22 of 29 people found the following review helpful
An epic of immense proportions.,
This review is from: Dreadnought: Britain, Germany and the Coming of the Great War v. 1 (Paperback)
It was the First World War - known at that time as "The Great War" which changed Britain and Europe forever. As the Generals on both sides sent thousands of men to their deaths in the carnage which they regarded as warfare, there came about a change in the psyche of the British male - a change which would herald a complete alteration in the way he thought and acted towards those of the upper, ruling classes. No longer would that British male be so quick to use such words as "M'Lord" or even "Sir." No longer would he doff his cap as a mark of respect, no longer would the ordinary police Constable be so quick to "arrest that man" just because a well dressed person had ordered him so to do.
That change in British Society continues to this day and is easily traced back to the feelings of loss and despair which came with the realisation that far too many young men had died "at the front" - even though the war itself had been won and mainland Britain had escaped unscathed.
In this epic tale, author Robert Massie delves deep into why that war occurred in the first place. Every single aspect of argument and behaviour on both sides (both military and political) is exposed and analysed. As the title of the book would suggest, the theme is the world's first great arms race. When Britain produced the first Dreadnought Battleship it rendered all other battleships obsolete at a stroke (including the remainder of the British Fleet!). From that moment onwards it was always a question of who could produce the most new Dreadnoughts in the quickest possible time. Set against this wish by both Britain and Germany to be seen as the world's supreme masters of the seas was a political intrigue which few have been able to commit to print in such a masterly fashion as is found in this book.
In short, this is one of the greatest books of our time. It is also a good read.