War at Sea 1914-1945

Overview

The period between the two largest and most destructive wars in history saw a revolution at sea. In 1914 international naval power was measured in dreadnought battleships, the currency of imperial power. Yet within a generation the mighty battleships were rendered redundant, and submarines and aircraft dominated the seas. Battles began to take place at extreme ranges, with rival fleets not always being even in sight of one another. Amphibious warfare became crucial, both for the liberation of German-occupied ...
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Overview

The period between the two largest and most destructive wars in history saw a revolution at sea. In 1914 international naval power was measured in dreadnought battleships, the currency of imperial power. Yet within a generation the mighty battleships were rendered redundant, and submarines and aircraft dominated the seas. Battles began to take place at extreme ranges, with rival fleets not always being even in sight of one another. Amphibious warfare became crucial, both for the liberation of German-occupied Europe and to drive back the Japanese from their island conquests. Technological advances transformed the war in the Pacific. New weapons made old tactics much more effective. Combining aircraft and submarine with blockade, convoy and the attack of merchant ships was a fundamental shift in the influence of sea power.

The progression from old to new was neither easy nor natural, however. International treaties and the defence cuts of the Depression meant that new weapon and delivery systems were not given priority over the tried and tested methods of the First World War. Many people were resistant to change, and with no proper funding or enthusiasm the potential of the new was never fully exploited until war demanded it no longer be ignored. Starting with the great dreadnoughts and battlecruisers of 1914 Bernard Ireland covers the most rapid period of change in the history of war at sea. Analysing this extraordinary transition with vivid narratives of key battles and campaigns, the author escorts the reader through those tumultuous events at sea, from the First World War to the surrender of Japan.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780304353408
  • Publisher: Orion Publishing Group, Limited
  • Publication date: 10/28/2002
  • Series: History of Warfare Ser.
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 8.02 (w) x 10.70 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 5
Map list 9
Chronology 10
Introduction: The Nature of Sea Power 15
The army-navy dynamic
1 Anglo-German Naval Rivalry 21
The existing European situation
The rise of Germany and colonial expansion
Anglo-French co-operation
Tirpitz and 'risk theory'
The coming of the dreadnought
The escalation of the Anglo-German Naval Race
2 The First World War 1914-18 39
Cruiser warfare
Grand Fleet versus High Seas Fleet
The battle of Jutland
The U-boat war
The British blockade
Enter naval aviation
Naval operations in the Dardanelles
The Royal Navy in Mesopotamia
The Baltic
3 A Time of Treaties 1918-39 111
The surrender of the High Seas Fleet
Versailles and restrictions to the German Navy
Japanese and American threats to British naval supremacy
The Washington Naval Treaty
Developments in naval aviation
The Anglo-German Naval Treaty
4 The Second World War 1939-45 129
The war against commerce
The war against the U-boat
The US submarine war against Japan
Amphibious warfare
The rise and rise of the aircraft carrier
Norway 1940
The Mediterranean 1940-43
Epilogue
Biographies 214
Further reading 218
Index 220
Picture credits 224
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