on 18 January 2010
This is a handy little book which provides an excellent overview of a neglected topic: for while Germany's High Seas fleet was once powerful enough to rival the British Royal Navy, it rapidly sank into obscurity with its defeat in the first world war, and very little was subsequently written about it.
Always readable yet authoritative, Herwig steers us through the beginnings of the German navy and the various political crises leading up to the war, and then provides a interesting commentary on the ensuing fighting. Of course it is not a detailed battle history, but it does provide a useful summary of events from the German point of view.
The book also provides much interesting background information on the organisation of the fleet, dealing with such subjects as ranks and personnel, with useful explanations of forgotten concepts as the 'deck officer'.
All in all a most useful book, which anyone interested in the High Seas Fleet will want to own.