Clash of Fleets: Naval Battles of the Great War, 1914-18

Clash of Fleets: Naval Battles of the Great War, 1914-18


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Clash of Fleets: Naval Battles of the Great War, 1914-18 by Vincent P. O'Hara, Leonard R. Heinz

Clash of Fleets is an operational history that records every naval engagement fought between major surface warships during World War I. Much more than a catalog of combat facts, Clash of Fleets explores why battles occurred; how the different navies fought; and how combat advanced doctrine and affected the development and application of technology. The result is a holistic overview of the war at sea as it affected all nations and all theaters of war. A work of this scope is unprecedented.

Organized into seven chapters, the authors first introduce the technology, weapons, ships, and the doctrine that governed naval warfare in 1914. The next five chapters explore each year of the war and are subdivided into sections corresponding to major geographic areas. This arrangement allows the massive sweep of action to be presented in a structured and easy to follow format that includes engagements fought by the Austro-Hungarian, British, French, German, Ottoman, and Russian Navies in the Adriatic, Aegean, Baltic, Black, Mediterranean, and North Seas as well as the Atlantic, India, and Pacific Oceans. The role of surface combat in the Great War is analyzed and these actions are compared to major naval wars before and after.

In addition to providing detailed descriptions of actions in their historical perspectives, O'Hara and Heinz advance several themes, including the notion that World War I was a war of navies as much as a war of armies. They explain that surface combat had a major impact on all aspects of the naval war and on the course of the war in general. Finally, Clash of Fleets illustrates that systems developed in peace do not always work as expected in war, that some are not used as anticipated, and that others became unexpectedly important. There is much for today's naval professional to consider in the naval conflict that occurred a century ago.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781682470084
Publisher: Naval Institute Press
Publication date: 04/15/2017
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 514,807
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

VINCENT P. O'HARA is an independent scholar and the author of eleven books and many articles. He is the Naval Institute 2015 Author of the Year for his most recent work, Torch: North Africa and the Allied Path to Victory and holds a history degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

LEONARD R. HEINZ is a retired financial services lawyer with a strong interest in naval affairs. He has designed and published many wargames with an emphasis on tactical naval simulations. He holds a history degree from the University of Pennsylvania and lives in Corrales, New Mexico.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vi

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 The Fleets 7

Chapter 2 1914: Trial by Fire 32

Chapter 3 1915: No End in Sight 103

Chapter 4 1916: In Search of a Solution 164

Chapter 5 1917: The Struggle Continues 210

Chapter 6 1918: Winding Down 274

Chapter 7 Summing Up 294

Appendix I Ship Specifications 315

Appendix II Conversions and Abbreviations 323

Appendix III Les Petit Combats 325

Notes 327

Bibliography 343

Index 354

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