|Publication Date: 07/2006|
|Size: 6 1/8x9 1/4|
|Format|| ||Price|| ||ISBN-13|
|Hardcover|| ||$44.95|| ||978-0-275-99073-2|
The Battle of Jutland and the Allied Triumph in the First World War
Daniel Allen Butler
This compelling, comprehensive account of the Battle of Jutland shows how the key naval battle helped shape the outcome of the First World War.
Distant Victory is an examination of the great sea fight at Jutland that is more than a mere balance sheet of ships sunk and lives lost, or an account of which fleet fled before the other. Rather, it is an a retelling of the battle that reveals its long-term consequences set in motion by the decisions both the Germans and the British made as a result of each fleet's experience at Jutland. While the German High Seas Fleet could claim a tactical victory because it sank more ships and inflicted higher casualties on the Royal Navy's Grand Fleet than the British did to the Germans, the British could rightly claim that strategically they won the battle, for when it was over the German warships had retreated to the safety of their harbors, having failed in their objective of defeating the Grand Fleet in detail.
For the past nine decades the Battle of Jutland has been history's most hotly debated and least understood naval action. Treated usually as a tactical German victory or else as a draw, and dismissed as strategically indecisive, it has been remembered by historians as for its lost opportunities, mistakes, and sheer scale, the largest naval surface action ever fought and the greatest clash of battleships the world would ever see. The Battle of Jutland has never been seen as one of the decisive battles of the First World War.
The book demonstrates compellingly how the real significance of Jutland lies not in ships lost or casualty figures, nor even in the fact that once the guns fell silent, the Grand Fleet was prepared to give battle again on four hours' notice while the High Seas Fleet required over two months to repair and refit. It examines how the pre-war leadership and naval policies of the Royal Navy and the High Seas Fleet produced each nation's respective strategies, analyzes how those strategies affected the command decisions made by admirals on both sides during the battle, and then explains how in the aftermath of Jutland, the failure of the German battleships to break the British blockade—which was slowly starving Germany to death—and the damage done to the German fleet compelled the German Admiralty to decide that some other means of winning the war at sea would have to be found. They then persuaded Germany's civilian leaders allowed themselves to be into making their single most disastrous political decision of the Great War: to embark on a campaign of unrestricted submarine warfare even when such a course of action was certain to bring the United States into the war against Germany, in the hope that it would strangle Britain's sealanes before American intervention became decisive. It was a gamble the Germans lost: when the fighting ceased on November 11, 1918, it was in no small part the result of the distant victory won by the Grand Fleet almost two and one-half years before.
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