First published in 1935, in this volume E.L. Woodward reconstructs with his usual painstaking industry the various phases of Anglo-German naval relations from the enactment of the German navy laws of 1898-1900 to the months of the apparent détente just before the outbreak of war in 1914. The principle documentary collections have been carefully consulted and the material drawn from them is woven into an extended account of negotiations which for several years kept London and Berlin preoccupied with comparative shipbuilding programmes, fleet ratios and political formulas. With excellent judgement the author skilfully sets his central theme against the background of concurrent developments in the realm of European diplomacy.
Though the importance of the Navy as an international power is indubitably diminished at the moment, the matter of the actual strength of the Navy is still a matter of controversy. To some extent today we can say of this book as the reviewer in The Times Literary Supplement said on its first publication in 1935: "The circumstances of today in which naval competition has again begun may differ from those of thirty years ago; but those who read and digest this balanced and accurate account of that period will not fail to observe familiarities in the two situations."