Studies of the "Age of Fighting Sail" have tended to focus on the British or American navies, or sometimes on those of France or Spain. However, there were also at this time very significant navies built by the Islamic powers: the North African Barbary states, whose ships, allegedly pirates, plagued Mediterranean shipping and raided even as far as Cornwall and the south coast of Ireland; the Ottoman Empire, which built some of the largest sailing warships ever; the navies of Arabian and Indian rulers and of Persia, which were forces to be reckoned with in the Indian Ocean; and more. This book presents a comprehensive survey of Islamic seapower from about the beginning of the seventeenth century until the middle of the nineteenth century, charting the rise and fall of different Islamic navies. It focuses on strategy, examining the development and implementation of naval policy and exploring the technology that supported it. It considers the wars Islamic navies participated in, covers all the areas in which Islamic navies operated, and relates Islamic naval power to wider international power politics. The book highlights in particular the importance of the large Ottoman navy, which influenced and gave a lead to other Islamic naval powers.
PHILIP MACDOUGALL was formerly a Lecturer in the Department of Economic History at the University of Kent. He is the author and editor of several books on maritime history, including The Naval Mutinies of 1797 (Boydell, 2011) and Naval Resistance to Britain's Growing Power in India, 1660-1800 (Boydell, 2014).