BookPick: British Naval Power in the East
[To leave a comment go right to the end of the page and just enter it in the ‘Leave a Reply’ box]Another in the fine scholarly offerings from Boydell Press on the French and Revolutionary wars period.
When war broke out with France in 1793, the threat of a renewed French challenge to British supremacy in India arose again. This was compounded when the valuable Dutch trade route and Dutch colonies in the East Indies fell under French control.
The formidable task of securing British interests in the East fell to Admiral Peter Rainier, commander of the Royal Navy in the Indian Ocean and the East from 1794 to 1805, a period when far away a distracted Britain faced imminent invasion by Napoleon Bonaparte.
Author Peter Ward provides a fascinating account of the enormous difficulties Rainier faced. The book outlines his career, explaining how he carried out his role with exceptional skill; how he succeeded in securing British interests in the East – whilst avoiding the need to fight a major battle; how he enhanced Britain’s commanding position at sea; and how, additionally, in co-operation with the governor-general, Richard Wellesley, he further advanced Britain’s position in India itself.