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Review for Battle on the Seven Seas


Author : Gary Staff

Here we have a good read, a narrative of the German cruiser battles 1914-1918, with lots of quotes from the people who were there. Battle locations are world wide from the Pacific to the Black Sea with both global strategy and engagement tactics described. The account of the battle of Jutland, Skagerrak to the Germans, with its focus on the cruisers, is refreshingly different to the usual version of events. Also there are some excellent photographs of the warships including some uncommon ones showing battle damage.
Three things stop this book from being excellent. The first is my very regular complaint about maps. There is an absence of scales on most of the many maps [28 maps only 2 with scales], and a few with too much information which is confusing. However, the six maps which cover the phases of the battle of Jutland are most helpful.
The second is an absence of any detailed description of the ships involved, and I had to turn to my Jane’s Fighting ships of WW1 to get a real understanding of the comparative worth of opposing vessels. A drawing and a specification of each class of cruiser would have been of great help to the general reader. And lastly a glossary of technical terms and abbreviations used, including translations of the many German terms, would have been more than helpful. The addition of these things to the 232 pages would not have made the book unmanageable.
In spite of those criticisms I still think this is a book well worth reading by anyone with an interest in World War One at sea.

Published by : Pen & Sword MARITIME, 2018
ISBN : 978 1 52674 385 5

Review last updated : 2018-10-02 08:58:17


See also : other "World War 1" reviews