Books on First World War Naval Warfare

Books on First World War Naval Warfare

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Books - Naval Warfare- First World War

First World War

Armoured Cruiser Cressy, detailed in the original builders’ plan, Andrew Choong.Looks at the Cressy class armoured cruisers, using the beautifully drawn ‘as-fitted’plans produced after they were completed, to illustrate their actual layout in great detail. Part of a splendid series, this is a good example of a particular type of armoured cruiser, with many of its guns carried in two layers of casemates along the sides. By 1914 the armoured cruiser was almost obsolete, and the Cressy class is most famous for the loss of three to one U-boat on a single day, but when new they were were powerful modern ships. As with all of these books, this answers all sorts of questions about the layout of these ships, and is fascinating to look through.(Read Full Review)

Bayly’s War - The Battle for the Western Approaches in the First World War, Steve R. Dunn.A fascinating history of the first battle of the Atlantic in the Western Approaches, the waters around Ireland, looking at the overall course of the battle, the role of Admiral Bayly, commander-in-chief on the Irish station, and the impact of the American arrival in Ireland. Paints a picture of a very different battle to the more familiar one from the Second World War, with the key difference being the lack of any way to detect a submerged U-boat, leading to very heavy shipping losses. Also includes interesting material on the problems caused by Irish nationalism, peaking with the Easter uprising, but also causing more low key problems for most of the war (Read Full Review)

A Naval History Of World War 1

Traditionally studies of the naval battles of the First World War have focused primarily on the non-event of the confrontation between the British and German battle fleets in the North Sea. While relevant in the context of the tensions that led to war and important for several reasons, such predominance creates a distorted impression of the war at sea as being one that was mainly fought around the waters off Great Britain. In fact, the naval history of the First World War is one that well justif Traditionally studies of the naval battles of the First World War have focused primarily on the non-event of the confrontation between the British and German battle fleets in the North Sea. While relevant in the context of the tensions that led to war and important for several reasons, such predominance creates a distorted impression of the war at sea as being one that was mainly fought around the waters off Great Britain. In fact, the naval history of the First World War is one that well justifies the title of the conflict overall, as ships of the various sides fought each other in critical struggles across every part of the globe.

In this respect, Paul Halpern is the ideal person to write an overall history of the conflict at sea. A longtime naval historian of the era, he approaches the subject from his earlier work studying the First World War in the Mediterranean, a long-overlooked front that engaged many navies not traditionally covered in histories of the war. This equips him with a background and perspective that is perfectly suited for a broader study of the naval history of the war, one that he displays on nearly every page. Beginning with a short survey of the navies of the major powers, he goes on to discuss the exciting pursuits of the first months of the war before taking the reader on a tour of the many neglected fronts, from the Black Sea to the Danube River. To accomplish this, he draws upon his own considerable work as well as many of the often-neglected official histories and memoirs, many of which require the surmounting of numerous language barriers.

The war that emerges within these pages is not a staid affair of massive dreadnoughts glaring at each other from their respective ports, but a series of struggles of cruisers, destroyers, submarines, and river boats often characterized by dash and ingenuity. Though Halpern recounts many of these clashes, his focus is primarily strategic, as he explains how each of these battles and campaigns played a role in the broader effort by the various sides to win the war. His analysis is insightful, explaining why these oft-ignored struggles mattered in the grand scheme of conflict. Nor does he overlook the traditional subject of the stand-off between the Grand and High Sea Fleets, giving them due attention as a critical component of his topic.

All of this makes Halpern’s book a truly impressive study of the First World War at sea. Encompassing as it does issues of geography, diplomacy, and society, it is indeed not just an account of battles and campaigns but a real naval history of the conflict. Such an inclusive scope can make it easy to quibble about minor errors such as typos, or about what was left out (my personal complaint is the lack of a concluding chapter examining some of the post-war consequences of the experiences he describes), but none of this should overshadow the magnificence of Halpern’s achievement. Simply put, this is the single best history of the naval conflicts of the First World War, one that is an indispensable starting point for understanding the conflicts at sea and the role it played in the war overall. . more

World War I

Limited edition, number 572 of 1,000 numbered copies, printed in Eric Gill's Perpetua type on handmade paper.

"The majority of Lawrence's contributions to the Arab Bulletin are published in this volume. In addition to these items, 'Syrian Cross Currents', previously unpublished, is included this was taken from a manuscript on Arab Bureau paper". Learn More

Stock Code: 146260

First edition, first printing, presentation copy inscribed on the first blank "To Harry Lichtig, with cordial best wishes, from Humphrey Cobb", the recipient was, in all likelihood, the Hollywood agent from the Lichtig & Englander agency. This is a great association copy.

Twenty-two years after its publication, Humphrey Cobb's anti-war masterpiece. Learn More

Stock Code: 149523

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First edition thus, limited edition, number 41 of 100 copies only with an original drawing by Bairnsfather. This copy has an interesting provenance with pencilled on the front free endpaper "Keep in memory of Frank Houlton Putnam ('Happy') 51st Canadian Highland Division 1914-1918".

In February 1930, Putnam's (1892-1930) obituary read "Mr. Putnam. Learn More

Stock Code: 148880

Ryton, Dymock, Gloucester : 1914

First editions, first impressions. The four numbers comprising the complete run of New Numbers by the "Dymock Poets". Forty-one poems are present, of which fifteen are by Rupert Brooke. The majority of the poems in Brooke's 1914 and Other Poems first appeared here, including the first publication of his famous poem "The Soldier".

Stock Code: 148519

First edition, first impression, of Keynes's second work on the German reparations, arguing for a reduction in payments demanded from Germany.

Following the success of Keynes's first work on the question of German reparations, The Economic Consequences of the Peace, the Sunday Times paid Keynes a large sum for five widely syndicated articles. Learn More

Stock Code: 148645

First edition, first impression, of Keynes's second work on the German reparations, arguing for a reduction in payments demanded from Germany.

Following the success of Keynes's first work on the question of German reparations, The Economic Consequences of the Peace, the Sunday Times paid Keynes a large sum for five widely syndicated articles. Learn More

Stock Code: 148644

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Signed limited edition, number 9 of 12 copies printed for Liddell Hart and signed by him and Ronald Storrs (from a total edition of 128), additionally inscribed by Liddell Hart to his father-in-law opposite the limitation page: "It has been given by him, as a token of long and intimate friendship, to J. J. Stone, BH Liddell Hart".

Stock Code: 145709

[Waltham St Lawrence] : 1939

Limited edition, number 442 of 1,000 numbered copies, printed in Eric Gill's Perpetua type on handmade paper. Loosely iserted in this copy is the publisher's advertising prospectus noting that "to avoid disappointment, intending subscribers are requested to place their orders, with remittance, early".

"The majority of Lawrence's contributions. Learn More

Stock Code: 146262

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London and Melbourne : 1940

First edition of this uncommon account of counter-intelligence work in America during the First World War.

Born in Ballarat in 1869, Gaunt "was intended for the law but pleaded to go to sea. His father could only afford to send him to H.M.S. Worcester, the training ship for officers of the merchant navy he soon transferred to the Royal Naval. Learn More

Stock Code: 143845

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First edition, first impression, of the author's first book, scarce in commerce. This copy with the pencil ownership inscription of fellow poet Charles Dalmon to the verso of the half-title and pencil marks to contents. Severn & Somme is one of only two works published in Gurney's lifetime, the second one being War's Embers (1919).

Stock Code: 144916

First edition, first impression, inscribed by the dedicatee on the half-title "Muriel Osborn. From Marion Scott". This second and last volume to be published during Gurney's lifetime, after Severn and Somme (1917), is a wonderful association copy and an uncommon find.

Marion Margaret Scott (1877-1953) was a pioneering music critic, musicologist. Learn More

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First edition, first impression, of Machen's popular and contentious book about the "Angels of Mons", revealing the mythologising impulse of national hysteria at the start of the First World War.

Following the defeat of the British Expeditionary Force against the Germans at Mons, Belgium, in the summer 1914, it became clear to the UK that the. Learn More

Stock Code: 144508

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First edition, first impression, 1,000 copies printed presentation copy from one of the contributors, inscribed on the front free endpaper, "With love and affection Norman Hancock, May 23, 1931. And apologies for the Rabelaisia!" Hancock contributed the short story "War from the Ranks", described as "admirable" by John O'London's Weekly.

Stock Code: 139703

Third edition, following the first of the preceding year, this with a new preface in which Rawlinson remarks on the success of the first edition copies in the dust jacket are decidedly uncommon.

"After his adventures on the Western Front, described in a later book, Colonel Rawlinson was posted to the anti-aircraft defences of London in 1915. Learn More

Stock Code: 139796

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First edition, first impression, of Adcock's memorial volume, giving biographies and poetical excerpts for 44 "Soldier Poets", 20 of which are portrayed. This book is uncommonly found, especially so in such good condition and with the jacket.

The dust jacket, which was designed by Eugene Hastain, bears on the front flap an advertisement ("It. Learn More

Stock Code: 144555

No other copy traced, a very scarce memento of the services of M Special Company, Royal Engineers, a British chemical weapons unit that saw extensive service on the Western Front, sent out to ex-members soliciting funds for the R. E. Memorial Fund.

The "chart" lists the close to 50 operations that the unit was involved in between June 1916 and. Learn More

Stock Code: 144428

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First and sole edition, number 116 of 150 copies only, title page and each plate signed and numbered in pencil by the artist. Inevitably highly uncommon, this quite superb suite of plates can trace its lineage to those more famous series on a similar theme by Jacques Callot and Goya.

André Devambez (1867-1944) originally studied with his father. Learn More

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First and only contemporary edition, this the imposing limited issue on larger thicker paper, copy 64 of 150 numbered and signed on behalf of the publishers, and with a suite of high-quality photogravure portraits - of the author and eight Indian notables who served during the conflict - which do not appear in the standard issue.

Stock Code: 140727

First edition, first impression, presentation copy from the author, inscribed on the front free endpaper, "To my friend A. Geddes from Albert G. Stern, Nov. 1919". Stern's book was praised highly by Cyril Falls, "several important books have been written on tanks, but this work of Sir Albert Stern's is unlikely to be superseded in its own class".

Stock Code: 139789

Stock Code: 139421

First edition, first impression, of this powerful feminist classic notably rare in the dust jacket, especially so in such nice unrestored condition this is the first we have handled. Lengel notes that this was "one of the most important pieces of literature to emerge from the war".

Brittain's memoir was an instant best-seller. Published on. Learn More

Stock Code: 121385

A group of three very scarce, imposing and fascinating maps, the principal two covering in remarkable detail the complexities of the Great War on the Western Front and in the North Sea, compiled by the Canadian-born cartographer Albert Close.

The Western Front map (dated 15 January 1923 and November 1923) - published as a companion piece to. Learn More

Stock Code: 122291

First edition, first impression. Presentation copy from the author, inscribed on a preliminary blank: "From the Author, 14 Jan: 20".

Also present: the signed ("D. Haig") original typescript of Haig's Foreword (2 leaves, dated 15th August 1919, on GHQ letterhead) an autograph letter signed from Haig's private secretary Lieutenant-Colonel J. Learn More

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First Blunden edition of Wilfred Owen's poems, first impression, number 23 of 160 large paper copies, and signed by Blunden on page 41 at the end of his "Memoir".

This edition was expanded by fellow war-poet Edmund Blunden (1896-1974) from the first edition of 1920 edited by Siegfried Sassoon, who of all the war poets had known Owen best, albeit. Learn More

Stock Code: 143660

First edition, first printing, an exceptionally fine copy in the jacket, of this collection of psychically produced pieces prophesying from as early as 1909 World War I. They were obtained by the English architect, illustrator, archaeologist and "psychical researcher" Frederick Bligh Bond (1864-1945).

Bond was a member of the Freemasons from. Learn More

Stock Code: 143850

First edition, first impression, scarce, with an exceptional example of the rare dust jacket. This is the first collected edition of the Jewish poet Isaac Rosenberg, who was killed on the Western Front in 1918.

"Rosenberg's poems from the front show him to have absorbed the great tradition of English pastoral poetry, but his tone is different. Learn More

Important riverine engagements--notably on the Danube--also are included, along with major colonial campaigns such as Mesopotamia and the Dardanelles. The role of neutral sea powers, such as the Swedes in the Baltic and the Dutch in the East Indies, is examined from the perspective of how their neutrality affected naval activity. Also discussed is the part played by the U.S. Navy and the often overlooked, but far from negligible, role of the Japanese navy. The latter is viewed in the context of the opening months of the war and in the Mediterranean during the height of the submarine crisis of 1917

In a series of case studies Lawrence Sondhaus examines the national fleets of Britain, France, Germany, the United States, Japan, Brazil, Chile and the Soviet Union, and demonstrates the variety of ways in which each country has made decisive use of naval power. In each case the author argues that the navy in question helped change the course of modern world history he also systematically analyses the challenges navies faced in assembling matériel, training personnel and performing their mission.

For fans of Hidden Figures, comes the incredible true story of the women heroes who were exposed to radium in factories across the U.S. in the early 20th century, and their brave and groundbreaking battle to strengthen workers' rights, even as the fatal poison claimed their own lives.

In the dark years of the First World War, radium makes gleaming headlines across the nation as the fresh face of beauty, and wonder drug of the medical community. From body lotion to tonic water, the popular new element shines bright. Meanwhile, hundreds of girls toil amidst the glowing dust of the radium-dial factories. The glittering chemical covers their bodies from head to toe they light up the night like industrious fireflies. With such a coveted job, these "shining girls" are the luckiest alive — until they begin to fall mysteriously ill. And, until they begin to come forward.

As the women start to speak out on the corruption, the factories that once offered golden opportunities ignore all claims of the gruesome side effects. And as the fatal poison of the radium takes hold, the brave shining girls find themselves embroiled in one of the biggest scandals of America's early 20th century, and in a groundbreaking battle for workers' rights that will echo for centuries to come. A timely story of corporate greed and the brave figures that stood up to fight for their lives, these women and their voices will shine for years to come.

Written with a sparkling voice and breakneck pace, The Radium Girls fully illuminates the inspiring young women exposed to the "wonder" substance of radium, and their awe-inspiring strength in the face of almost impossible circumstances. Their courage and tenacity led to life-changing regulations, research into nuclear bombing, and ultimately saved hundreds of thousands of lives.


For the next year, the British and Germans eyed each other warily across the North Sea, each looking for a chance to engage the other on their own terms. At last, in May 1916, the Germans made their move. But the British knew that they were coming. From the 31 st of May to the 1 st of June, they fought the Germans at Jutland, the only major fleet action of the war.

HMS Chester, showing damage sustained at the Battle of Jutland, 31 May 1916.

The battle began badly for the British, as their battlecruiser squadron took a pounding from the German fleet. However, the tables were turned as the Germans pursued the battlecruisers north, straight into the guns of the main British fleet.

As the British dreadnoughts opened fire from a tactically advantageous position, the Germans suffered heavy damage and began to retreat. The British pursued them through the night but failed to trap them, and the German fleet eventually escaped to their home port.

The British lost 14 warships while sinking 11 German ships. Twice as many British crewmen lost their lives during the engagement, yet Jutland was a success for the British as they forced the German navy back to port. The German fleet remained there for the rest of the war, giving the Allies domination of the North Sea and beyond.

The Naval Warfare of World War One, 1914-1918

The former German submarine UB 148 at sea, after having been surrendered to the Allies. UB-148, a small coastal submarine, was laid down during the winter of 1917 and 1918 at Bremen, Germany, but never commissioned in the Imperial German Navy. She was completing preparations for commissioning when the armistice of November 11 ended hostilities. On November 26, UB-148 was surrendered to the British at Harwich, England. Later, when the United States Navy expressed an interest in acquiring several former U-boats to use in conjunction with a Victory Bond drive, UB-148 was one of the six boats allocated for that purpose.

The dreadnoughts represented a revolution in warship design and yet their construction was based on the centuries-old definition of the purpose of naval campaigning as being the head-on confrontation of two opposing battle fleets. During the First World War, not only did senior naval officers trained in the days of sail learn to command brand new ships and weaponry untested in wartime they also witnessed a transformation in warfare that turned the war at sea from a traditional surface encounter into a complex balancing act of defensive strategies and covert tactics involving two new and unforeseen dimensions: under water and in the air.

Interior view of a British Navy submarine under construction, Clyde and Newcastle.

Britain was quick to capitalise on its enduring naval supremacy and geographical position by establishing a trade blockade of Germany and its allies as soon as war began. The Royal Navy’s Grand Fleet patrolled the North Sea, laid mines and cut off access to the Channel, curtailing the movements of the German High Seas Fleet and preventing merchant ships from supplying Germany with raw materials and food. The North Sea became ‘a marine no man’s land, with the British Fleet bottling up the exits’, as Richard Hough describes it in The Great War at Sea 1914-1918.

The effect of the blockade on Germany’s civilians after four years of war was noted by British Army MajorGeneral Sir Aylmer Gould Hunter-Weston in December 1918 during a visit to Germany: “the food situation is very serious indeed…The Germans are living entirely on their food capital now – they have eaten all their laying hens and are eating all their milch [sic] cows… [there is a] real scarcity”.

Evacuation of Suvla Bay, Dardanelles, Gallipoli Peninsula, on January 1916. The Gallipoli campaign was part of an Allied effort to capture the Ottoman capital of Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul). After eight bloody months on the peninsula, Allied troops withdrew in defeat, under cover of fire from the sea.

The simultaneous torpedoing of HMS Aboukir, Hogue and Cressy by a single German submarine in September 1914 shocked the Royal Navy and forced the Admiralty to recognise the threat that the U-Boats, as they became known, posed to the surface fleet.

Although the Allies had their own submarines, which were active in the Adriatic, the Baltic and the Dardanelles over the course of the war, defences against submarines were slow to be developed. The British Navy appealed both to its own personnel and to the wider public for ideas. Minefields, net barrages, depth charges and patrols were introduced but more often than not these defences could be evaded. U-Boats could roam virtually undetected, since the sighting of a periscope was the most reliable method of location at a time when sonar technology was still in its infancy.

In the Dardanelles, the allied fleet blows up a disabled ship that interfered with navigation.

In January 1916, in reply to an enquiry from former Prime Minister and then First Lord of the Admiralty Arthur Balfour, Commander-in-Chief of The Grand Fleet John Rushworth Jellicoe stressed the importance of playing to the Navy’s main strength – its size – to retain control of the North Sea: “…as to a possible naval offensive… I have long arrived at the conclusion that it would be suicidal to divide our main fleet…”. For the first two years of the war the Allies accordingly concentrated their naval efforts on a defensive strategy of protecting trade routes, developing anti-submarine devices and maintaining the blockade rather than actively seeking direct confrontation.

Defence was a vital strategy but it was also gruelling, repetitive and unglamorous. Many in the navy longed for decisive action and a great naval victory to recall the Battle of Trafalgar and gratify the general public. The minor battles of the Heligoland Bight and Dogger Bank and the disastrous Dardanelles campaign did little to ease the tension. First Sea Lord Admiral H B Jackson commented to Jellicoe “I fancy you must look out for staleness [sic] with your important commanders, just as much as general health. I do wish you could get a change in your monotonous work”.

he British Aircraft Carrier HMS Argus. Converted from an ocean liner, the Argus could carry 15-18 aircraft. Commissioned at the very end of WWI, the Argus did not see any combat. The ship’s hull is painted in Dazzle camouflage. Dazzle camouflage was widely used during the war years, designed to make it difficult for an enemy to estimate the range, heading, or speed of a ship, and make it a harder target – especially as seen from a submarine’s periscope.

Jackson’s wish was granted on 31 May-1 June 1916 when The Grand Fleet finally met the High Seas Fleet in direct combat off the coast of Denmark. The Battle of Jutland was to be the only major naval battle of the First World War, and the most significant encounter between warships of the dreadnought era.

With fewer ships, Germany’s plan was to divide and conquer. A German advance force led by Vice-Admiral Franz Hipper engaged Vice-Admiral David Beatty’s battlecruisers, hoping to cut them off from the main fleet. A fire fight ensued as Beatty chased Hipper, Hipper leading Beatty towards the rest of the High Seas Fleet. The Allies suffered early casualties in the loss of HMS Indefatigable and Queen Mary before Beatty turned to re-join the Grand Fleet. The High Seas Fleet and the Grand Fleet clashed throughout the afternoon until darkness descended. During the night the High Seas Fleet made its escape and by the early hours of 1 June the battle was over.

United States Marines and Sailors posing on unidentified ship (likely either the USS Pennsylvania or USS Arizona), in 1918.

Both sides claimed the battle as a victory. Germany had inflicted greater losses on the Allies than it had suffered itself and yet the High Seas Fleet was incapacitated while the Grand Fleet remained the dominant naval factor. However, controversy over Jellicoe’s and Beatty’s actions quickly followed the battle and deprived both the Royal Navy and the British public of the outright triumph that years of frustration had called for. It is telling that Jellicoe’s parting words to his navy colleagues on leaving the Grand Fleet a few months later read ‘may your arduous work be crowned with a glorious victory’.

After the Battle of Jutland the High Seas Fleet never again attempted to engage the entire Grand Fleet, and German naval strategy refocused on covert underwater operations.

A mine is dragged ashore on Heligoland, in the North Sea, on October 29, 1918.

Submarine historian Richard Compton-Hall suggests that the starvation of the German population due to the Allied blockade had a decisive influence on U-Boat crews’ increasingly ruthless attacks, culminating in the declaration of unrestricted submarine warfare on 1 February 1917. U-Boats attacked merchant vessels, hoping to disrupt Allied trade and similarly weaken Britain, an island nation dependent on its imports.

The result was huge loss of life in the Merchant Navy and a shortage of British shipping with which shipbuilders could not keep pace. Neutral ships were not immune and neither were passenger liners. RMS Lusitania had been sunk by a U-Boat in 1915, killing American passengers and prompting some to call for US entry into the war. The renewed threat to civilians caused the USA to declare war in April 1917, a month in which 869,000 tons of Allied shipping was sunk.

A Curtiss Model AB-2 airplane catapulted off the deck of the USS North Carolina on July 12, 1916. The first time an aircraft was ever launched by catapult from a warship while underway was from the North Carolina on November 5, 1915.

A letter from the Board of Trade to the Cabinet in April 1916 had predicted that “…the shortage of shipping will place this country in more serious peril than can any calamity short of the defeat of the Navy…”. With The Grand Fleet undefeated it became clear that the war would be won or lost not in a traditional sea battle but by the Allies’ response to the so-called ‘submarine menace’.

The Allied response was a system of convoys. Warships escorted merchant and passenger vessels, protecting them from U-Boat attack by virtue of strength in numbers. The concentration of shipping into small clusters in vast seas made ships harder rather than easier to find evasive zigzag courses made it difficult for U-Boats to predict convoy routes and target torpedoes and the accompanying warships were able to counter-attack using depth charges. The Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) and later the US Naval Air Service provided cover, spotting submerged U-Boats and thereby deterring them from surfacing and accurately targeting the convoy. Shipping losses dropped and by the time of the Armistice in 1918, the loss rate in the convoys was less than 0.5 per cent.

The USS Fulton (AS-1), an American submarine tender painted in Dazzle camouflage, in the Charleston South Carolina Navy Yard on November 1, 1918.

The war at sea was not characterised by monumental battles, glorious victories and haunting landscapes as was the war on land. The Battle of Jutland was the only full-scale direct action to occur between opposing navies and even this was indecisive. Yet the blockade of supplies to Germany weakened the country, directly contributing to the end of the war, as indeed the U-Boat campaign would have done in reverse had the convoy system not eventually succeeded in saving Britain from starvation. Control of the North Sea meant no less than the difference between independence and invasion.

The war at sea was a test of nerves and ingenuity. Both sides had to master technologies and ways of fighting unimaginable just a few years earlier. It was a marathon of endurance and persistence, often thankless but always critically important.

Men on deck of a ship removing ice. Original caption: “On a winters morning returning from France”.

The Rocks of Andromeda, Jaffa, and transports laden with war supplies headed out to sea in 1918. This image was taken using the Paget process, an early experiment in color photography.

Landing a 155 mm gun at Sedd-el Bahr. Warships near the Gallipoli Penninsula, Turkey during the Gallipoli Campaign.

Sailors aboard the French cruiser Amiral Aube pose for a photograph at an anvil attached to the deck.

The German battleship SMS Kaiser on parade for Kaiser Wilhelm II at Kiel, Germany, circa 1911-14.

British submarine HMS A5. The A5 was part of the first British A-class of submarines, used in World War I for harbor defense. The A5, however, suffered an explosion only days after its commissioning in 1905, and did not participate in the war.

U.S. Navy Yard, Washington, D.C., the Big Gun section of the shops, in 1917.

A cat, the mascot of the HMS Queen Elizabeth, walks along the barrel of a 15-inch gun on deck, in 1915.

The USS Pocahontas, a U.S. Navy transport ship, photographed in Dazzle camouflage, in 1918. The ship was originally a German passenger liner named the Prinzess Irene. She was docked in New York at the start of the war, and seized by the U.S. when it entered the conflict in April 1917, and re-christened Pocahontas.

Last minute escape from a vessel torpedoed by a German sub. The vessel has already sunk its bow into the waves, and her stern is slowly lifting out of the water. Men can be seen sliding down ropes as the last boat is pulling away. Ca. 1917.

The Burgess Seaplane, a variant of the Dunne D.8, a tailless swept-wing biplane, in New York, being used by the New York Naval Militia, ca 1918.

German submarines in a harbor, the caption, in German, says “Our U-Boats in a harbor”. Front row (left to right): U-22, U-20 (the sub that sank the Lusitania), U-19 and U-21. Back row (left to right): U-14, U-10 and U-12.

The USS New Jersey (BB-16), a Virginia-class battleship, in camouflage coat, ca 1918.

Launching a torpedo, British Royal Navy, 1917.

British cargo ship SS Maplewood under attack by German submarine SM U-35 on April 7, 1917, 47 nautical miles/87 km southwest of Sardinia. The U-35 participated in the entire war, becoming the most successful U-boat in WWI, sinking 224 ships, killing thousands.

Crowds on a wharf at Outer Harbour, South Australia, welcoming camouflaged troop ships bringing men home from service overseas, circa 1918.

The German cruiser SMS Emden, beached on Cocos Island in 1914. The Emden, a part of the German East Asia Squadron, attacked and sank a Russian cruiser and a French destroyer in Penang, Malaysia, in October of 1914. The Emden then set out to destroy a British radio station on Cocos Island in the Indian Ocean. During that raid, the Australian cruiser HMAS Sydney attacked and damaged the Emden, forcing it to run aground.

The German battle cruiser Seydlitz burns in the Battle of Jutland, May 31, 1916. Seydlitz was the flagship of German Vice Admiral von Hipper, who left the ship during the battle. The battle cruiser reached the port of Wilhelmshaven on own power.

A German U-boat stranded on the South Coast of England, after surrender.

Surrender of the German fleet at Harwich, on November 20, 1918.

German Submarine “U-10” at full speed.

Imperial German Navy’s battle ship SMS Schleswig-Holstein fires a salvo during the Battle of Jutland on May 31, 1916 in the North Sea.

“Life in the Navy”, Fencing aboard a Japanese battleship, ca 1910-15.

The “Leviathan”, formerly the German passenger liner “Vaterland”, leaving Hoboken, New Jersey, for France. The hull of the ship is covered in Dazzle camouflage. In the spring and summer of 1918, Leviathan averaged 27 days for the round trip across the Atlantic, carrying 12,000 soldiers at a time.

Portside view of the camouflaged USS K-2 (SS-33), a K-class submarine, off Pensacola, Florida on April 12, 1916.

The complex inner machinery of a U.S. Submarine, amidships, looking aft.

The Zeebrugge Raid took place on April 23, 1918. The Royal Navy attempted to block the Belgian port of Bruges-Zeebrugge by sinking older ships in the canal entrance, to prevent German vessels from leaving port. Two ships were successfully sunk in the canal, at the cost of 583 lives. Unfortunately, the ships were sunk in the wrong place, and the canal was re-opened in days. Photograph taken in May of 1918.

Allied warships at sea, a seaplane flyby, 1915.

Russian battleship Tsesarevich, a pre-dreadnought battleship of the Imperial Russian Navy, docked, ca. 1915.

The British Grand Fleet under admiral John Jellicoe on her way to meet the Imperial German Navy’s fleet for the Battle of Jutland in the North Sea on May 31, 1916.

HMS Audacious crew board lifeboats to be taken aboard RMS Olympic, October, 1914. The Audacious was a British battleship, sunk by a German naval mine off the northern coast of Donegal, Ireland.

Wreck of the SMS Konigsberg, after the Battle of Rufiji Delta. The German cruiser was scuttled in the Rufiji Delta Tanzania River, navigable for more than 100 km before emptying into the Indian Ocean about 200 km south of Dar es Salaam.

Troop transport Sardinia, in dazzle camouflage, at a wharf during World War I.

The Russian flagship Tsarevitch passing HMS Victory, ca. 1915.

German submarine surrendering to the US Navy.

Sinking of the German Cruiser SMS Bluecher, in the Battle of Dogger Bank, in the North Sea, between German and British dreadnoughts, on January 24, 1915. The Bluecher sank with the loss of nearly a thousand sailors. This photo was taken from the deck of the British Cruiser Arethusia.

Seaplane Carriers & Advancements in the British Royal Navy

The British Royal Fleet had also been experimenting with modified cruisers, similar to those of the Americans, with small flight decks built over the gun turrets of existing ships. Their exploration of carrier abilities would progress quicker than that of the Americans, due to their ability to gauge combat effectiveness early in the war. As World War I commenced, the Royal Navy opted to pursue the production of seaplane carriers rather than specialized carriers. Seaplane carriers house three seaplanes used for reconnaissance and submarine spotting, with cranes used for recovering the seaplanes once they landed in the ocean upon return. Though taking off from a seaborne vessel had become possible, it was landing on them that limited combat sorties. As the war progressed and the strategic advantage of an aviation platform at sea became apparent, the need for larger carriers with the ability to launch combat aircraft became a valued priority.

The British Royal Navy began converting more cruisers into modified carriers to facilitate torpedo bombers, but the issue still remained: once a pilot took off, they had to find a land-based airfield to land at, limiting the range of the carriers. In an attempt to mitigate this problem, the Royal Navy ordered their first flush-deck aircraft carrier. The intent was to launch and land torpedo bombers, rather than requiring pilots to land at mainland bases. The William Bearmore Shipyard, which had attempted to sell the Royal Navy on flush-deck carriers from the beginning of the war, took on the project. The HMS Argus became the first ever flush-deck aircraft carrier in naval history.

HMS Argus in the Firth of Forth, Scotland, circa late 1918. A paddle tug is alongside.

Delivered in 1916, and commissioned in September 1918, the Argus was not able to complete her initial sea trials in time to be commissioned during the First World War. Despite her lack of action in World War I, the Argus would become the prototype for the modern day aircraft carrier and a platform for continual naval testing. The U.S. Navy followed close behind, commissioning the USS Langley in 1922 as a platform for their own naval aviation testing, ratcheting up the race for carrier development.

Seven Sopwith Camel aircraft are parked behind the ship’s palisade windbreaks on Furious.

It would be the Langley and the Argus that would take the first significant steps towards improving naval aviation. The interwar period would facilitate a technological arms race over carrier development, setting the stage for carriers as an offensive weapon and their tactical domination in World War II.


These are great, though not the first Air Craft Carrier. During the American Civil War the Union made one of their ships a balloon carrier to move the observation balloons. This was the worlds first Air Craft Carrier.

The First World War : A Complete History

It was to be the war to end all wars, and it began at 11:15 on the morning of June 28, 1914, in an outpost of the Austro-Hungarian Empire called Sarajevo. It would officially end nearly five years later. Unofficially, however, it has never ended: Many of the horrors we live with today are rooted in the First World War.

The Great War left millions of civilians and soldiers maimed or dead. It also saw the creation of new technologies of destruction: tanks, planes, and submarines machine guns and field artillery poison gas and chemical warfare. It introduced U-boat packs and strategic bombing, unrestricted war on civilians and mistreatment of prisoners. But the war changed our world in far more fundamental ways than these.

In its wake, empires toppled, monarchies fell, and whole populations lost their national identities. As political systems and geographic boundaries were realigned, the social order shifted seismically. Manners and cultural norms literature and the arts education and class distinctions all underwent a vast sea change.

As historian Martin Gilbert demonstrates in this “majestic opus” of historical synthesis, the twentieth century can be said to have been born on that fateful morning in June of 1914 (Publishers Weekly, starred review).

“One of the first books that anyone should read . . . to try to understand this war and this century.” —The New York Times Book Review

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LibraryThing Review

Historians come in many flavours. There are those who expound on the big picture, who create masterful theories that appear to explain a lot, and some who dive into the detail of personalities and . Читать весь отзыв

LibraryThing Review

Accessible one-volume history of the mechanical slaughter of the First World War. A bit Anglocentric, and cites a lot of poetry as well as memoirs, but still earth-shattering stuff. The start of the chaotic century. Читать весь отзыв


'A masterful synthesis of Sondhaus' own extensive primary source research and the most up-to-date work of other naval historians, this study is particularly strong on the Central Powers' naval operations and on non-operational but nonetheless vital dimensions such as the mutinies in the Russian, Austro-Hungarian, and German fleets, all of which contributed to those nations' defeats. The analysis and judgments are pithy and persuasive. Those in search of a succinct yet wide-ranging overview of World War One at sea need look no further.' John Beeler, University of Alabama

'The First World War was a global maritime conflict, dominated sea communications, and the resource flows of food, industrial production and manpower that they secured. Sea power was key element in the final victory of Britain, France, Italy and the United States. Based on the latest research Lawrence Sondhaus' book emphasises global scale and significance of the naval war, and offers a powerful corrective to those who look for an explanation of victory on the Western Front.' Andrew Lambert, Kings College London

'Technology determined WWI. Men on land fought against machine guns, gas, artillery, and tanks, the likes of which had not been used against Europeans before. In the air were airplanes and zeppelins. But it was on sea, both atop and under, where perhaps the greatest of the new technological marvels contended against each other … No one has ever told the story of naval warfare in WWI better or more completely than Sondhaus. Summing up: highly recommended.' K. R. DeVries, Choice

'… [a] lively account.' The Independent

'Authoritative and substantial.' The Good Book Guide

'Although a number of recent works have dealt with naval operations during the Great War, Prof. Sondhaus … makes a valuable contribution to the literature of the war at sea … [The author] manages to integrate strategic, technical, and operational matters into a smooth narrative … The unique richness of The Great War at Sea offers an excellent read in naval history.' The NYMAS Review

'… this book is to be welcomed by general readers and specialists alike. … The reward is that we have the great naval war of 1914–18 encompassed in one manageable volume. For that, Sondhaus is to be congratulated.' Robin Prior, The Journal of Modern History

Naval Battles of the First World War

Capt Bennett&aposs study - first published in 1969 - is now a classic, and perhaps somewhat dated. Despite this it&aposs well worth the read if you want an introduction to the Royal Navy&aposs activities during the war, particularly the Big Ships. If you want something more comprehensive that covers all theatres, nations and types of naval combat, read Paul G Halpern&aposs A Naval History of World War I, which I also heartily recommend,

Bennett starts with a consideration of how the German merchant cruisers were Capt Bennett's study - first published in 1969 - is now a classic, and perhaps somewhat dated. Despite this it's well worth the read if you want an introduction to the Royal Navy's activities during the war, particularly the Big Ships. If you want something more comprehensive that covers all theatres, nations and types of naval combat, read Paul G Halpern's A Naval History of World War I, which I also heartily recommend,

Bennett starts with a consideration of how the German merchant cruisers were tracked down and neutralised - concentrating as you'd imagine from the title on von Spee's squadron and the Battles of Coronel and the Falklands - and the pursuit of the Goben and Breslau. After that, despite a couple of interesting chapters on the U-boat campaigns, he is firmly focused on the North Sea face-off between the Grand Fleet and the Hochseeflotte. As anyone who know's Bennett's other books will guess, his section on Jutland is well worth reading and perhaps the most important part of this book. . more

Watch the video: Submarines, Dreadnoughts and Battle Cruisers - The Navies of World War 1 I THE GREAT WAR - Special


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