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!
This innovative book looks at every single surface action involving ships of over 100 tons displacement—that is, it excludes only the smallest of patrol craft. The coverage is comprehensive, and is broken down by year, and then by theater. Each entry includes a listing of the ships involved, the commanding officer on each side, the weather conditions, the missions the two sides were engaged in when the action took place, and a succinct description of the action. Not to be overlooked are the excellent strategic overviews that begin each major section, and the analysis in the final chapter. There are superb charts throughout, specially drawn by O’Hara.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I helped the authors research the actions involving the Russian Navy.
In 5 volumes: vol. I: The Road to War, 1904-1914; vol. II: The War Years to the Eve of Jutland; vol. III: Jutland and After (May 1916-December 1916) (second edition, revised and enlarged); vol. IV: 1917, Year of Crisis; vol. V: Victory and Aftermath, January 1918–June 1919. London: Oxford University Press, 1961, 1978; a paperback edition, with introductions to each volume by Barry Gough, was published by the Naval Institute Press in 2014.
Long the standard work on the topic, Marder’s volumes have in recent years been subjected to some criticism; yet the work still stands as a monumental contribution to the field, and no reader interested in the history of the Great War at sea can ignore it. The recent reissue in paperback makes it possible to obtain at a reasonable price what had become a rare set.
A mammoth and well-illustrated work by an expert in naval affairs and a prolific author. This book delves into the details of the war, with chapters on (for example), “Blockade, Trade Warfare and Economic Attack,” “The Chessboard—Naval Geography,” “Fleets in Battle,” “Inshore Operations and an Inshore Fleet,” etc.
The Naval Historical Foundation declared MacAlpine’s book “amazing….” using 12,000 letters plus other documents to tell Schofield’s story. Graduating first in the Naval Academy Class of 1890, by 1915 Schofield commanded the Navy’s first scout cruiser Chester in the Mediterranean, dealing with the Turks during the Armenian troubles.
In 1917 he was on Admiral William Sims’s staff who commanded U.S. naval forces operating from Britain. His performance in anti-submarine measures led Sims to assign him as a naval advisor in the preparations for the Versailles Treaty of 1919.
Part of a two volume history of Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), this covers the innovative but rudimentary sensors and weapons the Allies used to counter German U-boats in the Atlantic and Mediterranean, although the U-boats were never completely defeated in the Great War. In August 1914 Germany had only 30 operational submarines compared to Britain’s 75, France’s 50, and Russia’s 25. Unrestricted U-boat attacks were curtailed in 1915 in response to protests by the USA. Includes short bios on key scientists and naval leaders. Fine overview.
The book’s focus on U-Boat Deutschland makes it easy to understand the experimental vessel and keep track of the groups connected with it. Deutschland was one of two subs designed as underwater freighters to avoid the British blockade. The other, the Bremen, was lost at sea on its initial voyage.
Support of the U-Boat was only one of the activities of the Baltimore sabotage group; it also attempted to spread diseases to horses being sent to the Allies.
Deutschland made only two successful trips before it was re-commissioned as a standard submarine after America entered the war.
The Germans and Americans in the U.S. who acquired the trade goods for shipment to Germany were in peril once the U.S. entered the war; most escaped. While some people, civilian and military, toured and inspected the Deutschland while docked in Baltimore, it was not until after the war that interviews with the cell’s surviving participants revealed how extensive and successful the Baltimore group had been.
A well written and unexpectedly interesting case study of an unusual aspect of the war.
Len's Summary: By the author of A Naval History of WWI and The Naval War in the Mediterranean, 1914-1918. The story of the largest Mediterranean naval encounter of WWI involving surface and submarine vessels, mines and aircraft from five nations.
Len's Summary: A selection of the History Book Club. In 1915, U-Boats sank 555 Entente merchant vessels; in 1916, the number climbed to 1.300; and, in 1917 over 3,000 Allied vessels were sent to the bottom by U-Boats. These losses were never replicated, even in the Battle of the Atlantic in World War Two, as is pointed out by the author.
Len's Summary: The most recent of several books concentrating on German maritime raiders of WWI. These include Kaisers Pirates: German Surface Raiders in World War One and Emden-Ayseha Adventure: German Raiders in the South Seas and Beyond, 1914, both published by the Naval Institute Press. Germany employed surface raiders, both armed merchantmen and war ships of up to large cruiser size, in both World Wars.
Dreadnought Gunnery and the Battle of Jutland: The Question of Fire Control by John Brooks ISBN: 9780415407885 Published byRoutledge on September 1st 2006 Genres:Military, Naval Pages: 321
Len's Summary: Gunnery, a subject that has fascinated naval historians for centuries, is also covered in Joh T. Sumuda's In Defense of Naval Supremacy: Financial Limitation, Technological Innovation and British Naval Policy, 1899-1914, Routledge, 1989 (hardback) and 1993 (paper).
Len's Summary: Covers naval ships authorized and commissioned beginning with the ABCD ships of 1883 to the never-completed 1916 naval construction program through the Washington Naval Disarmament Conference of 1921-22. . The entire set of six volumes covering ships of 1775 though 2005 is available for $395.
Len's Summary: A new, revisionist analysis of a controversial battle which the author asserts was a major British strategic victory rather than a tactical draw or narrow German triumph. Command leadership styles, he says, were more important to the outcome than technical idiosyncrasies of the various classes of dreadnoughts engaged. Most importantly, the battle set in motion the decisions by both sides that materially affected the outcome of the conflict.
Len's Summary: Photographs highlighting design details of dozens of WWI Royal navy scale models from dreadnoughts to motor torpedo boats in the collection of The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. Amazing detail for the modeler or student of naval architecture. Five stars.
Len's Summary: Decoded radio messages drew Royal Navy battle cruisers to oppose German raiders in an inconclusive battle at sea. // A January 1915 battle cruiser encounter which, though inconclusive, taught valuable lessons to both sides.
Covid-19 has made life very interesting in 2020. The WW1HA normally participates in the National WW1 Museum and Memorial’s annual symposium in late October / early November, but it appears that event is not taking place in-person or on-line this year. Therefore, the Association pivoted by hosting its first ever Meet and Greet event via Zoom on 27 Sept. We had almost 40 participants share their interest in WW1.
The San Francisco Bay Area Chapter has started to host their monthly meetings via Zoom, and the WW1 Historical Association—Eastern Chapter has also been hosting various Zoom events.
At the time of this writing World War One Illustrated #13 has just gone to the printers and members should be receiving their copies shortly.
My first two-year term as President is almost at an end. We have been successful in getting our publications back on track and in improving the regularity of our social media posts on Facebook. We still have work to do updating our website. Patience please.
Our membership year runs from 11 November to 10 November. Please renew your membership now, if you are a current member. Please join us, if you are not yet a member. We remain fascinated with the study of WW1 because of its enormous impact on the 20th and 21st centuries, and because it has impacted many of our families.