I'm about half way through a new book I bought entitled Castles of Steel by Robert K. Massie. It is a most interesting read. It is essentially a study of the sea war between Great Britain and Germany during World War I. I think the most significant impression I'm getting from reading about the relatively few clashes between the British Grand Fleet and the German High Seas Fleet (or elements thereof, in most cases) is that both navies were hamstrung by political nervous nellies. Neither side, it seems, was willing to gamble on a major fleet action in the North Sea. Admittedly, it was the Germans who seemed more unwilling than the British to fight a decisive battle, mostly due to Kaiser Wilhelm's order not to risk his ships, but even the British admiral (Jellicoe) and the British First Sea Lord (Churchill) were afraid to commit to any adventure which would have forced the Germans to fight on a grand scale. Yes, I know, a clash on that scale does eventually happen (at Jutland in 1916) but even that proved indecisive. My point here is that big, hugely expensive weapon, such as both these fleets represented for their respective countries, is pretty much useless unless it is committed to battle. A war cannot be won without risk. After Jutland, the German High Seas Fleet never again put to sea and was eventually skuttled at Scapa Flow at the end of the war. What might these great battleships, battlecruisers, armored cruisers, and destroyers accomplished had they boldly sailed up the Thames? One has to wonder. Thoughts anyone?