Engage the Enemy More Closely: The Royal Navy in the Second World War Hardcover – 1 Jan 1991
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
About the Author
Correlli Barnett is a world-renowned historian with particular prowess in military, naval, economic and social subjects. Faber Finds are reissuing his four volume The Pride and Fall sequence: The Collapse of British Power, The Audit of War, The Lost Victory, The Verdict of Peace, as well as The Swordbearers, Britain and her Army, 1509-1970 (winner of the Royal Society of Literature Heinemann Award) and Engage the Enemy More Closely (winner of the Yorkshire Post Book of the Year Award). --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
For instance when describing the sinking of Force Z he states that the Japanese "used "24" torpedos with warheads of 1,210-pound, as against the 18" torpedos with 300-pound warheads used by the Fleet Air Arm..."
Only he is referring to the wrong torpedo, the one he describes is only used in Japanese submarines. The correct torpedo is the Type 91 Mod 1 or 2 which is an 18" torpedo with a warhead of 331lb or 452lb, ie exactly like the Fleet Air Arm ones.
Likewise when describing the Channel Dash " This futile attack with its tragic loss of brave men offers a bitter tactical contrast with the Japanese attacks on Prince of Wales.... Obscelete Swordfish with their top speed of 154 mph could not compare with the twin engined G3M Navy Type 96s with their top speed of 232 mph... Admiralty's and Air Ministry's peacetime neglect of martiime strike aircraft...."
So he comparing a carrier aircraft with a land based martime strike aircraft. A fairer comparison would be between the Swordfish and the B5N Kate and the Bristol Beaufort/Beaufighter and the Nell or Betty. The former flies at 265 mph and the latter at 232 mph and with better armour and defences albeit with less range, the RAF plane is the better option. What is strange is that only two paragraphs below he describes the later attack by 28 Beauforts!
Of course the real reason why the British lacked martime strike aircraft was that their main war effort was directed to bomber attacks against Germany and martime search aircraft defending convoys across the Atlantic.Read more ›
Overall, his thesis is that the Royal Navy performed brilliantly at the operational level but was repeatedly let down at the political and therefore strategic levels, and also by British industry. Barnett also argues that the British Empire and Commonwealth was a liability that had to be defended by a mother country with inadequate resources to do so effectively.
Even with a book of this length, it is perhaps inevitable that the analysis is patchy. Barnett repeatedly condemns British shipbuilding industry as being backward and antiquated, the workforce as being slothful and trade unions as being obstructive (e.g. pp 380, 438, 574). However, he does not give a single example to support this criticism; he simply self-refers to his own books.
He speaks of the follies of British policy in the 1920s and 1930s but does not say what, realistically, could have been done. Almost the only helpful thing the government could have done, in the light of British economic problems would have been to take control of the Fleet Air Arm away from the RAF and give it back to the Royal Navy. That might, at little cost, have given the Navy more and more effective carrier aircraft.
Barnett takes it for granted that, if the war had not started until 1944, Germany would have completed Raeder’s ‘Z Plan’ fleet of 13 battleships and four aircraft carriers.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Whilst I enjoyed the 'action' passages, which were engagingly written, I did find the authors constant negatively about the supposed decline of different forms of British power and... Read morePublished 6 months ago by A bookworm
Very,very,good book,I've read this book before I liked it then and still has 5 stars today.highly recommened.Published 15 months ago by Arkon
A core textbook on the Royal Navy and excellently written. Anyone studying the history of WW2 should consider obtaining a copy of this text. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Nursey VSL
Few books in naval history include the history of the British Navy in the Pacific in 1945, and this book is generally good in decriebing events that's not too often covered. Read morePublished on 8 Oct. 2004 by Ole Bjrsvik
This book gives a total and comprehensive review of the Royal Navy during WW2. It covers all aspects of the service, and provides detailed insights into every theatre of operation... Read morePublished on 13 Mar. 2004