1st Edition

Oceans, Seas, Shorelines and Warfare

    318 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    For as long as humanity has ventured on the seas, naval warfare has been an integral part of their activities and the focal point for many histories and ideas of heritage. This book presents a rarely explored aspect: the long-term impact of those battles on shorelines, seas, and oceans.

    Dramatic and altering, the physical scars of battles remain with us today in the form of cultural landscapes and archaeological sites, while the geopolitical consequences of warfare have been world-changing. The migrations of peoples across the seas, accompanied by violence, have done more to shape the demographic and cultural map of the modern world than almost anything else. Both sea-borne opportunities and threats have influenced the way of life of coastal communities. Today, technology has seen these threats extend far into the deepest ocean and reach across continents. This book shows how despite being virtually invisible to an increasing percentage of the world’s population, the ocean is more significant now than it has ever been.

    Ranging from the world of antiquity to the present day with a global perspective, the volume is intended to appeal to those interested in history, archaeology, social sciences, and the environment.


    1. Early Warfare from the Sea: The Classical World and the Shaping of a Global Ideology

    2. Violence from the Sea, 450–1450           

    3. The Globalisation of Naval Warfare, 1470–1650 

    4. The State and Sea Power: The Rise of the Battle Fleet, c.1650–1721

    5. Naval Power and Global Reach, 17211815           

    6. Naval Power, the Industrial State and the Great Divergence, 1815–1914 

    7. Naval Power and Industrialised Warfare, 1914–1990           

    8. War at Sea in the Modern and Post-Modern World, 1945–2022


    Richard Harding is Professor Emeritus at the University of Westminster. His research specialisms are amphibious operations and naval leadership. He is the author of Seapower and Naval Warfare, 1650-1850 (1999), The Emergence of Britain’s Global Naval Supremacy (2010) and Modern Naval History: Debates and Prospects (2016).

    Ross Anderson is Curator in the Western Australian Museum’s Department of Maritime Heritage. His archaeological research interests include cross-cultural contact, borders, and conflict. He is a contributing author to From Great Depths: The wrecks of HMAS Sydney (II) and HSK Kormoran.

    Mick de Ruyter is Lecturer in Archaeology at Flinders University and a Royal Australian Navy hydrographic surveyor. With interests in fighting craft and underwater military heritage, he is lead author on Moluccan fighting craft on Australian shores: Contact rock art from Awunbarna, Arnhem Land (2023).