The Great War in the Baltic

800px-The_PoltavaMy most recent project deals with The Great War in the Baltic. Amateur historians and naval buffs may know of Fisher’s folly to bring the Royal Navy into the Baltic to land Russian troops and advance on Berlin. They may also have heard of Operation Albion were the Germans occupied the islands off of Estonia. Yet in the three plus years of the war, and longer if you add in the Civil War, the Baltic was a battlefield involving Russian, German and British warships. Trade was interdicted between neutral Sweden and German by British submarines. Supplies were sent by sea to Finland and the Baltic states during the Civil War.  Russian and German cruisers and destroyers dueled it out in these coastal waters. German and British sailors and troops took part in operations at sea and ashore, yet little is written that I can find other than passing remarks in general histories.

412px-GulfofFinlanddefence1917While it may be possible to find titles if I read Russian I have not even seen foreign language titles to spur my interest. Right now my library is limited to these six titles.

  • Conway’s All the World’s Fighting Ships, 1860-1905
  • Conway’s All the World’s Fighting Ships: 1906-1921
  • To Crown the Waves
  • Naval Weapons of World War One
  • Battle for the Baltic Islands 1917: Triumph of the Imperial German Navy
  • Operation Albion: The German Conquest of the Baltic Islands

Four are reference works and the other two are on a single campaign.

The Internet has helped but I feel I must be missing something. Are there out-of-print works that I am not aware of? In the peaking order of written nautical historiography the Russians do not appear to have made the cut. Royal Navy yes, same with the German Kaiserliche Marine. Even the Austro-Hungarian navy is represented in print. But the Russian and French navies seem to have come up short. I wonder why?

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7 Responses to The Great War in the Baltic

  1. ncc1717 says:

    “The Russian Fleet 1914-1917,” by Rene Greger has a 19 page chronology of the naval actions in the Baltic, as well as tables of losses. It is out of print, but I got a copy through Amazon.

    “Battleships in Action, Vol II,” (~1926) by H.W.Wilson has a 14-page chapter on Baltic operations. Also out of print.

  2. Scott Siebold says:

    One of my references is “the Imperial Russian Navy”, author is Anthony J. Watts. Lists Russina fleet from about the 1860s through 1917 (end of imperial Russia).

    Also have the Russian Pre dred-o-nought Fleet (Houston Ships in 1/1000) and a WWII fleet (1/2400 scale).

    Scott Siebold

  3. Karl Gaarsoe says:

    The A. J. Watts book is probably worth going for on ILL Have to look at worldcat….

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