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Fighting the Great War at Sea: Strategy, Tactics and Technology Hardcover – 30 Aug 2014

5.0 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Seaforth Publishing (30 Aug. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848321899
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848321892
  • Product Dimensions: 29.6 x 3.1 x 25.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 76,825 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Recipient of the John Lyman Book Award in the category of Naval and Maritime Science and Technology.

""Fighting the Great War at Sea" is not a quick read--it is a heavyweight and deserving of proper attention--but for anyone looking for a serious and in-depth account, lavishly illustrated and copiously referenced, it may well be indispensable.""--Warships International Fleet Review""

"Dr. Friedman's research credentials are impeccable, and the huge amount of factual detail he has unearthed will be sure to delight many. there is nothing comparable in either depth or scope out there, and for this reason, if no other, this book is likely to become a standard work on the naval aspects of the Great War.""--Naval War College Review""

Dr. Friedman s research credentials are impeccable, and the huge amount of factual detail he has unearthed will be sure to delight many. there is nothing comparable in either depth or scope out there, and for this reason, if no other, this book is likely to become a standard work on the naval aspects of the Great War. " Naval War College Review""

"Fighting the Great War at Sea" is not a quick read it is a heavyweight and deserving of proper attention but for anyone looking for a serious and in-depth account, lavishly illustrated and copiously referenced, it may well be indispensable. " Warships International Fleet Review"" --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

About the Author

NORMAN FRIEDMAN is arguably America's most prominent naval analyst, and the author of more than thirty books covering a range of naval subjects, from warship histories to contemporary defence issues. Seaforth has recently published his encyclopaedic Naval Weapons of World War One and Naval Anti-Aircraft Guns and Gunnery.


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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Many people will be aware of Norman Friedman's books on warships, it is perhaps less well appreciated that he is a very highly respected naval analyst and historian with a mastery of naval affairs that goes far beyond writing about ships. This book is a fine example of his understanding of naval operations and strategy and displays his skills as a historian.
The book is very comprehensive and as with many Friedman books rather than follow a strictly linear approach starting at the begining and working to the end he has broken the book down into subject areas, each of which is analysed in depth. Some find his literary style to be on the dry side, I agree with this to a point but he writes with precision and the quality of the analysis combined with a combination of both great breadth and also depth compensate for this. And whilst the style is a little dry, it is in no way the sort of ponderous and verbose style that kills some works. One word of warning is that this is probably not a book for a casual reader with a passing interest in the subject, it is a very analytical and quite technical appraisal. The book is also less of a narrative history than a tightly defined technical analysis of the fighting and to make the most of it readers should already have a reasonable understanding of the Great War at sea I think. I'd direct general readers looking to dip a toe into the subject to other writers, for example Robert Massie or David Gregory assuming the subsequent volumes match the standard of the first volume of his history of the naval war.
The book is fair and balanced, I'd agree with other comments that it is weighted towards a British centric view of events but that is not the same as lacking balance and in my opinion Frriedman is probably as neutral as it is possible to be as a historian. Overall a very fine book indeed, not the only book people with an interest in the Great War at Sea will need but an indispensible one I think. 5*.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
With this book Friedman gives an excellent analysis of the entire war at sea during the First World War. Having said this I don't agree with all of the conclusions Friedman arrives at. In my opinion where his analysis falls down is due to relying on the portion of Jackie Fisher's personal papers that have been published rather than studying the original papers themselves (he also does not seem to have studied the d'Eyncourt papers which would have clarified a few issues for him).

For example Friedman always refers to the proposed plans to recapture of the Belgian coast as an alternative to Fisher's Baltic project. It is quite clear from studying the original papers that the recapture of the Belgian ports was to Fisher always a prerequisite to any offensive action against Jutland or the Pomeranian coast. Friedman also emphasises the use of the monitors as an expandable fleet for use within the Baltic. However, the Fisher papers emphasise their use against the Belgian coastline without referring at all to them being used in the Baltic. It only seems to be Winston Churchill who wished to use them outside of Belgian coastal operations in his planned invasion of the German island of Borkum. Friedman seems to credit Fisher with the origin of the monitors but from all the primary sources that I have examined the monitor concept seems to originate from Churchill.

However apart from a few differences of opinion, like the above, I do think this is an excellent work and one of Friedman's finest. I have many of the author's books and I have often found his writing style dry and tedious, but not so with this book, I found it very interesting and easy to read with many insightful and thought-provoking comments so I have no problems with giving it the full five stars.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is another first rate naval history from Mr Friedman, with a well written and informative text backed by a variety of good photos, some of which will not be that familiar.

In a market saturated by all sorts of "Allied battleships of WW1" - type illustrated books, what really marks Friedman's work is the scholarship and understanding that underpins his works. Run of the mill books may tell you more or less what happened and catalogue various ships and classes, but Mr Friedman has been to the original sources and tells you why things happened the way they did, and what reasoning lay behind the development of the various ships. he also does a good of releating the naval war to much wider strategic questions.

This is not a cheap book by any means, but for what it offers the serious student of naval affairs, it certainly represents good value for money - all the more so because it is also very nicely presented, with consistently high production standards.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Again a superb book from NF. I have most of his books and they never fail to satisfy and provide immense insight from someone who knows what he does well.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent book, expertly explains the tactics and difficulties faced by all sides. From both the titanic clash of dreadnoughts at Jutland to the less attention grabbing combined operations and anti U-boat campaign this book provides in depth analysis.
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