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Duty, Discipline and Leadership in the British Royal Navy

Edward Riou between James Cook and Lord Nelson

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Martin Rütten

Edward Riou (1762–1801) was a sea officer in the British Royal Navy. As a midshipman, he participated in the third voyage of Captain James Cook. He gained popular acclaim for saving HMS Guardian after she had struck an iceberg. Riou was killed in the Battle of Copenhagen (1801). Lord Nelson lamented Riou’s death as an irreparable loss. Later authors alluded to him as a «perfect naval officer».

This biography sheds new light on Riou’s notions of his duty as a King’s officer and on his methods to enforce cleanliness and discipline aboard the ships he commanded. It introduces dissenting appraisals by men who served under him. As a microhistorical study, this biography analyses Riou’s leadership style and puts him into his social context by comparing him with his fellow officers.

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Extract

Militärhistorische Untersuchungen

Herausgegeben von Merith Niehuss

Band 1 Stefan Gruhl: Die Arbeiter der Königlich Bayerischen Pulver- und Munitionsbetriebe 1827-1919. Eine wirtschafts- und sozialgeschichtliche Studie. 2001.

Band 2 Jürgen Löffler: Walther von Brauchitsch (1881-1948). Eine politische Biographie. 2001.

Band 3 Stephan Döring: Die Umsiedlung der Wolhyniendeutschen in den Jahren 1939 bis 1940. 2001.

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