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4.5 out of 5 stars17
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 8 March 2014
As others have commented this book is based on secondary sources such as the works of great historians like Marder and more recently Massie. The author is very upfront about this in the introduction and makes no claims that his work is based on a fresh examination of primary sources. The book includes quotes from many of these other works throughout the book, generally to add colour to the writers opinions of people or events or to support the writers judgements. The book is broad in scope yet also includes enough detail to give the book depth and the opinions and judgements are sound. Written in a very engaging style the book carries the reader along with it and it never feels laboured or flat. Whilst those who have the works of Marder and Massie will not find anything new in this book it is still a very enjoyable and well written book and worth reading. For those who have an interest in the subject and who are looking for a good book to discover more about this fascinating subject then this may be an easier to read, more engaging book than Massie and certainly than Marder. What really makes me wince is the Kindle edition price, 77p for a recently published book of this quality is an insult to the writer and at the price a 5* is fully deserved. Recommended highly.
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on 18 March 2016
What happened at the beginning of the 20th Century to take the World from relative peace and prosperity to a devastating World War in 1914? How much did the Kaiser's ambition to have a German Navy strong enough to rival the Royal Navy contribute to this race to war? What were the relative strengths, advantages and disadvantages possessed by the rival fleets at the outbreak of hostilities? How much did Admiral Fisher and the First Lord of the Admiralty, Mr Winston Churchill contribute to British preparedness for war? When Britain entered the war, was Britain ready?
David Gregory has dealt with these issues in considerable depth, marshalled a mass of detail and presented it in a logical, readable fashion with a lightness of style which conceals the seriousness of the research and his good judgment.
Volume One lays an essential building block for what is to follow. I would highly recommend this book to both the history buff and to anyone interested in the period who likes a good well thought out account.
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on 7 July 2013
This is the first book in what is supposed to become a trilogy focusing on the naval rivalry between Britain and Germany. This first book relates the events leading up to the First World War .
While it is a decent account of the period there is really nothing new to interest those familiar with the period. But for those readers not overly familiar with the period then it is definitely a worthwhile read.
Personally I prefer Massie's 'Dreadnought' but for the period in question this account is as good as any and probably better than most.
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on 8 May 2014
This is a very good book - beautifully written. It is an excellent account and assessment of two competing nations and navies in the lead up to the Great War. The writer deals with the international circumstances of the Victorian era, and the personalities that stamped their influence on the events of the time. He is also clearly fascinated with the ships themselves which is very insightful. There are many publications that deal with one or other of the subjects addressed, but not often do you get them all under a single umbrella, and so well described. If Volume 2 maintains this standard, it will be eagerly awaited.
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on 9 February 2014
I thought Robert K Massie's "Dreadnought", and "Castles of Steel" were the definitive works on this subject, and very nearly didn't bother with this, as I thought it would be going over the same ground. I was very agreeably surprised to find that it's an even better read, and I really recommend it.
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on 28 March 2014
This is fantastic insight to the struggles to command the sea during the most turbulent times we have ever endured and the sacrifices we made to Anti British movement in Europe.
I sometimes think we should have let them live under the yoke of the Kaiser and Hitler we certainly would not have the freedom which we take for granted.
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on 8 April 2014
A lengthy and verbose book, but the detail is not in the least way patronising.
It shows how the politics of the Victorian era, and political impasse resulted in a military building race. Fantastic content and totally engrossing.
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on 6 September 2013
The author is tackling a subject which has been well-furrowed, and there is really very little that he adds to it. He over-relies on Marder and Massie and I felt that the analysis somehow lacked the incisiveness of Peter Padfiels's 'The Great Naval Race'. Plough the same furrow if you must, but turn over some new and interesting analysis which will excite our jaded minds. Having said that, it is a generally good basic narrative of the pre-1914 naval problem and is worth a look.
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on 14 February 2014
A brilliant analysis of how Anglo German relations deteriorated with the premature accession of the unbalanced Kaiser Wilhelm II
and his love- hate relationship with Britain. This allowed Tirpitz with the enthusiastic support of the Kaiser to build up the German navy with little regard for clear strategic thinking or for its effects on overall German policy. The dilemma which faced the British government when war suddenly erupted after a period of seeming detente is well explained
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on 24 January 2014
This was a most interesting and enjoyable survey of an eventful and important period of history, written from a proudly naval perspective.
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