Military history

Castles of Steel

Castles of Steel

In August 1914 the two greatest navies in the world confronted each other across the North Sea. At first there were skirmishes, then battles off the coasts of England and Germany and in the far corners of the world, including the Falklands. The British attempted to force the Dardanelles with battleships - which led to the Gallipoli catastrophe. As the stalemate on the ground on the Western Front continued, the German Navy released a last strike against the British 'ring of steel'. The result was Jutland, a titanic and brutal battle between dreadnoughts. The knowledge, understanding and literary power Robert K. Massie brings to this story is unparalleled. There will never again be a war like this in which seagoing monsters hurl shells at each other until one side is destroyed. The story is driven by some of the most dramatically intriguing personalities in history: Churchill and Jacky Fisher, Jellicoe and Beatty. And then there were the powerful Germans - von Pohl, Scheer, Hipper, and the grand old fork-bearded genius Tirpitz. Castles of Steel is a book about leadership and command, bravery and timidity, genius and folly, qualities which are of course displayed magnificently by Robert K. Massie's literary mastery.


Chapter 1. July 1914

Chapter 2. “Goeben Is Your Objective”

Chapter 3. Jellicoe

Chapter 4. First Days

Chapter 5. Beatty

Chapter 6. The Battle of the Bight

Chapter 7. Submarines and Mines: “Fisher’s Toys”

Chapter 8. “Shall We Be Here in the Morning?”

Chapter 9. Prince Louis Departs

Chapter 10. Admiral von Spee’s Voyage

Chapter 11. Admiral Cradock’s Voyage

Chapter 12. The Battle of Coronel

Chapter 13. “Very Well, Luce, We’ll Sail Tomorrow”

Chapter 14. The Battle of the Falkland Islands

Chapter 15. Fisher Returns to the Admiralty

Chapter 16. “The Requirements of the Commander-in-Chief Were Hard to Meet”

Chapter 17. The Yarmouth Raid and Room 40

Chapter 18. The Scarborough Raid: “Within Our Claws”

Chapter 19. The Scarborough Raid: Hipper Escapes

Chapter 20. The Cuxhaven Raid: “Stupid Great Things, but Very Beautiful”

Chapter 21. The Battle of the Dogger Bank: “Kingdom Come or Ten Days’ Leave”

Chapter 22. The Battle of the Dogger Bank: “Why Didn’t You Get the Lot?”

Chapter 23. “A Demonstration at the Dardanelles”

Chapter 24. The Minefields

Chapter 25. The Naval Attack on the Narrows

Chapter 26. Gallipoli: The Landings

Chapter 27. “Some Corner of a Foreign Field”

Chapter 28. The Blockade of Germany

Chapter 29. Lusitania and the American Reaction

Chapter 30. The Eve of Jutland

Chapter 31. Jutland: Beatty vs. Hipper

Chapter 32. Jutland: Jellicoe vs. Scheer

Chapter 33. Jutland: Night and Morning

Chapter 34. Jutland: Aftermath

Chapter 35. America Enters the War

Chapter 36. The Defeat of the U-boats

Chapter 37. Jellicoe Leaves, Beatty Arrives, and the Americans Cross the Atlantic

Chapter 38. Finis Germaniae



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