By Robert K. Massie
In a piece of amazing narrative strength, packed with really good personalities and bright scenes of dramatic motion, Robert okay. Massie, the Pulitzer Prize–winning writer of Peter the nice, Nicholas and Alexandra, and Dreadnought, elevates to its right old significance the position of sea strength within the successful of the good War.
The primary snapshot of this primary global battle is of dust and ditchs, barbed cord, computing device weapons, poison gasoline, and slaughter. A iteration of ecu manhood used to be massacred, and a wound used to be inflicted on eu civilization that required the rest of the 20th century to heal.
But with all its sacrifice, trench struggle didn't win the conflict for one part or lose it for the opposite. Over the process 4 years, the strains at the Western entrance moved scarcely in any respect; makes an attempt to damage via led simply to the lengthening of the already unbearably lengthy casualty lists.
For the genuine tale of army upheaval, we needs to glance to the ocean. at the eve of the warfare in August 1914, nice Britain and Germany possessed the 2 maximum navies the realm had ever obvious. while battle got here, those fleets of dreadnoughts—gigantic floating castles of metal in a position to hurl big shells at an enemy miles away—were able to attempt their negative energy opposed to each one other.
Their struggles came about within the North Sea and the Pacific, on the Falkland Islands and the Dardanelles. They reached their climax whilst Germany, suffocated via an implacable naval blockade, made up our minds to strike opposed to the British ring of metal. the end result was once Jutland, a big conflict of fifty-eight dreadnoughts, every one the house of 1000 men.
When the German excessive Seas Fleet retreated, the kaiser unleashed unrestricted U-boat struggle, which, in its indiscriminate violence, introduced a reluctant the USA into the warfare. during this method, the German attempt to “seize the trident” by way of defeating the British military resulted in the autumn of the German empire.
Ultimately, the distinguishing function of Castles of metal is the writer himself. the data, realizing, and literary energy Massie brings to this tale are remarkable. His portrayals of Winston Churchill, the British admirals Fisher, Jellicoe, and Beatty, and the Germans Scheer, Hipper, and Tirpitz are wonderful of their veracity and artistry.
Castles of Steel is ready battle at sea, management and command, braveness, genius, and folly. these kinds of parts are given impressive scope through Robert ok. Massie’s distinctive and largely hailed literary mastery.
From the Hardcover edition.