second chance games

Search This Website of delight

Showing posts with label Quintin Barry. Show all posts

The War in the North Sea The Royal Navy and The Imperial German Navy 1914-1918  by Quintin Barry   Another Quintin B...

The War in The North Sea by Quintin Barry The War in The North Sea by Quintin Barry

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

Quintin Barry


Quintin Barry 

 Another Quintin Barry book from Helion&Company, and again it is an excellent one. This follows all of the history of the war in the North sea during WWI. Of course, Jutland is there, but it is by no means the only subject covered. It is also full of pictures of the ships and men that made up the British and German forces. The book is not sparing on maps either, so that you can easily follow the book through all of the engagements and the background history of them.

 The book starts with a history of the British strategic planning. This is mostly a discussion of what type of a blockade the British would use, a close one or a wide one. A close one would have afforded the German navy many more engagements to try and pare the Royal Navy down. By choosing a wide blockade and doing sweeps with larger forces, the chance of the German Imperial Navy to pounce on small groups of the British Navy and even up the odds were much more distant. The author continues with a look back on the birth and growth of the German High Seas Fleet. Mr. Barry then starts to describe the various encounters between the two combatants, starting with Heligoland Bight and on to Dogger Bank. Jutland, as is natural, takes up a good amount of the author's writing. He goes deeply into the reasons for the battle and the actual history of the gigantic clash. Then he presents both sides of the British arguments about who did what, and when, during the battle and if it was the correct move for that admiral to take. There has been a hundred year fight going on between the proponents of Jellicoe and Beatty. Each side believes that his admiral was correct in his actions and that the other was wrong. It also boils over into whether Jellicoe was too timid during the engagement. Mr. Barry shows that some of the recollections of Beatty and his actual statements at times are not in fact what actually happened historically. Beatty, by virtually forgetting about the tremendously powerful Fifth battle squadron of fast battleships, himself lost a good chance to do some damage to the German High Seas Fleet. Jellicoe who was  once described as the "man who could lose the war in an afternoon", is usually shown in books to be very afraid of torpedo and mine attacks on his fleet. This book shows that every action Jellicoe took that day was already discussed with the Admiralty. One example in particular was turning away his fleet  from a torpedo attack. Torpedoes were still in their infancy, but a few lucky hits might have made all the difference. 

Iron Duke circa 1914

 As far as to who 'won' Jutland the author does not feel that it was unequivocally a British victory. There are many pros and cons to each side of the argument, and the author shows them in all of their facets. Mr. Barry also puts paid the untruths that the German High Seas Fleet never sortied again, and actually did attempt a few major sorties after Jutland.

SMS Seydlitz

 The book continues to describe the  submarine threat against both naval and merchant navies. He also delves into the fledgling naval aviation with descriptions of the Zeppelin and aircraft and their uses in the North sea. The Germans felt that their Zeppelins would really give them an edge in fighting the British Navy. It was to be a misplaced hope.

 Everything you could wish to know about WWI in the North Sea is here. The author once again shows how well history can be written. The book itself is a marvel of how to write history correctly and enjoyably. Thank you once again Helion&Company and Casemate Publishers for an excellent book. If you are are interested in the battle of Koniggratz or the Franco-Prussian war, please see his books on those subjects. I did a review on Volume 1 of the Franco-Prussian War here:


Book: The War in The North Sea
Author: Quintin barry
Publisher: Helion&Company
Distributor: Casemate Publishers

T he Franco-Prussian War 1870-71 Volume 1 by Quintin Barry     The Franco-Prussian War in 1870 set Europe on a course of dea...

The Franco-Prussian War 1870-71 Volume 1 by Quintin Barry The Franco-Prussian War 1870-71 Volume 1 by Quintin Barry

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

Quintin Barry

  The Franco-Prussian War in 1870 set Europe on a course of death and destruction for seventy-five years. The French loss engendered the revenge seen in World War I, which in turn brought on the vengeance of World War II. You might tie the Franco-Prussian War to the collapse of Europe from its dominant place in world politics, due to the above.

 In order for Germany to be united, the War had to happen. The smaller German states would never have rallied around Prussia if there was still a powerful outside nation to play them one against the other. The defeat in 1866 of Austria-Hungary set up Bismarck for his final challenge: to defeat France and then unify Germany over her prostrate form. Had Bismarck not taken Alsace-Lorraine as one of the spoils of war, maybe France would not have seethed so long and hard with the idea of revanche.

Helmuth von Moltke the elder

 The Franco-Prussian War was brought on by a telegram, helped by Bismarck's artful editing, before it was released to the press. The Ems telegram was made to look by Bismarck to be a French ultimatum for assurances that the crown of Spain would not go to a Hohenzollern.

 Mr. Barry, in this first volume about the war, goes into all of the different sticks laid on the proverbial camel's back from 1866 until the aforementioned telegram. He also goes into the building of the Prussian Army, and especially of its general staff under Moltke the elder. The book shows all of the different strengths and weaknesses of both the France and Prussia and her allies' armed forces. The technological superiority of the French Chassepot rifle had almost twice the effective range of the Prussian needle gun. It also explains how the French also misused their 'secret' weapon, the Mitrailleuse, which was the world's first effective machine gun, although it was much closer to a Gatling gun in its actual operation. The Prussian steel breech loading cannon, and their more effective use by them in 1870 compared to 1866, is shown to the reader.

Napoleon III

 The book goes into all of the battles on the frontier, and shows how the French gave better than they received through most of the engagements. The French, with a determined and centralized command structure, might have been able to at least bloody the Prussian nose enough to give Moltke pause. Unfortunately for them, the French soldiers' magnificent fighting was thrown away time after time by their generals. The near suicidal attacks by the Prussian and German soldiers on the French at Spicheren, Weissenburg, and W├Ârth pushed the French relentlessly back out of some excellent defensive positions. This was only after the French had inflicted large casualties on their attackers.

 The encirclement battles of the siege of Metz, and the final battle of the first part of the campaign Sedan are told to the reader along with all of the might have-beens had the French been able to work as an army instead of just as separated units.

 In the beginning of the book there is an interesting memorandum written by Moltke on the subject of the possibility of Austria entering into the war on the side of France:

  "If the political situation brings about a war of France against Prussia then the attitude of Austria will be either decidedly hostile or at least very doubtful. Should we oppose one half of our army to each of these two powers, we would be superior to neither. Therefore the first thing to be considered is: against which enemy will we in the start assume the defensive with minor forces, in order to advance offensively as strong as possible against the other?"

 Seeing that Schlieffen was tutored in the great general staff under Moltke, is it possible that this is where the 'Schlieffen Plan' actually comes from?

   The book was published by Helion and Company and distributed by Casemate Publishing. It includes seventy-four black and white pictures and also has seventeen maps of the campaign and battles.


Book: The Franco-Prussian War 1870-71 Volume 1
Author: Quintin Barry
Publisher: Helion and Company
Distributor: Casemate Publishing
Date of Review: 11/12/16