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Clash of Fleets

Naval Battles of the Great War, 1914-18

Vincent P. O'Hara (author) Leonard R. Heinz (author)

ISBN: 9781682470084

Publication Date: Mar 2017

Format: Hardback

Provides an operational history that records every naval engagement fought between major surface warships during World War I. Much more than a catalogue of combat facts, Clash of Fleets explores why battles occurred; how the different navies fought; and how combat advanced doctrine and affected the development and application of technology.
£32.95

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Clash of Fleets is an operational history that records every naval engagement fought between major surface warships during World War I. Much more than a catalog of combat facts, Clash of Fleets explores why battles occurred; how the different navies fought; and how combat advanced doctrine and affected the development and application of technology. The result is a holistic overview of the war at sea as it affected all nations and all theaters of war. A work of this scope is unprecedented.

Organized into seven chapters, the authors first introduce the technology, weapons, ships, and the doctrine that governed naval warfare in 1914. The next five chapters explore each year of the war and are subdivided into sections corresponding to major geographic areas. This arrangement allows the massive sweep of action to be presented in a structured and easy to follow format that includes engagements fought by the Austro-Hungarian, British, French, German, Ottoman, and Russian Navies in the Adriatic, Aegean, Baltic, Black, Mediterranean, and North Seas as well as the Atlantic, India, and Pacific Oceans. The role of surface combat in the Great War is analyzed and these actions are compared to major naval wars before and after.

In addition to providing detailed descriptions of actions in their historical perspectives, O'Hara and Heinz advance several themes, including the notion that World War I was a war of navies as much as a war of armies. They explain that surface combat had a major impact on all aspects of the naval war and on the course of the war in general. Finally, Clash of Fleets illustrates that systems developed in peace do not always work as expected in war, that some are not used as anticipated, and that others became unexpectedly important. There is much for today's naval professional to consider in the naval conflict that occurred a century ago.

Reviews

"Clash of Fleets is an essential companion for anyone with an interest in First World War naval history. It is a highly readable masterpiece, a tour d'horizon of the naval war. An added pleasure is that the book's basic premise of keeping the smaller, but still significant, actions on the radar, encourages the reader to go into further exploration. No doubt, I will be returning to the pages of Clash of Fleets for many years." – Nicholas Jellicoe, author of Jutland: The Unfinished Battle

"This encyclopedic work describes the naval surface engagements of World War I, from major fleet actions (the Battle of Jutland is neatly summarized) to minor skirmishes. For each calendar year, a concise strategic overview introduces vivid accounts of each action with, as appropriate, perceptive analysis of its strategic consequences and how its outcome depended on leadership, signals, tactics, gunnery, torpedoes and mines." – John Brooks, author of The Battle of Jutland
Language English
Pages 384
Dimensions 235 x 155
Date Published 30 Mar 2017
Publisher Naval Institute Press
Subject/s Military history   First World War  
Vincent P. O'Hara is an independent scholar and the author of ten books and many articles. He is the Naval Institute 2015 Author of the Year for his most recent work, Torch: North Africa and the Allied Path to Victory. O'Hara holds a history degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Leonard Heinz is a retired financial services lawyer with a strong interest in naval affairs. He has designed and published many wargames with an emphasis on tactical naval simulations. He lives in Corrales, New Mexico with his wife Meg.

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