Full Text

Naval stores


Subject History » Military History

Key-Topics navy

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631168485.1994.x


In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, naval needs for timber, sailcloth, hemp, pitch, tar and linseed were enormous: no maritime nation could satisfy them without resorting to the Baltic supply. The Baltic trade played the same role, relatively speaking, as the Near Eastern oil monopoly does in our own time. Naval administrations had to be more closely involved in the purchase of these stores than in later periods, owing to the quantities required by the state. Holland and England depended almost wholly on such imports, and naval domination was therefore a question of life and death for them. Both France and Britain could meet some of their needs from their own forests, but intensive exploitation in the past meant that there were not enough large pieces of timber which were needed for the structure of a ship. Spain was reduced to using woods from the north-west, hence her recourse to exotic woods and the importance of Havana as a shipbuilding centre. Calabria and Dalmatia were available as sources, but quality was another problem – Pyrenean conifers produced masts which were very brittle. Costs of transport also influenced the trade towards northern Europe. The river system of the north European plain allowed great trees to be moved very easily, while in the French mountains a system of roads had first to be built, and land transport generally was poor. Finally, we can add ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:


     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.

[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top