To Crown the Waves

The Great Navies of the First World War
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Binding:Hardback
Published:July 15, 2013
By Vincent P. O'Hara (Author), David W. Dickson (Editor), Richard Worth (Editor)

The only comparative analysis available of the great navies of World War I, this work studies the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom, the German Kaiserliche Marine, the United States Navy, the French Marine Nationale, the Italian Regia Marina, the Austro-Hungarian Kaiserliche und Königliche Kriegsmarine, and the Imperial Russian Navy to demonstrate why the war was won, not in the trenches, but upon the waves. It explains why these seven fleets fought the way they did and why the war at sea did not develop as the admiralties and politicians of 1914 expected.

After discussing each navy’s goals and circumstances and how their individual characteristics impacted the way they fought, the authors deliver a side-by-side analysis of the conflict’s fleets, with each chapter covering a single navy. Parallel chapter structures assure consistent coverage of each fleet—history, training, organization, doctrine, materiel, and operations—and allow readers to easily compare information among the various navies. The book clearly demonstrates how the naval war was a collision of 19th century concepts with 20th century weapons that fostered unprecedented development within each navy and sparked the evolution of the submarine and aircraft carrier. The work is free from the national bias that infects so many other books on World War I navies. As they pioneer new ways of viewing the conflict, the authors provide insights and material that would otherwise require a massive library and mastery of multiple languages. Such a study has special relevance today as 20th-century navies struggle to adapt to 21st-century technologies.

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Product Details
  • Subject: World War I
  • Hardback : 360 pages
  • Illustrations: 24 b/w photos; 9 maps
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press (July 15, 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 1612510825
  • ISBN-13: 9781612510828
  • Product Dimensions: 6 X 9 in
  • Shipping Weight: 0 lb
Praise
  • To Crown the Waves is a useful book for the novice or the seasoned student of the war at sea from 1914 through 1918.” —Strategy Page
  • "In To Crown the Waves, Vince O’Hara has led a team of experts in their particular fields in writing a uniform and comprehensive study of each of the major and minor navies of World War I. Each navy is described, from their history to their warships and their design; ports and resources that they had available; their training, strategic and tactical doctrine, and conduct of the war on, over, and under the waves, all supported with numerous tables. As such, this is an excellent introduction to the navies of all of the major and minor powers of World War I and will surprise the ‘expert’ with nuggets of new information on the navies of this era.” — Jack Greene, coauthor of Hitler Strikes North: The Nazi Invasion of Norway & Denmark, April 9, 1940
  • “To grasp what happened at sea during World War I, you need to go beyond the battles and the ships to see how the various navies of World War I expected to fight (and how that differed from what they experienced) and how they were organized to do so. This book is a unique and vital contribution to our understanding of the war at sea in 1914–18.” — Norman Friedman, author of British Cruisers of the Victorian Era and Naval Weapons of World War One
  • To Crown the Waves is a welcome addition to the naval literature of World War I. It provides a concise survey and evaluation of the major navies that goes well beyond mere lists of warships. The chapters are written by experts in their fields, and most readers are likely to learn much that they had not known before.” — Paul G. Halpern, Professor Emeritus, Florida State University and author of A Naval History of World War I
  • “[In To Crown the Waves] anyone who considers the naval war only in terms of a few well-known battles such as Coronel, the Falkland Islands or the Skagerrak will learn, at the very least, that the war at sea had a much larger dimensions. . . . Hardly any aspect is left out in this work. A person interested in the systems of signaling, or who wants to know more about the mine war or the beginnings of naval aviation will find information here. . . . . In addition there is an abundance of tables with information on ships, ship types, guns, torpedoes and mines, warships, losses and the number of existing shipyards. Short summaries and assessments round off the respective sections.” — Militärgeschichtlichen Zeitschrift

Vincent P. O'Hara is an independent scholar and the author of eleven books and many articles. He is the Naval Institute Press 2015 Author of the Year for his most recent work, Torch: North Africa and the Allied Path to Victory. O’Hara holds a history degree from the University of California, Berkeley. He lives in Chula Vista, California.

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W. David Dickson, an expert on Japanese naval doctrine and carrier design, is an author who lives in Hernando, MS.

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Richard Worth, who specializes in warship design, is the author of several books, including Fleets of World War II. He lives in Bolivar, MO.

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