There have been a number of studies published on the activities of British and German navies during World War I, but little on naval action in other arenas. This book offers for the first time a balanced history of the naval war as a whole, viewed from the perspective of all participants in all major theaters. The author's earlier examination The Naval War in the Mediterranean, 1914-1918, centered on submarine activities and allied efforts to counteract this new menace. With this welcome sequel he again takes the reader beyond those World War I operations staged on the North Sea. Halpern's clear and authoritative voice lends a cohesiveness to this encompassing view of the Italians and Austrians in the Adriatic; the Russians, Germans, and Turks in the Baltic and Black Seas; and French and British in the Mediterranean.
Important riverine engagements--notably on the Danube--also are included, along with major colonial campaigns such as Mesopotamia and the Dardanelles. The role of neutral sea powers, such as the Swedes in the Baltic and the Dutch in the East Indies, is examined from the perspective of how their neutrality affected naval activity. Also discussed is the part played by the U.S. Navy and the often overlooked, but far from negligible, role of the Japanese navy. The latter is viewed in the context of the opening months of the war and in the Mediterranean during the height of the submarine crisis of 1917.