"OUR MARITIME STRATEGY, FOUNDED ON CENTURIES OF EXPERIENCE OF THE SEA, BROUGHT OUR ENEMIES TO UTTER DEFEAT": ROSKILL'S DEFINITIVE WORLD WAR II NAVAL HISTORY, THE WAR AT SEA, IN ORIGINAL DUST JACKETS
ROSKILL, Stephen Wentworth. The War at Sea: Volume I, The Defensive; Volume II, The Period of Balance; Volume III, Part I, The Offensive Part I 1st June 1943 - 31st May 1944; Volume III, Part II, The Offensive Part II 1st June 1944 - 14th August 1945. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1954, 1956, 1960, 1961. Four volumes. Octavo, original teal cloth, original dust jackets. $1350.
First edition, early mixed issue, of Captain Roskill's official history of the British Navy during World War II, illustrated with dozens of maps and photographs, in original dust jackets.
"Roskill’s four book official history still dominates the historiography of the Royal Navy’s war at sea: either influencing historians’ analysis, or more recently serving as a spur for revisionist interpretations" (Royal Navy). Roskill "has undertaken 'to tell the story of the maritime war in all it aspects.' A big job, admirably accomplished. The writing is done with a careful assurance which devices from the author's combination of experience and scholarship… While 'the outlook of the writer is predominantly naval,' this detracts nothing from the worth of the book as a contribution to history. Starting with the cabinet and working down through all levels of command, the details of organization are clear and complete… Strategy, tactics, and actions are presented in careful detail from Britain's side but with enough attention to her allies and antagonists 'to provide a proper balance'" (The American Historical Review, contemporary review). Volume I second issue (published one month after the first); the other three volumes are first editions. Errata slips in Volume I; Volume III, Part I; and Volume III, Part II.
Books near-fine to fine, dust jackets extremely good to near-fine with light wear and a bit of toning. A handsome set. Scarce.