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Yellow Jack and the WormBritish Naval Administration in the West Indies, 1739-1748$
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Duncan Crewe

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780853232674

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846317361

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date: 20 October 2018

Manning – The Attempted Solutions

Manning – The Attempted Solutions

(p.99) Chapter 3 Manning – The Attempted Solutions
Yellow Jack and the Worm
Liverpool University Press

This chapter examines how the commanders in the Caribbean dealt with the manning problem. In time of war, the navy could not pick and choose men. While the impressment service took any man it could seize, in the Caribbean, sickness caused a high rate of turnover among the crews. Even when it was possible to replace losses with merchant seamen, they still had to be trained to fight and, in general, to accept naval discipline. The proposed solutions to the manning problem include instructing captains to treat the men leniently, to prevent their being turned against the service; imposing physical barriers to make desertion more difficult; making it difficult for a deserter to get off the island, while making it easy for him to be recognized as such, to aid his recapture; and convincing would-be deserters that the risks of desertion were not worth taking.

Keywords:   British navy, sailors, seamen, desertion, deserters, commanders

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