Book Review – Naval Battles of the First World War

B1984

This is an essential history of naval warfare during World War One. It is strongly recommended, providing balanced, insightful accounts and judgements. The illustration is of the highest quality.

In August 1914, the Royal Navy faced its first major naval war for one hundred years. It was the prove a major challenge after a century of relative peace, and unchallenged supremacy had taken the edge off the RN skills, requiring urgent efforts to correct the situation.

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NAME: Naval Battles of the First World War
CATEGORY: Book Reviews
DATE: 230714
FILE: R1984
AUTHOR: Geoffrey Bennett
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: soft back
PAGES: 320
PRICE: £14.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Great War, WWI, World War One, First World War, war at sea, naval warfare, commerce raiders, naval squadrons, submarine warfare, Jutland, High Sea Fleet, Home Fleet
ISBN: 1-47382-111-8
IMAGE: B1984.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/pmbjsyx
LINKS:
DESCRIPTION: This is an essential history of naval warfare during World War One. It is strongly recommended, providing balanced, insightful accounts and judgements. The illustration is of the highest quality.

In August 1914, the Royal Navy faced its first major naval war for one hundred years. It was the prove a major challenge after a century of relative peace, and unchallenged supremacy had taken the edge off the RN skills, requiring urgent efforts to correct the situation.

A global navy, charged with protection of extensive sea routes, and assistance to land forces around the world, is at a disadvantage because the enemy can chose the time and the place of battle, allowing smaller numbers of ships the ability to take on a potentially much stronger force.

In 1914, there were also many significant new weapons that had yet to be tested in combat. They demanded new tactics. The great naval guns could fire beyond visual range, employed new optical sighting systems and mechanical computers, and could be directed by radio-equipped aircraft.

Aircraft and submarines made the battlefield three dimensional and were able to launch torpedoes during a stealthy approach. Although submarines still spent most of their time on the surface, they could cross oceans. Aircraft were fast and small, making them difficult to detect. The sea mine was also new in terms of its use in vast minefields in open waters. No longer a point defence weapon, the sea mine could blockade coastlines and sea routes, limiting the course options to and during battle. The battleship, which had been extensively improved with Dreadnought and later designs, was already obsolescent, even if that was not yet appreciated. At the start of war, capabilities of new and established weapons were over-estimated and fear was created that limited actions in battle.

The author has brought to life the battles, large and small. He has also confirmed the vital contribution made by Allied navies to the eventual victory. Having served in the Royal Navy from 1923 to 1955, the author had direct experiences of the lessons of WWI and the revolution in RN organization and equipment, that effectively maximized performance in a new naval environment. He later wrote a number of well-received naval history books, but this book is a particularly fine work that is essential to any library of Twentieth Century naval history.

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