North Sea Battleground, The War at Sea 1914-18

B1652

The author recounts the development of coastal forces spread along the British East coast, the development of mine laying and sweeping, the German bombardment raids and the British commando raids on Belgian ports. There are many books, in print and out of print, that have covered naval warfare in the North Sea from 1914 to 1918. This book provides a comprehensive coverage of the North Sea battleground and is an excellent source of information. A useful addition to an existing library of Anglo-German naval warfare and an ideal starting point for any reader wishing to study this aspect of the Great War.

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NAME: North Sea Battleground, The War at Sea 1914-18
CLASSIFICATION: Book reviews
FILE: R1652
Date: 180911
AUTHOR: Bryan Perrett
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: Hard back
PAGES: 152
PRICE: £19.99, US$39.95
GENRE: Non-Fiction
SUBJECT: Naval warfare, The Great War, 1914-1918 War, World War Two, technology, tactics, Royal Navy, German High Seas Fleet, Battle of Jutland, Battle of Heligoland Bight, Battle of Dogger Bank, Zeppelin, coastal bombardment, Zeebrugge, Ostend
ISBN: 1-84884-450-6
IMAGE: B1652
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/3efu83z
LINKS: http://tinyurl.com/
DESCRIPTION: When war opened in 1914, it was a series of small steps that led to the greatest conflict to that time. Germany had been engaged in an arms race, principally against Britain, and this was in part a personal policy of the Kaiser and his well-developed inferiority complex. By 1914, Britain had introduced many new warships, but also still operated pre-Dreadnaught ships. Germany had a well-balanced fleet that was built from nothing to a point where it potentially equalled the strength of the Royal Navy, did not have to spread its fleet across the globe to protect shipping routes, but had the disadvantage that the Royal Navy controlled the English Channel and the North Sea, boxing the German High Seas Fleet into its home ports. In several respects the German Navy was stronger than the Royal Navy. Out on the wide oceans, the German navy operated commerce raiders with some success because these single ships were hard to find but knew exactly where the British shipping routes lay. It was also possible to send out a squadron of heavy warships to roam in the Atlantic and Pacific, but inevitable that the British would hunt these vessels down, taking warships from the Home Fleet at Scapa Flow to beef up the stretched squadrons and close convoy escorts assigned to the main shipping lanes. There was a technical war between submarines and anti-submarine warships where the Germans came close to disrupting the Atlantic shipping. However, that left the majority of the German naval assets sitting in port and rusting. The naval focus was therefore on the North Sea. The author has covered this theatre of operations in some detail, with good research and a readable style. The text is enhanced by two photographic plate sections, and includes charts and maps in the body of the text. The story told is one of a series of raids by Britain and Germany on each others' coastal margins and one major battle at Jutland which was not entirely conclusive for either side, the Royal Navy proclaiming victory because the German Fleet was forced back into its home ports, coming out again in strength only to surrender. Small German squadrons could sally forth and bombard British coastal towns. Without radar or frequent maritime air patrols, Britain could not hope to detect small numbers of enemy ships until the raid developed. Once detected the Germans were able to flee for home giving little opportunity for a decisive engagement. Both sides laid extensive mine fields and these were generally effective in constricting movement of warships and in sinking vessels. As a result an increasing number of ships, particularly on the British side were devoted to mine laying or mine sweeping. Mines accounted for a significant percentage of tonnage sunk in the North Sea and many ships were destroyed by their own side's mines, either because they strayed into a minefield or encountered a mine that had broken free from its moorings in a storm. During the period, the Royal Navy discovered that it had neglected gunnery in the long period of peace since the Napoleonic Wars and it also discovered that many of its warships were inadequately armoured. As a result, there were unnecessary losses. The author recounts the development of coastal forces spread along the British East coast, the development of mine laying and sweeping, the German bombardment raids and the British commando raids on Belgian ports. There are many books, in print and out of print, that have covered naval warfare in the North Sea from 1914 to 1918. This book provides a comprehensive coverage of the North Sea battleground and is an excellent source of information. A useful addition to an existing library of Anglo-German naval warfare and an ideal starting point for any reader wishing to study this aspect of the Great War.

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