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Robert K. Massie, the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Peter the Great, Nicholas and Alexandra, and Dreadnought, elevates to its proper historical importance the role of sea power in the winning of the Great War.
The predominant image of this first world war is of mud and trenches, barbed wire, machine guns, poison gas, and slaughter. But with all its sacrifice, trench warfare did not win the war for one side or lose it for the other. Over the course of four years, the lines on the Western Front moved scarcely at all; attempts to break through led only to the lengthening of the already unbearably long casualty lists.
For the true story of military upheaval, Massie asserts, we must look to the sea. On the eve of the war in August 1914, Great Britain and Germany possessed the two greatest navies the world had ever seen. When war came, these two fleets of dreadnoughts were ready to test their power against each other.
Castles of Steel is about war at sea, leadership and command, courage, genius, and folly. All these elements are given magnificent scope by Robert K. Massie’ s special and widely hailed literary mastery.
"[C]omprehensive.... Massie has thoroghly combed the published works on the subject, and his account is solid and reliable.... [U]ndergraduates will find the book absorbing and useful...."
—Choice (American Library Association)