Book Review: The Great War at Sea: A Naval Atlas, 1914-1919


by Marcus Faulkner

Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2015. Pp. xiv, 170. Illus., maps, tables, biblio., index. $75.95. ISBN: 1591141923

An Outstanding Global Look at Naval Operations during the First World War

In style and content, Faulkner’s new work is rather similar to his earlier War at Sea: A Naval Atlas, 1939-1945, which also has excellent maps by Andrew Lambert, 125 this time.  Faulkner opens with a preface, an introduction, and an explanation of usage and abbreviations, which are worth reading as they help explain the purpose of the book and provide the reader with guidance in interpreting the maps and tables. There follow a series of chapters that cover the naval events of the war year-by-year, with maps and quite often tables outlining fleet composition and other useful information, as well as many illustrations, some rather rare.

Each chapter opens with an overview of the general naval situation, and the follows with a more detailed treatment of the events as they unfolded, with an occasional summaries of maritime events in a particular area over the course of the war. While the work is necessarily heavy on German and British operations in the North Sea and submarine and commerce raiding, naval operations in other areas are not neglected.

Faulkner offers an excellent look at operations in the Adriatic, Black Sea, and the Baltic, including operations against he Bolsheviks in 1919, theatres largely neglected in most treatments of the war, while covering such seeming “side shows” as Japanese patrol and escort missions in the Pacific and elsewhere, including commando raids, not only Zeebrugge and Ostend, but also Buccari, Trieste, and others, as well as patterns of routine patrols, amphibious operations, most notably Gallipoli, of course, but also the German landings in the Gulf of Riga, and more.

This is an excellent work for anyone interested in the Great War at sea or naval operations in general.


Reviewer: A. A. Nofi, Review Editor   

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