Friday, 21 June 2013

My Memoirs (Volumes I & II) by Alfred von Tirpitz

My Memoirs (Strategy Classics)

*Complete unabridged edition containing Volumes I & II
*An engaging new Centenary introduction
*Specially formatted for Kindle by humans
*Newly edited and illustrated with over 24 originally sourced images
*Annotated with informative historical detail
*Includes extracts from Tirpitz's war correspondence
*Illustrations depict key figures and themes in the book

My Memoirs (Volumes I & II) by Alfred von Tirpitz

For the first time Grand Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz's complete memoirs are presented in a single illustrated volume. The so-called "the architect of the German high seas fleet," a major figure in Imperial and Weimar Germany, Tirpitz was instrumental to determining the size and shape of the Imperial navy. During the war, lacking power he was increasingly sidelined for his criticisms of Germany's defensiveness in the naval war, and was made a scapegoat domestically and abroad for its failures. In these memoirs Tirpitz attempts to set the record straight, and presents his case in a manner that would help define the future. Throughout the book Tirpitz claims that it was the lack of national pride that defeated Germany and that should the navy had been used aggressively against England, particularly in the early years of the war, a more just peace might have been secured.

In post-war Germany where frustration and resentment about the war were rife Tirpitz set himself to politics, attempting to lead a united nationalist movement of the right to establish an anti-democratic military dictatorship.In so doing,he drew on his legacy as someone who had consistently argued for peace with Russian and a more aggressive naval campaign against England during the war.

First published in 1919, Tirpitz's memoirs were one of the first statements by the political establishment about the conduct of the war and his many observations about naval warfare were to become entrenched in the outlook of the Kriegsmarine.

Readers looking for an accessible view of the background to, the events of and the repercussions of the naval war 1914-1918 should look no further than this volume. With an explanatory introduction, the book covers every conceivable topic, from the diplomatic kindle of the Navy bills, torpedo boats and submarine warfare, the strategic questions faced by Germany in relation to France, England, the USA and Russia, to the internal relations within the establishment between the Kaiser, the chancellor and the army and navy.

An arch nationalist and monarchist, yet also a moderniser who on at least two occasions vied for the chancellorship of Germany, Tirpitz is a figure that no serious discussion of the IWW could ignore. His frustration at not being able to use the fleet he so diligently built is palpable, and he leaves no stone unturned in order to justify why his, at times perceptive, at other times vain and outlandish, ideas of how Germany could have established itself as a world power through the force of it's navy, should have been better heard.

Indeed one of the many fascinating elements of this book is the extent to which German leaders saw as likely, the possibility that England might in fact side with Germany, or at least remain neutral towards her. Tirpitz believed strongly that a powerful German fleet was a useful deterrent to this end. Although history showed otherwise, there is no question that in many questions concerning the conduct of the war, had things been done his way, there may well have been a very different post-war configuration of political power.

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