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British and German Battlecruisers (ePub)

Their Development and Operations

Maritime > Seaforth Publishing WWI > Battles & Campaigns > Jutland WWI > Naval Battles

By Michele Cosentino
Seaforth Publishing
File Size: 13.2 MB (.epub)
Pages: 276
ISBN: 9781848323957
Published: 14th March 2016


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The fast and formidably-armed battlecruisers of Great Britain and Germany that were developed before and during the First World War are, in this new book, compared and contrasted in a way, and at a level of detail, that has never been attempted before.

The authors begin by looking at the relationship and rivalry between Great Britain and Germany and at how
foreign policy, strategic and tactical considerations, economic, industrial and technological developments, and naval policies led to the instigation of the battlecruiser programmes in both countries.

Chapters are then devoted to the development of the type in each country, to their design and construction, protection, propulsion plants, weapons, fire control, and communication systems, focussing particularly on the innovative aspects of the designs and on their strengths and weaknesses.

These ships eventually clashed in the North Sea at Dogger Bank, in January 1915, and while neither side suffered losses, the differences in their design and handling were apparent, differences that would be more starkly highlighted a year later at Jutland when three British ships were destroyed. These actions, and others they took part in, are described and assessed by the authors who then conclude by analysing their strengths and limitations. This is a major new work for naval enthusiasts everywhere.

The book is well illustrated and attractively designed – the ‘cameo’ format adopted
for the portraits of the personalities is an unusual and successful feature. The political aspects are dealt with in a commendably even-handed way, and much thought and research has gone into the data tables, which perform a useful comparative function.

Warship 2017 - reviewed by John Jordan

A huge well produced work which covers and compares the fast and formidably armed battlecruisers of the two major sea powers of the time. The book covers, everything from foreign policy and strategic and tactical considerations, to economic and technological developments in both countries. Design and production are covered, as are the various strengths and weaknesses of the ships. This is a very good work and deserves a very wide readership. It very narrowly missed being the Editor's Choice this month and is highly recommended.

First-rate work. 10/10

The Great War Magazine, January 2017

A high-powered book about a very special chapter of the development of the war ship.

Modellwerft, January 2017 – reviewed by Oliver Bothmann

The book is an amazing piece of work. It is well taken care of and describes the history and technical components of these capital ships very thoroughly. The text has a logical structure and it gives a very big amount of detail. Not only a wealth or technical detail on machines, armament or construction, but also on the chapter on operational use of the ships.

The book is a lust for the eye, with its great amount of pictures of the several ships described. Every picture is taken good care of and the diversity of the pictures are enormous. Many pictures are page size, giving the reader a good view on the ship in the given context.

The lay-out makes it all highly readable.

Stanglini has taken the job of making many of the drawings of the ships mentioned and he has done a fine job with love for detail. The book offers all operations mentioned with very good maps on a good scale.

Did I miss anything in this book? Well, it is so complete and so well taken care of, that it would be unfair to say yes.

Onno de Meer

As featured in

VGZN/APFN, July - September 2016

A stunning title packed full of fantastic images and line drawings, this book details the development and use of battlecruisers with in the Royal and Imperial German navies in fascinating detail and sets them within the wider history of the period, such as naval policy, the naval arms race, and of course, the Battle of Jutland and the Great War at sea. Each and every class and individual battlecruiser is included in this thorough analysis, including the mighty Hood, and the title considers the strategic, economic, and technical challenges behind these powerful warships. In addition, the authors have included a small summary on the battlecruisers of other navies in this well researched book.

Britain at War August 2016

... The book is beautifully designed and laid out, as one has come to expect from Seaforth Publishing, and readers can derive a thorough understanding of the subject from it. Battlecruisers were the most expensive as well as being the fastest capital ships of their era. This book not only takes a comprehensive look at the ships of the British and German navies but, together with the wider details in the appendix, gives a good overview of the whole genre. It also adds significantly to the historiography of the Great War and its origins. It is well worth its price-tag and I thoroughly recommend it.

Warship World - July August 2016

A subject as large as a battlecruiser demands a book of equal proportions and this slick publication does not disappoint. It is also refreshing that both author/artist are Italians, Cosentino a retired Italian Navy Commodore and Stanglini, an experienced contributor on all naval subjects, who give us a very well-balanced viewpoint on the pros and cons of each of the opposing Navies ships.

The strategic, economic and technical hurdles are covered in detail. Both nations Battlecruisers are covered all supported by high quality black and white photography a superb line drawings.

A substantial, highly-recommended book, in all aspects.

Military Modelling Vol.46, July 2016 - Owen Cooper

About Michele Cosentino

MICHELE COSENTINO is a retired Commodore in the Italian Navy. He has written extensively on naval policy and technical issues, his most recent book focusing on the design and operations of Italian aircraft carriers from 1912 to 2021. 

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