Book Review-‘The Great War at Sea: A naval history of the First World War’ by L. Sondhaus

By Shawn Grimes, published October 2020

Abstract

Two decades have passed since Paul Halpern’s A Naval History of World War One was published and became a corrective to the North Sea-centric studies fostered by Arthur Marder’s seminal work on the Royal Navy and the First World War. Now, with the conflict’s centenary, Lawrence Sondhaus has written an admirable successor with his The Great War at Sea: A naval history of the First World War. Like Halpern, Sondhaus’s account is a comprehensive and far-reaching survey of all aspects and theatres of the 1914–18 naval war, yet, unlike Halpern, it does not bog down in the minutiae of detailing every minor naval operation conducted in the peripheries such as Africa and the Middle East. This approach allows for an exploration of the larger thematic issues attached to the great naval powers’ preconceptions before 1914 and their conduct and adaptation to the war at sea as it evolved in each major theatre: the North Sea, Atlantic, Black Sea, Adriatic, Baltic and Mediterranean…

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

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