This volume has been called into being by the absence of any brief work covering the evolution and influence of sea power from the beginnings to the present time. In a survey at once so comprehensive and so short, only the high points of naval history can be touched. Yet it is the hope of the authors that they have not, for that reason, slighted the significance of the story. Naval history is more than a sequence of battles. Sea power has always been a vital force in the rise and fall of nations and in the evolution of civilization. It is this significance, this larger, related point of view, which the authors have tried to make clear in recounting the story of the sea. In regard to naval principles, also, this general survey should reveal those unchanging truths of warfare which have been demonstrated from Salamis to Jutland. The tendency of our modern era of mechanical development has been to forget the value of history. It is true that the 16 gun is a great advance over the 32-pounder of Trafalgar, but it is equally true that the naval officer of to-day must still sit at the feet of Nelson. The authors would acknowledge their indebtedness to Professor F. Wells Williams of Yale, and to the Classical Departments of Harvard and the University of Chicago for valuable aid in bibliography. Thanks are due also to Commander C. C. Gill, U. S. N., Captain T. G. Frothingam, U. S. N. R., Dr. C. Alphonso Smith, and to colleagues of the Department of English at the Naval Academy for helpful criticism. (Typographical errors above are due to OCR software and don't occur in the book.)
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