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Six Frigates: The Epic History of the…
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Six Frigates: The Epic History of the Founding of the U.S. Navy (original 2006; udgave 2008)

af Ian W. Toll

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingSamtaler / Omtaler
8011920,243 (4.29)1 / 14
The Battle of Trafalgar crowned the Royal Navy as undisputed sovereign of the world's oceans. Yet just seven years after Nelson's final victory, British ships were at war with a challenger from the new world - the United States of America. This is the story of the formation of the most formidable fighting force in the world.… (mere)
Medlem:MartinSolomon
Titel:Six Frigates: The Epic History of the Founding of the U.S. Navy
Forfattere:Ian W. Toll
Info:W. W. Norton & Company (2008), Kindle Edition, 585 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Ingen

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Six Frigates: The Epic History of the Founding of the U.S. Navy af Ian W. Toll (2006)

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"Six Frigates: The Epic History of the Founding of the U.S. Navy" by Ian W. Toll goes far beyond the U.S. Navy's Founding. It is a comprehensive history of the political, cultural, technological development of the navy from the revolution through the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. The book is extremely well written and is filled with interesting vignettes.
  RonWelton | Oct 30, 2020 |
The US Constitution was known to me. I have walked her decks as a museum ship in Boston. It was illuminating to hear the early history of the American navy. The story of the war of 1812 was better told than any other account I have read. It hasn’t been long since I read Chernows book on Hamilton. The immersion in early US history has been fun..I find Toll to be my favorite writer about our wars. I wonder if we are begging to become as fascinated with the revolutionary way era as with the Civil war. ( )
  waldhaus1 | Apr 11, 2020 |
Six Frigates is Ian Toll's first book, published in 2006. It recounts the history of the first US Navy war ships, commissioned to fight Barbary Coast pirates and then to be dismantled once the job was done. Events intervened like the War of 1812 and of course the US Navy was never decommissioned. The ship design was innovative and controversial but turned out be effective and vindicated. This is a long book and contains a lot of scene setting and anecdotal details. If you know nothing about the Barbary or 1812 war you will learn a lot, however it's not a good book for understanding the war. Thus it is a popular account that really shines in the battle descriptions. In a way the book is hobbled by its focus on the six frigates, instead of the war, and the length of time and events covered. ( )
1 stem Stbalbach | Jul 1, 2019 |
An interesting take on the War of 1812. The author, Ian Toll, is a financial analyst and focuses on the economic and political aspects of the founding of the US Navy. Toll starts with the debates over the correct approach to the Barbary Pirates (“Millions for defense but not one cent for tribute!”) and detailed accounts of the construction of the Humphreys heavy frigates. The U.S. eventually spent a lot more maintaining a naval force in the Mediterranean than the tribute demanded, and ended up having to ransom captives of the captured frigate Philadelphia (but got the “…to the shores of Tripoli” verse for the Marines in return).


After the “Quasi-War” with France and some unlucky encounters with the English (HMS Leopard vs. USS Chesapeake and HMS Little Belt vs. USS Constitution, things got underway in 1812 (at one point, it was suggested that the US declare war on both France and England, since both had been impressing US seamen and confiscating ships; this would have made for some interesting sea battles, but a vestige of sanity remained and the US only took on the world’s largest navy rather than the largest army, too). The initial stages of the war were the reverse of what everyone expected; it had been predicted that conquering Canada would be “only a matter of marching” but the Canadians turned out to be somewhat tougher than expected and soon Michigan and Maine were occupied. One the other hand, both British and Americans had predicted that the Royal Navy would quickly sweep the US off the seas; much to everyone’s astonishment, the US Navy quickly and decisively beat the Guerriérre, Macedonian, and Java in single ship actions. It’s been the conventional wisdom that these victories didn’t really mean very much; the Royal Navy outnumbered the US Navy something like 14:1 on just the North American station. However, Toll makes the interesting economic point that the Royal Navy became so obsessed with redeeming its honor that it concentrated its blockade on the ports where the American frigates were holed up, allowing American privateers a free hand. Insurance rates on cargoes to Canada and the Caribbean went up by a factor of 10 and Wellington became concerned about supplies for the Peninsula Campaign. Eventually things got sorted out; the Royal Navy captured Chesapeake, President and Essex and burned Washington, and a peace was signed based on status quo ante bellum.


Toll makes the interesting case that the war had a profound effect on the 20th century US Navy through the medium of Theodore Roosevelt. The young Teddy couldn’t find a good history of the war, so he decided to write one himself. This lead to a lifelong interest in the Navy, the Panama Canal, and the Great White Fleet.


This is not the book to get if you want an operational history of the naval war. Toll gives only cursory mention to ships other than the six big frigates, and to the naval battles on the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain (which, from a strictly military standpoint, were much more decisive than anything that happened on the high seas). He also isn’t very good with maps. But there’s an excellent bibliography. Four and a half stars. ( )
1 stem setnahkt | Dec 19, 2017 |
A thoroughly enjoyable and educational book, Ian Toll easily mixes historical narrative of facts relating to the early days of the true US Navy with thrilling accounts of significant engagements from the Tripolitan and 1812 Wars. Calling on a tremendous wealth of resources from the Navy's chronicling of Quasi War with France, the Barbary Wars and of course, the War 1812, Toll paints the first Captains of "The Constitution" and its five sisters and the legendary battles that established a fledgling nation and it's Navy as a sea power not only to be taken seriously, but one who competed on equal, if bloody "ground" and upset the supremacy of the mighty British empire.

As noted by others, this reads more like a story than a historical text. Fine reading at that.

Most highly recommended! ( )
  Razinha | May 23, 2017 |
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On October 21, 1805, an English fleet commanded by Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson hunted down and annihilated the combined fleets of France and Spain in an immense sea battle off Cape Trafalgar, near the Spanish coast.
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The Battle of Trafalgar crowned the Royal Navy as undisputed sovereign of the world's oceans. Yet just seven years after Nelson's final victory, British ships were at war with a challenger from the new world - the United States of America. This is the story of the formation of the most formidable fighting force in the world.

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