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The First World War
Starting in 1914 as a European war, the conflict eventually involved 28 nations from every continent fighting in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, and on all the oceans.
The First Air War
In 1914-1918 military aviation evolved from a novelty to an essential combat arm including reconnaissance, air superiority, tactical support of ground operations, and strategic bombing.
The First U-boat War
Unproven in 1914, submarines almost became the decisive weapon of the Great War as Germany countered the Royal Navy’s blockade with its near-successful U-boat campaign against the shipping that supplied Britain.
The First Tank War
The armored, caterpillar-tractioned fighting vehicle was developed in World War I to break the trench warfare stalemate, and was first used in 1916’s Battle of the Somme.
Although originally written almost forty years ago, this book remains an important work on a controversial figure. Roskill was sympathetic to his subject, but does not shy away from the less attractive aspects of Beatty’s personality. A balanced portrait of a man who served successively as commander of the British battlecruisers, then as commander-in-chief of the British Grand Fleet, and after the war became a successful First Sea Lord.
Although strictly speaking not a book about naval history, the group that deciphered the Zimmermann Telegram was the Royal Navy’s Room 40OB, so I think it is only just to include it with the naval titles. This major reexamination by an expert on military intelligence investigates how the infamous telegram was intercepted, deciphered, and exploited. It reaches very different conclusions from earlier studies (including Tuchman’s The Zimmermann Telegram). A thought-provoking and well-written book.
I include this title with some reluctance, as I contributed some of the text and prepared the book for publication after the death of my friend, Bill Schleihauf. Nevertheless, I think it rates as an important work on the battle. The core of this book is a secret appreciation of the battle, written after the war by a pair of Royal Navy officers and suppressed because of its extreme criticism of Admiral Jellicoe. Despite its suppression, it has been used by a number subsequent historians (including Arthur J. Marder) and so has played an important part in the historiography of the battle. The notes added by Schleihauf and McLaughlin supplement the original text and point out its errors, and a collection of valuable documents is appended.
FULL DISCLOSURE: As noted above, I added some text and prepared the manuscript for publication, so I am not an unbiased reviewer!
Written by the grandson of Admiral Sir John Jellicoe, who commanded the British Grand Fleet at Jutland, this is a fresh examination of the battle and its aftermath, offering many new perspectives on both the British and German sides of the battle, and on the bitter controversies that have surrounded it since the moment the battered ships returned to harbor.
This anthology, originally published in Germany, includes articles by both British and German scholars. They offer fresh perspectives on the battle, especially from the German side. The translations of the articles originally written in German are not as readable as one might wish, but the collection is nevertheless a valuable contribution to our understanding of the battle.