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.
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
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.