Operation Albion

Operation Albion

The German Conquest of the Baltic Islands
Michael B. Barrett
Distribution: World
Publication date: 7/9/2009
Format: cloth 312 pages, 28 b&w photos, 9 maps
6.125 x 9.25
ISBN: 978-0-253-34969-9
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A Selection of the History Book Club and Military Book Club
In October 1917, an invasion force of some 25,000 German soldiers, accompanied by a flotilla of 10 dreadnoughts, 350 other vessels, a half-dozen zeppelins, and 80 aircraft, attacked the Baltic islands of Dago, Osel, and Moon at the head of the Gulf of Riga. It proved to be the most successful amphibious operation of World War I. The three islands fell, the Gulf was opened to German warships and was now a threat to Russian naval bases in the Gulf of Finland, and 20,000 Russians were captured. The invasion proved to be the last major operation in the East. Although the invasion had achieved its objectives and placed the Germans in an excellent position for the resumption of warfare in the spring, within three weeks of the operation, the Bolsheviks took power in Russia (November 7, 1917) and Albion faded into obscurity as the war in the East came to a slow end.

Author Bio

Michael B. Barrett is Professor of History at the Citadel and Brigadier General (retired), U.S. Army Reserve. He lives in Charleston, South Carolina.


". . . Michael Barrett provides both the World War I enthusiast and the seasoned naval professional a detailed look at one of the past century's early forays into opposed amphibious landings." —Andrew G. Wilson, Naval History , Oct. 1, 2008

"In the end, what we have in
Operation Albion is a thorougly researched, well organized, and very well-written history of an operation that deserves to be more widely studied." —Mark D. Karau, The Journal of Military HIstory , October 2008

"This book will remain the definitive account of this most unusual operation in World War I for some tiime to come." —Richard L. Dinardo,
The NYMAS Review , October 20 2008

"Specialists in the history of the Great War and the operational history of any period, historians of Germany and of Russia, and anyone with a general interest in well-written military history will enjoy reading this book." —Jesse Kauffman, Stanford University,
H-German , March 2009

". . . the work is extremely well-researched and it fills a large void in the history of the First World War. I highly recommend the book, in particular to students and scholars of the period." —Mark D. Karau, University of Wisconsin,
H-German , April 2009

"[Barrett's] book will remain the definitive account of this most unusual operation in World War I for sometime to come." —Richard L. DiNardo, USMC Command & Staff College,
H-German , April 2009

"Michael Barrett deftly tells the tale of the most successful amphibious operation of World War I. . . . As a work of military history the book is exemplary. . . . In short, this book deserves its place in a series on twentieth-century battles." —
Russian Review , January 2009

"Attraverso il ricorso ad un ampio materiale documentario, in gran parte inedito e conservato presso i maggiori archivi militari statunitensi, tedeschi e russi, l'autore riporta alla luce in maniera brillante ed estremamente accurata un episodio significantivo, e tuttavia perlopiu dimenticati, della Prima Guerra Mondiale: la conquista, avvenuta nelle settimane centrali dell'ottobre del 1917, delle quatro principali isole baltiche - Osel, Dago, Worms, e Moon - situate all'ingresso del Golfo di Riga da parte dell'esercito e della marina tedesca." —
Ricerche Distoria Politica , March 2009

"The casual reader will find this book informative and entertaining. For the military professional, a careful reading will pay tremendous dividends, particularly for those interested in amphibious operations and staff planning." —
Marine Corps University Journal , Vol. 1, No. 1, Spring 2010

"A campaign relatively unknown even in the field of military history, Albion was quite significant in dictating events on the Eastern Front in World War I. It features a sea battle between German dreadnoughts and a Russian battleship; the use of aircraft and zeppelins; and an attack and dramatic stand by bicycle troops. And Michael Barrett writes very well, indeed." —Malcolm Muir, Jr., author of
The Human Tradition in the World War II Era

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Table of Contents

List of Maps
Dates, Times, and Names
1. Submarine UC-58, Tagga Bay, 28 September 1917
2. The Strategic Importance of the Baltic Islands
3. The Decision to Mount Operation Albion
4. The Islands and Their Defenses
5. The Invasion
6. Ösel, 12—13 October 1917: The Central Island
7. Ösel, 12—16 October 1917: The Island's Ends
8. The Capture of Moon and Dagö Islands
9. The Naval Battle for the Baltic Islands
10. Conclusion
11. Epilogue

Appendix: A Word on Sources
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