- ISBN/SKU: 9781591143369
- Binding: Paperback
- Era: World War I
- Number of Pages: 720
- Subject: Royal Navy
- Date Available: August 2000
“When the (then) future Chief of Naval Operations is willing to help a book to remain in print, it bears a second look. It is clear that Rules of the Game speaks to the most profound challenges facing the U.S. Navy.”—CIMSEC.org (The Center for Int’l. Maritime Security)
"Explosive.” — Navy News
“A marvelous work...a rare combination of major substance and easy accessibility.”—American Neptune
“A superb study of military culture.” —History Today
“For all naval historians, riveting reading.” —Sunday Telegraph
“The most profound study of Jutland this reviewer has ever read.” — Warship
At Jutland in 1916, the British Grand Fleet, the most powerful in the world, finally engaged and should have crushed its German rival. It failed to do so, and this study aims to reveal that important failures in its handling of the battle originated in conflicting styles of command and different understandings of the rules of the game. Andrew Gordon here examines issues of peace and war relevant not only to Jutland but to all fighting services, and to the present as well as the past.
When published in hardcover in 1997, this book was praised for providing an engrossing education not only in naval strategy and tactics but in Victorian social attitudes and the influence of character on history. In juxtaposing an operational with a cultural theme, the author comes closer than any historian yet to explaining what was behind the often-described operations of this famous 1916 battle at Jutland. Although the British fleet was victorious over the Germans, the cost in ships and men was high, and debates have raged within British naval circles ever since about why the Royal Navy was unable to take advantage of the situation. In this book Gordon focuses on what he calls a fault line between two incompatible styles of tactical leadership within the Royal Navy and different understandings of the rules of the game of war. The book is the winner of the 1997 Westminster Medal for Military Literature and was the Longman/History Today Book of the Year in 1997.
Andrew Gordon was the Class of '57 Distinguished Chair of Naval Heritage at the U.S. Naval Academy from 2007–09. He has a PhD in war studies and is the author of British Sea Power and Procurement between the Wars, an acclaimed exploration of naval policy and administration in the 1920s and 1930s.