Nelson's Refuge

Nelson's Refuge

Gibraltar in the Age of Napoleon

Book - 2011
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Baker & Taylor
Examines the history of Gibraltar and its strategic importance and growth as a naval station and base for the Royal Navy and Army during the twenty-year struggle with Napoleonic France.

Book News
Musteen (military history, US Military Academy, West Point) examines the role of Gibraltar in British strategy during the Napoleonic Wars, from 1793-1815. He describes how this period was a turning point in the military and naval history of Gibraltar, as it was converted from a defensive to offensive role for the British army and was combined with its strategic value for the Royal Navy. He briefly explains the history of Gibraltar, then discusses how its base allowed Horatio Nelson to achieve victories at the Nile and Trafalgar, and how it served as the base of secret negotiations that brought Spain to the British side during the Peninsular War. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Naval Inst Pr
Gibraltar has been one of Great Britain's most legendary fortresses since its capture from Spain in 1704 and its strategic location as the gatekeeper of the Mediterranean Sea has given it a commanding position in the history of Modern Britain and in the history of the region. When war erupted between Britain and France in 1793, Gibraltar was already established as an impregnable fortress and as a strong source of British pride, but it was not yet a position of great strategic importance. However, during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars (1793-1815), Gibraltar became a powerful naval station in its own right and its soldiers became an offensive force as they frequently left the safety of their walls to attack the enemy in Europe and Africa. That combination of military and naval might transformed Gibraltar into a base capable of meeting the various demands in the Mediterranean for many years to come. This primarily naval and military history examines the growth of Gibraltar during this important time. The manuscript is not exclusively naval or military, though. The character of Gibraltar that has made it such a fascinating place to visit today includes a rich diversity of culture, religion, language, population, and history. Therefore, this work is at times a history of Gibraltarian society, of medicine and disease, of the convergence of religions, and of commerce in addition to being a history of Napoleon, Nelson, Wellington and the age in which they lived and fought.

Publisher: Annapolis, Md. : Naval Institute Press, c2011.
ISBN: 9781591145455
Characteristics: 251 p. ; 24 cm.


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