Archive for the ‘Research’ Category

European Naval Forces in the 21st Century

July 25, 2018

With the dissolution of the Soviet Union, many European states downsized their naval arm along with their other military forces as their perceived major threat no longer posed a problem. However, if there is one thing that history teaches it is that a vacuum needs to be filled. The rise of non-state players, the resurgence of a Russian presence, and the increased visibility of China as a global player have all contributed to the need for re-establishing national security through the revitalization of armed forces. Into the Abyss?: European Naval Power in the Post–Cold War Era, Naval War College Review, 71(#3, Summer 2018) surveys the state of various European navies as new dangers arise. This article is based on the author’s The Decline of European Naval Forces: Challenges to  Sea Power in an Age of Fiscal Austerity and Political Uncertainty  (introduction and part of chapter one here).

Also, European naval capabilities: strengths and weaknesses on show (International Institute for Strategic Studies, 2017) is worth a read as well as European Navies Are Grappling with Aggressive Russian, Chinese Operations in Baltic, Mediterranean (USNI, 2018).


China’s Naval Modernization

May 9, 2018

This CRS report details the plans China has to upgrade its naval forces and the implications this has for the United States Navy. Hundreds of references add to the utility of this 100+ page document. Also recommended are Beijing’s Strategy to Build China into a Maritime Great Power,  Naval War College Review, 71(#2, Spring 2018): 17-48;  and China’s Evolving Surface Fleet from the U.S. Naval War College.

Search Thousands of Open Access Articles and Book Chapters on Matters Nautical

November 30, 2017

JSTOR is an aggregator of almost 2000 scholarly titles, containing back runs of major journals in fifty separate disciplines; it recently added thousands of books to its coverage as well. Marketed to libraries as a way to save space by having huge back runs of bound volumes replaced by online, digital equivalents, it is an expensive tool,  but one that has great value.

But JSTOR has an open content site that really needs to be explored by those interested in maritime studies. For example, entering the term “frigates” pulls up a vast array of literature, including a 1756 piece on sea currents; entering “James Cook” allows you to read his articles published in the Philosophical Transactions, works about him, and works that mention him in passing. Any term you can think of will probably yield some results; i.e., “whaling ships”, “navies”, “seas” all produce hits.

While not the most robust of search interfaces (after all, this is free), you can sort the results by relevance, oldest, or newest. In addition, you can limit your results to content type, publication date, or subject.

This tool is well worth an investigation; hundreds of thousands of articles, some dating back to the 17th century, await your perusal.

Pre-1800 American Views on Great Britain

August 26, 2015

Embedded in the Evans Early American Imprint Collection, a database of almost 5,000 items, will be found hundreds of references to American reaction against Great Britain. For instance, inter alia, read No standing army in the British colonies; or An address to the inhabitants of the colony of New-York. Against unlawful standing armies (1773); Considerations on the propriety of imposing taxes in the British colonies, for the purpose of raising a revenue, by act of Parliament (1765);  and American independence the interest and glory of Great Britain; containing arguments which prove, that not only in taxation, but in trade, manufactures, and government, the colonies are entitled to an entire independency on the British legislature….(1776).

(U.S.) Naval Studies Board

August 11, 2015

“The mission of the Naval Studies Board (NSB), created in 1974 at the request of the Chief of Naval Operations, is to be a source of independent, long-range, scientific and technical planning advice for the Naval Forces.” (about)  Its publications are here and cover a wide variety of topics, from climate change to hydroengineering. Its predecessor agency, the Office of Naval Research, has many of its documents readily available online. The difference between these two agencies is that the NSB’s board is comprised of non-military members (although some are retired Navy personnel) and operates under the umbrella of the National Research Council while the ONR resides within the military hierarchy.

Transactions of the Royal Historical Society

June 8, 2015

Volumes from 1873-1922 of this important research journal are available online; a useful title even if the volumes are listed a little bit out of sequence. Indexes for these early volumes are available: TRHS First (Old) Series (1877-1882) ;TRHS Second (New) Series (1884-1906); TRHS Third Series (1907 – 1917); TRHS Fourth Series (1918 – 1950). Among the articles to be found: survivors of the Armada in Ireland, commercial treaties between France and England, a biography of Admiral Strachan, the imperial policy of Elizabeth I, and a discourse on the Hanseatic League. These are all papers read at the annual meeting of The Society so they give an indication of the state of historical research in Britain at the time. Very instructive.