The Royal Navy had ruled the sea unchallenged for 100 years since Nelson triumphed at Trafalgar. Yet when the Grand Fleet faced the German High Seas Fleet across the grey waters of the North Sea near Jutland the British battleships and cruisers were battered into a draw, losing far more men and ships than the enemy. The Grand Fleet far outnumbered and outgunned the German fleet so something clearly had gone wrong. The public waited for the official histories of the battle to be released to learn the truth, but month after month went by with the Admiralty promising, but failing, to publish an account of Jutland. Questions were raised in Parliament (twenty-two times) yet still no official report was produced, due to objections from Admiral Beatty. This led to Admiral Bacon producing his own account of the battle, called The Jutland Scandal in 1925. Two years later the man instructed to write the official report, Rear-Admiral Harper, decided to publish his account independently, under the title The Truth About Jutland. Together, these two books lay bare the facts about Jutland and reveal the failings of senior officers and the distortions of the early historians. Produced as one volume for the first time, this book tells the truth about the scandal that developed following the largest battle ever fought at sea.
A full and exciting account of the Zeebrugge raid, on St. George's Day, April 23rd, 1918, in which the author won the VC - one of eight won in the raid. The raid, one of the Great War's most daring naval exploits, was designed to close off the German-occupied Belgian port of Zeebrugge, a principal base for the U-boat packs that were preying on British shipping. The brainchild of Admiral Sir Roger Keyes, the raid followed months of meticulous planning, which, together with two abortive early attempts, are detailed in the first part of Carpenter's book. The second part of the book deals with the raid itself and the famous fight for possession of the mole controlling Zeebrugge harbour by troops landed from the cruiser HMS Vindictive. The book details the disappointing results of the smokescreen laid down to campouflage the raid and the successful sinking of the three concrete-filled British blockships, Thetis, Intrepid and Iphignia in the Zeebrugge harbour channel, and makes high claims for both the material and morale results of the raid, which cost 500 British casualties, including around 200 dead. The morale lift to allied spirits of the bold attack, coming at the height of the German Spring offensives in 1918, were probably more important than in achieving its desired results. The book is accompanied by forewords from Admirals Beatty and Sims, and by Marshal Foch, supreme Allied Generalissimo in 1918. It is accompanied by five dramatic drawings of the raid by the artist Charles De Lacey, and by some forty photographs, including 'before and after' reconnaissance aerial shots of the damage done, and eight charts, maps and plans of Zeebrugge port and its environs. Also accompanied by an appendix listing the ships and forces involved in the raid, and by an index.
Germany's attempts to build a battleship fleet to match that of the United Kingdom, the dominant naval power on the 19th-century and an island country that depended on seaborne trade for survival, is often listed as a major reason for the enmity between those two countries that led to the outbreak of war in 1914. ??Indeed, German leaders had expressed a desire for a navy in proportion to their military and economic strength that could free their overseas trade and colonial empire from dependence on Britain's good will, but such a fleet would inevitably threaten Britain's own trade and empire.??Despite this backdrop of large standing navies, naval warfare in the First World War was mainly characterized by the efforts of the Allied powers, with their larger fleets and surrounding position, to blockade the Central Powers by sea, and the efforts of the Central Powers to break that blockade or to establish an effective blockade of the UK with submarines and raiders. Indeed, the use of the former saw naval conflict enter a new era, one that affected every member of the British population and, in 1917, raised the spectre of a German victory.??This unique collection of original documents will prove to be an invaluable resource for historians, students and all those interested in what was one of the most significant periods in British military history.??Despatches in this volume include those relating to the events at Antwerp in 1914, Royal Navy armoured car squadrons, the Battle of Dogger Bank, the Battle of the Falklands, the Battle of Heligoland Bight, minesweeping operations, Royal Naval Air Service operations and attacks, and, of course, the Battle of Jutland.
On the night of 22–23 April 1918 the Royal Navy carried out a raid on the German held ports of Zeebrugge and Ostend – Operation Z-O. Under the cover of clouds and smoke, over 70 ships and an assault force of 1,800 Royal Marines embarked on a daring mission which involved a vicious battle of incredible intensity. However, despite the gallant and courageous efforts of the attackers, 11 of whom were later awarded the Victoria Cross, the raid was only partly successful. Discover the successes and failures of this dramatic raid in this in-depth account, complete with specially commissioned battlescene artwork. The author reveals how despite failure, the raid demonstrated to Germany that Britain was still capable of offensive action, even as its armies were being forced back.
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