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Send it by Semaphore - The old telegraphs during the wars with France

By Howard Mallinson

ISBN: 9781861267344
PUBLISHED: 2005
PAGES: 248
BINDING: Hardback
SIZE: 234x156 mm
INSIDE: 54 black & white photograhs 8 page b&w section

The old visual telegraphs, which used giant semaphore indicators on a series of highly conspicuous sites, were developed in France during the French Revolution. For the first time news of victories was sent by an army in the field back to the capital in minutes, compared to hours or days by horse.

The signalling technology was soon copied by the British, who set up telegraph routes extending from London to the great sea ports for transmitting messages to and from the British fleet, engaged in the war against Napoleon.

The fascinating story follows the history of the telegraph on both sides of the English channel and examines it in the context of the war that dominated the period. The stories are told of how the greatest news stories of a lifetime – the Nile, Trafalgar and Waterloo – arrived in England, and how important this innovation really was at a time when Britain’s liberty was gravely threatened.

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