At War in Distant Waters

British Colonial Defense in the Great War
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Published:October 15, 2013
By Phillip G. Pattee (Author)

At War in Distant Waters investigates the reasons behind Great Britain’s combined military and naval offensive expeditions outside of Europe during the Great War. Often regarded as unnecessary sideshows to the conflict waged on the European continent, Pattee argues that the various campaigns were necessary adjuncts to the war in Europe, and fulfilled an important strategic purpose by protecting British trade where it was most vulnerable. Since international trade was essential for the island nation’s way of life, Great Britain required freedom of the seas to maintain its global trade. While the German High Seas Fleet was a serious threat to the British coast, forcing the Royal Navy to concentrate in home waters, the importance of the island empire’s global trade made it a valuable target to Germany’s various commerce raiders, just as Admiral Tirpitz’s risk theory had anticipated.

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Product Details
  • Subject: World War I
  • Hardback : 288 pages
  • Illustrations: 4 maps
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press (October 15, 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 1612511945
  • ISBN-13: 9781612511948
  • Product Dimensions: 6 X 9 in
  • Shipping Weight: 18.86 oz
  • “…provides a new perspective on the importance of trade and economics in the formulation of British global strategy.”—The Historian
  • “In general, it is founded on excellent original research: the author has made extensive use of original and secondary materials and firmly bases the work within the context of the existing historiography. It is original, compelling and persuasive.”—International Journal of Maritime History
  • "At War in Distant Waters is an excellent piece of scholarship. Lucidly told, it addresses a side of naval strategy too frequently ignored and is warmly recommended to the academic no less than to those only acquainted with the topic."—International Journal of Naval History
  • “Pattee tells a thorough and clearly organized story of foreign policy and a thoughtful strategy to protect British trade during World War I. He argues convincingly that the naval missions to German colonies were decisive in the preservation of a trade network critical to Britain’s survival. He does a valuable service by clarifying how naval intelligence and operations, the use of Dominion and allied forces, government insurance guarantees for shipping, and persuasive diplomacy with neutral countries together achieved Britain’s goals and protected its interests. Sharp strategic judgments at home won the 'War in Distant Waters.'”—Michigan War Studies Review
  • “This book describes the strategically important British combined naval and military operations that neutralized the commerce raiders and the German colonies overseas that supported them.”—Seapower
  • At War in Distant Waters is a valuable addition to the literature of WWI at sea and Phillip Pattee has done valuable work in stressing the relative importance of defence on distant stations.”—The Naval Review
  • "This book is impressively researched and well written with an easy to follow narrative. The author makes his points clearly and supports them with reasonable evidence. He is able to pull together a worldwide effot and show its interrelation in the bigger picure of World War I."- Military Heritage

Phillip G. Pattee, a retired U.S. Navy submarine officer, is an Associate Professor of strategy and military operations at the U.S. Army Command and Staff College. He previously served as faculty at the U.S. Army War College. His holds a BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Washington and a PhD in military and diplomatic history from Temple University. He lives in Lansing, KS.

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