Monday, July 26, 2010

The Royal Navy vs. Napoleon and post-Napoleon -- BTHP

Since I last wrote about Tony Cocks's Binge Thinking History Podcast, he has proceeded with two more episodes on his current subject, the history of the Royal Navy. The Reign of Terror to Trafalgar and The demise of Bonaparte to the introduction of steam power. (feed)

Tony Cocks is an engaging and detailed narrator of history. Just as with his previous subject, The battle of Britain, he takes no short cuts to tell his history. And also similarly, this history is filled with technical details. Where we had extensive mention of aircraft and flight technology when he discussed the Battle of Britain, now that he displays the history of the Royal Navy, he makes a point of getting across a lot of shipping technology. It may be tough on the passing listener, it is splendid for the seriously involved.

Much of the history acquires a deeper logic when you get into the technical details of the ships involved. It is the technology, very frequently, that marks the difference in power between British ships and those of its competitors. Or where no such advantage existed, you get to appreciate much more the sheer seamanship that made the day. Britons make the day eventually in BTHP because, just as with the Battle of Britain, Tony Cocks has yet again chosen a subject that culminates in British success, however challenged all through the narrative.

More BTHP:
James Cook and a famous mutiny,
The Royal Navy and the Seven Year War,
Britannia Rules the Waves,
Royal Navy,
Win, lose or draw.