Charts of War: The Maps and Charts That Have Informed and Illustrated War At Sea - John BlakeLondon: Conway, 2006, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Good+ Dust Wrapper. Dust wrapper pulled at the head of the upper panel with two small nicks toward the top corner. Text complete, clean and tight.
Illustrated by way of: Colour Photographs; Maps;
From the cover: “Information is power, and in centuries past sea charts were guarded by both a ship’s navigator and the State, stretched on oak boards or rolled in leather cylindrical quivers, locked away. As the European nations began their territorial acquisition and contest in earnest, the information charts contained of harbour approaches, coastal landmarks and hazards, currents and tides, could give one side or another the advantage.
From the ships of small expeditionary fleets, which carried navigational charts, to the requirements of modern ships involved in combined operations, which need charts to include a whole range of information, John Blake has produced a fascinating, illustrated account of the role that charts have played in planning, preventing, conducting and recording war at sea. The selection not only includes charts depicting major battles and amphibious operations, but those drawn up for tactical and espionage purposes, for coastal defence and the positioning of forts along rivers and at the entrance to harbours.
Chapters run in chronological order, organized according to the overall political scene, but the main focus is on the development of chart making and surveying in relation to changing warfare techniques. Informative captions accompany each chart, setting them in historical context and providing illuminating details about the main protagonists and the chart makers and surveyors themselves. Taken from a range of international maritime archives, they include portolan charts of Spanish acquisitions in the New World; Francis Drake’s attack of Cadiz in 1587, known as ‘the singeing of the King of Spain’s beard’; the Dutch attack on Chatham in 1667 during the Second Anglo-Dutch War; a plan of Chesapeake Bay where British naval forces failed to relieve General Cornwallis during the American War of Independence; William Bligh’s chart of the Battle of Copenhagen in 1801; charts of the Battle of Jutland, one British, one German; and the operational chart drawn up before the D-Day landings at Omaha beach.”