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Jutland, 1916: Death in the Grey Wastes [Kindle Edition]

Nigel Steel , Peter Hart
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Dramatic, illustrated account of the biggest naval battle of the First World War.

On 31 May, 1916, the great battle fleets of Britain and Germany met off Jutland in the North Sea. It was a climactic encounter, the culmination of a fantastically expensive naval race between the two countries, and expectations on both sides were high. For the Royal Navy's Grand Fleet, there was the chance to win another Trafalgar. For the German High Seas Fleet, there was the opportunity to break the British blockade and so change the course of the war. But Jutland was a confused and controversial encounter. Tactically, it was a draw; strategically, it was a British victory.

Naval historians have pored over the minutiae of Jutland ever since. Yet they have largely ignored what the battle was actually like for its thousands of participants. Full of drama and pathos, of chaos and courage, JUTLAND, 1916 describes the sea battle in the dreadnought era from the point of view of those who were there.

Product Description


'[Hart and Steele] have attempted to tell the story of the battle through the experience of participants, both German and British, and they have made a considerable success of their effort. Much of it makes grisly reading. ... Oneof the most striking features of the book is the high quality of writing by simple men ... by interweaving such passages from the battle's earliest moments to its last the authors have constructed a gripping narrative.'John Keegan, THE DAILY TELEGRAPH (22/3/03) 'Through the deft us of written reminiscence and oral history the two authors present an almost cinematic account, counterpoising poignant details with jingoistic fervour for a conflict both sides expectantly nicknamed "the apocalypse".'SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY (2/3/03) 'nothing can beat the voices of the on-the-spot witnesses in conveying the full horror of the business.'NAVY NEWS (1/3/03) '[Jutland 1916] includes a wealth of fascinating eyewitness accounts ... an exciting, fluid read... [the authors] 'warts-and-all' account of the bungling that infected the destroyers helps illustrate how the possibility of a tactical triumph slipped through the Royal Navy's fingers' WARSHIPS INTERNATIONAL FLEET REVIEW (1/7/03) 'The beauty of this book is the extraordinary research into the personal experiences of the officers and men that helpos to sustain the tension of a controversial encounter that still stirs emotions among naval buffs.'OXFORD TIMES (28/2/03) 'The hardihood of the men, the suffering and the losses, still makes compelling reading after nearly 90 years.' Lawrence Phillips, SHIPS TELEGRAPH (Ministry of Defence) March 2003 Peter Hart has written an 8-page article on Jutland publicising the book in BATTLEFIELDS REVIEW.

Book Description

Dramatic, illustrated account of the biggest naval battle of the First World War

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2428 KB
  • Print Length: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson; New Ed edition (20 Dec. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AJ20MBG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #88,804 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Duel between Dreadnoughts 4 July 2003
The story of the Battle of Jutland has been told many times, but the authors have unearthed much fascinating new material from the archives of the Imperial War Museum. For the non-specialist, who does not wish to be weighed down by too much technical data, this book ably caters to the growing interest in the firsthand experience of modern warfare, as it happened "at the sharp end". The text is given over to lengthy eyewitness quotations which generally succeed very well in conveying the excitement, horror and pathos of both the long-range daytime encounters and the cut and thrust of the nighttime pursuit. During the intense gunnery exchanges between the opposing battlecruiser squadrons in the early stages of the engagement, thousands of men perished in a series of catastrophic explosions aboard British ships. Doctors' reports provide grisly evidence on the horrendous after-effects of fire and shell in the confined spaces between decks on other ships. Certain episodes, such as the attempts to save a wounded man fallen from a stretcher between the sinking "Warrior" and its rescue ship, will haunt the reader long after he or she has closed the covers. The view from the German perspective is not quite so graphic, reliant on translations of official German accounts, rather than the same sort of telling bottom-up memoirs, but is not omitted entirely. Who won? Read more ›
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Decisive Battle That Never Was 13 July 2007
By Gregory S. Buzwell VINE VOICE
Even by the standards of the First World War there is something particularly brutal about the Battle of Jutland. Two vast fleets of grey ships on a grey sea set against a grey sky trying to destroy each other with high explosive shells and torpedoes. It is somehow elemental, not so much a clash between two navies as a clash between two massivily powerful forces of nature. And yet, for all the industry, endeavour and skillful seamanship displayed during the battle - and for all the bungling, design-flaws and misunderstood signals - the end result of this deadly engagement was a continuation of the status quo. The British maintained their significant numerical advantage over the German High Seas Fleet. At the end of perhaps the most violent 24 hours in the history of naval warfare the final result was "no change".

The authors of this book have taken something of a fresh approach in their portrayal of the events. The details of the battle, the personalities of the opposing admirals, the differences between the various types of warship are, of course, all discussed and explained, but the bulk of the book consists of some truly remarkable eye-witness accounts. By using extracts from letters and diaries written by those who actually took part in the battle this account has an immediacy and a human dimension that makes the events all the more poignant and moving. It is one thing to read a sober description of, say, the British Battlecruiser Queen Mary exploding, but it is quite another to read an account by one of the very few people who actually survived the sinking. The human element of Jutland, the sense of what it was like to witness the effect of high explosive shells crashing into steel and to see first hand the devestation caused is covered here in great, eloquent and moving depth.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent use of primary sources 5 Jun. 2004
There are many works about the complex naval Armageddon-that-wasn't at Jutland, however this work is set apart by its extensive drawing on apparently new primary sources.
This is a technique thay is not always easy - the combination of narrative history, 1st hand evidence and analysis can either be a disappointing pastiche, or highly impressive. This is the latter, giving the reader in-depth insight into the actions of both sides, the heroism (again on both sides), and critically on the confusion, and information or lack of it available to Jellicoe and Scheer. It certainly caused me to revise my critical attitude of Jellicoe for his now infamous decision not to turn his fleet and chase the retiring Scheer. The book stayed in my mind for some time since reading it; I can only hope the same authorial team might turn its attention towards other naval engagements or theatres of war - perhaps the Mediterranean in WW2?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clash of Navies but with a human touch 4 May 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It might not be an exaggeration to call Jutland (or Skaggerak) as the most important battle of the 20th century. Pinned into the North Sea, the High Seas Fleet could not break out to relieve the Royal Navy's blockade of ships entering their ports, a blockade that was slowly but surely sapping Germany of its will and means to fight. If the Germans could destroy a greater part of the Royal Navy's overwhelming capital ship strength in battle and then turn the tables on their opponents, then who knows what course the war and everything resulting from it would take?

The great Admiral Jellicoe was only too aware of this and much of the story goes back to his policy of not wishing to endanger his fleet without unnecessary risk. Previous historians have criticised his conduct of the battle as being too timid but here his tactics are fully endorsed, masterly even; the critical decision whether to turn his battle line to port or starboard before engaging the might of the High Seas Fleet is described as being one where the fate of nations is decided in a matter of minutes, and indeed it was.

This is a marked contrast to the views express on Admiral Beatty, commander of the Royal Navy battlecruisers, who comes across as somewhat vain, a thrusting poseur waiting to usurp Jellicoe - a feat that he eventually achieved later in the war. The battle is perhaps best remembered for his remark "there seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today", their lack of armour exposing them as paper tigers resulting in the destruction of the Indefatigable, Queen Mary and Invicible, with his own flagship Lion saved only by a hair's breadth.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars It ticks all the boxes
Prior to reading this book I had read several accounts of the Battle of Jutland and became hopelessly confused on each occasion. Read more
Published 2 months ago by DennisF
5.0 out of 5 stars Strongly recommended.
This is a very detailed but heart-rending story of the first major battle between dreadnought warships on May 31st 1916, told from the point of view of the ordinary seamen and... Read more
Published 3 months ago by James Miller
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly readable
The book is a narrative history of the biggest battle in history (by some measures). The pace and style of writing brings out the excitement without ever losing the overall... Read more
Published 13 months ago by D. Halliday
5.0 out of 5 stars Jutland
A riveting read. So much new information contributed. The naval action was brilliantly described and presented. Read more
Published 16 months ago by sidcupper
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good overview of the Battle
Very interesting overview of the Battle that clearly explains and informs
An excellent starting point for anyone who wants to know about this clash
Published 19 months ago by SynthFG
5.0 out of 5 stars Jutland 1916 Death in the Grey Wastes.
Currently 60 percent through this (, as per my Kindle information.) Although the subject is gruesome, the history is well written, and very informative.
Published on 6 Mar. 2013 by David Pavett
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic detail of politics, policy and characters involved in...
Great commentary reading almost as if it was a novel. Excellent use of reports from serving personnel of the time. Read more
Published on 22 Feb. 2013 by Dennis Seager
4.0 out of 5 stars Good narrative, with new angles
Jutland is one of my pet subjects, so I was pleased that this book offered some new insights; I felt that the British first person quotes were well chosen and woven in very... Read more
Published on 9 Feb. 2013 by Christopher Webb
5.0 out of 5 stars British naval history of the 20th. century
Having studied this period of naval history via various publications, I consider this book to be outstanding in so much as it views
the subject not only from the official... Read more
Published on 24 Jan. 2013 by Aileen
4.0 out of 5 stars Another impressive work on the Great War
I am reading this Xmas present of a book so I may return with a complete review in due course. I have read other books by these authors and I think that they do a great job. Read more
Published on 28 Dec. 2012 by Roy Szweda
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