By Robert K. Massie
In a piece of awesome narrative strength, full of impressive personalities and shiny scenes of dramatic motion, Robert okay. Massie, the Pulitzer Prize–winning writer of Peter the nice, Nicholas and Alexandra, and Dreadnought, elevates to its right old significance the position of sea energy within the profitable of the nice War.
The essential photo of this primary international warfare is of dust and ditchs, barbed cord, desktop weapons, poison gasoline, and slaughter. A iteration of eu manhood used to be massacred, and a wound was once inflicted on ecu civilization that required the rest of the 20th century to heal.
But with all its sacrifice, trench struggle didn't win the conflict for one aspect or lose it for the opposite. Over the process 4 years, the strains at the Western entrance moved scarcely in any respect; makes an attempt to wreck via led purely to the lengthening of the already unbearably lengthy casualty lists.
For the real tale of army upheaval, we needs to glance to the ocean. at the eve of the conflict in August 1914, nice Britain and Germany possessed the 2 maximum navies the realm had ever noticeable. while warfare got here, those fleets of dreadnoughts—gigantic floating castles of metal in a position to hurl enormous shells at an enemy miles away—were able to try their poor energy opposed to every one other.
Their struggles came about within the North Sea and the Pacific, on the Falkland Islands and the Dardanelles. They reached their climax while Germany, suffocated by way of an implacable naval blockade, made up our minds to strike opposed to the British ring of metal. the end result was once Jutland, a great conflict of fifty-eight dreadnoughts, each one the house of 1000 men.
When the German excessive Seas Fleet retreated, the kaiser unleashed unrestricted U-boat battle, which, in its indiscriminate violence, introduced a reluctant the USA into the warfare. during this approach, the German attempt to “seize the trident” by means of defeating the British army resulted in the autumn of the German empire.
Ultimately, the distinguishing characteristic of Castles of metal is the writer himself. the data, knowing, and literary energy Massie brings to this tale are unheard of. His portrayals of Winston Churchill, the British admirals Fisher, Jellicoe, and Beatty, and the Germans Scheer, Hipper, and Tirpitz are gorgeous of their veracity and artistry.
Castles of Steel is ready conflict at sea, management and command, braveness, genius, and folly. these kind of components are given extraordinary scope by means of Robert okay. Massie’s certain and generally hailed literary mastery.
From the Hardcover edition.