In this book, maritime expert Angus Konstam explores the fledging Tudor Navy, tracing its history from its origins as a merchant fleet under Henry VII through to its emergence as a powerful force under Henry VIII. Examining the operational use of Henry VIII's warships the author analyses the battle of the Solent in 1545, in which Henry's fleet took on a French fleet of 200 ships - much larger than the Spanish Armada decades later.
Despite the well-documented loss of his flagship, the Mary Rose, Henry's smaller force succeeded in preventing a French victory. Although many people will have heard of the mighty Mary Rose, this book will tell the story of more than just the tragic sinking of Henry's flagship, describing how one of history's most dynamic kings grew the navy from the five warships that were his father's legacy to 53 deadly gunships at the forefront of his empire-building strategy. Through contemporary illustrations and intricate artwork, the author traces the changing face of warship design during the Renaissance as Henry paved the way for English dominance of the sea.