100 books like Castles of Steel

By 0679456716,

Here are 100 books that Castles of Steel fans have personally recommended if you like Castles of Steel. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of The Escape of the Goeben: Prelude to Gallipoli

Eric Dorn Brose Author Of Clash of the Capital Ships: From the Yorkshire Raid to Jutland

From my list on naval warfare in World War One.

Why am I passionate about this?

I retired from Drexel University in 2015 after thirty-six years as a professor of German and European History of the 19th and 20th Centuries. My sub-specialty in the History of Technology carried over into publications that over the years focused increasingly on the German army and navy.

Eric's book list on naval warfare in World War One

Eric Dorn Brose Why did Eric love this book?

When war erupted in August 1914, Germany stationed two ships, battlecruiser Goeben and light cruiser Breslau in the Mediterranean to reinforce the fleets of her allies, Italy and Austria-Hungary. Together they planned to overwhelm outmatched British and French vessels and clear the way for an Italian invasion of southern France. In a shocking development, however, Italy remained neutral, Austria-Hungary’s lesser squadrons remained in port, and Goeben and Breslau were forced to flee from British pursuers. In an exciting chase – somewhat of a story twist on the Royal Navy’s hunt and sinking of Hitler’s battleship Bismarck in May 1941 – British ships failed this time and the German escapees fled through the Dardanelles to Istanbul, joined the navy of the Ottoman Empire, and facilitated Turkey’s entry to the war on Germany’s side.     

Book cover of The Kaiser S Pirates: Hunting Germany S Raiding Cruisers 1914-1915

Eric Dorn Brose Author Of Clash of the Capital Ships: From the Yorkshire Raid to Jutland

From my list on naval warfare in World War One.

Why am I passionate about this?

I retired from Drexel University in 2015 after thirty-six years as a professor of German and European History of the 19th and 20th Centuries. My sub-specialty in the History of Technology carried over into publications that over the years focused increasingly on the German army and navy.

Eric's book list on naval warfare in World War One

Eric Dorn Brose Why did Eric love this book?

Readers will find Hewitt’s book a fascinating read. Along with the stories of five German ocean liners converted into armed merchant cruisers (AMCs) for raiding enemy commerce, especially the most successful of them, Kronprinz Wilhelm and Prinz Eitel Friedrich, which destroyed twenty-six vessels totaling nearly 100,000 tons, he also relates the dramatic raiding campaigns of German warships like light cruisers Karlsruhe and Emden, which bagged thirty-two merchantmen (over 140,000 tons). Other chapters cover the Goeben episode (described above) as well as the victory of Graf Spee’s East Asiatic Squadron at Coronel and its tragic demise at the Falklands – Germany lost two heavy cruisers, two light cruisers, and later a third light cruiser. 

By Nick Hewitt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Kaiser S Pirates as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is a dramatic and little-known story of the First World War, when the actions of a few men shaped the fate of nations. By1914 Germany had ships and sailors scattered across the globe, protecting its overseas colonies and 'showing the flag' of its new Imperial Navy. After war broke out on 4 August there was no hope that they could reach home. Instead, they were ordered to attack Britain's vital trade routes for as long as possible. Under the leadership of a few brilliant, audacious men, they unleashed a series of raids that threatened Britain's war effort and challenged…


Book cover of The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command

Steve Dunn Author Of The Petrol Navy: British, American and Other Naval Motor Boats at War 1914 - 1920

From my list on how the Royal Navy won the First World War.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m Steve R Dunn, a naval historian and author of twelve books of naval history, with two more commissioned for 2024 and 2025. As a child I used to invent naval fleets and have always loved the water.  Now, I write about little-known aspects of the First World War at sea, and try to demonstrate that, despite the mass slaughter and ultimate victory on the Western Front, if Britain had lost command of the sea, the war would have been lost. The combination of recognisably modern weapons with Nelsonian command and control systems renders the naval side of WW1 endlessly fascinating to me.

Steve's book list on how the Royal Navy won the First World War

Steve Dunn Why did Steve love this book?

Gordon’s book delights and displeases in turn.

He shows how the baked in traditions of blind obedience to orders, together with the class-based culture and selection for command, hindered the actions of the Royal Navy during WW1. Not all of his statements are correct and sometimes his naval history is shaky but the tale is well told and it is an absorbing read.

By Andrew Gordon,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Rules of the Game as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Foreword by Admiral Sir John Woodward. When published in hardcover in 1997, this book was praised for providing an engrossing education not only in naval strategy and tactics but in Victorian social attitudes and the influence of character on history. In juxtaposing an operational with a cultural theme, the author comes closer than any historian yet to explaining what was behind the often described operations of this famous 1916 battle at Jutland. Although the British fleet was victorious over the Germans, the cost in ships and men was high, and debates have raged within British naval circles ever since about…


Book cover of After Jutland: The Naval War in Northern European Waters, June 1916-November 1918

Eric Dorn Brose Author Of Clash of the Capital Ships: From the Yorkshire Raid to Jutland

From my list on naval warfare in World War One.

Why am I passionate about this?

I retired from Drexel University in 2015 after thirty-six years as a professor of German and European History of the 19th and 20th Centuries. My sub-specialty in the History of Technology carried over into publications that over the years focused increasingly on the German army and navy.

Eric's book list on naval warfare in World War One

Eric Dorn Brose Why did Eric love this book?

Also published by the Naval Institute Press, Goldrick’s work smashes the widely held view that the German navy, allegedly so demoralized by its lesser losses at Jutland – but casualties that included flagship battlecruiser Lützow – that it never ventured to sea again. On the contrary, the German fleet, emboldened by inflicting much greater losses on the British, set to sea again in August 1916 reinforced with two new 15-inch-gun battleships. Even stronger in April 1918, it went out again, this time with Lützow’s replacement, Hindenburg. Jutland-like engagements almost occurred, but interesting circumstances prevented the two fleets from missing one another and another slugfest. Goldrick also details operations in the Baltic Sea as well as many other aspects of North Sea warfare after Jutland (e.g. mining campaigns) left out of other works.  

By James Goldrick,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked After Jutland as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

After Jutland analyzes the naval war in Northern European waters following the Battle of Jutland. A popular misconception is that Jutland marked the end of the operational career of the German High Sea Fleet and the beginning of a period of stagnation for both it and its opponents, Great Britain's Grand Fleet and Russia's Baltic Fleet. The reality is much more complex. The German battle fleet was quiescent for much of the time in the North Sea, but it supported an ambitious amphibious campaign in the Baltic, while a bitter war was waged by submarines and light craft in the…


Book cover of Clash of Arms: How the Allies Won in Normandy

Arthur W. Gullachsen Author Of Bloody Verrières: The I. SS-Panzerkorps Defence of the Verrières-Bourguebus Ridges: Volume II: The Defeat of Operation Spring and the Battles of Tilly-la-Campagne, 23 July–5 August 1944

From my list on the First and Second World Wars.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have a lifetime interest in military events of the First and Second World Wars, and my current status as an Associate Professor teaching military history within the Royal Military College of Canada’s RMC History Department allows me to live my dream of exploring past conflicts for a living. I am currently also a contracted author at Casemate Publishing of Havertown, PA, and I am very lucky to have this company support me and publish my work.

Arthur's book list on the First and Second World Wars

Arthur W. Gullachsen Why did Arthur love this book?

This is the best book out there to introduce the reader to the 1944 Normandy Campaign. 

Clash of Arms examines how the Western Allies improved their battlefield combat effectiveness in order to defeat the forces of the Third Reich and break out of the Normandy bridgehead.

Critically, Hart also examines the German way of war and how the Germans stubbornly sought to adapt in the face of Allied superiority. Packed with detail and superb analysis, this book examines in detail the military campaign of each army within the Normandy bridgehead.

By Russell A Hart,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Clash of Arms as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This volume examines how the Western Allies learned - on the battlefield - how to defeat the Nazi war machine. Beginning with an investigation of the interwar neglect that left the Allied militaries incapable of defeating Nazi aggression at the start of World War II, Russell Hart examines the wartime paths the Allies took toward improved military effectiveness. Central to his comparative study is the complex interplay of personalities, military culture, and wartime realities that determined how accurately the combatants learned the lessons of war, and how effectively they enhanced their battle capabilities.


Book cover of One Day in August: Ian Fleming, Enigma, and the Deadly Raid on Dieppe

Arthur W. Gullachsen Author Of Bloody Verrières: The I. SS-Panzerkorps Defence of the Verrières-Bourguebus Ridges: Volume II: The Defeat of Operation Spring and the Battles of Tilly-la-Campagne, 23 July–5 August 1944

From my list on the First and Second World Wars.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have a lifetime interest in military events of the First and Second World Wars, and my current status as an Associate Professor teaching military history within the Royal Military College of Canada’s RMC History Department allows me to live my dream of exploring past conflicts for a living. I am currently also a contracted author at Casemate Publishing of Havertown, PA, and I am very lucky to have this company support me and publish my work.

Arthur's book list on the First and Second World Wars

Arthur W. Gullachsen Why did Arthur love this book?

This is a new and interesting exploration of the reasons behind the disastrous Second World War Anglo-Canadian Dieppe Raid of 19 August 1942.

O’Keefe investigates newly available British archival material to reveal the designs British naval intelligence had on the port of Dieppe and how the resulting raid revolved around the capture of a highly important German Enigma encryption device and codebooks. 

These materials were desperately needed to produce ULTRA intelligence, vital for Allied efforts in the Battle of the Atlantic. 

By David O'Keefe,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked One Day in August as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A lively and readable account' Spectator

'A fine book ... well-written and well-researched' Washington Times

In less than six hours in August 1942, nearly 1,000 British, Canadian and American commandos died in the French port of Dieppe in an operation that for decades seemed to have no real purpose. Was it a dry-run for D-Day, or perhaps a gesture by the Allies to placate Stalin's impatience for a second front in the west?

Historian David O'Keefe uses hitherto classified intelligence archives to prove that this catastrophic and apparently futile raid was in fact a mission, set up by Ian Fleming…


Book cover of The U-Boat War: A Global History 1939-45

Arthur W. Gullachsen Author Of Bloody Verrières: The I. SS-Panzerkorps Defence of the Verrières-Bourguebus Ridges: Volume II: The Defeat of Operation Spring and the Battles of Tilly-la-Campagne, 23 July–5 August 1944

From my list on the First and Second World Wars.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have a lifetime interest in military events of the First and Second World Wars, and my current status as an Associate Professor teaching military history within the Royal Military College of Canada’s RMC History Department allows me to live my dream of exploring past conflicts for a living. I am currently also a contracted author at Casemate Publishing of Havertown, PA, and I am very lucky to have this company support me and publish my work.

Arthur's book list on the First and Second World Wars

Arthur W. Gullachsen Why did Arthur love this book?

The majority of books written about the German U-boat naval campaign in the Second World War focus on the Battle of the Atlantic.

A new approach by Lawrence Paterson challenges this narrative and makes the argument that the German U-boat Wolfpacks fought a truly global naval campaign, one that occurred during the entire wartime period 1939-1945.

Paterson also makes the argument that the operations by the U-Boats were not separate from the activities of other German service branches, but in concert with them to attain larger strategic goals.

He concludes that the ultimate failure of the U-Boats was due to this overreaching global strategy, combined with the impact of overpowering Allied anti-submarine warfare resources directed against them.

By Lawrence Paterson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The U-Boat War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The accepted historical narrative of the Second World War predominantly assigns U-boats to the so-called 'Battle of the Atlantic', almost as if the struggle over convoys between the new world and the old can be viewed in isolation from simultaneous events on land and in the air. This has become an almost accepted error. The U-boats war did not exist solely between 1940 and 1943, nor did the Atlantic battle occur in seclusion from other theatres of action. The story of Germany's second U-boat war began on the first day of hostilities with Britain and France and ended with the…


Book cover of From the Realm of a Dying Sun: IV. SS-Panzerkorps and the Battles for Warsaw, July-November 1944

Arthur W. Gullachsen Author Of Bloody Verrières: The I. SS-Panzerkorps Defence of the Verrières-Bourguebus Ridges: Volume II: The Defeat of Operation Spring and the Battles of Tilly-la-Campagne, 23 July–5 August 1944

From my list on the First and Second World Wars.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have a lifetime interest in military events of the First and Second World Wars, and my current status as an Associate Professor teaching military history within the Royal Military College of Canada’s RMC History Department allows me to live my dream of exploring past conflicts for a living. I am currently also a contracted author at Casemate Publishing of Havertown, PA, and I am very lucky to have this company support me and publish my work.

Arthur's book list on the First and Second World Wars

Arthur W. Gullachsen Why did Arthur love this book?

This book is an excellent summary of the WWII Eastern Front battles from July to November 1944 near Warsaw, Poland, through the lens of the Germans defending the front there, specifically the IV. SS-Panzerkorps, an armored (tank) corps consisting of two Waffen-SS Panzer Divisions (The Waffen-SS being the military arm of the Nazi Party in wartime Germany).

Author Douglas E. Nash’s analysis is excellent, and his experience as a retired US Army armored officer allows him to provides insights few others can regarding Eastern Front combat in 1944.

On top of this, his German language skills allowed him to carry out a higher degree of historical research than other books on the Eastern Front, utilizing primary German wartime documents to delve into events.

This book provides the reader with a clear understanding of how the June 1944 Russian Operation Bagration offensive was stopped by desperately fighting German units attempting to…

By Douglas E. Nash, Sr.,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked From the Realm of a Dying Sun as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

During World War Two, the armed or Waffen-SS branch of the Third Reich's dreaded security service expanded from two divisions in 1940 to 38 divisions by the end of the war, eventually growing to a force of over 900,000 men until Germany's defeat in May 1945. Not satisfied with allowing his nascent force to be commanded in combat by army headquarters of the Wehrmacht, Heinrich Himmler, chief of the SS, began to create his own SS corps and army headquarters beginning with the SS-Panzerkorps in July 1942. As the number of Waffen-SS divisions increased, so did the number of corps…


Book cover of The British Way of War: Julian Corbett and the Battle for a National Strategy

Steve Dunn Author Of The Petrol Navy: British, American and Other Naval Motor Boats at War 1914 - 1920

From my list on how the Royal Navy won the First World War.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m Steve R Dunn, a naval historian and author of twelve books of naval history, with two more commissioned for 2024 and 2025. As a child I used to invent naval fleets and have always loved the water.  Now, I write about little-known aspects of the First World War at sea, and try to demonstrate that, despite the mass slaughter and ultimate victory on the Western Front, if Britain had lost command of the sea, the war would have been lost. The combination of recognisably modern weapons with Nelsonian command and control systems renders the naval side of WW1 endlessly fascinating to me.

Steve's book list on how the Royal Navy won the First World War

Steve Dunn Why did Steve love this book?

Professor Lambert is the doyen of present-day naval historians.

In this book he tells the story of an incomparably great strategist and historian, Julian Corbett, whose pre-war views on naval strategy were well constructed and sought by men such as Admiral Jacky Fisher, the founder of the modern navy. Unfortunately, Corbett’s ideas were catastrophically ignored in 1914 but shaped Britain’s success in the Second World War and beyond.

By Andrew Lambert,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The British Way of War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How a strategist's ideas were catastrophically ignored in 1914-but shaped Britain's success in the Second World War and beyond

Leading historian Andrew Lambert shows how, as a lawyer, civilian, and Liberal, Julian Corbett (1854-1922) brought a new level of logic, advocacy, and intellectual precision to the development of strategy.

Corbett skillfully integrated classical strategic theory, British history, and emerging trends in technology, geopolitics, and conflict to prepare the British state for war. He emphasized that strategy is a unique national construct, rather than a set of universal principles, and recognized the importance of domestic social reform and the evolving British…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in World War 1, naval warfare, and the British Royal Navy?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about World War 1, naval warfare, and the British Royal Navy.

World War 1 Explore 888 books about World War 1
Naval Warfare Explore 36 books about naval warfare
The British Royal Navy Explore 58 books about the British Royal Navy