||National Maritime Museum
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This book shows the development of both the merchant vessels and the specialized ships of war, from the earliest times to the present day. It was prepared by the National Maritime Museum together with Her Majesty's Stationery Office. The book is self-contained and incorporates the latest available information and the latest thinking on the subject, but they are readily intelligible to the non-specialist, professional historian or layman. Above all, as should be expected from the only large and comprehensive general historical museum in the world which deals especially with the impact of the sea on the development of human culture and civilization, the approach is unromantic and realistic. Merchant ships were and are machines for carrying cargo profitably. They carried the trade and, in the words of the very distinguished author of this second book, lthe creation of wealth through trade is at the root of political and military power'. The vessel of war, the maritime vehicle of that power, follows and she is a machine for men to fight from, or with.