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Best Books on Jutland?

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2020 3:54 am
by AdmiralSemmes
Trying to pick out a couple of WWI naval books for the holidays this year, and I'm wondering what books on Jutland are recommended. Andrew Gordon's The Rules of the Game is very often recommended, and John Campbell's massive tome is pricey, but seems to be worth it. Is Nick Jellicoe's book worth looking into? I'll likely be getting Skagerrak, as that's likely the best single book on the High Seas Fleet at the battle.

Re: Best Books on Jutland?

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2020 4:11 pm
by OpanaPointer
Jellicoe's book would be a good start.

Re: Best Books on Jutland?

Posted: Tue Dec 08, 2020 1:48 am
by Byron Angel
Nick Jellicoe's book is very good. ?You might also want to look at -

"The Battle of Jutland" by John Brooks
https://www.amazon.com/Battle-Jutland-C ... 118&sr=8-1

"Dreadnought Gunnery and the Battle of Jutland" by John Brooks
https://www.amazon.com/Dreadnought-Gunn ... 213&sr=8-2


Happy Xmas!

Byron

Re: Best Books on Jutland?

Posted: Tue Dec 08, 2020 5:13 pm
by OpanaPointer
Damn, I'm out of the book buying window. :oops:

Re: Best Books on Jutland?

Posted: Thu Dec 10, 2020 2:12 pm
by Thorsten Wahl
The Battle of Jutland Bank, May 31 to June 1, 1916 the dispatches of Admiral Sir John Jellicoe and Vice-Admiral Sir David Beatty (1916) 100 pg
The Battle of Jutland The Sowing and the Reaping by Commander Carlyon Bellairs, M.P. ~350 pg
What happened at Jutland,Commander C.C. Gill U.S. Navy ~200 pg
Battle of Jutland Official Dispatches with appendices (~700 pg)

Re: Best Books on Jutland?

Posted: Sat Dec 19, 2020 9:45 pm
by Byron Angel
Allow me to add one more book, if I may -

"The Battle of Jutland" by Captain Holloway H Frost
https://www.amazon.com/Battle-Jutland-H ... merReviews

Not a book for idle readers. Frost was a serving officer in the USN, attached to the USN Office of Naval Intelligence immediately after WW1. As such he had extensive contacts with German naval officers present at the battle. He presents a professional's view of the battle that benefits from contact with both opponents.

FWIW.
Happy Holidays to All.

Byron

Re: Best Books on Jutland?

Posted: Sat Dec 26, 2020 9:54 pm
by wadinga
Hello Byron,

I really can't support your suggestion of Frost's book. My observations were included in another recent thread. Summarized:
Another uncritical cheerleader for the imperial German Navy is the improbably named Holloway Halstead Frost, a US Naval officer whose 1930s Jutland book is quoted extensively by Staff, since like him it accuses Jellicoe of dilatory behaviour bordering on cowardice, accepts uncritically all Scheer's later re-imaginings of what actually happened and unequivocally awards the High Seas Fleet a significant victory. Cheerleader? Well he apparently wrote "Hats off to Hipper!" as a comment.
Both Frost and Staff accept uncritically Scheer's frankly ludicrous assertion that he risked the entire fleet's survival to offer some succour to the crippled Wiesbaden. He didn't deliver any, by the way, and just got his T crossed a second time.
As for Scheer "spinning" his lacklustre performance in post war reflections on the Skagerrakschlacht, it is to be expected, but just as Jellicoe and Beatty's shortcomings have been mercilessly exposed, the job of commentators like Frost and Staff should be to fairly subject German commanders to equal scrutiny. I suspect there was a touch of "Pulling the Lion's Tail" in Frost's account as an officer in a "friendly" rival navy.
To avoid such grotesque distortions as are perpetrated by dyed-in-the-wool Anglophobes like Frost and Staff try

Jutland: The German Perspective by V E Tarrant and/or Jutland 1916 Death in the Grey Wastes by Nigel Steel & Peter Hart. Both are even-handed and detailed accounts. Merciless on both British and German shortcomings, generous to intelligence and bravery on both sides.

All the best

wadinga

Re: Best Books on Jutland?

Posted: Wed Dec 30, 2020 12:19 am
by Byron Angel
Sorry, Sean. Methinks thou doth protest too much.

Frost was an Annapolis graduate and a highly regarded USN career officer. He served for a good period time in the USN Office of Naval Intelligence, where he undertook deep research into both Jutland and the respective fleets; I have copies of several ONI analyses prepared by him during his time at ONI. All told, he devoted sixteen years of study to Jutland, with extensive access to official records and surviving participants from both sides. His book belongs on the shelf of every serious student of the battle, whether one agrees with all his conclusions or not.

B

Re: Best Books on Jutland?

Posted: Thu Dec 31, 2020 2:26 am
by wadinga
Hi Byron,

Well we are are all entitled to our own opinions :cool:

It may well be that friction created when he was
aide to Commander, American Patrol Detachment, Atlantic Fleet, a billet in which he played a significant role in developing the tactics of surface and air forces in combined operations against submarines
when dealing with perhaps arrogant and overbearing RN officers who regarded the USN as "Johnny-come-latelies" and an adjunct to be ordered about as inexperienced juniors, created a resentment which he harboured and which coloured his judgement in his later writings. Certainly US Army dealings on the Western Front with their Allies were frequently frosty, coloured by the clash of mighty egos.

Ernest King's Anglophobia delayed the adoption of hard-earned expertise in the Second World War. Sadly Allies are often divided by a common language.

George W Prescott is a prolific reviewer of naval books on Amazon, he writes:
Holloway H Frost spent years studying the battle of Jutland and this is his monument. The book is NOT the "be all and end all" on Jutland, however, as Frost was unacquainted with the issue of the failure of the Admiralty of supplying proper wireless intelligence to Jellicoe, and fails to grasp that while Jellicoe could lose the war in an afternoon, he could not win it in an afternoon. Dengrating Jellicoe for not being a Nelson, he forgets that two of Nelson's greatest victories (the Nile and Copenhagen) were against opponents who could not run and the other (Trafalgar) was against one who would not. After facing the Grand Fleet, Scheer's great desire was to run. It takes t[w]o to tango - and two to have a great naval battle.


Mr Prescott is an American.

All the Best to you and all for the New Year

wadinga

Re: Best Books on Jutland?

Posted: Mon Jan 04, 2021 10:40 pm
by Byron Angel
Despite his rather superficial and inaccurate (see chapter VIII, Frost) review, it appears that Mr Prescott nevertheless gave Frost's work four stars.

The nub of the problem here is the assumption that Frost's criticisms must unquestionably derive from simple anglophobia. I very much doubt that to have been so. Were that the case, how then does one account for the various points of praise he extended to the British?

B