by Innes McCartney
New York: Osprey / Bloomsbury USA, 2016. Pp. 272.
. Illus., plans, diagr., biblio., index. $50.00. ISBN: 1844864162
Nautical Archaeology in the Service of Naval History
Jutland, the biggest battleship shoot-out in history, has had literally hundreds of books devoted to it, memoirs, academic studies, official reports, and more. Yet it is also one of the most contentious naval actions, with seemingly innumerable questions about pretty much every aspect of the fight.
In Jutland 1916, nautical archaeologist McCartney offers answers to some of the questions. Based on years of exploring the wrecks scattered on the bottom of the North Sea, McCartney had managed to identify the location of every ship sunk in the battle. This helps clarify the at times murky record of the movements of the ships and the timings of some of the clashes during the action. It also reveals the full extent of damage incurred by some ships.
McCartney does an excellent job of explaining the techniques used to identify ships, such as by examining their machinery, where no other clues are apparent.
With its valuable insights into the battle, Jutland 1916 is essential reading for anyone interested in the Great War at sea, or naval warfare in general.