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Thread: British Frigate vs French Frigate 1793 - 1814

  1. #1

    Default British Frigate vs French Frigate 1793 - 1814

    Book Title:
    British Frigate vs French Frigate 1793 - 1814, Osprey Duel Series
    Author:
    Mark Lardas
    ISBN:
    1780961324
    Category:
    History
    Format:
    Softcover/E-book
    Summary:
    This book provides a great introduction to the frigate battles of the Napoleonic wars. It covers the design and development of both the British and French frigates, specifically illustrating how they were different and the resulting performance of two different design philosophies. It then moves on to the strategic situation of both navies during this period, highlighting how frigates of both nations played into overall naval strategy. It then moves on to the technical specifications of each nations frigates including hull structure and armament differences. It then wraps up the national differences with a historical overview covering the combatants themselves, being the men and officers that served aboard a frigate of the times. The final section details several frigate on frigate engagements during the period and some statistical analysis on a number of British versus French frigate engagements and a short conclusion. The included frigate on frigate engagements reviewed include:

    • Nymphe vs Cleopatre, 18 June, 1793
    • Indefatigable vs Virginie, 20 April 1796
    • Ambuscade vs Baionnaise, 14 December, 1798
    • Sybile vs Forte, 27 February 1799


    Why you might want this book: If you are looking for a great general read on British versus French frigate engagements, this is an incredible little read. It gives you the most pertinent detail around how and why the French and British frigates were different and how that impacted the engagements between the two sides. It supports its conclusions through a number of historical engagements and a brief statistical assessment of known frigate engagements between the two sides.

    Why you may dislike this book: It's an Osprey book, and as such, tends to be a bit light on detail. While it hits all the relevant topics, you won't find any of the grand profile drawings illustrating the beautiful and sleek lines of frigate class ships. There are other books out there that fill that void. If you're looking for any real detail around a specific vessel or in depth analysis, you'll most likely be disappointed.

    Rating- 5/5 stars. Great little book for being only 80 pages. Easily readable on an airplane ride or a Sunday afternoon.

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  2. #2

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    Interesting book.

    Unfortunately not in German.

  3. #3
    Admiral of the Fleet.
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    I just read this book and agree with Ryan's original description and analysis of the content. As usual with Osprey books it is aimed mainly at the beginner, but is non the worse for that. i picked up a couple of things of which I was unaware previously, and the Illustrations are of the usual Osprey high standard.
    i only wish that we could get a book on the English Frigates similar to their British Napoleonic Ship of the Line.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  4. #4
    Landsman
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    This is probably the most impressive short volume on Age of Sail warships I've come across. It's clear Lardas knows his stuff and presents a lot of information contained in larger titles that I was already aware of (such as Wareham's 'The Star Captains'), but presents it in a condensed volume and in a way that remained interesting to me. Pound for pound it is probably the most technically informative book on the period I've read, suitable for the beginner and those with greater depth of knowledge. As mentioned already, the artwork, illustrations and diagrams are universally excellent.

    Given the, perhaps overstated, importance of single frigate versus frigate duels of the period and the fact that, in many ways, they capture the essence of the "romance" of the time, I think this is a must read for novices and veterans alike.

  5. #5
    Midshipman
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    Sounds right up my alley. I will be adding to my backlog of books to read. Great review!

  6. #6
    Comptroller of the Navy Board
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    I've actually suggested before that Ares try to partner with Osprey on "book and minis" combos, with this book having been one of the sparks of the idea. It's a great primer before wading into heavier tomes.
    --Diamondback
    PMH, SME, TLA, BBB
    Historical Consultant to Ares, Wings and Sails - Unless otherwise noted, all comments are strictly Personal Opinion ONLY and not to be taken as official Company Policy.

  7. #7
    Admiral of the Fleet.
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    Not looked at it since the start of '17. Maybe it is time I revisited DB.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  8. #8
    Comptroller of the Navy Board
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    Likee the guys before me said, if you're looking for a deep-dive it'll disappoint, but as long as you keep its "entry level" role in mind it shines there. The engagements depicted are detailed enough that I think you could turn 'em into SGN game scenarios with a week or two's work. :)
    --Diamondback
    PMH, SME, TLA, BBB
    Historical Consultant to Ares, Wings and Sails - Unless otherwise noted, all comments are strictly Personal Opinion ONLY and not to be taken as official Company Policy.

  9. #9
    Surveyor of the Navy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondback View Post
    I've actually suggested before that Ares try to partner with Osprey on "book and minis" combos, with this book having been one of the sparks of the idea. It's a great primer before wading into heavier tomes.
    Unlikely this would happen as Osprey have arrangements with Warlord and their "Black Seas" game

  10. #10
    Comptroller of the Navy Board
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Manley View Post
    Unlikely this would happen as Osprey have arrangements with Warlord and their "Black Seas" game
    True now, IIRC they hadn't announced it (and again IIRC Black Sails wasn't even on the market yet) yet when I suggested a partnership to RdM. :)
    --Diamondback
    PMH, SME, TLA, BBB
    Historical Consultant to Ares, Wings and Sails - Unless otherwise noted, all comments are strictly Personal Opinion ONLY and not to be taken as official Company Policy.

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