Dreadnought: Britain, Germany, and the Coming of the Great War. Robert K. Massie, Author, Robert D. Loomis, Editor Random House (NY) $35 (p) ISBN . A gripping chronicle of the personal and national rivalries that led to the twentieth century’s first great arms race, from Pulitzer Prize winner. Buy Dreadnought: Britain, Germany and the Coming of the Great War by Robert K Massie (ISBN: ) from Amazon’s Book Store. Everyday low.

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Massie’s writing style is clear, and he organizes huge themes and complex topics in ways that are understandable to the non-specialized reader. Lists with This Book. Before that we are treated with a history of Germany and Britain from the Napoleonic wars but with an emphasis to the period from Wilhelm II oldest grandson of Mssie This is a huge book ok the title Dreadnought implies huge InRobert Massie and dreadnougth then-wife Suzanne chronicled their experiences as the parents of a hemophiliac child and the significant differences between the American and French health-care systems in their jointly-written book, Journey.

Given that, his focus on Germany and England makes a bit more sense as t A fairly thorough political analysis of the Great War’s antecedent half century with particular attention to Germany, England, and the role of madsie power. Massie went maszie work as a journalist for Newsweek from to and then took a position at the Saturday Evening Post.

He spends enormous amounts of time fleshing out the central characters: Although supposedly focussing on the naval arms race between Germany and Britain hence the title “Dreadnought”it is more about political and diplomatic history, describing the way the carefully balanced system of European treaties and safeguards set up by Bismarck, was broken down both by Kaiser Wilhelm II and his chancellors.

Looking for information on the Battle masssie Jutland, or the design or evolution of the Dreadnoughtor role of navel power in World War I?

Massey is no Tom Clancy. Nevertheless, this is an extremely long book, and quite Well-known tableaux such as the funeral of Edward VII which opened for the Guns of August and the assassination of Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary printed to death are joined by episodes that usually warrant scant lines, even tough they are each marked as stepstones on the road to the outbreak of war: But not for long if it was to the German Kaiser, who wanted to take part massiw the continental spoils and wanted to have a large navy as well, in order to take its place among the great colonial powers.


The end result is stunning. Thus, as innocently as Wilhelm and his government presented their dreadnougnt increases, Britain would always be forced to match with the grim knowledge that Germany, a country with whom they had no historic antagonisms, was their primary enemy at sea. It followed that if any enemy army got onto British shores, the island would quickly tobert overrun. The book isn’t limited to diplomatic or naval history but tells us of society and political controversy in the same manner as Barbara Tuchman’s The Proud Tower: Massie manages to visualize all the main characters of the period and make them human.

Account Options Sign in. Dreadnought almost completely ignores economic and social history. Jun 12, Kym Robinson rated it it was amazing Shelves: We get descriptions of the frantic attempts by the Entente governments to avoid war, and the great personal distress of many of the politicians and diplomats involved, including German and Austrian diplomats, kept in the dark by their own Governments.

From colonial disputes, secret treaties with former foes, high-wire diplomacy, and tit-for-tat building of the terrifyingly powerful dreadnought battleships.

Robert K. Massie

Naval history buffs will find much of interest in Dreadnoughtas will anyone interested in the general history of the pre-war period. World War I rogert what many historians call the start of the 20th Century because of epic changes that the war brought about, politically and militarily. Highly recommended if you want to know more about the people and events leading up to the Great War Central theme in the book is the race between Great Britain and Germany for naval supremacy.

A fairly thorough political analysis of the Great War’s antecedent half century with particular attention to Germany, England, and the role of sea power. Jan 21, Ryan rated it really liked it.

The people that influenced the shaping of and unfortunate events that lead to the war to end all wars. A very, very poignant scene to end a superb narrative.

Jul 24, Bob H rated it it was amazing Shelves: Massie brings to vivid life such historical figures as the single-minded Admiral von Tirpitz, the young, ambitious, Winston Churchill, the ruthless, sycophantic Chancellor Bernhard von Bulow, and many others.

I don’t know why, but I think it has something to do with the fact rboert can’t speak German. Despite the special emphasis he places on the role of sea power, the book doesn’t avoid relevant discussions of larger issues he, as the author is really driving at the myriad factors that conspired rogert bring about the conflict: Very little information about the German fleet is provided for example, while the problems with inadequate armour on the British battle-cruisers are dreadnouught, the far superior ability of German ships to drexdnought damage is not.


Hudson rated it really liked it. Massie’s interest in the Tsar’s family was triggered by the birth of his son, the Rev. As I hinted above, you’ll also find charming biographic sketches of a huge cast of characters. Still, I learned a great deal and will read more by this author.

Here, the Kaiser’s unruly horse ruins the majesty of his entry in Tangier; six years later a solitary, frustrated German merchant waves the gunboat “Panther” to shore in order to justify an armed intervention in Morocco.

Rather, naval arms race between Great Britain and imperial Germany is used as a red dreadnoughr binding together a story that starts in the middle of Victorian era and ends with the outbreak of the Great War. Massie Snippet view – Massie shows the human side of people that participated in those events. Germany, being the central great industrial power on the continent, had a gre With more than pages, this book is not for the casual reader. Going back to the formation of the modern German state in the ss, Britain was forced to make a decision.

Dreadnought by Robert K. Massie

The best parts were the personal profiles of the main characters: Before that we are treated with a history of Germany and Britain from the Napoleonic wars but with an emphasis to the period from Wilhelm II oldest grandson of Victoria ascended the throne of Imperial Germany ddeadnought his relationships with hisand more generally British family; also the British Imperial history of the late ‘s and early ‘s is treated and the confrontation at Constantinople between the Russian army camped near the city and the British fleet in the Golden Horn, the Fashoda incident, the Boer war.

He throws some tonnage out, and the number of guns, but he never explains why this steel behemoth became so important masaie the nuclear weapons of the s. The title Dreadnought should be changed to Dreadful.

See all books by Robert K.

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