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"The Age of Fighting Sail, is specifically about the War of 1812 and perhaps one of the best books on the subject. Certainly it is one of the most readable, so if you have the time to dip into it, I highly recommend it."

Alex Bellinger

"An insightful view of the war viewed from both sides and various aspects (not just naval engagements). A welcome addition to any history student's library."

James E Montgomery

The Age of Fighting Sail
The Story of the War of 1812

C S Forester

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In this story of the Naval War of 1812 between the United States and England, C. S. Forester portrays the action, politics, and historical consequences as no one else can. Not only the heroes, but also the mighty warships come to life in this amazing, real life history.

The War of 1812 was a time of few great victories for the United States. It is best remembered by Americans today for the Star Spangled Banner. Originally written as a poem by Francis Scott Key, it described the siege of Fort McHenry at the entrance or Baltimore harbor in September 1814. It was a glorious moment for the United States in a costly and unsuccessful war.

Two years earlier a confederation of allies in Congress under Henry Clay convinced President James Madison and most of congress to declare war on Britain for seizing American ships at sea, impressment of American citizens into the Royal Navy, and the refusal to surrender forts in the Northwest Territories promised at the Treaty of Paris in 1783. The war, however, was a disaster from the start. In 1812, the regular army consisted of fewer than 12,000 men. Congress authorized the expansion of the army to 35,000 men, but the service was voluntary and unpopular, and there was an almost total lack of trained and experienced officers.

On the Canadian frontier, control of the Great Lakes was imperative. As the Americans fell back from their attempted invasion of Canada, British forces were poised to strike. Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, by his own request, was given command of naval forces on Lake Erie. At the port of Erie he secretly commissioned a small fleet of nine ships, only to discover that the enemy had established a blockade. Forester describes the ensuing campaign and others in this fascinating book.

Although America was in its infancy, the state of the world at the time, combined with the determination of America's forefathers, made it possible for the United States to cause serious damage to the well established British naval force.

Each individual battle is brought to life as the brave young captains command their ships with tremendous skill. History becomes more than words on a page; it becomes a vivid reality. As the war continues, young America emerges a nation to be respected and admired.

The Age of Fighting Sail - cover

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