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How Fighting EndsA History of Surrender$
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Holger Afflerbach and Hew Strachan

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199693627

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199693627.001.0001

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Going Down with Flying Colours?

Going Down with Flying Colours?

Naval Surrender from Elizabethan to Our Own Times

Chapter:
(p.187) 12 Going Down with Flying Colours?
Source:
How Fighting Ends
Author(s):

Holger Afflerbach

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199693627.003.0013

In sea warfare the principal role of surrender was to prevent the absolute destruction of the vanquished party. Afflerbach shows that even in the age of wooden sailing ships the practice of surrender started to be radicalised. Naval surrender became a question of honour, and no power wanted to surrender its ships to the enemy. But wooden ships were difficult to sink. With the passage from sail to steam and from wood to steel, the basic refusal to surrender became more entrenched. Fighting conditions changed, but not the naval code of honour which led to a de facto refusal to surrender in both World Wars.

Keywords:   naval battles, code of honour, Grenville, revenge, trafalgar, Nelson, Falkland Islands, glorious, Bismarck, Scharnhorst, Rawalpindi

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