German Naval Strategy, 1856-1888: Forerunners to Tirpitz, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

German Naval Strategy, 1856-1888

Forerunners to Tirpitz, 1st Edition

By David H. Olivier


228 pages

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This book is a comparative study of the evolution of the German navy in the second half of the nineteenth century. It examines the development of strategy, especially commerce-raiding, in comparison to what other navies were doing in this era of rapid technological change. It is not an insular history, merely listing ship rosters or specific events; it is a history of the German navy in relation to its potential foes. It is also a look at a new military institution involved in an inter-service rivalry for funds, technology and manpower with the prestigious and well-established army.


"In this book Olivier carefully analyses the development of German naval strategic thinking, he sheds new light upon the role of its most important officers. His analysis is convincing, and his book is a very good read." --International Journal of Maritime History

Table of Contents

Part 1: Change in a Changing World: Naval law and technology in the nineteenth century 1. The Roots of Plunder: Privateering and the laws of war at sea to 1865 2. Means and Method: Naval technology and theory in the mid-nineteenth century 2.1 Technology and Navies: New ships, new weapons Part 2: Early Days, Early Dreams: The navies of Prussia and the North German Confederation, 1856-1871 3. Precursor to Empire: The Prussian navy to 1864 4. The Wars of German Unification and Sea Power, 1864-1871 Part 3: The Army at the Helm: The navy in the Stosch and Caprivi eras, 1871-1888 5. Albrecht von Stosch and the Neglected Navy, 1871-1872 5.1 1871: The unhappy peace 6. Diverse Fortunes: The Navy Under Stosch, 1873-1883 7. Two Schools of Thought: The Jeune École and the cruiser admirals 8. Caprivi Off Course: Colonial sideshows, operations planning, construction policies and tactical development, 1884-1888

About the Author

David Olivier holds a Ph.D in History from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada.

About the Series

Cass Series: Naval Policy and History

This series consists primarily of original manuscripts by research scholars in the general area of naval policy and history, without national or chronological limitations. 

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Europe / Germany
HISTORY / Military / General
HISTORY / Military / Strategy
HISTORY / Military / Naval