Barrie Pitt con Coronel and Falkland (English Edition)
Britain’s Naval supremacy is being challenged for the first time since Trafalgar.
At large in South American waters within reach of the convoy routes across the Atlantic and the Pacific was Vice-Admiral Graf von Spee with the East Asiatic Cruiser Squadron of the Imperial German Navy, including the armoured cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau.
Graf von Spee’s belief that a cruiser squadron was of more strategic value than independent raiders seemed amply justified at Coronel on 1st November, when the powerful German unit inflicted a heavy defeat on four courageous but weaker British ships under Rear-Admiral Sir Christopher Cradock.
Reaction in Britain was immediate and violent.
The Royal Navy had been seen as invincible.
Now, in the first major engagement in which battle had been offered since the days of Nelson, it had suffered a morale-shattering blow. Public bewilderment turned swiftly to anger: the Royal Navy thirsted for revenge.
The Admiralty, in the persons of the First Lord, Mr. Winston Churchill, and the First Sea Lord, Lord Fisher, ordered the destruction of the East Asiatic Squadron; everything must be done to recapture command of the Southern Seas.
A powerful force including the two battle-cruisers Invincible and Inflexible, was sent to the Falkland Islands, prepared for a long search and a battle of annihilation.
The Battle of the Falkland Islands was fought on 8th December. The desperate gallantry of the Imperial German Navy challenged the vengeful pride of the Royal Navy in a struggle for control over the ocean trade-routes of the Southern Seas.
Two of the major participants, Cradock and von Spee, died with their ships.
Basing his text upon German and British records, Pitt has reconstructed the events of the two ‘missing periods’: the fatal hours during which Cradock decided to fling his puny force against von Spee’s squadron; and the days when von Spee was forced to risk his ships and men upon the information contained in an ill-considered telegram and an unfounded rumour.
In Coronel and Falkland Barrie Pitt presents a vivid picture of these epic battles of the First World War. His description of the actions are precise and graphic, his judgement of the motives and decisions of those in command, scrupulous and detailed.
Praise for Zeebrugge
“Mr. Barrie Pitt has done a splendid job in pulling together all the details of this operation and presenting it in a lively way, with plenty of maps and diagrams.” — News Chronicle
“A breathless and unforgettable narrative.” — Sphere
“Mr. Pitt’s description of the desperate action on Zeebrugge Mole itself must be one of the most graphic accounts ever written in the annals of sea warfare. This in truth was a magnificent feat by the Royal Navy.” — Yorkshire Evening Post
“A lively and detailed narrative, admirably illustrated, of a particularly gallant effort, which will serve to keep alive the fame of that band of heroes.” — Naval Review
Praise for Special Boat Squadron
‘Barrie Pitt’s account of the exploits of these brave men in the Mediterranean is as much a thriller as a history book’ - The Daily Mail, Hull (less)