This book examines the role of the Naval Staff of the Admiralty in the 1914-18 war, reassessing both the calibre of the Staff and the function and structure of the Staff. It challenges some of the views of historians such as Arthur Marder and naval figures such as Captains Herbert Richmond and Kenneth Dewar who had a very influential role in creating the largely bad press that the Staff has received subsequently, showing that their influence has, at times, been both unhealthy and misinformed. The book also stresses the way in which the Staff developed during the war from a small, overstretched and often manipulated body, to a much more highly specialised and successful body, reassessing the roles of key individuals such as Jellicoe and Geddes, and suggesting that the structure of the Staff has, in large measure, been misunderstood and that it was, even from the outset, a rather more sophisticated body than historians have traditionally appreciated. The book also looks at the role that the Staff had in various major naval issues of the war: the role of the Grand Fleet, the war against the Uboat, the Dardanelles Operation and the implementation of the economic blockade against Germany. Overall, the book complements, and at times challenges, both operational histories of the war and biographies of the leading individuals involved.
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