By Robert K Massie
In August 1914 the two greatest navies in the world confronted each other across the North Sea. At first there were skirmishes, then battles off the coasts of England and Germany and in the far corners of the world, including the Falklands. The British attempted to force the Dardanelles with battleships - which led to the Gallipoli catastrophe. As the stalemate on the ground on the Western Front continued, the German Navy released a last strike against the British 'ring of steel'. The result was Jutland, a titanic and brutal battle between dreadnoughts.
The knowledge, understanding and literary power Robert K. Massie brings to this story is unparalleled. There will never again be a war like this in which seagoing monsters hurl shells at each other until one side is destroyed. The story is driven by some of the most dramatically intriguing personalities in history: Churchill and Jacky Fisher, Jellicoe and Beatty. And then there were the powerful Germans - von Pohl, Scheer, Hipper, and the grand old fork-bearded genius Tirpitz. Castles of Steel is a book about leadership and command, bravery and timidity, genius and folly, qualities which are of course displayed magnificently by Robert K. Massie's literary mastery.