Christian IV and his Navy

Christian IV and his Navy : A Political and Administrative History of the Danish Navy 1596-1648

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This book provides a detailed survey of the Danish navy during the highly influential reign of Christian IV. He created a large and powerful navy with impressive ships and one of Europe's finest dockyards. It was relatively advanced in the design and construction of its warships and the administration of its seamen and dockyard workforce. However, its political and military leadership were highly flawed, reflecting the power struggle between the king and his council at both an international and domestic level, which ultimately led to its crushing defeat at the hands of Sweden. This work offers for the first time a valuable insight into the workings of one of the most significant, but frequently ignored navies in early modern Europe.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 336 pages
  • 165.1 x 243.84 x 25.4mm | 725.74g
  • Leiden, Netherlands
  • English
  • 9004154507
  • 9789004154506

Review quote

...This beautifully produced book is a major addition to our understanding of early modern navies, and naval development. In combination with the work of Jan Glete, David Goodman and Alan James, Bellamy has brought the study of the era to a new level, and integrated the results into wider academic debates about the development of the modern state.
Andrew Lambert, International Journal of Naval History, Vol. 6, No. 2, August 2007
...This is an excellent book that fills many historical gaps. It is intelligently conceived and technically very strong. It is essential reading for specialists in early modern navies, but it is valuable to anyone with an historical interest of any sort in this period. Crucially, it is well-written and accessible with plenty of contextual material and historical background to aid the uninitiated reader, as well as being handsomely illustrated and impressively detailed...
Alan James, Journal for Maritime Research, January 2008
....Martin Bellamy's is precisely a political and administrative history, concerned with the place of the navy in Danish political and constitutional development, and with the effects of Danish seapower on northern Europe in the age of the Thirty Years War. He is particularly strong on naval administration, and on the development of the navy's base at Copenhagen, which Christian IV made into the most complete and well-equipped naval yard in the world... In most respects this important book is a success. It is well produced and excellently illustrated...
N.A.M. Rodger, EHR, cxxiii. 501, April 2008
"Christian IV and his Navy is a boon to naval history. Thanks to Martin Bellamy's assiduous efforts, we know much more about Denmark's early-modern navy and its influence on Danish politics at the time. This is indeed a positive achievement. Naval historians can use Bellamy's research to greatly enhance our understanding of early-modern European naval development".
Virginia W. Lunsford, International Journal of Maritime History, XXI/1 (June 2009), 450-452.

Other reviews:
Scottish Historical Review:
Historische Zeitschrift:
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About Martin Bellamy

Martin Bellamy, Ph.D. (1997) in Modern History, University of Glasgow, is head of research for Glasgow Museums. He is a member of the British Commission for Maritime History and has published several books and articles on shipbuilding history and culture.
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Table of contents

Stylistic Conventions
List of Plates
List of Table and Figures
Chapter One: The Role of the Navy
Chapter Two: The Navy in Domestic Politics:
Chapter Three : The Financial Administration of the Navy:
Chapter Four: The Design and Procurement of the Navy's Ships:
Chapter Five: The Strength of the Navy:
Chapter Six: The Development of the Naval Dockyards:
Chapter Seven: The Administration of the Bremerholm Naval Dockyard:
Chapter Eight: The Organisation of the Seagoing Navy: :
Conclusion : How Good was Christian IV's Navy?
Appendix 1: List of Ships:
Large Warships
Medium Warships
Small Warships
Galleys & Jagts
Transport Ships
Armed Merchantmen serving in Torstensson War
Appendix 2: Comparative strength of the Danish and Swedish Navies:
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