This is a dramatic and little-known story of the First World War, when the actions of a few men shaped the fate of nations. By1914 Germany had ships and sailors scattered across the globe, protecting its overseas colonies and 'showing the flag' of its new Imperial Navy. After war broke out on 4 August there was no hope that they could reach home. Instead, they were ordered to attack Britain's vital trade routes for as long as possible. Under the leadership of a few brilliant, audacious men, they unleashed a series of raids that threatened Britain's war effort and challenged the power and prestige of the Royal Navy. The next year saw a battle of wits which stretched across the globe, drawing in ships and men from six empires. By the end, the 'Kaiser's Pirates' were no more, and Britain once again ruled the waves.
Nick Hewitt worked as an historian for Imperial War Museums, before joining Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust in 2010. A member of the Society for Nautical Research, he has contributed to numerous publications, and his first book, Coastal Convoys, was published by Pen and Sword in 2008. Television appearances include BBC2's Thames Wrecks, the History Channel's Dogfights and Battlefield Detectives, and regular contributions to the BBC's Coast.