Ancient Origins IRAQ Tour

Print
    
Naval Intelligence, Navy, Horatio Nelson, Napoleon, Espionage, Juan Santacilia, Count De Maurepas

Two Centuries Of Naval Espionage In Europe

The crucial role of intelligence among the various royal navies of Europe during the 17th and the 18th centuries cannot be underestimated. Since naval warfare was a very powerful weapon during these centuries, as indeed it is today,  it is no wonder that many naval architects, such as Deane and Chapman, as well as designers of various kinds, and even skilled workers were kept under surveillance by naval and military espionage. A historian of the 1800s remarked, "The design of the ships remained a jealously guarded secret until the great thirst for knowledge of the 1600s leveraged to open up the old era. The mystery was based on technical knowledge and practical experience."

Diagram of a warship "A SHIP of War, of the third Rate" and "Section of a SHIP of War, of the first Rate" Cyclopaedia 1728, Vol 2 (Public Domain)

Diagram of a warship "A SHIP of War, of the third Rate" and "Section of a SHIP of War, of the first Rate" Cyclopaedia 1728, Vol 2 (Public Domain)

This espionage activity on naval projects may certainly not have attracted major attention in the formal annals of history, but it was certainly ongoing, as evidenced by documents and letters exchanged between leading figures of European governments, particularly between Spain, England, and France.


Become a member to read more OR login here

Ancient Origins Quotations