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Date Posted: 12:44:10 04/29/16 Fri
Author: Albert Parker
Subject: Re: New Info on Ottomans
In reply to: John Tredrea 's message, "Re: New Info on Ottomans" on 09:07:34 04/29/16 Fri

In defense of R.C. Anderson, it's highly unlikely that he could have had access to Ottoman primary sources, even if he had been able to read the Turkish language written in the Arabic alphabet. He was stuck with the observations of the Ottoman navy's adversaries, written in Russian, French, Italian, and English. That doesn't make his descriptions of naval battles involving the Ottoman navy any more accurate. Naval Wars in the Baltic might, however, give a good picture of how the Ottoman navy looked to Venetian, Russian, British, and French naval officers.

Herbert Richmond made the same mistake about the war of 173948, with rather less excuse: at least for the French, a considerable literature, based on French archives, was available (but not for the Spanish, whose archives are only now being tapped). Richmond's The [British] Navy in the War of 173948 might remain a good examination of how the war appeared to British admirals and their civilian supervisors. That Admirals Mathews and Rowley thought that the Spanish had 16 ships of the line ready for action at Cartagena in 174445 explains their conduct better than the actual fact that only a few of those ships were comparable even to British 60-gun fourth rates, especially in gunpower. British naval decisions were what Richmond was trying to understand, and even if he could read French, the French material was not necessarily ready at hand to the captain of HMS Dreadnought while she was based at Chatham, as the British admirals' reports were at the Public Record Office in London.

Anderson did not, of course, title his book "Naval Wars in the Baltic as They Appeared to Venetian and Russian Commanders," and he probably thought that he had done an accurate job.

Meanwhile, Emir and recent his colleagues in and out of Turkey are to be congratulated for revealing the long-hidden (even from Turks) record of the Ottoman navy.

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