This is the first full-scale examination of the politics, economics, adminstration, and execution of the expeditions to the West Indies which were mounted by the British against the French during the Revolutionary Wars. Hitherto these have been regarded as a side-show to the campaigns that were taking place in Europe; but the author, emphasizing the importance of the Caribbean in the Atlantic economy of the late eighteenth century, explains them as a bid for decisive supremacy in the battle for trade, seapower, and the sinews of war. Britain committed tens of thousands of soldiers to the struggle, while France retaliated by inciting colonial rebellion in a war which changed the future of the Caribbean, altered European attitudes to negroes, and enabled Britain to sustain its war effort in Europe. Soldiers, Sugar, and Seapower sets the West Indies expeditions in their proper place as one of the most difficult and dangerous wars in British history, and places the fighting in its political, economic, and logistical context.
'a major contribution to our understanding of British strategy in the war against the French Republic. Dr Duffy has presented a much needed re-assessment, supported by a lucid and authoritative description of the campaigns'
Richard Harding, Times Higher Educational Supplement
'valuable study of operations in the region as a whole ... excellent account of the campaigns'
' this magnificent and scholarly work ... is an enlightening record of the expeditions ... A classic academic work, which I highly recommend.'
'Duffy's book is both an admirable synthesis of this work and a lucid, stimulating exposition of his own thesis ... he has consulted a wide range of British official archives and private papers, provided numbers of clear maps and a good bibliography and got the footnotes correctly placed'
P.K. Crimmin, Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, The Historial Association
'coherent, lucidly written and skilfully balancing narrative with analysis ... He brings to his work an attribute unusual in an historian of his breadth of vision: a mastery of the structure and dynamics of the armed forces, on whose capabilities strategy rests. He has made a distinguished and indispensable contribution to the history of British warfare.'
Piers Mackesy, Pembroke College, Oxford, Historical Journal
'scholarly and interesting study'
British Journal for Eighteenth Century Studies
'presented in a readable and informed manner, and the author is to be congratulated on his achievement'
History and Archaeology Review