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From the Dreadnought to Scapa Flow: Volume II: To the Eve of Jutland Paperback – 31 May 2013

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From the Dreadnought to Scapa Flow: Volume II: To the Eve of Jutland + From the Dreadnought to Scapa Flow: Volume I: The Road to War 1904-1914 + From the Dreadnought to Scapa Flow: Volume 3
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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Seaforth Publishing (31 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848321635
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848321632
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 3.9 x 21.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 77,878 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

ARTHUR J MARDER was a meticulous researcher, teacher and writer who, born in 1910, was to become perhaps the most distinguished historian of the modern Royal Navy. He held a number of teaching posts in American universities and was to receive countless honors, as well as publish some fifteen major works on British naval history. He died in 1980.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Seaweed on 22 Sept. 2013
Format: Paperback
(publisher's review copy)

This is a modern, affordable, and extremely welcome paperback reprint of Arthur J Marder's classic account of the Royal Navy in the First World War. First published in 1965, after Marder had recovered from the inadvertent binning of his original notes covering from 1914 onwards, what had originally been intended to be a single volume had already become two, and would now, when complete, be five, of which this - covering the outbreak of war to the eve of Jutland - is the second.

Even in five volumes Marder's narrative selects only those naval activities most relevant to the build-up to Jutland. For other detail there are so many other sources. What Marder gives us is "The war behind the war" with deep insights into how the war was managed from Whitehall. That is what makes Marder such a fundamental source.

Bringing Fisher back in October 1914 booted into action an Admiralty that lost its sense of urgency following his departure in 1910. A vast programme of ship (and airship) building was immediately put in hand. It was fortunate that the Germans could not credit us with being so stupid as to have done nothing to fortify Scapa, Invergordon and Rosyth, and that initially (because they were reading 1912 tealeaves) they misread our grand strategy. However they had better rangefinders, better shell fuzes, and could afford better watertight subdivision between decks. The Royal Navy was totally unprepared for mine warfare but the problem was eventually, with ingenuity, great effort and no little loss, contained. Our own mines were lamentably deficient in design and either dragged or didn't go off.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ned Middleton HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 17 Oct. 2013
Format: Paperback
Author and renowned historian Arthur J. Marder (1910-1980) was Emeritus Professor of History, at the University of California. Born in Boston and with a degree from Harvard, he was attracted to English history and the Haldane Mission of 1912 on which he wrote his distinction thesis before concentrating on British naval history. His was one of the most distinguished careers as an historian of the modern British navy where even established British sources expressed astonishment at the calibre and excellence of his work! He had several outstanding qualities from which we are all able to benefit. One of these was his mastery of the complexities of serious research. That he succeeded - and the extent to which he succeeded, however, became legendary. Added to this was a natural ability to translate those facts, figures and knowledge into the most readable accounts one might ever read. In short, this author set new standards within his chosen profession.

Amongst other works, he produced a five-volume book which covers one of the most important eras of British naval history - namely the years 1904-1919, during which the dominant force was Admiral of the Fleet Sir John Fisher - frequently described as the architect of the modern Royal Navy. Volume I of this historic book fully explains that history from 1904-1914 and this, Volume II, takes up the story and continues to 1916 and the eve of the Battle of Jutland. Volumes III and IV are scheduled to appear in early 2014. Altogether, I would suggest this series of books can be described as the definitive work on the subject and do so very much to explain this important period of world history.

As with Vol. I, this is another thick book (1½ inches or 38 mm) and contains over 460 tightly packed pages plus a further ten devoted to maps.
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Essential reading for anyone remotely interested in the Great War, or naval matters generally. This 2nd volume covers the start of the war, the Goeben affair, Dogger Bank, Falklands, and Galippolli, leaving Jutland for volume 3.
Though not glorifying war It reads like a fine novel with the writing skill not far short of Churchill, bringing events and people to life , whilst avoiding the "good king, bad king" trap of lesser authors. As an American historian, he perhaps doesn't have the same axes to grind as the participants and their supporters (eg Beattie / Jellicoe), so he can both admire and criticise the players with what seems like fairness.

Not started vols 3, 4, 5 yet, but were ordered en-bloc once I'd read the first one, and are waiting in my book pile.

Don't be put off by the 5 thick volumes - the pages almost turn themselves.

Highly recommended - and for anyone with more than a passing interest are essential reading.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Explains so very much about an important period in world history. 17 Oct. 2013
By Ned Middleton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Author and renowned historian Arthur J. Marder (1910-1980) was Emeritus Professor of History, at the University of California. Born in Boston and with a degree from Harvard, he was attracted to English history and the Haldane Mission of 1912 on which he wrote his distinction thesis before concentrating on British naval history. His was one of the most distinguished careers as an historian of the modern British navy where even established British sources expressed astonishment at the calibre and excellence of his work! He had several outstanding qualities from which we are all able to benefit. One of these was his mastery of the complexities of serious research. That he succeeded - and the extent to which he succeeded, however, became legendary. Added to this was a natural ability to translate those facts, figures and knowledge into the most readable accounts one might ever read. In short, this author set new standards within his chosen profession.

Amongst other works, he produced a five-volume book which covers one of the most important eras of British naval history - namely the years 1904-1919, during which the dominant force was Admiral of the Fleet Sir John Fisher - frequently described as the architect of the modern Royal Navy. Volume I of this historic book fully explains that history from 1904-1914 and this, Volume II, takes up the story and continues to 1916 and the eve of the Battle of Jutland. Volumes III and IV are scheduled to appear in early 2014. Altogether, I would suggest this series of books can be described as the definitive work on the subject and do so very much to explain this important period of world history.

As with Vol. I, this is another thick book (1½ inches or 38 mm) and contains over 460 tightly packed pages plus a further ten devoted to maps. With very few images at all (a few notable personalities of the day), this book, once again, concentrates on information - all of which is put together in a most readable style.

From the very beginning, Marder sets the scene with incredible style. Chapter One is in two segments with the first being devoted to Britain's geographical advantage and the constitution of main battle fleets of the day. The second concentrates on the influential personalities - including politicians, senior admirals and sea going commanders with a fascinating comparison of British and German officers.

Successive chapters deal with; the Mediterranean, home waters, threat of invasion, submarine menace, defects and fiascos, a revolution in Whitehall - where Churchill and Battenberg were held to blame, the restoration of Jackie Fisher, actions at Coronel and the Falklands, Baltic strategy, Heligoland, Dardanelles (campaign, failure and post-mortem), the Balfour-Jackson years with a new Board of Admiralty, Mediterranean, U Boats, and so forth right up to the eve of the famously indecisive Battle of Jutland where the commanders of the two largest navies in the modern world conducted their naval strategies with the same objectives (i.e. crossing the enemy's T) as Nelson over 100 years earlier!

As I said in my review for Vol. I, with such significant developments in naval technology taking place at the same time of such unrest, it is only by reading this outstanding account of what exactly happened that one begins to understand the scope of the entire work - for which no pedestal exists to adequately demonstrate the sheer excellence of this work.

It really is that good.

NM
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Volume II continues the high standards set in volume I 4 Mar. 2014
By Scott N - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Volume II, The War Years: To The Eve Of Jutland 1914-1916

Please read the first paragraph of my review for The Road to War, Volume I of Dreadnought to Scapa Flow.
Volume II

Volume II starts off with a chapter of short insightful biographical reviews of each of the major admirals and captains in the Royal Navy at the beginning of the war. Professor Marder then turns to the major naval actions at the start of the war. The causes of the loss of two British cruisers at Coronel to Von Spee’s German Cruiser Squadron are analyzed. Professor Marder discusses Sir John Fisher’s return to the Admiralty as First Sea Lord and Fisher’s brilliant decision to send out Battle Cruisers to search for Von Spee’s Squadron which led to Von Spee’s destruction at the Battle of the Falklands.

Professor Marder analyzes the action at Dogger Bank between Sir David Beatty’s and Von Hipper’s Battle Cruisers squadrons in which confusion in British signaling resulted in the escape of the German squadron from the much superior British force. The signaling problems were not adequately addressed and would come back to haunt the British at Jutland a year later.

Once the war at sea had settled down to the distant blockade of Germany by the Grand Fleet, the British Admiralty engaged in what Professor Marder calls “The Search for a Naval Offensive” which finally resulted in the Dardanelles Operation. The concept for the Dardanelles Operation was to use older not critical naval forces to force a passage through the Dardanelles with the goal of forcing Turkey out of the war and opening a year around sea route to Russia and was the brain child of Winston Churchill. Much of Volume II is devoted to analyzing the Dardanelles offensive. The Dardanelles operation failed and finally resulted in Sir John Fisher’s resignation as First Sea Lord and Churchill’s removal as First Lord. This very interesting part of the War including the fall out between Fisher and Churchill and the politics in the Asquith war cabinet is covered in detail by Professor Marder.

About 10 years after Volume II was published additional material about the Dardanelles became available and professor Marder wrote an essay called “The Dardanelles Revisited” showing that the Navy might have well succeeded by itself in forcing the straights and knocking the Turks out of the war. This very interesting essay in included in the book From the Dardanelles to Oran, By Arthur J. Marder, Oxford Press 1974

The last part of Volume II covers the new naval administration of Arthur Belfour as first Lord and Sir Henry Jackson as First Sea lord. The U-Boat war was starting to bite and the Admiralty was struggling to find an antidote to the U-Boat. An analysis of the strategic situation in the North Sea and state British and German Fleets on the eve of Jutland raps up Volume II.

As with Volume I Professor Marder focuses on people and decisions at the British Admiralty more than the actual fighting actions.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Just awesome! The author is an American 23 Jan. 2015
By Siegersallee - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just awesome! The author is an American. This series is the most exhaustive analysis of the Royal Navy from a military, technical, and political perspective that exists regarding the period just prior to, during, and immediately after the First World War. I cannot rate it highly enough.
The books in this series very informative on the British ... 24 Oct. 2014
By Fredrick A Beickel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The books in this series very informative on the British Navy and their development and use of the magnificent battleships and battlecruisers.
thorough 18 July 2014
By Denn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
thorugh
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