Naval War College Review


Michael Riggle


In Most Secret and Confidential, Steven Maffeo has written an exceptional study of how intelligence was collected and used during the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. To limited degrees, the intelligence activi- ties of the United States, Spain, Russia, Denmark, and several other European nations are described. More detail is pro- vided concerning the excellent French in- telligence efforts under Napoleon. The bulk of the text, however, deals with the use of intelligence by the British government, especially the Admiralty, during the years between 1793 and 1815.