Book Review – ‘Preparing for Blockade, 1885–1914: Naval contingency for economic warfare’ by Stephen Cobb

By David Morgan-Owen, published November 2020


The origins and implementation of the British Admiralty’s plans to wage ‘economic warfare’ against Germany in the early twentieth century have become a fashionable topic for historians since the publication of Avner Offer’s highly influential The First World War: An agrarian interpretation in 1989. This book, based on the author’s 2011 PhD thesis, addresses a hitherto neglected aspect of those plans: the Admiralty’s provision of armed merchant cruisers for the attack and defence of trade before the First World War. In doing so, it also provides an important new perspective upon the development and nature of the Admiralty’s plans to attack German trade in the event of an Anglo-German war….

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Filed under: Nineteenth Century | Twentieth Century
Subjects include: Navies | Strategy & Diplomacy

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