Professor Keith McLay is the Pro Vice-Chancellor/Dean for the College of Arts, Humanities and Education at the University of Derby. He is an early modern military and naval historian of Britain and Europe who has published on war and warfare from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries. His most recent publication is Reassessing the British Way in Warfare: Strategic and Tactics during the Reigns of William and Anne (Bloomsbury, 2022, due to COVID-19).
During the winter of 1694-95, Britain wintered a fleet for the first time in the Mediterranean as part of a strategy to project power beyond the Channel and maintain the challenge to Louis XIV’s France. However, in order to maintain the Royal Navy’s long-term presence in the Mediterranean, suitable bases had to be sought and, during the period 1693-1713, ports at places such as Gibraltar and Minorca were captured and the more traditional exercise of sea power was observed in set piece battles such as that off Malaga in 1704. This talk will examine British wartime strategy in the Mediterranean during the late 17th and early 18th centuries and the role that both the army and navy together played in its successful execution.