Castles of Steel Britain, Germany, and the Winning of the Great War at Sea

ISBN-10: 0345408780
ISBN-13: 9780345408785
Edition: 2003
Authors: Robert K. Massie
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Description: 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  More...

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Book details

List price: $20.00
Copyright year: 2003
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/2/2004
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 880
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 1.75" tall
Weight: 1.936
Language: English

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. From the Hardcover edition.

Robert Kinloch Massie III (1929-) is an American historian, author, Pulitzer Prize recipient. He has devoted much of his career to studying the House of Romanov, Russia's royal family from 1613-1917. Massie was born in Lexington, Kentucky. He spent much of his youth in Nashville, Tennessee and currently resides in the village of Irvington, New York. He studied United States and modern European history at Yale and Oxford University, respectively, on a Rhodes Scholarship. Massie went to work as a journalist for Newsweek from 1959 to 1962 and then took a position at the Saturday Evening Post. In 1969 he wrote and published his breakthrough book, Nicholas and Alexandra. Massie was the president of the Authors Guild from 1987 to 1991, and he still serves as a council member. While president of the Guild, he famously called on authors to boycott any store refusing to carry Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses. His title Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman made The New York Times Best Seller List for 2012.

List of Maps
July 1914
"Goeben Is Your Objective"'
Jellicoe
First Days
Beatty
The Battle of the Bight
Submarines and Mines: "Fisher's Toys"
"Shall We Be Here in the Morning?"
Prince Louis Departs
Admiral von Spee's Voyage
Admiral Cradock's Voyage
The Battle of Coronel
"Very Well, Luce. We'll Sail Tomorrow"
The Battle of the Falkland Islands
Fisher Returns to the Admiralty
"The Requirements of the Commander-in-Chief Were Hard to Meet"
The Yarmouth Raid and Room 40
The Scarborough Raid: "Within Our Claws"
The Scarborough Raid: Hipper Escapes
The Cuxhaven Raid: "Stupid Great Things, but Very Beautiful"
The Battle of the Dogger Bank: "Kingdom Come or Ten Days' Leave"
The Battle of the Dogger Bank: "Why Didn't You Get the Lot?"
"A Demonstration at the Dardanelles"
The Minefields
The Naval Attack on the Narrows
Gallipoli: The Landings
"Some Corner of a Foreign Field"
The Blockade of Germany
Lusitania and the American Reaction
The Eve of Jutland
Jutland: Beatty vs. Hipper
Jutland: Jellicoe vs. Scheer
Jutland: Night and Morning
Jutland: Aftermath
America Enters the War
The Defeat of the U-boats
Jellicoe Leaves, Beatty Arrives, and the Americans Cross the Atlantic
Finis Germaniae
Notes
Bibliography
Acknowledgments
Index

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