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Jutland: An Analysis of the Fighting Paperback – Sep 1 1998

4.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Lyons Press; First edition (Sept. 1 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558217592
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558217591
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.7 x 3.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 726 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,642,287 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From the Back Cover

Jutland has produced more inconclusive controversy from historians and naval officers than any other modern sea fight, and yet no previous account has made more than passing reference to the extensive records of the battle, such as the action and damage reports and the ammunition expenditure returns, or described adequately the various destroyer actions. Here, for the first time, John Campbell has pieced together and analyzed the wealth of official technical material available from both navies, throwing new light on a host of questions, including how many individual ships stood up to punishment and the quality of each ship's gunnery. As a result of his painstaking study, posterity may have to modify its judgment, for better or worse, of certain naval officers and ship designers.Highly successful on its first publication in the 1980s, Jutland: An Analysis of the Fighting has become the classic authoritative work on the subject, changing the study of Jutland profoundly and establishing the benchmark for all subsequent naval studies of the First World War. Renowned naval historian Antony Preston provides a preface to this new edition of Campbell's influential book. (5 3/4 X 9, 448 pages, diagrams, charts)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Sometimes described as *dry and technically slanted*, Campbell's meticulously wonderful study in the epic sea battle is to me the definitive word on all that is to know about what happened at Jutland. Unprecedented and unsurpassed, Campbell fills in the holes that so many naval historians have left behind while attempting to recount the story of Jutland. The bottom line is I don't see anyone else giving a DETAILED analysis of how and where EACH heavy shell hit a capital ship at Jutland and what happened afterwards. Campbell brings us in fantastically up close to examine the workings of guns, armour, propulsion, fire control and shell hits like no one has done before or after. Rather than saying it should be read with other people's efforts to compensate for its alleged dryness, I'd say all other accounts on Jutland would be woefully superficial without the anchorage of Campbell's immaculately researched findings. To a beginner, you may need to say only *British battlecruiser are weak in armour*. But to a true and seasoned enthusiast, nothing short of how H.M.S Lion suffered each of her 12 (16?) shell hits at Jutland would do. Campbell is the only one so far who has given us that. No one else has come close. I recommend his fabulous work with no hesitation.
Only question : wonder why the drawings about hits on British ships much better than those on German ships???
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Format: Paperback
This is a reference book more so than one you read through to gain an understanding of Jutland. Other reviewers have remarked that it is "dry", and the meaning of this word in this context merits explanation.
Campbell's work is about shells impacting ships or water, and their explosive damage in each case where a ship was hit. It is almost entirely devoid of discussion (or even mention!) of who was where, making which decisions based on what information. It is all "what" and little "why".
In other words, very much a reference work on a very narrow (but novel) forensic aspect of this pivotal naval battle. Indeed, you could read this book and come away with the impression that Jutland was about ghost ships steaming about with no one at the helm.
Every recent book on Jutland cites this as a source, and its accuracy and professionalism in cataloging the "'oo killed 'oo" aspects of the battle, but this book is not unchallenged in all that it contains. Andrew Gordon singles Campbell out tellingly on a point of whether the 5th Battle Squadron was taking fire during its belated turn to the North. Given that the handling of this squadron was amongst the most debated elements of the battle, and Campbell's intent was to track every single shellhole, it seems clear from several seemingly indisputable primary accounts cited in Gordon's book that the ships were receiving heavy fire this entire time -- in fact, at least half of the German ships firing were concentrating on them.
This book is a valuable addition to a scholar's library, but is in every case best when combined with other books, given its finely focused topic area.
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Format: Paperback
The author has compiled an impressive amount of technical data on the Battle of Jutland in 1916. Virtually every important detail concerning major caliber rounds fired and their effects is laid out. Each chapter covers a chronological part of the battle, usually 45-75 minutes each. The final summary provides a very detailed list of the damage to each ship, casualties and ammunition fired in the battle. However this book is limited in several areas. It is not particularly readable because the author seems to have an aversion to the English language in favor of excessive use of jargon and sentence fragments. Organizationally, the book needs a detailed chronology which might reduce some of the redundancy. A big part of the book focuses on the damage to each ship and a huge weakness is the reliance on poor-quality, hard-to-read crude sketches. After all the effort he made to collect the information, the author makes little effort to present it well. Standardized, well-drawn battle damage charts would have made this an outstanding work. The battle maps are generally adequate but the omission for one covering the critical night action was a serious deficiency. Finally, I reached the end and had two critical questions remaining unanswered by the author: first, where German warships really that superior or was it just lucky visibility conditions that aided their gunnery? Second, which fleet was hurt more seriously and how might this have affected a renewed battle if the British Grand Fleet had not lost contact on the night of 31 May 1916? Overall, this is a great technical work but it cannot be read without other, more thorough operational accounts handy.
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Format: Paperback
As a military history buff, I am nearly awestruck by the degree of detail achieved by the author. Indeed, those with less interest in the subject may find the detail overwhelming to the point of distraction. I found the blow by blow account of the battle most impressive, particularly the descriptions of both the damage caused and the operational effect on the forces of both fleets. Perhaps a bit more attention should have been given to the human cost of the battle but those with any appreciable understanding of naval technology will be well able to imagine the effects for themselves. Besides, as the title states, this work is an analysis of the fighting, not a narrative and not a commentary. I found this volume to be of immense value to my better understanding of this pivotal engagement.
For those whose interest includes such detailed considerations as the comparison of shell velocity and diameter versus extent of armored protection, plus the often overlooked contributions of superior fire control and damage control, this work is invaluable.
A must for any true devotee of World War I naval warfare or the evolution of major surface warship types.
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