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Jutland: World War I's Greatest Naval Battle

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Availablecloth$50.00s 978-0-8131-6605-6
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Foreign Military Studies
412 pages  Pubdate: 10/23/2015  6.125 x 9.25  36 b&w photos, 10 maps, 3 tables

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During the first two years of World War I, Germany struggled to overcome a crippling British blockade of its mercantile shipping lanes. With only sixteen dreadnought-class battleships compared to the renowned British Royal Navy’s twenty-eight, the German High Seas Fleet stood little chance of winning a direct fight. The Germans staged raids in the North Sea and bombarded English coasts in an attempt to lure small British squadrons into open water where they could be destroyed by submarines and surface boats. After months of skirmishes, conflict erupted on May 31, 1916, in the North Sea near Jutland, Denmark, in what would become the most formidable battle in the history of the Royal Navy.

In Jutland, international scholars reassess the strategies and tactics employed by the combatants as well as the political and military consequences of their actions. Most previous English-language military analysis has focused on British admiral Sir John Jellicoe, who was widely criticized for excessive caution and for allowing German vice admiral Reinhard Scheer to escape; but the contributors to this volume engage the German perspective, evaluating Scheer’s decisions and his skill in preserving his fleet and escaping Britain’s superior force. Together, the contributors lucidly demonstrate how both sides suffered from leadership that failed to move beyond outdated strategies of limited war between navies and to embrace the total war approach that came to dominate the twentieth century. The contributors also examine the role of memory, comparing the way the battle has been portrayed in England and Germany. An authoritative collection of scholarship, Jutland serves as an essential reappraisal of this seminal event in twentieth-century naval history.

Michael Epkenhans is chief historian at the Center for Military History and Social Sciences of the Bundeswehr at Potsdam and professor of modern history at the University of Hamburg.

Jörg Hillmann is a captain in the German navy and department head at the European Defence Agency in Brussels, Belgium.

Frank Nägler is a retired German naval commander.

Suited not only for scholars, but also for a wider audience interested in knowing more about both the war at sea in World War I and its greatest contest. -- Eric Osborne, author of The Battle of Heligoland Bight

The documentation and scholarship reflected in these articles is outstanding. Students of the navy, the First World War, and German history will now have access to material those not fluent in German are denied. -- Paul Halpern, author of A Naval History of World War I

This remarkable book serves as the essential reappraisal of this seminal event in twentieth-century naval history. This is a ‘must have’ book for the
Great War enthusiasts. -- Lone Star Review

[...] Jutland servers as an essential reappraisial of this seminal event in twentieth-century naval history -- Bob Edmonds -- McCormick Messenger

[. . .] As a whole, this edited volume on the Battle of Jutland will be welcome by those interested in naval history and the First World War. -- H-Net Review

[. . .] [A] well-produced edited volume [. . .] valuable body of work providing much food for thought and ammunition for debate. It is a good buy. -- Naval History