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Economic Warfare and the SeaGrand Strategies for Maritime Powers, c. 1600-1945$
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David Morgan-Owen and Louis Halewood

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789621594

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789621594.001.0001

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The Achievement and Cost of the British Convoy System, 1803–1815

The Achievement and Cost of the British Convoy System, 1803–1815

(p.121) Chapter Six The Achievement and Cost of the British Convoy System, 1803–1815
Economic Warfare and the Sea

Roger Knight

Liverpool University Press

The combination of British blockade and convoys has been seen as comfortably defeating Napoleon’s economic warfare strategy, principally his Continental System after 1807. Trade and military convoys were maintained and increased from 1803 and 1815, but this success came at a cost. Winter storms and ice were responsible for more warship and merchant ship losses than by enemy action. Shortages of skilled seamen caused considerable anxiety at the Admiralty. The greatest difficulties were the Danish attacks on convoys between 1809 and 1810 and those from America in 1812 and 1813, dangers which, fortunately for Britain, did not arrive simultaneously. The British naval and mercantile effort survived, but towards the end of the war it was a close-run thing.

Keywords:   Baltic, Blockade, Convoys, Denmark, Napoleonic Wars, Storms, United States of America, West Indies

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