Peter White

Helpful votes received on reviews: 100% (1 of 1)


Top Reviewer Ranking: 579,811 - Total Helpful Votes: 1 of 1
The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval C&hellip by Andrew Gordon
I enjoyed this much more than I expected. It's extremely clear and readable, and gives a fascinating, original and persuasive perspective on both Jutland and on military command in general. If you have any interest in the subject, you probably ought to read it.

The author's premise is that the Royal Navy in the First World War was divided, with Jellicoe and Beatty as extreme opposites. Jellicoe was an all round nice guy, extremely efficient, and highly capable, but implementing a flawed style of command (over-centralised and over-cautious). Conversely Beatty of the Battle Cruiser Fleet was a nasty bit of work and much less efficient, but implementing a better style of command… Read more
The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 by Christopher Clark
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth reading, 27 Jun 2014
This book covers the run up to the First World War, with a heavy concentration on the Balkans, and in particular on Serbia and its various backers and opponents. The perspective is very much about how the Great Power manoeuvring around the Balkans led to the disaster. In that sense it's slightly unconventional : for example, German power politics and naval conflict gets very little coverage, compared to the Balkans. It's almost an afterthought what happened when the Balkans pulled the trigger.

It paints a carefully crafted, readable and fascinating picture of the governments of the time, with their deep internal conflicts (in many countries the army and the civilian leadership… Read more
Engines of War: How Wars Were Won and Lost on the &hellip by Christian Wolmar
The author writes well, and the book is very readable, but the research seems patchy.

It often gives the impression that he only read one book on the military history of each period and refers to that book repeatedly and uncritically. As a result his views are definitely one sided; he comes across as an uncritical advocate of the controversial "Lions Led by Donkeys" view of the First World War, without justifying it in the slightest, for example.

To be fair, the author is quite open in his introduction and notes about having limited knowledge of military history (as opposed to railway history), and it's a good read. As a result I would still recommend this for… Read more

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