Customer Reviews


17 Reviews
5 star:
 (14)
4 star:
 (3)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 
‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Duel between Dreadnoughts, 4 July 2003
By 
Dr. Patrick Major (University of Warwick, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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? According to the authors, the British still won the Battle of Jutland strategically, although all the other evidence points towards a German tactical victory: the High Seas Fleet shot more accurately, sinking more enemy ships; outmanoeuvred the Grand Fleet during their famous battle turn-aways in the late afternoon; and the Germans' superior training in close-quarters night combat with searchlights paid off against a series of uncoordinated British destroyer attacks. But behind the propaganda which followed the battle, when both sides claimed victory, we now have a fitting tribute to the ordinary men who suffered and died to prove, or disprove, Mahan's nineteenth-century theories about naval supremacy. Some died in the flash of a cordite fire; others lingeringly in the sick bay or floating in the nighttime waters of the Skagerrak. And in the midst of all this horror were still glimpses of humanity, such as the destroyer survivors who insisted on singing "It's a long way to Tipperary" in honour of their eponymous lost ship. A good book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


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 "bagpuss007" (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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. It's an excellent approach. There are descriptions here that will haunt you and that will bring home the true horror of war.

If I had to make a slight criticism I'd say the book is a little heavy on British accounts at the expense of their German counterparts, but that may simply be because the British accounts are more numerous and readily available. It's a tiny quibble in what is a very good book. If you're after a technical account of the battle try Andrew Gordon's "The Rules of the Game", but if you're after an introduction to the events and an idea of what it must have been like to actually have been there then this is the book to get. Superb.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


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?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You won't be disappointed, 2 Aug 2006
This is an excellent account of the Battle of Jutland, but what makes this book exceptional is the accompanying first hand accounts written by the people involved, covering all ranks. You won't be disappointed!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book of the film....if there was one., 6 July 2004
By 
Ps Macleod "Petermac" (Southampton, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Reminiscent of the books of Lyn MacDonald, this one makes great use of first hand accounts, not just from the admirals, and neither for that matter exclusive to the British. It has an almost cinematic quality that grips the reader. You find yourself unable to put the book down, and like the Titanic, you know what happens in the end but that is no longer important, it is what happens to the people on the way. A first class read that will expand your understanding.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clash of Navies but with a human touch, 4 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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.

Over the course of time what appeared to be a tactical German victory turns out instead to be a strategic defeat, leaving Britannia still ruling the waves. What brings the whole story to life are the eyewitness accounts, from the Admirals right down to the merest Boys, turning what could have been a dry technical study instead to vivid colour - though the prevailing colour is of course battleship grey.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost Armageddon, 21 May 2005
By 
Logic "Melv" (Cleveland, England) - See all my reviews
Great book! Really brings the ominous physical presence of these ships to life and goes a long way to building your appreciation and visualisation of the unique events that took place at Jutland. You are not long appreciating the glamour of such an awesome gathering of ships and the confidence that people had in Britains enormous high tech fleet, before you are drawn into the brutality, waste and horror of warfare. This is due greatly to the brilliant documented eye witness accounts.On top of this I developed a real feel for the key individuals from Beattie down to the petty officers responsible for picking up peoples remains. There are many twists and turns in this story which are brought to light, leaving you engrossed for a long time after completion. Very well written and incredibly un bias, a very well balanced book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Personal View, 20 Dec 2004
By 
Neil Smith (Swanley, Kent United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This is probably the most moving book about Jutland that I have read. From the Admirals to the Boy seaman, they all tell of their innermost thoughts and fears,before, during and after the engagement.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jutland, 8 Nov 2013
This review is from: Jutland, 1916: Death in the Grey Wastes (Kindle Edition)
A riveting read. So much new information contributed. The naval action was brilliantly described and presented. I particularly liked the personal contributions from those surviving sailors, which were skillfully woven into the narrative.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic detail of politics, policy and characters involved in Jutland, 22 Feb 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Great commentary reading almost as if it was a novel. Excellent use of reports from serving personnel of the time.

Ideal for those who want a detailed and highly readable history after reading one of the many summaries of the battle.

Highly recommended!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Only search this product's reviews