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Castles of Steel: Britain, Germany, and the…

Castles of Steel: Britain, Germany, and the Winning of the Great War at… (2003)

by Robert K. Massie

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Fantastically well written but long book.. Calls it as it was - Churchill, once again, gets taken down for his lack of knowledge and his desire to take the credit even when not due.. I was unaware of how large (as in number of ships) some of the World War I were and the absolutely horrible conditions the sailors worked under. Jelllico, Beatty and other famous Admirals were are shown as the politicans they really were. ( )
  busterrll | Jul 20, 2018 |
Superlative ( )
  expatscot | Apr 5, 2017 |
Dreadnought was Mr. Massie's book relating to a more diplomatic portrait of the world before August, 1914. This book does concentrate on the naval side of the great conflict, andf I found it a good deal less satisfying. there are some stylist howlers in the prose itself, and Mr. Massie is usually a competent stylist. Into the bargain we are treated to errors of fact, such as worship statistics, that are easily available to the researcher. So, it's a good basic book but too long for the level of competence being displayed. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Apr 25, 2014 |
A thorough and detailed examination of the naval policies and actions of the British and German navies during WWII. Battle actions are examined, but the personalities and decisions behind those actions are even more interesting. Anyone interested in naval history of this period will find this certainly a worthwhile read. ( )
  cfzmjz041567 | Apr 18, 2010 |
This is the story of the German and English navies during World War One. It goes into great detail about the people involved. I recommend it to anyone who has a real interest in the subject. Casual readers are unlikely to want to read it all.
  xenchu | Jan 20, 2010 |
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All nations want peace, but they want a peace that suits them.
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Wikipedia in English (114)

1918 in the United Kingdom

3rd Battle Squadron (United Kingdom)

7th Cruiser Squadron (United Kingdom)

Action of 19 August 1916

Action of 22 September 1914

Action of 29 February 1916

HMS Drake (1901)

HMS Essex (1901)

HMS Euryalus (1901)

HMS Firedrake (1912)

HMS Fortune (1913)

HMS Hawke (1891)

September 1914

Sir George Warrender, 7th Baronet

SM U-53

SMS Bremse

SMS Brummer

SMS Derfflinger

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679456716, Hardcover)

In a work of extraordinary narrative power, filled with brilliant personalities and vivid scenes of dramatic action, Robert K. Massie, the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Peter the Great, Nicholas and Alexandra, and Dreadnought, elevates to its proper historical importance the role of sea power in the winning of the Great War.

The predominant image of this first world war is of mud and trenches, barbed wire, machine guns, poison gas, and slaughter. A generation of European manhood was massacred, and a wound was inflicted on European civilization that required the remainder of the twentieth century to heal.

But with all its sacrifice, trench warfare did not win the war for one side or lose it for the other. Over the course of four years, the lines on the Western Front moved scarcely at all; attempts to break through led only to the lengthening of the already unbearably long casualty lists.

For the true story of military upheaval, we must look to the sea. On the eve of the war in August 1914, Great Britain and Germany possessed the two greatest navies the world had ever seen. When war came, these two fleets of dreadnoughts—gigantic floating castles of steel able to hurl massive shells at an enemy miles away—were ready to test their terrible power against each other.

Their struggles took place in the North Sea and the Pacific, at the Falkland Islands and the Dardanelles. They reached their climax when Germany, suffocated by an implacable naval blockade, decided to strike against the British ring of steel. The result was Jutland, a titanic clash of fifty-eight dreadnoughts, each the home of a thousand men.

When the German High Seas Fleet retreated, the kaiser unleashed unrestricted U-boat warfare, which, in its indiscriminate violence, brought a reluctant America into the war. In this way, the German effort to “seize the trident” by defeating the British navy led to the fall of the German empire.

Ultimately, the distinguishing feature of Castles of Steel is the author himself. The knowledge, understanding, and literary power Massie brings to this story are unparalleled. His portrayals of Winston Churchill, the British admirals Fisher, Jellicoe, and Beatty, and the Germans Scheer, Hipper, and Tirpitz are stunning in their veracity and artistry.

Castles of Steel is about war at sea, leadership and command, courage, genius, and folly. All these elements are given magnificent scope by Robert K. Massie’s special and widely hailed literary mastery.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:28 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

The author continues his study of early twentieth-century military and naval history in an analysis of the confrontation between the two most powerful navies in the world as the British and Germans clashed at sea during World War I.

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