Most of us have come to know World War 1 as a war of grinding trench warfare that devoured the soldiers of both sides by the hundreds of thousands. Not so well known and often overlooked bu students of this war has been the war at sea. Granted it involved not nearly as many combatants as did the war on land but, for Britain, there was, perhaps, more at stake than the fighting on the continent. A loss at sea would have left all of Britain very much at risk to the German forces.
At sea, the conflicts were rather limited. Neither side, but most especially the Germans, were reluctant to venture far from their home port for fear of exposing their fleet to the British forces.
The naval arms race had focused on bigger ships; faster ships; more guns; bigger guns; guns capable of achieving greater range; heavier armour capable of withstanding deadlier shell.
All of this is summed up precisely by author Massie.
Students of this turning point in European history will appreciate this book's narrative of the story of the war; of the biographical background of some of the major individuals, the sea lords, the admirals, the captains, that were central to these events. The level of detail is amazing. Massie's attention to detail, his command of the events of the battles is overwhelming.
This is the book to read to get a grasp of World War 1 at sea.
A very strong and entertaining narrative, especially considering the amount of technical detail present.
Whereas Dreadnought was a political and social history of the pre-Great War naval arms race, this is an operational-level history of the war at sea. Definitely recommend it both to fans of Dreadnought, or the Guns of August for that matter, as well as to naval history buffs.
Who knew the English-German naval war was worth delving into (although it does feel like a Russian novel sometimes)? A brilliant followup to 'Dreadnought,' which, weirdly, doesn't seem to be in the MultCo system.
This book is so interesting and well written! It's a real pleasure to read. I recommended it to anybody who enjoys history, especially naval history. I can't wait to read "Dreadnought" by the same author!
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