Book Review-‘Clash of Fleets: Naval battles of the Great War, 1914–18’ by V. P. O’Hara and L. R. Heinz

By Simon Smith, published November 2020


Clash of Fleets joins a number of naval studies published during the last few years to coincide with the centenary of the First World War and renewed interest in the naval side of the conflict. In this book, Vincent O’Hara and Leonard R. Heinz aim to affirm the importance of sea power during the First World War and provide a holistic overview. In particular, they consider how battles were fought, analyse naval doctrine alongside operational requirements, and seek to demonstrate how naval and land wars were intertwined. While this study is another technical analysis of the naval battles carried out during the First World War, Clash of Fleets is exceptionally broad in scope, and is not constrained by limiting itself to key engagements between Britain and Germany. Instead it examines a total of 144 naval actions between all the navies of the Entente and Central powers. This is a refreshing change from many recent studies where the naval elements of the conflict are overshadowed by the larger engagements such as Coronel, the Falklands, Dogger Bank and Jutland…

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Filed under: WW1
Subjects include: Battles & Tactics | Navies

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