- Taschenbuch: 80 Seiten
- Verlag: Osprey Publishing (19. November 2013)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1780960964
- ISBN-13: 978-1780960968
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 18,5 x 14,2 x 25,1 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 61.783 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
- Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen
British Battlecruiser vs German Battlecruiser: 1914-16 (Duel, Band 56) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 19. November 2013
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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Mark E. Stille (Commander, United States Navy, retired) received his BA in History from the University of Maryland and also holds an MA from the Naval War College. He has worked in the intelligence community for 30 years including tours on the faculty of the Naval War College, on the Joint Staff and on US Navy ships. He is currently a senior analyst working in the Washington DC area. He is the author of numerous Osprey titles, focusing on naval history in the Pacific. He is also the author of several wargames. The author lives in Dunn Loring, VA.
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But what utimatel can't keep up is the illustrations; be it photographs or drawings. A few contemporary full view photographs and some lackluster, low resolution drawings or 3D-renderings just don't cut it. If it has been just hurry to get the book done or skimping on licensing costs, this part of the book is an utter disappointment.
Due to the fact that Stille's writing is that good and informative "British Battlecruiser vs. German Battlecruiser" would have actually deserved 3.5 stars but its substantial illustrative deficencies plus the lacking technical specs don't grant a better rating than three stars.
Die Bilder und Skizzen ergänzen die Texte und lassen auch den Modellbauer nicht leer ausgehen. Für Freunde der grauen Schiffe ein Muss.
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Common perception is, that the sinking of the three Royal Navy battlecruisers at Jutland was caused mainly due to their “thin skins” (insufficient deck armor). As the then First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill, put it (the Lion-class battlecruisers were called "Splendid Cats"): “Our beautiful “Cats” had thin skins compared to the enemy’s strongest battleships. It is a rough game to pit ... seven or nine inches of armour against twelve or thirteen”. While true up to a point, author Stille provides enough evidence to support his assertion that other factors also played a major part in the disastrous destruction of these ships (British losses: 3,309 men killed, with only 11 survivors).
In a brief introduction, Mark Stille sketches how the concept of the battlecruiser came to be in “the Fleet that Jack built”. The introduction is followed by a concise comparison of the differences in design and development as well as the armament of the British and German “knights of the fleet”, as they were known, and their intended employment as a reconnaissance force, although this is not how they were used. He also outlines the strategic situation before the clashes took place, as well as the technical specifications of the ship-classes involved. In the chapter “the combatants” he briefly sketches the tactics and gunnery and fire control of the opposing sides.
In the “Combat” chapter, the bulk of the book, he provides us with a detailed account of the two major clashes between these two ship-types: “The Battle of the Dogger Bank”, 24 January 1915, which took place near the Dogger Bank on the North Sea, about 100 kilometers off the east coast of England, and “The Battle of Jutland” (Skagerrakschlacht in German), 31 May and 1 June 1916, which took place on the North Sea near Jutland, Denmark.
This is followed by an statistics and analysis-section and a conclusion, that, while the catastrophic loss of the three RN battlecruisers at Jutland has given the battlecruiser a reputation for vulnerability, the poor protection meant that the other shortcomings were more fully exposed, and that the primary reason for the loss was faulty powder and powder-handling procedures rather than the thin armor. Author Mark Stille is far from the only one who has reached this same conclusion:
As stated by Lawrence Burr in “British Battlecruisers 1914-1918” (p. 43): “If Indefatigable, Queen Mary and Invincible had followed the ammunition procedures…, they would in all probability have survived. They would have survived also if their cordite was made the same way as German cordite RPC/12”. A deduction also reached by British naval historian John Campbell, who concluded in his “Jutland: An Analysis Of The Fighting” (1986): "If British propellant charges had been used in the German ships, the Derfflinger would certainly have blown up as would in all probability the Seydlitz, and possibly the Von der Tann." (p. 380).
Surprisingly, no mention is made in the book of the fact that after the Battle of Jutland, initial investigations, both by Beatty and by the Admiralty, concluded that the explosions were due to the gun crews ignoring safety regulations in an effort to speed up their rate of gunfire. In other words: the officers and men of the lost battle cruisers were largely responsible for their own deaths. Jellicoe, promoted to 1st Sea Lord on 28 November 1916, and who did not want to damage the morale of the fleet any further, suppressed these findings, declared the matter closed and directed, that the loss of the battle cruisers would be officially attributed to the thinness of their armor.
The overall narrative is accompanied with clear, detailed maps, many period photographs and illustrations and color plates. The artwork is done by illustrators Paul Wright and Ian Palmer, and they do an commendable job. A great read on this subject. Recommended!
Note on the Kindle e-book version: this e-book, which was optimized for larger screens, was viewed on the Kindle Fire HD 8.9". A point of criticism (on the e-reader, not the book itself): the Kindle Fire needs a better "zoom"-function than the one provided, a feature which would have been extremely useful with the maps and some of the pictures.
For further reading on this subject, I recommend: for more technical information on the battlecruisers: “British Battlecruisers 1914-1918” (New Vanguard #126) by Lawrence Burr and “German Battlecruisers 1914-1918” (New Vanguard #124) by Gary Staff. And if you’re looking for a book-length coverage of the battles: “Jutland, 1916: Death in the Grey Wastes” by Peter Hart & Nigel Steel and “Battle on the Seven Seas: German Cruiser Battles, 1914-1918,” by Gary Staff.
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