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Coronel and Falklands 1914: Duel in the South Atlantic (Campaign) Paperback – October 23, 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Naval and military history holdings alike will find this packed with insights.” ―James A. Cox, The Midwest Book Review (January 2013)

“A splendid introduction to the 20th-century's first 'Falklands War.' McNally recounts globally deployed British Royal Navy units against crack, Asian-based Imperial German cruisers. The copiously illustrated coverage recaps the 1914 battles of Coronel and Falklands, where Kaiser's raiders finally faced defeat.” ―David L. Veres, www.cybermodeler.com (January 2013)

About the Author

Michael McNally is 39 years of age and was born and educated in London. Of Irish parentage (one from each side of the border) Michael has had an active interest in Irish history, and military history from boyhood. He is married with two children and lives in Germany.
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Product Details

  • Series: Campaign (Book 248)
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (October 23, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849086745
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849086745
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 0.3 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,102,267 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Graves VINE VOICE on November 8, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had really been looking forward to McNally's book "Coronel and the Falklands 1914" about the naval battles in the south seas in the early days of the First World War but having read through it, that anticipation makes it even more of a disappointment to say this is in desperate need of a re-edit.

In short the book covers the career of the German East Asia squadron in 1914. Escaping from their base in China before it could be blockaded by the Japanese, the German squadron crossed the Pacific where it destroyed a British Squadron at the battle of Coronel off of Chile before itself being destroyed by a second British force off of the Falkland Islands. It is in general seen as an example of British over confidence leading to the initial loss followed by the overwhelming British naval superiority resulting in the inevitable victory. It is an interesting lesson for the student of naval warfare.

The artwork in the book is first class and for the fan of the period, worth the price of admission alone. Besides some VERY good ship photos showing these vessels the painted art is by Peter Dennis, probably one of the best artists on file for Osprey ever.

Osprey monographs are never meant to be the last word in a subject but they often serve to give a good basis for people who hear about or are interested in something and want more details. It is often the first work on a subject people read. Unfortunately McNally seems to think the reader is already well acquainted with the events. He regularly comments on how Admiral Cradock was doomed or such, long before the book tells you he went down with his ship. McNally also goes on how Admiral Cradock's ships were wholly inadequate for the job given him and out classed by the enemy without saying how.
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This book has it all; colored maps, pictures, description of ships, key players/leaders, key events, and so on, all while being short and concise in the tradition of this series. I enjoyed the read, although I admit at times it was a bit dry (something endemic of history books) but not necessarily sleep-inducing. It has always amazed me how these battleship duels played out- I can not even begin to imagine being a sailor on one of the ships!- and this book furthers my amazement.

I will agree with the previous reviewer that this book could benefit from a re-edit as I noticed a handful of typos, missing punctuation, and so forth; not on such a level as to render the book unreadable- far from it- but it does stick out.

All things considered the book is worth the read, worth the price.
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The author, Michael McNally, did a great job in providing a clear narrative of these two battles. This review is from the E-Book version using a Kindle Fire HD. Although the book is well written, the Kindle edition has significant shortcomings and is the sole reason this reviewer gave it four, instead of five stars.

The major shortcomings of the Kindle edition are the disjointed maps and small size of some photographs. The book has six 2D tactical maps. Unfortunately, each map is cut into six individual squares. The reader must scroll back and forth through the map squares, just to get a vague understanding of the information being presented. The maps are essentially one step away from being totally worthless. The book does contain several relevant and interesting photographs. Unfortunately, these photos are fixed at a small size. The Kindle is unable to enlarge the photos to a size where the reader can see any detail.

Despite these shortcomings, this is still a good book. It starts with a concise overview of the strategic situation in the South Atlantic and Pacific. The chapter on Opposing Forces gives a short narrative and then provides the basic specifications of the individual ships. The author provides just the right amount of detail to make the reader familiar with the combatants. The Campaign section is broken into three parts. The author first covers the Battle of Coronel, then the Battle of the Falkland Islands, and finally the general chase after the remaining German ships.

Bottom line: This is a well written and easy to read book. The Campaign chapter almost reads like a novel. The technical sections of the book are succinct and provide just the right amount of information. The only real shortcoming is that the Kindle version of the book negates the usefulness of the maps. A paperback edition would not have that drawback. Hopefully Amazon can fix this problem in future E-book editions of Osprey books.
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In 1914, at the beginning of the First World War, the German East Asia Naval Squadron found itself a long ways from home. Led by the bold Admiral von Spee, the squadron crossed the Pacific, dodging Allied warships, and finally reaching Coronel in neutral Chile to refuel. There, a British squadron of cruisers sought to bring it to battle. The Germans fought their way out of the trap, seemingly on their way into the South Atlantic and perhaps home. In the Falklands, a second British squadron and an appointment with destiny awaited them.

This is an interesting Osprey Campaign Series entry, with a long introduction and a brisk narrative of the campaign. The text is supplemented with a nice collection of photographs, illustrations, maps and graphics. Author Michael McNally's text is repetitive in places but he offers some strong opinions on how direction from their respective headquarters affected the opposing naval forces. "Coronel and Falklands 1914" is recommended to the general reader looking for an introduction into some of the naval aspects of World War One.
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