raw stuff of naval 
history, as anyone who has used the publications on naval ships and weaponry 
by Aldo Fraccaroli and Erminio Bagnasco can attest. And it is reassuring to know 
that a fascist institution, IRI (Istituto per la ricostruzione industriale) is funding 
scholarly studies on naval and maritime history. 

Dr. Sullivan is also correct to note that we do not have enough biographies of 
Italian naval and maritime personalities, that there is no comprehensive study of the 
Italian Navy, and that the post— 1945 development of the Navy has been ignored. 
However, I am not as convinced as he is that it is necessary to teach naval history 
in order to make good citizens out of Italians, given that the popularity of naval 
history in this country has not appreciably increased the sophistication with which 
the average American reacts to domestic and foreign crises. 

There are a few observations I would like to add to those made by Dr. 
Sullivan, whose paper I found both interesting and informative, and whose 
acquaintance with Italian archives and historians I can only envy. Indeed, that 
is my first observation — while there are relatively few Italians working in naval 

The data in the twenty-two volumes of the Italian Navy's World War II series is both abundant and 
comprehensive, with everything from details on the losses of merchant and naval shipping to convoy 
operations, naval battles, technical development, and command structures. The Navy's seven-volume 
series on naval vessels contain extremely useful data on the technical aspects of classes and individual 
ships, complete with operational summaries. See La marina Italiana nella seconda guerra mondiale (Rome: 
Ufficio Storico della Marina Militare, 1952— present), 22 vols., and Le navi d' Italia (Rome: Ufficio Storico 
della Marina Militare, 1969-present), 8 vols. Among those who collaborated on the historical series 
were Giuseppe Fioravanzo (series editor and various volumes), Mario Peruzzi (hospital ships, 1956), 
Aldo Cocchia (convoy operations, 1958-76), P. F. Lupinacci (Mines, 1968, and Albania and Aegean 
operations, 1972), U. Mori Ubaldini (submarines, 1976), M. Bertini (submarines, 1968, 1972), Carlo 
De Risio (X Mas and blockade runners, 1972), and V. Rauber (ASW, 1978). The series dealing with 
ships was compiled by Giorgio Giorgerini and Augusto Nani (battleships, 1969; cruisers, 1976; and an 
almanac, 1980); P. M. Pollina (torpedo boats, 1974), and with Mario Bertini (submarines, 1971); G. 
Fioravanzo, P. M. Pollina, G. Riccardi, and F. Gnifetti (destroyers, 1971); E. Bargoni (scouts, frigates, 
and corvettes, 1974); and Erminio Bagnasco (Mas and Ms, 1969). 

Fioravanzo's slim volume on naval tactics was a good beginning, and Ezio Ferrente's history of Italian 
perceptions of the Mediterranean is unusual in its stress on ideas rather than facts. Ezio Ferrante, H 
Mediterranean nella coscienza nazionale (Rome: Rivista Marittima, 1987); and Giuseppe Fioravanzo, A 
History of Naval Tactical Thought, op. cit. Fioravanzo has published a number of theoretical works, 
including Basi navali nel mondo, op. cit. 


and maritime history, there are even fewer Americans, in large part owing to 
problems obtaining funding. There is, to the best of my knowledge, no easy way 
for scholars in this country to obtain grants to use Italian naval and maritime 
archives, and our priorities, especially in an age that flaunts its commitment to 
"diversity," should include ways to encourage the American academic com- 
munity to support the study of such "marginal" subjects as naval history and to 
encourage an interest in such "minor" powers as Italy. In this country, Dr. 
Sullivan rightly mentions only a handful of scholars in the field: MacGregor 
Knox, who focuses on political and diplomatic questions; Halpern, whose studies 
on the Mediterranean were published in 1971 and 1987; and the two of us, who 
have published a handful of articles on contemporary Italian naval history. Nor 
has there been a rush to do Italian naval and maritime history recently. Still, 
there are a number of Americans, for the most part recent Ph.D.s, who have 
dealt with naval and maritime topics, among them Marco Rimanelli, who 
finished a two— volume dissertation at Johns Hopkins on Italian naval policy, and 
Timothy W. Childs, whose 1982 dissertation dealt with the diplomacy of the 
Italo-Turkish war. There are also a number of Americans who have written 
on subjects that involve Italian naval history, such as the siege of Malta. 

Yet even a brief glance at the annual bibliographies put out by the Society 
for Italian Historical Studies is enough to confirm the impression that naval and 
maritime studies have become more marginal in this country as social history 
has become more dominant. Non-academics like Jack Greene, whose interest 
in tactics and whose careful compilation of orders of battle are very useful to us 
academic types, are fascinated by naval history, but our colleagues seem not to 
be, unless naval and maritime history is viewed in another context. Benjamin 
Arbel therefore highlighted the social aspects of Venetian trade in the fifteenth 
century, Mark John Angelos discussed the role of women of twelfth— century 
Genoa's commerce, Robert Davis discussed the workers of the Venetian 
arsenal, and Richard Jackson, Mediterranean seamen. Irene Katele has taken 

Timothy Childs, Mediterranean Imbroglio: The Diplomatic Origins of Modem Libya (The Diplomacy of the 
Belligerents during the Italo-Turkish War, 1911-1912) op. cit.; and Marco Rimanelli, The "Least of the 
Powers" Italy's Foreign Security and Naval Policy in the Quest for Mediterranean Pre-eminence, 1860s— 1989, 
op. cit. While the works of Salewski, Breyer, and Dulin are useful, they are not primarily concerned 
with the Italian war effort in the Mediterranean. Those by Barjot, de Belot, Baum, Weichold, Ruge, 
and others are more directly focused on the Mediterranean theater, but many are now dated, others 
rather biased by the participation of the authors in the war. 

63 Charles A Jellison, Besieged. The World War II Ordeal of Malta, 1940-42 (New England: 1987); Dora Alves, 
"The Resupply of Malta in World War II," Naval War College Review (1980); and Rowena Reed, "Central 
Mediterranean Sea Control and the North African Campaigns, 1940-1942" Naval War College Review (1984). 

Benjamin Arbel, "Venetian Trade in Fifteenth Century Acre: The Letters of Francesco Bevilaqua 
(1471-72)," Asian and African Studies (1988). 

Mark John Angelos, Genoese Women, Family Business Practices, and Maritime Commerce, 115-1216 
(Ph.D., Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne, 1992). 

Robert C. Davis, Shipbuilders of the Venetian Arsenal: Workers and Workplace in the Preindustrial City (Baltimore: 

Sadkovich 205 

another look at piracy in the late middle ages, Catherine Bracewell has studied 
the Uskoks of Senj, and Ilona Klein reexamined the Order of Santo Stefano. 
In effect, early modern naval and maritime historians seem to have resolved the 
problem of how to make the subject germane, whether it is looking at technique 
(shipbuilding, contracts, organization) or recasting naval history as social, cultural, 
or gender history. Such studies as that by Augusta Molinari on sanitary conditions 
aboard ships carrying emigrants show that the same approach can work for 
contemporary history. At this point, one can even hope to publish in such unlikely 
places as Asian and African Studies, rather than in the handful of journals and with 
the few publishers who will consider studies of twentieth-century Italian naval 
history. Yet, on the whole, in this country there are relatively few secure outlets for 
studies on Italian naval and maritime topics. 

If finding a place to publish can be frustrating in the United States, where relatively 
few journals and publishers concern themselves with Italian naval and maritime 
affairs, there is still a fairly wide choice of publications and publishers to choose from, 
whether one is writing on the early modern period or dealing with more 
contemporary questions. For example, Storia epolitica published Francesco Lefebvre 
d'Ovidio's studies on the London naval conference and Italian and British naval 
policy in the 1930s, Storia contemporanea published Luigi Castioni's essay on the 
development of Italian radar, the Revue de V Occident musulman et de la Mediterranee 

Johns Hopkins, 1991). Also Richard Paul Jackson, "Ma misimeperl'alto mareaperto" Mediterranean Seamen 
during the Medieval Commercial Revolution (Ph.D., Yale, 1992). 

Irene Birute Katele, Captains and Corsairs: Venice and Piracy, 1261—1381 (Maritime, Pirates, Naval, Military, 
Medieval) (Ph.D., Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne, 1986). Like Angelos and Madden, Katele did her 
work under Donald E. Queller. 

Catherine Wendy Bracewell, The Uskoks of Senj: Piracy, Banditry, and Holy War in the Sixteenth-Century 
Adriatic (Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press, 1992). 

69 Ilona Klein, The Order of Santo Stefano in the Levant: An Unpublished Account of a Voyage in 1621 (Berkeley: 
Univ. of California Press, 1990). Also see Giuseppe Gino Guarnieri, J Cavalieri di Santo Stefatto nella storia della 
Marina italiana (1562—1859) (1960), and L'ordine di Santo Stefano net suoi aspetti organizzativi intemi e navali sotto il 
Gran Magistero Lorenese (1965). 

For example, Brian Pullen's Rich and Poor in Renaissance Venice (Oxford: Blackwell, 1971) and his more 
recent The Jews of Europe and the Inquisition of Venice, 1560-1670 (Oxford: Blackwell, 1983), a social history of 
a maritime port, but strictly speaking neither a maritime nor a naval history, save in the sense that any history of 
a port could be defined as maritime. 

Augusta Molinari, Le navi di lazzaro: aspetti sanitari delVemigrazione transoceanica italiana: il viaggioper mare (Milan: 
Angeli, 1988). 

Although not concerned with naval and maritime history, of some interest is Jonathan Morris, "Italian 
Journals: A User's Guide," Contemporary European History (1992). 

Francesco Lefebvre d'Ovidio, "Politica e strategia britannica nel Mediterraneo, 1936-1939," Storia epolitica 
(1978); "L'ltalia e la conferenza navale di Londra del 1930," Storia epolitica (1978). 

Luigi Carillo Castioni, "I radar industriali italiani. Ricerche, ricordi, considerazioni per una loro storia." Storia 
contemporanea (1987). Rivista marittima had published a series of articles on radar by Ugo Tiberio, but Castioni's 
was the first systematic treatment of the subject. See Ugo Tiberio, Ugo, "Cenni sull'opera della Marina italiana 
nel campo radiotecnico durante la guerra, 1940-1945," "Un ricedisturbatore antiradar italiano del 1942," and 
"Ricordo del primo radar navale italiano," Rivista marittima (1948, 1976, 1976). 


printed Salvatore Bono's article on buying Turkish slaves for papal galleys, and 
the Centre de recherches sur 1'evolution de la vie rurale issued Marie-Claude 
Dionnet's study on the Abruzzi. 

Judging from recent publications in early modern maritime and naval history, 
it would seem that the subject is doing relatively well in Italy. In addition to 
local and regional histories, such as those noted above, there are a number of 
studies on the early modern and late medieval periods. Franco Gay has published 


numerous works on Venetian history, Gino Benvenuti contributed 300 pages on 
the maritime republics to the Quest'Italia series, Raflaella Brunetti and Lorenza 


Mazzino have written a popular history of Genoa's naval leaders, Pierangelo Cam- 
podonico has published works on Genovese mariners in the middle ages and the 
Renaissance, and Cesare Ciano has written excellent monographs on Medicean 
maritime history. A number of works deal with shipbuilding, and a good deal has 
been written on the arsenal at Venice. There are also works on the Venetian 

Salvatore Bono, "Achat d'eclaves turcs pour les galleres pontificales (xvie — xviii siecles)," Revue de 
Voccident musulman et de la Mediteranee (1985). 

Marie-Claude Dionnet, L'Abruzze maritime: un mezzogiomo en evolution (Pisa: Biblioteca del Bollettino 
Storico Pisano, 1986). Also see Terence K. Hopkins and Immanuel Wallerstein, "Capitalism and the 
Incorporation of New Zones into the World Economy," Review (Fernand Braudel Center) (1987). 

For example, Franco Gay, "Fantasticherie galleggianti, splendori e ricchezze delle feste acquatiche 
veneziane," Rivista marittima (1982); "Port Louis, un museo navale nuovo, Una proposta per l'Arsenale 
di Venezia," Rivista marittima (1976); "La campagna navale del 1810-1811 in Adriatico," Rivista Marittima 
(1977); and Le navi delta Marina Militare italiana (Rome: Salomone, 1977). 

78 Gino Benvenuti, Le repubbliche marinare: Amalfi, Pisa, Genova e Venezia: la nascith, le vittorie, le lotte e 
il tramonto delle gloriose cittd-stato die dal Medioevo al XVIII secolo dominarono il Mediterraneo (1989). Also the 
late Angelo Iachino's Le marine italiane nella battaglia di Lepanto (1971), a 48-page volume published by 
the Accademia nazionale dei Lincei. 

RafFaella Brunetti and Lorenza Mazzino, Guerre e guerrieri genovesi (Genoa: D'Amore Editore, 1989). 
Also see Giuseppe Gavotti, Battaglie navali delta Repubblica di Genova (1990). 

Pierangelo Campodonico, Navi e marinari genovesi nell'etd di Cristoforo Colombo (Genova: Edizioni 
Colombo, 1991), and La marineria genovese dal medioevo all'unith d'ltalia (1991). 

Cesare Ciano, Iprimi Medici e il mare: note sulla politica marinara toscana da Cosimo I a Ferdinando I (Pisa: 
Pacini, 1980), and La sanith marittima nell'eth medicea (Pisa: Bollettino Storico Pisano, 1976). 

Franco Gay, Le costruzioni navali nelV Arsenate di Venezia (Rome: Rivista Marittima, 1989); Guglielmo 
Zanelli, L'Arsenale di Venezia (Venice: Centro Internazionale della Grafica di Venezia, 1991); Ugo 
Pizzarello, Pietre e legni dell' arsenate di Venezia (Venice: Cooperativa editoriale l'altra Riva, 1988); Giorgio 
Bellavistis, L'Arsenale di Venezia (Venice: Marsilio Editore, 1983); Romano Chirvi, Franco Gay, Maurizio 
Crovato, Guglielmo Zanelli, L'Arsenale dei Veneziani (Venice: Filippi Editore, 1983); Frederic C. Lane, 
Navires et constructeurs h Venise pendant la Renaissatice (Paris: Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, 1965); 
Cesare August Levi, Navi da guerra costruite nell' Arsenate di Venezia dal 1664 al 1896 (Venice: A. Forni, 
1983), a reissue of an 1892 study; and Renato Fadda, "L'Arsenale di Venezia," Editizia Militare (1983); 
Frederic C. Lane, Navires et constructeurs h Venise pendant la Renaissance (Paris: SEVPEN, 1965); and Bruno 
Caizzi, Industria e commercio della Repubblica Veneta net xviii secolo (Milan: banca Commerciale Italiana, 
1965). Also see Giuseppe Mataluno, "Cenni storici sull'arsenale M. M. di Taranto" Rivista marittima 
(1986), and La Spezia e l'Arsenale MM: mostra storica 1860-1960, 3-21 agosto 1960, Palazzo degli Studi, 
Piazza Verdi: catalogo (1961); and Domenico Sella, Commerci e Industrie a Venezia net secolo XVII (Venice: 
Istituto per la Collaborazione Culturale, 1961). 

Sadkovich 207 

gondola and galley, Mario Murino has examined early maritime law, and 
Giorgio Silvini has analyzed the role of Venice and Portugal in the spice trade. 
There are also, as noted earlier, general surveys and local and regional histories 
of ports such as Triest and maritime provinces like Liguria that run the gamut 

from scholarly monographs of notarial contracts to broad popular surveys 

. • 86 
spanning centuries. 

There are also a large number of museums and local maritime archives in 

Italy, and as Dr. Sullivan has noted, the Universities of Pisa and Rome offer 

naval courses, and the University of Naples has a department of maritime 

sciences. Among the better known museums are the Museo Storico Navale 

Venezia, La Spezia's Museo Tecnico Navale and Genoa's Museo Navale. 

Italians have been a maritime people for centuries, and there are still numerous 

organizations in Italy that concern themselves with naval and maritime affairs. 

Graziella Chiesa Buttazzi, Venezia e la sua gondola (Milan: Gorlich, 1974); Gabriella Cargasacchi, 
Neve, La gondola (Venice: Arsenale Cooperativa Editoriale, 1975); and Giorgio Crovato, Maurizio 
Crovato, and Luigi Divari, Bardie della laguna di Venezia (Venice: Arsenale Cooperatrice Editrice, 1980); 
Guglielmo Zanelli, Silvio Testa, Quirino del Brazolo, Squeraroli e squeri (Venice: Ente Gondola, 1986); 
and Giovanbattista Rubin de Cervin Albrizzi, Bateau e Batellerie de Venise (Lausanne: Edita, 1978). 

Mario Murino, Andar per mare nel Medioevo: le antiche consuetudini marittime italiane (Chieti: Vecchio 
Faggjo Editore, 1988). Also see Riniero Zeno, Storia del diritto marittimo italiano nel Mediterraneo (Milan: 
Giuffre, 1946), and G. Cassandro, "La formazione del diritto marittimo veneziano," Annali di storia del 
diritto (Milan: Giuffre, 1968-69). 
85 Giorgio Silvini, Venezia e Portogallo sulla via delle spezie (1498-1517) (Treviso: TET, 1982). 

For example, Franco Gay, Le navi della Marina militare italiana (Rome: Salomone, 1978); and with 
Elio Ando and Frano Bargoni, Orizzonte mare: il naviglio militare italiano dal 1861 alia 2" guerra mondiale 
(Rome: Bizzarri, 1976), cited by Dr. Sullivan. Also the late Armando Lodolini's heavily illustrated Le 
repubbliche del mare (Rome: Ente per la Diffusione e l'Educazione Storica, 1967). 

The University of Naples has a Dipartimento Scienze Marittime, and the University of Pisa offers 
courses on naval history. 

The museum is located at Riva degli Schiavoni 2148, 30100 Venezia, and its current curator is 
Admiral Carlo Gottardi, who has discussed some of its holdings in his "La Sala svedese del Museo storico 
navale di Venezia," Riuista marittima (1986). 

La Spezia's Museum is operated by the Marina Militare and is located on the Piazza Chiodo, 19100 
La Spezia. 

Genoa's Museo Navale is administered by the Servizio Beni Culturali and is located in the Villa Doria 
on Piazza Bonavino, 16156 Genoa— Pegli. Also, Mario Marzari, "II museo della marineria di Cesenatico," 
Riuista marittima (1986) 119(5); Mostra navale italiana (Genoa, Italy: 1982), 669 pp.; and Mostra navale italian 
(1986); Velieri di Camogli: la quadreria del Museo marinaro "Gio Bono Ferrari" (1981). 

Other museums include (ship models) Museo delle Navi, Via Zamboni 33, 40126 Bologna; Museo 
Storico Navale, Campo S. Biagjo 2148, Via degli Schiavoni, 30122 Venice; (Roman Ships) Museo delle 
Navi, 00049 Nemi; (fishing) Civico Museo del Mare, Via di Campo Marazio 5, 34123 Trieste; (flags) Museo 
Sacrario delle Bandiere della Marina Militare, Vittoriano, Rome; (models, relics, navigation equipment) 
Civico Museo Navale Didattico, Via San Vittore 21, 20123 Milan; (collection on Amalfi's role as a maritime 
republic) Museo Civico, Piazza Municipo, 84011 Amalfi. There is also a naval museum at Imperia. 

Among these are the Centro di Studi sulla Storia della Tecnica at the University of Genoa's Istituto 
di Storia Moderna e Contemporanea, Via Balbia 6, 16126 Genoa; the Instituti Policattedra di Ingegneria 
Navale dell' Univesrsita di Genova, Via Montanello, 16145 Genova; the Associazione Italiana di Diritto 


As noted above, there are relatively few monographs on the Risorgimento, 
and, like Nunzia Elefante's article on the Sardinian navy in 1986 or the pieces 
by Antonio Formicola and Claudio Romano on the Bourbon navy, they 
seem to focus more on the navies of Italian states than on maritime matters. 
Moreover, aside from Ferrante's study of Thaon di Revel, there are few 
biographies and relatively little recent work on the early twentieth century. 
But the lack of biographies does not mean that Italy has had no naval heroes. 
Although such traditional heroes as Andrea Doria spring most easily to mind, 
there are a number of major and minor twentieth-century naval figures, some 
of whom have written memoirs or autobiographies, including Romeo 
Bernotti, Mario De Monte, Oscar di Giamberardino, Angelo Iachino, 
Franco Maugeri, Vittorio Tur, Alfredo Viglieri, and Alberto Da 

Marittimo in Rome, Via Po 1, Palazzo Assitalia; the Istituto Nazionale per Studied Esperienze di 
Architettura Navale, Via Corrado Segre 60, 00146 Rome; the Istituto Italiano per gli Studi Storici, Via 
Benedetto Croce 12, 80134 Naples; The Instituto di Studi Adriatici, 1364-A Riva 7 Martiri, 30122 
Venice; and the Istituto per gli Studi di Politica Internazionale, Palazzo Clerici, Via Clerici 5, 20121 

2 Nunzia Esposito Elefante, "La marina Sarda nella guerra di Crimea," Riuista marittima (1986); 
Antonio Formicola, and Claudio Romano, "L'industria navale nel regno delle due Sicilie sotto 
Ferdinando II," Rivista marittima (1986), and "1860: Marina borbonica ultimo atto," Riuista marittima 
(1984). Also see La marina militare italiana nel 1848 (Rome: Ufficio Storico della Marina Militare, 1948); 
Giovanni Macchi, "La marina italiana a Creta in una operazione multinazionale di fine ottocento," 
Riuista marittima (1985); Arturo Marcheggiano, Arturo, "Le operazioni navali italiane nella prima guerra 
di indipendenza (1848—49)," Riuista marittima (1984); Sante Romiti, Le marine militari italiane nel 
Risorgimento, 1748— 1861 (1950); and Franco Micali Baratelli, La marina militare italiana nella uita nazionale 
(1860-1914) (1983). 

For recent biographies, Paolo Luigj, Andrea Doria (Milan: Editoriale Nuova, 1984). Among earlier 
biographies are Robert Sabatino Lopez, Genoua marinara nel Duecento. Benedetto Zaccaria, ammiraglio e 
mercante (Genoa: 1933), Vol. 17 of the Biblioteca storica Principato series; Alberto Tenenti, Cristoforo 
Da Canal: la marine uenitienne auant Lepante (1962); and Mario Battaglieri, La politica nauale del conte di 
Cauour (1942). And, of course, there are a great many works in Italian and English on Columbus, 
including Kirpatrick Sale's critical The Conquest of Paradise: Christopher Columbus and the Columbian Legacy 
(New York: Knopf, 1990). 

For the minor, Alessandro Caldara, Quelli di sottocastello: cronaca di guerra, 1940-1943 (Milan: Mursia, 
1978); and Dino Selmi, Marb, li ricordi di guerra sul mare, 1940-1943 (Pisa: Giardini, 1977). 

Romeo Bernotti, Cinquant'anni nella Marina militare (Milan: Mursia, 1972); Storia della guerra in 
Mediterraneo, 1940-1943 (Rome: 1960). 

Mario De Monte, Uomini ombra. Ricordi di un addetto al seruizio segreto nauale, 1939—1943 (Rome: 
Nuova Editoriale Marinara Italiana, 1955). Also see Giovanni Roccardi, Gioco d'ala (Rome: Trevi, 1981). 

Oscar Di Giamberardino, La marina nella tragedia nazionale (Rome: Danesi in via Margutta, 1947); 
and La politica bellica nella tragedia nazionale (Rome: Polin, 1945). 

See Dr. Sullivan's paper and footnote 55, above, for Iachino's works. 

Franco Maugeri, From the Ashes of Disgrace (New York: Reynal & Hitchcock, 1948); Ricordi di un 
marinaio: la Marina italiana dai primi del Nouecento al secondo dopoguerra nelle memorie di uno dei suoi capi 
(Milan: Mursia, 1980). 

Vittorio Tur, Plancia ammiraglio (Rome: Editzioni moderne, 1958). 

Alfredo Viglieri, In mare, in terra, in cielo. Vicetide di pace e di guerra (1915-1945) (Milan: Mursia, 1977). 

Sadkovich 209 

Zara. 1 That more biographies are not being done is probably due to the association 
of such figures as Costanzo Ciano and Gabriele D'Annunzio with the fascist 
regime and the tendency of the Italian services to credit units, such as the X Mas, 
rather than commanders, like Julio Borghese, with spectacular performances — a 
tendency that has also created the impression that Italy had no aces during World 
War II. 104 

But while I am not particularly pessimistic with regard to Italy, I am less sanguine 
when contemplating the future of Italian naval and maritime studies in this country. 
Not only does it appear that most Americans, including academics, have little interest 
in the field, but if the Pentagon's budget is cut, surely one of the first things to go, 
aside from low-level personnel, will be the historians. It thus might be worth 
considering ways in which to stimulate interest in naval and maritime studies, and 
by extension, military, diplomatic, and political history, because all of these suffer 
from the same diseases — the hegemony of social history within academics and the 
general indifference to things Italian among the general public, which includes 
publishers and editors. Finding a niche in the curriculum can thus be as difficult 
as finding a publisher in this country. 

One way to promote naval and maritime history is, of course, to recast it as 
social history by rejecting Mahan and embracing Braudel. This, I think, will 

102 Alberto da Zara, Pelle d'ammiraglio (Milan: Le Scie, 1949). 

Ciano and D'Annunzio thus tend to be thought of as subjects for studies on "fascism," not on naval 
or maritime history, and it is reassuring to know that there is a recent biography on Costanzo Ciano. 
For example, Gioacchino Volpe, Gabriele D'Annunzio: L'italiano, il politico, il combattetite (Rome: Volpe, 
1981); Giovanni Rizzo, D'Annunzio e Mussolini: la uerita sui loro rapporti (Rocco San Casciano: F. Cappelli, 
1960); or Ludovico Domenico, Gli auiatori italiani del bombardamento nellaguerra 1915—1918 (Rome: Ufficio 
Storico Aeronautica Militare, 1980), which stresses D'Annunzio impact on air operations, and Giovanni 
Battista Giuriati, Con D'Annunzio e Millo in difesa dell'Adriatico (Florence: Sansoni, 1954). Franco Cordova 
and Michael Ledeen therefore both treated D'Annunzio and the occupation of Fiume in 1919—20 as 
"political" subjects. Similarly, even though he headed the seamen's union, Giuseppe Giulietti has acquired 
a political aura; see his biography, Pax Mundi (Naples: Rispoli, 1945). 

For an example of the tendency to deal with the unit, Maurizio Circi, 30° stormo idrovolanti. Note 
storiche dal 1931 al 1974 (Rome: Ufficio Storico Aeronautica Militare/Bizzarri, 1974); Antonio Duma, 
Quelli del cauallino rampante. Storia del 4° stormo caccia (Rome: Ateneo, 1981); Nino Arena, 50° stormo 
d'assalto (Modena: STEM, 1979); Alberto Borgiotti, 97° gruppo autonomo bombardamento a tuffo 
1940-1941: Sicilia, Balcani, Africa Settentrionale (Rome: Ateneo & Bizzarri). Also Junio Valerio Borghese, 
Sea Deuils, op. cit., also wrote a history of his unit rather than an autobiography. 

This certainly has been my experience. Evidently books on Italy, whether on prostitution in the 
Renaissance or nineteenth-century military policy, do not sell well in this country. As one editor of a 
major publishing house, both of which shall remain anonymous, wrote me regarding a manuscript on 
the Italian Navy during World War II, "surely the obsession with Germany is a correct one" because 
"Anglo— Italian clashes" were "thoroughly unimportant" in the "Battle of the Atlantic." 

For example, Alvarez Javier Guillamon, "Congresso historico: ciudad y mar en la edad moderna," 
Contrastes (Spain) (1985), describes a September 1984 conference in Cartagena that focussed on (1) 
geographical framework and urban development, (2) demography and socioprofessional structures, (3) 
economic bases and productive factors, (4) market and commercial relations, (5) institutional and military 
aspects, and (6) maritime science and techniques. Or one could follow the example of David A. Cappell, 


occur in the field of contemporary naval studies as it has in the field of early 
modern naval and maritime history. Such a shift in emphasis would undoubtedly 
be healthy because it would expand the horizons of those of us who dabble in 
naval and maritime history as well as those of our colleagues who do not. But 
while such a shift will be relatively easy for Italian historians, who are close to 
archival sources, it will be more difficult for those of us who survive by using 
published sources, at least until a solid foundation of published documents and 
monographs on naval and maritime history is available. 

Another way to promote naval and maritime history is to do colonial and 
transnational studies. But this will be difficult, since one of the characteristics of 
naval histories is that they tend to be parochial, and too often hyperbolically 
patriotic, which is certainly one of the reasons that the field is not taken seriously 

1 07 

by many historians. Yet in the case of Italian navies, such an approach makes 
considerable sense, since the essence of Italian naval and maritime history is its 
diversity and the interaction of the navies of Italian states over the centuries with 
each other and with surrounding naval forces, whether Barbary corsairs, Dal- 
matian Uskoks and the Turkish fleet in the early modern period; the French fleet 
and the Austrian navy during the Napoleonic wars and the Risorgimento; or the 


British and Austrian fleet during this century. 

By its very nature, naval and maritime history is part of an international 
political, economic, social, and diplomatic history, and it should not be contained 
within narrow national boundaries but connected to the wider world. Dragan 
ivojinovi has done this for the Dalmatian littoral by focusing on topics as diverse 
as the role of naval officers in the Adriatic during the unsettled period of 1918— 21 
and the relations between Dubrovnik and the American colonies in the late 
1700s. Indeed, cities such as Dubrovnik— Ragusa, Rijeka— Fiume, Split— 

"Shipboard Relations between Pacific Island Women and Euroamerican Men, 1767- 1887 '," Journal of Pacific 
History (1992), and write on such topics as "madamismo" in Italian East African ports and aboard Italian ships. 

For example, the exaggeration of the role played by British submarines in the Adriatic during World 
War I in Paul Kemp and Peter Jung, "Five Broken Down B Boats: British Submarine Operations in 
the Northern Adriatic, 1915-1917," Warship International (1989). 

1 Oft 

For example, Gligor Stanojevi, Senjski Uskoci (Belgrade: Vojnoizdavaki Zavod, 1973); and Alberto 
Tenenti, Piracy and the Decline of Venice, 1580-1615 (London: Longman, 1967), originally published as 
Venezia e i corsari, 1580-1615 (Bari: Laterza, 1961); and Giulio Giacchero, Pirati barbareschi, schiavi e 
galeotti nella storia e nella leggenda ligure (1970), a volume in the Scaffaletto Genovese series. Tenenti dealt 
with Uskoks, Barbary Corsairs, and English, Spanish, Maltese and Florentine pirates. Unfortunately, the 
tendency is to draw a line through the middle of the Adriatic and treat one side as Italian, the other as 
eastern European, e.g., Apostolos E. Vacalopoulos, Constantinos D. Svolopoulos, and Bela K. Kiraly, 
eds., Southeast European Maritime Commerce and Naval Policies from the Mid-Eighteenth Century to 1914 
(Boulder: Columbia Univ. Press, 1988), vol. 23 of the War and Society in East Central Europe series. 
The volume discusses the British, French, Austrian, and even American navies, and policy in the Adriatic 
and on the Danube, but Italy is largely ignored. 

Dragan ivojinovi, Amerika reuolucija i dubrovaka republika, 1 763-1790 (Belgrade: Prosveta, 1976), and 
"The United States and its Unknown Role in the Adriatic Conflicts of 1918-21" (1989), Occasional 
Paper, East European Program, European Institute, n. 15. 

Sadkovich 21 1 

Spalato, Zadar— Zara, Pola— Pula, and Sibenik— Sebenico are as integral to Italian 
history as Trst— Triest, Venice, or Bari, and the Adriatic is as international a sea 
as the Tyrrhennian, Ionian, or Mediterranean. Although the tendency is to 
see the Adriatic as dividing Italy from eastern Europe, it is clear that the sea unites 
the Italian to the Balkan peninsula, and authors as diverse as Paolo Alatri and 
Bernard Stulli have dealt with the connection in one context or another. 

To the extent that the Adriatic, Tyrrhenian, Black, and Red Seas are 
extensions of the Mediterranean, Italian naval and maritime history forms an 
integral part of Italian colonial and imperial history. In a sense, Austrian, Italian, 
French, and Balkan history — whether Turkish, Yugoslav, Greek, or Albanian — - 
are therefore complementary. But while there are studies ranging from the 
expansion of the early maritime empires into the Black sea to the role played by 
the Italian Navy in colonial expansion in Africa in this century, there is a great 
deal that can still be done. For example, to the best of my knowledge, there are 
no comprehensive histories of the Adriatic or Tyrrhenian seas that would 

integrate a variety of approaches over time, as Braudel did almost a half-century 


ago for the Mediterranean. 

Finally, let me note that while relatively few publishers and journals take a 
consistent interest in naval and maritime history, there are a number of journals 

For the Adriatic, its cities, and its fleets, see Lawrence Thomas Sondhaus, Austria and the Adriatic: The 
Development o/Habsburg Maritime Policy, 1 797-1866 (Ph.D., University of Virginia, 1986); Lothar Hobelt, 
"Die Marine," Habsburgermonarchie 1848-1918 (1987); Karl Gogg, Osterreichs Kriegsmarine, 1848-1918 
(Salzburg: Verlag das Berland-Buch, 1967); Roberto Cessi, La Repubblica di Venezia e ilproblema adriatico 
(Naples: 1953); Barisa Kreki, Dubrovnik et le Levant au Moyen Age (Paris: Mouton, 1961), and Dubrovnik 
in the 14th and 15th Centuries (Norman, Okla.: Univ. of Oklahoma Press, 1972). 

111 Paolo Alatri, Nitti, D'Annunzio e la questione adriatica (Milan: Feltrinelli, 1959), and Bernard Stulli, 
"Talijanski historiografija i jadranska irredentizam," Hrvatski Zbomik (1954). Also see Milan Marjanovi, 
Borba zajadran, 1914—1946: Iredenta i imperializam (Split: 1953); Vjekoslav Mastrovi, Kako je svrhna 
okupacija Zadra 1918. godina (Zadar: 1951); and Berislav Viskovi, "Ratna 1943. Godina kao presuda 
forza bitke zajadran," Vojnoistoriski Glasnik (1984); Ferdo ulinovi, Rijeka drava (Zagreb, 1953). 

For example, Kenneth M. Setton, Venice, Austria, and the Turks in the Seventeenth Century 
(Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1991); or Juliette Bessis, La Mediterranie fasciste: I'ltalie 
mussolinienne et la Tunisie (Pairs: Editions Karthala, 1981). Although neither of these is a naval history, 
the interaction of the Mediterranean states makes a transnational approach natural for maritime and naval 

The Italian Foreign Ministry's Comitato per la documentazione dell'opera dell'Italia in Africa 
sponsored a series of studies on the work of the Italian services overseas, including that by Giuseppe 
Fioravanzo and Guido Viti on the navy, L'ltalia in Africa. Serie Storico-militare. Vol. II. L 'opera della marina 
(1868-1943) (Rome: Istituto Poligrafico dello Stato, 1959). But the work is now rather dated. Among 
works on the subject, see Vittorio Giglio and Angelo Ravenni, Le guerre coloniali d'ltalia (Milan: Francesco 
Vallardi, 1942); Luigi Goglia, "Sulla politica coloniale fascista," Storia contemporanea (1988); and E. S. 
Zevakin and A. Penko, "Ricerche sulla storia delle colonie genovesi nel Caucaso occidentale nei secoli 
XIII-XIV," in Miscellanea di Studi Storici (Genoa: Istituto di Medievistica, 1969), vol. I. There have been 
a great number of works published on Italy's colonial policy over the past fifteen to twenty years, but 
they have tended to focus on land operations, economics, and diplomacy rather than maritime or naval 
matters, even though the Navy played a crucial role in the Italian conquests of Libya in 1911-12 and 
Ethiopia in 1935-6. 

21 2 Comments 

that will publish works on naval and maritime history. In Italy, Rivista marittima, 
Bollettino d' Archivio dell'Ufficio Storico delta Marina Militare, Panorama Difesa, Storia 
Militate, and Rivista Italiana Difesa regularly publish articles dealing with naval 
and maritime history, technique, and current policy, as do such organizations 
as Genoa's Istituto Medievistica. Storia contemporanea, Storia e politica, 
Archivio Storico Italiano, Nuova Rivista Storica, Rivista Storica Italiana, Quad- 
erni Stefaniani, and Rassegna Storica della Liguria have also published essays 
on naval and maritime history. In this country, aside from the Naval War College 
Review and the United States Naval Institute Press, there are few outlets for naval 
historians, although, as with major publishers, major journals will publish articles 


on maritime and naval history. In Italy, a handful of editorial houses publish 
the bulk of the books on maritime and naval history, among them Ermanno 
Albertelli, who publishes Bagnasco and others; Mursia, which has published 
Giorgerini; and Edizioni delTAteneo e Bizzarri, which publishes a variety of 
air-naval studies. In this country a major press, such as Johns Hopkins, might 
issue a work like that by Davis on early modern maritime history, but they shy 
away from works on World War II Italian naval history, leaving only Greenwood 


and a few publishing houses in England, like Frank Cass. 

What is needed, it seems to me, is some way to provide more outlets for 
articles on naval and maritime history that are not associated with a service 
institute, and to create an organization that would provide a network for those 
of us interested in the area, even if we teach in such places as Hattiesburg, 
Mississippi where merely keeping up with the literature is an impossible task and 
where beauty pageants, the NFL draft, and the Dixie League are of much more 
immediate interest to most people than naval and maritime history. 

See Ezio Ferrente, La Rivista Marittima dallafondazione ai nostrigiomi. La storia, gli autori, le idee (Rome: 
Rivista Marittima, 1986). My thanks to Admiral Pascazio and Professor Alberto Santoni for calling my 
attention to these publications, some of which Dr. Sullivan has also mentioned. 

Or the Deputazione di Storia Patria per le Venezie, which publishes the Archivio Veneto. 

For example, Cesare Ciano, "Considerazioni sulla disciplina a bordo delle navi mediterranee nel 
XVII secolo," (1987); Franco Gay, "L'Arsenale di Venezia," (1984). Quaderni Stefaniani is published in 


Contemporary European History, the Journal of Strategic Studies, and the Journal of Contemporary History, 
the Journal of Modem History, Economic History Review, and the Journal of European Economic History also 
have published pieces on Italian naval or maritime history. Other possible outlets include, but are not 
limited to journals such as the Mediterranean Historical Review, War & Society, Revue intemationale d'histoire 
militaire, Aeronautical mensile dell 'aviazione italiana, Marine Rundschau, Revue d'histoire de la deuxieme guerre 
mondiale et des conflits contemporains, Archivio storico marina, and The Mariner's Mirror. 

Among other editorial houses that have published works on Italian naval history are Biblioteca del 
Bollettino Storico Pisano (Pisa) and Istituto di Medievistica (Genoa); Harvard Univ. Press; and the 
Istituto Storico Germanico in Roma. But only the Istituto di Medievistica in Genoa has a large list of 
titles, which include the works of Laura Balletto. 


Mark R. Peattie and David C. Evans 

Fifty years ago Alexander Kiralfy, writing about Japanese naval thought, 
asserted that the Japanese "lack interest in waters which do not directly 
concern them." Allowing for a certain degree of wartime ignorance and 
prejudice about the Japanese enemy which he displayed in the article, Kiralfy 
had a point. For reasons that have to do with geography and history, Japan's 
maritime interests throughout its history have been mostly limited to its home 
waters and to those of the northeast Asian littoral. Only for one brief period, 
1940—1945, did those interests stretch as far as the mid-Pacific, southeast Asia, 
and the eastern Indian Ocean. 

This regional focus, or "continental strategy," as Clark Reynolds would have 
it, has meant that modern Japanese naval thought has been subjective, rather 
than objective, concerned with the specific application of the principles of sea 
power to the Japanese case, rather than with the study of sea power as a general 
historical phenomenon about which broad judgments can be drawn. Even the 
most erudite of Japan's modern naval thinkers, Sato Tetsutaro, sometimes 
mistakenly referred to as the "Japanese Mahan," framed his arguments solely for 
a Japanese audience. While the evidence on which he rested his ponderous and 
somewhat mystical On the History of Imperial Defense (1908) was drawn from 
examples of the naval and maritime history of the West, his theoretical point of 
reference was exclusively Japanese. Those lesser Japanese naval writers who 
followed after Sato in the 1920s and 1930s were even more subjective in their 
concerns. In the decade immediately prior to the Pacific War, Japanese naval 
thought, expounded by civilians as well as naval professionals, was essentially 
directed toward the mobilization and increase of Japanese naval power and the 
defeat of the American naval enemy. 

General State of the Field in Postwar Japan 

Given its outcome, it is not surprising that the Pacific War did nothing to 
broaden the Japanese perspective on naval matters and, indeed, in one sense 

Alexander Kiralfy, "Japanese Naval Strategy," in Edward Earle et al., eds., Makers of Modem Strategy: 
Military Thought from Machiavelli to Hitler (New Jersey: Princeton Univ. Press, 1943), pp. 457-84. 

214 Japan 

further narrowed its focus on national concerns. Certainly, any discussion of the 
state of naval history in postwar Japan must begin with the impact of the Pacific 
War on that nation. Not only did that conflict shape the view of the Japanese 
public toward the subject of military history in general, but the nation's defeat 
in that war and the Imperial Japanese Navy's role in it have shaped the concerns 
of those who have been most active in thinking and writing about naval history. 

To begin with, for decades after its conclusion there was a general turning 
away from the rationale for the Pacific War by the majority of the Japanese 
people. Civilian scholars, indifferent if not hostile to operational history, sought 
explanations for Japan's defeat in the nation's pre-war political, economic, and 
social systems. Those who were concerned with the Navy's operational history 
were those former officers who had served in the Navy. But there were 
inhibitions to writing about it publicly, even for those naval professionals, for 
the undeniable fact was that the history of the Japanese Navy ended badly. 
Whatever the early triumphs of the Imperial Japanese Navy, its humiliating 
demise cast a pall of gloom over its story. In the United States, following naval 
victory on two oceans, there were hundreds of thousands of Navy veterans who 
looked forward to reading about the triumphant campaigns in which they had 
taken part. In Japan, a large portion of the potential audience rested at the bottom 
of the ocean and that portion which survived wished largely to forget the trauma 
of war. In the early postwar years, moreover, the existence of the war crimes 
tribunals undoubtedly had a chilling effect on the publications and pronounce- 
ments of anyone who had held a responsible position in either of the two services 
during the war. 

Nevertheless, in the first decades after the war, a small group of former 
Japanese naval officers did begin sifting through the ashes of defeat to study the 
pre-war navy, seeking answers as to how and why it played a leading role in the 
initiation of the war, and how and why it was defeated in the end. With the 
establishment of the War History Office in 1955 as part of the Japanese Defense 
Agency, their central effort, along with that of a number of former Imperial 
Army officers, was channeled into participation in the research and writing of 
what eventually became the official Senshi sosho, (War History Series), more than 
one hundred volumes recounting the activities of both services in the China and 
Pacific wars. Over the course of time, building on their work on the Senshi sosho, 
through books and articles they wrote as individuals, a number of these former 
Navy men-turned historian — Normura Minoru and Seukuni Masao, to name 
two of the most prominent — came to enjoy a solid reputation in the field for 
their firsthand knowledge and for their professional integrity. Other former 
Navy officers not connected with the project have produced important works 
on the war: Chihaya Masataka has written on strategy, 6i Atsushi on antisub- 
marine warfare, and Torisu Kennosuke on submarine operations. It has been by 
the hands of these men that such operational history of the Japanese Navy as 

Peattie and Evans 21 5 

exists has been preserved since 1945. On the whole, their work has been highly 
informative and often usefully analytical. But to much of the academic com- 
munity in postwar Japan, their writings have lacked intellectual rigor, their 
subject matter has been seen as irrelevant, and they have been regarded, 
sometimes unfairly, as apologists for the old navy. 

In any event, what has distinguished the work of these men from that of their 
counterparts in the West has been the absence of personal controversy among 
themselves and of any open professional debate as to the principal naval 
campaigns of the war or as to the reputations of the foremost naval commanders 
who conducted them (some of whom were their direct superiors). In part this 
may be due to the Navy's traditional reputation as the silent service, but more 
importantly, perhaps, to the Japanese cultural tradition which does not en- 
courage the open airing of disputes or assaults on the reputations and character 
of individuals. Nor does it permit a Japanese, no matter how highly placed, to 
claim achievements for himself, a fact that explains the absence of any real naval 
autobiographies of the free-wheeling, now-I-can-tell-it variety known in the 
West. Those autobiographies which do exist are often simply records of long 
interviews conducted at the behest of disciples. There are, of course, dozens of 
detailed biographies, often being the product of committees composed of the 
admirers of the naval figure in question; they too often concentrate on externals 
and the inconsequential. 

Though in the immediate postwar decades the academic community itself, 
by and large, continued to avoid naval history as a suspect field, established 
scholars (political scientists and international relations specialists for the most 
part) and front-rank publishing houses touched upon naval matters in a number 
of major publications. The collections of primary sources like the Documents 
on Modern History [Gendai shi shiryo] (1962—70) and analytical histories such as 
The Road to the Pacific War [Taiheiyo senso e no michi\ (1962—63) contained a wealth 
of information on the Navy and served as departure points for a myriad of more 
specialized studies on the role of the Navy in the modernization of Japan and in 
the origins of the Pacific War. 

In the past several decades, moreover, younger academics, educated after the 
war and thus with no particular bias for or against the pre-war Navy, have begun 
to enter the field. Many have furthered the study of the Navy's involvement in 
the origins of the Pacific War, though their perspective is almost entirely that of 
international relations, domestic politics, or foreign policy. Asada Sadao of 
Doshisha University, publishing in both Japanese and English, has established 
himself as the world's authority on Japan's role in the interwar naval treaty 
system. I to Takashi of Tokyo University has done important work on the Navy's 
actions in politics. Ikeda Kiyoshi of Tohoku University has produced a survey 
history and a set of critical essays on the old Navy. Others have sought to broaden 
the study of the Navy in the Pacific War into such non-operational topics as the 

21 6 Japan 

character and impact of the Navy's administration of those occupied areas 
assigned to the Navy in Southeast Asia. Still others have sought to push back the 
study of their nation's naval history to the Meiji (1868—1912) and Taisho 
(1912—1926) periods, illuminating new aspects of the Navy's history: finances, 
statutes, personnel policies, education, institutions, and other topics which 
reflect, to a certain extent, the "new military history" so much in vogue in the 

The quality of these nonoperational studies is generally good. Yet, what still 
characterizes almost all the study of naval history in postwar Japan, either by 
former naval personnel or by civilian scholars, is that which characterized it 
before the war: its subjective quality, its absolute absorption in the Japanese case. 
Still lacking is any major work in Japanese which has attempted to provide 
observations on sea power with global, rather than just national, implications, 
or any major work that has made wide use of primary sources for a study of the 
naval history of any Western nation (although articles appear on such topics from 
time to time), or any that has sought to place Japanese naval thought and history 
in a comparative context. Until such studies appear, Japanese naval history, for 
all its intrinsic interest and importance, will remain isolated by language and by 
narrowness of perspective, a monologue in what should be a dialogue. 

The public attitude toward Japan's naval past has been ambivalent to say the 
least. On the one hand, books and magazines for the layman relay masses of 
information on the old Imperial Navy, its ships, its planes, and especially its 
exploits during the Pacific War. Some years ago, model kits of the super-bat- 
tleship Yamato were among the top sellers in Japanese toy stores, and a recent 
NHK (government) television documentary series on the Pacific War, which 
featured the major naval engagements in the Pacific, 1941—1945, drew a wide 
audience. On the other hand, any governmental efforts to promote public 
respect or reverence for Japan's military past can be expected to meet stout public 
resistance, particularly from the political left, as witnessed by the heated protests 
over the occasional visits by the Emperor and various Japanese prime ministers 
to Yasukuni Shrine, dedicated to the spirits of Japan's military dead. Indeed, the 
general public acceptance of the present Maritime Defense Force, like the other 
Defense Forces, rests upon the assumption that it is qualitatively different from 
its hugely more prestigious Imperial predecessor. A third element, the most 

In this connection, the authors recall that, on a visit to the First Service School of the Maritime 
Self-Defense Force at Etajima (the site of the prewar Academy) in 1985, they stopped in to view the 
naval museum and were surprised to see at the top of the grand stairway leading into the building a 
triptych of portraits: Togo HeihachirS, Horatio Nelson, and John Paul Jones. Later, when asked what 
sort of message the last portrait was intended to convey to aspiring young Japanese naval cadets, the 
superintendent of the Service School replied somewhat vaguely that it was the duty of the Self-Defense 
Force to instill "a spirit of internationalism" in its graduates. Clearly, it meant that, while Togo was 
sufficiently removed in time to be an acceptable icon to postwar Japanese naval officers, and while the 
addition of Nelson's portrait paid tribute to British tutelage of the Japanese Navy in its infancy, the 

Peattie and Evans 21 7 

conservative band in the Japanese political spectrum, further complicates public 
attitudes toward Japanese naval history. Though small in numbers, its power to 
influence scholarly discourse on military matters is out of proportion to its size. 
While this influence is difficult to gauge with any accuracy, it does appear to 
limit research into topics deemed too delicate, such as the relationship of the 
Imperial family to the pre-war Navy, or too revered, such as the reputation of 
Admiral Togo, to be appropriate subjects for unrestricted scrutiny and discussion. 
The authors have been told by younger Japanese naval historians on more than 
one occasion that foreign researchers are able to write about the Imperial Navy 
in ways that would not be possible for them. Such assertions do not in any way 
imply that contemporary Japanese naval historians have maintained anything less 
than the highest professional standards in their work, but they do indicate that 
Japanese researchers are obliged to be a bit more guarded in their judgments and 
in their choice of subjects than are their counterparts in the West. 

Institutions Promoting the Study of Naval History 

The principal element of the Japanese government involved in promoting 
the study of naval history in Japan is the Japanese Defense Agency, both through 
its instruction at the various service academies (see below) and through the 
research activities of the Military History Department (Senshi-bu, which suc- 
ceeded the War History Office) of the National Institute for Defense Studies. 
Since the completion of the Senshi sosho series, the mission of the Department 
has broadened to include research on military and naval history in general, 
though the thrust of its studies is largely related to Japan and the rest of Asia. 
Though the faculty of the department contributes to scholarly journals outside 
the Defense Agency, the purpose of the department is essentially the training 
and education of members of the Japanese Defense Forces. 

More specifically devoted to the promotion of studies on the former Imperial 
Navy is the Japanese Navy History Preservation Association (Kaigun Rekishi 
Hozonkai), a semi-governmental foundation affiliated with the Defense Agency. 
At present, the main efforts of the association are directed toward the compilation 
of a ten-to-twelve volume narrative history, with substantial appendices, of the 
Imperial Navy. 

Two private institutions promote the study of naval history to varying degrees. 
The larger of these, the Military History Society (Gunjishi Gakkai), was founded 
in 1955 to bring together both scholars and military professionals interested in 
furthering the study of military history in general. While the focus of its interest 
is largely that of land warfare, its regularly published journal, Military History 

inclusion of any Japanese commanders from the Pacific War, such as Yamamoto Isoroku, Ozawa 
Jisaburo, or Nagumo Chuichi, could only create an image problem for the Self-Defense Force. Far safer 
to honor an American naval hero whose combat experience had nothing to do with Japan and whose 
reputation, in any event, was largely unknown to the Japanese. 

218 Japan 

[Gunjisht] occasionally carries articles of naval interest. It is a sign of the slowly 
increasing respectability of military history among Japanese academic circles that 
the Society was admitted as a member of the Science Council of Japan in 1984. 
A smaller institution, The Navy Library (Kaigun Bunko) in Tokyo, is devoted 
entirely to the study of Japanese naval history and its regularly published journal, 
Navy History Research [Kaigunshi Kenkyu], presents articles almost exclusively 
focused on the Imperial Navy and largely based on materials possessed by the 

Resource Collections and Basic Sources 

The library of the Military History Department of the National Institute for 
Defense Studies is a major resource for the study of Japanese military and naval 
history, housing as it does some 25,000 books, 48,000 maps, and 146,000 
documents, of which 33,000 deal with naval matters. The library is essentially 
closed to the public, though limited access is available on a selected basis. The 
Kaigun Bunko, with approximately 30,000 volumes, is somewhat smaller but 
similarly valuable. Public access to the collection is similarly limited and granted 
selectively. The National Diet Library also has a good number of important naval 
works, though these do not comprise a major consolidated collection, nor is 
there a specialist in naval history on the library staff. 

One of the principal difficulties in the study of Japan's modern naval history 
is the dearth of primary sources, at least in comparison to those available in major 
archives in the United States and Western Europe. There are a number of reasons 
for this state of affairs, but none is as critical as the wholesale destruction of files 
and documents by the Japanese military services and civilian government in the 
several days after the Japanese surrender which ended the Pacific War. It is 
regrettable, but inevitable, therefore, that there are numerous issues of major 
importance concerning the Japanese Navy and its plans and operations in the 
China and Pacific wars that will never be resolved or which will be understood 
incompletely because of the absence of adequate documentation. Of course, a 
significant portion of the Navy's records did escape destruction and the compilers 
of the 106— volume Senshi sosho, published from 1966 to 1980 by the Asagumo 
Shimbunsha, have exploited these, supplementing them wherever possible with 
diaries and interviews with former Imperial Army and Navy officers. 

The thirty-three volumes of the Senshi sosho, which are devoted to naval 
matters, therefore, comprise the most detailed, most complete, and most 
authoritative record of the Navy's plans, operations, organization, weaponry, 
strategy and tactics from 1937 to 1945. One can scarcely research any topic 
within these categories as they relate to the Imperial Navy without consulting 
the relevant volumes of the series. Nevertheless the collection not only suffers 
from the usual debilities of official history, but presents a number of problems 
to the serious researcher. A practical difficulty is that the series, like most Japanese 

Peattle and Evans 21 9 

scholarly works, includes neither an overall index nor indexes for any of the 
individual volumes. More serious is the lack of any interpretive or critical 
approach to the subjects treated. This is due partly to the fact that the hundred 
or more compilers of the series, most of them former members of the Imperial 
armed forces, were reluctant to critique the actions of the major commanders, 
most of whom were deceased and many of whom were their own superior 
officers. More importantly, most of those involved in this huge effort in research 
and writing were untrained in historical inquiry and thus frequently became 
absorbed in accumulating enormous detail without being able to stand back and 
ask larger questions of the material which came under their hands, believing, 
perhaps, that great masses of fact would naturally and inevitably yield the truth. 
A final and curious defect in the series is the frequent and unfortunate redundancy 
from volume to volume whereby campaigns and operations are given in 
exhaustive detail from the standpoints of both services, a ghostly echo of the 
traditional rivalry between the Imperial Army and Navy, which reached 
dangerous levels during the Pacific War. 

The Senshi sosho comprise only the largest and best known of the published 
collections which deal, inter alia, with the Japanese Navy. While even a partial 
listing of the histories on specialized naval topics is impossible to provide here, 
by way of example we note the History of Naval Organization [Kaigun seido 
enkaku], originally produced by the Navy Ministry in the 1930s and reissued in 
twenty-six volumes by Hara Shobo (1971—72); the four— volume History of 
Japanese Naval Aviation [Nihon kaigun kokilshi], published in 1969 and compiled 
by veterans of the Japanese naval air service: the History of Shipbuilding in the 
Showa period [Showa zosenshi shi\, a two— volume work published in 1977, of 
which the second volume is devoted to naval construction from the mid— 1920s 
onward; the two— volume study of the Japanese Navy's use of naval fuels [Nihon 
kaigun nenryoshi shi\, published in 1972; and the Showa period social and 
economic history collection of Navy Ministry materials [Showa shakai keizaishi 
shusei: Kaigunsho shiryo], which is now being published by the Daito Bunka 
Daigaku Toy 6 Kenkyujo and contains some important naval documents not 
found elsewhere. When it is completed in 1995, the multivolume history of the 
Imperial Navy by the Hozonkai, mentioned earlier, will undoubtedly be a major 
resource. Finally, we should mention the existence of a number of important 
diaries of leading figures in the prewar and wartime Japanese Navy, including 
those of Kato Kanji, Ishikawa Shingo, Fujii Shigeru, Takagi Sokichi, Nagumo 
Chuichi, and Ugaki Matome, the last of these having recently appeared in an 
English translation. 

With very few exceptions, this material remains untranslated and thus 
inaccessible to those researchers who cannot read Japanese. But gradually, as the 
number of Western-trained Japanese scholars in the field increases, along with 
the number of Western naval historians possessed of Japanese language facility, 

220 Japan 

we in the West will gain a more sophisticated understanding of Japanese naval 

Instruction in Naval History 

Formal study of naval history in Japan is confined to the educational 
institutions of the Defense Agency. 

At the Defense Academy, cadets aiming at a commission in the Japanese 

Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) take several courses that include naval 

affairs, for example, "Technology and War," "Western Military History" and 

"Contemporary Military History." Naval history is the exclusive focus of one 

course, "History of Naval War." A prospectus, echoing Mahan — who enjoys a 

high reputation seemingly undiminished by time and change among JMSDF 

officers - — states that it "examines the influence of sea power on the rise and fall 
of states." Instructors of this course are normally senior JMSDF officers who have 
done a stint as scholars of naval history at the National Institute for Defense 
Studies. In recent years, all have been active scholars. Toyama Saburo, a Pacific 
War veteran and rear admiral, JMSDF (ret.), published an exhaustive study of 
the battles of the Russo-Japanese War and several other books of naval battle 
history. Nomura Minoru, already mentioned in connection with the Senshi 
sosho, wrote on the Navy's role in the politics of the prewar period and many 
other subjects. Hirama Yoichi, the current Professor of Maritime Defense 
Studies, has published on the Japanese Navy in World War I, the influence of 
Sun Tzu on naval thinking, and other topics. 

At the JMSDF Staff School, lieutenants and lieutenant commanders take part 
in seminars on strategic affairs and national security matters. Their work often 
involves naval history, and they often publish their work in the Staff School 
journal, Waves [Hato], though their studies are often of a narrow technical nature. 

Maritime History 

This area of scholarship, in the words of a knowledgeable Japanese informant, 
is "at a low ebb." Why this should be so is difficult to understand, particularly 
given Japan's current position as one of the world's leaders in maritime 
commerce. One reason may be that the professional schools and colleges run by 
the government, at which maritime history might be pursued, have a strictly 
technical and practical curriculum that excludes such "soft" subjects as history. 
This is true of the Maritime Safety (coast guard) Academy, the Marine Technical 

Hirama Yoichi's recent article, "The influence of A.T. Mahan on the Japanese navy" (A.T. Mahan 
ga Nihon kaigun ni ataeta eikyS), Seiji keizai shigaku, no. 320 (February 1993), pp. 29-48, documents 
the continuing popularity of Mahan, who is "still revered as the god of sea power." The most recent 
Japanese translation of The Influence of Sea Power upon History appeared in 1984. Its editor, Kitamura 
Ken'ichi, admiral, JMSDF, Ret., said in an interview with one of the authors (10 June 1986) that Mahan 
was still valid for today provided proper allowance was made for technological advances since Mahan's 

Peattie and Evans 221 

College, the Tokyo Merchant Marine Academy, the Tokyo College of Fishery 
and the Kobe Merchant Marine Academy. The Tokyo Merchant Marine 
Academy sponsors the Japan Nautical Association, which publishes Seafaring 
[Kokai\, but its articles are almost all on technical subjects. 

For many years a private organization, the Japan Maritime History Association 
has published a well-respected journal, Studies in Maritime History [Kaijishi 
kenkyU]. Recently, however, the organization has suffered from lack of funding. 
Further, it shares the parochialism of the naval history establishment in Japan by 
concentrating on Japanese maritime history, primarily that of the early and 
medieval periods. 

One slim hope for maritime history in Japan would seem to be the example 
of the just-married Crown Prince. While at Oxford, Naruhito studied medieval 
river traffic on the Thames. 


Republic of Korea 

Kim 111 Sang 

Ancient Korea was closely tied to the Chinese Empire, and for the people 
of Korea, China represented the external world almost exclusively. As a 
result, Koreans viewed the Korean peninsula as an appendage of the Asian 
continent rather than as a separate entity poised on the sea. Given this landward 
focus, ancient Koreans were not concerned with naval and maritime affairs. This, 
however, does not mean that there was no maritime activity or sea transporta- 
tion. It has, in fact, been demonstrated that intercoastal sea communication 
existed, although limited, as early as 4000 B.C. One example of this activity is the 
body of comb-pattern earthen wares which have been excavated all along the 
Korean peninsula coastline. 

The Kokuryo (37-66 B.C.), Shila (57-935 B.C.) and Paekche (18-660 B.C.) 
empires were all deeply entwined with the Chinese Empire. All three empires 
maintained important and close political and economic relations with the 
Chinese. At the same time, however, these empires failed to develop strong 
naval forces, so their military systems were designed to meet land-based threats 
rather than those from the sea. It is not surprising, then, that Japanese sea pirates 
frequently encroached upon the southern coast of Korea in those lean years of 
the Three Empires. 

In 1592, Toyotomi, then Emperor of Japan, decided to invade the Korean 
peninsula with the intent of changing the international balance of power which, 
until then, had been a hierarchy in terms of power and influence with China at 
the top, Korea in the middle, and Japan at the bottom. In the end, the Shila 
Empire unified the peninsula through the advantage provided by their control 
over the Han River, which facilitated communications with China. After 
unification, a significant development in Korean maritime history was brought 
about by Bo-Ko Chang in A.D. 828. He became a base commander of Wan-Do, 
an island off the southern coast, after serving in the Chinese Army as a general. 
With the security Chang provided on that strategic island, Shilla was able to 
achieve economic growth through international trade and destroy the pirate 

224 Republic of Korea 

In 1231, the Mongols invaded the Koryo dynasty. The King of Koryo resisted 
the usurpation for 30 years by taking refuge on Kwang-Hwa Island. The 
Mongols never completely dominated Korea and, after 30 years conflict, they 
made peace. A number of important factors made this long resistance possible. 
First, Kwang-Hwa island was isolated by the sea and strongly fortified. Addi- 
tionally, the Koreans built combatant vessels of various sizes, some with cannon 
aboard, to enhance the island's defense. Finally, thousands of Koreans were on 
the islands, providing the manpower base to continue the resistance. 

It is interesting to note that, in the process of the peace negotiations, the 
Mongols asked the Koryos to join them in a combined forces to invade Japan. 
The Koreans agreed to this request. Two joint invasion operations failed, 
however, because of bad weather, which the Japanese called Kami-Kaze (God's 
Wind). The first joint invasion force of 1274 consisted of 20,000 Mongol- 
Chinese and 5,400 Koryos in 900 ships built in Koryo. In 1281, the second joint 
invading forces totalled 40,000 men with more than 4,000 ships. 

This mission's failure led the Japanese to believe that Koryo and the Mongols 
were militarily weak. Japanese pirates then increased their encroachment of the 
southern part of Koryo in the fourteenth century. By the end of the Koryo 
dynasty, Japanese pirates had become quite powerful. Koreans living on the 
coastlines began to move inland, and the Korean government had difficulty 
protecting seaborne commerce. This created many problems for Korea. For 
instance, the ancient Korean taxation system was primarily monetary, but an 
important part involved assessments in grain (mostly rice) for government use. 
Typically, the local authorities shipped the grain to the authorities at the Imperial 
Palace by sea. The sea pirates, however, interdicted this trade and contributed 
to the decline of the Koryo dynasty's power. In fact, the failure of the two joint 
invasion operations and the suspension in shipping tax grain were the two most 
important events that led to the Koryo dynasty's collapse. 

The early fifteenth century witnessed a number of significant changes for 
Korean maritime affairs. In 1408, the Lee dynasty consolidated a naval force, as 
the number of vessels increased from 412 to 597, and the number of the sailors 
increased to 49,000. In 1413, the Koryo dynasty invented the turtle ship. In 
1415, 10,000 guns were manufactured. 

In 1592, Toyotomi's Japanese invading forces attacked Pusan and then 
advanced toward Seoul. However, Admiral Soon-Shin Lee recovered control 
of the entire southern part of the sea basin, and swept the enemy from the 
southern part of the coastline except for the Pusan area. Admiral Lee fought 
many sea battles against the Japanese and won every engagement. During the 
Japanese invasion of Korea, the most important sea battles were fought at 
San-Han Myung-Yang and No-Ryang. Admiral Lee was killed in the battle of 
No-Ryang, but in doing so he saved the Lee dynasty, in a manner similar to 

Sang 225 

that of Nelson, who achieved his victory over the French and Spanish at Trafalgar 
three hundred years later. 

By the nineteenth century, a policy of isolation was firmly entrenched in both 
Japan and Korea. In 1853-54, a U.S. naval squadron under command of 
Commodore Perry took an aggressive attitude toward Japan with regard to 
opening that country's ports for trade. Japan, in the end, accepted an open door 

In Korea however, the "open door" came with greater difficulty. In 1866, 
an American merchantman, the General Sherman, was burnt by Pyong-Yang 
officials in Tae-Dong River. The Americans protested this incident on Kwang- 
Hwa island, and a military engagement between the Korean garrison forces and 
five U.S. naval ships ensued. 

In 1875, Japan took coercive action toward Korea in much the same way as 
Admiral Perry had done to Japan before. The Korean peninsula was soon 
occupied by Japan, and an open door policy was adopted under Japanese 

Japan completed the colonization of the Korean peninsula following her 
victory over China in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894. In 1904, Japan soundly 
defeated the Russian Navy in the Russo-Japanese War. One of the most 
important reasons for this important victory was the Japanese occupation of the 
Chinhae Bay of Korea. Later, Japan started building a naval base at that location. 
This Japanese decision is significant because it later turned out to be one of the 
critical naval bases supporting Japanese military operations in the Pacific during 
World War II. 

Today, the geopolitical position of Korea is similar to that of 1890-1910 in 
Alfred T. Mahan's terms. It occupies a strategically central position. Korea's 
strategic importance as a peninsula surrounded by the four major powers, U.S., 
Russia, China, Japan, has remained significant even in the post-Cold War period. 

It is unfortunate that most Korean universities and colleges do not cover the 
naval and maritime history, with the exception of the Naval War College. Most 
of them consider naval and maritime history only in connection with other, 
independent aspects of the nation's history. 

The Naval War College does cover the history of war at sea, naval tactical 
and strategic thought in the context of sea power and history of sea power. 

The Naval Academy, on the other hand, has a system similar to civilian 
universities and consists of departments of various engineering, management, 
oceanography and international relations. The department of international 
relations is divided into international politics and military history. The school 
curriculum does provide a history of sea war in the third year of study. The 
National Defense College and its post-graduate school cover the history of sea 
power the and tactical and strategic thought of the great leadership. 

Naval and maritime history is also considered in other courses as follows: 

226 Republic of Korea 

The Korea Maritime University provides post-graduate education in 
Maritime Industry and the College of Science provides degrees in maritime and 
social science. 

The Mokpo Merchant Marine Junior college has departments in navigation, 
engineering, and communication. 

The National Fisheries University of Pusan has colleges of sciences, engineer- 
ing, humanities-social science, as well as a post-graduate school of industry. 

The Che Ju National University consists of colleges of humanities, law, 
economic-commercial, agriculture, oceanography, natural science and en- 

Editor's note: Very little writing on Korean naval and maritime history is available in English, but 
see the references in various volumes of The Cambridge History of Japan (Cambridge: Univ. Press, various 
years); G.M. Hagerman, "Lord of the Title Boats," U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings 93 (1967), pp. 
67-75; Edward D. Rockstein, "Maritime Trade and Japanese Pirates: Chinese and Korean Responses 
in Ming Times"; Asian Pacific Quarterly of Cultural and Social Affairs, vol. 5, no. 2 (no year given), pp 
10-19, and Sang-woon Jeon, Science and Technology in Korea: Traditional Instruments and Techniques 
(Cambridge: MIT Press, 1974). 

On U.S. naval affairs, see Frederick C. Drake, The Empire of the Seas: A Biography of Rear Admiral 
Robert Wilson Shufeldt, USN (Honolulu: Univ. of Hawaii Press, 1984), chapters 13-14: "The Opening 
of Korea, 1881-1882," and the Korean War (1950-53) sources listed in Barbara A. Lynch and John E. 
Vajda, United States Naval History: A Bibliography (Washington: Naval Historical Center, 1993), p. 74. 

Professor Kim is Chairman of the Maritime Policy and Strategic Studies Department of the Korean 
Naval War College. He is a 1957 graduate of the Korean Naval Academy, and a captain (retired) in the 
Korean Navy (ROK). 

The Netherlands 

Jaap R. Bruijn 

Historians always look back. That is their profession. Naval and maritime 
historians are no exception to that rule, and the same is certainly true 
for historiographers. Hence, there is a feeling of being completely at sea when 
asked to write an outline o£ the present status of naval and maritime history 
in the Netherlands. While the present status has its history, which is 
worthwhile telling, there is a reason for feeling hesitant about the subject: 
the suggested dichotomy between naval and maritime history. In the 
Netherlands, that dichotomy is nonexistent. For this reason, the Dutch 
historiography which I will now examine refers only to sea history or to 
maritime history. 

The Founding Period: A Private Interest 

During the seventeenth century, the contemporary was aware of the impor- 
tance of the Dutch activities at sea. A surprisingly high number of books were 
published about the exploits at sea, which were always assured of wide readership 
and were often reprinted. The discovery of the sea route to Asia and the 
subsequent voyages of the East India Company were treated by I. Commelin in 
1645. The year before, in 1644, a director of the West India Company, J. de 
Laet, published the history of his company, year-by-year, based on archival 
sources. The biographies of at least three admirals were written soon after their 
deaths. G. Brandt's Life of Admiral De Ruyter, containing data drawn from the 
admiral's papers and letters, became famous. Books on less spectacular topics 
such as the whaling industry and the mechanisms of the Amsterdam staple 
market were published as well. More or less the same happened in the 

I. Commelin, Begin ende voortgangh van de Nederlantsche geoctroyeerde Oost-Indische Compagnie, 2 vols. 
(Amsterdam: 1645). 

J. de Laet, Historie qfte jaerlijck vethael van de verrichtinghen der geoctroyeerde West-Indische Compagnie (Leiden: 

G. Brandt, Het leven en bedrijfvan den heere Michiel de Ruiter (Amsterdam: 1687). Further, A. Montanus, 
Het leven en bedrijf van den doorluchtigen zeeheldt Johan van Galen (Amsterdam: 1654) and n.n., Leven en 
bedrijfvan den vermaarden zeeheld Cornelis Tromp (Amsterdam/Haarlem: 1692). 

C.G. Zorgdrager, Bloeijende opkomst deraloude en hedendaagsche Groenlandsche visscherij (The Hague: 1727) 
and J. le Moine de l'Espine and J. le Long, Den Koophandel van Amsterdam (Amsterdam: 1719; 3rd ed.). 

228 The Netherlands 

shipbuilding industry. Most of these works that were written by interested 
contemporaries can to a great extent be considered the entirety of history books 
written until the nineteenth century when a survey study of the history of the 
Dutch at sea was published. It was written by the head of the General State 
Archive, J.C. de Jonge and entitled The History of Dutch Marine Affairs, in ten 
volumes, published between 1833 and 1848. Marine affairs, according to De 
Jonge, were the 'faits et gestes' of the navy. This connotation stayed alive for 
more than a century and was used by later historians as well; the most famous 
example is J.E. Elias' Sketches from the History of our Marine Affairs, six volumes 
dealing with the Eighty Years' War (1568-1648), published between 1916 and 
1930. Marine affairs were naval affairs. Other 'wet' matters were considered 
different and belonged, though not explicitly, to the field of economic history. 
De Jonge's study was and still is a landmark. It describes in great detail the 
naval activities from the sixteenth to the early nineteenth century and is based 
upon original material, much of which was burned in a fire in the Ministry of 
the Navy in 1844; hence, the study's irreplacable value. Around 1870 de Jonge's 
work was followed by that of J.J. Backer Dirks. A teacher of naval history at the 
Royal Naval College of the Dutch Navy, he devoted four volumes to the Dutch 
Navy and included its exploits in the East Indies up to his own time; he created 


a still useful, though old-fashioned reference book. 

During the same period the study of "non-naval" marine affairs was en- 
couraged by competitions held by learned societies, which resulted in two 
excellent books on the history of early Dutch whaling and the fishing industry. 
The prize winners were a young lawyer, later an archivist, S. Muller Fzn, and 
an economist, later a professor, A. Beaujon. A remarkable event in 1874 was 
the opening of a maritime museum in a yacht club at Rotterdam. The heart of 
the exposition was a collection of about two hundred models of nineteenth- 
century ships. The underlying idea was to stimulate the public's interest in 
seafaring in general. The display was in chronological order and it dealt with the 
mercantile marine, the navy, and fishing. 

New developments took place in the first three decades of the twentieth 
century when several naval officers, secondary schoolteachers, and a few private 

N. Witsen, Aeloude en hedendaegsche scheepsbouw en bestier (Amsterdam: 1671) and C. van IJk, De 
Nederlandsche scheepsbouwkonst opengestelt (Amsterdam: 1697). 

J.C. de Jonge, Geschiedenis van het Nederlandsche zeewezen, 10 vols. (The Hague: 1833—1848); also 
the annotated second edition in 5 vols. (Haarlem: 1858-1862). 

J.E. Elias, Schetsen uit de geschiedenis van ons zeewezen, 6 vols. (The Hague: 1916-1930). 

J.J. Backer Dirks, De Nederlandsche zeemagt in hare verschillende tijdperken geschetst, 4 vols. (Rotterdam: 

S. Muller Fzn, Geschiedenis der Noordsche Compagnie (Utrecht: 1874) and A. Beaujon, Overzicht der 
geschiedenis van de Nederlandsche zeevisscherijen (Leiden: 1885). 

L.M. Akveld, "De Watersport-Prins," in Ph.M. Bosscher a.o., Prins Hendrik de Zeevaarder (Naarden: 
1975), pp. 91-107. 

Bruijn 229 

scholars took a keen interest in the naval side of the Dutch Golden Age 
(seventeenth century) and in the discoveries of the Arctic and in the East. These 
people, who came to know each other, published and joined forces in founding 
the Linschoten Society in 1908 and the Scheepvaartmuseum at Amsterdam in 
1916. Like the Hakluyt Society, the Linschoten Society started editing original 
descriptions of sea and land voyages — in practice, nearly always late sixteenth 
and early seventeenth-century sea voyages — producing a new volume each year. 
The only person who looked at the social aspects of seafaring was the archivist 
J. de Hullu. He wrote a substantial number of handsome articles on life on board 
Dutch East Indiamen in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Until the 
1970s he would remain an exception. 

Academic Recognition 

During the Interbellum, the leading person was the retired naval ofticerJ.C.M. 

Warnsinck. He published several well-written monographs, based upon good 

historical insight and archival research in combination with nautical knowledge. 

His great interest was in admirals, naval campaigns and battles. He also made sea 

history, as it was then called, academically fashionable. Professor P. J. Blok, 

prominent historian of the University of Leiden, obtained Warnsinck's advise 

about his biography of Admiral De Ruyter, published in 1928. Academic 

recognition was realized in 1933. In that year the Royal Academy of Sciences 

founded the Committee for Sea History, with Warnsinck as its secretary, who 

also became an unsalaried university lecturer at the University of Amsterdam, 

and four years later at Leiden too. In 1939 at the Univerity at Utrecht, a special 

1 9 
chair for the history of marine affairs was created for him. 

The Committee for Sea History was very active and was instrumental in 

getting several good monographs published, amongst which were a few Ph.D. 

theses. Only two exceptions challenged the then unwritten rule that the topics 

deal with seventeenth-century naval history. The publications of the foreigner, 

C.R. Boxer, strengthened this trend. During the years of the German 

occupation, 1940-45, books on naval history of the seventeenth century were 

popular. The same was true for studies on the early period of the Dutch presence 

in Asia. The history of fishing or overseas trade, let alone social or institutional 

aspects of marine affairs, were hardly studied. 

J.R. Bruijn and J. Lucassen, eds., Op de schepen der Oost-Indische Compagnie. Viff artikelen van J. de 
Hullu (Groningen: 1980). 

For a short sketch of Warnsinck and also J.E. Elias, see: Biografisch Woordenboek van Nederland, vol. 

I (The Hague: 1979) and vol. II (The Hague: 1985). 

i "\ 

On C.R. Boxer, see the introduction to the third Dutch editon of his The Dutch Seaborne Empire: 

Het profijt van de macht (Amsterdam: 1988). 

14 For example: J. H. Kernkamp, De handel op den vijand 1572-1609, 2 vols. (Utrecht: 1931-1934); M. 

Simon Thomas, Onze IJslandvaarders in de lie en 18e eeuw (Amsterdam: 1935) and, though older, J.E. 

Elias, Het voorspel van den Eersten Engelschen oorlog, 2 vols. (The Hague: 1920). 

230 The Netherlands 

Warnsinck died in 1943, but academic recognition of sea history was soon 
continued. In 1946 the university at Leiden appointed former naval officer and 
professional historian T.H. Milo, professor of colonial history and the history of 
marine affairs. Milo's Ph.D. topic had broken with the seventeenth-century 
tradition. It dealt with a Dutch naval expedition during the French Revolution- 
ary wars. Milo focussed his research interest on two projects: 1) the edition of 
documents on late sixteenth-century naval administration and campaigns, and 
2) a study of the Dutch Navy during World War II. Meanwhile a few of 
Warnsinck's students continued publishing. Abroad, Boxer was joined by C. 
Wilson in his interest in Dutch history. The Dane, K. Glamann, was the first 
(foreign) student who did serious research into Dutch trade with Asia in the 
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. 

A Difficult Period (c. 1955-1975) 

The future looked bright for sea history during the early fifties. There were, 
however, symptoms of gloom. Milo's lectures always attracted a reasonable 
number of students, but very few of them started research of their own. Both 
of Milo's two projects failed. In 1960, after his sudden death, no obvious 
successor was available. His chair was abolished. The Committee for Sea History 
of the Royal Academy of Sciences had no manuscripts suitable for publication. 
Volume 13 appeared in 1955, and it would be fifteen years, before volume 14 
was published. Up till then, publication of yearbooks and special exhibitions had 
stimulated directors and staff of the two great museums at Rotterdam and 
Amsterdam to jot down the results of their investigations. That custom lapsed 
into disuse. 

In 1961 two former students of Warnsinck, R.E.J. Weber and Miss A.M.P. 
Mollema, who were worried about the status of sea history, founded the 
Nederlandse Vereniging voor Zeegeschiedenis (Dutch Society for Sea History). 
At the start they collected sixty members. A newsletter was published. The new 
society also acted as a national subcommittee of the recently founded Commis- 
sion Internationale d'Histoire Maritime. 

The society was well and enthusiastically received, and its membership 
increased rapidly. Nevertheless, the situation remained difficult. The great 
majority of the members only took an amateur's interest in the past, though in 
their professional life they were often actively involved in the shipping busi- 
nesses. Those members seldom published, and professional sea historians were 
scarce indeed. Despite this handicap, the newsletter slowly increased in scope 

T.H. Milo, Degeheime onderhandelingen tusschen de Bataafsche en Fransche Republieken van 1 195 tot 1 191 
in uerband met de expeditie van schout bij nacht E. Lucas naar de Kaap de Goede Hoop (Den Helder: 1942). 
On Milo see Biograftsch Woordenboek van Nederland, vol. IV (The Hague: 1994). 

C. Wilson, Profit and power; a study of England and the Dutch wars (London: 1957) and K. Glamann, 
Dutch-Asiatic trade 1620-1140 (The Hague: 1958). 

Bruljn 231 

and quality of content. The variety of topics became vast. And, not in vain, at 
its inaugural meeting the society stipulated that sea history was more than naval 

1 7 

history. Dutch historians in general took a growing interest in economic and 
social aspects of centuries other than the seventeenth. That line was folio wed by 
the society and its biannual publication. 

Although the time period of sea history that was being studied was broadened, 
naval and maritime history were artificially separated in 1972. The tables, 
however were now reversed. In that year, the Historical-Scientific Commission 
of the Royal Academy of Sciences began an investigation into the status of 
historical research. It proclaimed sea history a field of its own, dealing with social 
and economic aspects of seafaring. Naval history was attached to military history, 
and the historical department of the Navy, founded in 1946, was considered its 
main representative. 

Revitalization (c. 1975-present) 

De Jonge's interpretation of marine matters as identical with naval matters 
definitely belonged to the past. And in the mid and late seventies some important 
developments took place, which resulted in a revitalization of the study of sea 
history as a natural entity. 

Perhaps all-important were the conception, writing and publication of a 

1 Q 

four-volume Maritime History of the Low Countries between 1974 and 1978. All 
volumes had the same structure, and the dividing lines for periods were 
innovative: c. 1585, c. 1680, and c. 1850—70. The approach was thematic. Each 
volume started with chapters on ships and shipbuilding, ports, shipowning, 
seafarers, and navigation. Next came the operational chapters on the five 
different Dutch branches of seafaring: the mercantile marine in Europe and 
outside Europe (mainly Asia and the Americas), fishing, whaling, and the Navy. 
An annotated bibliography was added to each chapter. Lacunae were indicated. 
Right from the beginning it was obvious that such a book could be written only 
by a team of authors. To prevent delays in time, no author was asked for more 
than two chapters; thirty-seven authors committed themselves. Most of them 
got to know each other, and this often proved fruitful in later days. All chapters 
in a volume were read in draft by all authors contributing to that volume. The 
Maritime History of the Low Countries was well received and several thousand of 
the four-volume set were sold, to the delight of the publisher as well as the 

The new handbook, which included the Netherlands as well as Belgium, 
made any idea about a dichotomy between naval and maritime history obsolete. 

1 7 

Mededelingen Nederlandse Vereniging voor Zeegeschiedenis, vol. 1 (1961), p. 6. 

Rapport over de huidige stand en toekomstige planning van het wetenschappelijk onderzoek der Nederlandse 
geschiedenis (Amsterdam: 1974), pp. 7, 33-5 and 126-38. 

Maritieme Geschiedenis der Nederlanden, 4 vols. (Bussum: 1976-78). 

232 The Netherlands 

The five branches of seafaring have their common base in the chapters on ships, 
seamen, navigation, and administrators. Only their operations are different, 
having their own characteristics. Since that time the teaching of maritime history 
has been structured along this concept. 

A second development in the seventies occurred at the universities. The 
democratization of the Dutch society made an academic education possible for 
larger sections of the population. The enrollment of students overall increased 
enormously, as it did in the departments of history. Lectures and research 
seminars in sea or maritime history at the university at Leiden also got their share 
of this students' boom. At Leiden, a lectureship in maritime history had been 
created in 1968, followed by a readership in 1977, and three years later converted 
into a chair. From 1978, a steady stream of completed Ph.D. theses in maritime 
history began to flow. 

A third development was the growing internationalization of the study of 
maritime history. The International Commission for Maritime History (the 
French name disappeared when M. Mollat's initiative became widely accepted) 
held a conference every five years, bringing together scholars from different 
countries. Their attention always focussed on one well-prepared theme. Also, 
general trends in the study of history at-large could no longer escape the maritime 
historian's notice. Smaller international meetings became popular, where staff 
members of universities, research institutes, and museums discussed one special 
topic or period. The International Commission for Maritime Museums and its 
meetings also stimulated wider cooperation. 

Factor number four in revitalizing the world of Dutch maritime historians 
was the Dutch Society for Maritime History. Its membership increased vastly 
and reached about five hundred around 1980. But its journal, in particular, 
became the vehicle for an exchange of research products. The original newsletter 
was transformed into a proper journal with articles, book reviews, and a 
bibliography. In 1982 the name was changed from Communications to Journal for 


Maritime History. The bibliography had become so vast and elaborate that 
journals abroad republished sections of it. 

Summing up the main trends of the past fifteen to twenty years, one can 
observe, firstly, that the four-volume Maritime History of the Low Countries 
functions as a book of reference and a starting point for most research. Secondly, 
more students of maritime history with an academic background are now 
available. Thirdly, Dutch maritime historians actively participate in international 

One of the first students was Frank J. A. Broeze, who in 1971 was invited to start a course in maritime 
history at the University of Western Australia (Nedlands). His Ph.D. degree was awarded at Leiden in 
1978. The author of this article was appointed to the Leiden-positions. 


Mededelingen Nederlandse Vereniging uoor Zeegeschiedenis vol. 1-27 (1961-73) quarto, vols. 28-43 
(1974-81) octavo; Tijdschrift voor Zeegeschiedenis vols. 1 (1982) in two issues per year (vol. 13, first issue 
has just been published). 

Bruijn 233 

organizations and meetings, and fourthly, the Journal is being offered so many 
manuscripts that its editorial board can be very selective. Special issues have 
become possible. 

The Present Organizational Status 

Those who are interested in maritime history in the Netherlands, one might 
safely say, are members of the Dutch Society. At present, about 650 members 
are registered. The Journal is considering three issues per year. The financial 
means have grown. Publishers' advertisements and flyers are holding the costs 

The wide range of maritime museums — the two great ones at Rotterdam and 
Amsterdam plus a variety of specialized or regional ones — -all restrict themselves 
firstly to the preservation and exposition of artifacts of all kinds. For the major 
museums, which are highly dependent on state or municipal funds as well as 
activities that raise sponsorships, increasing the number of visitors to museums 
has become top priority. Sometimes an occasional lecture is organized in relation 
to a special exhibition. Museum publications are rare indeed, though the 
Shipping Museum at Amsterdam has re-established its former tradition of 
publishing a yearbook with object-related articles. The regional museum at 
Sneek in Friesland never abandoned that good tradition and is, incidentally, not 
afraid to publish an M.A. thesis or an article of wider importance. The libraries 
in the museums also keep manuscripts and regularly attract research students. By 
and large, however, one must say that Dutch maritime museums do not function 
as active centers of research. 

As to the actual teaching of naval, and nowadays maritime, history, the Royal 
Naval College at Den Helder has the oldest tradition. All naval cadets must take 
a short course in history. This same requirement existed in the nineteenth 
century, though naval battles then did not have to compete with social structures. 
Teaching the history is a part-time job and in the past seldom fulfilled by one 
person for a long period. The most renowned teacher was Backer Dirks, the 
author of the nineteenth century handbook. A well-known teacher in the sixties 
and seventies was Ph.M. Bosscher, who finally wrote a three-volume history of 
the Dutch Navy in the second World War, the work his former professor, T.H. 
Milo, had only started. In 1980 the position of naval history at the college was 
strenghtened by the appointment of G. Teitler as professor of strategic studies. 
His main research interest being in the strategic position of the Navy in the 
former Dutch East Indies. 

J.C.M. Warnsinck's appointment at the universities at Amsterdam, Leiden, 
and Utrecht in the thirties only had a sequence at Leiden with a chair in maritime 

Jaarboek Fries Scheepvaartmuseum en Oudheidkamer. See for example, G. Groenhof, "De N.V. Friesche 
Kofscheepsrederij (1839-1859)," in Jaarboek 1989, pp. 46-115. 
23 Ph.M. Bosscher, De Koninklijke Marine in de Tweede Wereldoorlog, 3 vols. (Franeker: 1984-1990). 

234 The Netherlands 

or sea history. No other university created facilities for teaching maritime history. 
In 1992, however, FJ.A.M. Meijer, senior lecturer in ancient history, was appointed 
extra-ordinary professor of the Maritime History and Archaeology of Classical 
Antiquity at the university of Amsterdam. To my knowledge Meijer is the first 
professor combining history and archaeology in teaching and research. 

The academic staff for maritime history at Leiden university includes one full 
professor and a half-time senior lecturer, F.S. Gaastra, and a few research 
students. The teaching is at several levels and is always optional for students. An 
introductory lecture course is in two parts, one dealing with the seventeenth 
and eighteenth centuries, the other with the modern time, each for two hours 
during twelve weeks. Point of reference for this course is the Maritime History of 
the Low Countries, but the scope is also international: British, American, and 
German aspects are treated as well. A short introduction into archival work is 
also included in the course (often the reading of early modern ship logs), plus 
visits to two maritime museums to discuss museum policy with staff members. 
An oral exam based upon the course work and some additional reading 
completes this course. The number of students per part differs annually, but is 
mainly in the range often to twenty. Each year there are also thematic classes, 
often given by research students. Such a class studies the literature and printed 
sources on one general theme as, for instance, the modernization of the 
nineteenth-century navy, mutinies, passenger transport or naval administration 
in the sixteenth century. These classes take two weekly hours during twelve 
weeks, and the student must write a paper. Research is done in special seminars, 
one or two per year. A seminar is twenty-four weeks long. The main body of 
the research material has to be investigated in the archives; research papers always 
bring new information. The themes vary greatly, from the Dutch whaling 
industry after the Second World War and the shipping policy of the Dutch 
Trading Company (NHM) to the careers of East India captains and the lives of 
fishermen's wives. The number of participants is always between eight and 
sixteen. A lecture course of twelve weeks on a broad theme was begun in 1989, 
and it is open to students as well as to interested people from outside the 

Individual research work is done for the M.A. thesis and the Ph.D. degree. 
The topic is the student's choice or as advised by the staff. The M.A. thesis is 
supposed to take at least six months and is the last piece of work before leaving 
the university. Work for the Ph.D. degree does not require enrollment and is 
done either in one's private time or in the scarce position of research student for 
which one has to apply. The supervision is on on a personal but regular basis, 
though groups of Ph.D. students meet together in bimonthly sessions; about 

FJ.A.M. Meijer, Een duik in een zee van bronnen. Oude Geschiedenis vanafde bodem van de Middellandse 
Zee, inaugural address 30 March 1993 (Amsterdam: 1993); see Warnsinck, note 12. 

Bruijn 235 

twenty dissertations are in preparation, a few even abroad. The topics deal with 
the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries. 

The research potential can be divided into three categories. The greater part 
of original research is from the Ph.D. students and from the staff members at 
Den Helder, Leiden and some other universities. Next is the group of amateur 
maritime historians who devote their leisure time to their favorite topics. They 
are not very numerous, but the share of those with an academic background is 
increasing. There is, however, a third, not yet mentioned category of researchers: 
the academic staff of the department of Maritime (!) History at The Hague. This 
department of the Naval Staff of the Ministry of Defense is committed to 
stimulating research and publications on the Navy, publishing its own in first 
instance. Though the production has not yet been particularly impressive, the 
department's potential promises well. 

This gets us straight on to the last organizational aspect: the publishing 
facilities. In 1985 the Department of Maritime History at The Hague substan- 
tially enhanced these facilities by starting the publication of a series of books 
called Contributions to Dutch Naval History. Volume 6 was published in 1992. 
In 1972 the Committee for Sea History of the Royal Academy of Sciences 
resumed its publications. Volume 18 appeared in 1990. The Linschoten Society 
never stopped its activities and continues editing descriptions of sea and land 
travels: volume 92 in 1993. Even more important is the interest in maritime 
history demonstrated by several publishing houses, an interest that tends to shift 
from one house to another over the course of time. In the seventies De Boer 
Maritiem was a prolific publisher, but was forced to give it up. In the eighties, 
other smaller ones took over: De Bataafsche Leeuw, Walburg Press, Van Wijnen 
and Verio ren, for example. They have published many a Ph.D thesis as a 
monograph. Modern equipment and the heigtened birth of one-man publishing 
houses has facilitated the printing of manuscripts — an asset for young scholars 
who want to have their dissertations published. 

Production and Trends 

The days of naval campaigns and discoveries as the most favored topics in 
maritime historiography have long gone. The study of maritime history now 
figures in the study of history as an academic discipline. Therefore, it is regularly 
being influenced by new ideas about the relevant approaches of the past. 
Economic, social and institutional aspects are studied as well as mental and 
technical ones. Statistics are common features in many publications. These 
aspects also permeate the publications of some amateur historians. 

The production over, say, the past twenty years has been carefully registered 
in the extensive bibliography in each issue of the Communications (later the Journal 


The Dutch name is: Bijdragen tot de Nederlandse Marinegeschiedenis. 

236 The Netherlands 

for Maritime History of the Dutch Society). Dutch titles are intermingled with 
foreign ones. A quantitative approach to the production is feasible, but I rather 
prefer to point out the main trends of the publications, which cover the early 
modern and modern periods evenly. The sixteenth century and the Middle Ages 
have received less attention than later periods. 

The general themes which cross the ages and trades are ships, ports, navigation 
and seamen. As to ships, there were hardly any typically Dutch, apart from the 
fluyts. Hence the focus in Dutch publications is more on shipbuilding: ship 
carpenters' guilds by R.W. Unger, the East India Company dockyard at 
Amsterdam by J. Gawronski, nineteenth century-naval engineers and innova- 
tions by J.M. Dirkzwager and A. A. Lemmers. Shipbuilding was also an 
important industrial activity in the late nineteenth and twentieth century. Most 
shipyards have now gone. Their rise and fall have been studied neither for the 
industry as a whole nor for any of the main yards. Some archives have been saved 
from destruction. The demise of the major shipyards around 1980 has been 
investigated by a parliamentary commission and has produced huge files of 
documentation, on government interference in particular. Financial problems 
in the 1980s surrounding the construction of submarines had the same very 
attractive opportunity for historians. As to the Navy, the history of their 
dockyards from the late sixteenth century to the present day is mainly a blank. 

Ports and port cities have not been studied intensely. CM. Lesger set a fine 
standard in 1990. He studied Hoorn in the early modern times, regarding this 
port city as part of a network and central location system. J. P. Sigmond published 
a handsome survey of the planning and digging of smaller and greater harbors 
from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries. For ports in the modern period, some 
studies of a different nature have become available; for instance, two monographs 
on post-Second World War labor relations in the port of Rotterdam and the 
cooperation between international liner shipping, stevedoring, and road haulage 
industry at Rotterdam in the container era. Two articles deal with Rotterdam's 
tariff policy and Amsterdam's efforts to invest in its infrastructure before World 
War II. Social and financial aspects of seamen's lives in port cities were also 

R.W. Unger, Dutch Shipbuilding before 1800 (Assen/Amsterdam: 1978); J. Gawronski's book on 
wrecks of East Indiamen and shipbuilding at Amsterdam in the 1740s will be published in 1994; J.M. 
Dirkzwager, Dr. B.J. Tideman 1834-1883. Grondlegger van de modeme scheepsbouw in Nederland (Leiden: 
1970) and some recent articles from his hand in the Tijdschrift voor Zeegeschiedenis; A. A. Lemmers is 
preparing a Ph.D. thesis based on the huge collection of late 18th and 19th century naval models and 
instruments, kept in the Rijksmuseum at Amsterdam. 

27 Enquete Rijn-Schelde-Verolme (RSV), Tweede Kamer, vergaderjaar 1984-1985, 17817, no. 16. Het 
Walrusproject. Besluituorming en uituoering, Algemene Rekenkamer September 1985. 

CM. Lesger, Hoom ah stedelijk knooppunt. Stedensystemen tijdens de late middeleeuwen en vroeg modeme 
tijd (Hilversum: 1990); J.P. Sigmond, Nederlandse zeehavens tussen 1500 en 1800 (Amsterdam: 1989); E. 
Nijhof, "Gezien de dreigende onrust in de haven. . . ." De ontwikkeling van de arbeidsverhoudingen in de 
Rotterdamse haven 1945-1965 (Amsterdam: 1988); H. van Driel, Samenwerking in haven en vervoer in het 
containertijdperk (Rotterdam: 1990); A.H. Flierman, '"This much too high retribution.' Municipal 

Bruijn 237 

touched upon. The evolution and transformation of modern port cities, as 
entities has not yet been tackled. 

The art of navigation, the education of it, the maps and the instruments have 
been carefully studied by C.A. Davids, G.G. Schilder, and W.FJ. Morzer Bruyns; 
their results have been widely published. The main developments and many 
details are now known for the early modern period, not only for European and 
Atlantic waters, but also for the Indian Ocean. Navigational education during 
the nineteenth and twentieth centuries was the theme of a special issue of the 
Journal in 1985. Elly Decker introduced research into the influence of 
astronomers on the development of navigation technology. This side of 
maritime history during the modern period requires specialized knowledge. 

The fourth and last general theme regards the seamen, popular since the 1970s. 
It was started in the eighteenth century with studies of naval and East Indian 
personnel. It was mainly quantitative: total numbers, geographical origins, and 
wages. Pay and muster rolls provided the information. Not only the officer, but 
also the common seaman was of interest. The relevant chapters of the Maritime 
History of the Low Countries presented estimates of the labor force employed by 
all seafaring branches. In the early eighties, studies of a more qualitative nature 
began to be published. It is likely that a reissue of J. de Hullu's innovating articles 
on life on board East Indiamen had a stimulating effect. Davids wrote about 
music and songs on board sailing vessels, mutinies were studied, and P.C. van 
Royen published a book on the social side of the mercantile marine around 
1700. Seamen's unions also came into the picture and the same is true of social 

harbour fees and the competiviness of the port of Rotterdam 1900-1940," and M. Wagenaar, 
"Amsterdam harbour between 1850" and "1940: from national focus to regional prop," both in L.M. 
Akveld and J.R. Bruijn (eds.), Shipping Companies and Authorities in th 19th and 20th Centuries (The 
Hague: 1989), pp. 87-106 and 107-24 resp. 

M.A. van Alphen, "The Female Side of Dutch Shipping: Financial Bonds of Seamen Ashore in the 
17th and 18th Centuries," in J.R. Bruijn and W.FJ. Morzer Bruyns, eds., Anglo-Dutch Marine Relations 
1700-1850 (Amsterdam-Leiden: 1991), pp. 125-32; J.R. Bruijn, "Seamen in Dutch Ports: c. 1700-c. 
1914," in Mariner's Mirror, 65 (1979), pp. 327-38. 

The most important publication is C.A. Davids, Zeewezen en wetenschap. De wetenschap en de 
ontwikkeling van de nauigatietechniek in Nederland tussen 1585 en 1815 (Amsterdam-Dieren: 1986), an 
extensive bibliography included. For later publications see the Joumafs bibliography. Further, E. Dekker, 
"Frederik Kaiser en zijn pogingen tot hervorming van 'Het sterrekundig deel van onze zeevaart,'" in 
A. de Knecht-van Eekelen and G. Vanpaemel, eds., Met zicht op zee. Zeewetenschappelijk onderzoek in de 
Lage Langen na 1800 (Amsterdam: 1990), pp. 23-41. 

31 J.R. Bruijn, "Dutch Men-of-War: Those on board c. 1700-1750," in Acta Historiae Neerlandicae: 
Studies on the History of the Netherlands, vol. 7 (The Hague: 1974), pp. 88—121; idem, "De personeelsbehoefte 
van de VOC overzee en aan boord, bezien in Aziatisch en Nederlands perspectief," in Bijdragen in 
Mededelingen Geschiedenis der Nederlanden 91, 1976, pp. 218—48; for a correction, see K.L. van 
Schouwenburg's articles in Tijdschrifi voor Zeegeschiedenis 7 (1988), pp. 76-93 and 8 (1989), pp. 179-86. 

C.A. Davids, Wat lijdt den zeeman al uerdriet: Het Nederlandse zeemanslied in de zeiltijd (1600-1900) 
(The Hague: 1980); P.C. van Royen, Zeevarenden op de koopvaardijvloot omstreeks 1700 (Amsterdam: 
1987); J.R. Bruijn and E.S. van Eyck van Heslinga, Muitery. Oproer en berechting op schepen van de VOC 
(Haarlem: 1980). For de Hullu, see note 11. 

238 The Netherlands 

legislation. The medical side did not escape the maritime historian's attention 
either. Research into a number of detailed aspects is making good progress. 
Time is almost ripe for overview monographs for each branch of seafaring. One 
thing, indeed, has become clear: the background of seamen differed with each 
branch. A seaman did not switch between the Navy and the mercantile marine, 
as was the case for his British colleagues. The traditional influx of foreign labor 
on Dutch ships made the situation even more complex. The theme of seamen 
suits an international comparitive approach: numbers, level of wages, and 
movement of labor. 

Coming now to the five different branches of seafaring, one can establish that 
two have been studied intensively in the recent past: the whaling trade and the 
East India Company (in Dutch: VOC). The Dutch played a prominent role in 
early whaling in the Arctic. At its peak (1721), nearly 260 ships were involved. 
The South- African economic historian C. de Jong wrote a good, though not 
easily accessible survey of two centuries of Dutch whaling (the 17th and 18th). 
A.M. van der Woude integrated the whaling industry into the social, economic 
and demographic structure of the northern part of the province of Holland. P. 
Dekker studied the careers of several masters of whaling vessels. Innovative, 
because of its multi-disciplinary approach, is L. Hacquebord's study of the first 
Dutch whaling activities and settlements on Svalbard in the first part of the 
seventeenth century. He puts the numbers of vessels involved into the right 
perspective and proves that new patterns in whaling were caused by climatical 
changes. FJ.A. Broeze has demonstrated why the Dutch failed to participate in 
nineteenth-century whaling in the Southern Hemisphere. The post- World War 
II activities in the Antarctic have also been studied. Further whaling research 
will probably serve only to refine the available knowledge. 

The story of research into the VOC is an interesting one. In the sixties, Dutch 
society in general did not want to be reminded of its colonial past in Asia. 
Colonial history was out of date. In the early seventies, however, interest in the 
maritime aspects of the VOC was regenerated by the university at Leiden and 

J.M.W. Binneveld and F.S. Gaastra, "Organisatie en conflict van een vergeten groep," in Economisch- 
en Sociaal-Historischjaarboek 35 (1972), pp. 303-23; J.R. Bruijn, "Marinevakbonden tussen wereldoorlog 
en muiterij (1914-1933)," in Tijdschrift voor Zeegeschiedenis 9 (1990), pp. 135-57; A.E. Leuftink, Harde 
heelmeesters: Zeelieden en hun dokters in de 18e eeuw (Zutphen: 1991). 

C. de Jong, De geschiedenis van de oude Nederlandse walvisvaart, 3 vols. (Pretoria: 1972-1979); A.M. 
van der Woude, Het Noorderkwartier (Wageningen: 1972); FJ.A. Broeze, "Whaling in the Southern 
Oceans. The Dutch Quest for Southern Whaling in the Nineteenth Century," in Economisch- en 
Sociaal-Historischjaarboek 40 (1977), pp. 66-112; WJJ. Boot, De Nederlandsche Maatschappij voor de 
Walvischvaart (Amsterdam: 1987); J.R. Bruijn, "De Nederlandse Maatschappij voor de Walvisvaart, 
1946-1967," in Economisch- en Sociaal-Historischjaarboek 48 (1985), pp. 233-57. For Dekker's articles 
see the bibliography of the Communications between 1970 and 1979. 

A study on Dutch whaling in Davis Strait is prepared by J.R. Leinenga (University at Groningen). 

J.R. Bruijn, F.S. Gaastra and I. SchofFer, Dutch-Asiatic Shipping in the 17th and 18th Centuries, 3 vols. 
(The Hague: 1979-1987). C.R. Boxer's The Dutch seaborne Empire 1600-1800 (London: 1965) was 

Bruijn 239 

the discovery of some shipwrecks. New insight about frequency of sailings, 
numbers of people on board and those who died, and duration of the voyages 
even reached the newspapers. It made the VOC fashionable, which then also 
became an item for museums. Replica's of East Indiamen were constructed. 
Reports of the discovery of more wrecks and the auction of their cargoes 
sometimes reached the world press. Recently it was decided that the VOC will 
be boosted as a cultural and tourist asset of the Netherlands! Meanwhile, 
historical research continues and is resulting in a number of Ph.D. theses and 
books. F.S. Gaastra is the expert at large on the history of the VOC. The 
overall picture of the maritime aspects is now considered to be complete, apart 
from the intra- Asian shipping and trade of the company. A second generation 
of Ph.D. students is well on its way, dealing with more detailed topics like the 
transport of mail, medical care, the effects of malaria, and social life on board. 
The maritime activities have also been put in a wider, comparative context. 

Of the three remaining branches of seafaring, the fisheries have been studied 
the least. H.A.H. Kranenburg's analysis of the early modern herring and cod 
fishery of 1946 has not been matched by the study of other kinds of fishery. 
There are, of course, a number of popular or local publications, but from a 
scholarly point of view the catch is small. The early period has hardly been dealt 
with. Promising, however, is a forthcoming book on the fisheries in the Meuse 
estuary in the first half of the seventeenth century. The economic and social 
aspects of the modern period (c. 1860—1940) have been given a bit more 
attention. A new development is the interest taken by cultural-antropologists in 
seafaring communities. 

translated and had several reprints. 

P. Marsden, The Wreck of the Amsterdam (London: 1974); C.J.A. Jorg, The Geldermalsen. History and 
Porcelain (Groningen: 1986); J. Gawronski a.o., Hollandia Compendium. A Contribution to the History, 
Archeology, Classification and Lexicography of a 150-foot Dutch East Indiaman, 1740-1750 (Amsterdam: 1992). 
38 F.S. Gaastra, Bewind en beleid by de VOC 1672-1702 (Zutphen: 1989); E.S. van Eyck van Heslinga, 
Van Compagnie naar koopuaardij. De scheepvaartverbindingen van de Bataafse Republiek met de kolonien in Azi'e 
1795—1806 (Amsterdam: 1988) and I.G. Dillo, De nadagen van de Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie 
1783—1795. Schepen en zeevarenden (Amsterdam: 1992). 

F.S. Gaastra, De geschiedenis van de VOC, first edition Bussum: 1982, second Zutphen: 1992). A short 
survey in English is E.M. Jacobs, In pursuit of pepper and tea. The story of the Dutch East India Company 
(Zutphen- Amsterdam: 1991). The inventory of the Company's archive was printed in 1992. 

J.R. Bruijn and F.S. Gaastra, eds., Ships, Sailors and Spices. East India Companies and their Shipping in 
the 16th, 17th and 18th Centuries (Amsterdam: 1993). 

H.A.H. Kranenburg, De zeevisscherij van Holland in den tijd der Republiek (Amsterdam: 1946). 

R.D. van der Vlis, "Friese haringvisserij in de zeventiende en achttiende eeuw," in It Beaken 50 
(1988), pp. 345-62; R.T.H. Willemsen, Enkhuizen tijdens de Republiek (Hilversum: 1988), chapter II. 
A. P. van Vliet's study will be published in 1994. 

See the special issue "Holland en de Visserij" of Holland, Regionaal Historisch Tijdschrift 16 (1984). 
For the communities see R. van Ginkel, Elk vist op zijn tij. Een Zeeuwse maritieme gemeenschap, Yerseke 
1870-1914 (Zutphen: 1991) and his study of Texel, Tussen Scylla en Charybdis (Amsterdam: 1993). 

240 The Netherlands 

Much more research has been done into the mercantile marine. A com- 
prehensive survey, however, of the different European trades in the early modern 
period is not available and is difficult to write. No register like that of British 
shipping has ever existed; shipownership and the exploitation of ships can only 
be studied per single ship. There is no equal to Ralph Davis' The Rise of the 
English shipping Industry in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (1962). One 
book, however, explains lucidly the practice of shipownership at the end of the 
early modern period. That is FJ.A. Broeze's De Stad Schiedam, complete with 
the texts of many documents. It has been estimated that about 1 ,750 ships were 
used in the seventeenth century and about 1,500 in the eighteenth century. 
Other estimates provide the number of seamen employed in the European trades 
at around the year 1700. The best studied trade is the Russian, apart from the 
Baltic which can always rely on the Sound Toll Registers. The other trades are 
hardly known in general or in detail. As to Dutch shipping in the Atlantic 
Ocean, the slave trade is covered by J. Postma's already classic survey. Research 
on eighteenth century African and Caribbean trade is in progress. The biggest 
shipowner and merchant in the early nineteenth century, Anthony van 
Hoboken, has found his biographer. Privateering belongs to warfare as well as 
to commercial shipping. Its size and its economic, legal, and administrative 
aspects have been studied in detail for the War of the Spanish Succession and 
more generally for the Second and Third Anglo-Dutch Wars. Sources are there 


for other wars, the Eighty Years' War in particular. 

For the later periods of steam navigation and other means of ship propulsion, 
a variety of studies have been published, but there has been no survey. The one 
ship company had almost completely disappeared and the incorporated com- 
panies came into existence. If one needs a survey of all major and middle-sized 
companies, chapters 6 and 7 in the Maritime History of the Low Countries, volume 

FJ.A. Broeze, De Stad Schiedam. De Schiedamsche Scheepsreederij en de Nederlandse vaart op Oost-Indie 
omstreeks 1840 (The Hague: 1978). 

Van Royen, Zeevarenden op de Koopvaardijvloot om streeks 1 700. 

J.V.T. Knoppers, Dutch Trade with Russia from the Time of Peter I to Alexander I. A Quantitative Study 
in Eighteenth Century Shipping, 3 vols. (Montreal: 1976) and P. de Buck, "De Russische uitvoer uit 
Archangel naar Amsterdam in het begin van de achttiende eeuw (1703 en 1709)," in Economisch- en 
Sociaal-Historisch Jaarboek 51 (1988), pp. 126-93. Further studies by De Buck and J.Th. Lindblad and 
other authors in three bundles: The Interactions of Amsterdam and Antwerp with the Baltic region, 1400-1800 
(Leiden: 1983), W.G. Heeres a.o., From Dunkirk to Danzig. Shipping and Trade in the North Sea and the 
Baltic, 1350-1850 (Hilversum: 1988) and J.Ph.S. Lemmink and J.S.A.M. van Koningsbrugge, Baltic 
Affairs. Relations between the Netherlands and North-Eastem Europe 1 500- 1 800 (Nijmegen: 1 990) . A whole 
survey of Dutch trade is, of course, J.I. Israel's, Dutch Primacy in World Trade 1585-1140 (Oxford: 1989). 
47 J.M. Postma, The Dutch in the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1600-1815 (Cambridge: 1990); B. Oosterwijk, 
Koning van de Koopvaart: Anthony van Hoboken, 1756-1850 (Rotterdam: 1983). 


J.Th.H. Verhees-Van Meer, De Zeeuwse Kaapvaart tijdens de Spaanse Successie oorlog, 1702-1713 
(Middelburg: 1986); J.R. Bruijn, "Dutch Privateering during the Second and Third Anglo-Dutch 
Wars," in The Low Countries History Yearbook 1978: Acta Historiae Neerlandicae 11 (1979), pp. 79-93. 

Bruijn 241 

4, will help as well as B. Oosterwijk's, Op een koers for the more recent decades. At 
the level of the one single company, J.N.F.M. a Campo's study of the Royal Packet 
Company in the East Indies is voluminous but brilliant. He combines the study of 
the development of a network of liner services within the archipelago and with the 
outside world, foreign competition, and colonial state formation into one book. 
There is also a many-sided book on the Zeeland Company, dealing with cargo and 
passenger traffic between Holland and Britain; a comparable study is available for 
the Rotterdamsche Lloyd around 1900. Further research in this field would be 
welcome. Diaries or memoirs in printed form from captains of the shipping industry 
are very rare indeed. Most valuable are the diaries of Ernst Heldring covering the 
first four decades of the twentieth century. The memoirs of D.A. Delprat for some 
later decades are rather disappointing, still keeping his own council. The Royal 
Shipowners' Association, the expression of the need amongst shipowners of closer 
cooperation in their relations with trade unions and the increasing numbers of 
national and international rules, has been studied. A new approach of the shipping 
industry is the financing of the Rotterdam maritime sector after World War II. 
Traditional is Bezemer's study in three volumes of the role and fate of the mercantile 
marine in that war. The hinterland is vital for the Dutch economy. The transpor- 
tation of goods over the rivers has received attention for only the nineteenth 


As to the Navy, there are two modern surveys, one for the early modern and 
the other for modern times. Not only the 'fairs et gestes,' but also the naval 
administration, officers, crews, and ships are treated, though in a different degree 


of detail. The focus on battles and campaigns has gone. Only one article was 
dedicated to the fighting tactics during the Anglo-Dutch Wars, other studies are 
more interested in strategical and tactical planning of the defense of the East 
Indies in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. By and large, however, one 

B. Oosterwijk, Op een koers. Nedlloyd (Rotterdam: 1988); J.N.F.M. a Campo, Koninklijke Paketvaart 
Maatschappij. Stoomvaart en staatsvorming in de Indonesische archipel 1888—1914 (Hilversum: 1992); P. W. 
Klein and J.R. Bruijn, eds., Honderd jaar Engelandvaart. Stoomvaart Maatschappij Zeeland. Koninklijke 
Nederlandsche Postuaart nu, 1875—1975 (Bussum: 1975); F. de Goey, ed., Vaart op Insulinde. Uit de 
beginjaren der Rotterdamsche Lloyd NV, 1883-1914 (Rotterdam: 1991). For a recent merger see H. van 
Driel, Een verenigde Nederlandse scheepvaart. De fusie tussen Nedlloyd en KNSM in 1980-1981, een 
bedrijfshistorische analyse (Rotterdam: 1988). 

50 J. de Vries, ed., Herinneringen en dagboek van Ernst Heldring 1871-1954, 3 vols. (Utrecht: 1970); D.A. 
Delprat, De reeder schrijft zijn joumaal (The Hague: 1983); A.H. Flierman, "Het centrale punt in de 
reederswereld. " De Koninklijke Nederlandse Redersvereniging. Vijfenzeventig jaar ondememingsorganisatie in de 
zeevaart (Bussum: 1984). 

P.Th. van Laar, Financieringsgedrag in de Rotterdamse maritieme sector 1945—1960 (Amsterdam: 1991); 
K.W.L. Bezemer, Geschiedenis van de Nederlandse Koopvaardij in de Tweede Wereldoorlog, 3 vols. 
(Amsterdam: 1986-1990); H.P.H. Nusteling, De Rijnvaart in het tijdperk van stoom en steenkool, 
1831-1914 (Amsterdam: 1974). 

52 J.R. Bruijn, The Dutch Navy of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (Columbia, S.C.: 1993); G.J.A. 
Raven, ed., De Kroon op het anker: 175 jaar Koninklijke Marine [1813-1993] (Amsterdam: 1988). 

R.E.J. Weber, "The Introduction of the Single Line Ahead as a Battle Formation bv the Dutch. 

242 The Netherlands 

observes that most attention has been given to the twentieth century. The 
research policy of the historical branch of the Navy has been successful. The role 
of the Navy in the Second World War has been described, as well as many naval 
activities in the period after 1945. The equivalent of the American Waves are 
at present being studied. The relations between Navy and society have been 
analyzed as to the failed introduction of a Navy law in 1923 and a spectacular 
mutiny in 1933. The early modern period has been given a comparatively less 
generous share of attention. Some biographies of naval officers have been 
published — most extensive is one of Admiral J. H. van Kinsbergen. There is, of 
course, more: a study of the Dutch naval side of the Glorious Revolution of 
1688, for example, and not to be forgotten, a nice analysis of the phenomenon 
of the Sea Beggars around 1570. 

One can easily describe the lacunae and research opportunities in naval 
history. Naval finances have not yet been placed in a wider context. The 
structure of the naval administration needs more attention as well as the study 
of some important administrators. The same is true of the officers' corps as such. 
The leading scientific role of naval officers in the eighteenth and nineteenth 
centuries is quite remarkable. Several technical innovations were then instigated 
by the Navy. The structure and development of a naval base like Amsterdam, 
Flushing, and Den Helder in particular, have not yet been dealt with. In some 
of these directions research is already in progress. 

A Balance 

When comparing the past fifteen to twenty years with the period after the 
Second World War, the balance in all respects is more favorable for the recent 
span of time. The amount of publications is greater and more varied in kind and 
topic. In general, all the fashionable points of view in history are present: from 
political to social and cliometric. Maritime history books are reviewed in the 

1665-1666," in Mariner's Mirror 73 (1987), pp. 5-19; G. Teitler, Anatomie van de Indische defensie. 
Scenario's, plannen, beleid 1892-1920 (Amsterdam: 1988); G. Teitler, De strijd om de slagkruisers 
(Amsterdam: 1984); G. Jungslager, Recht zo die gaat. De maritiem-strategische doelstellingen terzake van de 
verdediging van Nederlands- Indie in de jaren hvintig (The Hague: 1991). Teitler is the most productive 
author in this field. To keep in touch with his publications requires careful consultation of the 
bibliography in the Tijdschrift voor Zeegeschiedenis, to which I refer for most other naval history books 
and articles. 

Ph.M. Bosscher, De Koninklijke Marine in de Tweede Wereldoorlog. See also j.J.A. Wijn, ed., Tussen 
vloot en politiek: lOOjaar marines taf 1886-1986 (Amsterdam: 1986). 

' H.J.G. Beunders, Weg met de Vlootwet! De maritieme bewapeningspolitiek van het kabinet-Ruys de 
Beerenbrouck en het succesvolle verzet daartegen in 1923 (Bergen: 1984); J. C.H. Blom, De muiterij op de Zeven 
Provincial. Reacties engevolgen in Nederland (Bussum: 1975). 

A. van der Kuijl, De Glorieuze overtocht. De expeditie van Willem III naar Engeland in 1 688 (Amsterdam: 
1988); J.C.A. de Meij, De Watergeuzen en de Nederlanden, 1568-1512 (Amsterdam: 1972); R.B. 
Prud'homme van Reine, Jan Hendrik van Kinsbergen (1735-1819): admiraal enfilantroop (Amsterdam: 

Bruijn 243 

leading historical journals and also in national newspapers and magazines. The 
Journal of Maritime History shows quality and is not lacking manuscripts submitted 
for publication. A difference between naval and maritime history does not exist. 
Ideology is an unknown word and does not permeate any kind of debate. The 
three academic staff members of the historical department of the Navy have a 
scholarly past in maritime history, if one uses this term in the American 

The present group of maritime historians is bigger than ever before. The staffs 
of museums have been enlarged, in Amsterdam and Rotterdam in particular; 
their output in the shape of scientific publications, however, is small. There are 
no more than a total of six to seven historians attached to universities, the naval 
academy, the naval historical department; although that is certainly a number 
that would be unbelievably high for earlier generations. Their scholarly output 
is considerable. One may fear a growing discrepancy between museum and 
academic institutions in this respect. The aims of the present policy of the 
ministry of culture, to which most museums belong (and not to that of 
education), is to reach the general public in an effort to have well-visited 
exhibitions. The best that one can hope for at the moment is the preservation 
of good library and research facilities. Gratifying is the fact that a considerable 
number of Ph.D. students are involved in maritime history, broadening the 
group of scholarly trained maritime historians. 

Plans for research do exist, but only on a small scale. In general, the personal 
preference for a subject is decisive. The interest of the established scholars is 
regularly guided away from their own research by (international conferences 
and commemorations of events of national historic importance. At times one is 
inclined to think of a superabundance of those events. Dutch maritime historians, 
as far as I have observed, bear a fair share of that burden. They do not do research 
into non-Dutch topics, though well aware of foreign publications. It was a long 
time before they published in a language other than Dutch, but several books 
and articles are now available in English. International contacts have boosted this 

Periods and aspects which have lacked attention belong to the later Middle 
Ages, the sixteenth century, and plus the fisheries. A survey of the mercantile 
marine would be welcome. The results of the excavation of shipwrecks should 
be better incorporated in historical research. New information can be expected 
from the archive of the Zeeland auditor's office for the early modern period 
which is presently being inventoried and from the files of the nineteenth century 
Dutch Trading Company (NHM). The soon to be introduced "twenty year- 
rule" for governmental and local administration records (instead of closing them 
for fifty years) will offer greater opportunities for contemporary research. There 
is sufficient vitality amongst young and older Dutch maritime historians to 
exploit both the forthcoming and the already existing opportunities. 

New Zealand 

Ian McGibbon and Gavin McLean 

As an island state in a vast ocean, New Zealand has always had a strong 
relationship with the sea. It was colonized by people who sailed long 
distances across the ocean, first, Polynesians who began arriving more than a 
thousand years ago, and later Europeans, mainly from the British Isles, for whom 
the voyage to the antipodes was often one of months-long hardship and 
deprivation. The economy which these people developed was — and remains — 
uniquely dependent on seaborne trade. New Zealanders have traditionally been 
conscious, moreover, that any direct threat to their security must come from 
across the sea. The importance of New Zealand's maritime environment has 
been enhanced by the resource management measures associated with the 
establishment of exclusive economic zones. New Zealand's zone, proclaimed in 
1978, is one of the largest in the world. 

At times, New Zealanders have been inspired by visions of maritime greatness. 
This was especially so during the heyday of the British Empire, when British 
naval and maritime predominance seemed part of the natural order. Some saw 
New Zealand, in time, emulating its British mentor. William Massey, the 
imperialist-minded Prime Minister from 1912 to 1925, for example, was apt to 
proclaim New Zealand's future naval greatness. That these aspirations have gone 
largely unfulfilled is less surprising than that New Zealanders have tended 
increasingly to take for granted the sea and its importance to their well-being. 

New Zealand's economy has been characterized by its supply of a narrow 
range of unprocessed primary products to markets that are a great distance from 
its shores. At first, wool held pride of place, but the introduction of refrigerated 
ships in the 1880s allowed a diversification of the nature, if not the direction, of 
New Zealand's overseas trade. The ability to transport meat and dairy products 
to the other side of the world helped transform the pattern of farming in New 
Zealand. While the direction of its trade has shifted as the assured British market 
has disappeared, New Zealand remains as dependent in 1993 upon the free flow 
of its produce across the seas as it did in 1893. Because of its limited industrial 
base, it was — and is — equally dependent upon the import by sea of a great range 
of commodities and goods. 

246 New Zealand 

New Zealanders were, from an early stage, engaged in a range of maritime 
activities, including shipbuilding, though inevitably on a small scale. Shipping 
companies were founded by enterprising capitalists, usually with the backing of 
British capital. Two companies were especially important — -the New Zealand 
Shipping Company established in Christchurch in 1873 and the Union Steam 
Ship Company established in Dunedin in 1875. The former competed on the 
United Kingdom-New Zealand route, while the latter came to dominate the 
New Zealand coastal and inter-colonial shipping scene. Both were taken over 
by the British P&O group during the First World War. Small, locally based 
companies continued to operate in a coastal role in the first three-quarters of 
this century. The fishing industry in New Zealand was generally small scale and 
at a subsistence level until the late 1970s when the establishment of the exclusive 
economic zone brought new attention to local fishing resources. Fishing's 
importance to the New Zealand economy has been greatly enhanced in the last 
twenty years. 

The vital importance of New Zealand's sea trade routes ensured that maritime 
activities would play a significant role in its affairs, even if ownership of the 
shipping lines upon which it depended lay outside New Zealand hands. The 
rapid turnaround of shipping demanded attention to port facilities and cargo 
handling. Periodically union activities on the waterfront have caused major 
disruptions, notably in 1890, 1913, and 1951. Governments, conscious of the 
adverse economic impact of the resulting hiatus in cargo flow, have often reacted 
strongly during such disputes. In 1951, even troops were deployed on the 
waterfront to work the cargo ships. More recently, attention has been focused 
on resource management. The need to monitor and control the operations of 
foreign fishing vessels has placed the spotlight on New Zealand maritime policing 
capacity, primarily the responsibility of the Royal New Zealand Navy. 

For more than a century, the British connection dominated New Zealand's 
naval activities even more completely than it did general maritime activities. The 
Royal Navy was deeply involved in New Zealand's establishment as a colony 
of the British Empire. It was Captain James Cook, RN, who took possession of 
the country on behalf of the British Crown, and another British naval officer, 
Captain William Hobson, RN, who not only signed the Treaty of Waitangi 
with Maori chiefs in 1840 but also became the new colony's first governor. 
British naval vessels were involved in operations in New Zealand during the 
conflict over land issues of the 1860s. Moreover, New Zealanders regarded the 
Royal Navy as their shield against invasion or attack by potential external 
enemies and as an essential protector of the trade routes upon which they 
depended for their economic well-being. When that shield was threatened, they 
were prepared to make financial contributions to its sustenance, culminating in 
the gift of a battle cruiser to the Royal Navy in 1909 as well as financial 

McGibbon and McLean 247 

contributions towards the construction of the Singapore Naval Base between 
the world wars. 

Within this framework, a small New Zealand naval force emerged, initially 
as a Division of the Royal Navy. Established in 1913, the New Zealand Naval 
Forces were heavily dependent on the Royal Navy for both ships and personnel. 
This reliance had not been significantly lessened when, in 1941, the New 
Zealand Division was reconstituted as the Royal New Zealand Navy. The 
provision of British officers for senior and technical posts remained of vital 
importance to the viability of the force for another twenty years. British influence 
within the RNZN's higher command was also considerable, with the last British 
officer not leaving the New Zealand Naval Board until 1966. 

Since cutting the painter with the Royal Navy, the RNZN has survived with 
difficulty. Whereas in the early days New Zealand borrowed warships from the 
Royal Navy, paying only for their maintenance and upkeep, the RNZN today 
is faced with the capital charges of replacing warships. This has caused political 
problems, which were especially evident when New Zealand and Australia in 
the late 1980s developed a joint project to build a series of frigates for their navies. 
By participating in the construction of the so-called ANZAC frigates, New 
Zealand is deriving spin-off economic benefits. In particular, its languishing 
shipbuilding industry has been given a shot in the arm. Nevertheless, opposition 
within New Zealand has been substantial. Lulled by their sense of isolation from 
the world's trouble spots, many New Zealanders no longer consider their 
country's naval defence a significant problem, requiring prudent long-term 
planning and diversion of resources from other, socially oriented activities. Two 
vessels only are scheduled at present, with options on two more unlikely to be 
exercised in New Zealand's straitened circumstances. 

While New Zealanders remain chary of expenditure on naval defence in 
peacetime, they have responded with alacrity to calls to arms this century. New 
Zealand's naval involvement in the First World War was limited to its newly 
acquired cruiser HMS Philomel, which operated in the Red Sea area for three 
years until being decommissioned in 1917. A number of New Zealanders served 
in a variety of Royal Navy vessels, one of them winning the Victoria Cross for 
his exploits. New Zealand's "gift" warship, HMS New Zealand, took part in all 
the major encounters of the British and German battle fleets during the First 
World War. In the Second World War, this pattern was repeated, though on a 
much larger scale. One of New Zealand's cruisers, HMS Achilles, had early action 
when it took part in the Battle of the River Plate. New Zealand ships were 
active in the Pacific War. Moreover, New Zealanders participated in every facet 
of the naval war aboard British ships. The Second World War also gave a boost 
to shipbuilding in New Zealand, with small craft being built for the British, 
United States, and New Zealand navies. 

248 New Zealand 

Given this background, maritime and naval history might have been expected 
to attract significant academic attention. That this has not been the case is a 
reflection of both the smallness of New Zealand's scholarly establishment and 
the fact that social themes hold the field in New Zealand history at present, with 
inevitable effect on the composition and interests of university history depart- 
ments. Maritime history gets limited attention from a few academics in the 
universities as part of more general courses, especially in economic history. There 
is a School of Maritime Studies at the Otago Polytechnic in Dunedin, but its 
skills-based course is designed to meet the practical needs of an expanding 
deep-sea fishing industry rather than academic enquiry. 

There are only a few individuals specializing in maritime history. Gavin 
McLean, the New Zealand Historic Places Trust's historian, has been con- 
spicuous in recent years, producing ground-breaking work on the business of 
shipping in New Zealand and a series of books on maritime themes, but his 
interest is necessarily limited by his other duties. Some other scholars publish on 
maritime-related themes from time to time. For example, Simon Ville, until 
recently a member of Auckland University's Economic History Department, 
but now in Australia, has recently published a study of New Zealand's coastal 
shipping. Gordon Boyce of Victoria University of Wellington's Economic 
History Department is working on aspects of the Furness Withy Group. Other 
maritime subjects to engage scholarly attention have included Polynesian voyag- 
ing, the early European exploration of the Pacific and whaling. The staging of 
New Zealand's first maritime history conference in 1992 provided a boost to 
scholarly interest, and this will be reinforced by the decision of the Stout 
Research Centre at Victoria University of Wellington to devote its 1993 
conference to the theme of "The Sea." 

Despite the lack of academic interest, there is a vast secondary literature on 
New Zealand's maritime history, though much of it is of indifferent quality. 
Most books deal with company histories and fleet lists. Prolific writers from the 
past have included S.D. Waters, J. O'C. Ross and A.A. Kirk. The most active 
writers today are David Johnston, whose Maritime History of New Zealand is a 
key document, and Gavin McLean, whose works include Canterbury Coasters, 
Richardsons of Napier and The Southern Octopus: The Rise of a Shipping Empire. 

Other themes to have received attention include port histories. The majority 
are commissioned works, with Otago leading the way with two major scholarly 

Simon Ville, "The Coastal Trade of New Zealand Prior to World War One," New Zealand Journal 
of History, vol. 27, no. 1 (1993). 

David Johnston, Maritime History of New Zealand (Auckland: David Bateman/Collins, 1989). 
3 Gavin McLean, Canterbury Coasters (Wellington: NZ Ship & Marine Society, 1987). 

Gavin McLean, Richardsons of Napier (Wellington: NZ Ship & Marine Society, 1989). 

Gavin McLean, The Southern Octopus: The Rise of a Shipping Empire (Wellington: NZ Ship & Marine 
Society and Wellington Harbour Board Maritime Museum, 1990). 

McGlbbon and McLean 249 

histories: A.H. McLintock, The Port ofOtago and Gavin McLean, Otago Harbour: 
Currents of Controversy. Lyttelton and Oamaru are well served by W.H. Scotter, 
A History of Port Lyttelton and Gavin McLean, Oamaru Harbour, respectively. 
Production of port histories peaked in the late 1970s and early 1980s, although 
updated accounts of Napier and Nelson harbors have recently appeared. 

There is an extensive literature on migration. The publication of migrants' 
diaries began last century and has gained its second wind with an upsurge of 
interest in genealogy in recent decades. Sir Henry Brett's White Wings remains 
a key document. Charlotte Macdonald's A Woman of Good Character is a rare 
example of a scholarly publication in this field. 

Shipwrecks are a major theme. An updated version of C.W. Ingram and P.O. 
Wheatley's 1936 Shipwrecks and Maritime Disasters is still in print. Academic 
writers have also shown intermittent interest in waterfront labour in recent 
decades. Little has yet been written on Maori craft, though this deficiency is 
currently being remedied. 

The pattern of naval history in New Zealand is similar. No tertiary institutions 
offer courses in naval history. The nearest approach to such treatment is coverage 
of naval aspects within a course on New Zealand defence run on an extramural 
(off-campus) basis by Massey University. There is no naval academy which might 
provide a focus for such activity. Because of the smallness of its naval estab- 
lishment, New Zealand has traditionally sent its young officers to schools in 
Britain and Australia. 

If maritime history has a tenuous place in scholarly interests, naval history is 
virtually ignored by the scholarly community. There is consequently no his- 
toriographical debate. In recent times, Ian McGibbon, Senior Historian in the 
Historical Branch, Department of Internal Affairs, has been alone in the field. 
Although unable to devote himself full time to the subject, he is currently 
working on the naval aspect of New Zealand's involvement in the Korean War. 

While there is no ongoing tertiary-based work on New Zealand's naval 

history, a small body of literature does exist. A starting point is S.D. Waters's 

1 "\ 
Royal New Zealand Navy in the official war history. It provides in-depth 

coverage of RNZN operations and the activities of New Zealanders with the 

Royal Navy during the Second World War. Ian McGibbon, in his Blue-water 








A.H. McLintock, The Port of Otago (Dunedin: Otago Harbour Board, 1951). 

Gavin McLean, Otago Harbour: Currents of Controversy (Dunedin: Otago Harbour Board, 1985). 

W.H. Scotter, A History of Port Lyttelton (Christchurch: Lyttelton Harbour Board, 1968). 

Gavin McLean, Oamaru Harbour (Palmerston North: Dunmore Press, 1982). 

Sir Henry Brett, White Wings, 2 volumes (Auckland: Brett Publishing Company, 1924 and 1928). 

Charlotte Macdonald, A Woman of Good Character (Wellington: Allen & Unwin, 1991). 

C.W. Ingram and P.O Wheatley, Shipwrecks and Maritime Disasters (Auckland: Beckett Publishing, 


13 S.D. Waters, Royal New Zealand Navy (Wellington: War History Branch, 1956). 

250 New Zealand 

Rationale, The Naval Defence of New Zealand 1914—1942, sought to place these 
operations in a strategical context, while outlining the development of the New 
Zealand Division of the Royal Navy. Naval policy was also covered by W. David 
Mclntyre in his New Zealand Prepares for War, Defence Policy 1919—39. More 
recently, in his The Path to Gallipoli, Defending New Zealand 1840-1915, 16 Ian 
McGibbon has further examined the origins of New Zealand's naval policy 
leading to the payment of subsidies to the Royal Navy and the creation of the 
New Zealand Naval Forces in 1913. He has also given attention to the naval 
relationship between Australia and New Zealand. Among the areas awaiting 
scholarly treatment are the Royal Navy in New Zealand and the New Zealand 
Naval Forces. 

For the time being, naval history seems likely to remain largely the preserve 
of enthusiastic amateur historians and antiquarians. They will add to an extensive 
antiquarian literature on naval activities. T.D. Taylor's New Zealand's Naval 
Story leads the field, providing much useful information about naval visits to 
New Zealand in particular. More recently, R.J. McDougall, in his New Zealand 
Naval Vessels, has exhaustively catalogued the ships of the RNZN and its 
antecedents. Among other recent works of a non-academic nature are accounts 
of New Zealand's wartime cruisers by Jack S. Harker, two largely pictorial 


histories by Grant Howard, and a brief account of the Royal Navy in New 
Zealand and a study of the hydrographic branch by Rear Admiral John O'C. 

In the absence of interest among tertiary institutions, museums will continue 
to play a key role in promoting New Zealand's naval and maritime heritage. 
There are three of primary importance. At the RNZN Naval Base at Devonport, 
Auckland, the Royal New Zealand Naval Museum will soon assume a higher 

Ian McGibbon, Blue-water Rationale, The Naval Defetice of New Zealand 1914-1942, (Wellington: 
Government Printing Office, 1981). 

W. David Mclntyre, New Zealand Prepares for War, Defence Policy, 1919—39 (Christchurch: University 
of Canterbury Press, 1988). 

16 Ian McGibbon, The Path to Gallipoli, Defending New Zealand 1840-1915 (Wellington: GP Books, 

1 7 

Ian McGibbon, "Australian-New Zealand Naval Relations," in T.R. Frame, J.V.P. Goldrick and 
P.D.Jones, eds., Reflections on the RAN ( Kenthurst NSW: Kangaroo Press, 1991). 

18 T.D. Taylor, New Zealand's Naval Story (Wellington: A.H. & A.W. Reed Ltd, 1948). 

19 R.J. McDougall, New Zealand Naval Vessels (Wellington: GP Books, 1989). 

20 Jack S. Harker, HMNZS Achilles (Auckland: Collins, 1980); Well Done Leander (Auckland: Collins, 
1971); HMNZS Gambia (Wellington: Moana Press Ltd, 1989); Almost HMNZS Neptune (Wellington: 
Moana Press Ltd, 1991). 

21 Grant Howard, The Navy in New Zealand, An Illustrated History (Wellington: A.H. & A.W. Reed, 
1981); Grant Howard, Portrait of the Royal New Zealand Navy, A Fiftieth Anniversary Celebration 
(Wellington: Grantham House, 1991). 

22 J.O'C. Ross, The White Ensign in New Zealand (Wellington: A.H. & A.W. Reed, 1967); This Stem 
Coast (Wellington: A.H. & A.W. Reed, 1969). 

McGibbon and McLean 251 

profile when a planned new building is completed. Its growing collection of 
material will provide a basis for future research. Particularly useful will be an 
ongoing series of oral history interviews with former naval personnel, being 
conducted by the present director. 

The country's premier maritime museum is the Wellington Maritime 
Museum and Gallery on Wellington's Queen's Wharf. Founded by the former 
Wellington Harbour Board in the early 1970s, it holds the country's largest 
collection of maritime archives, photographs, and models. Merchant shipping is 
its specialty. It hosted the maritime history conference in 1992. A newsletter, 
Leading Light, is published. 

The Auckland Maritime Museum was formed in the late 1980s. Its large 
multi-million dollar complex will open at Auckland's Hobson Wharf in August 
1993. The museum will be less of a research centre than its Wellington 
counterpart and will specialize in small craft and Polynesian/Maori vessels. It 
will operate a fleet of approximately forty authentic and replica craft and will 
franchise shops designed to keep alive traditional crafts such as sailmaking and 
boat-building. The museum's quarterly journal, Bearings, has a wide general 

In addition, there is a small maritime museum at Bluff, Southland, which was 
expanded in 1992, and museums at Port Chalmers and Lyttelton are maritime- 
dominated. The new Museum of New Zealand will be devoting space and 
resources to the history of Polynesian and Maori voyaging and watercraft. 

Several societies have been formed to restore veteran craft. The Paeroa 
Maritime Park has a collection of small coasters and former RNZN craft, but is 
less active than it was a decade ago. At Picton, the Edwin Fox Society is planning 
to restore the Edwin Fox, the world's last East Indiaman. At Wanganui, a 
historical society has recovered a paddle steamer for restoration. Private in- 
dividuals have restored several trading schooners and scows. Shiplovers' societies 
also provide a maritime-focused network. Founded in 1949, the New Zealand 
Ship and Marine Society has branches in Wellington, New Plymouth, and 
Napier and publishes a quarterly journal, New Zealand Marine News. The 
Auckland Maritime Society and Otago Maritime Society service their respective 

Where to from here? There appears little prospect of early change to the 
pattern described above, wherein maritime and naval history is mostly the 
preserve of non-professionals. Previous generations of New Zealanders were 
forcibly reminded of their country's dependence on the sea during the world 
wars. Such concerns have not been of overriding importance in the late 
twentieth century. In the absence of some new disruption of New Zealand's 
trading links, or some shift in strategic outlook which might reawaken a sense 
of vulnerability, it is likely that academic interest will remain limited, and that 

252 New Zealand 

personal rather than institutional influences will remain the main driving force 
in maritime and naval studies in New Zealand. 


Captain Tore Prytz Dahl, Royal Norwegian Navy 

In the wake of the unification of Norway under one king, a defence system 
-was created that included all the coastal districts. This system, called the 
leidang, was based on earlier local defence arrangements. The coastal districts 
were divided into skipreder, and each skiprede was to build, equip, and maintain 
a longship of a certain size. From about the year 950, the leidang- system included 
all Norway. The defence system represented a cornerstone in the formation and 
protection of the Norwegian realm which included approximately the present 
Norwegian area of land as well as Iceland, Greenland, the Faroe Islands, the 
Shetland Isles, the Orkneys, the Hebrides, and the Isle of Man. The leidang was 
an efficient system for about 250 years. Then new, more costly types of ships 
were introduced in the seafaring countries around the North Sea. The Nor- 
wegian realm, sparsely populated and ruled by kings in possession of very limited 
resources, came increasingly under foreign influence and fell apart. 

The story of leidang has been of great interest to military as well as civilian 
historians. In 1951, the Norwegian naval high command marked the millennium 
of the leidang with a publication. The book was based on contributions from 
military and naval historians, Colonel G.P. Harbitz, Commodore S. Oppegard, 
and Commander Rolf Scheen, with the advisory help of civilian historians. 

With the Treaty of Kalmar in 1397, the three northern countries, Denmark, 
Norway, and Sweden, entered a union under one king. A century later, in 
1523, the Swedes succeeded in breaking out of the union, while Norway steadily 
became more closely knitted with Denmark. From the Danish rulers' point of 
view, the ideal thing was to regard Norwegian territory simply as "a part of 
Denmark." In practical policy, however, this proved to be impossible due to the 
size of the Norwegian population and resources compared with the might of 
the Danish colonial power. 

Captain Tore Prytz Dahl, Royal Norwegian Navy, is Senior lecturer in naval history 
at the Norwegian Naval Academy (Sjokrigsskolen), N-5034 Ytre Laksevag. 

G.P. Harbitz, S. OppegSrd, Rolf Scheen, Den norske leidangen (Oslo: 1951). 
Gottfrid Carlsson, Medeltidens nordiska unionstanke (Stockholm: 1945). 

254 Norway 

The period of Danish dominance, which lasted for about 400 years, from 
1397 to 1814, is traditionally treated by Norwegian historians in a rather 
nationalistic way, with great emphasis on the emergence of new Norwegian 
institutions. This trend in Norwegian historical ideology has been significant 
for the status of Norwegian naval history as opposed to the country's military 
history. During the reign of King Hans (1483—1513), a combined Danish-Nor- 
wegian navy was created with its main base in Copenhagen. The primary task 
of this navy was to protect and dominate the sea routes in the Baltic. In this 
area, both Sweden and Denmark had large economic interests at stake. During 
the century between 1620 and 1720, the heyday of this common Danish— Nor- 
wegian navy, about two-thirds of the seamen and many of its officers were of 
Norwegian descent. 

In 1628, however, a new Norwegian army came into being by royal decree. 
This army, called the "legdshaer" was based on conscription in the rural areas. 
For practical reasons, the new army was, to a great extent, administered in 
Norway, with its high command in the capital, Christiania, and different 
administrative arrangements in rural districts. The new army became an impor- 
tant factor in Norwegian national growth. It had, for instance, the very first 
institutions of higher education in the country. At the same time, the Norwegian 
Army in the wars against an expansive Sweden in the last half of the seventeenth 
century and the beginning of the eighteenth, fought mainly on, and defended, 
Norwegian soil. In that way, the Army became well known in the country, 
while as a rule, the common navy operated out of its main base in Copenhagen 
for equally important, but not so well-known or well-appreciated operations in 
distant Baltic waters. Emphasized by the nationalistic trend in Norwegian 
historical writing, this contributed to the pronounced military tradition in 


Norway. Traditional Norwegian history tends to be rather narrowminded, 
nationalistically, but there are a few exceptions to this, for instance the work of 
Commodore Olav Bergersen and Commander Rolf Scheen, who have tried to 
stress the great Norwegian share in the achievements of the common Danish- 
Norwegian Navy. Traditional writing has tended to overemphasize the impor- 
tance of the operations of the legdshaer and, to some extent, discounting or even 
omitting the deeds of the Navy. 

The Napoleonic wars brought the Danish-Norwegian union to an end. After 
the bombardment of Copenhagen in 1807 and the British capture of the seagoing 

Ottar Dahl, Norsk historieforskning i det 19. og 20. arhundre (Oslo: 1959). 

Kayjungersen, Danmarks Sekrigshistorie (Kobenhavn: 1945) pp. 51-2. 

O. Eidem and O. Liitken, Vor Somagts Historie (Kristiania and Kobenhavn: 1906) p. 182. 

Axel Coldevin, Vart folks historie, vol V (Oslo: 1963) pp. 163-67. 

Ibid. pp. 158-63. 

Niles P. Vigeland, Norge pa havet, 2 volumes (Oslo: 1953-54). 

Forsvarets Krigshistoriske Avdeling, Forsuarets rolle i Norges historie (Oslo: 1965), pp. 7-20. 

Prytz Dahl 255 

portion of the combined Danish— Norwegian Navy, the two countries, allied 
with Napoleon, entered an unhappy war with Great Britain. The outcome 
of the war brought Norway into a union partnership with Sweden in 1814. 
However, the Norwegian— Swedish union was more restrictive than the 
earlier connection with Denmark: primarily a common king and joint foreign 
policy. After the Napoleonic wars, the new Norwegian state was in fact 
bankrupt. For the new Norwegian Navy, the sad economic picture implied 
unrealized plans for a new seagoing fleet. At the same time, based on 
experience from the war, most Norwegians thought that the waters along 
our extended coasts were dominated, as well as protected, by the Royal Navy. 
With the exception of spasmodic naval efforts in the wake of the Crimean 
War and in the last decade before the breakup of the union with Sweden, 
1895—1905, the Army dominated Norwegian national defence. 

After a peaceful restoration of an independent kingdom of Norway in 
1905, Norwegian defence policy was dominated by fear of Swedish plans for 
revenge. With the long land frontier between the two countries, this naturally 
resulted in an augmentation of the Army and, to a large extent, neglect of 
the Navy. A late awakening to the dangerous aspects of the Anglo— German 
naval race before 1914 produced very few material results in our Navy. 
During World War I Norway remained neutral, but with steadily increasing 
pro-allied sentiment, not least because of the sufferings of thousands of 
Norwegian sailors caused by the German war against shipping. However, 
during the war the Norwegian Navy guarded national waters on neutrality 
patrol, and the seas outside territorial waters were protected by the Royal 
Navy. The dominance of the Royal Navy in adjacent waters remained a 
prevailing belief in Norwegian naval and political circles up to the German 
invasion in 1940. This conception had a decisive influence on our small 
defence effort during the interwar years. 

After a stumbling start, the Norwegian Army fought against the German 
invaders for two months in 1940, rather inefficiently supported by French 

1 7 

and British troops. In connection with the withdrawal of Allied forces from 
Norway in the beginning of June 1940 (the principal cause was the collapse 
in France), an armistice was signed between the German and Norwegian 
military high commands. The Norwegian king and government, however, 

10 Knut Mykland, Norges historie, vol. 9 (Oslo: 1977), pp. 145-55, pp. 425-76. 

11 Francis Sejersted, Norges historie, vol. 10 (Oslo: 1978), pp. 32-65. 

12 Article by Tore Prytz Dahl in Roald Gjelsten, ed., Verkteyforfred (Oslo: 1993), pp. 58-66. 

13 Ibid. pp. 66-8. 

Olav Riste, Forsuar og neytralitet under 1. uerdenskrig (Oslo: 1965). 

15 Olav Riset, The neutral ally (Oslo: 1965). 

16 Nils 0rvik, Sikkerhetspolitikken 1920-1939, 2 volumes (Oslo: 1960-61). 

17 Odd Lindback-Larsen, Krigen i Norge 1940 (Oslo: 1965). 

256 Norway 

fled to England to continue the war from abroad. The armistice affected the 
Army in particular, while naval vessels, destroyers, patrol vessels and a submarine 
sailed for the British Isles. A few naval planes succeeded in reaching the British 
shores as well. While it was rightly considered impossible to muster a sufficient 
number of soldiers to form new army divisions abroad, naval officers and pilots 
were in demand to join the new Norwegian armed forces in Great Britain. 
Therefore, during the government's exile in Great Britain, the Norwegian Navy 
was the largest service, and the Navy and Air Force participated in a great number 
of operations along with British forces. The small Norwegian Army on British 
soil, however, was to a great extent held in reserve by our political authorities 
for use in a possible campaign to liberate Norway. Luckily, the Germans in 
Norway capitulated as a result of defeats outside our country. 

After the war, a special historical branch was established in the Norwegian 
Defence Staff. The members of the historical branch had their background 
chiefly from service academies; only a few of the members came from civilian 
universities, for instance Professor Nils 0rvik, who had studied at the universities 
of Oslo and Wisconsin. The main task of the historical branch was to clarify 
the background and the events of Norwegian participation in World War II. 
Consequently, Army historians treated the Norwegian Army's operations during 
the war. In Particular, they treated in great detail the two months of war in 
Norway in 1940. The Air Force had their histories as well, and last but not 
least, the operations of the Royal Norwegian Navy during the period of 
neutrality and in conditions of war, have been dealt with by Commander E.A. 
Steen. In the beginning of the eighties, the historical branch was disbanded in 
the belief that its work was completed. At present, no special unit exists for the 
treatment of historical topics in the Norwegian armed forces, with the exception 
of the work done by the Museum of Defence in Oslo and its subdivisions: the 
Norwegian Home Front Museum, the Air Force museum in Bodo, the Naval 
Museum in Horten, and a small centre of defence studies in Oslo, led since 1980 
by Professor Olav Riste. 

The Norwegian Museum of Defence has, until recently, been directed by 
officers with an Army background. The last military director resigned in protest 
against the transfer of the Air Force museum from Gardemoen near Oslo to 
Bodo in northern Norway. The new director, Rolf Scheen, the first director of 
the Museum of Defence with a non-military background, is an archaeologist in 

Halvdan Koht, Norway, neutral and invaded (London: 1941). 

Forsvarets Krigshistoriske Avdelning, Forsvarets wile i Norges historie (Oslo: 1965), pp. 37—50. 
20 Norges Statskalender 1951 (Oslo: 1951), p. 1086. 

Forsvarets Krigshistoriske Avdelning, Krigen i Norge i 1940, Ca. 15 volumes (Oslo: 1952-1965). 
Fredrik Meyer, Haerens og Marinens jlyvapen 1912-1945 (Oslo: 1973). 

23 Erik Anker Steen, Norges Sjekrig 1940-45, 7 volumes (Oslo: 1954-1963). 

24 Norges Statskalender 1993 (Oslo: 1993), pp. 141, 174. 

Prytz Dahl 257 

his mid-forties. Rolf Scheen's pronounced goal is to improve the cooperation 
with civilian bodies. The new director judges his museum as one of the biggest 
in the country and aims at making the institution a center for competent research 
in matters concerning Norwegian defence forces. At present, with few 
exceptions, the majority of the museum's personnel have a military background. 
In the same way the Naval Museum at Horten, the main naval base of Norway 
until the 1960s, has a director educated at the Norwegian naval academy. 

The teaching of Norwegian naval history, with the exception of occasional 
museum lectures, is done almost exclusively by the Norwegian naval academy 
in Bergen. At the academy, all the students, regardless of specialization, attend 
courses in naval history. The executive branch students, however, have the most 
extensive syllabus. The prescribed texts in Norwegian naval history are prepared 
mainly at the academy. Thanks to the efforts of Captain K.E. Kvam, who was 
the lecturer in naval history during the first decades after World War II, naval 
officers were selected as future teachers and prepared for their profession through 
M.A. theses in naval history in addition to their general education at the naval 
academy. In that way, since the middle of the sixties, the teachers in naval history 
have possessed professional naval knowledge in combination with a passed 


examination for a university degree in history. In addition to Norwegian naval 
history, international naval history is also taught. The students at the Norwegian 
naval academy are expected to graduate with a fairly good insight into the naval 
history of the United States, Great Britain, Russia, France, Germany, and Japan 
as well. To that end, the Potter and Nimitz text book, Sea Power, is highly 

Maritime History 

The field of maritime history can be defined widely to include both the history 
of the merchant fleet as well as that of the Navy. Traditionally in Norway, 
however, there is a division between the study of naval affairs and non-military, 


maritime history. A merchant fleet is an important constituent of sea power, 
since its protection provides the Navy with a rationale. The resources of the 
merchant marine (hulls, sailors, and expertise) can support naval strength to a 
considerable degree. However, civilian and naval types of maritime power do 
not necessarily sail together, and that is clearly the case in Norway. First and 

25 Forsuarets Forum, 19 (1992). 

26 Ibid., 21 (1992). 

27 Norges Statskalender 1993 (Oslo: 1993), p. 141. 
Norwegian Naval Academy, Education plans 1993, (SKUP-3). 

K. Kvam, Beretning om den twrske sjekrigsskoles virksomhet 1817-1967 (Oslo: 1967), pp. 584, 629. 
Norwegian Naval Academy, Education plans 1993, (SKUP-3). 
Helge W. Nordvik: "Norwegian Maritime Historical Research during the past twenty years: A 

Critical Survey," Sjefartshistorisk Arbok 1990 (Bergen: 1991), p. 241. 


258 Norway 

foremost, the Norwegian Navy is a coastal one, while the Norwegian 
merchant fleet ranks among the foremost in the field of international transportation 
across the oceans. 

The last century of Norwegian political independence in the Middle Ages, saw a 
steady increase in the Hanseatic cities' participation in Norway's foreign trade, 
eventually dominating it. Not until the great economic expansion in the Netherlands 
by the turn of the sixteenth century did Norwegian economic life experience a 
substantial change for the better. Norway's forests proved to be one of her most 
important resources, with timber being exported to the Netherlands and to other 
countries in Western Europe such as England and Scodand. To a great extent, this 
trade was carried out on Dutch keels. The blooming of the Dutch economy led 
thousands of Norwegians, especially from southern Norway, to emigrate to the 
Netherlands. Norwegians served in the Dutch Navy as well as on Dutch mer- 
chantmen. The Dutch served as our teachers in naval and maritime matters since these 
specialties, to a large extent, had sunk into oblivion in Norway after the Middle Ages. 

England struck a serious blow against the Dutch carrying trade to English ports by 
the Navigation Act of 1651 . However, by the exclusion of Dutch merchantmen from 
the timber trade between Norway and England, Norwegian ships were given an 
advantage, giving the Norwegian merchant fleet many favourable years at the turn of 
the seventeenth century. These conditions also prevailed in the 1750s and later during 
the American War of Independence and in the first decade of the French Revolu- 


tionary War. During these periods, Denmark— Norway enjoyed a profitable 

The battle in the roadstead of Copenhagen in 1801, and especially the British 
bombardment of Copenhagen in 1807 and the taking away of the better part of the 
Danish— Norwegian Navy, however, brought the countries into the turmoil of the 
Napoleonic wars, and a war against the mistress of the seas, Great Britain. The British 
blockade brought disaster to the Norwegian merchant fleet. Since free transportation 
by sea was of vital importance for Norway, some parts of the country even experienced 
famine when the sea routes were interrupted. 

After the union with Sweden in 1814 and the restoration of peace, British 
protectionism put obstacles in the way of Norwegian maritime expansion, for instance 
the favoring of Canadian instead of Norwegian timber. The abolition of the British 

32 Geoffrey Till, Modern Sea Power, vol. 1 (London: 1987), pp. 12-3. 

33 Statistical Yearbook of Noway 1992 (Oslo: 1992), p. 460. 

34 Ole Jorgen Benedictow, Norges historie, vol. 5 (Oslo: 1977), pp. 207-8, 232-39. 

35 Axel Coldevin, Vart folks historie, vol. 5 (Oslo: 1963), pp. 87-90. 

36 Ibid., pp. 348-51. 

37 Ibid., pp. 407-16. 

38 Knut Mykland, Norges historie, vol. 9 (Oslo: 1977), pp. 145-55. 

39 Bernt A. Nissen, Vart folks historie, vol. 6 (Oslo: 1964), p. 129. 

Prytz Dahl 259 

Navigation Act in 1849, however, was of the greatest importance for the growth 
of the Norwegian merchant fleet. 

During the 1850s, Norwegian shipping expanded dramatically in the overseas 
trades. Sailings between foreign ports, without Norwegian ports of call, became 
customary. Norway was able to maintain competitive advantage by paying low 
wages to the sailors and using second-hand ships. At the same time, the 
conditions of life in the Norwegian coastal districts produced sailors well adapted 
to the seafaring life. 

The upward trend for Norwegian shipping continued, with a few setbacks, 
into the present century. By the beginning of the twentieth century, Norway's 
merchant fleet ranked number four after Great Britain, Germany, and the United 
States. Before 1914, most shipowners had managed the transition to steam, and 
Norwegian shipyards mastered the new technology. 

The merchant fleet of neutral Norway was highly affected by World War I; 
however, due to political sympathy for the Allied cause, common economic 
interests, and Allied pressure, the Norwegian policy became definitely pro-Al- 
lied. In the final years of the war, the largest part of the merchant fleet was 
engaged in British transport, although at very high expense. Nearly half (49.6 
percent) of the pre-war fleet was lost. About 900 ships were sunk due to 
war-related causes, and nearly 2,000 sailors perished. 

After the war, the development of Norwegian liner trades continued, hand 
in hand with the reconstruction of the fleet. The difficult market was met by 
modernization — for instance a change from steam to motor. At the same time, 
new, more specialized trades were developed, most importantly the tanker trade. 
In 1921, tonnage reached the pre-war level. With the exception of a few 
setbacks, the expansion of the merchant fleet went on throughout the inter- war 
years. By the outbreak of World War II, Norwegian merchant tonnage had 
doubled to 4.9 million G.R.T. and ranked fourth after Japan. Before 1914, during 
the previous period of great expansion, growth had taken place through the 
procurement of cheap, old ships. During the inter-war years, the competitive 
ability was maintained by sailing vessels that, in technical terms, were the best 
of ships. In 1939, 70 percent of the fleet used motor propulsion, and 20 percent 
of the world's tanker tonnage was Norwegian. 

After the German attack in 1940, about 16 percent of the Norwegian ships, 
the "home fleet," came under German control. The rest of the fleet, about 4 
million tons, remained under the control of the legal Norwegian government. 
By decision in cabinet, the Norwegian merchant fleet was placed under 

40 Hans Try, Norges historic vol. 11 (Oslo: 1979), pp. 116-53. 

41 Per Fuglum, Norges historie, vol. 12 (Oslo: 1978), pp. 234-52. 

42 Chr. A.R. Christensen, Vart folks historie, vol. 8, (Oslo: 1961), pp. 66-83). 

43 Edvard Bull, Norges historie, vol. 13 (Oslo: 1979), pp. 59-68. 

44 Niels P. Vigeland, Norge pa hauet, vol. 2 (Oslo: 1954), p. 582. 

260 Norway 

governmental control for the duration of the war. In that way, "The Nor- 
wegian Shipping and Trade Mission," usually abridged to NORTRASHIP, was 
born. NORTRASHIP, with its estimated 1,000 ships and 25,000 sailors, was the 
most valuable asset of the Norwegian government in exile. The income from 
NORTRASHIP made the government economically independent during its 
forced stay in Great Britain. At the same time, the Norwegian merchant fleet 
was Norway's greatest contribution to the Allied victory. For instance, in the 
period "when Great Britain stood alone," nearly 50 percent of the vital 
oil-transports came to Britain on Norwegian keels. As during World War I, 
the cost was grim: 2.7 million tons, 47 percent of the fleet, was lost and about 
4,000 Norwegian sailors died. 

Within five years after the end of World War II, the Norwegian merchant 
fleet had reached its pre-war level. All through the fifties and sixties, the fleet 
had a remarkable growth, reaching 25 million tons in the middle of the seventies. 
In that decade, however, the merchant fleet experienced a downward economic 
trend and felt the negative consequences of the higher Norwegian costs of 
operation. Competition from ships registered under "flags of convenience," with 
lower taxes and far less social costs, elucidated the competitive disadvantages that 
the post-war Norwegian welfare state implied for international shipping. The 
result was a pronounced downward trend in the Norwegian tonnage of shipping. 
Not until the creation of the Norwegian International Ship's Register (NIS) in 
1987 was the decline halted, perhaps temporarily. By the end of 1992, the size 
of the Norwegian merchant fleet was about 23 million G.R.T. Of this total, 
21,769 million tons was in the NIS. 

After this very short survey of Norwegian maritime history, what is the present 
state of naval and maritime history in Norway? Maritime finds from antiquity 
and the Middle Ages are regulated by law. The Chief of Inspectorate of Ancient 
Monuments and Historic Buildings [Riksantikvar] has country— wide authority. 
As for archeological finds, the country is divided between the University of Oslo 
and the Norwegian Maritime Museum in Oslo, the Archaeological Museum, 
and the Maritime Museum in Stavanger, the University of Bergen and the 
Maritime Museum in Bergen, the University of Trondheim and the Museum 
at the University of Tromso. According to Norwegian law, maritime finds from 
the modern period, if they are more than one-hundred years old, belong to the 
Norwegian state when private ownership is impossible to establish. The respon- 

45 Ibid., p. 579. 

46 Chr. A.R. Christensen, Vart folks historic vol. 9 (Oslo: 1961), pp. 422-23. 

47 Niels P. Vigeland, Norge pa hauet, vol. 2 (Oslo: 1954), p. 582. 

48 Ibid., p. 609. 

49 Edvard Bull, Norges historie, vol. 14 (Oslo: 1979), pp. 197-203. 

50 Central Bureau of Statistics of Norway, Monthly Bulletin of Statistics, 1/1993 (Oslo: 1993). 

Prytz Dahl 261 

sibility for material of this category is divided in the same way among the above 
mentioned institutions. 

As for maritime history in the modern period, it has been maintained that 
fascinating ships, sailors, and personalities always tend to win in the competition 


with structures, strategies, and politics. In a somewhat exaggerated reaction to 
this issue, primarily to the book on The History of Norwegian Shipping up to 1914, 
Professor Johan Schreiner published his study of Norwegian shipping in the 
period 1914—1920. In his preface, Professor Schreiner explicitly stated that his 
book contained no pictures of ships or portraits and no accounts of ships and 
men. Instead, Schreiner concentrated on the new problems created by the war 
and the shipping boom of the period. 

The history of the individual shipping firms, quantitatively the most common 
type of maritime history in Norway, has largely been written through commis- 
sioned assignments to journalists and "popular" writers. Fortunately, however, 
there are several exceptions to this fact. Some research is being done in this area, 
but it is usually done outside the universities, because Norwegian professional 
historians generally have concentrated their research on Norwegian political 
history, especially the emergence of the new state after 1814 and the creation of 
the modern welfare state. The most prominent institutions that have dealt with 
maritime history in the shape of scientific research published in books and 
well-edited yearbooks are the maritime museums of Oslo and Bergen, both of 
which are led by professional historians. Bard Kolltveit is the director at the 
Norwegian Maritime Museum and Dr. Atle Thowsen is at the Maritime 
Museum in Bergen. The foundation of the "Norwegian Research Fund for 
Maritime History" at the Bergen Maritime Museum in 1971 is an attempt to 
turn the tide in favor of scientific research in the field of Norwegian maritime 
history, but its resources are very limited. Consequently, the foundation can 
support only a few research workers per year. Although some progress has taken 
place, the negative trend has not been changed permanently. During the two 
decades leading up to the 1990s, some twenty master of arts theses in maritime 
history have been written at Norwegian universities. In the same period, only 
three doctoral theses in maritime history have been defended at Norwegian 
academic institutions. 

Lov om kulturminner av. 9. juni 1978, Lovendring av 3. juli 1992. 

Helge W. Nordvik, "Norwegian Maritime Historical Research during the past twenty years: A 
Critical Survey," Sjefartshistorisk Arbok 1990 (Bergen: 1991), p. 242. 

Jac. S. Worm-Muller, Ed., Den norske sjefarts historie fra de aeldste tider til uore dage, 3 volumes 
(Kristiania-Oslo, 1923-51). 

Preface to Johan Schreiner, Norsk skips/art under krig og heykonjunktur 1914-1920 (Oslo 1963). 

55 Ottar Dahl, Norsk historieforskning i det 19, og 20. arhundre (Oslo: 1959), pp. 268-71. 

56 Universitetet i Bergen, Arsmelding 1968-69 (Bergen: 1970), p. 133; Hvem er Hvem (Oslo: 1984), p. 

■ Helge W. Nordvik, "Norwegian Maritime Historical Research," Sjefartshistorisk Arbok 1990 

262 Norway 

Among the most important works published recently is Commander Jon 
Rustung Hegland's account of the NORTRASHIP Fleet. ' This well-docu- 
mented account studies the activities of 1,081 ships and about 25,000 seamen. 
Based on primary sources, Hegland used maritime statutory declarations, actions 
reports from naval gunners aboard the ships, the Admiralty's War Diary, 
NORTRASHIP's records of losses, Norwegian naval documents, as well as some 
British and German printed documents. Although Hegland only treated the 
economic and administrative aspects when they are important for the overall 
view, the very comprehensive works of Lauritz Pettersen, Bjorn L. Basberg, 
Guri Hjeltnes, and Atle Thowsen on The Merchant Navy at War have more 
completely elucidated these aspects. 

These works are good examples of the complementary research done by naval 
and civilian historians. To a certain extent, the two groups may be said to be 
mutually prejudiced, with naval men writing oversimplified explanations of 
complex historical causes and effects, while civilian historians tend to give 
amateur treatment to naval and military problems. 

In the future, one may hope that the goal of the new director of the 
Norwegian Museum of Defence, to improve contact between civilian and 
military research establishments, may help to bridge the existing gulf between 
Norwegian maritime and naval history. 

(Bergen: 1991), pp. 243, 248, 256; Atle Thowsen, "Norsk sjofartshistorie — periferi eller sentrum i 
norsk historieforskning?" Sjefartshistorisk Arbok 1912 (Bergen: 1973), p. 38, (Summary in English). 

58 Jon Rustung Hegland, Nortraships Flate, 2 volumes (Oslo: 1976). 

59 Atle Thowsen, Handelsjlaten i krig 1939-1945, vol. 1; Bjorn L. Basberg, Handelsjlaten i krig 
1939-1945, vol. 2; Guri Hjeltnes, Handelsjlaten i krig 1939-1945, vols. 3 & 4; Lauritz Pettersen, 
Handelsjlaten i krig 1939-1945, vol. 5 (Oslo: 1992-1995). 


Commodore S.Z. Shamsie, Pakistan Navy, Retired 

Pakistan came into existence on 14 August 1947. Prior to that date there 
was only one well-established maritime institution in what was to become 
Pakistan, that being the Karachi Port Trust. It was on that same day in August 
that the Royal Pakistan Navy was born, with its ships being allocated from the 
old Royal Indian Navy. 

The region has a long-standing relationship with the sea. Two small islands 
near the mainland in Karachi harbour contain a thriving shipbuilding industry 
which, for many years, has been focused on building dhows. Even today, these 
indigenous boats ply the Arabian and Red Seas, the Persian Gulf, as well as other 
areas. Now equipped with diesel engines, the dhows are able to operate in nearly 
all weather conditions. They also carry a surprising amount of cargo, as little 
space is devoted to comfort, and crews are small. 

The infancy of the Pakistan Navy was difficult, given the chronic lack of financial 
resources, manpower, and expertise. It took time to create these new institutions, 
and it was not until the 1950s that substantive growth appeared. Two important 
facilities were developed during that time frame: the Royal Pakistan Navy Dockyard 
and, near it on West Wharf, the Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works. 

Although the subject of a naval academy and a marine academy had been 
discussed as early as 1948, nothing significant happened for several years. The Cadet 
Training School was started in HMPS Himalaya (the training complex) on Manora 
Island in the early 1 950s. The Naval Academy was commissioned at another location 
on the island in 1957. The Pakistan Marine Academy was eventually set up in 1961 
in East Pakistan, near Chittagong. After East Pakistan became Bangladesh in 1971, 
temporary accommodation for the Marine Academy was found in Karachi. 
Construction of a new Academy, not far from Sandspit Beach, was started in 1976. 
That institution is now under control of the Ports and Shipping Wing. 

A general history of the development of the Pakistan Navy is provided in the official history, titled 
the Story of the Pakistan Navy 1947-1972, (Karachi: Elite Publishers, Ltd., 1991); See also, Herbert 
Feldman, Karachi Through a Hundred Years; the Centenary History of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and 
Industry, 1860-1960 (Karachi: Pakistan Branch, Oxford Univ. Press, 1970). 

This information, and that which follows about the Pakistani National Shipping Corporation, the 
Academy, the Coast Guard, and Port Qasim, was obtained from official Naval Headquarters Records 

264 Pakistan 

The Ports and Shipping Wing was established in Karachi at the end of 1961, 
under a director general who held the rank of commodore. He was assisted by 
two directors who were naval officers. Although it initially functioned under 
the Ministry of Defence, the Wing was later transferred to the Ministry of 

The National Shipping Corporation was established in the public sector by 
the government to ensure better operation and development of shipping in 
Pakistan. The first ship was purchased in 1964, and by 1971 the number had 
increased to thirty-two. From its inception this corporation has been led by a 
naval officer. 

The concept of a coast guard, initiated by the Navy, was developed as a 
seagoing force for the protection of national marine resources, patrolling coastal 
waters, anti-smuggling and assistance to merchantmen. It had been assumed that 
this was a natural function of the Navy. The proposal to establish a coast guard 
bumbled through the meandering channels of bureaucracy and emerged, having 
suffered a significant metamorphosis, as a land-based, ancillary force to assist the 
local police and Customs agencies. 

The Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KSEW) proved to be an 
unprofitable industry. With high overhead and labour unrest it was not com- 
petitive. After a Presidential Order, it was taken over by the Ministry of Defence 
and placed, in 1970, under the charge of a naval officer. 

Discussions were also held on the subject of creating another port to ease the 
burden on Karachi. The intent was that it be close so that transportation of goods 
from the north would be enhanced. Finally, it was decided that both the steel 
mill (which was to be set up with the help of the USSR) and the new port should 
be located at Pipri, which is close to Karachi while just to the south of it. That 
port was named after the man who conquered Sindh in 711; Port Mohammad 
Bin Qasim. 

The Department of Hydrography was established in 1948 with the assistance 
of an officer from the Royal Australian Navy. A continuous demand by the 
Navy for scientific information about the marine environment led to the 
formation in 1958 of the National Committee for Oceanographic Research 
(NCOR). This organization was chaired by the Hydrographer of the Navy. The 
Pakistan Navy took part in the International Indian Ocean Expedition (1962-65) 
and generated much interest in the region. UNESCO organized training schemes 
for naval personnel, and equipment was donated by a number of countries, 
including the United States. 

The Ministry of Technology was established in 1978. The Navy played a 
significant role in the establishment of the National Institute of Oceanography, 
(NIO) as the Committee for Oeanographic Research was the primary advisory 

and Naval Archives and from the Office of the Director, General Ports and Shipping. 

Shamsie 265 

body for the development of that organization. That institute was set up in 
Karachi in 1981, with the aim of initiating oceanic research and exploiting 
marine resources. 

The Navy further extended its research and training facilities. Close coopera- 
tion with the Pakistan Navy led to an increase in the activities of the National 
Institute of Oceanography. For instance, the need for tidal data from the United 
Kingdom was eliminated through the introduction of tidal predictions in 
Pakistan. In addition, coastal protection works were commenced. The Institute 
also arranges special lectures for the Navy and other organizations. The Institute's 
Director was appointed Vice Chairman of the Inter-governmental 
Oceanographic Commission For UNESCO, in Paris 1989—93. 

The need for an oceanographic research vessel had been felt for some time, 
and approval had been pending for some time. Continued pressure by the Navy 
and National Institute of Oceanography ultimately lead to action and, in 1982, 
a research vessel was launched. This Oceanographic vessel was commissioned 
and named Behr Paima in 1983. It is under the administrative control of the 
Ministry of Communications, while naval personnel man it. 

Two Pakistan research expeditions have been undertaken to the Antarctic. 
The first was from 12 December 1990 to 1 March 1991. An Antarctic station 
was established and named after the founder of our nation: Jinnah. On the second 
expedition, the ship left Karachi on 27 December 1992 and returned on 11 
March 1993. There were twenty scientists, thirteen naval officers, eleven Army 
officers and one Air Force observer. Jinnah Station 2 and Iqbal Observatory were 
established on the ice shelf, while detailed scientific research was carried out in 
the surrounding waters. 

In addition, an oceanographic ship was chartered by the Ministry of Tech- 
nology for National Insitute of Oceanography and expeditions were organized 
and led by the Pakistan Navy. Scientists from the Institute and other institutions 
carried out extensive research on the ice shelf and adjacent waters, with the 
Navy and Army providing assistance. 

As mentioned earlier, the Navy initiated a case for the establishment of the 
Coast Guard which, unfortunately, became a para-miliary unit. The situtation 
was reconsidered in order to redress that error, and the Coast Guard was 
reconstituted in 1986 to perform its originally assigned functions. This organiza- 
tion is now called the Maritime Security Agency. It is currently manned by naval 
personnel and was started with ships allocated by the Navy. 

Some years ago, a body called the Foundation for Development through 
Moral Revival was formed as a non-profit making public charity trust by retired 

Information about general oceanographic developments was obtained by interview with the former 
Director of the National Institute of Oceanography. 

Specific data for the 1992 expedition was provided in an interview with the naval officer directly in 
charge of the 1992 expedition. 

266 Pakistan 

Vice Admiral Choudri, who was the first Pakistan naval officer to become the 
commander in chief. His purpose was to call together various intellectuals and 
persons interested in discussing matters of national importance. At a later stage, 
a maritime studies group was formed, as attention was focused on maritime 
subjects. Admiral Choudri has developed an abiding interest in maritime matters 
and has actively supported them on every suitable occasion. Last year, the 
decision was made to expand its activities and form an independent research 
body. It has now been named the Pakistan Institute of Maritime Affairs (PIMA). 
Its charter encompasses many aspects of maritime history, including merchant 
ships, shipbuilding, ship repairs, ports, fisheries, offshore activity, pollution and 
hinterland infrastructure. 

The Pakistan Navy is also in the process of building a museum, to be named 
the Pakistan Maritime Museum. This museum will include display rooms, a 
laboratory, a historic reference section, and a library. Construction is scheduled 
to be completed in 1994. 

Most maritime institutions are under the control of the Ministry of Com- 
munications. All of them have published articles on their activities on special 
occasions. A book was published on the occasion of the centennial of the Karachi 
Port Trust in 1980. A souvenir magazine was produced by the Pakistan Marine 
Academy, providing a brief history, an account of its activities, and the courses 
held subsequent to the aid provided by Japan. 

Given that our country is very young, the histories are very limited as well. 
In 1997, when we celebrate the 50th anniversary of our Independence, all these 
institutions will publish special issues to commemorate the event. When con- 
sidered together, they will comprise our maritime history. 

There is, however, another aspect of Pakistani maritime history which also 
warrants a certain amount of attention. Specifically, the Muslims did much 
productive work in that regard between the eighth and fifteenth centuries. 
Though books and articles that touch on the maritime aspect have been written 
in the past, many of them are in Arabic or Turkish. A fair amount was also 
written by the English during their rule in India. But the impression is that not 
enough has been written in the Urdu language (the language of Pakistan) or in 
English. While a few articles have appeared from time to time in newspapers 
and periodicals on navigation, astronomy, ship construction, and charts, and 
instruments for navigation, research in this area deserves greater attention and 
resources. In general, books on maritime history are not readily available to the 

Considering our ethos, our people's thoughts are focused landward, par- 
ticularly to the north. Very little happened at sea during the rule of the Moghuls, 
and the small navy which existed for a short period of time remained in the 
eastern part of the subcontinent. Historically, the only person who understood 
the importance of the sea and the Navy was Tippu Sultan, and his advice went 

Shamsie 267 

unheeded. Today, paradoxically, most naval personnel are recruited from the 
north. But, in general, there is little interest in maritime affairs. 

In fact, the word maritime has a different connotation to most students in this 
country. In the universities, there are few students who have shown interest in 
the subject, though some have displayed an interest in the Muslim history in the 
period A.D. 700—1500. In the recent past, some Sindh students have been keen 
to study the history of old Sindh as a maritime province, going back as far as the 
time of Moenjo Daro, and the Indus Valley civilization. Some books in the 
Sindhi language are available. An effort has been made to encourage the 
University of Karachi to create a Department of Maritime History. 

Naval history is taught, on a limited scale, in the Naval Academy at the Navy 
Staff College. Certain aspects are taught in the Army and Air Force Staff Colleges 
and in the National Defence College. 

The intellectual atmosphere in Pakistan was vitiated some years ago. There 
are, however, faint signs that interest in intellectual subjects may be revived in 
the future, but this will come only slowly. Significant interest in maritime affairs 
is not likely to develop soon. In 1992, an international seminar was held in 
Lahore on the achievements of the Muslims, including the maritime sphere, in 
order to generate interest. Many experts came from abroad. That seminar did 
generate some interest. But, without concerted follow-up, that interest is also 
likely to wane. 

The Institute of Maritime Affairs held a seminar in Islamabad in 1992, and 
planned to hold another in Lahore in May 1993, to raise the consciousness of 
maritime issues for those who are generally far removed from the sea. Political 
events forced them to postpone the seminar which was to be held in Islamabad 
in March 1994. The institute's objective was, and is, to make the maximum 
possible contribution as a non-political, non-governmental organization, inter 
alia, through study/research and development, in as many of the maritime 
subjects as resources permit. They also hope, wherever possible, to help other 
organizations engaged in similar work in the interest of the country. 

The Pakistan Maritime Museum will probably assume the task of producing the 
maritime history of the country. One of the functions of a maritime museum is to 
make people aware of their maritime heritage. In this case, it will be entrusted with 
the task of writing notes on the achievements of the Muslims. Any assistance which 
can be provided from other sources will certainly be deeply appreciated. 

As mentioned earlier, while there has been a slight resurgence of interest 
recently in the achievements of the Muslims, there is inadequate intellectual 
interest presently in the maritime sphere. Just the same, an effort to record 
maritime history is underway. A modest start in this process was made by the 
publication of the Story of the Pakistan Navy, which was referenced earlier in this 
article. That book provides the first reference to our extended maritime history. 


Commander Jorge Ortiz, Peruvian Navy 

The sea has always been an important factor in Peruvian life. It played a 
decisive role in the formation of Andean culture and in the evolution of 
the colonial world, and it has remained just as important throughout our modern 
history as well. However, for many different reasons, Peruvians remained outside 
this important process. Historically, Peru has remained an observer, while 
foreigners exploited one of the richest seas of the world, laying adjacent to her 
coast (for example, the use of the whaling grounds off the northern coast of Peru 
by the British and North Americans in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth 
centuries, and the development of the important guano trade in the last century). 

A possible explanation for this situation is the tremendous influence that the 
Andes have exerted on Peruvian life. It was in the sierra that the most important 
cultures flourished, exploiting the great diversity of ecological niches. After the 
Europeans arrived in the sixteenth century, enormous mineral resources located 
in the mountains became the base for the Spanish colonial economy in the New 
World. Nonetheless, maritime routes were the only feasible means for the export 
of gold and silver taken from the Andes. That exploration moved the Peruvian 
economy increasingly away from agriculture and towards mining. That trend 
continues today. 

This condition restricted Peruvian maritime activity to insignificant fishing 
communities and to a small number of maritime entrepreneurs, ship owners and 
seamen. The vast majority of these people were concerned only with their own 
businesses. Very few of them played an active role in politics, or devoted 
themselves to developing an awareness in the Peruvian community of the 
importance of the sea to the national well-being. 

This article is intended to explain why maritime and naval history are nearly 
absent in the Peruvian academic world and are not being offered as courses or 
seminars in any Peruvian university. In fact, aside from some valuable and 
pioneering research done in the late nineteenth century, maritime history was, 
in the past, largely confined to an adjunct status to naval history. That history 
was, in the main, produced by naval officers. Taking this situation into account, 
and with the intent of renewing maritime and naval history, a group of naval 

270 Peru 

officers and historians took upon themselves the task of writing a Peruvian 
maritime history nearly thirty years ago. 

A few years later, with the firm support of the Peruvian Navy, this group 
formed the Peruvian Institute of Maritime History, (Instituto de Estudios 
Historico-Maritimos del Peru) and published a large collection of books under 
the general title, Historia Maritima del Peru. This collection, covering Peru's 
maritime past, from prehispanic times to the twentieth century, already numbers 
twenty volumes, and three other volumes are in work. 

The functions of the Institute are complemented by the Navy itself through 
its historical service. However, despite its formal intentions to promote maritime 
history, the Institute has devoted a considerable amount of its effort to naval 
history, not only because it forms an important part of maritime history, but also 
because the Institute is directed by retired naval officers. Apart from the Institute 
and the Navy, and closely linked to both, there are a small number of historians 
and other scholars who do research in maritime or naval history themes. As 
already suggested, though, while there are historians who have written about 
maritime and naval topics, it cannot, in general, be said that they are truly naval 
or maritime historians. The exception, perhaps, is Commander Fernando 
Romero Pintado, who holds a Ph.D. in history, but whose advanced age has 
limited his involvement in academic activities during the last few years. 

Taking all of this into consideration, the Peruvian Institute of Maritime Studies 
has encouraged and supported some naval officers to take up maritime historical 
studies. Furthermore, efforts have been made to attract young historians and 
researchers to maritime themes. Several young naval officers studied at the Faculty 
of Arts at the Universidat Catolica del Peru and have become professional historians. 
One of the first to accept this challenge was the author of this short essay who, along 
with some other young historians and researchers, devoted his studies to topics of 
the sea. In both cases, there have been some initial successes. In the near future at 
least, a small cadre of trained maritime and naval historians will be working in the 
areas that maritime and naval history encompass. 

Some reference should also be made to the dissemination or publication of 
maritime and/or naval themes. While no seminars or courses on maritime or 
naval history are currently being given in the universities, they are being offered, 
although with some difficulty, at the Instituto de Estudios Historico-Maritima 
del Pern, as well as by the Navy itself. In the last few years the following courses 
have been offered: 

• Naval War College (Escuela Superior de Guerra Naval). Between 1988 
and 1991 a course was offered in Maritime Identity. Since 1992, it has been 
replaced by three seminars: Historical Analysis of Peruvian Naval Cam- 
paigns, A History of War at Sea, and History of the Navy. 


Historia Maritima del Peru (Lima: Instituto de Estudios Histdrico-Maritimas del Peru, 1912- ). 

Ortiz 271 

• Peruvian Naval Academy (Escuela Naval del Peru) provides a course on 
the History of the Navy. 

• Institute for the Study of Peruvian Maritime History (Instituto de Estudios 
Historico-Maritimos del Peru). In 1992, a course in maritime history was 
begun which was designed to give students a general overview of maritime 
topics. That course had three parts: a) evolution of ships, b) history of war 
at sea, and c) general maritime history. 

The first course mentioned above, the maritime identity, was given by this 
author to the Captain's Course. The objective was to present a general overview 
of Peruvian maritime history, emphasizing the way it helped to build our national 
identity. Among the points covered were the importance of the sea to the 
prehistoric settlement of Peru; the myths and legends that shed light on this 
reality; and prehispanic navigation as a fundamental element in the production 
of food as well as in the pursuit of commerce. Reviewing the colonial period, 
the importance of Callao in the maritime commerce of the South Sea was 
emphasized, not only during the time of the annual fleets in the sixteenth and 
seventeenth centuries, but also during the epoch of the special license ships in 
the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Furthermore, we directed the 
students' attention to the nascent interest in Peru which was awakened by the 
exploitation of marine resources. These activities included whale hunting at the 
end of the eighteenth century, which was later replaced by the great guano boom 
of the nineteenth century, and by the lucrative fishing industry, especially of 
anchovies, in the twentieth century. Peru became the world's leading producer 
offish products in the 1950s. 

The seminar covering the analysis of Peruvian naval campaigns is given by 
several retired admirals and includes three campaigns: Independence (1818— 
1826), the war with Chile (1879-1880), and the war with Ecuador (1941). Two 
other seminars are directed by this author, which are efforts to provide lieutenant 
commanders and commanders with an overview of the evolution of war at sea 
and of the Peruvian Navy itself. This course on naval history, given in the Naval 
Academy, has not been taught regularly in the last few years, and for this reason 
will not be analyzed fully. In 1992, the professor for the course, a retired 
commander, died and was replaced by his assistant, a young civilian historian. 

The course of maritime history, mentioned above, offers a common base for 
researchers who work on maritime and naval themes. It should be noted that 
no similar course has ever been given in the country. As a result, in the past 
every researcher approached the topic with his own understanding of what was 
naval and what was maritime, but often with little understanding of the big 
picture and how the two fields meshed. So, for example, we not only try to 
present general ideas on the evolution of naval ships, but also emphasize points 
on worldwide maritime and naval history as well. 

272 Peru 

Having already mentioned the work carried out by the Instituto de Estudios 
Historico-Maritimos del Peru in reference to the development of maritime 
studies, its organization and editorial efforts should be presented as well. The 
Institute is a private enterprise, strongly linked to the Navy, but independent in 
all its activities. It is made up of forty members, half of them naval officers, and 
the other half academics of diverse disciplines, including historians, diplomats, 
biologists, etc. Its principal endeavor, The Maritime History of Peru [Historia 
Maritima del Peru] which, as previously noted, is the primary resource for those 
who wish to become acquainted with the maritime and naval history of Peru. 
In addition, they have published more than a dozen other titles, and a reputable 
journal is issued, although on a somewhat irregular basis. 

On the other hand, the Navy itself carries out and promotes historical research 
through the Direccion de Intereses Maritimos, which administers the Navy 
Museum and the Historic Archives of the Navy, and which contains documents 
dating from the beginnings of the nineteenth century. Another important 
archive for study of Peruvian and South American maritime and naval history 
is the National Archive, with documentation dating to the sixteenth century. 
The Navy has an editorial fund that has published almost thirty titles in the last 
few years, not all of which are on strictly naval history topics. 

Apart from these two institutions, other works are being or have been 
produced which touch on maritime or naval themes. One of these is a thesis 
currently in preparation for presentation to the Catholic University, and another 
is the collected works of Dr. Maria Rostworowsky de Diez Canseco, published 
by the Institute of Peruvian Studies, which deals with the Peruvian coast in the 
Late Prehispanic Period. 

Finally, it should be noted that, given the importance of the Peruvian viceregal 
period, there are more than a few works, published outside Peru, which deal 
with maritime or naval aspects of the period. 

Naturally, one institution is not capable of handling all these works. None- 
theless, there is a concerted effort to establish links among all those who are 
interested in these topics. This effort was reinforced in 1991, with the First 
Symposium of Ibero-American Maritime Studies of Peru. One of the major 
achievements was the establishment of a permanent secretariat, and Chile as well 

Maria Rostworowsky de Diez Canseco, Costa peruana prehispanica (Lima: Instituto de Estudios 
peruanos, 1989) 2nd ed.; Recursos naturales renovables ypesca, sighs XVI y XVII (Lima: Instituto de Estudios 
Peruanos, 1981). 

Pablo E. Perez-Mallaifha y Bibiano Torres Ramirez, La Armada del Mar del Sur (Sevilla: Escuela de 
Estudios Hispano-Americanos de Sevilla, 1987). Peter T. Bradley, The Lure of Peru. Maritime Intrusion 
into the South Sea, 1598-1701 (London: The Macmillan Press: 1989). Peter T. Bradley, "The ships of 
the Armada of the Viceroyalty of Peru in the Seventeenth Century" in The Mariner's Mirror, 79 (1993), 
pp. 393-402. Hugo O'Donell, El Viaje a Chiloe de Jose de Moraleda (1787-1790) (Madrid: Editorial 
Naval, 1990). 

Ortiz 273 

as Argentina and Brazil agreed to host successive symposia in 1993, 1995, and 
1999, respectively. 

It is probably too early to speak of intellectual tendencies in the fields of 
maritime and naval history, as interest in academic circles has not been applied 
consistently over a prolonged period of time to demonstrate such trends or 

The War of the Pacific (1879-1884), which Peru and Bolivia lost to Chile, 
endowed the Navy with its most famous heroes. This, combined with the fact 
that the war proved traumatic for the nation, has been primarily responsible for 
so much of Peruvian naval and maritime history being devoted to that war and 
that epoch in general. Only in recent times have several works highlighted other 
aspects of Peru's rich and diverse maritime and naval past. 

In this category, that being the periods least treated but also quite important, 
the one spanning the end of the eighteenth and the beginnings of the nineteenth 
centuries should be noted. It was the period between the authorization of the 
entrance of British and North American whalers and the war for national 
independence. A methodical study is also needed on the Spanish South Sea 
Fleet, whose existence spanned almost two centuries (between 1579 and 1750). 
Some work on the topic exists, but much more needs to be known about this 
important colonial entity. Present day Peruvian maritime communities also need 
study. One can still find some prehispanic customs and artifacts (such as rafts) in 
a number of small fishing villages and ports. It is also necessary to research boats 
in general. In Peru, many immigrants settled on the coast in the past two 
centuries and many of the boats presently in use by fisherman reflect the influence 
of these immigrants. Another theme that should be dealt with urgently is the 
conquest of the Amazon, a process begun in the sixteenth century via the river 
system. This began to be systematized with the participation of the Navy after 

As noted above, Peruvian historical studies deal largely with naval topics. 
Works on maritime themes, if they are attempted, face lack of incentives in the 
academic world. It is worth mentioning that while the Navy, through the 
Instituto de Estudios Historico-Maritimos and through its own historic division, 
supports and develops historic studies,the same does not occur among the diverse 
elements that make up the maritime world of our nation. 

In sum, Peruvian maritime history is very rich, given its diversity and the long 
relationship that Peruvians have had with the sea. In the case of naval history, it 
is equally abundant, having begun in the sixteenth century with the formation 
of the South Seas Fleet. All this information has been gathered and reviewed by 

4 Jorge Ortiz, El Vicealmirante Martin Jorge Guise Wright (1780-1828) (Lima: Direccion de Intereses 
Maritimos, 1993). Jorge Ortiz and Alicia Castafieda, Dicaonario biografico maritimo peruatio (Lima: 
Direccion de Intereses Maritimos, 1993). Jorge Ortiz, "Peru and the British Naval Station (1809-1839)," 
Ph. D. Thesis, St. Andrews University, Scotland, 1994. 

274 Peru 

the Institute of Historic-Maritime Studies of Peru, however, much research 
remains to be done in this field. 


Jerzy Litwin 


Commander Dr. Wincenty Karawajczyk, Polish Navy 

Maritime History 

Studies of the history of shipping and the Navy, which have been conducted 
in Poland over the past seventy-five years, have been strictly related to the 
country's political situation. During that period, the country's political- 
economic doctrines have undergone three radical changes. As a result, with each 
change, the authorities intensified demands to have at their disposal syntheses of 
particular fragments of Poland's history. These were utilized, more or less, for 
pertinent educational purposes, but also for specific propaganda activities, 
conducted in the name of the politics of the state at the time. 

The first such period embraced the years 1918—1947, that is, from the 
regaining of Poland's independence after 123 years of annexation by Russia, 
Prussia, and Austria at the end of the eighteenth century. This period also 
included the Second World War and the post-war struggles for independence 
conducted by the Polish underground. The second period lasted from 1948 to 
the spring of 1989, when Poland was ruled by a communist government whose 
policies were imposed by U.S.S.R. authorities. The third period began in the 
spring of 1989 when, after the agreement of the so-called "round table," the 
communist authorities handed over power in Poland, agreeing to its being taken 
over by the forces which produced the social uprising in 1980, known by the 
name "Solidarity." 

Polish Maritime History in Outline. The oldest written sources telling of 
the riparian navigation of the Slavic peoples date to the sixth century A.D. The 
northern borders of the Slavic lands stretched along the Baltic coast from the 
region known today as Lubeck in the west, to the mouth of the Vistula in the 

The people living adjacent to the western Slavs called them Wends. This 
point is brought to light in a description by Wulfstan, a ninth century Anglo- 

This section is written by Dr. Jerzy Litwin, Deputy Director of the Polish Maritime Museum, Gdansk. 
2 Wfedysfaw Filipowiak, Wolin - Vineta (Rostock-Stralsund: 1986); WTadsysfaw Filipowiak, "Poczatki 

276 Poland 

Saxon traveller, who claims to have had the Wendic lands off his starboard bow 
during the entire voyage from Hedeby (Haithabu) to Truso. From Gdansk Bay 
he sailed up the Vistula which, as he pointed out, was the natural frontier 
between the Wends and the "Old" Prussians. 

To meet their transportation, communication, and fishery needs, the riparian 
Slavs produced rafts and logboats and, if the necessity arose, larger craft as well. 

It was probably in the seventh century that the Slavs first ventured out into 
the open sea. To sail in safety there required appropriately constructed craft. 
This usually involved increasing the ships' freeboards by attaching single planks 
to them, or sets of two or more overlapping planks. 

In the larger boats, the dugout part of the ship's bottom was of no great 
significance, and in time it came to be left as a semicircular beam: the keel. By 
the end of the ninth century, keels had become T-shaped in cross-section. 
Dugout keels in small boats persisted on the south coast of the Baltic until the 
beginning of the twentieth century. 

Ancient Slavic boatbuilding reached its peak of development in the tenth 
though the twelfth centuries, when large plank-built boats made quite long 
commercial voyages. The Western Slavs also sent fleets to wage war against the 


Vikings. Many wrecks and parts of Slavic vessels from this period have been 
discovered not only along the southern shores of the Baltic but also in Denmark. 
Sweden, and Germany. 

Slavic boats of the ninth through the twelfth centuries had a number of 
characteristic structural features. They were made of oak. In silhouette they 
resembled Viking ships, but their cross-sections were different. Their bottoms 
were flat and, even though they were made from overlapping planks; the 10-30 

zeglugi slowianskiej u ujscia Odry," Studia nad etnogeneza Sfowian i kultura Europy 
wczesnosredniowiecznej, vol. 2 (Wrodaw-Warszawa-Krakow-Gdansk-Lodzl 1988); Witold Hensel, 
Stowiariszczyzna wczesno/redniowieczna (Warszawa: 1965); Jozef Kostrzewski, Pradzieje Pomorza 
(Wroclaw- Warszawa-Krakow: 1966); Zdenek Vana, Suriat dawnych Sfowian (Praha: 1985). 

3 Niels Lund, Two Voyagers at the Court of King Alfred (York: 1984), p. 22-30. 

4 W. Hensel, ibid. 

Przemysiaw Smolarek, Studia nad szkutnictwem Pomorza Gdanskiego w X-XIII w. (Gdansk: 1969); 
Przemysiaw Smolarek, "Szkutnictwo Pomorza Gdariskiego we wczesnym sredniowieczu," Historia 
budowtiictwa okretowego na Wybrzezu Gdanskim, ed. E. Cieslak (Gdansk: 1972). 

Wolfgang Rudolph, Handbuch der volkstumlichen Boote im ostlichen Niederdeutschland (Berlin: 1966); 
Wolfgang Rudolph, Inshore Fishing Craft of the Southern Baltic from Holstein to Curonia (London: 1974). 

Wfedysfaw tega, Obraz gospodarczy Pomorza Gdanskiego w XII i XIII wieku (Poznari: 1949); P. 
Smolarek, ibid. 


Krystyna Pieradzka, Walki Sfowian na Battyku w X-XII wieku (Warszawa: 1953). 

Detlev Ellmers, Fruhmittelalterliche Handelsschiffahrt in Mittel- und Nordeuropa (Neumunster: 1984); P. 
Herfert, Ralswiek einfruhgeschichtlicherSeehandelsplatz aufder Insel Rugen (Greifswald: 1982); Jan Skamby 
Madsen, Danish-wendische Beziehungen am Schluss des 1 1 . Jahrhunderts vom Fund einer Schiffswerft bei Frhrodre 
A auf Falster aus beleuchtet, Bistum Roskilde und Rugen (Roskilde: 1987); K.W. Struve, "Ein slawisches 
SchifBwrack aus der Eckernforder Bucht," Offa (1978); "Kazimierz Slaski, Slawische Schiffe des 
westlichen Ostseeraumes," Offa (1978). 

Litwin and Karawajczyk 277 

millimeter diameter pegs used to hold the structural elements together proved 

1 o 
to be an entirely satisfactory substitute for nails. 

The East Baltic Slavonic tribes, which belonged to Poland from the end of the 
tenth century, continued to expand maritime economy within the boundaries of 
the Piast monarchy, which in the tenth and eleventh centuries organized the 
state of Poland. At the end of the twelfth century, Poland was divided into a 
number of principalities. One of them, Masovia, experienced problems with its 
strong neighbor to the west, Prussia. Masovia's Prince Konrad, in 1226, invited 
the Teutonic Order Knights to fight with them against Prussia. These new- 
comers very soon established their own state on Prussian territory, and at the 

beginning of the fourteenth century they, in turn, invaded Gdansk. With that 

1 1 
act Poland lost her access to the Baltic. 

Two points stand out in fifteenth century Poland: her economic growth and 
her struggle for supremacy with the Teutonic Order. Settlement in coastal 
towns was increasing, which helped to foster trade with foreign centres. By then, 
goods were being carried mostly by ship. As early as the fourteenth century, 
inland towns were making their contribution to the country's export drive. A 
variety of goods were shipped downriver to the coast on rafts, large logboats, or 
other craft. 

Cogs and hoiks were vessels frequently used in medieval sea transport. Their 
designs had generally become more sophisticated, but they differed from one 
another in detail. Cogs became common on the Baltic shores in the thirteenth 
century and, although probably originating in the Frisian Islands, they were also 
built in Gdansk and Elblag. Cogs had flat, flush bottoms and clinker-built sides, 
closely resembling Vistula ships in these design features. Hoiks, which were 
usually larger than cogs, became common in the fifteenth century and were 
traditionally built on a keel, like boats, by means of the shell technique. 

River navigation on the Vistula reached its zenith in the sixteenth through 
eighteenth centuries, when thousands of ships and rafts sailed down to Gdansk 
and Elblag and then, laden with overseas goods, plied back upstream to their 
points of origin. Products of farm and forest, minerals and goods in transit, were 
all shipped down the Vistula and its tributaries. 

Smolarek, see note 5; Tadeusz Delimat, "O genezie -todzi klepkowych na Pomorzu," Lud, 42 (1956); 
Jerzy Litwin, "Szkutnictwio i zegluga," Z dziejow techniki w dawnej Polsce (Warszawa: 1992); K. Slaski, ibidem. 
11 Edmund Cieslak, Historia Gdanska, I (Gdansk: 1978). 

Marian Biskup and Gerard Labuda, Dzieje Zakonu Krzyzackiego w Prusach (Gdansk: 1988). 

Aleksander Gieysztor, " Wisia w sredniowieczu," Wisfa, monografia rzeki, ed. A. Piskozub (Warszawa: 
1982); Stanistaw Gierszewski, Wista w dziejach Polski (Gdansk: 1982); Przemysfaw Smolarek, "Types of 
Vistula Ships in the 17th and 18th Centuries," Yearbook of the International Association of Transport Museums, 
8 (Gdansk: 1981). 

Jerzy Litwin, Some Remarks Concerning Medieval Ship Construction (Malta: 1989); and From Studies on 
Gdansk and Elblpg Ship-building and Shipping in the 13th-15th Centuries (Malta: 1991). 

Jan W. Gan, Z dziejow zeglugi srodlpdowej w Polsce (Warszawa: 1978); Sebastian F. Klonowic, Flis, to 

278 Poland 

The szkuta was the largest vessel that shipped goods on the Vistula. A szkuta 
could be up to 38 meters long, 8.5 meters wide, and was capable of taking 100 
tons of cargo on board. 

A great opportunity to create a Polish navy arose in 1570 when the Polish king, 
Zigismund August, brought two experts from Venice and entrusted the construction 
of a galleon at Elblag. This brought a new type of warship to the Baltic. We know 
how the ship was built from surviving expenditure records. Construction of the 
galleon began in June 1570. Ready for launching a year later, the ship was completed 
in 1572. However, she was not armed and never entered service, owing to the 

1 8 

premature death of King Zigismund August. 

While Zigismund August failed in his effort to establish a navy, the Polish 
kings of the Vasa dynasty enjoyed greater success in that field in the first half of 
the seventeenth century. King Zygmunt III created a fighting fleet for which 
five ships were built at Gdansk in 1605—6. Poland's naval successes included a 
victory over the Swedish fleet in 1627 in the Battle of Oliwa, which took place 
in Gdansk Bay. During this battle the Swedish warship Solen was sunk, while 
another, the Tigem, was captured. 

In 1641—43, King Wladislaw IV's fleet was scrapped. The consequence of this 
was that for the next three hundred years the rulers of Poland, for a variety of 
reasons, turned their backs to the sea. At the same time, from the mid-seventeenth 
century onwards, the policies of Gdansk, which had become rich acting as the 
middleman in Polish-European trade, led to a standstill in the local shipbuilding 

Although Poland had never been a major producer of oceangoing ships, she 
was a major supplier of raw materials to foreign shipbuilders through the end of 
the nineteenth century; timber (beams, planks, and masting) was shipped to the 
sea ports, where it was resold, principally to Holland and Britain. Up to the 

jest spuszczanie statkow Wisia i inszymi rzekami do niej przypadajjacymi (Warszawa: first edition 1595); 
Stanislaw Kutrzeba, Wista w historii gospodarczej daumej Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej (Warszawa: 1922); J.M. 
Matecki, "Wisia w okresie od pokoju toruriskiego do pokoju oliwskiego," Wisfa, monografia rzeki, ed. 
A. Piskozub (Warszawa: 1982); H. Obuchowska-Pysiowa, Handel wislany w pierwszej potowie XVIIwieku 
(Wroclaw: 1964); Krystyna Waligorska, "Konstrukcje statkdw prywajacych po Sanie i Wisle w XVIII 
w," Kwartalnik Historii Kultury Materialnej, vol. 8, no. 2. 

Mieczysfaw Boczar, Galeona Zygmunta Augusta (Wroclaw- Warszawa-Krakow-Gdarisk: 1973); Jerzy 
Litwin, "The First Polish Galleon and its Construction Register from 1570-1572," Carvel Construction 
Technique, Oxbow Monograph 12 (Oxford: 1991). 

17 Adam Kleczkowski, Regestr budowy galeony (Krakow: 1915). 

18 M. Boczar, ibid.;]. Litwin, "First Polish Galleon." 

Witold Hubert, "Bitwa pod Oliwa," Przeglpd Historyczno-Wojskowy, vol. 1 (Warszawa: 1929); 
Stanislaw Bodniak, Zwipzekjloty i obrona wybrzeza w wojnie Zygmunta III z Karolem IX (Poznan: 1930); 
Kazimierz Lepszy, Dziejejloty polskiej, (Gdarisk-Bydgoszcz-Szczecin: 1947); Eugeniusz Koczorowski, 
Bitwa Pod Oliwa (Gdynia: 1968). 

20 K. Lepszy, ibid. 

21 Edmund Cieslak, Historia Gdanska, vol. I-III (Gdansk: 1978; 1982; 1993). 

Litwin and Karawajczyk 279 

eighteenth century, the materials specification for ships-of-the-line built in British 
yards expressly required 4 to 4 1/2 inch-thick oaken planks from Gdansk. 

Steam power, which revolutionised industry in Western Europe at the turn 
of the eighteenth century, also had an effect on inland shipping. The first river 
and canal steamships made their appearance, making transport on those water- 
ways more efficient. 

Moreover, companies operating steamships came into existence despite the 
fact that the powers partitioning Poland were wilfully neglecting the country's 
waterways. The pioneers in this respect were Piotr Steinkeller and Konstanty 
Wolicki, who established a shipping company in 1825—27. In 1827 they 
imported two ships from England, the Victory and the Ksipzp Ksawery. Unfor- 
tunately, both ships were sunk during the November Insurrection of 1830. In 
1840-42, Steinkeller bought two new ships, again in England, intended for 
passenger transport in the Warsaw area. 

The most successful steamship company operating on the Vistula at that time 
was the "Steamship Company on the Navigable Rivers of the Kingdom, Count 
Zamoyski et Companie," founded in 1848 with the assistance of French capital 
provided by Eduard Guibert. In 1849, this firm had ten lighters with two 
steamboats to move them (the Prince de Varsovie and the Vistule), both built at 
Nantes in 1847. Eduard Guibert was also the managing director of the company 
until 1852. Additional ships were built for this company in Poland, most of them 
at the Steamship Workshops, founded in 1851 in Solec, a suburb of Warsaw. 
The company's operations ended as a result of the restrictions imposed by the 
tsarist authorities after the January Insurrection of 1863. Count A. Zamoyski was 
also deported and his estate confiscated. In 1871 the company was formally 
dissolved and the ships sold. 

Towards the end of the nineteenth century, passenger travel by boat became 
very popular, not only as a means of getting from one place to another, but also 
as a form of recreation. Many pleasure steamers were built at Solec (Warsaw), 


Wfodawek and Krakow. M. Fajans' company was the leader in this field. 

After the First World War, inland navigation was reactivated under Polish 
auspices. The leading companies operating on the Vistula were the Polish 

John Charnock, An History of Marine Architecture (London: 1800); John Fincham, An Outline in Ship 
Building (London: 1852); James Dodds and James Moore, Building the Wooden Fighting Ship (London: 

23 Witold Arkuszewski, Wislane statki pasazerskie XIX i XX uneku (Gdansk: 1973). 

24 Ibid. 

25 Ibid. 

26 Ibid. 

27 Ibid. 

28 Ibid. 

280 Poland 

Navigation Company of Krakow, the Polish River Navigation "Vistula" of 
Warsaw, and Lloyd of Bydgoszcz. 

From 1918 to 1939 inland Polish shipyards prospered. Among their achieve- 
ments were the large passenger ships, Polska and Francja, built in 1925, and the 
Bajka built at Solec in 1927. The largest vessel of all was the Baftyk, built at the 
Gdansk yard in 1928. Other yards produced smaller ships and lighters. They 
also received orders for specialised craft. Particularly profitable for the shipyards 
were vessels supplied to the Polish Navy for the Vistula and Pinsk flotillas, and 
those supplied to the customs and frontier guards at Gdynia. The Zieleniewski 
yard in Krakow built a series of monitors. The Navy's own yards at Pinsk and 
Modlin built armed cutters and minelayers, and the Modlin yard built the first 
sea-going ship for the modern Polish Navy, the Jaskotka. 

As well as fostering the growth of inland navigation, Polish authorities in that 
period emphasized the organisation of a sea-going fleet. Among the most 
important undertakings of that period were the construction of a modern port 
at Gdynia and the formation of a navy and a merchant fleet. The Higher Naval 
School was founded to train future ship's officers, and a nationwide association, 
the Maritime League, was brought into existence to disseminate information 
about and to organise activities dealing with the sea among the populace in 
general and among young people in particular. 

At that time, France was very active in helping establish Poland's maritime 
activities. It was in France that Poland purchased her first modern warships, 
destroyers, and submarines, as well as a series of cargo ships, popularly known 
as "Frenchmen," many of which were still in service after 1945. 

One tremendous achievement on the part of the organisers of the Polish 
maritime economy was the founding of a shipyard at Gdynia, where construction 
of sea-going vessels developed rapidly. Unfortunately, this healthy progress was 
interrupted by the outbreak of the Second World War. 

After the war, cleanup operations got under way in the ports and shipyards 
along Poland's devastated, but now very much longer, coast. Harbours and 
shipyards were rebuilt. A system of maritime education came into being, and 
specialist design offices were established. 

The industrialization of Poland undertaken after the war has also effected the 
dynamic development in the shipbuilding industry which was, until 1989, the 
pride of Poland's maritime economy. Even today* following the recent political 
and economical changes, the shipbuilding industry seems well positioned to be 
a dominant force in the Polish economy. 

The Study and Preservation of Polish Maritime History. Compared to 
other European literature on naval and shipping history, Polish research publi- 

29 Ibid. 

Litwin and Karawajczyk 281 

cations remain rather modest. The reason for this state of affairs is that systematic 
studies on these questions, as well as ship and boat-building, and fishers, started 
relatively late. This was due to a large extent to the country's unstable political 
situation prior to 1918 and to the prolonged lack of access to the sea, which 
precluded the development of more important maritime traditions. 

Characteristic of the post-1918 period was the positively enthusiastic interest 
in maritime matters demonstrated by the whole population. This followed the 
award to Poland of a land corridor to the sea by the Treaty of Versailles. This, 
in connection with access to the seaport of Gdansk (which had been given the 
status of a free city), led to the development of a maritime economy. A social 
organization, most frequently known as the Maritime League, was also estab- 

The first popular maritime publications also appeared. These offered articles 
on the Slavs' struggles on the Baltic, the times of King Zygmunt August, the 
founder of the Maritime Commission, and the only naval victory — the Battle 
of Oliwa, in 1627. The results of studies were also published by such historians 
as S. Bodniak, A. Czolowski, W. Hubert, W. Konopczynski, and others. 
Of particular importance in these considerations is the work of K. Lepszy, whose 
crowning study was The History of the Polish Fleet. 

Traditional fishery and small boat-building was primarily the subject of 
interest to ethnographers. Unfortunately, these subjects did not constitute a 
specific concerted area of study but, rather, just a fragmented body of papers 
presenting the material culture of the people inhabitating Poland at the time. Of 
a dozen or so papers, that by K. Moszyriski, "The Popular Culture of the Slavs,"' 
was of particular importance. It was an attempt to present the basic types of 
Slavonic floating structures, including rafts and canoes. 

With regard to linguistic studies concerning aquatic occupations, B. Slaski's 
Fishery-Nautical and Boat-building Dictionary remains a good source of information 
when studying earlier boat-building. 

Information on research and publications concerning shipping, shipbuilding, 
navies, fishery, rafting and boat-building was substantially supplemented by 
periodicals published at the beginning of the twentieth century. An important 

Stanisfaw Bodniak, Zwiazek Jloty i obrona wybrzeza w wojnie Zygmunta III z Karolem IX (Poznarf: 
1930); "Morze w gtosach opinii dawnej Rzeczpospolitej," Rocznik Gdanski, vol. IV (Gdansk: 1931); 
"Sprawy morskie w 'Ksiegach Hetmariskich' Sarnickiego," Rocznik Gdanski, vol. XII (Gdansk: 1938). 

Aleksander Czolowski, Marynarka w. Polsce (Lwow: 1922). 

Witold Hubert, "Proba tworzenia marynarki wojennej podczas powstania 1863-64," Przeglpd 
Morski, vol. 2, no. 4 (1929); "Bitwa pod Oliwa," Przeglad Historyczno-Wojskowy (1937). 

Wfadyslaw Konopczynski, Pohka polityka battycka (Poznan: 1930). 

Kazimierz Lepszy, "Straznicy morza Stefana Batorego," Rocznik Gdanski, vol. 7 (Gdansk: 1933); 
Kazimierz Lepszy, Dzieje Jloty polskiej (Gdarisk-Bydgoszcz-Szczecin: 1947). 

Kazimierz Moszyriski, Kultura ludowa Stowian, vol. 1; Kultura materialna (Krakow: 1929). 

Bolesfaw Slaski, Stownik rybacko-zeglarski i szkutniczy (Poznarf: 1930). 

282 Poland 

popularizing role here was played by The Sea [Morze] and TJie Maritime Review 
[Przeglad Morski] concerning naval matters; The Technical Review [Przeglad 
Techniczny], which was devoted to industry, including shipyard questions; Fishery 
Review [Przeglad Rybackt] , which was dedicated to fishermen; The People [Lud\ , 
The Land [Ziemia] and The Vistula [Wista], which were designed for a wider 
circle of readers. There were also a whole series of weeklies containing articles 
on maritime subjects. 

During that period efforts were also made to establish museums of a maritime 
character. This was not an easy task, as Poland's maritime traditions were not as 
extensive as those of many other European countries. The first attempts to 
establish such institutions were taken up in the 1930s, when a private maritime 
museum was organized in Warsaw and a fishery museum in the small fishing 
village of Debki. Neither of these survived the ravages of the war. Numerous 
relics from other museums and private collections also met the same fate. 

Despite the tremendous enthusiasm to learn about and propagate maritime 
matters in Poland in the years 1918—1947, no comprehensive system of profes- 
sional studies and education in the field of historical-maritime problems could 
be established. Only the staff of the Baltic Institute conducted studies on Poland's 
maritime history, although there was also a fairly large group of scholars who 
took up sporadic studies in this field. That group managed to create the climate 
for the propagating of maritime history in postwar times. 

The period following the Second World War, particularly in the years 
1945-1947 was, for Poles, a period of continued struggle to regain independence. 
The Yalta Conference of 1945 had bound the future of the nation, oppressed 
by the six years of war, to a treaty of unreserved subordination to Soviet Russia, 
which was imposed by force. This struggle was carried out with considerable 
effort throughout Poland. Diplomatic steps were taken up in allied countries 
but, in view of the declining political force of Polish emigre circles, these efforts 
failed to achieve expected results. Thus, after 1948, following the wiping out of 
the patriotic groups throughout the country, Poland became totally subordinate 
to the Soviet Union. 

The consequences of this situation became apparent in all spheres of learning, 
including history, the fields of studies, and dissemination of knowledge of the 
history of the Polish nation, as well as its modest maritime history. All of these 
were conducted, particularly until 1956, in the new communist spirit. It became 
customary to avoid, or hold back information regarding the country's economic 
achievements of the pre-war time when, for over a dozen years, Poland had 
managed to establish genuine bases for a versatile maritime economy. It was also 
not advisable to glorify the Navy's combat achievements during the 1939-1945 
period, when it was on active service with the Western allied fleets. Perfidious 
communist authorities generated political trials based on false accusations against 
war heroes who continued to serve as officers during the Stalinist rule of terror 

Litwin and Karawajczyk 283 

(1949—1953). These acts of repression included Navy men, and resulted in the 
sentencing of several outstanding officers for (unproven) espionage. The senten- 
ces included the death penalty. 

Later, the Polish Navy, thanks to the dedicated, professional attitude of its 
officers, refused to participate in the suppression of the so-called social protests 
which took place with particular intensity in 1956, 1970, and 1981. Thanks to 
this, it earned the respect and friendship of the Polish society. 

Generally speaking, the achievements in the organization of the maritime 
economy in Poland in 1948-1989 were considerable. Not only were the 
commercial and fishing port complexes established, but shipowning firms were 
developed and shipyards organized. An extensive system of education for this 
field of the economy began to function, beginning with basic vocational studies 
and leading to specialized, postgradate work. Several schools, particularly the 
Gdansk and Szczecin technical universities, as well as other universities and 
merchant navy academies in the towns previously mentioned, promoted 
hundreds of graduates each year. The Navy could also boast of its own 
university-level academies. 

In the field of propagation of maritime culture and history, as well as the 
conservation of nautical relics, Poland's achievements were the most distinctly 
manifested of all the countries in the "Eastern Block." 

Attempts to found a maritime museum in Poland were made just as soon as 
hostilities ceased, and, in fact, the first such museum was set up in Szczecin in 
1946. Unfortunately, this museum was subordinated to the Museum of Western 
Pomerania in 1950, where, to this day, it functions as the Maritime Department 
of the National Museum in Szczecin. Despite its subordinate status it continues 
to play an important part in the preservation of historical nautical objects and in 
encouraging townspeople to visit its attractive maritime exhibition. That exhibi- 
tion is housed in a building apart from the main body of the museum and 
comprises, among other things, the wrecks of three early medieval Slavic boats 
and other artifacts illustrating the maritime traditions of the western Slavs. The 
museum has a varied collection of ship's fittings, many of which are from the 
ship Poznan, one of the "Frenchmen" mentioned earlier. 

The second museum to be established in Poland was the Naval Museum, 
established in 1953, which can today boast of approximately ten million visitors. 
It has no dedicated, permanent display ship, but the destroyer Btyskawica, built 
in Great Britain in 1936, has been on display since 1976. Following successful 
adaptations to its new purpose, substantial exhibition space was gained. This was 
improved by a special passageway made through the turbine and steam boiler 

An important achievement of the museum employees is the permanent 
exhibition of armaments. Thanks to this, it has been possible to safeguard several 
examples of what are now relies of armaments used at sea in the twentieth 

284 Poland 

century. It warrants mention here that the experience in keeping a ship as an 
exhibit afloat was gained by the museum in the years 1960-1975 when another 
worthy veteran of World War II, built in France in 1928, the destroyer Burza, 
was opened to the public. Unfortunately, such exploitation was the reason for 
the ship finally being scrapped. 

A significant achievement on the part of the scientific staff of the Naval 
Museum, is the publishing of the Historical Bulletin [Biuletyn Historyczny] . The 
twelfth edition appeared in 1992. Such publications present articles concerning 
various aspects of naval history. 

The Naval Museum is not the only entity that accumulates relics and 
disseminates information on questions of war at sea. A considerable role is played 
by the fourteen halls of tradition found in the particular barracks, which 
constitute local historical centres not only for the sailors, but also for local 
communities. Among these, the most interesting exhibitions and collections are 
accommodated at Gdynia-Oksywie and Hel, where one of the exhibits is the 
Coast Guard cutter Batory, built in Poland before the war. In October 1939, the 
Batory managed to break through the German blockade and reach neutral 
Sweden. One commendable tradition is the custom of naming new naval vessels 
after units previously famous for their active service. For example, a third Polish 
submarine now bears the famous name of Orzet (Eagle). 

The Polish Navy also conducts several cultural-educational activities. An 
example of this is the organizing of numerous training-propaganda voyages for 
young people and teachers. Within the framework of training activities, salvage 
vessels traditionally cooperate with the Gdansk Maritime Museum, providing 
assistance in the search for and exploration of shipwrecks. 

A third museum dealing with the sea is the Oceanographic Museum and 
Aquarium in Gdynia. As a part of the Sea Fisheries Institute, it has discharged 
its statutory responsibilities in strict accordance with its original charter. Only 
recently has it begun to develop broader interests, such as the study of the 
ethnography of fisheries. 

The leading museum of this kind in Poland, however, is the Central Maritime 
Museum in Gdansk, established in 1960 and financed by the Ministry of Culture 
and Art. Considering the country's remaining economic difficulties, Gdansk's 
Maritime Museum has become a museum giant in the last thirty years, employing 
a staff of about 250. In the same way, it constitutes the centre of Polish 
nautological studies and provides protection for these types of relics. Through 
the staffs efforts, it has been possible to purchase and adapt two historical 
sea-going ships: the sail-training frigate Dar Pomorza, and the first coal-ore carrier 
to be built entirely in Poland after the last war, the S.S. Sotdek. The museum 
also possesses a large collection of traditional inland and sea-going craft, both 
from Poland and from elsewhere in the world. 

Litwin and Karawajczyk 285 

The Museum's continually expanding premises are already extensive: the 
unique port crane on the Motlawa river in the old city of Gdansk; a group of 
three port granaries and a building taken over from the city's former power 
station on the opposite bank of the Motiawa; a branch museum in Hel, displaying 
exhibits from the history of fisheries; and a branch in Tczew, the museum of the 
Vistula River. The Central Maritime Museum also has a large conservation 
laboratory specialising in the preservation of artifacts recovered form the seabed. 
It merits mention that the museum initiated in 1965 the first regular underwater 
archaeological research in Poland. It has had its own ship for these purposes since 
1973. The permanent exhibitions at the museum have become very much more 
diverse as a result of the exploration of the numerous wrecks lying around and 
on the bed of Gdaiisk Bay. 

Having organised a historical monument conservation service, the Polish 
Maritime Museum has taken on the responsibility of curator of all nautical 
objects of historical interest in the whole of Poland. As a result, the museum has 
also developed extensive programmes of ethnological, underwater, and land- 
based archaeological investigations. 

The Central Maritime Museum attaches considerable attention to educational 
activities, offering, among other things, systematic classes for groups of school 
children. It also conducts lectures and practical workshops for archaeology 
students from the universities of Toruii and Warsaw. 

A number of societies have been important in assisting the Polish Maritime 
Museum fulfil its statutory obligations. These include the Friends of the Polish 
Maritime Museum, who have made an important contirbution towards the 
founding and expansion of this institution; the Friends of the Dar Pomorza, who 
are raising funds for the construction of a dry dock for this ship; and the Friends 
of the S.S. Sofdek, through whose efforts this vessel was adapted to museum 

A few other museums in Poland are involved in the protection of maritime 
heritage. Among them is the Toruii Museum of Ethnography, with its extensive 
exhibition of traditional fisheries in Poland. This is yet another institution playing 
its part in the conservation of objects of nautical interest. It has a collection of 
Vistula craft dating from the early twentieth century. A number of other 
museums each have several boats and dugouts. In all, there are some thirty 
traditional boats in Polish museums (not counting the maritime museums) as 
well as nearly 150 dugouts, mostly obtained from archaeological excavations. 

Company museums have also played an important part in preserving Poland's 
cultural-industrial heritage. The idea of creating such museums was born in the 
early days of communism in Poland. Their purpose was to collect documents 
and artifacts illustrating the achievements of that era. Today, in the wake of major 
political and economic change, these museums face serious difficulties. Still, their 
collections illustrate an important era, that has come to an end and are of 

286 Poland 

significant historical value. Two companies with such museums are shipyards: 
The Gdynia Shipyard, known as the Paris Commune yard before 1990, which, 
besides its own museum, has managed to preserve and exhibit on it premises the 
first ship it ever built there in 1930. The Gdansk Shipyard Museum has by far 
the largest display area, much of which is now devoted to the birth of the social 
movement, known to the world today as "Solidarity." 

Apart from direct steps taken to safeguard material nautological relics, various 
scientific institutions and societies play an important part in popularizing and 
promoting that role. Thus, those conducting their activities in Gdansk include 
the Institute of Pomeranian History and Maritime Affairs, the Baltic Institute, 
and the Maritime Institute. Additionally, the University of Gdansk is becoming 
more and more "maritime" in character, boasting a huge library with a significant 
maritime profile. For several years now, an Institute of Ocean Technology has 
been in existence, but there are no lectures provided in the history of this field. 
Toruri University, in contrast, has an active faculty of Underwater Archaeology. 

The scientific societies boast a considerable contribution to the study and 
propagation of maritime history in Poland. The Gdansk Scientific Society, 
whose members include scholars from various fields, including a considerable 
group of historians interested in maritime problems, is a force with substantial 
potential. Its achievements include several books on Gdansk's maritime history, 
shipbuilding and shipping. Another such association is the Polish Nautological 
Society, located at Gdynia. Its trademark is the quarterly Nautologia, which has 
appeared, uninterrupted, for twenty-eight years. While considering the various 
societies, mention must also be made of the Brotherhood of Submarine Lovers, 
memberships of which include former crew members of such ships, among 

Recently, the "Cutter Brotherhood" has become very active. This is a society 
whose aim is the preservation and proper operation of craft that have become 
rare or have been withdrawn from service. 

Poland's return to democracy in 1989 is clearly reflected in her domestic 
politics. The outcome of this change includes elimination of publication cen- 
sorship, which has allowed impartial study of naval history to reappear. One 
example of this is the intensification of studies on the inland Pinsk flotilla. That 
unit was the only formation of the Polish Navy to participate in operations against 
the Soviet armies which invaded Poland without declaring war in September, 
1939. We still await the results of these and other studies. 

Several new steps have recently been taken in respect of the protection and 
popularisation of Poland's maritime heritage. Not all can boast visible effects 
today, but it is expected that there will be continued increase in interest in naval 
history and the protection of such relics in the future. This was supported by 
the establishment in 1991 of twelve Regional Centres of Studies and Preserva- 
tion of Built Environment. Among these, Gdansk's centre has been entrusted 

LitwJn and Karawajczyk 287 

with an additional specialization: the study and protection of our waterside 
cultural heritage. The Gdansk centre also collects documents and evidence of 
relics of technology connected with the shipbuilding industry and shipping. 

One expression of this new outlook on our heritage is the call for a conference 
devoted to the protection of relics of industrial heritage. This conference, to be 
held at Gdansk Technical University in 1999, will devote the sessions to the 
protection of the maritime heritage and will be held at the Central Maritime 
Museum in Gdansk. 

There is hope, therefore, that the combined activities of all these groups will 
ensure the continued growth of interest in the protection of maritime heritage 
and, particularly, the completest possible preservation of artifacts, inluding 
traditional craft which, because of their physical characteristics and condition, 
present serious technical problems. 

Naval History 3 

In Poland, there is a distinct division between maritime and naval history, as 
well as a significant absence of works considering their relationship. Naval history 
is regarded as a sub-discipline of military history which, in turn, is considered a 
part of general history. This makes it a subject of special interest to the Polish 
Navy and Army. The vast majority of books and articles on Polish naval history 
have been published by naval officers or other researchers connected with the 
armed forces, since they have had better access to documents kept in military 
archives than their civilian colleagues. Access to source materials plays an 
important role, particularly in writing contemporary history on the Polish Navy. 

There are now in the Polish armed forces three principal institutions inter- 
ested in naval history: the Institute of Military History in Warsaw, the Naval 
Museum in Gdynia, the Institute of Humanities at the Naval Academy in 

The Institute of Military History conducts research in all branches of military 
history, including naval history. The most famous naval historian at the Institute 
is, in my opinion, Captain W. Dyskant, an assistant professor. Dyskant has 
written several books and many articles on the history of the Polish Navy up to 
1939, with an emphasis on the history of river flotillas. It is appropriate to note 
that doctoral students of the field of naval history from all over Poland may 
defend their theses at the Institute and, if successful, earn their degrees in military 

The Naval Museum in Gdynia is busy collecting all kinds of items related to 
the past and present history of the Polish Navy, including Polish and foreign 
publications. The Museum has a large collection of diaries, memoirs, accounts 
and reports produced by officers and seamen who took part in World War II, 

37 This section has been written by Commander Wincenty Karawajczyk, Polish Navy. Dr. Karawajczyk 
is assigned to the Polish Naval Museum in Gdynia. 

288 Poland 

as well as many personal documents and keepsakes presented by members of 
naval personnel or their families. The Museum has two distinct parts: the 
museum ship Btyskawica, and an open-air exhibit of naval armaments. It warrants 
mention here that the staff of the Naval Museum is engaged in publishing the 
Historical Bulletin [Biuletyn Historyczny] , which has produced thirteen issues thus 
far. All Polish naval historians may publish articles in this bulletin. At present, 
Commander Dr. Z. Wojciechowski is director of the Naval Museum. 

The Naval Academy's Institute of the Humanities, part of which is the 
Department of Naval History, plays a leading role in studies and teaching of 
Polish naval history. The staff is headed by Captain J. Przybylski, an assistant 
professor and a prominent Polish naval historian. The Department of Naval 
History is conducting research on the development of the Polish Navy during 
its most interesting period: 1918—1989. Its staff prepares doctoral and habilitation 
theses which include the main results of this research. These theses are, in most 
cases, defended at the Institute of Military History in Warsaw. 

The Department of Naval History is presently engaged in writing a 
monograph on the Polish Navy and its role in coastal defense through the years 
1918-1989. This effort should appear in print in 1996. It is worthwhile to 
emphasize that, in preparation of this monograph, not only have professional 
historians from the Institute of the Humanities taken part, but also economists 
who study economic problems within the Navy in that period, teachers, who 
examine the process of education and training of naval officers and seamen, and 
sociologists, who study social aspects of the Navy. 

Captain J. Przybylski's research concentrates on the postwar development of 
the Polish Navy. He also conducts a seminar in naval history for doctoral 
candidates. His students prepare theses on the organization, tasks, development, 
training, and armament of various parts of the Polish naval forces for the years 
1918—1989. They have contributed significantly to the development of the 
previously mentioned monograph. Under Captain Przybylski's leadership, the 
Institute of the Humanities has organized many symposia in the field of naval 

Apart from naval historians working for military institutions, there is a small 
group of academic historians, dispersed in a few universities, who are also 
interested in naval matters. Most of them are located at the University of Gdansk 
(for example, Professors C. Ciesielski, Z. Machalirfski and S. Ordon are part of 
the faculty there). A fair number of writers producing popular books about the 
Polish Navy and its role in war at sea should also be mentioned. Among them, 
E. Kosiarz and J. Pertek deserve special attention. Many valuable publications 
on the history of the Polish Navy have also been authored by "researchers living 
abroad." Most of them were originally members of the Polish Navy who did 
not return to Poland after the dissolution of Polish naval forces in Great Britain 
in 1947. They have had excellent access to original documents from World War 

Litwin and Karawajczyk 289 

II. S. Piaskowski from the older generation, and M. Kiriakowski from the 
younger, both conducting their studies in Canada, are the most eminent authors 
in this category, and are cited in later footnotes. 

With regard to the teaching of naval history, only the Polish Navy 
demonstrates a great interest. Except for the Naval Academy in Gdynia, this 
subject is not taught at any university in Poland. The Academy has two courses 
in naval history that midshipmen must study: the history of the Polish Navy, 
and the history of the art of naval warfare. Each course is composed of sixty 
hours of lectures and seminars and must be taken by students during the fourth 
year of study. The course, on the history of the Polish Navy, examines the 
antecedents, origins and development of the Polish naval forces in both their 
national and international setting. Special attention is paid to the Polish fleet 
between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries and to the period after 1918, 
when Poland regained its independence. The Last seventy-five years are divided 
into three main time frames: (1) the Navy of the Second Republic, 1918—1939; 
(2) the Polish Navy in World War II and in the postwar period in Great Britain, 
1939-1947; and (3) the Navy of the Polish People's Republic, 1945-1989. 

The second course examines the development of maritime strategy and tactics 
from ancient to modern times. It is made up of three parts; first is the art of naval 
war from the age of rowing fleets through World War I; second is the art of naval 
warfare in World War II; and, third, the development of the art of naval warfare 
after World War II. The focus is on tactical analysis of actions carried out by surface 
ships and submarines against shipping lanes, and on the ways and means of 
conducting anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare in the two World Wars. 

The academic staff for teaching naval history at the Naval Academy includes one 
professor and three lecturers, all of whom possess Ph.D. degrees in Military History. 

Not only prospective naval officers, but also ordinary seamen (conscripts), are 
introduced to naval history in the Polish Navy. During the so-called "patriotic 
education" they take an eighteen-hour course entitled "Tradition and the 
present day of the Polish arms at sea." This course includes such topics as Polish 
arms at sea before 1918, the Polish Navy in the years 1918—1939, combat 
operations of the Polish Navy in World War II, and the Polish Navy in the years 
1945—1990. Commanding officers at company or ship's department level per- 
form all teaching duties in this course. 

The Naval Museum is not involved in the regular teaching process, but it 
plays an important role in popularizing and protecting our naval heritage. 

It must be emphasized that there is no organization in Poland that coordinates 
and brings together the various studies in naval history. Each institution has its 
own research program. Individual historians choose problems for studies in 
accordance with their personal preferences. At times, plans for research are made 
only in a small way, as in the Department of Naval History at the Naval Academy, 
where the academic staff has focused its efforts on the comprehensive study of 

290 Poland 

the Polish Navy in the years 1918—1989. There is no doubt that Polish naval 
historians, in order to be more effective, need a proper, underlying platform to 
develop a common research scheme. 

Polish naval tradition goes back to the period between the fifteenth and 
eighteenth centuries, when Polish kings made several attempts, some of them 
successful, to organize a fleet in order to protect the coast and seaborne trade. 
Unfortunately, at the end of eighteenth century, Poland lost its independence 
and for many decades could only dream about naval affairs. Hopes revived in 
1918, when Poland again became independent. On 28 November 1918, Marshal 
Pilsudski, the Polish head of state, issued a decree bringing the Polish Navy into 
being. After the outbreak of World War II, the Polish Navy moved to Great 
Britain, and it was the only branch of the Polish armed forces that fought against 
Nazi Germany and its allies from the very beginning to the very end of that war. 
That navy was officially dissolved in March 1947. 

When Poland was liberated from Nazi occupation, reconstruction of another 
navy, brought into being by the order of the commander-in-chief of the Polish 
Army on 7 July 1945, was undertaken. So, for almost two years, there were 
actually two Polish navies in existance; one in Great Britain and the other in 
Poland, subordinate to the Soviet Union. That is why the Polish Navy, which 
operated in conjunction with the British during World War II, did not return 
to Poland as an entity. More than 85 percent of its personnel, totalling over 
4,000 men, remained in Great Britain, the United States, France, Canada, and 
Australia. The current Polish Navy is building on the traditions of both the 
prewar and postwar navies. 

Most naval historians in Poland have placed most of their research emphasis 
on combat actions and on where Polish Navy ships served during World War 
II, rather than on any other problems or periods of Polish naval history. Curiously 
enough, the majority of comprehensive books on the role of the Polish Navy 
in the Second World War have been produced by popular marine writers like 
E. Kosiarz and J. Pertek, rather than by professional historians. Their works 
have been very well received by the younger generation. Among the numerous 
works devoted to World War II, there are a considerable number of studies 
made by professional historians as well. For example, A. Rzepniewski and R. 
Witowski, among others, have carefully examined the efforts of Polish seamen 
in the defense of the Polish coast in September 1939, and later on the side of 
the Allies. Some diaries and memoirs published by naval officers taking part in 

38 E. Kosiarz, Flota Bialego Orta (Gdansk: 1980); E. Kosiarz, Od pierwszej do ostatniej salwy (Warszawa: 
1973); J. Pertek, Matajlota wielka duchem (Poznari: 1989); J. Pertek, Wielkie dni matejjloty (Poznarf: 1967); 
W. Kosianowski, ed., Polska Marynarka Wojenna od pierwszej do ostatniej salwy w drugiej wojnie swiatowej. 
Album pamiptkowy (Rome: 1947). 

A. Rzepniewski, Obrona Wybrzeza w i939 roku na tie rozwoju marynarki wojennej Polski i Niemiec 
(Warszawa: 1970); R. Witkowski, "Udziai Polskiej Marynarki Wojennej w drugiej wojnie swiatowej," 
40 lat Ludowego Wojska Polskiego (Warszawa: 1984); A. Jaskowski, Kampania norweska (Glasgow: 1944). 

Litwin and Karawajczyk 291 

World War II supplement a vast literature in this field. Most valuable are the 
diaries of B. Romanowski, B. Karnicki, W. Kon and J. Kfossowski. Thus, the 
role of the Polish Navy in the war against the Kriegsmarine is one of the best 
explored and most fully described areas of Polish naval history. 

Studies of the 1918—1939 Polish Navy have also been undertaken quite 
frequently. Although no elaborate, scientific description of that period has thus 
far been completed, many interesting monographs on particular subjects have 
been produced. For example, C. Ciesielski wrote about the Polish fleet in the 
Baltic, and about naval education in Poland between the two World Wars. 
W. Dyskant made a thorough analysis of river flotillas in Polish war plans, S. 
Ordon described legal and economic problems of the Polish Navy, S. Roz- 
wadowski touched upon the history of naval air division, and R. Witowski 
showed the role of the naval base of Hel in the defense of the coast. Some 
authors have attempted to present a comprehensive vision of the Polish Navy 
during that period as well. Chronicles by S. Piaskowski, and two volumes of M. 
Kuaikowski's monograph are among the best known works written with such 

. .. .... 46 


After World War II, having discovered new original materials, many naval 
historians focused their efforts on the era between the fifteenth and eighteenth 
centuries. The privateer fleets attracted much attention and were described 
in works authored by K. Lepszy, M. Biskup, E. Koczorowski, and J. Trzoska 
among others. 

With regard to the history of the People's Navy (the naval forces in Poland 
in the years 1945—1989) — that is becoming an increasingly interesting subject of 
thorough studies, although archival materials for the last twenty-five years are 
still unavailable. Articles and books published by W. Radziszewski deal with the 
first period of the People's Navy. Recent periods have been explored by J. 

B. Romanowski, Torpeda w celu (Warszawa: 1985); B. Karnicki, Marynarski worek wspomnieri 
(Warszawa: 1987); W. Kon, At lantyckie patrole (Warszawa: 1958); J. Kfossowski, Wspomnienia z Matynarki 
Wojennej (Warszawa: 1970). 

C. Ciesielski, Polskajlota wojenna na Baftyku w latach 1920-1939 na tie batiyckichjlot wojennych (Gdansk: 
1985); C. Ciesielski, Szkolnictwo Marynarki Wojennej w II Rzeczypospolitej (Warszawa: 1974). 

W. Dyskant, Flotylle rzeczne w planach i dziataniach wojennych II Rzeczypospolitej (Warszawa: 1991). 
S. Ordon, Polska Marynarka Wojenna w latach. 1918-1939. Problemy prawtie i ekonomiczne (Gdynia: 1966). 

44 J. Rozwadowski, Morski Dywizjon Lotniczy 1918-1939 (Albany: 1973). 

45 R. Witkowski, Hel na strazy Wyhrzeza 1920-1939 (Warszawa: 1974). 

M. Kudakowski, Marynarka Wojenna Polski Odrodzonej (Toronto: 1988), vols I— II; S.M. Piaskowski, 
Kroniki Polskiej Marynarki Wojennej 1918-1946 (Albany: 1983-1990), vols. MIL 

K. Lepszy, Dziejejloty polskiej (Gdarlsk-Bydgoszcz-Szczecin: 1947); M. Biskup, Gdanskajlota kaperska 
w okresie wojny trzynastoletniej 1454-1466 (Gdarfsk: 1953); E. Koczorowski, Flota polska w latach 
1581-1632 (Warszawa: 1973); E. Koczorowski, Bitwa pod Oliwa (Gdynia: 1968); J. Trzoska, Kaprzy 
krola Augusta Mocnego 1116-1121 (Gdansk: 1993); Z. Cieckowski, Kaprowie krola Kazimierza (Gdynia: 
1968); M. Krwawicz, Marynarke Wojenna i obrona polskiego wyhrzeza" w dawnych wiekach (Warszawa: 1961). 

W. Radziszewski, "Powstanie i rozwqj Marynarki Wojennej PRL (Zarys historyczny)," Dzieje oreza 

292 Poland 

Przybylski who, in my opinion, is the most competent researcher in this field. 
His doctoral thesis covered the development of the Polish Navy between 1949 
and 1956, while his work, which qualified him as an assistant professor, deals 
with more recent times. It is worth mentioning that in 1992 J. Przybylski, 
together with C. Ciesielski and W. Pater, produced the most comprehensive 
work on the history of the Polish Navy for the years 1918— 1980. 51 Apart from 
such fundamental works, a great number of detailed studies on the above subject 
have been published in the Maritime Review [Przeglad Morski\, the Historical 
Bulletin [Biuletyn Historyczny], the Review of Military History [Wojskowy Przeglad 
Historyczny] and other journals. The most important of them were recounted 
by Z. Wasko and R. Witkowski in their article about the state of research on 


the People's Navy. 

Historians of the Polish Navy have written not only on the main periods of 
its development but also on some particular problems. Unfortunately, not all 
essential problems have been touched upon so far. Among the best examined 
and described are studies of famous Polish men-of-war, such as the Btyskawica, 
Burza, Grom, Wicher, and Orzet. The history of Polish submarines in the years 
1926-1969, published by C. Rudzki should also be included in this group of 

Another question, relatively well explored, is the education of Polish naval 
officers. The period between two World Wars was thoroughly researched by 
C. Ciesielski, while the postwar period was studied by W. Biatek and T. 
Struniewski. A special 70th anniversary issue of the Przeglad Morski (September 
1992) was devoted entirely to Polish naval education. 

Other problems have not been investigated so comprehensively. As a result, 
we experience numerous lacunae and other weaknesses in Polish naval history. 
From this long list, at least a few should be mentioned. For instance, the 

polskiego na morzu (Gdynia: 1961); W. Radziszewski, XXX lat marynarki wojennej PRL (Warszawa: 
1975); W. Radziszewski, Marynarka Wojenna w latache 1945-1949 (Gdansk: 1976). 

J. Przybylski, Rozwdj Marynarki Wojenttej ijej rola w obronie Wybrzeza w latach 1949-1956 (Warszawa: 1979). 

50 J. Przybylski, Marynarka Wojenna PRL w latach 1956-1980 (studium historyczno-wojskowe) 
(Gdynia: 1988). 

51 C. Ciesielski, W. Pater, J. Przybylski, Polska Marynarka Wojenna 1918-1980 (Warszawa: 1992. 

Z. Wasko, R. Witkowski, "Proba oceny stanu badan historii Marynarki Wojennej PRL," Przeglad 
Morski, 1980, no. 9. 

53 W. Szczerkowski, ORP "Btyskawica" (Gdansk: 1970); J. Marczak, Niszczyciel "Btyskawica" 
(Warszawa: 1970); J. Marczak, Kontrtorpedowiec "Burza" (Warszawa: 1970); R. Mielczarek, ORP 
"Grom." Zarys dziejow (Gdansk: 1970); J. Pertek, Niszczyciele "Grom" i "Btyskawica" (Gdansk: 1969); 
J. Pertek, Niszczyciele "Wicher" i "Burza" (Gdansk: 1971); J. Pertek, "Burza" - weteran atlantyckich 
szlakow (Gdynia: 1965); J. Pertek, Dzieje ORP "Orzet" (Gdansk: 1972). 

54 C. Rudzki, Polskie okrety podwodne 1926-1969 (Warszawa: 1985). 

C. Ciesielski, Szkolnictwo Marynarki Wojennej w II Rzeczypospolitej (Warszawa: 1974). 

W. Bialek, T. Struniewski, Wyzsza Szkoia Marynarki Wojennej imienia BonaterSw Westerplatte (Warszawa: 

Litwin and Karawajczyk 293 

development of naval aviation has not been sufficiently covered. There are only 
two important publications from a scholarly point of view: one dealing with 


prewar times and the other with postwar times. In addition, economic and 
legal aspects of the Navy have not attracted much attention. So far, only one 
naval historian, S. Ordon, has considered this subject. In the 1960s he wrote two 
remarkable books devoted to the period between 1918 and 1939. Further- 
more, the history of ports and naval bases has been almost completely ignored. 
Apart from one of R. Witkowski's publications relating to the Hel naval base 
in the years 1920—1939, there is virtually no literature in this field. 

One of the serious drawbacks of Polish naval historiography has been lack of 
a "Mahanian" school, or even individual researchers thinking like A.T. Mahan. 
Such a situation can be understood to a certain degree because Poland never 
intended to become a sea power. It is much more difficult to understand, 
however, why Mahan's works are almost unknown in Poland. None of them, 
for instance, have even been translated into Polish. 

International naval history issues have often been evaluated by Polish authors. 
I note, for example, E. Kosiarz, J. Lipiriski, and J. Pertek. In most cases, 
however, their publications have not been based on their own sound studies, 
but rather on the research of foreign naval historians. Very few publications have 
been dedicated to the art of naval war, strategy, and fighting tactics. Those 
authored by W. Glinski and R. Pietraszkiewicz are the most valuable. 

Since World War II, ideology and politics have been very important to Polish 
naval history. Under the communist regime a few topics, such as brotherhood 
in arms, and friendship and cooperation between fleets of socialist countries in 
the Baltic, were particularly well received. Others, on the other hand, were 
prohibited; for example, the role of the Polish Navy in the war against Soviet 
Russia in 1920 and in September 1939, or the oppression of prewar naval officers 
in the postwar period. Sweeping political changes in Central and Eastern Europe 
from 1989 on have, to some extent, affected the development of naval history 
in Poland. There are no longer forbidden themes or problems for scientific 

57 J. Rozwadowski, Morski Dywizjon Lotniczy 1918-1939 (Albany: 1973). 

Z. Misztal, "Poczatki Lotnictwa Marynarki Wojennej," Rocznik Osrodka Nauk Spotecznych i 
Wojskowych Marynarki Wojennej, no. 5 (1975). 

S. Ordon, Kampania wrze'sniowa 1939 r. na morzu w swietle prawa miedzynarodowego (Gdynia: 1963); 
S. Ordon, Polska Marynarka Wojenna w. latach 1918—1939. Problemy prawne i ekonomiczne (Gdynia: 

60 R. Witkowski, Hel na strazy Wybrzeza 1920-1939 (Warszawa: 1974). 

E. Kosiarz, Wojna na Battyku 1939 (Gdansk: 1988); E. Kosiarz, Wojna na morzach i oceanach 
1939-1945 (Gdansk: 1988); J. Lipinski, Druga wojna swiatowa na norzu (Gdansk: 1976); J. Pertek, Od 
Reichsmarine do Bundesmarine 1918-1965 (Poznari: 1966). 

W. Glinski, Morski operacje desantowe w drugiej wojnie swiatowej (Gdansk: 1969); H. Pietraszkiewicz, 
"Rozwoj polskiej morskiej mysli wojskowej w latach 1945-1969," Rocznik Osrodka Nauk Spotecznych 
i Wojskowych Marynarki Wojennej, no. 5 (1970); E. Kosiarz, L. Ratajczak, "Taktyka 'wilczych stad' 
niemieckich okretow podwodnych," Przeglad Morski, no. 10 (1958). 

294 Poland 

research, but that does not mean that the current political situation has no impact 
on naval history. Sometimes one can come away with the impression that some 
historians investigate particular problems, not because they are important, but 
because they have been prohibited for a long time. In the war against Soviet 
Russia in 1920, for example, the Polish Navy played an altogether insignificant 
role. Only about one hundred seamen took part in the fighting on land, as there 
were no actions at sea. Still, a number of historians have devoted research to this 
subject, while there are many considerably more important topics to explore. 

To sum up these remarks on the state of naval history in Poland, I must point 
out, in the first place, that there exists a wide gulf between the study of military 
affairs on the seas and of non-military maritime history; additionally, naval history 
is taught exclusively in the Navy, mainly at the Naval Academy, and research 
in this field is being done primarily by historians employed by military institu- 
tions; furthermore, most researchers have concentrated on military operations 
of the Polish Navy while other topics have been to some extent neglected. Also 
of concern is that there is no organization or journal that brings the studies in 
naval history together; and, finally, ideology and politics have shaped, to a certain 
degree, the debates about naval history, mostly by creating demands for inves- 
tigation into specific problems. 


Commander J. A. Rodrigues Pereira, Portuguese Navy 

The geographical position of Portugal, at the southwestern extremity of the 
European continent, has placed it, throughout history, astride important 
sea routes. The territory of Portugal, which includes several parallel river systems 
with good havens and ports, permits easy penetration of the country's interior 
by ships and has led the various populations to pursue maritime activities, 
sometimes as a complement to their terrestrial ones. 

The Portuguese Navy evolved from the twelfth century and attained, through 
judicious legislative measures, a great development by the fourteenth century. 
At the beginning of the fifteenth century, under the guiding hands of the 
maritime bourgeoisie and the Military Order of Christ, the nation became 
conscious of its maritime capabilities and launched the enterprise of maritime 
discoveries. In the space of about one century, this endeavor gave the Portuguese 
extensive knowledge of two thirds of the surface of the world and produced an 
immense maritime empire. Using, for the first time, innovative strategic 
concepts that would later be adopted by other nations, Portugal succeeded in 
obtaining for a time a command of the seas, which are written about today by 
many respected naval strategists. 

Portugal is definitively connected with the sea. Its maritime history has played 
a significant role in the development of some of the most important chapters of 
the world's history: its maritime achievement, its ships and seamen, its caravels 
and carracks that voyaged over "seas that had never been previously navigated;"' 
the transportation and supply of military expeditions; and seaborne trade and 
fishing. The importance of leaving this rich history of our maritime and military 
accomplishments to future generations was recognized very early by responsible 
national leaders. 

The Military Order of Christ replaced the Templars, who had previously been predominant in 

Passing through many vicissitudes, and suffering various amputations, this maritime-colonial empire 
would last until 1975. 

Luis de Camoes, The Lusiads (1655: reprint, with introduction by Geoffrey Bullough, Cartendale: 
Southern Illinois University Press, 1964). For a broad general overview in English of early Portuguese 
maritime history, see the essays by Charles Verlinden and George Winius in Hattendorf, ed., An 
Introduction to Maritime History: The Age of Discovery (Malabar, Fla.: Krieger Publishing, 1995). 

296 Portugal 

We can say that the history of the Portuguese Navy began with the scribes 
of the sixteenth century carracks and with the chroniclers of the realm who left 
us detailed accounts of Portuguese voyages, and military and naval actions, 
particularly those that took place in the Orient and Africa. Although this was 
done in a style that was very characteristic of that age, we find in them a 
comprehensive account of Portuguese maritime activities in the fifteenth and 
sixteenth centuries. 

In 1 835 the first attempt to write a systematic study of our maritime history 
appeared in the Annals of the Portuguese Navy, Royal Academy of Sciences. 
However, whether due to the possibility that the original author had not finished 
his work, or that it was lost, only the part that covers the years of 1 140-1 640 has 
been preserved, and that deals only with the events that took place in the Atlantic 

The end of the nineteenth century and beginning of the twentieth witnessed 
the appearance of numerous scattered studies of our maritime history. The 
majority of these were produced by illustrious naval officers. 

In the 1930s, when the commemorations of the eighth centenary of the 
founding of Portugal and the third centenary of the restoration of Independence 
were taking place, The Clube Militar Naval promoted the writing of a history 
of the Portuguese Navy, the absence of which was felt by all. This project, which 
emerged from an organizing commission presided over by Commander Fon- 
toura da Costa, was divided into six parts, and sub-divided into chapters. 
Unfortunately, only the first volume, covering the period 1140—1385, was 
eventually published. 

In the 1960s, when the great commemoration of the fifth centenary of the 


death of Prince Henry took place, the absence of a comprehensive naval history 
was once again made a prominent issue. At that time an important work of 
maritime historiography was published, containing a repository of all the known 
Portuguese nautical charts of the fifteenth to the seventeenth centuries. 

On 5 March 1969, a Ministry of the Navy decree led to a group of studies of 
maritime history. These proved to be the embryo of the present Academia de 
Marinha, created in 1978, which presently comprises over one hundred mem- 
bers. The Academia includes some of the most dedicated and zealous inves- 

Between 1580 and 1640, Portugal and Spain were united under a dualist monarchy. 

A Club of naval officers founded at the end of the nineteenth century. 
6 The Periods that were to be covered were 1) from the founding of the nation to the battle of 
Aljubarrota (1 140-1385); 2) The dynasty of Aviz (1385-1580); 3) The Philippine dynasty (1580-1640); 
4) The dynasty of Braganca (until 1820); and 5) the Constitutional Monarchy and the Republic 

Each period was intended to focus on administration, personnel, materials, and operations. 
8 The Master of the Military Order of Christ, and the great stimulator of the Portuguese discoveries. 

Armando Cortesao and Avelino Teixeira da Mota, Portugaliae Monumenta Cartagraphica (Lisboa: 
Comissao Executiva das Comemorancoes do V Centenaria da Marte do Infante D. Henrique, 1960). 

Rodrigues Pereira 297 

tigators of maritime history, although it must be recognized that other excep- 
tional workers in the same field exist outside that fine organization, as well. 

At a time when Portugal is commemorating the centennials of its most 
important maritime voyages and discoveries, the Academia de Marinha has 
now undertaken the task of publishing a history of the Navy. The intent of this 
project is to recognize in a significant manner, the transition from past to future. 
After having made an analysis of previous attempts, and their planning, the 
decision was made to produce a profound and well-documented work that could 
be consulted by serious scholars and investigators, and one which would serve 
as a fundamental source for study and investigation. According to the elaborated 
plan, the work would be divided into periods, materials, parts and chapters, with 
each period being designated a tome and containing the necessary number of 
volumes based on the development of the parts and the required chapters. A first 
estimate suggested that the complete work would consist of thirty-three tomes 
in about one hundred volumes. The theses would be coordinated by a scientific 
commission of seven members, who would select the authors and make a 
preliminary evaluation of their proposed work so as to ensure compliance with 
the defined directives. 

The work is to be divided into six periods, according to the following 

1) From the beginning of the nation to the beginning of expansion 

2) From the conquest of Ceuta to the death of D. Joao II (1415—1484). 

3) From the reign of D. Manuel I to the invasion by the Duke of Alba 

4) From the Philippine period until the end of the War of Restoration 

5) The period of absolute monarchy (1669—1820). 

6) The period of constitutional governments (after 1820). 

Each period consists of generically equal parts comprising the following 
subject areas in general: 

- Ships, seamen, the art of navigation, and war at sea. 

- Men, doctrines, organization, and legislation. 

- Voyages and naval operations. 

- The passage to India. 

- Ports and maritime trade. 

10 Those being the Cape of Good Hope (1487), the maritime route to India (1487-1488), Brazil (1500), 
and the arrival in Japan (1543). 

298 Portugal 

Maritime history was first taught in the Naval Academy in 1864, with the 
aim of providing "a brief and simple presentation of facts, some development of 
outstanding events and a very brief synthesis of the various periods." A course 
of naval history is currently being taught at the Naval Academy to give the 
students a perspective of the development of naval power throughout history, 
its use by the peoples who possessed it, and its consequences for the political 
structure of the world. At the same time, it emphasizes the Portuguese maritime 

The following themes, dedicated exclusively to the History of the Portuguese 
Navy, are also explored: 

- The Portuguese Navy from the eleventh to the fourteenth century; 

- Portuguese discoveries and expansion in the fifteenth century; 

- The Portuguese maritime empire in the sixteenth century; 

- The Evolution of cartography and Nautical Science; 

- The Portuguese Navy in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; 

- The Portuguese Navy in the nineteenth century: technical evolution and 
occupation of the coasts of the continent of Africa. 

- The Portuguese Navy in the twentieth century: participation in World 
War I, NATO and the war in Africa. 

The Higher Institute of Naval Warfare also teaches some facts about our 
maritime history, but only from the strategic point of view. 

Courses at several Portuguese universities teach maritime history in the 
programs leading to degrees in history, but under different names; for example, 
the history of the expansion versus the history of the discoveries. The Lisbon 
Faculty of Letters even has a course that is designated the History of the 
Portuguese Navy. There is, in the Faculty of Letters of the University of 
Oporto, a Centre of Historical Studies which is dedicated to study of the 
country's traditional vessels in their historical and archaeological context. The 
Luis de Camoes University also has a discipline on naval archaeology included 
in its curriculum. 

The Faculty of Social and Human Sciences of the Universidade Nova de 
Lisboa awards a master's degree in the History of the Portuguese discoveries and 
Expansion, with a specific area of study in Portuguese maritime activities during 
the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The Faculty of Letters of the classical 
University of Lisbon awards a master's degree in Modern History, for the study 

Vicente Almeida d'Eca, LJpcaes historia maritima geral (Lisboa: Imprensa Nacional, 1895). 

The author taught at the Naval Academy from 1982 to 1988, and collaborated in the elaboration 
of the present study programme. 

Faculty of Letters of the Lisbon Classical University, Faculty of Letters of the University of Coimbra, 
Faculty of Letters of the University of Oporto, Faculty of Social and Human Sciences of the Universidade 
Nova de Lisboa, University of Evora, University of the Minho, and University of the Azores, these 
being all teaching establishments of the State. 

Luis de Camoes University is a private institution. 

Rodrigues Pereira 299 

of the Maritime Discoveries, and conducts seminars on nautical science and 
cartography. Other, recently created, Portuguese universities give courses in 
military history, which naturally includes the naval aspects of the conflicts in 
which Portugal has been involved. 

There is also the Maritime Museum in Lisbon which is a dependency of the 
Portuguese Navy. It is dedicated to the study, gathering, and presentation of 
elements related to Portuguese maritime activities. Its director enjoys the 
collaboration of a consultative technical commission of eight members who are 
specialists in various fields and who support the Museum with their studies and 
investigation. The Museum also provide replies to consultations requested 
from abroad. There are, in addition, about ten small regional museums in 
Portugal, dedicated to local maritime affairs, regional craft, and fishing activities. 

The period of maritime discoveries and Portuguese expansion (fifteenth and 
sixteenth centuries) is the period best studied, albeit with a few lapses, because 
it belongs to the most important period of Portuguese history, when Portugal 
was a great maritime power and when significant developments in nautical 
science and cartography occurred. 

On the contrary, the least studied period is the eighteenth and nineteenth 
centuries, when there was a progressive reduction in the importance of the 
nation in international affairs, primarily as a consequence of the decline in 
Portuguese naval power. 

Students of our maritime history have been predominantly naval officers. 
Thus, those aspects of it which are connected with military activities are logically 
more developed than those linked to civilian ones. However, there are also other 
dedicated investigators who have made studies of our merchant marine, regional 
or traditional vessels (history and archaeology), and fishing activities. In some 
parts of northern Portugal, these have special characteristics since they are, at 
times, associated with agricultural pursuits. 

The lack of a comprehensive history of the Portuguese Navy is a serious lapse 
in national historiography, and one which must be corrected. The Portuguese 
people, and the rest of the world, need to understand what our seafarers did and 
how they lived — from the anonymous sailors of the medieval galleys, to those 
who have collaborated recently with the United Nations in the embargoes 
placed on Iraq and Serbia — so that other cultures that presently possess maritime 
power will not forget that it was Portugal that pioneered those ocean voyages 
that made it possible for it to "give new worlds to the world." 

The Director is an active naval officer. 

Specifically in the fields of strategy and naval shipbuilding. 

The Napoleonic wars and Liberal wars are stressed here, particularly from the perspective of naval 

Luis de Camoes, The Lusiads. 


Malcolm H. Murfett 1 

It is rather paradoxical to think that the Republic of Singapore, which owes 
a great deal of its phenomenal commercial success to its close involvement 
with the sea, has still to develop more than a token appreciation of the roots of 
its maritime and naval history. 

Little is done on the island, for example, in an academic sense, to further the 
cause of either of these branches of Singapore's local history. No courses on 
these themes are offered at its two universities (the National University of 
Singapore (NUS) and the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), or at the 
Singapore Command and Staff College (SCSC) at Seletar Base. Apart from a few 
lectures devoted to the ideas and influence of Mahan, Corbett, and Richmond 
in the strategic studies course offerings at NUS and SCSC, there is little attempt 
to cover international naval history in a systematic way at either of these 
institutions. Although specific naval topics, such as the Anglo-German naval 
armaments race, the Washington Conference and the Singapore Strategy, do 
find their way onto existing regional-based courses at NUS, and the war at sea 
is studied as part of a much broader military component within its history 
department, the fact remains that naval issues appear more as an accompaniment 
rather than a core of these academic courses. Maritime history fares little better 
in comparison. Several lectures by Associate Professor Ng Chin Keong are 
devoted to the development of Chinese maritime trade as part of a third year 
B.A. general degree course on the Economic and Social History of Modern 
China at NUS, but there is little else on the existing slate of courses that takes 
account of maritime subjects. 

Fortunately, some element of change is likely in light of the modularization 
of curricula that both the NUS and NTU are planning to introduce at the 

Senior Lecturer in British and European History, National University of Singapore. 

In some senses, the irony is greater still since in the recent past Singapore has not only become the 
world's busiest port, but also has been actively expanding its relatively small but modern, well-equipped, 
naval fleet. 

Ng Chin Keong is best known for his admirable book, Trade and Society: The Amoy Network on the 
China Coast 1683-1735 (Singapore: Singapore Univ. Press, 1983), on the maritime trade of Fukien. 
His book is a revised version of his award winning Ph.D. thesis at the Australian National University 
in Canberra. 

302 Singapore 

beginning of the 1994-95 academic year. It is highly probable that a postgraduate 
course in International Naval History will be launched at the NUS by the author 
of this article at the earliest opportunity after 1994, and the likelihood is that 
once the Singapore Armed Forces Training Institute (SAFTI) is expanded and 
upgraded into a military academy in 1995, it will be better able to offer a greater 
variety of naval topics for its students than is possible at the present time. On the 
maritime front at the NUS, Associate Professor Ng Chin Keong is intending to 
introduce a postgraduate level course on the Maritime History of China from 
the Twelfth Century to the Fall of the Ch'ng Dynasty, but apart from this new 
offering, nothing else is planned for the immediate future. Clearly, much more 
could be done than is being tackled at present, particularly in the sphere of 
Southeast Asian economic history and on specific issues such as piracy, which 
have a contemporary relevance in Southeast Asian waters. 

While the development of Singapore's maritime trade and its management 
by the Port of Singapore Authority does receive some attention from the staff 
of both the Geography and Economics Departments at the NUS and NTU, a far 
more rigorous set of practical and technical training courses are offered to school 
leavers at the well-equipped Singapore Polytechnic and Ngee Ann Polytechnic. 
At the Singapore Polytechnic, which has a marine simulator on the premises, 
diploma courses are offered in marine engineering, maritime transport, and 
nautical studies, whereas Ngee Ann Polytechnic provides a diploma course in 
shipbuilding and offshore engineering. 

Of those academics currently working in the area of maritime studies at the 
tertiary level in Singapore, arguably, the best known is Associate Professor Chia 
Lin Sien of the Geography Department of NUS. Amongst his many research 
publications are articles on container port development, ship-generated marine 
pollution, navigational, resource, and environmental impacts upon the Straits of 
Malacca and Singapore; and a chapter on "The Port of Singapore" in the 
magisterial volume edited by Kernial Singh Sandhu and Paul Wheatley entitled 
Management of Success: The Moulding of Modern Singapore. 

C. Northcote Parkinson was among the first of the academics in Singapore 
to write about maritime and naval affairs. As Raffles Professor of History at the 

4 Chia Lin Sien, "The Port of Singapore" in Kernial Singh Sandhu and Paul Wheatley, eds., 
Management of Success: The Moulding of Modem Singapore (Singapore: ISEAS, 1989), pp. 314—36. 

A selection of Chia 's prolific output is provided below: 

"Ship-Generated Marine Pollution Issues in Southeast Asia," a conference paper presented to the 
SEAPOL International Conference on the Implementation of the Law of the Sea Convention in the 1990s: Marine 
Environmental Protection and Other Issues, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, 28—30 May 1990, pp. 264—303; 
"Container Port Development in Asean: Shaping up for the Future," Shipper's Times, vol. 1 1(2), 1991, 
pp. 2-6; "The Strait of Malacca and Singapore; navigational, resource environmental considerations," 
in Chia Lin Sien & Colin McAndrews eds., Southeast Asian Seas: Frontiers for Development (Singapore: 
McGraw Hill, 1981), pp. 239—66; "Transportation of Oil in the Strait of Malacca and potential Marine 
Pollution," in P.R. Burbridge, Koesoebiono, H. Dirschl & B. Patton eds., Coastal Zone Management in 
the Strait of Malacca (Halifax, Nova Scotia: Dalhousie Univ. Press, 1988), pp. 165-78. 

Murfett 303 

University of Malaya, Singapore, in 1950—58, Parkinson published several books, 
including his famous book on naval administration, Parkinson's Law, as well as 
more regionally oriented books, such as War in the Eastern Seas, 1793—1815, 
and British Intervention in Malaya, 1867—1877. After the university changed its 
name, Kenneth G. Tregonning became Head of the Department of History at 
the University of Singapore (Uni of S) and wrote Home Port Singapore: A History 


of Straits Steamship Company Limited 1890-1965, while he was still working in 
the republic. His successor as Raffles Professor, Wong Lin Ken, a distinguished 
economic historian in his own right, was the author of the standard work on 
Singapore's early nineteenth century trade. He felt that Singapore's unique 
geostrategic position — lying as it does between the Indian and Pacific Oceans — 
deserved a more comprehensive study of this equatorial island's place in the 
scheme of things than had been attempted hitherto. His exploratory findings, 
which were published for the first time as an article, merely whetted the 
appetite for more. Sadly, his untimely death in February 1983 robbed the 
academic community of the fruits of his ongoing research on this fascinating 
subject. Following on from Wong's work on trade, Ambassador Chiang Hai 
Ding published his doctoral thesis from the Australian National University, A 
History of Straits Settlement Foreign Trade, 1870-1915. 

Despite the relative paucity of local academicians working in the realm of 
maritime history, Singapore's close relationship with the sea has continued to 
exert quite an appeal for a fair number of tertiary students in the past. Over the 
years there has been no shortage of honours degree dissertations (known as 
Academic Exercises) and masters' theses devoted to maritime affairs. A selection 
of the more interesting is provided in the appendix at the end of this chapter. 

Outside the realm of the academic world, the Port of Singapore Authority 
(PSA) does have an educational function to perform and one which it 
discharges responsibly. Apart from holding regional conferences and seminars 
on a host of specialist maritime subjects from bunkering to container traffic, 

C. Northcote Parkinson, Parkinson's Law and Other Studies in Administration (Boston: Houghton, 
Mifflin, 1957). 
6 C. Northcote Parkinson, War in the Eastern Seas, 1793-1815 (London: Allen and Unwin, 1954). 

C. Northcote Parkinson, British Intervention in Malaya, 1867—1877, Malayan Historical Studies 
(Singapore and Kuala Lumpur: University of Malaya Press, 1960). Although much of this deals with 
the Royal Navy, it is a written only from the Colonial Office papers, not the Admiralty papers. 


Kenneth G. Tregonning, Home Port Singapore: A History of Straits Steamship Company Limited 
1890-1965 (Singapore: Oxford Univ. Press, 1967). 

Wong Lin Ken, "The Trade of Singapore, 1819-69," Journal of the Malaysian Branch, Royal Asiatic 
Society, vol. xxxiii, part 4, no. 192 (December 1960), pp. 1-315. 

Wong Lin Ken, "The Strategic Significance of Singapore in Modern History" Commentary, (the 
Journal of the NUS Society), vol. 5, no. 2 (1981), pp. 3-16. 

Chiang Hai Ding, A History of Straits Settlements Foreign Trade, 1870-1915. Memoirs of the National 
Museum, no. 6 (Singapore: National Museum, 1978). 

304 Singapore 

the PSA encourages members of its executive team to undertake postgraduate 

courses overseas in business management. In addition, the PSA also does its best 

not only to cater to the demands of MBA students from a wide range of 

Singaporean and foreign business schools and trade missions, but also services 

requests from secondary school students in the republic who wish to work on 

various port-related projects. It has recently established a new computerized 

library at the Singapore Port Institute in Maritime Square with an array of 

specialist books and reports, microfilm resources, a reasonable file of press 

clippings from the early 1970s onwards, numerous trade periodicals, and the 

proceedings of the many conferences and seminars the PSA has held on maritime 

subjects in the past two decades. Furthermore, the PSA also publishes its own 

monthly in-house staff magazine, Port View, and assists in the production of the 

annual factual handbook, Singapore Port & Shipping, which is actually published 

by Charter Pacific Publications of Victoria, Australia. Being an important 

element in Singapore's commercial development, the PSA naturally takes its 

economic role very seriously and is justifiably proud of its record of achievement 

in the maritime world. Its buoyant and polished self-image is reflected in the 

two elegant pictorial studies which it has commissioned in the past decade. Both 

1 o 
of the quasi-coffee table variety, Singapore: Portrait of a Port and A Port's Story: 

1 ^ 
A Nation 's Success, are expensively produced books that look good and provide 

a clue to the unabashed professionalism of the PSA. Eric Alfred, the former 
curator of the PSA— sponsored Maritime Museum, also wrote and compiled an 
interesting sixteen-page illustrated booklet, Singapore Port History, which does 
much to complement Chris Yap's text in A Port's Story: A Nation's Success. 

Apart from its publications, the PSA has also endeavoured in the past to bring 
Singapore's success as a modern port to the attention of the general public 
through the medium of its Maritime Museum sited on the offshore island of 
Sentosa. Unfortunately, the static display items, faded photographs, and unex- 
citing textual commentaries on the growth of Singapore's maritime trade and 
port are not calculated to appeal to the younger generation. In addition, no 
lectures, seminars, or conferences on maritime subjects are held on the premises, 
and the Museum does not have a manuscript collection or a library or resource 
centre for research purposes. It has produced a few, well- written, information 
sheets on various aspects of Singapore's seafaring tradition, but these are not 
readily available to any but the most inquisitive or persistent visitor. It is, 
therefore, difficult to imagine that the Maritime Museum will be able to attract 
large numbers of appreciative and enthusiastic visitors to its various galleries 
without a large infusion of money, a change of location, and the introduction 
of a much more interactive set of items than it has at present. As the Maritime 

Port of Singapore Authority, Singapore: Portrait of a Port (Singapore: MPH Magazines (S) Pte, 1984). 
Port of Singapore Authority, A Port's Story: A Nation's Success (Singapore: Times Editions, 1990). 
14 Eric Alfred, Singapore Port History (Singapore: 1987). 

Murfett 305 

Museum's long-term future on Sentosa is far from certain, the PSA is under- 
standably reluctant to provide it with the investment it so badly needs. This lack 
of funds ensures that regardless of how committed its staff may be, the Maritime 
Museum looks destined to remain a sad and unsatisfactory relic on a holiday 
island given over to leisure and entertainment on a grand scale. Its future may 
also be compromised to some extent by the anticipated success of the so-called 
Singapore Maritime Showcase — a multimillion-dollar development on the 
waterfront by the World Trade Centre on the main island of Singapore. This 
high-tech, multimedia attraction — a celebration of Singapore's global port 
status — will be roughly 5,000 square feet in surface area when the exhibition is 
completed and opened to the public by the end of 1993. If it proves to be as 
successful as the PSA imagines it will be, the death knell is likely to sound for 
the Maritime Museum on Sentosa. Should that happen, the PSA may try to 
house some of the more interesting artifacts from the Maritime Museum, such 
as the racing jongs, outrigger canoes, and keeled boats (Kolek Sauh, Kolek Selat, 
Kolek Chiau, and Pomehai), in the large foyer of the PSA head office in Alexandra 
Road on the main island of Singapore. 

Shipping companies who have played their part in the development of 
Singapore's maritime trade, such as the Keppel Corporation and Neptune Orient 
Lines (NOL), have also recently felt the necessity to commission histories of their 
past deeds. Although NOL has already produced an earlier slim account of its 
corporate history, it decided against releasing Only Yesterday: The Story of Neptune 
Orient Lines 1969—1983 into the public domain. Now it has decided to 
commission Dr. Grace Low, the Head of the History Department at NTU, to 
prepare an updated version for publication in 1994. Keppel's plans for a 
corporate history are still shrouded in mystery despite the planned launch in late 
September 1993 of Richard Lim's, Tough Men, Bold Visions — The Story of Keppel. 
Although it is expected to have a print run of 1 1 ,000, Lim's book on one of 
Singapore's flagship companies is unlikely at this stage to be sold to the general 
public and appears to be reserved for the exclusive use of customers and staff 

Singapore's controversial (some would describe it as infamous) military legacy, 
wrapped up as it is with the fate of the British Empire, has never failed to attract 
the attention of a host of historians from all over the world ever since the island 
fortress fell to the outnumbered troops of the Imperial Japanese Army on 15 
February 1942. Apart from the military historians who have sought a convincing 
explanation for this allied debacle, other diplomatic and international scholars 
moved into the arena in the hope of placing Singapore's surrender into a wider 

Dr. Low has just completed a manuscript on the development of the port ofjurong (located on the 
western coast of Singapore) which she is hoping to publish in 1994. 

Richard Lim, Tough Men, Bold Visions — The Story of Keppel (Singapore: Keppel Corp., 1993), 141 

306 Singapore 

context of Britain's spectacular fall from grace on the world's stage in the 
twentieth century. As a result, research work on British military involvement 
with Singapore developed into one of the historical growth areas in the 1970s 
and early 80s without much help from any of the island's academics. Interestingly 
enough, much of this work was concerned with unravelling the so-called 
"Singapore Naval Strategy." William Roger Louis's, British Strategy in the Far 

1 7 

East 1919—1939, may be seen as opening up the field for others to exploit in 
the years that followed. W. David Mclntyre went much further in exploring a 

r-r-rt 1 ft 

purely naval theme in his The Rise and Fall of the Singapore Naval Base, as did 
James Lord Neidpath in The Singapore Naval Base and the Defence of Britain's 
Eastern Empire 1919-1941. Paul Haggie's, Britannia at Bay, Ian Hamill's, The 
Strategic Illusion, Peter Lowe's, Great Britain and the Origins of the Pacific War 
and Malcolm H. Murfett's, Fool— proof Relations, all managed to add something 
to the naval story of what S. Woodburn Kirby was to describe as "the greatest 
national humiliation suffered by Britain since Yorktown." After losing some 
of its research topicality for a few years, the "Singapore Strategy" has resurfaced 
once more in the vanguard of the republican movement in Australia. David 
Day's, The Great Betrayal: Britain, Australia and the Onset of the Pacific War, led 
the way and the Rt. Hon. Paul Keating, the Australian Prime Minister, joined 
in the fray with a series of outspoken remarks about the iniquities of the British 
military and government in allowing the island of Singapore to fall to the Japanese 
in 1942. Malcolm Murfett wrote an answer to these charges. While not going 
as far as Day and Keating in their scathing denunciations of the perfidious British, 
his article is critical of what he sees as both British and Australian wishful thinking 
as far as Singapore was concerned during the inter- war period. 

Given the high level of interest in Singapore's part in British naval history up 
to 1942, the fact that its immediate postwar role is usually passed over in silence, 

17 William Roger Louis, British Strategy in the Far East 1919-1939 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971). 

18 W. David Mclntyre, The Rise and Fall of the Singapore Naval Base (London: Macmillan, 1979). 

19 James Lord Neidpath, The Singapore Naval Base and the Defence of Britain's Eastern Empire 1919-1941 
(Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981). 

20 Paul Haggie, Britannia at Bay: The Defence of the British Empire Against Japan, 1931-1941 (Oxford: 
Clarendon Press, 1981). 

Ian Hamill, The Strategic Illusion: The Singapore Strategy and the Defence of Australia and New Zealand, 
1919-1942 (Singapore: Singapore Univ. Press, 1981). 

22 Peter Lowe, Great Britain and the Origins of the Pacific War (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1977). 

23 Malcolm Murfett, Fool-proof Relations: The Search for Anglo-American Naval Cooperation during the 
Chamberlain Years, 1937-1940 (Singapore: Singapore Univ. Press, 1984). 

24 S. Woodburn Kirby, Singapore: The Chain of Disaster (London and New York : Macmillan, 1971), 
p. xiii. 

25 David Day, The Great Betrayal: Britain, Australia and the Onset of the Pacific War (New York: W.W. 
Norton, 1989). 

26 Malcolm Murfett, " Living in the Past: A Critical Re-examination of the Singapore Naval Strategy, 
1918-1941 " War & Society, vol. 11, no. 1 (May 1993), pp. 73-103. 

Murfett 307 

or in a few sentences at most, looks a little odd and requires some investigation. 
Sadly, it is all too explicable since it results largely from the deficiencies in the 
primary source material covering this topic. All of the authors who have 
published works on British defence policy east of Suez in the post— 1945 period 
have, for example, been denied access to more than a mere fragmentary record 
of the deliberations of the extremely important regional policy-making com- 
mittee in Southeast Asia known as the British Defence Coordination Committee 
(Far East) . This mixed civil-military review body was chaired by the Commis- 
sioner-General Malcolm MacDonald and included the regional Chiefs of Staff 
from all three British armed services based at the Far East Station in Singapore. 
It was in virtually constant communication with the Chiefs of Staff and the Joint 
Planning Section in London, as is witnessed by the large number of references 
to the COSSEA and SEACOS cables which litter the Ministry of Defence files 
for the immediate post— 1947 period. Its work embraced review studies and 
military appreciations which were sent to both departmental and Cabinet sources 
in Whitehall. Unfortunately, the British government has embargoed all the files 
relating to the work of this committee under Section 3(4) of the Public Records 
Act 1958 and steadfastly refuses to relent and release this information into the 
public domain. As a result, scholarship on the Singaporean end of the British 
defence story east of Suez in the post-war period has been sparse, although Toni 
Schonnenberger did try to do justice to this theme in his book. Unfortunately, 
little scholarly activity on this topic followed in his wake. After vainly pursuing 
the British government for clearance to use the British Defence Coordination 
Committee (Far East) papers throughout the decade of the 1980s, Malcolm 
Murfett finally decided in 1992 to write up the research project on Singapore's 
role in British naval defence of the Far East, which he had been working on for 
a number of years. 

Complaints about the lack of access to the British records may also be 
advanced in the case of the Singaporean National Archives. Although Singapore 
has officially adopted a twenty-five-year rule for its public records, there are two 
notable departmental exceptions to this rule, namely, the Ministry of Defence 
and the Ministry of Home Affairs. Neither of these departments are required by 
the government to lodge their official records with the National Archives, and 
both will remain independently responsible for all their documents in the years 
to come. Presumably, therefore, public access to these primary sources will be 
severely restricted. Even those departments and statutory boards that are required 
by law to send their primary source material to the National Archives have 
somehow managed to circumvent the ruling and retain their most important 
and confidential files. Moreover, they have even imposed a restricted access on 

Toni Schonnenberger, Derbritische Riickzug aus Singapore 1945- 191 6 (Zurich: Atlantis Verlag, 1981). 

Malcolm Murfett, hi Jeopardy: The Royal Navy and the Role of Singapore in British Far Eastern Defence 
Policy, 1945-51 (Kuala Lumpur: Oxford Univ. Press, 1994). 

308 Singapore 

those papers which they have been willing to pass to the National Archives. 
Applications from researchers for approval to examine these records in the 
National Archives will be handled on a strictly case-by-case basis. Although it 
is not specifically stated, one may infer that Singaporean nationals are more likely 
than foreign scholars to get what access may be granted to these records in the 
years to come. It is a moot point, of course, whether or not the individual public 
bodies will ever trust the National Archives sufficiently to handle their most 
sensitive material. An additional problem is posed by the fact that some of the 
statutory boards may not have established a file registry as yet — the PSA is a prime 
example — an administrative omission that will vastly complicate the process of 
anyone using these official records for research purposes in the future. 
Moreover, before the bulk of these files are turned over to the National Archives, 
the individual ministries and statutory boards will have to evaluate all this material 
and decide on what ought to be released for public inspection, or that which 
must be embargoed for a specific number of years — or even indefinitely. Once 
this stage has been completed, and before the public records of the Republic of 
Singapore can be made available to bona fide scholars, the staff of the National 
Archives will have to compile a number of reference ledgers that list by name 
and number all the individual files which these public bodies have passed to the 
National Archives for its safeguarding. If these are not sufficient reasons for 
pessimistic concern, the fact is that the National Archives desperately needs a 
purpose-built building to house its permanent records. Its present building — an 
old, labyrinthine structure, which it shares with the Oral History Archive and 
other assorted ventures — is thoroughly unsuitable on a number of grounds. 
Apart from its somewhat dilapidated appearance, the Hill Street building is 
neither secure nor large enough to act as a repository for all the official 
Singaporean records generated since 1959, nor is it equipped to serve as a modern 
search-room for scholars and interested members of the general public to consult 
those public records that it possesses. Its Oral History Archive (OH A) has some 
considerable potential, but its catalogue is hardly user-friendly and provides 
insufficient information to potential researchers about the contents of the taped 
interviews or personal reminiscences which form the bulk of the OHA's stock 
of material. 

Of the documents that are open in the National Archives and relate to naval 
and maritime history, there are five War Office files drawn from the WO 32 
and WO 106 classifications (originating in date between 1924—1939 on the 
subject of the Singapore Naval Base); thirty-nine documents are to be found in 
the CO 273 series on a range of different naval and maritime subjects, and an 
index of Straits Settlements records for the years 1890—1946 is also available. It 
should be noted, however, that all this archival material and much else, besides, 
in the Ministry of Defence (DEFE) and Foreign Office General Correspondence 

Murfett 309 

(FO 371) files can be consulted in the Public Records Office at Kew Gardens 
in London. 

Owing to the highly sensitive nature of its work, the Ministry of Defence 
(Mindef) in Singapore is officially exempt from observing the twenty-five-year 
rule on the release of its departmental papers. According to the staff of the 
Military Heritage Branch at Mindef s new headquarters at Bukit Gombak, the 
likelihood is that non-military personnel will not be granted permission to 
examine its confidential files at any time in the foreseeable future. If such a ruling 
is likely to apply to local researchers, it stands to reason that foreigners will not 
have the faintest chance of gaining access to Mindef s files for many years to 
come. Research possibilities into aspects of the history of the Republic of 
Singapore Navy (RSN) are, therefore, very limited and largely dependent upon 
the information the RSN wishes to yield to the general public in the com- 
memorative volumes which the Naval Archives produces from time to time. 
The Republic of Singapore Navy is one such volume — a slim thirty-page affair 
replete with colourful snapshots capturing the essence of an active and demand- 
ing service. It does not seek to be a scholarly tome, but looks and reads as though 
it were designed as part of a recruitment campaign to sell the merits of the RSN 
to the youth of the island. The Pointer, the journal of the Singapore Armed 
Forces (SAF), can also be relied upon to publish uncontentious pieces on the 
RSN from time to time. Far more important than either of these sources of 
information is the ongoing research project on the history of the RSN, which 
was set in motion in the early 1990s by Teo Chee Hean, the then Commander 
of the RSN. Lieutenant Colonel Lim Kwong Hoon, a trained historian with a 
master's from Duke University, was asked to begin the task before he took early 
retirement from the service. According to Lieutenant Colonel Lim, he had 
finished a chapter on the Confrontation period (1963—65), written up a proposed 
outline for a thirteen-chapter manuscript covering the entire history of the 
Singaporean fleet and had found source references for many of the individual 
topics which he thought should be included in this work before he left the RSN 
in 1992. One may assume that the project will continue to be advanced through 
the work of other naval officers until the complete history of the RSN is 
concluded. Whether this manuscript will be published or merely used as an 
in-service information tool for RSN personnel is far from clear at this stage. 

Despite its silence on this matter, the RSN is nonetheless keen to provide the 
general public with what it describes as "a showcase of the RSN's Heritage" 
through the establishment of the Naval Museum which was opened at RSS 
Panglima — the School of Naval Training — in Sembawang Camp on 22 June 
1987 by Lieutenant General Winston Choo, Chief of General Staff on the SAF. 

The Republic of Singapore Navy (Singapore: RSN Archives, 1988) 

See also the Singapore Nava 
Singapore Navy (Singapore: 1987) 

See also the Singapore Naval Archives booklet, Pictorial History of Brani Naval Base: Republic of 

310 Singapore 

Unfortunately, it has neither a library nor an archive of its own, nor is it used as 
a centre for lectures, seminars, or conferences on the RSN's historical develop- 
ment. Far from being a research facility, the Naval Museum is designed as a visual 
experience. On display are a range of interesting artifacts (including such items 
as the mine-sweeping hammer, a decompression chamber, and a host of naval 
guns) that have been collected over the years by S.W.O. Wee Cheng Leong, the 
part-time curator of the Naval Museum. Despite the fact that S.W.O. Wee has 
done a good job in gathering display items to reflect the history of the RSN, the 
Naval Museum lacks a certain sophistication and is chronically underfunded. Its 
very existence may be an encouraging step in the right direction, but unless the 
RSN has a change of heart and decides to upgrade its facilities, it looks destined 
to remain a small amateur venture rather than a glamorous professional attraction. 
On the whole, therefore, the record of maritime and naval history in 
Singapore today is mixed. While, admittedly, some work is being done on both 
subjects, research on a whole range of interesting contemporary topics- — espe- 
cially for the post— 1959 period — is full of potential pitfalls even for those trusted 
and empowered to undertake this work on behalf of the Singaporean authorities. 
By the same token, foreign scholars who wish to work on these topics in 
Singapore face an even more daunting challenge. If they are denied access to 
archival sources (a reasonable assumption in the circumstances!), they will almost 
certainly be forced to rely upon conducting oral interviews and scouring the 
pages of the local English-language daily newspapers, The Straits Times and 
Business Times, together with those quality journals, such as The Economist, Asia 
Wall Street Journal and the Far East Economic Review, in an effort to stitch together 
what, under the circumstances, cannot be anything more than an incomplete 
story. Unless the government relaxes its rules on the freedom of information, 
and major companies follow suit — an unlikely scenario — quality research work 
on Singaporean maritime and naval subjects in the modern era will remain 
regrettably compromised. This is particularly unfortunate since there are lessons 
for others to learn from Singapore's postwar experience. At this stage, however, 
debate on various aspects of Singapore's maritime and naval past remains 
muted — a casualty, one imagines, of the prevailing belief that history is somehow 
irrelevant at a time when a nation is in active pursuit of commercial success and 
material prosperity. For these reasons the unusual paradox mentioned in the 
opening paragraph looks likely to remain ironically valid for many years to come. 

Bibliographical Appendix 

Economics and Statistics Department (University of Singapore and 
National University of Singapore) 

Unpublished Academic Exercises: 
Chou Sook May, "Marine Resources and Tourism: The Case of Singapore" 

Kaur, Pirtpal, "Pricing of Services at Telok Ayer Basin" (1973) 
Kuek Eng Chyne (Anthony), "Development of Coastal Shipping in Singapore" 

Lee Fou Yoong, "A Manpower Study of the PSA Operations Division" (1973) 
Lee Tuan Penh (Michael J.), "The Port of Singapore" (1969) 
Leong Mun Keong, "Shippers and Agents in Singapore's Coastal Trade" (1971) 
Loh Fong Kwee (Daniel), "Concentration in the Shipbuilding and Repairing 

Industry in Singapore" (1971) 
Ng Chee Keong, "The Effects of the Free Trade Zone or the Entrepot Trade 

of Singapore" (1973) 
Oh Kim Wee, "Flags of Convenience: Practice and Implications for Singapore" 

Sze Toh Kok Leang, "A Study of Cargo Handling in Singapore in Singapore's 

Coastal Shipping" (1971) 
Yeo, Annie, "The Structure of Singapore Shipping Industry" (1973) 

Geography Department (University of Singapore and 
National University of Singapore) 

Unpublished Academic Exercises: 
Chia Beng Hock (Alan), "The Malacca Straits: A Study in Political Geography" 

Kalyanam, Ganesh s/o R., "Container Port Development in ASEAN" (1990) 
Lee Kai Yin, "South Asian Shipping and its Links with Singapore" (1989) 
Teo Kiew Ting (Mary Celine), "The development of the port of Singapore 

1819-1959" (1962) 
Wee Siew Sun, "The port of Singapore — postwar development of its physical 

facilities" (1977) 

History Department (University of Singapore and 
National University of Singapore) 

Unpublished Academic Exercises: 
Richard Cheong, "The Singapore Naval Base, a local history" (1983) 

312 Singapore 

Chiang Ming Shun, "Military Defences and Threat Perceptions in Nineteenth 

Century Singapore" (1992) 
R.D. Jansen, "The idea of Singapore as a Naval Base & the abandonment of that 

idea 1885-1905 (1954)" 
Bhajan Singh, "The Defence of Singapore from 1902 to the Washington 

Conference" (1975) 
E. Wong, "The Singapore Harbour Board 1913-1941 (1961)" 
Yeo Piah Woon, "The Singapore Harbour Board 1946-57 (1975)" 

History Department 

Master of Arts Thesis: 

George Bogaars, "The Tanjong Pagar Dock Co." (1952) 

Political Science Department (National University of Singapore) 

Unpublished Academic Exercises: 
Kuldip Singh, "Implications for security in Southeast Asia of the 1982 Conven- 
tion on the Law of the Sea" (1985). 

South Africa 

C.I. Hamilton 

To most South Africans, the sea is the hidden frontier. There are so many 
who appear to regard it as nothing more than a pleasing background to a 
holiday, or perhaps a source of vicarious excitement when a storm endangers 
ships off the coast. This indifference is striking, given the strong maritime 
elements present in the country's geography, history, and economy. Maritime 
studies have inevitably suffered, and to a degree not to be found in other 
countries known to this author. The circumstances peculiar to South Africa will 
be addressed after a survey of what is taught there and its current state of research. 
A suitable beginning is maritime archaeology, because it offers a striking 
example of South Africa's uninterest in its maritime heritage. There are nearly 
three thousand recorded wrecks off the coast of South Africa, dating from the 
sixteenth century; but scarcely any of these have been properly investigated. 
There is a telling contrast here with another "new country," Australia, where 
there are few wrecks, but much research. It is encouraging, however, that interest 
has been increasing lately. Admittedly, some of the growing interest in wrecks 
is from scuba-looters, and there are increasing complaints about their selfish 
depredations, but there are also private divers who are putting their energies and 
enthusiasm at the disposal of institutions. Museums have also become more 
active in the area. Those in ports, notably the Local History Museum, Durban; 
the East London Museum; the Port Elizabeth Museum and the Natal Museum 
in Pietermaritzburg, and to a lesser extent the Bredasdorp Museum, tend to have 
good collections of artefacts from wrecks, look to extend them and, where 

Dr. C.I. Hamilton is a member of the Department of History, University of the Witwatersrand, 
Republic of South Africa. 

Acknowledgenment: I wish to thank all those who responded to my requests for information about 
maritime studies in South Africa, though I am obliged in particular to the generous help of Commander 
W.M. Bisset, Dr. L. van Sittert, Miss H. Van Niekerk (Transport Economics, University of Stellenbosch), 
and Drs B. Werz. Of course, only the author can be held responsible for his opinions. I also owe much 
to those who suggested (with perfect politeness, apart from one oddity) a degree of surprise that members 
of their departments should be thought to have anything to do with the sea: such replies set the context 
to the chapter. 

The references given are almost entirely limited to work undertaken in the last twenty years. It is 
not exhaustive; notably, short reports and undergraduate theses have been excluded; but it is hoped that 
at least the great majority of recent significant work has been included. 

314 South Africa 

possible, study them and publish results. The South Africa Cultural Museum 
in Cape Town has a Maritime Archaeology Unit, though at present it has only 
one member, and the Local History Museum, Durban, hopes soon to make a 
similar appointment. These museums are also much concerned with educating 
the public in regard to salvage. 

University interest in the subject has grown somewhat, but is still more 
limited. There is no specialist department in the country, but in 1988 a trained 
maritime archaeologist was appointed to the Archaeology Department at the 
University of Cape Town (UCT). The departmental courses reflect this, 
perhaps most interestingly in the one on maritime traffic around the African 
coast from about 1500 to 1800, dealing, inter alia, with shipboard life and contacts 
with indigenous peoples. Moreover, joint student projects have been arranged 
with surveying, oceanography, chemistry, marine law and marine geo-science. 
With regard to research, one must note the work on the wrecked V.O.C. vessel 

C. Auret and T. Maggs [Natal Museum], "The Great Ship Sao Bento: Remains from a mid-sixteenth 
century Portuguese wreck on the Pondoland Coast," Annals of the Natal Museum, 25, 1 (1982), pp. 1—39. 
G. Bell-Cross [Curator, the Provincial Museum, Mossel Bay], "The Occurrence of Cornelian and Agate 
Beads at Shipwreck Sites on the Southern African Coast," The Coelacanth, 25, 1 (1987) pp. 20-32. 

Bell-Cross, "Portuguese Shipwrecks and Identification of their Sites," in E. Axelson, ed., Dias and his 
Successors, (Cape Town: Saayman & Weber, 1988), pp. 47—80. 

T. Maggs, "The Great Galleon Sao Joao: Remains from a mid-sixteenth century wreck on the Natal 
South Coast," Annals of the Natal Museum, 26, 1 (1984), pp. 173-86. 

B.R. Stuckenberg [Director, Natal Museum], research on the Santiago wreck is far advanced and 
publication is planned. 

G.N. Vernon [East London Museum], "Oriental Blue and White Porcelain Sherds at Shipwreck Sites 
between the Fish and Kei Rivers," The Coelacanth, 25, 1 (1987), pp. 15—19. 

On also the human consequences of wrecks, see: 

G. Bell-Cross, "A brief Maritime History of the Coast between the Kei and Fish Rivers," The 
Coelacanth, 20, 2 (1982), pp. 27-39, and 21, 1 (1983), pp. 7-12. 

J.M. Costello [East London Museum], "S.S. Umzimvubu," The Coelacanth, 24, 2 (1986), pp. 6-15. 

D.A. Webb and K. Stripp [East London Museum], "Wrecked Twice in one Voyage. The Experiences 
of an Eastern Cape Merchant," The Coelacanth, 26, 1 (1988), pp. 35-47. 

J. S. Bennie [Port Elizabeth Museum], M.A. research on the Amsterdam. 

For an enthusiastic account of a non-professional survey of a wreck, see Allan Kayle, Salvage of the 
Birkenhead (Johannesburg: Southern Book Publishers, 1990). 

B.E.J. S. Werz [Archaeology, UCT], "Saving a Fragment of the Underwater Heritage; a 
Multi-Faceted Approach," CABO: Yearbook of the Historical Society of Cape Town, 4, 4 (1989), pp. 13-18. 

Werz, "A Preliminary Step to Protect South Africa's Undersea Heritage," IJNA, 19, 4, (1990), pp. 

Werz, "The Excavation of the Oosterland in Table Bay: the first Systematic Exercise in Maritime 
Archaeology in Southern Africa," South African Journal of Science, 88, 2 (1992), pp. 85—90. 

Werz, "Tafelbaai gee sy geheime prys. 'n Histories-argeologiese ondersoek van die VOC-skip 
Oosterland," Huguenot Society of South Africa Bulletin, 29 (1992), pp. 54-61. 

Werz, "Maritiem argeologiese ondersoeke in 'n Suid-Afrikaanse konteks: doelstelling, metode en 
pratyk," Tydskrifvir Geesteswetenskappe, 33, 1 (1993), pp. 20-6. 

D. Miller, J. Lee-Thorp, & B. Werz, "Amber in Archaeological Contexts in South Africa," The South 
African Gemmologist, 1 , 2 (1993), pp. 4-8. 

Werz and U.A. Seemann, "Organic Materials from Wet Archaeological Sites: the Conservation of 
Waterlogged Wood," The South African Archaeological Bulletin, 48(1993), pp. 37-41. 

Hamilton 315 

Oostetland, the first scientific underwater excavation in South Africa. In the same 
general context, one ought to mention the Maritime Law Institutes at the Universities 
of Natal, Durban (ND) and UCT, and the Department of Public Law at UCT, not 
so much because the two former offer courses of inevitable historical maritime 
significance (more striking in the case of UCT), but because there are researchers at 
all three studying jurisdiction in coastal waters (which is crucial to control of wrecks) 
as well as other matters of interest to maritime historians. 

One area in which there has long been interest is port development and the urban 
history of ports. Here, too, the port musuems are engaged, not just at the level of 
organizing exhibits and exhibitions, but occasionally also publication. One museum 
unmentioned so far, Simon's Town Museum, has its own historical society, which 
regularly publishes articles on the local history of the town in its Bulletin, and some 
years ago published a solid and well-illustrated volume of research work. (This is 
separate from the new Simon's Town Naval Museum, in the Dockyard.) 

4 Professor Devine, (Institute of Maritime Law, UCT), was good enough to send me the following 
list of relevant publications of himself and his colleagues: 

D.J. Devine and G. Erasmus, "International Environmental Law," chapter 9 of M.A. Rabie, et at., 
Environmental Management in South Africa (Cape Town: Juta, 1982), pp. 155—79. 

Devine, "The Cape's False Bay: a Possible Haven for Ships in Distress," SAYIL, 16 (1990-91), pp. 

J.I. Glazewski, "The Admiralty Reserve — an Historical Anachronism or a Bonus for Conservation in 
the Coastal Zone," Actajuridica, (1986), pp. 193-201. 

Glazewski, "The International Law of the Sea," Marine Science and Technology in South Africa, (1990), 
pp. 12-13. 

Glazewski & M.A. Rabie, "The Evolution of Public Policy with regard to the Environment: a Legal 
Perspective over the last Fifty Years," S. A. Journal of Science, 86 (1990), pp. 413-19. 

Glazewski, "The Regulation of Whaling in International and South African Law," SAYIL, 16 
(1990-91), pp. 61-80. 

Glazewski, A. Dodson, and H. Smith, "Tightening Up the Law" in M. Ramphele, con. ed. with C. 
McDowell, Restoring the Land: Environment and Change in Post-Apartheid South Africa, (London: The 
Panos Institute, 1991), pp. 139-54. 

Glazewski, J. Gurney, and J. Kirkley, "Offshore Minerals," in M.A. Rabie, et al., Environmental 
Management, pp. 380-416. 

Glazewski, A. Heydorn, and B. Glavovic, "The Coastal Zone," in M. A. Rabie, pp. 669-89. 

One should note, too, B.L. Allen, Coastal State Control over the Historical Wrecks Situation on the 
Continental Shelf as Defined in Article 16 of the Law of the Sea Convention 1982, M.A., Public Law, UCT, 
1991; and H. Staniland (Institute of Maritime Law, ND), is working on Admiralty Court jurisdiction 
over salvage and wreck claims. 

G.N. Vernon, [East London Museum], "From Sail to Ro-Ro: the Story of a River Port," The 
Coelacanth, 19, 1 (1981), pp. 5-10. 

See also M. Parkes and V.M. Williams, Knysna the Forgotten Port. The Maritime Story, (Knysna: EMU, 

B.B. Brock and B.G. Brock, in close collaboration with H.C. Willis, Historical Simon's Town. Vignettes, 
Reminiscences and Illustrations of the Harbour and Community from the Days of the Dutch East India Co. and of 
the Royal Navy at the Cape of its Administrators, Personalities and Buildings, with Special Notes on Shipwrecks 
and Navigation, published on behalf of the Simon's Town Historical Society (Cape Town: A. A. Balkema, 

31 6 South Africa 

However, it is the universities that take the lead in studying the history of 
ports, although there appear to be no courses with a strong enough historical 
and maritime element to qualify for inclusion here. The Architecture Depart- 
ment at the University of Port Elizabeth, however, is considering a course on 
shipbuilding and urban development. On the other hand, at the research level 
there is much activity; a number of masters and even doctoral theses have been 
written since the Second World War and more are in hand, with consequent 
publications, not just in history departments but also economics, architecture, 
and geography. The approaches vary, but even where the ultimate aim is to 
write a contemporary study, at least some historical context is given; inevitably, 
though, it is the history departments where port research is most relevant to this 
survey. The UCT department is predominant, having issued several volumes of 
working papers over the past years on various aspects of Cape Town's past and 
members of the staff have also published independently on the subject. A 
three-year project is now under way to write the history of the "mother city." 

However, once one looks beyond work on the ports and the shoreline, far 
less research activity is to be found. Seamen, shipping, fishing, and exploration 

7 D.P. De Beer, "A Study of the Utilisation of East London Harbour and its Relative Importance in 
the South African Import and Export Trade to 1975," doctoral thesis, University of Rhodes, 1979. 

H.R. Fitchett [Architecture, Witwatersrand], doctorate research on early architecture at the Cape 
under the VOC, 1652-1710. 

EJ. Inggs [Ec. History, University of South Africa], "Liverpool of the Cape: Port Elizabeth Harbour 
Development, 1820—70," M.A., Economics & Ec History, University of Rhodes, 1984. 

A.B. Lumby [Economics, ND], and I. H. McLean, "The Economy and the Development of the Port 
of Durban," in B. Guest and J.M. Sellars, eds., Receded Tides of Empire: Aspects of the Economic and Social 
History of Natal— Zululand since 1910 (Pietermaritzburg: Natal Univ. Press, in press). § D.W. Rush, 
"Aspects of the Growth of Trade and the Development of Ports in the Cape Colony, 1795-1882," 
M.A., Economics, University of Cape Town, 1972. 

H.E. Soonike, "The Development of the Port and Harbour of Table Bay with Special Reference to 
the Period 1825-1848," M.A., History, UCT, 1974. 

K.P.T. Tankard [History, University of Rhodes, East London] "East London. The Creation and 
Development of a Frontier Community, 1835—1873," M.A., University of Rhodes, 1985. 

Tankard, "The Development of East London through Four Decades of Municipal Control," doctoral 
thesis, University of Rhodes, 1990. 

Tankard, "Strangulation of a Port: East London, 1847-1873," Contree, 23 (March 1988), pp. 5ff. 

LJ. Twyman (Heydenrych), [History, University of South Africa], Durban Harbour in the History of 
Natal, 1845-1900, doctoral thesis, University of South Africa, 1986. 

Twyman, "Port Natal Harbour, cl850-1897," in B. Guest and J. M. Sellars, eds., Enterprise and 
Exploitation in a Victorian Colony: Aspects of the Economic and Social History of Colonial Natal, 
(Pietermaritzburg: Univ. of Natal Press, 1985), pp. 17-45. 

Twyman, "Port Natal Harbour and the Colonial Politics of Natal," Historia, 36, 2( 1991), pp. 5-16. 

Twyman, "The First Harbour Works at Port Natal — the Role ofjohn Milne, 1849-1857," The Civil 
Engineer in South Africa, 1993. 

C. Saunders [History, UCT], et al., Studies in the History of Cape Town, 5 vols. (Cape Town: Centre 
for African Studies, UCT, 1980+). 

Recently a volume has been published about the Cape (in the sumptuous Brenthurst series) of wider 
maritime significance: (the late) M. Boucher and N. Penn [History, UCT], eds., Britain at the Cape 1 195 
to 1803 (Johannesburg: Brenthurst, 1992). For more information on publications about the history of 

Hamilton 317 

attract relatively little attention. Take the case of the last. One thinks of the 

activities of the Van Riebeeck Society, which since 1918 has been publishing 

editions of historical documents, many of them of maritime importance. 

One thinks as well of Professor E. Axelson, famous for the discovery and 

uncovering of the Dias cross at Kwaaihoek in 1937—8, and author since then 

of numerous works on Portuguese navigation. He was also the prime mover 

behind the commemoration in 1988 of the Dias voyage, when the replica 

caravel, Bartolomeu Dias, built in Portugal, sailed to South Africa. (The replica 

is now at Mossel Bay.) He is both a leading figure in the country and a nearly 

isolated one. Seamen, shipping and fishing however, do not have someone 

of Professor Axelson's eminence, though there are a number of re- 

1 "^ 
searchers, and there is a Whale Research Unit at the University of Pretoria 

Cape Town, and confirmation about the emphasis on the terra firma, see C. Saunders, ed., and T. 
Strauss, comp., Cape Town and the Cape Peninsula, 1806+: A Working Bibliography, (Cape Town: Centre 
for African Studies, UCT, 1989). 
Recent relevant publications are: 

M.D. Nash, ed., The Last Voyage of the Guardian. Lieutenant Riou, Commander 1798—1791, Van 
Riebeeck Society, Second Series no. 20 (Cape Town: 1990). 

Randolphe Vigne ed., Guillaume Chenu de Chalezac, the "French Boy. " The narrative of his experiences as 
a Huguenot refugee, as a castaway among the Xhosa, his rescue with the Stavenisse survivors by the Centaurus, 
his services at the Cape and return to Europe, 1686-9, Van Riebeeck Society, Second Series no. 22, (Cape 
Town, 1993). 

E. Axelson [History, UCT], Portuguese in South— East Africa, 1600-1700, (Johannesburg: 
Witwatersrand Univ. Press, 1960). 

Axelson, Portuguese in South-East Africa: 1488-1600 (Cape Town: Struik, 1973). 

Axelson, Congo to Cape: Early Portuguese Explorers (London: Faber, 1973). 

Axelson, Portugal and the Scramble for Africa, 1875—1891 (Johannesburg, Witwatersrand Univ. Press, 

Axelson, E.N. Katz, and E.C. Tabler, Baines on the Zambesi, 1858-1859 (Johannesburg: Brenthurst, 

Axelson, "Recent Identifications of Portuguese Wrecks on the South African coast, especially of the 
Sao Goncalo (1630), and the Sacramento and Atalaia (1647)," II Seminario Intemacional de Historia 
Indo-Portuguesa, Actas (Lisbon: 1985), pp. 41—61. 

Axelson, "The Dias Voyage, 1487—1488: Toponymy and Padroes," Revista da Universidade de Coimbra, 
XXXIV (1988), pp. 29-55. 

See also note 2. 
2 See E. Axelson, Early Portuguese Explorers of Southern Africa, Camoes Annual Lecture, no 2, 1981, at 
the University of the Witwatersrand; and "The Voyages of Bartolomeu Dias 1487-88 and of the 
Bartolomeu Dias 1987—88," Congresso Intemacional Bartolomeu Dias e a sua Epoca, Actas, Volume II, 
Navegacoes na segunda Metade do Siculo XV (Porto: 1989), pp. 106—9. 

Commodore N.R. Guy is currently editing a volume Charting and Navigation in Southern Africa, with 
a significant historical bias, to be published under the auspices of the Hydrographic Office. Despite her 
base just outside South Africa, perhaps one ought also to mention J. Kinahan, [Curator of Historical 
Archaeology, State Museum of Namibia], By Command of their Lordships. The Exploration of the Namibian 
Coast by the Royal Navy, 1795-1895, (Windhoek: Namibia Archaeological Trust, 1992). 
a. Seamen: 

M.C. Kitshoff [Church History, University of Zululand], currently researching on Mission and 
Ministry to Seamen in S.A. 

318 South Africa 

(although housed in the South Africa Museum) with some historical interests. 

With regard to courses involving shipping and fishing, one can point to those 

in maritime economics in the Transport Economics Department at the 

University of Stellenbosch, which go up to honours' level and beyond, 

though the historical element is comparatively small, at least at the lower 


Looking to other topics, there is a research project to compile a catalogue 

raisonne of the William Fehr collection at Rust-en- Vreugd, Tichiu nowal art. 

This is particularly interesting because it is a group effort — one, moreover, that 

involves the cooperation of members of the Art History Department at UCT as 

C.I. Hamilton [History, Witwatersrand], "Seamen and Crime at the Cape, c 1850-1 880," The 
International Journal of Maritime History, 1, 2, (December 1989), pp. 1—35. 

b. Shipping: 

E.A.G. Clark, presently at work on British merchants and the establishment of new ports and trades 
in the Cape of Good Hope, 1795-1840. Education, University of Rhodes. 

P. Dickinson [Ec. History, Witwatersrand], "Smith's Coasters: the Shipping Interests ofC.G. Smith, 
1889-1966," The South African Journal of Economic History, 3, 1 (1988), pp. 20-32. 

N.P. Fawcett, M.A. research on shipping in the Eastern Mediterranean in the first millennium B.C., 
Semitiese Tale, University of Stellenbosch. 

B.D. Ingpen, South African Merchant Ships. An Illustrated Recent History of Coasters, Colliers, 
Containerships, Tugs & Other Vessels (Cape Town: S.S. Balkema, 1979). 

Ingpen, "The Coastwise Shipping Industry of Southern Africa — A Study in Transportation 
Geography," M.A. thesis, Geography, UCT, 1983. 

A.L. Muller (Economics, University of Port Elizabeth], "Coastal Shipping and the Early Development 
of the Southern Cape," Contree (July 1985), pp. 10-15. 

V.E. Solomon [former Ec. Hist, Witwatersrand, now S.A. Treasury], "The South African Shipping 
Question, 1886-1914," doctoral thesis, History, University of Rhodes, 1979. (Published 1982 by the 
Historical Publications Society.) 

Solomon, "The Freight Rates crisis of 1907," Journal of Natal and Zulu History, 4 (1981), pp. 39-48. 
Dr. Solomon is presently working on a biography of Sir Donald Currie. 

c. Fishing: 

K. Cadle, "The Response of a Coloured Fishing Community to their Marine Resource Base," M.A. 
thesis, School of Environmental Studies, UCT, 1983. 

A. Kirkaldy, "The Sea is in our Blood: Community and Craft in Kalk Bay, 1880-1939," master's 
thesis, History, UCT, 1988. 

T. Quinlan, "Line Fishing in Kalk Bay: An Account of a Marginal Livelihood in a Developing 
Industrial Environment," M.A. thesis, Soc. Anth., UCT, 1981. 

L. van Sittert [Oral History Project, UCT]. 

"Labour, Capital, and the State in the St. Helena Bay fisheries, cl856-cl956," doctoral thesis, History, 
UCT, 1992. 

Van Sittert, "Making Like America: the Industrialisation of the St Helena Bay Fisheries cl936-1956," 
Journal of Southern African Studies (September 1993). 

Van Sittert, "'More in the Breach than the Observance': Crayfish, Conservation and Capitalism, 
1890-1939," Environmental History Review, forthcoming. Dr. van Sittert also has several other papers in 
preparation, and his work is particularly interesting in drawing on both oral and archival sources. 

P.B. Best, [South African Museum], "Seals and Sealing in South and South West Africa," S.A. 
Shipping News and Fishing Ind. Rev., 28 (1973), pp. 49, 51, 53, 55, 57. 

Best and P.D. Shaughnessy. "An Independent Account of Captain Benjamin Morrell's Sealing Voyage 
to the South West Coast of Africa in the Antarctic, 1828-29," Fish. Bull. S. A., 12 (1979), pp. 1-19. 

Best, "Sperm Whale Stock Assessments and the Relevance of Historical Whaling Records," Rep. Int. 

Hamilton 319 

well as staff of the collection. It certainly contrasts with the general pattern 
of maritime studies research in the country, much of which is a matter 
of individual work carried on in relative isolation, often little known 
outside the sheltering institution. 

' However, one category of maritime studies has not yet been spoken of at all: 
the history of war navies, or naval history proper. It has been left aside until now, 
because in South Africa it is very largely confined to one institution outside the 
universities. This is not to say that there is no naval history carried on at the 
universities, but there is little of it, only a handful of researchers carrying on 
individual work. There are also two courses that have a considerable naval 
history element: the honours course offered by the Strategic Studies Centre at 
the University of South Africa, and the History of Diplomacy course occasionally 
offered by the International Studies Unit at the University of Rhodes. Outside 
the universities, some amateur historians have performed sterling work, above 
all Wilhelm Griitter, who in one book openly raised some interesting (if 

Whal. Comn. (Special Issue 5), 1983, pp. 41-55. 

Best & G.J.B. Ross, "Catches of Right Whales from shove-based establishments in Southern Africa, 
1792-1975," ibid (Special Issue, 10), 1986, pp. 275-89. 

Best, "Estimates of the landed Catch of Right (and other whalebone) whales in the American fishery, 
1805-1909," U.S. Fish. Bull, 85 (1987), pp. 403-18. 

Best, "Right Whales (Eubalaena australis) at Tristan da Cunha — a Clue to the 'Non-Recovery' of 
Depleted Stocks?" Biol. Cons., 1988, 46, pp. 23-51. 

Best and G.J.B. Ross, "Whales and Whaling," in Oceans of Life off Southern Africa, Vlaeberg Publishers, 
Cape Town, 1989, pp. 315-38. 

Best, "The 1925 catch of Right Whales off Angola," Rep. Int. Whal. Comn., 40 (1990), pp. 381-82. 

C. de Jong, (Ec. History, University of South Africa, "Walvisvangst bij Kaap de Goede Hoop tijdens 
de Bataafse Republiek," Historia, 12, 2, (September 1967), pp. 171-98. 

a. History of Art: M. Godby, S. Klopper, M. Stevenson. 

b. William Fehr collection: L. Melzer, B. Cole. 

E.A. Biggs, M. A. research on the development of traditions and customs in the S.A.N. Afrikaanse 
Kultuurgeskiedenis, University Stellenbosch. 

E. and F. Bradlow, (respectively History, UCT, and Chairman, Van Riebeeck Society, Witwatersrand 
Here Comes the Alabama, (Cape Town: A. A. Balkema, 1958). 

G. Burford, M.A. research on Seapower and the Second Gulf War. I.R., Wits. 

D.F.S. Fourie (Strategic Studies, UNISA), studying problems of doctrine for the navies of middle to 
minor powers. 

C.I. Hamilton, "Naval Hagiography and the Naval Hero," The Historical Journal, University of South 
Africa 23,2 (1980), pp. 381-98. 

Hamilton, Anglo-French Naval Rivalry 1840-1870 (London: Oxford Univ. Press, 1993). 

D.B. Saddington (Classics, Witwatersrand), "Praefecti classis, orae maritimae and ripae of the Second 
Triumvirate and the Early Empire," Jahrbuch des Romish- Germanischen Zentralmuseums Mainz, XXXV, 
(1992), pp. 299-313. 

Saddington, "The origin, and character, of the Provincial Fleets of the Early Roman Empire," 
Proceedings oftheXVth International Congress of Roman Frontier Studies, ed. V.A. Maxfield and M.J. Dobson, 
(Exeter: 1991), pp. 413-8. 

Saddington, "The origin and nature of the German and British fleets," Britannia, XXI (1990), pp. 

320 South Africa 

embarrassing) questions about the recent history of the South African Navy, 
notably concerning the Afrikanerization of the force in the 1950s. Otherwise, 
naval history in the country is essentially the province of the South African Navy. 

Naval history has only a small role in the courses at the Gordon's Bay college 
for midshipmen, but is significant at the Muizenberg staff college: one of the 
four modules at the latter is largely historical in nature. The colleges' staffs are 
principally responsible for the teaching, but Commander W.M. Bisset, the senior 
staff officer at the Simon's Town Naval Museum, gives an illustrated survey of 
S.A. naval history, principally with the intention of fostering esprit de corps. And 
at Muizenberg, Professor D.F.S. Fourie of the Strategic Studies Centre at the 
University of South Africa gives lectures on strategy and revolution. 

At Saldanha Bay is the tri-service academy, which (in association with the 
University of Stellenbosch) offers a bachelor's degree in military science. 
Students may take military history as one of their majors and spend some time 
on a topic in naval history. The potential for concentration is all the greater at 
honours' level. 

Naval officers are also encouraged, where feasible, to take research degrees; 

few are relevant to this survey, though one officer has just completed an M.A. 

at Randse Afrikaans Universiteit on the recent history of missile-carrying 

1 ft 
vessels. Some officers, retired as well as active, also undertake non-degree 

research and publication. Unfortunately, Union War Histories are no longer 

being written; the organization was discontinued in 1961 , in part as an economy 

measure, though some hitherto unpublished chapters appeared recently in Navy 

News and Militaria. But there is at least a small historical section of the South 

African Defence Force, although not at present engaged with any specifically 

naval project. 

The survey has already suggested not just a general inadequacy but also some 

specific weaknesses. First, there is the "patchiness" of coverage of subjects and 

periods. Particularly noticeable is the way that interest declines markedly with 

increased distance from the shore; if coastal shipping and fishing arouse little 

enough attention, the maritime history of other nations is usually ignored, at 

least outside the naval colleges. There is also a certain narrowness of approach 

discernable in the universities, to be observed in South Africa as elsewhere: the 

barriers of the discipline often appear to be the barriers to inquiry; this is certainly 

apparent in the history departments. It does not seem wholly accidental that 

A Name among Sea Faring Men. A History of the Training Ship General Botha (Cape Town: The T.B.F. 
Davis Memorial Sailing Fund, 1973). 

Lt. Commander L.T. Potgieter. In Afrikaans; restricted circulation. 
19 By (the late) Commander H.R. Gordon-Cumming, "The Loss of HMSAS Parktoum" Navy News, 
September 1992, pp. 5f. Militaria, S.A. Navy Anniversary Issue, 22, 1 (1992). On pp. 51f of the latter, 
Gordon-Cumming expresses a strong opinion about the poor understanding shown at the S.A. Ministry 
of Defence about sea power and the role of a navy. He was discussing an early period, but later officers 
might well find the statement still has some pertinence. 

Hamilton 321 

Professor Couzens' life of Trader Horn, undeniably the best recent local work 
in maritime studies, and generous in its multidisciplinary approach, came from 
an African Studies Centre (Witwatersrand) and not a history department. 

But the most obvious point to be picked out from the survey is the few links 
between institutions, notably between the universities and the South African 
Navy. In part, this is because of long-standing mutual suspicion that is common 
enough in other countries, but is particularly sharp in South Africa where politics 
have long had a severe effect upon maritime studies. Many academics identify 
all the armed forces with apartheid tyranny, and many officers believe that at 
least the English-speaking universities are radical hotbeds. Each side has had its 
misconceptions: the one, failing to notice the outward-looking, even liberal 
strand implicit in naval policy making, and the other, confusing opposition to 
vicious stupidity with attempted revolution. And naval history has suffered. If 
one looks at what has been published in recent years, ignoring the works of 
anecdote or piety or nostalgia, a too-common tendency is found towards 
unadorned factual accounts. One looks back with regret to the last of the Union 
War History volumes, War in the Southern Oceans, with its insight, telling detail 
(a most valuable comparative element), and even some humour. But that was 
written in more accommodating days. It is pleasant to note that the S.A.D.F. 
historical section is currently attempting to develop military history through 
approaching the universities to sponsor projects and encourage more use of the 

20 T. Couzens, Tramp Royal. The True Story of Trader Horn with such of his Philosophy as is the gift of Age 
and Experience learned in his Quest from Joss House to Doss House and in which appear severally Cannibals and 
Pyrates, Gorillas and Lynchings with a guest appearance by Greta Garbo as well as numerous other adventures of a 
Remarkable Nature, (Johannesburg: Ravan Press and "Witwatersrand Univ. Press, 1992). 

Other interesting works of maritime significance from outside the history departments, so far 
unmentioned, are: 

J. Hilton, (Classics, ND), "Azania — Some Etymological Considerations," Acta Classica, XXXV (1992), 
pp. 151-59. 

Hilton, "Peoples of Azania," Scholia, ns, 2 (1993), pp. 3-16. 

M.H. Lategan, M.A. research on autobiographical literature with special reference to the writings of 
single-handed sailors, English, University of the Orange Free State. 

H.P. Maltz, M.A. research on myth in the novels of Herman Melville, a study of the function of the 
myths of Eden, the Golden Age and Hero and Dragon in Typee, Moby Dick, and Billy Budd, Sailor, 
English, ND. 

R. Laverde (International Studies Unit, University of Rhodes), Development, Pursuit and Maintenatice 
of the South African Antarctic Policy: 1926-1988, M.A., 1990. 

A. Vos (English, ND), presently researching on the relationship between myth, literature, and history, 
in connection with the schooner Mazeppa. 

B. Warner (Astronomy, UCT), presently researching on the early history of the Cape Observatory. 
Professor Warner is also contributing a chapter to the Guy volume (see note 12) concerning the role of 
astronomers in the history of navigation in southern waters. 

By L.C.F. Turner, H.R. Gordon-Cumming, and J.E. Betzler (Cape Town: Oxford Univ. Press, 
1961). Also worthy of note are South Africa's Navy: the First Fifty Years (Cape Town: WJ. Flesch, 1973), 
by the late J. C. Goosen (this incorporates work by the late Commander Gordon-Cumming. It was also 
published in an Afrikaans version), and Sailor Women, Swans: A History of the South African Women's 
Auxiliary Naval Service, 1943-49 (Simon's Town: Simon's Town Swans History Publication Fund, 1986). 

322 South Africa 

Pretoria military archives' still largely unexploited resources, although — and 
perhaps this is in itself indicative — the section has put forward no naval history 

Politics have to be considered in another way as well. Given the fractured state of 
maritime studies within the country, there were no serious interior debates that politics 
could sharpen. But politics could work from the outside to encourage uninterest or even 
aversion towards the subject as a whole. The sea has been politically suspect to most of 
the peoples of the country. Evil came from over the sea, according to the different 
viewpoints, taking the form of Dutch settlers, or English ones, or capitalism, or godless 
communism, or sanctions. Furthermore, politics encouraged South African historians to 
look inwards, to study the trekkers fleeing from English imperialism or, more recendy, 
to study those previously historically disfranchised. As one of my correspondents 
commented, it can seem almost perverse today for a South African historian to work on 
anything other than the history of the oppressed majority. The politics of race and 
domination are usually the major theme, even in ostensibly maritime research. 

It is easy to over-generalize about the country. One must allow that it is the heartland 
which remains most indifferent to the sea. A news item about it might reach the front 
pages at the coast, only to be relegated to the inside of a Johannesburg newspaper. At the 
coast one can find excitement about some maritime events, such as the raising of a sunken 
cannon. It is also there that one can expect to find numbers of maritime enthusiasts, such 
as the Friends Association of the Local History Museum, Durban, or the engagingly 
obsessive "ship-spotters" who publish their sightings in the Cape Town journal, Flotsam 
and Jetsam, now more enthusiastic than ever since there is no longer any need to disguise 
the identity of certain ships that appear in South African ports. It is also the coastal 
branches of the Navy League that have tended to be the most active. However, 
both heartland and rimland have suffered alike from two recent forces inimical to 
maritime studies — sanctions and depression. The former was instrumental in 
choking the two-way relationship that encouraged some to look towards the sea. 
When one can see only turned backs on another shore, the response is also to turn 

22 Slavery is usually dealt with only in its shore-based manifestations. But there is one researcher working 
on the maritime slave trade: 

G. Campbell (Ec. History, Witwatersrand): "Madagascar and the Slave Trade, 1810-1895," Journal of 
African History, XXII (1981), pp. 203-27. 

Campbell, "The East African Slave Trade, 1861-1895: the 'Southern Complex,'" International Journal 
of African Historical Studies, XXII, 1 (1989), pp. 1-27. 

Campbell, "Madagascar and Mozambique in the Slave Trade of the Western Indian Ocean, 
1800-1861 ," in W.G. Clarence—Smith ed., The Economics of the Indian Ocean Slave Trade in the Nineteenth 
Century (London: Frank Cass, 1989), pp. 166-93. 

Campbell, "Disease, Cattle, and Slaves: the Development of Trade between Natal and Madagascar, 
1875-1904," African Economic History, XIX(1990-91), pp. 105-33. 

23 The S.A. Navy League remains vigorous overall, in large part because the naval cadet corps operates 
under its auspices. For the League, and a brief history of the cadet corps by the League's Federal Secretary, 
Captain D. Brown, plus numerous other details about the sea and S.A., see the current Navy League's 
Mariner's Diary, published by Walker-Ramus Trading Co. (Pty) Ltd, Durban. 

Hamilton 323 

away. Significantly, the recent permission for South Africa to participate in 
commemorating the Battle of the Atlantic immediately led, even in Johannes- 
burg, to richly nostalgic newpaper articles about the war at sea. 

Sanctions also deepened the depression, which has been a powerful factor 
affecting all levels of maritime studies. The lack of money has been bedeviling the 
universities, forcing severe reductions and a concentration on core subjects rather 
than something that can be described with dangerous ambiguity as "peripheral." It 
has affected the museums, where many artefacts cannot be given proper storage let 
alone the treatment vital to their preservation. The Navy has been forced "to cut 
fat" and rationalize. And bodies such as the Maritime Institute, at Durban, which 
offers courses in maritime trade and transport, have been forced to focus on narrowly 
vocational training, cutting away any historical context. 

But there are a few hopeful signs. The central grant-giving body, the Human 
Sciences Research Council, is improving its data base, so perhaps the present 
difficulty in gathering information about maritime research will be mitigated. 
Moreover, an attempt is being made to formulate a maritime policy for the 
country. Three conferences have been held, attended by academics, museum 
staffs, naval officers, and others, and a drafted policy is about to be sent to the 
cabinet. The main aim is to coordinate the various coastal maritime agencies, 
and there are implications inter alia for fishing, customs, air-sea rescue, tourism, and 

The significant aspect of that attempt is the way it has been pushed through 
by a comparatively small number of people, led by B.C. Floor, lately of the 
University of Stellenbosch, but now the head of a private agency. This is 
typical of the country. The shortage of the highly trained, and the narrowness 
of the elites, means that individual expertise and energy can achieve results 
that would not be expected in Western societies, at least when the correct 
contacts have been made. One thinks also of Vice-Admiral G. Syndercombe, 
former Chief of the Navy, who acts as a universal armature, linking together 
many of the maritime organizations in the country. Or there is Drs B. Werz, 
the maritime archaeologist at The University of Cape Town, in the midst of 
a coming together of the Navy and the National Monuments Council (itself 
an important organization and responsible for coordinating salvage work). " 
This grouping articulated "Operation Sea Eagle," a survey of the shipwrecks 
around Robben Island, followed by a general management plan for the area, 

The papers are available as a bound volume from the National Maritime Policy Committee, 
University of Stellenbosch. 

Dr. J. Deacon has the general supervisory role: see her "Protection of Historical Shipwrecks through 
the National Monuments Act," given at the Third National Maritime Conference, at Durban, in March 
1993 (see note 24); and "Conservation of Historical Shipwrecks: A Need for Cooperation," Information 
Bulletin. Council for the Environment, no. 9 (August 1993), pp. 8—11. 

324 South Africa 

one that may lay a basis for the future rational exploitation of the island for leisure 
as well as research. 

Of course, such schemes depend for their ultimate success upon political 
stability, economic prosperity, and — crucially — the attitudes of the coming 
government. As yet, those attitudes remain uncertain. From what some A.N.C. 
representatives have said, one might have cause for pessimism about maritime 
studies, for instance in the calls for researchers to concentrate on the history of 
the black majority, which would largely mean a history of the soil and of struggle. 
But there are also reasons for optimism, as in the suggestion that South Africa 
should follow the U.S. example and set up a National Endowment fund with 
only a relatively light control over subjects of research, though duplication of 
effort is to be avoided. Moreover, the A.N.C. is actively discussing the subject 
of fishing, something the Nationalists tended to avoid. A conference in March 
1993 in Cape Town, organized by the South African Institute of International 
Affairs (Cape) and the Institute for Defence Policy, also suggested that the 
A.N.C. has some sympathy towards the Navy and sees a significant future for 
it. These are only straws in the wind, but one has to agree with supporters of 
the fishing industry and at least some officers in the Navy who think that the 
future holds promise for them, if only because it cannot be worse than the past. 
In a mood of cautious optimism, one might well say the same about maritime 
studies in South Africa. 

B.E.J. S. Werz and J. Deacon, Operation Sea Eagle: Final Report on a Survey of Shipwrecks around Robben 
Island (Cape Town: National Monuments Council, pending). 

Some of the papers and comments were printed in the South African Defence Review, 10 (1993), issued 
by the Institute for Defence Policy, Halfway House (Midrand), S.A. 1685. 1 am grateful to Dr. J. Cilliers 
for letting me have a copy of the issue. 


Carla Rahn Phillips 

Spain's relationship with the sea goes back as far as recorded history, when 
mariners from Carthage, Greece, and Rome established settlements of their 
seaborne empires on the Iberian peninsula. Muslims from North Africa invaded 
Spain by sea in the eighth century, and again in the twelfth century, and naval 
engagements marked important phases in the Christian reconquest of the 
peninsula in the late Middle Ages. During the sixteenth and seventeenth 
centuries, Castile governed a vast worldwide empire, held together by maritime 
trade and communication and defended by an impressive naval establishment. 
Seaborne trade and defense loomed large in Spanish affairs as long as the empire 
lasted — that is, until the late nineteenth century — although with inevitable shifts 
of emphasis after most of Spanish America became independent. The twentieth 
century presented a different set of challenges, as the civilian shipbuilding 
industry eclipsed the naval establishment. 

This essay surveys the historiography of Spanish naval and maritime affairs 
over the past ninety years or so, during which time virtually every aspect of 
Spain's long relationship with the sea has been discussed in print. Bibliographic 
aids, such as listings of books and articles published during the twentieth century, 
yielded 1,328 items. Although they seem to represent a valid sampling of the 
field, undoubtedly many items eluded me. The most serious deficiency in my 
search is that I was able to deal only superficially with the enormous output of 
the Revista General de Marina (RGM), founded in 1877. The RGMwas published 
regularly except for a hiatus during the Spanish Civil War; in over 115 years of 
existence, nearly 10,800 articles on a wide range of topics have appeared in its 
pages. A conference in 1990 focused on the RGM and its impact on the field of 
naval and maritime history. Ten short papers analyzing the journal's contents 
since its foundation were prepared for that conference and appeared in print as 
part of the monographic series published by the Institute of Naval History and 

Lawrence Mott, a graduate student in history at the University of Minnesota, served as my research 
assistant on this project, assembling the references and entering them on the bibliographic program 
Pro-Cite. I can provide the computer files for the bibliography on "WordPerfect 5.0 to any interested 
parties. Send a diskette (3.5 or 5.25 in.) and a self-addressed stamped mailer to Prof. Carla Rahn Phillips, 
Department of History, University of Minnesota,, Minneapolis, MN 55455. 

326 Spain 

Culture (Instituto de Historia y Cultura Naval). Because the full run of the 
RGMwas not available to me, I relied primarily on indirect analyses such as these 
to characterize the journal's output. I also used a computerized index of 
key-words in the titles of RGM articles, prepared by a researcher at the Consejo 
Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas in Madrid. In the discussion that follows, 
I have included material from the RGM wherever possible, but I cannot pretend 
to have analyzed its contents as thoroughly as they deserve. 

Judging from that index and from an unsystematic survey of articles, the RGM 
seems to deal more heavily with naval history than with maritime history, as 
those distinctions are commonly used, though its range is too broad to define in 
simple terms. Moreover, in publications of all sorts, distinctions between naval 
and maritime history have little relevance in Spain. Many books and articles deal 
with all aspects of Spanish seaborne experience, and journals regularly publish a 
variety of articles that defy rigid labels. Moreover, books about naval and 
maritime history are regularly reviewed in national newspapers, as well as in 
scholarly periodicals; in other words, the field is not marginalized as it is in some 

The authors who publish in Spanish naval and maritime history are — not 
surprisingly — mostly Spanish. Of the publications I surveyed in detail, nearly 80 
percent were written by Spaniards, and the foreign authors generally focused on 
matters concerning their home countries. For example, the ill-fated armed fleet, 
or armada, that Spain sent against England in 1588 inspired a predictable interest 
among English authors, and the naval actions of the 1898 Spanish-American war 
attracted a number of authors from the United States. Very few non-Spaniards 
have published on broader Spanish nautical topics, however, and some detailed 
research by non-Spaniards is not likely ever to be published. I have in mind here 
the international fraternity and sorority of treasure hunters who have leafed 
through countless documents looking for clues to sunken treasure from 
Spain's Atlantic and Pacific fleets, and whose interests are more pecuniary 
than scholarly. 

Among the Spanish authors my survey turned up, the vast majority are male, 
many of them serving in the Spanish Navy. That is predictable, given the nature 
of the topic. Several extraordinary scholars and naval officers in the nineteenth 
century provided ideal models. Martin Fernandez Navarrete and Cesareo 
Fernandez Duro each published numerous works of their own research, as well 
as editing multivolume series of documents related to Spanish naval and maritime 

"La Re vista General de Marina y su Proyeccion historica," Cuademos monograficos del Instituto de 
Historia y Cultura Naval, no. 10 (Madrid: 1990). 

Fernando Alonso Castellanos, "Indizacion de la Revista General de Marina mediante un sistema 
automatico: El indice rotado de titulos. Utilidades," Cuademos monograficos del Instituto de Historia y Cultura 
Naval, no. 10 (Madrid: 1990), pp. 57-68. The author analyzed key words in the titles of nearly 11,000 
articles. A listing of words mentioned fifteen or more times is included in that article. 

Phillips 327 

history. They were followed in the twentieth century by Julio Guillen Tato 
and Jose Maria Martinez-Hidalgo Teran, to name only the most distinguished 
of the generation that began to publish in the middle of this century. The 
tradition continues with Ricardo Cerezo Martinez and Jose Cervera Pery, each 
noteworthy for publications on themes that span several centuries, and a score 
of other naval officers who are also naval and maritime historians. 

Members of the military establishment are by no means the only Spaniards 
publishing in the field, however. A small minority of the authors currently active 
seems to have no direct connection with the Navy and was trained in regular 
history doctoral programs in various Spanish universities. Others studied nautical 
archaeology, a relatively new field everywhere, whose practitioners are not 
necessarily part of the naval establishment in Spain. Federico Foerster Laures is 
the most noteworthy Spaniard publishing in this field; his articles regularly appear 
in English in the International Journal of Nautical Archaeology, where they find a 
wide audience. 

Somewhat unexpectedly, a few Spanish women have also published on naval 
and maritime history. Spanish naval archives — in the last several decades at 
least— have been staffed in large measure by women. Some of them come from 
naval families, and it is quite natural for them to work for the ministry and to 
publish on nautical themes. Others are university-trained professional archivists 
who happen to specialize in naval and maritime archives. Ana Maria Vigon 
Sanchez served as Director of the General Marine Archive (Archivo General de 
la Marina) in the Naval Museum (Museo Naval) in Madrid for many years. The 
Museo Naval houses a prominent research collection of documents as well as 
ship models and other artifacts. Currently, Maria Dolores Higueras Rodriguez 
and Maria Luisa Martin-Meras head research sections at the Museo Naval and 
publish regularly on naval and maritime history. The significant presence of 
women might be typical of the naval history establishment in other countries as 
well, although I have not made a study of the matter. 

The 1,328 publications in my survey showed a sharply defined pattern of 
distribution over time, with an enormous increase from the 1970s onward. The 
number of publications began very modestly, with twenty to forty books and 
articles per decade from 1900 to 1930. Despite the disruptions of the Spanish 
Civil War (1936-39) and World War II (1939-45), however, I noted nearly 
fifty publications in the 1930s and nearly one hundred in the 1940s. The number 
of publications stayed at an average of nearly one hundred per decade in the 
1950s and 1960s as well, but the 1970s marked an increase to one hundred 
forty-one publications. During the 1980s, nearly six hundred books and articles 

Fernandez Duro was the subject of an issue of the Cuademos monograftcos del Institute de Historia y 
Cultura Naval, no. 6 (Madrid: 1990). 

Even Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco, for several decades the principal adviser of General Francisco 
Franco, published several extended works on naval history. 

328 Spain 

were published about Spanish naval and maritime history, and the upward trend 
seems to be continuing in the 1990s. The 10,800 titles from the Revista General 
de Marina would probably change the temporal distribution somewhat, although 
the same impulses inspired publications in the field as a whole. Moreover, 
although my search captured recent publications much more easily than older 
ones, the sharp increase of activity shown for the 1980s seems to be real rather 
than a statistical illusion. 


OTHER 15% 












The Revista de Historia Naval, founded by the Instituto de Historia y Cultura 
Naval in 1983, responded to the growing interest in the field by adding another 
venue for publication. Both the Revista de Historia Naval and the Revista General 
de Marina sponsor additional publications on a diversity of themes as well. The 
topics covered by the field in any given decade show a wide variety, but the 
anniversaries of historical events with a nautical dimension attract particular 

The books and articles in my detailed survey of 1,328 publications were 
characterized by topic and chronological period. The largest cluster of topics — 
fully one-quarter — concerned voyages of exploration and the maritime links 
connecting Spain with its overseas empire. By contrast, the key-words in titles 
published in the RGM suggest that Spanish exploration figures much less 
prominently in that journal than in the field as a whole. This is probably due to 
the RGM*s emphasis on modern maritime topics rather than historical ones. A 
similar example emerges from publications about physical ships. In my survey, 
over 1 1 percent of the books and articles dealt with shipbuilding, repair, wrecks, 

Phillips 329 

and the lives of individual ships, heavily weighted toward the period before the 
nineteenth century. In article titles in the RGM, nearly 14 percent of the key 
words concerned ships and shipbuilding, but with a decided bias toward modern 
times. In other words, there were hundreds of references to aircraft carriers, 
submarines, cruisers, and other modern vessels. By contrast, caravels, galleons, 
galleys, and other historical ship types of importance do not appear in the 
published index of key words at all, because they fall beneath the threshold for 

Naval battles accounted for about 14 percent of the titles in my survey, and 
about 10 percent of the key words in the RGM. Biographies of famous mariners 
and naval strategists also figure prominently in the field as a whole. Matters 
relating to Spanish commerce and the merchant marine account for over 8 
percent of my surveyed publications, but for a much smaller proportion of 
articles in the RGM. Other matters that have attracted notable attention include 
navigation, ports, maritime law, piracy and privateering, medical care, nautical 
education, and fisheries. Because no Spanish river is navigable very far from the 
coast, inland navigation forms no part of the field. Taken as a whole, Spanish 
naval and maritime history reflects the broader patterns of Spanish history and 
interests in Europe and around the world. Therefore, it makes sense to discuss 
the published work according to the chronological periods covered. 

Very little has been published in Spain about ancient nautical history, and 
much of that has concerned Greek and Roman shipwrecks near the Spanish 
coast rather than topics specifically Spanish. Similarly, the early medieval 
centuries and the period of Muslim domination in Spain have attracted little 
attention, presumably because the most important historical developments in 
that period occurred on land. The late medieval period has been somewhat better 
served; I noted twenty-nine publications dealing with the tenth through the 
fourteenth centuries. The largely land-based Reconquest of the Iberian Penin- 
sula from the Muslims dominates Spain's late-medieval historiography. None- 
theless, visual evidence of ships in illustrated devotional works and architectural 
embellishments provides a range of hull types and nautical equipment for 
historians to interpret. Modern scholars have only just begun to mine these 
riches. The documentary record for the Atlantic fleets of the medieval kingdom 
of Castile and for the Mediterranean fleets of the eastern regions of Catalonia 
and Valencia in the kingdom of Aragon have begun to attract scholarly attention 
as well. They may soon provide important insights into the evolution of 
European ship design in the era of the Crusades. 

The number of scholarly publications about nautical matters in the fifteenth 
century nearly doubles that for all previous periods. The fifteenth century is 
usually considered part of the Middle Ages, yet it contained developments such 
as the consolidation of large territorial monarchies in Europe that heralded the 
early modern age. The late fifteenth century also witnessed the first persistent 

330 Spain 

efforts by Europeans to explore the African coastline and to conquer and colonize 
various groups of Atlantic islands. 

Not surprisingly, books and articles about Christopher Columbus over- 
whelmingly dominate works on the fifteenth century — one hundred one of the 
one hundred forty-five publications in my survey for the century as a whole. 
Also, predictably, the majority appeared in years centered around 1942 and 1992, 
the 450th and 500th anniversaries of his first voyage across the Atlantic. The 
Revista General de Marina also published extensively on Columbus. Most of the 
publications about Columbus are much more concerned with his life and the 
consequences of his voyages than with his ships or his methods of navigation. 
Nonetheless, nautical matters occupy a sizeable percentage of the publications. 
Many authors have tried to estimate the tonnages and configurations of 
Columbus's ships over the past century, and replicas have been designed, built, 
and sailed in attempts to bring them back to life. It is not clear, however, that 
we are any closer to knowing their characteristics now than we were in 1892. 
The documentary and pictorial record is simply too sparse to help us much, and 
the craftsmen's traditions that produced the original ships are all but lost in the 
modern world. Fortunately, underwater archaeology may eventually analyze 
enough shipwrecks from the early years of European global exploration to 
suggest believable configurations, not only for Columbus's ships but also for 
other Spanish ship types in the late medieval period. 

Scholars concerned with the fifteenth century have also focussed on the art 
and science of navigation. Modern methods of celestial navigation were 
pioneered by Portuguese and Spanish mariners and refined as they confronted 
the challenges of sailing far from shore in unfamiliar parts of the globe. One of 
the liveliest controversies surrounding Columbus concerns his first landfall in 
the Western Hemisphere, a matter intimately related to his navigational track 
across the Atlantic and in the waters of the Caribbean. An extraordinary amount 
of effort has been expended in exploring this mystery, most of it by non- 
Spaniards. A team of researchers at National Geographic in November of 1986 
claimed to have solved the matter by computerized analysis of Columbus's log 
of his 1492 voyage — or, rather, of the only existing version of that log, an abstract 
by Friar Bartolome de las Casas, prepared several decades after Columbus's death. 
Many scholars, including several Spanish experts on navigation, greeted the 
National Geographies findings with marked skepticism. The Columbian Quin- 
centenary produced several new editions of the abstracted log, yet the text itself 
is so questionable that any definitive replication of Columbus's course remains 

Books and articles in whole or in part about the sixteenth century accounted 
for over a quarter of the 1,328 items surveyed for this study — some 373 in all. 
During the sixteenth century Spain reached the peak of its power, with an 
extensive empire in Europe, a large and growing colonial empire in the Western 



I 2 




I 2 


1 3 










— -l 




■ — i — 

- - - r J — — 
















:■■■■■ .; 




















332 Spain 

Hemisphere, and outposts in Asia as well. As the dominant Roman Catholic 
power in Europe, Spain also bore the brunt of defending Catholicism in Europe 
after the Protestant Reformation began in 1517, and from external enemies in 
the Islamic Ottoman Empire and its North African tributaries and allies. The 
Ottomans had captured the Christian stronghold of Constantinople in 1453 and 
remained on the offensive against the eastern borders of Christian Europe, as 
well as in the Mediterranean. 

The defense of Catholicism can be said to have dominated Spanish foreign 
policy during the first half of the sixteenth century. Naval operations such as the 
campaigns to capture and hold Tunis and Goleta on the North African coast in 
the 1 530s were part of the struggle waged against the Islamic world by Charles 
I, the king of Spain who also served as Holy Roman Emperor with the title 
Charles V. Even Charles' perennial wars against Catholic France had a religious 
dimension once the French allied with the Ottomans in 1536. The naval and 
maritime aspects of these wars in the early sixteenth century have attracted some 
scholarly attention, but not as much as one would expect. 

Dynastic politics in Europe and abroad shaped Spain's national policies 
throughout the 1500s, but maritime and global concerns came to the fore in the 
last half of the century, during the reign of Philip II. Historians have written 
about the Spanish naval expedition against Djerba in 1560 and about Philip II's 
efforts to reinforce Spanish presidios in North Africa, policies that aimed to secure 
the Western Mediterranean against Muslim pirates and privateers allied with the 
Ottomans. The Christian and Islamic powers confronted one another defini- 
tively in 1571 at the battle of Lepanto in the Gulf of Corinth. Spain provided 
the majority of ships and men for the Christian fleet, with smaller contingents 
from the papacy and the Republic of Venice. Spain also provided the com- 
mander-in-chief, in the person of Don Juan of Austria, half-brother of Philip II. 
The great Christian victory at Lepanto was commemorated with lavish celebra- 
tions all over Europe and long remained a symbol of Christianity's response to 
the loss of Constantinople. Because of its psychological importance, Lepanto 
also generated a wealth of commemorative engravings and paintings, providing 
precious visual evidence for maritime historians. 

Lepanto has continued to attract the interest of scholars in this century, 
especially during the four-hundredth anniversary of the battle in 1971. Ten 
publications in my survey were devoted entirely to Lepanto, and numerous 
others dealt with it in conjunction with other naval engagements in the 
Mediterranean. Although the battle itself settled nothing decisively, it marked a 
turning point in the struggle between the Ottoman and Spanish empires. After 
Lepanto, the Ottomans turned to more pressing matters on their eastern land 
frontier with Persia, and Philip II turned toward northern Europe, where 
rebellion in the Netherlands and worsening relations with England threatened 
Spain's grip on its European possessions. 

Phillips 333 

Naval actions during the early phase of the Netherlands rebellion have not 
figured prominently in writings about the late sixteenth century, though the 
Spanish convoys of men and money through the channel appear in all the general 
histories of that conflict. By contrast, the fleet sent by Spain against England in 
1588 has attracted an extraordinary amount of attention, primarily from writers 
in England and Spain. Although the Great Armada, as the Spanish called it, has 
long held a prominent place in sixteenth-century naval scholarship, the four- 
hundredth anniversary of that fleet in 1988 produced a floodtide of publications, 
over 23 percent of all sixteenth- century themes. A series of international 
conferences in 1988 brought Spanish and English scholars together to reconsider 
various aspects of the armada campaign, moving the debate away from 
simpleminded nationalism toward a deepened understanding of the ships, 
armament, men, and tactics involved. A number of distinguished publications 
resulted from those conferences, as well as a wealth of other serious work. For 
example, the Instituto de Historia y Cultura Naval in Madrid sponsored a series 
of monographs on the armada in its many aspects: ships, medical care, political 
concerns, armaments, tactics, and so on. Regrettably, 1988 was also marked by 
publication of the inevitable drivel that often accompanies important anniver- 

One of the primary reasons that Philip II decided to launch the Great Armada 
had its origins far from Europe, in the Spanish empire in the Western Hemi- 
sphere. To the extent that English privateers threatened Spanish control of that 
empire, they threatened a major source of tax revenue for the crown, and a 
much larger source of profits for Spanish merchants. Publications dealing with 
maritime aspects of the American empire accounted for over 27 percent of the 
total publications on the sixteenth century. 

Spanish scholars have also shown a keen interest in the numerous voyages of 
exploration by their countrymen in the late sixteenth century, especially in the 
vast Pacific Ocean. Books and articles on the Pacific, Asia, and Spain's outpost 
in the Philippines account for over 10 percent of the publications in my survey 
dealing with the sixteenth century. The Revista General de Marina also published 
many titles dealing with discovery (22 percent) and the Pacific (25 percent), 
though not necessarily all on the sixteenth century. 

Predictably, famous expeditions such as Ferdinand Magellan's circumnaviga- 
tion of the globe in 1519—22 have attracted greater attention than more obscure 
voyages. Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa, — navigator, natural philosopher, poet, 
and tireless explorer of the Pacific in the late sixteenth century — formed the 
subject of several full-fledged biographies and a half dozen articles, and many 
other explorers inspired at least one author. Samuel Eliot Morison, John H. 
Parry, and other historians of European exploration dealt with many of these 
voyages in the 1950s, but the next generation of historians turned to other topics. 
Only recently has global exploration resumed its role as an active field for 

334 Spain 

scholarly investigation. Overall, the range of exploratory voyages has been fairly 
well covered by Spanish authors, especially in the concerted effort at publication 
spawned by the Columbian Quincentenary. The Spanish government endorsed 
numerous series of publications starting in the 1980s that edited explorers' 
accounts of their voyages and provided scholarly analyses of them. 

The Netherlands rebellion, the Spanish empire, and further voyages of 
exploration have also piqued the interest of scholars publishing on maritime 
aspects of the seventeenth century. The first decade of that century, marked by 
a new king and the winding down of Spain's conflicts with France, England, 
and the Netherlands, has often been seen as a static period in maritime affairs. 
Scholars are just beginning to realize that a decade and more of peace allowed 
the government of Philip III to sponsor debate on the ideal sizes and configura- 
tions of ships for the Atlantic run. The regulations of 1607, 1613, and 1618 
established measurements for shipbuilders to follow, in effect forcing private 
industry to produce ships that would be suitable for the government to 
commandeer and rent in wartime. Spanish governments in the early seventeenth 
century also promoted advances in salvage technology. Pedro de Ledesma's 
beautifully illustrated manuscript on that topic in 1623 recently appeared in 
facsimile in a limited edition. 

The Netherlands rebellion resumed in 1621 after a twelve-years' truce, 
forming one phase in The Thirty Years' War from 1618 to 1648. In its various 
phases, the war used up Spanish men, money, and ships at an alarming rate. 
Stretching its resources to the limit, the Spanish government frequently sent 
ill-manned and poorly supplied fleets into battle, relying on the courage and 
self-respect of commanders and men to overcome adversity. Surprisingly, they 
often succeeded in defiance of the odds, which only encouraged the government 
to demand more and supply less. 

Some distinguished commanders such as Antonio de Oquendo have found 
their biographers, but most of his colleagues remain little known outside the 
Spanish naval establishment. Only eight biographies of prominent figures 
surfaced in publications about the seventeenth century compared to thirty-two 
such biographies for the sixteenth century, although brief histories of individual 
commanders appear in studies devoted to broader issues of seventeenth-century 
war and politics. This neglect may simply reflect a distaste for dealing with Spain's 
loss of power; Spanish archives contain ample documentation for a more 
extensive collection of biographies, if only scholars seek it out. 

The conflicts subsumed under the heading of the Thirty Years' War broke 
Spain's power in Europe. Incessant warfare on land and sea coincided disastrously 
with a steep decline in Spain's internal economy and in revenues from the empire 
in the middle third of the seventeenth century. Given the circumstances, it is 
astonishing that Spain held on to as much as it did, including the American 
empire. With the peace treaties of 1648, the Netherlands officially won its 

Phillips 335 

independence from Spain. With the Peace of the Pyrenees in 1659, Spain and 
France disengaged and France emerged from their century and a half of 
intermittent warfare as the dominant power in Europe. Louis XIV of France, 
the great-grandson of Philip II of Spain, also held one of the strongest claims to 
the Spanish throne itself, in case the Spanish Habsburg line died out. Just as 
interest in England and the Netherlands featured prominently in publications 
about the sixteenth century, interest in France increased in publications about 
the seventeenth century. 

Spain's American colonies and exploration and colonization in the Pacific and 
Asia held a prominant place among seventeenth-century topics. Of the one 
hundred thirty publications dealing with that century in my survey, fifty-six (43 
percent) concerned the Americas, and another two dozen or so dealt with 
exploration. Their focus could be as narrow as the voyage of a single obscure 
mariner or