Castles of Steel: Britain, Germany and the Winning of the Great War at Sea

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Head of Zeus, Sep 1, 2013 - History - 880 pages
85 Reviews

On the eve of the war in August 1914, Great Britain and Germany possessed the two greatest navies the world had ever seen: two fleets of dreadnoughts - gigantic 'castles of steel' able to hurl massive shells at an enemy miles away - were ready to test their terrible power against each other.

They skirmished across the globe before Germany, suffocated by an implacable naval blockade, decided to definitively strike against the British ring of steel. The result was Jutland, a titanic clash of fifty-eight dreadnoughts, each holding of a thousand men. When the German High Seas Fleet retreated, the Kaiser unleashed unrestricted U-boat warfare, which, in its indiscriminate violence, brought a reluctant America into the war: the German effort to "seize the trident" led to the fall of the German empire.

Massie's portrayals of Winston Churchill, the British admirals Fisher, Jellicoe, and Beatty, and the Germans Scheer, Hipper, and Tirpitz are stunning in their veracity and artistry.

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Review: Castles of Steel

User Review  - Goodreads

It's not a short book and there were only a handful of bigger naval actions during WW1. But the book is never dull. On the contrary, it gives an excellent depiction of the key people behind the scenes ... Read full review

Review: Castles of Steel

User Review  - Goodreads

Absolutely brilliant book. For anyone remotely interested in the naval arms race between Germany and Britain prior to the 1st World War and the naval actions during the war this book and its predecessor "Dreadnought" are must reads. Read full review

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About the author (2013)

Robert K. Massie was born in Lexington, Kentucky in 1929. He studied American History at Yale University and Modern European History at Oxford University, which he attended as a Rhodes scholar. He lives in Irvington, New York.

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