Chapter

Going Down with Flying Colours?

Holger Afflerbach

in How Fighting Ends

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199693627
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741258 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199693627.003.0013
Going Down with Flying Colours?

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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

Chapter.  15262 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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