With the Battle Cruisers
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Of the half-great men, or great half-men, of our time, in whom lack of scruple in the pursuit of large ends is held to be a positive virtue, Lord Fisher was probably as the near the whole man as any; and this story may as well begin with him . . . This is the arresting opening to With the Battle cruisers, Filson Young's unique account of life inside the Grand Fleet. Young's connections with the Liberal administration resulted in a unique and arresting portrait of Jackie Fisher, architect of British naval policy and service, beside one of its most controversial leaders, Sir David Beatty. His is thus the sole eyewitness account of the British navy at the outbreak of the First World War. The six months he was with the fleet saw the battles of Coronel and the Falklands, the sinking of the Audacious, the terrible loss to U-Boats of the armored cruisers Aboukir, Hogue and Cressy, as well as the skirmish at Heligoland Bight. Most important of all, he was with the fleet at Dogger Bank during the first great clash of the Dreadnoughts. His account combines astute analysis of grand strategy with detailed and often humorous accounts of what the life and thoughts of the men of the Grand Fleet were. It is thus an important contribution to the story of the British navy. This is its first publication for many years.
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