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on 4 December 2017
I regret I entirely agree with the opinion of LM Terran. My first thought on finishing, what is more of a booklet than a book; was that these were essays. Such a disappointment. I have read a number of other books by this author including the Great Victorian Feud. I found it hard to believe this was by the same author.

Sadly I still do not know whether the ammuniton safety system of flash doors etc, was 'circumvented' with Beatty's knowlege. That of course is not the authors fault as it seems doubtlful whether anyone who might have known would have revealed this information thus ruining Beatty's reputation; tarnished as it was with his interference in dealing with the 'official' account of the battle of Jutland during his spell as First Sea Lord.
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on 28 July 2012
A short book that is perhaps tailored for a "newbie" to WW1 naval history rather than a serious student of the period.

The value of the book is perhaps to tempt the reader into more extensive studies of the subject.

The book represents pretty good value at £1.99 for a Kindle Edition.

I would very much recommend ths book as a "taster" for more in depth study of the Admirals at Jutland.

I agree with the final analysis of which of the 4 admirals was "The Greatest" although in truth it is really a case of identifying the least flawed.
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on 15 December 2014
Downloaded because it was free, has some interesting points.
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on 11 August 2013
This is a fairly short essay on the four main admirals present at Jutland.
It adds nothing new to the subject and has no surprise conclusions.
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on 28 June 2012
Having greatly enjoyed the Greatest Prime Minister and Greatest Naval Battle books, I had high hopes for The Greatest Naval Commander and I was not disappointed. Richard Freeman thoroughly and fairly discusses Jellicoe, Scheer, Beatty and von Hipper considering military and tactical characteristics as well as features of their respective personalities. He is sensitive to their differing contexts and neatly reaches a satisfying conclusion based on a solid set of arguments. For someone who knows slightly less about a couple of the periods considered, I found this book informative and digestible and was able to absorb it fully on the train to work this week.
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on 5 June 2012
This is another short, enjoyable book from Naval Historian Richard Freeman. I enjoy the format of these debates about the greatest - and even though I am familiar with the period I still found out new information about the naval commanders discussed in the book. It must be said at first that, considering the significance and scale of the navies at this time, no one commander truly made a name for himself akin to Drake or Nelson during this period. Indeed all of the four "great" commanders discussed in the book are greatly flawed in some ways (although this was in part due to the chain of command and nature of naval warfare during the war).

The true virtue of this book is that it expands the argument to include German commanders - and discusses the war at sea from the enemy's side. Although Britain once ruled the waves, in regards to innovation and seamanship/leadership, Richard Freeman judiciously points out that this was no longer the case at the dawn of the 20th century.
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