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Brian Lavery, the pre-eminent historian of the Royal Navy, returns with the third volume of his engaging social history of the Royal Navy's 'lower deck' - the world of the seamen as distinct from the officers of the 'quarterdeck'. He examines the world of the sailor from the outbreak of war in 1939 through 70 years of change up to his place in the modern Royal Navy. The author illuminates the inherent adaptability of the professional sailor, as new technologies demanded increased professionalism, specialization and training. He also focuses on the changing social structure of the Navy, and the periods of expansion as the service coped with great demands made through two World Wars and innumerable other conflicts across the globe.