Thursday 23 February 2012

Cruiser Warfare - WW1 German Style

"I love the smell of new books in the morning....they smell books!"

For a variety of reasons it has been a fairly busy couple of weeks - mainly to do with my efforts to secure a new job for when my existing contract comes to an end on Friday of next week. So far I have had little success but there are a few possibilities on the horizon and so I am sure that something will turn up in due course. In the meantime though it has mean lots of phone calls, interviews with agencies and hundreds of emails!

I have not been entirely idle though on the shopping front and so a couple of choice items have crossed the threshold prior to my enforced economy drive. I will detail one of these in a later post but for the time being I was delighted to get home this evening to the book illustrated above - Battle on the Seven Seas: German Cruiser Battles 1914 - 1918 by Gary Staff (ISBN 978-1-84884-182-6) and published by Pen and Sword.

The major German cruiser actions of WW1 need little introduction but the beauty of this book is not only that they are all under one cover but also the author makes much use of German sources for the accounts. His descriptions of the various actions of the Goeben in the Black Sea gives some telling evidence of the state of the Turkish Navy and highlights in very clear detail the problems faced by the Germans. Aside from the usual Coronel, Falklands, Emden and Konigsberg stories there are also accounts of the action off Ostergarn in 1915.

I had planned to visit the Navwar shop last weekend with the view to acquiring a selection of 1/3000th scale cruisers in order to replicate the actions mentioned and to set up some mini campaigns based around the old naval standby of 'Hunting the Raider'. Sadly this may have to postponed for a while but I still have sufficient models to cover the Black Sea if nothing else - and I have just about added the rules for dreadnoughts to MoBaS!


Peter Douglas said...


I'd seen this book online and wondered if it was picking up. Let me know what you think.
Luckily I'm immune to the fleet-buying virus I already own them including the full Black Sea fleet in 1:3000.

What happened at Ostergarn in 1915?

Cheers and enjoy


Tim Gow said...

Lot's of scenario inspiration in there I expect!

David Crook said...

Hi Peter,

I have the Russian for the Black Sea and of course the Balkan Fleets. I fancy the cruiser stuff simply because less models are needed and it would work well from a mini campaign perspective.

I am not sure what happened at Oster garn but I will do soon and I will let you know.

Of course it does mean that I might have to look at the Baltic as a theatre of operations....;-)

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Tim,

I reckon so - and all small scale in terms of numbers required which means some great possibilities for mini campaigns.

All the best,


johntheone said...

Ostergarn off the coast of Gotland an engagement between unit of the Russsian snd german navies

David Crook said...

Hi Johntheone,

I must confess that the naval operations in the Baltic have been a closed book to me but I hope to be able to rectify that and this book would seem to be as good a place as any to start.

All the best,


David Manley said...

I read it last year and reviewed it for the NWS. I will be interested to see what you think of it.

David Crook said...

Hi Dave,

It is next on my 'to read' list so I will let you know as and when.

How did you rate it?

All the best,


Jim Duncan Wargamer said...

Hi David

This looks like a book I'll have to track down. Certainly worth a read.


David Crook said...

Hi Jim,

At first viewing it looks like it will tick a number of boxes on the scenario front. Cruiser based actions in my opinion make for really good games as invariably there are fewer models on the table and so players tend to have think about what they are doing rather more.

I want to acquire a selection of 1/3000th models for the period as a change from the endless North Sea slugfests (not that I mind them!).

All the best,


Sidney Roundwood said...

Looks really interesting, David. I enjoyed Gary Staff's book on the German invasion of the Baltic islands.

David Crook said...

Hi Sydney,

I will have to check that one out - I knew he had written an Osprey on the German Battle cruisers of WW1.

Many thanks for the heads up!

All the best,