Official History of the War, Naval Operations Vol. II, Sir Julian Corbett

Official History of the War, Naval Operations Vol. II, Sir Julian Corbett

This is volume two (of five) of the British Official History of the First World War at Sea, covering the period from December 1914 through to May 1915. This is the period that saw the naval attack on the Dardanelles and the start of the Gallipoli campaign, and they take up almost exactly half of the book (ten of the twenty chapters). Amongst the major incidents covers is the attempt to set a fleet through the straits on 18 March 1915 that ended with the sinking of three Allied battleships.

On the home front this volume covers the German raid on the Yorkshire coast of December 1914, the battle of Dogger Bank and the start of the German submarine campaign.

The first volume of the official history suffered a little from a lack of German accounts. By 1921 that gap was well on the way to being filled. The first volume of the German Official History had been published, and many of the most important figures in the German navy had published their memoirs, amongst them Scheer, Tirpitz and von Pohl.

One slightly disconcerting feature of these volumes for the modern reader is Corbett's willingness to be personally offended by some German naval tactics. On occasions it is clear that the war is too recent for truly dispassionate analysis - some aspects of Corbett's account of the German raid on the Yorkshire coast, which saw Whitby, Scarborough and Hartlepool come under attack reflect this, but the factual account remains unaffected.

This is an invaluable book for anyone with an interest in naval warfare during the First World War or in the Gallipoli campaign.

Author: Sir Julian S. Corbett
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 459
Publisher: Naval & Military Press (2003 edition)
Year: 1921


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