Castles of Steel

Author: Robert K. Massie
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1588363201
Release Date: 2003-10-28
Genre: History

BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Robert K. Massie's Catherine the Great. In a work of extraordinary narrative power, filled with brilliant personalities and vivid scenes of dramatic action, Robert K. Massie, the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Peter the Great, Nicholas and Alexandra, and Dreadnought, elevates to its proper historical importance the role of sea power in the winning of the Great War. The predominant image of this first world war is of mud and trenches, barbed wire, machine guns, poison gas, and slaughter. A generation of European manhood was massacred, and a wound was inflicted on European civilization that required the remainder of the twentieth century to heal. But with all its sacrifice, trench warfare did not win the war for one side or lose it for the other. Over the course of four years, the lines on the Western Front moved scarcely at all; attempts to break through led only to the lengthening of the already unbearably long casualty lists. For the true story of military upheaval, we must look to the sea. On the eve of the war in August 1914, Great Britain and Germany possessed the two greatest navies the world had ever seen. When war came, these two fleets of dreadnoughts—gigantic floating castles of steel able to hurl massive shells at an enemy miles away—were ready to test their terrible power against each other. Their struggles took place in the North Sea and the Pacific, at the Falkland Islands and the Dardanelles. They reached their climax when Germany, suffocated by an implacable naval blockade, decided to strike against the British ring of steel. The result was Jutland, a titanic clash of fifty-eight dreadnoughts, each the home 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. In this way, the German effort to “seize the trident” by defeating the British navy led to the fall of the German empire. Ultimately, the distinguishing feature of Castles of Steel is the author himself. The knowledge, understanding, and literary power Massie brings to this story are unparalleled. His 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. Castles of Steel is about war at sea, leadership and command, courage, genius, and folly. All these elements are given magnificent scope by Robert K. Massie’ s special and widely hailed literary mastery.

Castles of Steel

Author: Robert K. Massie
Publisher: Head of Zeus
ISBN: 9781781856697
Release Date: 2013-09-01
Genre: History

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.

Castles of Steel

Author: Robert K. Massie
Publisher: Ballantine Books
ISBN: 9780345408785
Release Date: 2004-10-01
Genre: History

The author continues his study of early twentieth-century military and naval history in an analysis of the confrontation between the two most powerful navies in the world as the British and Germans clashed at sea during World War I.

Dreadnought

Author: Robert K. Massie
Publisher: Ballantine Books
ISBN: 9780307819932
Release Date: 2012-06-27
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

A gripping chronicle of the personal and national rivalries that led to the twentieth century’s first great arms race, from Pulitzer Prize winner Robert K. Massie With the biographer’s rare genius for expressing the essence of extraordinary lives, Massie brings to life a crowd of glittery figures: the single-minded Admiral von Tirpitz; the young, ambitious Winston Churchill; the ruthless, sycophantic Chancellor Bernhard von Bülow; Britain’s greatest twentieth-century foreign secretary, Sir Edward Grey; and Jacky Fisher, the eccentric admiral who revolutionized the British navy and brought forth the first true battleship, the H.M.S. Dreadnought. Their story, and the story of the era, filled with misunderstandings, missed opportunities, and events leading to unintended conclusions, unfolds like a Greek tragedy in this powerful narrative. Intimately human and dramatic, Dreadnought is history at its most riveting. Praise for Dreadnought “Dreadnought is history in the grand manner, as most people prefer it: how people shaped, or were shaped by, events.”—Time “A classic [that] covers superbly a whole era . . . engrossing in its glittering gallery of characters.”—Chicago Sun-Times “[Told] on a grand scale . . . Massie [is] a master of historical portraiture and anecdotage.”—The Wall Street Journal “Brilliant on everything he writes about ships and the sea. It is Massie’s eye for detail that makes his nautical set pieces so marvelously evocative.”—Los Angeles Times

Jutland 1916

Author: Nigel Steel
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
ISBN: 9781780225739
Release Date: 2012-12-20
Genre: History

Dramatic, illustrated account of the biggest naval battle of the First World War. On 31 May, 1916, the great battle fleets of Britain and Germany met off Jutland in the North Sea. It was a climactic encounter, the culmination of a fantastically expensive naval race between the two countries, and expectations on both sides were high. For the Royal Navy's Grand Fleet, there was the chance to win another Trafalgar. For the German High Seas Fleet, there was the opportunity to break the British blockade and so change the course of the war. But Jutland was a confused and controversial encounter. Tactically, it was a draw; strategically, it was a British victory. Naval historians have pored over the minutiae of Jutland ever since. Yet they have largely ignored what the battle was actually like for its thousands of participants. Full of drama and pathos, of chaos and courage, JUTLAND, 1916 describes the sea battle in the dreadnought era from the point of view of those who were there.

Peter the Great

Author: Robert K. Massie
Publisher: Modern Library (Hardcover)
ISBN: 9780679645603
Release Date: 2012
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

This biography of the notorious Russian ruler examines his background and accomplishments, detailing the armed conflicts during his reign and scrutinizing his transformation of medieval Russia into modern Russia.

The Romanovs The Final Chapter

Author: Robert K. Massie
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9780307873866
Release Date: 2012-02-22
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

In July 1991, nine skeletons were exhumed from a shallow mass grave near Ekaterinburg, Siberia, a few miles from the infamous cellar room where the last tsar and his family had been murdered seventy-three years before. But were these the bones of the Romanovs? And if these were their remains, where were the bones of the two younger Romanovs supposedly murdered with the rest of the family? Was Anna Anderson, celebrated for more than sixty years in newspapers, books, and film, really Grand Duchess Anastasia? The Romanovs provides the answers, describing in suspenseful detail the dramatic efforts to discover the truth. Pulitzer Prize winner Robert K. Massie presents a colorful panorama of contemporary characters, illuminating the major scientific dispute between Russian experts and a team of Americans, whose findings, along with those of DNA scientists from Russia, America, and Great Britain, all contributed to solving one of the great mysteries of the twentieth century.

The Great War at Sea

Author: Lawrence Sondhaus
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781107036901
Release Date: 2014-08-07
Genre: History

This is a major new naval history of the First World War which reveals the decisive contribution of the war at sea to Allied victory. In a truly global account, Lawrence Sondhaus traces the course of the campaigns in the North Sea, Atlantic, Adriatic, Baltic and Mediterranean and examines the role of critical innovations in the design and performance of ships, wireless communication and firepower. He charts how Allied supremacy led the Central Powers to attempt to revolutionize naval warfare by pursuing unrestricted submarine warfare, ultimately prompting the United States to enter the war. Victory against the submarine challenge, following their earlier success in sweeping the seas of German cruisers and other surface raiders, left the Allies free to use the world's sea lanes to transport supplies and troops to Europe from overseas territories, and eventually from the United States, which proved a decisive factor in their ultimate victory.

The Rules of the Game

Author: Andrew Gordon
Publisher: Naval Institute Press
ISBN: 9781612512327
Release Date: 2013-02-21
Genre: History

Foreword by Admiral Sir John Woodward. When published in hardcover in 1997, this book was praised for providing an engrossing education not only in naval strategy and tactics but in Victorian social attitudes and the influence of character on history. In juxtaposing an operational with a cultural theme, the author comes closer than any historian yet to explaining what was behind the often described operations of this famous 1916 battle at Jutland. Although the British fleet was victorious over the Germans, the cost in ships and men was high, and debates have raged within British naval circles ever since about why the Royal Navy was unable to take advantage of the situation. In this book Andrew Gordon focuses on what he calls a fault-line between two incompatible styles of tactical leadership within the Royal Navy and different understandings of the rules of the games.

Pacific Crucible War at Sea in the Pacific 1941 1942

Author: Ian W. Toll
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 9780393068139
Release Date: 2012
Genre: History

Draws on eyewitness accounts and primary sources to describe the first months of World War II in the Pacific, after the U.S. Navy suffered the worst defeat in its history at Pearl Harbor.

The War That Ended Peace

Author: Margaret MacMillan
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9780812994704
Release Date: 2013-10-29
Genre: Political Science

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • The Economist • The Christian Science Monitor • Bloomberg Businessweek • The Globe and Mail From the bestselling and award-winning author of Paris 1919 comes a masterpiece of narrative nonfiction, a fascinating portrait of Europe from 1900 up to the outbreak of World War I. The century since the end of the Napoleonic wars had been the most peaceful era Europe had known since the fall of the Roman Empire. In the first years of the twentieth century, Europe believed it was marching to a golden, happy, and prosperous future. But instead, complex personalities and rivalries, colonialism and ethnic nationalisms, and shifting alliances helped to bring about the failure of the long peace and the outbreak of a war that transformed Europe and the world. The War That Ended Peace brings vividly to life the military leaders, politicians, diplomats, bankers, and the extended, interrelated family of crowned heads across Europe who failed to stop the descent into war: in Germany, the mercurial Kaiser Wilhelm II and the chief of the German general staff, Von Moltke the Younger; in Austria-Hungary, Emperor Franz Joseph, a man who tried, through sheer hard work, to stave off the coming chaos in his empire; in Russia, Tsar Nicholas II and his wife; in Britain, King Edward VII, Prime Minister Herbert Asquith, and British admiral Jacky Fisher, the fierce advocate of naval reform who entered into the arms race with Germany that pushed the continent toward confrontation on land and sea. There are the would-be peacemakers as well, among them prophets of the horrors of future wars whose warnings went unheeded: Alfred Nobel, who donated his fortune to the cause of international understanding, and Bertha von Suttner, a writer and activist who was the first woman awarded Nobel’s new Peace Prize. Here too we meet the urbane and cosmopolitan Count Harry Kessler, who noticed many of the early signs that something was stirring in Europe; the young Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty and a rising figure in British politics; Madame Caillaux, who shot a man who might have been a force for peace; and more. With indelible portraits, MacMillan shows how the fateful decisions of a few powerful people changed the course of history. Taut, suspenseful, and impossible to put down, The War That Ended Peace is also a wise cautionary reminder of how wars happen in spite of the near-universal desire to keep the peace. Destined to become a classic in the tradition of Barbara Tuchman’s The Guns of August, The War That Ended Peace enriches our understanding of one of the defining periods and events of the twentieth century. Praise for The War That Ended Peace “Magnificent . . . The War That Ended Peace will certainly rank among the best books of the centennial crop.”—The Economist “Superb.”—The New York Times Book Review “Masterly . . . marvelous . . . Those looking to understand why World War I happened will have a hard time finding a better place to start.”—The Christian Science Monitor “The debate over the war’s origins has raged for years. Ms. MacMillan’s explanation goes straight to the heart of political fallibility. . . . Elegantly written, with wonderful character sketches of the key players, this is a book to be treasured.”—The Wall Street Journal “A magisterial 600-page panorama.”—Christopher Clark, London Review of Books

Nicholas and Alexandra

Author: Robert K. Massie
Publisher: Random House Digital, Inc.
ISBN: 9780679645610
Release Date: 2012
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Originally published: United States: Atheneum, 1967.

Last Hope Island

Author: Lynne Olson
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9780812997361
Release Date: 2017-04-25
Genre: History

A groundbreaking account of how Britain became the base of operations for the exiled leaders of Europe in their desperate struggle to reclaim their continent from Hitler, from the New York Times bestselling author of Citizens of London and Those Angry Days When the Nazi blitzkrieg rolled over continental Europe in the early days of World War II, the city of London became a refuge for the governments and armed forces of six occupied nations who escaped there to continue the fight. So, too, did General Charles de Gaulle, the self-appointed representative of free France. As the only European democracy still holding out against Hitler, Britain became known to occupied countries as “Last Hope Island.” Getting there, one young emigré declared, was “like getting to heaven.” In this epic, character-driven narrative, acclaimed historian Lynne Olson takes us back to those perilous days when the British and their European guests joined forces to combat the mightiest military force in history. Here we meet the courageous King Haakon of Norway, whose distinctive “H7” monogram became a symbol of his country’s resistance to Nazi rule, and his fiery Dutch counterpart, Queen Wilhelmina, whose antifascist radio broadcasts rallied the spirits of her defeated people. Here, too, is the Earl of Suffolk, a swashbuckling British aristocrat whose rescue of two nuclear physicists from France helped make the Manhattan Project possible. Last Hope Island also recounts some of the Europeans’ heretofore unsung exploits that helped tilt the balance against the Axis: the crucial efforts of Polish pilots during the Battle of Britain; the vital role played by French and Polish code breakers in cracking the Germans’ reputedly indecipherable Enigma code; and the flood of top-secret intelligence about German operations—gathered by spies throughout occupied Europe—that helped ensure the success of the 1944 Allied invasion. A fascinating companion to Citizens of London, Olson’s bestselling chronicle of the Anglo-American alliance, Last Hope Island recalls with vivid humanity that brief moment in time when the peoples of Europe stood together in their effort to roll back the tide of conquest and restore order to a broken continent. Advance praise for Last Hope Island “A rip-roaring saga of hairbreadth escape, espionage, and resistance during World War II, Lynne Olson’s Last Hope Island salvages the forgotten stories of a collection of heroic souls from seven countries overrun by Hitler who find refuge in Churchill’s London and then seek payback in ways large and small. In thrilling fashion, Olson shows us that hell hath no fury like a small country scorned.”—Erik Larson, New York Times bestselling author of Dead Wake “Lynne Olson is a master storyteller, and she brings her great gifts to this riveting narrative of the resistance to Hitler’s war machine. You will be thrilled and moved—and enraged, saddened, and shocked—by the courage and steadfastness, human waste and stupidity, carelessness and nobility, of an epic struggle. Last Hope Island is a smashing good tale.”—Evan Thomas, New York Times bestselling author of Being Nixon “A powerful and surprising account of how figures from Nazi-occupied Europe found Great Britain an essential shield and sword in the struggle against Hitler. This is a wonderful work of history, told in Olson’s trademark style.”—Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of American Lion

Jutland

Author: N. J. M. Campbell
Publisher:
ISBN: 1558217592
Release Date: 1998
Genre: History

The authoritative work on the great sea battle of World War I.

The Battle of Jutland

Author: Geoffrey Bennett
Publisher: Pen and Sword
ISBN: 9781473841857
Release Date: 2015-06-10
Genre: History

The Battle of Jutland: At the end of May 1916, a chance encounter with Admiral Hipper's battlecruisers has enabled Beatty to lead the German Battle Fleet into the jaws of Jellicoe's greatly superior force, but darkness had allowed Admiral Scheer to extricate his ships from a potentially disastrous situation. Though inconclusive, at the Battle of Jutland the German Fleet suffered so much damage that it made no further attempt to challenge the Grand Fleet, and the British blockade remained unbroken. Captain Bennett has used sources previously unavailable to historians in his reconstruction of this controversial battle, including the papers of Vice-Admiral Harper explaining why his official record of the battle was not published until 1927, and the secret "Naval Staff Appreciation" of 1922 whose criticism were so scathing that it was never issued to the Fleet. Also included are numerous battle plans, photographs and an introduction by Bennett's son. 2006 is the 90th anniversary of the battle.