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Building the Kaiser's Navy: The Imperial Naval Office and German Industry in the Von Tirpitz Era, 1890-1919

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During the nineteenth century the British navy ruled the world's oceans unopposed. By the end of the century, however, Germany in particular was ready to challenge England's hegemony on the seas by building a powerful navy of its own. The selection of Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz, commander of the German cruiser squadron of the Far East, to carry out the task, proved to be a During the nineteenth century the British navy ruled the world's oceans unopposed. By the end of the century, however, Germany in particular was ready to challenge England's hegemony on the seas by building a powerful navy of its own. The selection of Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz, commander of the German cruiser squadron of the Far East, to carry out the task, proved to be a fortuitous choice. By the time of World War I, the German High Seas Fleet was a formidable opponent for the Royal Navy. This book by Gary E. Weir is the first major historical analysis of the interaction between the imperial German Navy and the German armaments industry during the era of Alfred von Tirpitz. Weir makes clear the significant contribution of von Tirpitz to Germany's rise as a naval power. As head of the imperial Naval Office (the Reichsmarineamt, or RMA), von Tirpitz gained leverage over private shipbuilders and armament suppliers and at the same time kept the navy independent of government control. His considerable talents as a politician, shipbuilder, strategist, propagandist and manager were to a great degree responsible for the High Seas Fleet encountered by the Royal Navy at Jutland. Ironically, von Tirpitz never commanded the navy he built. Weir does not fail to delineate the shortcomings of his naval system, which was responsible for the fact that those in charge of the fleet's operations played little part in its creation. Von Tirpitz's system also resulted in a disregard of the significance of U-boat potential and a lack of geographic, strategic, and operational considerations. Nevertheless, his profound influence in the navy persisted through the Weimar Republic and into the Third Reich, in thepolicies of Admiral Erich Raeder, veteran of Jutland. Based on research in primary German sources from key repositories such as the German federal military archives in Freiburg and the Krupp archives in Essen, this book is bound to stimulate further scholarship in the field of G


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During the nineteenth century the British navy ruled the world's oceans unopposed. By the end of the century, however, Germany in particular was ready to challenge England's hegemony on the seas by building a powerful navy of its own. The selection of Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz, commander of the German cruiser squadron of the Far East, to carry out the task, proved to be a During the nineteenth century the British navy ruled the world's oceans unopposed. By the end of the century, however, Germany in particular was ready to challenge England's hegemony on the seas by building a powerful navy of its own. The selection of Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz, commander of the German cruiser squadron of the Far East, to carry out the task, proved to be a fortuitous choice. By the time of World War I, the German High Seas Fleet was a formidable opponent for the Royal Navy. This book by Gary E. Weir is the first major historical analysis of the interaction between the imperial German Navy and the German armaments industry during the era of Alfred von Tirpitz. Weir makes clear the significant contribution of von Tirpitz to Germany's rise as a naval power. As head of the imperial Naval Office (the Reichsmarineamt, or RMA), von Tirpitz gained leverage over private shipbuilders and armament suppliers and at the same time kept the navy independent of government control. His considerable talents as a politician, shipbuilder, strategist, propagandist and manager were to a great degree responsible for the High Seas Fleet encountered by the Royal Navy at Jutland. Ironically, von Tirpitz never commanded the navy he built. Weir does not fail to delineate the shortcomings of his naval system, which was responsible for the fact that those in charge of the fleet's operations played little part in its creation. Von Tirpitz's system also resulted in a disregard of the significance of U-boat potential and a lack of geographic, strategic, and operational considerations. Nevertheless, his profound influence in the navy persisted through the Weimar Republic and into the Third Reich, in thepolicies of Admiral Erich Raeder, veteran of Jutland. Based on research in primary German sources from key repositories such as the German federal military archives in Freiburg and the Krupp archives in Essen, this book is bound to stimulate further scholarship in the field of G

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