Constructing the Military Revolution

Author(s): Annaliese Dempsey

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "Current Research and On Going Projects at the J Richard Steffy Ship Reconstruction Laboratory" session, at the 2019 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

European naval warfare in the 17th century went through a dramatic change against the backdrop of the Second Anglo-Dutch War.  English and Dutch navies, using the ship of the line as an offensive weapon, switched from a melee style of battle to the line of battle.  This new tactic, which required vessels to line up bow to stern, changed the course of naval warfare and remained in use for more than 150 years.  Though the line of battle did address important problems with melee tactics, it was an inefficient use of the ship of the line as an offensive weapon.  This paper explores the impact of the construction of English and Dutch warships on the use and adoption of the line of battle, and analyzes why, given the restrictions on a vessel that the line of battle imposes, this was the standard naval tactic until the time of Nelson.

Cite this Record

Constructing the Military Revolution. Annaliese Dempsey. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, St. Charles, MO. 2019 ( tDAR id: 448987)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 453