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A Naval History Of World War I (Warfare and History) [Paperback]

Paul G. Halpern
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)


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Book Description

September 30, 1995 1857284984 978-1857284980 New
This book aims to provide a definitive work on the First World War at sea. It aims to cover, in a single volume, many aspects of the naval war and to treat the conflict, from the viewpoints of "all" the participants rather than just the Anglo-German perspective.A Naval History of World War I represents a major contribution to our understanding of the operation, tactics and strategy of the First World War. The book covers the activities of the French and British in the Mediterranean, the Italians and Austrians in the Adriatic, and the Russians, Germans and Turks in the Baltic and Black Seas. Detailing the Royal Navy's campaign against the German raiders, the colonial campaigns and the major overseas expeditions, Professor Halpern examines not only naval operations, but leadership, policy, strategy, tactics and technology and relates these to the wider political, diplomatic and economic aspects of the war.; Covering lesser-known conflicts such as the Rumanian campaign and the Danube Flotillas, As Well As The Historic Battles Of Jutland, The Dardanelles and the anti-submarine warfare, the author presents a fully comprehensive and accessible treatment. The book is intended for all serious students of the First World War.


Product Details

  • Series: Warfare and History
  • Paperback: 591 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; New edition (September 30, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857284984
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857284980
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 9.1 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,735,455 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
With this volume, Paul Halpern has performed an invaluable service to all those interested in the Naval aspects of The Great War.
Unlike most other treatments of World War I at sea, Mr Halpern does not succumb to the temptation to concentrate on the Battle of Jutland and submarine warfare in and around the British Isles to the exclusion of all other theaters.
The book includes a refreshingly detailed examination of cruiser warfare, mine warfare, riverine warfare and the first halting steps of the various Fleet Air Arms. Conflict is detailed in the Pacific, the Mediterranean, the Adriatic, the Baltic, the Black Sea, on the Danube River and in many other generally ignored locations.
Additionally, the usually irritating and occasionally disastrous effects of political considerations are also brought to light. The intricate and frequently ignored cause-and-effect relationship of one theater to another is carefully included in the narrative.
Perhaps the most laudible aspect of this volume is the Mr. Halpern manages to include all of these diverse facets of the naval conflict without becoming bogged down in minutia or losing sight of the "big picture." Although much detailed information is presented and many obscure considerations revealed, the author maintains a focussed and methodical pace of delivery that holds the reader's interest from beginning to end.
This book is an indispensable asset for anyone interested in a treatment of the Naval History of the First World War that remembers that there are more to the world's great waterways than the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea. Very highly recommended.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book about naval warfare in WWI March 20, 2000
Format:Hardcover
This is the best analysis of WWI naval warfare ever written. Mr Halpern has written a fascinating text describing the main guidelines of the naval aspects of this conflict. Do not expect shot by shot descriptions of the battles, this book deals with the reasons leading to the different battles and their consequences and should be considered essential reading for anybody interested in World War I or Naval History.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
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 between fleets of dreadnoughts 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.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
This book covers the entire range of naval warfare during The Great War, including many arenas not normally considered important. While most histories concentrate on the British struggles with the German Imperial Navy in the North Sea, Halpern broadens his scope to include all of the basic naval events. He writes that "this was indeed a world war, and naval operations took place throughout the world and were conducted by many navies" (p. xi). He includes chapters on the submarine aspect of the war, the air war against the submarines, and the major battles like Jutland and the Dardenelles.

I was particularly surprised to read about the claim for Russian naval superiority in the Black Sea region, since I had previously assumed that the Germans and British were dominant everywhere, from the North Sea to their colonial battles in the Atlantic and the Pacific. Russian amphibious operations in 1916 were uniformly successful, although "there is no comparison between the problems the Russians faced and the fierce resistance the Allies met when they landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula" (p. 245). But revolution and subsequent civil war at home brought an end to major Russian involvement in the war, including their naval operations.

According to Halpern, Gallipoli itself, arguably the most famous failed amphibious operation in world history, was actually not due to the failure of British submarines to sink opposing vessels, as some have speculated. Instead he insists that their "exploits...were...the proudest and most successful aspect of the Dardenelles campaign" (p. 119), and that it was the determined Turkish resistance that led to disaster and the fall of the British First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
I have to say this is very good book to read lots of things I did not know.It keeps your interest and is well written well worth the money.
Published 12 months ago by George
5.0 out of 5 stars Survey type coverage of every theatre of action, a must
This unique text covers all of the Naval Actions that occurred during the Great War in a single volume. Read more
Published on November 15, 2011 by Dudley Skaggs
4.0 out of 5 stars My grandfather's warship was mentioned
I bought this for my father a few years ago for his birthday. I opened to a random page and read an engagement which had been an oral history in my family. Read more
Published on March 23, 2008 by Computer Guy
5.0 out of 5 stars Homeric naval warfare on the cusp of the modern age
Paul Halpern is a refreshingly independent thinker. No one else has managed to write 500 pages on the subject of 1914-18 naval warfare without mentioning Admiral Alfred Mahan. Read more
Published on November 29, 2006 by Harry Eagar
2.0 out of 5 stars War as seen by the Brits
In this book you would have thought that Britannia rules the world single handed, no mention is made of the fact that the rickety British Empire, rotten to the core, was upheld not... Read more
Published on September 15, 2004 by Devl's Advocate
5.0 out of 5 stars Naval Warfare WW 1
Excellent, I highly recommend this volume.
Published on April 27, 2002 by William S Malloy
5.0 out of 5 stars Naval Warfare WW 1
Excellent, I highly recommend this volume.
Published on April 27, 2002 by William S Malloy
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