Battle On the Seven Seas, German Cruiser Battles 1914-1918

This is an important study of German cruisers during WWI. Previous coverage has concentrated on a relatively small part of the actions by German cruisers. Highly Recommended.


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NAME: Battle On the Seven Seas, German Cruiser Battles 1914-1918
FILE: R2711
AUTHOR: Gary Staff
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: soft back 
PAGES: 232
PRICE: £12.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Cruisers, armoured ships, reconnaissance, raiders, lone cruisers, cruiser 
squadrons, German Navy, Royal Navy, Great War, WW1, WWI, First World War, 
World War One, World War 1, shipping lanes, auxiliary cruisers

ISBN: 1-52674-385-X

IMAGE: B2711.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/y8szghaa
LINKS:  
DESCRIPTION:  This is an important study of German cruisers during WWI. 
Previous coverage has concentrated on a relatively small part of the actions by 
German cruisers. Highly Recommended.

Most of the coverage of German cruiser operations during the Great War have concentrated the Battle 
of Jutland and Goeben's attack on the Russian Fleet for squadron and fleet actions and the exploits of 
a few lone raiders. This distorts the very active deployment of cruisers around the world.

The Royal Navy did not end its active war service in 1805 with the Battle of Trafalgar. Warships 
continued to blockade European ports and a Fleet was sent into the Baltic to discourage the Russians 
who were then allied to France. These were successful actions that somehow never made it into history 
books, as were the various expeditions that led the race for Empire. That was perhaps a result of the
 total victory at Trafalgar but still strange because it was a period where Britain stood virtually alone 
against Napoleon. Only Sweden stood as an ally and that was not whole-hearted support. The focus of 
historians moved to Portugal and Spain where Wellington was only able to operate because of the total 
superiority of the Royal Navy, but his actions on land were vital to eventual victory in 1814. However, it
came at a price.

Once the Royal Navy had achieved pre-eminence as THE naval force for the world, complacency and 
a lack of testing inevitably led to a decay of fighting ability. By the end of the Nineteenth Century, the 
Royal Navy may have had an impressive number of warships in commission but it had become a largely 
ceremonial navy. The threat that Bismark's Germany posed to the peace and stability of Europe was only 
slowly understood by politicians who had become accustomed to spending the 'peace dividends' and 
basking in the glory of Empire. That failure of political awareness and skill came at a time when Britain 
depended heavily on sea lanes around the world to connect the Empire. 

The Germany naval expansion was most visible in the potential threat of the High Seas Fleet as it sought 
to equal and surpass British naval power. The rapid expansion was a major achievement in terms of industry 
and design, although most of the German capacity was not a good return on money. The two jewels were 
the U-Boats and the cruisers. The U-Boats failed to achieve their promise, not because of any lack by their 
crews, but because Germany had failed to understand how they would be used to ensure that the US 
eventually joined to fight allied to Britain and because the Royal Navy was able to dramatically develop 
an effective anti-submarine capability in technology and tactics. The cruiser war was a different story.

Although the many actions around the world were perhaps a serious irritation for Britain, rather than a serious 
military success, they gave Germany its best return on investment. It is therefore surprising that historians 
have previously failed to reflect the scale and successes of German cruisers.

The author has produced a remarkably detailed study, using German archives. The descriptive text is fully 
supported by a most interesting selection of photographs and battle maps. This is likely to become the 
definitive account of the cruiser war and will be essential reading for anyone interested in developing a 
comprehensive understanding of the naval warfare from 1914-1918.