July 14, 2013

BUT HE WAS ONE OF OUR REACTIONARY WARMONGERS:

Victory Was His : Horatio Nelson was a superior strategist who anticipated the commands of his political masters : a review of Nelson: The Sword of Albion by John Sugden  (HENRIK BERING, 7/09/13, WSJ)

Nelson-style close-quarter fighting isn't for the fainthearted, and for decades the study of things military was frowned upon by British academics of the post-1960s vintage. An Oxford don thus once advised the author John Sugden to drop his interest in British naval history, as it "didn't contribute much to knowledge," blithely ignoring the fact that Britain had owed its greatness to its navy. For those disenchanted with Britain's imperial past, Nelson was but a reactionary warmonger.

Fortunately, Mr. Sugden didn't take the advice and has now produced "Nelson: The Sword of Albion," the second and final volume of his mammoth Nelson biography. Where Roger Knight's excellent "The Pursuit of Victory" (2005) stuck mainly to the naval side, Mr. Sugden delivers the man in full. On the professional level, this means tracing Nelson's evolution from aggressive naval officer to superior strategist "consistently pre-empt[ing] the thoughts of his political masters back in England."
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Posted by at July 14, 2013 6:13 AM
  

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