||Naval Institute Press
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Foreword by Admiral Sir John Woodward... This book has prompted me to think about several fairly fundamental tilings concerning preparedness for war. Andrew Gordon's ostensible purpose is with command-and-control aspects of the Battle of Jutland, and these he analyses in considerable detail. I can claim no expertise on the First World War, but I can say that his account seems to me convincing from the professional viewpoint, and feels right in service-cultural terms. However, the book's main import is the way Gordon demonstrates that, to understand the command-and-control dynamics of Jutland, we have to dig quite a long way back into the Navy's peacetime past. The keynote of battle-doctrine in Victorian times stemmed from the imperative to try to regulate everything- even the nature of combat, which, of course, caimotbe done. Gordon persuasively argues that a defining moment for the Royal Navy's battle-worthiness was the curtailment (after a disastrous collision) in 1893 of the one really promising attempt to return the Fleet's tactical doctrine to Nelsonic fundamentals. The result was that the Navy had to rediscover, from the bitter experiences of 1914-16, much about warfare which it should never have forgotten in the first place...