100 books like The Private War of Seaman Stumpf

By Daniel Horn,

Here are 100 books that The Private War of Seaman Stumpf fans have personally recommended if you like The Private War of Seaman Stumpf. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Castles of Steel: Britain, Germany, and the Winning of the Great War at Sea

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?

Massie tells the story of the great naval arms race between Britain and Germany in this book.

He shows the genius and folly which lay behind it and the megalomania of Kaiser Wilhelm that drove the contest. As with all of Massie’s books, the history is well researched and the storytelling compelling. I love this book.

By 0679456716,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Castles of Steel as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In August 1914 the two greatest navies in the world confronted each other across the North Sea. At first there were skirmishes, then battles off the coasts of England and Germany and in the far corners of the world, including the Falklands. The British attempted to force the Dardanelles with battleships - which led to the Gallipoli catastrophe. As the stalemate on the ground on the Western Front continued, the German Navy released a last strike against the British 'ring of steel'. The result was Jutland, a titanic and brutal battle between dreadnoughts. The knowledge, understanding and literary power Robert…


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 Naval Battles of the First World War

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?

This is the book that got me into naval history and made me want to be a naval historian.

Bennett was a serving officer in the RN and the son of a naval officer. He writes with pace, experience, and clarity about the major naval encounters of the First World War. It is a book that would be a good primer for anyone wanting to start the WW1 at sea journey. I purchased it in a second-hand bookshop in Cambridge and never looked back.

By Geoffrey Bennett,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Naval Battles of the First World War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With the call to action stations in August 1914, the Royal Navy faced its greatest test since the time of Nelson.

This classic history of the Great War at sea combines graphic and stirring accounts of all the principal naval engagements -- battles overseas, in home waters and, for the first time, under the sea--with analysis of the strategy and tactics of both sides. Geoffrey Bennett brings these sea battles dramatically to life, and confirms the Allied navies' vital contribution to victory.


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…


Book cover of Britain and the Mine, 1900-1915: Culture, Strategy and International Law

Matthew S. Seligmann Author Of Rum, Sodomy, Prayers, and the Lash Revisited: Winston Churchill and Social Reform in the Royal Navy, 1900-1915

From my list on Churchill’s First World War Navy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a British naval historian and winner of the Sir Julian Corbett Prize for Naval History. My main area of interest is the Anglo-German naval race before the First World War. I have written numerous books on this topic including Rum, Sodomy, Prayers, and the Lash Revisited: Winston Churchill and Social Reform in the Royal Navy, 1900-1915 (2018); The Naval Route to the Abyss: The Anglo-German Naval Race, 1895-1914 (2015); The Royal Navy and the German Threat, 1901-1914 (2012); Naval Intelligence from Germany (2007); and Spies in Uniform: British Military and Naval Intelligence on the Eve of the First World War (2006). 

Matthew's book list on Churchill’s First World War Navy

Matthew S. Seligmann Why did Matthew love this book?

Underwater weapons of all types have had a major influence on naval warfare in the twentieth century. Despite this, studies of them to date have not been all they might be either in terms of quantity or quality. Richard Dunley rectifies this in respect of the mine with a major evaluation of its place in Royal Navy thinking and planning in the first decade and a half of the twentieth century. As a result, this is an important book and a major contribution to the literature.

By Richard Dunley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Britain and the Mine, 1900-1915 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book examines Britain's complex relationship with the mine in the years 1900-1915. The development of mine warfare represented a unique mix of challenges and opportunities for Britain in the years before the First World War. The mine represented the antithesis of British maritime culture in material form, and attempts were made to limit its use under international law. At the same time, mine warfare offered the Royal Navy a solution to its most difficult strategic problem. Richard Dunley explores the contested position occupied by the mine in the attitudes of British policy makers, and in doing so sheds new…


Book cover of From the Dreadnought to Scapa Flow, Volume I: The Road to War, 1904–1914

Mark Harris Author Of Harwich Submarines in the Great War: The First Submarine Campaign of the Royal Navy in 1914

From my list on WWI naval history without the same old story.

Why am I passionate about this?

Military history has always fascinated me. I grew up in Britain with my parents’ tales of service in the Second World War on land, sea, and in the air. The First World War saw the zenith of British sea power and was an obvious draw. The scale and scope of the fighting were huge, and I’ve been researching the naval war in depth for over thirty years. The high levels of literacy of the combatants mean that it is also possible to gain deep insights into their experiences. This makes for stories I'm passionate about discovering as a reader and telling as an author. I hope this list helps you discover them too.

Mark's book list on WWI naval history without the same old story

Mark Harris Why did Mark love this book?

This is a five-volume history focusing on the Anglo-German naval rivalry from its origins in 1904 to the ultimate demise of the Imperial German Fleet in 1919. This is history writing at its epic best.

Marder’s approach to history is even handed and avoids partisanship. His research is monumental is scale and he developed a network of relationships with many of the key figures in the story. The result is an incredibly well researched and informed history of the naval war, with great depth of insight, all written in an approachable style.

A true classic of naval literature that is a joy to read and is unlikely to ever be surpassed.

By Arthur J. Marder,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked From the Dreadnought to Scapa Flow, Volume I as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Arthur Marder's critically acclaimed five volume series, From the Dreadnought to Scapa Flow, represents one of the finest contributions to the literature of naval history since the work of Alfred Mahan. These new editions of the series are published with a new introduction by Barry Gough, distinguished Canadian maritime and naval historian, that provide an assessment of the importance of Marder's work and anchors it firmly amongst the great naval narrative histories of this era.

"His naval history has a unique fascination. To unrivalled mastery of sources he adds a gift of simple narrative . . . He is beyond…


Book cover of Jutland: The Unfinished Battle

Patrick G. Cox Author Of Ned Farrier Master Mariner: Call of the Cape

From my list on the Battle of Jutland.

Why am I passionate about this?

On the expertise I claim only a deep interest in history, leadership, and social history. After some thirty-six years in the fire and emergency services I can, I think, claim to have seen the best and the worst of human behaviour and condition. History, particularly naval history, has always been one of my interests and the Battle of Jutland is a truly fascinating study in the importance of communication between the leader and every level between him/her and the people performing whatever task is required.  In my own career, on a very much smaller scale, this is a lesson every officer learns very quickly.

Patrick's book list on the Battle of Jutland

Patrick G. Cox Why did Patrick love this book?

The Battle of Jutland has fascinated many people down the years. Who won? Some say it was a ‘draw’, others that in terms of ships lost, the Germans ‘won’, but in truth, though the British lost more ships, they ‘won’ a strategic victory in that the High Seas Fleet never again challenged the Royal Navy on the High Seas. As Churchill said, Admiral Jellico was the one man who could have lost the war in an afternoon.

Ever since the ‘inconclusive’ Battle of Jutland there has been a controversy over how it was fought and the outcome. The British media expected a new Trafalgar, or a new Glorious First of June, with the German High Seas Fleet annihilated in a great clash of arms in which ship matched ship and slugged it out. When that didn’t happen, they turned on the Royal Navy and the Commander in Chief of the…

By Nicholas Jellicoe,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Jutland as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

More than one hundred years after the battle of Jutland, the first and largest engagement of Dreadnoughts in the twentieth century, historians are still fighting this controversial and misunderstood battle. What was in fact a strategic victory stands out starkly against the background of bitter public disappointment in the Royal Navy and decades of divisive acrimony and very public infighting between the camps supporting the two most senior commanders, Jellicoe and Beatty.

This book not only re-tells the story of the battle from both a British and German perspective based on the latest research, but it also helps clarify the…


Book cover of The Fighting at Jutland

Tim Pears Author Of The Redeemed

From my list on memories of war.

Why am I passionate about this?

I dig deep for research for my novels and am entranced by history. It is the soil we grow from; without a sense of history, we have shallow roots. Many history books, however, are academic and tedious. Accounts by living witnesses – from interviews, letters, diaries – bring the past to life with vivid detail.

Tim's book list on memories of war

Tim Pears Why did Tim love this book?

My grandfather fought in the Battle of Jutland, as a young gunnery lieutenant; the hero of The Redeemed, Leo, would do likewise as a boy seaman. I needed insight into men’s experience and found it above all in this book (put together by two naval officers who’d themselves taken part.) It is composed of sixty personal accounts from men of all ranks and is edited to give a gripping chronology of what remains the largest naval battle in history.

By G.W.W. Hooper, H.W. Fawcett,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

At the end of the First World War there was a widespread feeling in the British fleet that the public's disappointment with the results of the Jutland battle was based on misunderstanding. From this grew a desire to set the record straight, and a pair of naval officers collected together some sixty personal accounts of what was the largest ever clash between dreadnought battleships. These came from men of all ranks, widely distributed throughout the British fleet, each only writing of what he had seen and how the experience affected him. These were edited and arranged to follow the chronology…


Book cover of The Secret Battle

Eugene Rogan Author Of The Fall of the Ottomans: The Great War in the Middle East

From my list on by veterans of WW1 on the Middle East.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a professional historian of the Middle East, I’ve long recognized WWI as a vital turning point in the region’s history, when the ancient Ottoman Empire fell and the modern states of the Middle East took its place. Based in Oxford, I am particularly aware of this university’s role in shaping so many of those whose book captured the British experience of the Ottoman Front. But there’s also an element of family history behind my fascination, as in following the story of my great-uncle’s death in Gallipoli in 1915, I came to appreciate the magnitude of sacrifice suffered by all sides in the Great War in the Middle East.

Eugene's book list on by veterans of WW1 on the Middle East

Eugene Rogan Why did Eugene love this book?

Herbert served as a junior infantry officer in Gallipoli and captured his experiences in one of the grittiest and most credible accounts of the horrors of that campaign in this early anti-war novel. His hero is a brilliant young Oxford graduate (Herbert was himself an Oxford man and served as MP representing the University of Oxford from 1925 – 1940) named Harry Penrose who suffered fear, doubt, and mental illness on both the Ottoman and Western Fronts – like so many of his contemporaries. Herbert captures the injustice of wartime courts-martial in which gallant officers were condemned for failing to carry out unreasonable orders. “That is the gist of it,” the narrator concludes in the novel, “that my friend Harry was shot for cowardice – and he was one of the bravest men I ever knew.”

By A.P. Herbert,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“The Secret Battle should be read in each generation, so that men and women may rest under no illusion about what war means, a soldier’s tale cut in stone to melt all hearts.”

—Sir Winston Churchill

Originally published in 1919, The Secret Battle honestly portrays the mental horrors World War I inflicted upon soldiers. Harry Penrose is an Oxford student who enlists in 1914. He’s hard working, modest, and dutiful but struggles to cope with the toll of war. During the Battle of Gallipoli, Penrose seeks refuge to avoid shellfire, but another officer sees him and accuses Penrose of desertion.…


Book cover of The Crowded Hours: The Story Of 'Sos' Cohen

Robert Widders Author Of Forged in Blood and Music: A story of friendship, courage, and survival.

From my list on military books that resonate with me.

Why am I passionate about this?

Robert Widders is one of the few men who have served in both the British Army, the Royal Navy, and the Royal Air Force. His books on military history have been quoted in the Irish parliament and Senate and were the focus for a BBC documentary episode of Face the Facts.

Robert's book list on military books that resonate with me

Robert Widders Why did Robert love this book?

The Crowded Hours tells the story of ‘Sos’ Cohen, whose eclectic military career began as an eighteen-year-old during the Matabele Wars of 1887, and then as a soldier in the Boer War. During the First World War, he first served with the Army and then transferred to the Royal Navy Air Service as a pilot. And in 1939, he joined the RAF at the age of 64, flying with RAF Coastal Command till the end of the Second World War.

Crowded Hours is a really interesting book in its own right, but in a more personal sense, it resonates with me because I’ve also served in the Army, the Navy, and the RAF, and I’m fascinated to read about the other men who’ve done this and try to understand what makes them tick.

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