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on 21 February 2014
I am not a great fan of Kindle, and, having borrowed this facility from a friend I am even more entrenched in that view. As other reviewers have remarked, the editing is sub standard and does not do justice to the author. I am a long standing admirer of Richard Hough, who is to me one of the most outstanding writers on Britiish naval history in the last half century. In my own writing (The Lion and the Eagle) I have sometimes had to curtail my quoting of him in his descriptions of men and actions simply because he would have become, by proxy, the joint author! This, though is not the book of his that you should be reading. Instead, get off the Kindle and read 'The Pursuit of Admiral von Spee' or 'Former Naval Person', or anything he has written about Fisher. I defy anyone to read his account of Coronel without profound emotion. When I was writing my version of the story, I just let half a page go in quotation marks simply because there was no point in trying to match perfection (and perfection was the subject of the paragraph). If you do not know Richard Hough's work, do not take this bodge edit as an example. If you are fascinated with the subject, check out his many books, and select at leisure. This book is basically a condensation of many other works, and is inferior to all of them. And, sorry Kindle- get your edititing up to scratch. This deserves better.
David Gregory
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on 13 November 2013
This is only a partial review, not really about content but…

I read this book many years ago and was delighted to find it available for Kindle at a great price. However, after just three chapters I am appalled at the number of typos! Better proof reading could have eliminated these as they are so, so obvious!

More later…
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on 11 May 2014
This particular Kindle edition should be reviewed on two levels, a review of the book itself and a review of the Kindle transfer.

The book itself is wonderfully written in a very engaging style which carries the reader along and is never tiresome or a struggle. The book is a comprehensive single volume work, this means it is a very good introduction to the great war at sea and provides a great single volume point of reference, the downside is that in many places it feels very light and lacking in detail. For readers with no real knowledge of the subject looking for a good starting point this is a very good choice as the engaging style and pace avoids the risks of some of the more detailed works on the subject that detail, technical arguments and an assumption that the reader has a certain familiarity with the subject make for very hard work for less well read readers. This is a book that will act as a spring board for some into more in-depth studies. The book is not without faults, Hough makes the valid point that the Central powers failed to understand sea power, however this book goes perhaps to the other extreme in over stating the impact of sea power on a Continental European land war. If the German gamble of attempting to knock France out of the war in a lightning campaign followed by transferring her army to the East had worked then the war at sea would have been of very peripheral importance. There is a sense that the author considers war was almost pre-destined in 1914 and comments on the fleet mobilisation of 1914 being the result of prescience that war was coming. One could equally point to the very successful courtesy visit of a British battle squadron to Germany in the same summer and the highly successful diplomacy following the Balkan wars as evidence that Europe was actually percieved to be pulling back from war in 1914. The transfer of the Battle cruiser Goeben to the Turkish Navy was an important factor in accelerating the entry of Turkey into the war on the side of the Central Powers but I feel Hough greatly over states the significance of this event and its long term consequences when diplomatic courting of Turkey and establishment of strong ties was one of the undoubted success stories of German foreign policy before the war. Goeben or no Goeben I believe Turkey would have supported the Central powers. The author is unduly harsh on Admiral Troubridge, it is somewhat jarring that a strong case is made that Troubridge should have engaged with the Goeben and there is a thinly veiled accusation of cowardice yet the following two chapters on Coronel, the Falklands and the general conduct of war effectively demonstrate that for Troubridge's armoured cruisers to have fought the Goeben would have led to a disaster for the Royal Navy, a view shared by most analysis of the incident. I could go on however the author's willingness to provide trenchant opinions is one of the things that makes the book such an engrossing read and whilst I do not agree with him on various things I would not use these differences to argue against buying the book.
What I would use as an argument to not buy the Kindle edition is the appalling transfer which is riven with errors. Some of these are the sort of silly typo's that are an unfortunate characteristic of many e-books however after a while the sheer number of these errors becomes very irritating and more seriously some of the errors could confuse readers who are not already familiar with the story.
If this was the printed edition I'd rate at either 4 or 5 stars, probably 4 on account of some of the arguments I have with certain analysis in the book, but I think 3* is as much as I'd offer for this particular Kindle edition.
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on 6 January 2014
A very readable and interesting account spoilt by the shocking editing. For a new edition (copyright 2013), I would at least expect the publisher to read it before selling it via Kindle. I have sent in as many corrections as I can but start with cast/east, ford/lord, fix/for, sec/sea and the unwanted space after most hyphens (which should be em rules).
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on 30 January 2014
This book gives a fairly detailed account of the title subject but it doesn't follow through from beginning to end it jumps into different time zones so one doesn't always understand just where you are in the timescale. It is also full of typographical errors so not a very good proof reading job. Apologies to Richard Hough.
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on 4 January 2014
A fine and comprehensive account of the war at sea.
The only thing that irritated the reader was the number of typos occurring in the Kindle edition.
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on 20 November 2013
Excellent overview of naval campaigns of First World War. Author is not afraid to be provocative, but he is always engaging - whether discussing grand strategy or going into more forensic detail about the likes of Jutland. With kindle version you lose some material in terms of images and plates, but don't let that put you off. This is an intelligent, well written book that fills gap in market place.
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on 20 November 2013
Downloaded via publisher promotion. One of the best "free" books I've ever read in regards to military history. Author is authoritative in his judgements. Royal Navy was not without fault during the conflict, but there is still a sense that they are unsung heroes of Great War. Worth checking out if interested in World War One or Naval History.
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on 29 March 2015
This is a very well written and comprehensive account and very readable. It is marred by the numerous typos (I imagine it has been scanned) which while occasionally amusing - e.g. the First Sea Ford - are annoying and interrupt the flow of the narrative. Nonetheless it is worth the irritation for a very informative account.
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on 4 January 2014
I have read many books on this subject including the official war record but this is the first to cover both the war at sea and conflict at the admiralty, political interference and rivalry between officers. I was totally engrossed from start to finish.
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