From the shelling of the fort at Westerplatte, on the Polish coast, on 1 September 1939, to the loss of thousands of German refugees at sea in May 1945, the Baltic witnessed continuous and ferocious fighting throughout the Second World War. In this new book the author chronicles the naval warfare and merges such major events as the siege of Leningrad, the Soviet campaign against Sweden in 1942, the three wars in Finland 193944, the Soviet liberation of the Baltic states, the German evacuation of two million people from the East, and the Soviet race westwards in 1945. There are also included fascinating insights into, until now, poorly understood topics such as Swedish cooperation with Germany, the use of the Baltic by the Germans to train U-boats crews for the battle of the Atlantic, the secret weapons trials in the remote area of Peenmnde, and the RAF mining campaign that did much to reduce the threat of new and revolutionary German submarine technology. Furthermore, the author explains how messages from Bletchley Park were the basis for the RAF attacks on German coastal regions. The political and military backgrounds of the war in this theater are explained while the details of ships, radar, artillery, mines and aircraft are all covered. This is a superbly researched work which shows how the naval war in the Baltic shaped WWII in ways that have not been fully understood. It is a major contribution to the naval history of this era.
Author: Poul Grooss
Publisher: Seaforth Publishing
This new work tells the compelling story of how the Royal Navy secured the strategic space from Egypt in the west to Australasia in the East through the first half of the Second World War; it explains why this contribution, made while Russia's fate remained in the balance and before American economic power took effect, was so critical. Without it the war would certainly have lasted longer and decisive victory might have proved impossible. After the protection of the Atlantic lifeline, this was surely the Royal Navy's finest achievement, the linchpin of victory. The book moves authoritatively between grand strategy, intelligence, accounts of specific operations, and technical assessment of ships and weapons. It challenges established perceptions of Royal Navy capability and will change the way we think about Britains role and contribution in the first half of the war. The Navy of 1939 was stronger than usually suggested and British intelligence did not fail against Japan. Nor was the Royal Navy outmatched by Japan, coming very close to a British Midway off Ceylon in 1942. And it was the Admiralty, demonstrating a reckless disregard for risks, that caused the loss of Force Z in 1941. The book also lays stress on the key part played by the American relationship in Britains Eastern naval strategy. Superbly researched and elegantly written, this new book adds a hugely important dimension to our understanding of the war in the East and will become required reading.
Linchpin of Victory 1935-1942
Author: Andrew Boyd
In 1919, the new governments of the besieged Baltic states appealed desperately to the Allies for assistance. A small British flotilla of light cruisers and destroyers were sent to help, under the command of Rear Admiral Sir Walter Cowan. They were given no clear instructions as to what their objective was to be and so Cowan decided that he had to make his own policy. Despite facing a much greater force, Cowan improvised one of the most daring raids ever staged by the British Navy. He succeeded with devastating effect; outmaneuvering his enemies, sinking two Russian Battleships and eventually freeing the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Author: Geoffrey Bennett,Rodney M Bennett
Draws on survivor interviews and newly declassified records to offer insight into the sinking of the World War II refugee ship that killed over nine thousand people, an incident that was covered up by both Eastern and Western officials.
The World War II Sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff
Author: Cathryn J. Prince
For most of the twentieth century, historians thought that British naval policy was driven by the Anglo-German arms race. After examining a prodigious quantity of primary sources, Nicholas A. Lambert concludes that Admiralty decision-making was in fact driven by factors totally unrelated to the German building program. Sir John Fisher's Naval Revolution explores the intrigue and negotiations between the Admiralty and leading domestic reformers of the day, such as Herbert H. Asquith, David Lloyd George, and Winston Churchill, and shows how the politicians regarded the issues of naval strategy and finance as central to the success of their proposed social reforms. Lambert also explains how Great Britain's naval leaders responded to these challenges under the direction of Admiral Sir John Fisher, the service head of the Admiralty from 1904 to 1910.
Author: Nicholas A. Lambert
Publisher: Univ of South Carolina Press
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Before Jutland is an effort to understand what happened at sea in northern European waters in 1914-15 when the German High Sea Fleet faced the Grand Fleet in the North Sea and the Russian Fleet in the Baltic. The book is an extensively revised and extended version of the author’s 1984 work The King’s Ships Were at Sea. It covers the first six months of the First World War because very important things occurred in that time and, despite the loose ends that inevitably remain with four more years of conflict to follow, important things can be said. The focus is primarily on the British, but both the Germans and the Russians are integral to the study because neither the British nor the Germans’ North Sea activities can be fairly assessed without giving due weight to the Baltic theatre of operations. This is an operational history, which balances coverage of the major incidents with treatment of the continuum of activity. The intent within the scene setting chapters is not to attempt a complete survey of the events of the previous decade, but to situate each navy within the environment of 1914. Before Jutland includes the battles of Heligoland Bight and the Dogger Bank, as well as the shock of the submarine and its effect on the operations of all the protagonists. In analyzing these events, it seeks to provide the context within which the protagonists were actually working, without the application of excessive hindsight, because in 1914 so much was new and experimental. Observers are inclined to consider what is known as the ‘Fisher Era’ as a continuum from Admiral Fisher’s accession as First Sea Lord in the British Admiralty in 1904; in reality the pace of operational development not only accelerated but became truly multi-lane only after about 1909, just before the great reformer went into his first retirement. The pressures at all levels within navies were therefore intensifying in the years immediately before the outbreak of the war in ways that were not fully understood, nor necessarily recognized. In short, those involved were struggling to learn a new language of naval operations and warfare with an incomplete dictionary and very little grammar. In all, Before Jutland tries to show not only what happened, but how the services evolved to meet the challenges that they faced at the opening of the Great War and whether or not that evolution was successful.
The Naval War in Northern European Waters, August 1914ÐFebruary 1915
Author: James Goldrick
Publisher: Naval Institute Press
A comprehensive account of Britain's naval empire, from 1649-1815, covers how the British Navy was financed, manned, and directed, and documents key figures and battles.
A Naval History of Britain, 1649-1815
Author: N. A. M. Rodger
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
As the major powers engaged in an arms race in the early years of the 20th century, the Admiralty was tasked with developing that deadly stalker of the high seas the submarine. In 1905, briefed with creating a vessel that could be employed on an enemy's coastline, the Admiralty took several technological leaps forward to match Germany's own revolutionary vessels. Written by an influential expert in the field and covering all classes of submarine developed and deployed during the war, this book includes great technical detail, gripping operational accounts and is accompanied by artwork. With fascinating details of daring submarine raids in the Baltic and the Dardanelles, this book reveals the exceedingly dangerous world of early submarine warfare which claimed an extraordinary number of lives on both sides and paved the way for a new kind of naval warfare in the 20th century and beyond.
Author: Innes McCartney
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Peter the Great created the Russian navy from nothing, but it soon surpassed Sweden as the Baltic naval power, while in the Black Sea it became an essential tool in driving back the Ottoman Turks from Europe. During the 18th century it was the third largest navy in the world yet its history, and especially its ships, are virtually unrecorded in the West. The first comprehensive study in English, it is illustrated with plans, paintings, and prints rarely seen outside Russia.
Design, Construction, Careers and Fates
Author: Eduard Sozaev,John Tredea
Publisher: Naval Institute Press
Day-to-day naval actions from October 1940 through May 1941. Provides detailed information on movements of all identifiable vessels of Allied, Axis, and neutral countries, plus convoy movements and minefields. Information is broken down by month, then by geographical area, date, and time. This series is an invaluable source for historians, students, and anyone interested in the naval history of World War II.
Author: Donald A Bertke,Gordon Smith,Don Kindell
Author of Lincoln and His Admirals (winner of the Lincoln Prize), The Battle of Midway (Best Book of the Year, Military History Quarterly), and Operation Neptune, (winner of the Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature), Craig L. Symonds has established himself as one of the finest naval historians at work today. World War II at Sea represents his crowning achievement: a complete narrative of the naval war and all of its belligerents, on all of the world's oceans and seas, between 1939 and 1945. Opening with the 1930 London Conference, Symonds shows how any limitations on naval warfare would become irrelevant before the decade was up, as Europe erupted into conflict once more and its navies were brought to bear against each other. World War II at Sea offers a global perspective, focusing on the major engagements and personalities and revealing both their scale and their interconnection: the U-boat attack on Scapa Flow and the Battle of the Atlantic; the "miracle" evacuation from Dunkirk and the pitched battles for control of Norway fjords; Mussolini's Regia Marina-at the start of the war the fourth-largest navy in the world-and the dominance of the Kidö Butai and Japanese naval power in the Pacific; Pearl Harbor then Midway; the struggles of the Russian Navy and the scuttling of the French Fleet in Toulon in 1942; the landings in North Africa and then Normandy. Here as well are the notable naval leaders-FDR and Churchill, both self-proclaimed "Navy men," Karl Dönitz, François Darlan, Ernest King, Isoroku Yamamoto, Erich Raeder, Inigo Campioni, Louis Mountbatten, William Halsey, as well as the hundreds of thousands of seamen and officers of all nationalities whose live were imperiled and lost during the greatest naval conflicts in history, from small-scale assaults and amphibious operations to the largest armadas ever assembled. Many have argued that World War II was dominated by naval operations; few have shown and how and why this was the case. Symonds combines precision with story-telling verve, expertly illuminating not only the mechanics of large-scale warfare on (and below) the sea but offering wisdom into the nature of the war itself.
A Global History
Author: Craig L. Symonds
Publisher: Oxford University Press
A comprehensive overview of the activities of the British navy in the Baltic Sea from the earliest times until the twentieth century.
Author: John D. Grainger
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer Ltd
In May 1919, mere months after the guns of World War I had fallen silent, the Russian Revolution was roaring and the Bolsheviks' Red Army had begun to take the upper hand against the U.S. and British-backed White Army. Paul Dukes?a 30-year-old concert pianist, master of disguise dubbed "The Man with a Hundred Faces," and the only English spy in Russia?was cut off in Petrograd after infiltrating the Bolshevik Government and stealing top-secret information. With the government in London desperately in need of the documents in Dukes' possession and the Bolshevik secret police closing in, a seemingly suicidal plan was hatched to rescue Dukes. 29-year-old naval lieutenant Gus Agar and his handpicked team of seven men boarded plywood boats - the fastest naval vessels in existence, most armed with only two machine guns and a single torpedo. They set out for the island fortress of Kronstadt, the most well-defended naval target in Russian, and into the jaws of the Soviet police. Written by a former MI6 officer in the tradition of Agent Zigzag, Operation Kronstadt is an extraordinarily gripping non- fiction thriller.
Author: Harry Ferguson
Publisher: The Overlook Press
For nearly two hundred years huge wooden warships called ships of the line dominated war at sea and were thus instrumental in the European struggle for power and the spread of imperialism. Foremost among the great naval powers were Great Britain and France, whose advanced economies could support large numbers of these expensive ships. This book, the first joint history of these great navies, offers a uniquely impartial and comprehensive picture of the two forces their shipbuilding programs, naval campaigns, and battles, and their wartime strategies and diplomacy. Jonathan R. Dull is the author of two award-winning histories of the French navy. Bringing to bear years of study of war and diplomacy, his book conveys the fine details and the high drama of the age of grand and decisive naval conflict. Dull delves into the seven wars that Great Britain and France, often in alliance with lesser naval powers such as Spain and the Netherlands, fought between 1688 and 1815. Viewing war as most statesmen of the time saw it as a contest of endurance he also treats the tragic side of the Franco-British wars, which shattered the greater security and prosperity the two powers enjoyed during their brief period as allies.
The British and French Navies, 1650-1815
Author: Jonathan R. Dull
Publisher: U of Nebraska Press
This is a major new naval history of the First World War which reveals the decisive contribution of the war at sea to Allied victory. In a truly global account, Lawrence Sondhaus traces the course of the campaigns in the North Sea, Atlantic, Adriatic, Baltic and Mediterranean and examines the role of critical innovations in the design and performance of ships, wireless communication and firepower. He charts how Allied supremacy led the Central Powers to attempt to revolutionize naval warfare by pursuing unrestricted submarine warfare, ultimately prompting the United States to enter the war. Victory against the submarine challenge, following their earlier success in sweeping the seas of German cruisers and other surface raiders, left the Allies free to use the world's sea lanes to transport supplies and troops to Europe from overseas territories, and eventually from the United States, which proved a decisive factor in their ultimate victory.
A Naval History of the First World War
Author: Lawrence Sondhaus
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
It is 1793. Europe is ablaze with war. The British prime minister is under pressure to intimidate the French, and dispatches a Navy squadron to appear off the French coast. To man the ships, ordinary citizens must be press-ganged. Thomas Paine Kydd, a young wig-maker from Guildford, is seized and taken across country to be part of the crew of the ninety-eight-gun line-of-battle ship Duke William. The ship sails immediately and Kydd has to learn the harsh realities of shipboard life fast. Despite all he goes through, amid the dangers of tempest and battle, he comes to admire the skills and courage of his fellow seamen, taking up the challenge himself to become a true sailor and defender of Britain at war. Kydd launches a masterly new writing talent and a thrilling new series. Based on dramatic real events, it is classic storytelling at its best, rich with action, exceptional characters, and a page-turning narrative.
Author: Julian Stockwin
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
The rapid rise in Russia's power over the course of the last ten years has been matched by a stunning lack of international diplomacy on the part of its president, Vladimir Putin. One consequence of this, when combined with Europe's rapidly shifting geopolitics, is that the West is on a possible path toward nuclear war. Former deputy commander of NATO General Sir Richard Shirreff speaks out about this very real peril in this call to arms, a novel that is a barely disguised version of the truth. In chilling prose, it warns allied powers and the world at large that we risk catastrophic nuclear conflict if we fail to contain Russia's increasingly hostile actions. In a detailed plotline that draws upon Shirreff's years of experience in tactical military strategy, Shirreff lays out the most probable course of action Russia will take to expand its influence, predicting that it will begin with an invasion of the Baltic states. And with GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump recently declaring that he might not come to the aid of these NATO member nations were he to become president, the threat of an all-consuming global conflict is clearer than ever. This critical, chilling fictional look at our current geopolitical landscape, written by a top NATO commander, is both timely and necessary-a must-read for any fan of realistic military thrillers as well as all concerned citizens.
An Urgent Warning from Senior Military Command
Author: Richard Shirreff
Category: Political Science
The first complete account of a unique military operation - and of why it ended in failure.
The British Invasion of Russia, 1918-1920
Author: Clifford Kinvig
Publisher: A&C Black