History of the Royal Navy

British Battlecruiser HMS Hood

British Battlecruiser HMS Hood

This article is about the history of Royal Navy.

The emergence of the navies ofGermany, and Japan É.-U., accompanied by the Franco-Russian alliance threatens again the position of the Royal Navy, as mistress of the seas. In addition, new inventions, like the torpedo and the submarine, challenge the supremacy of the battleship that is the foundation of British naval power. It will then react by completely rethinking its strategy and naval tactics, under the leadership of men like John Arbuthnot Fisher and Winston Churchill.

It redefines the battleship, with the launch of the Dreadnought, opening the era of building a single size. It revolutionized the cruisers, with the appearance of his battle cruisers and light cruisers. With these new ships are new tactics, preferring to fight at distances previously unknown. It also follows a strategy that will apply during the First World War, the blockade remote.

In 1914, the arms race was the tonnage of the Royal Navy, far ahead tons of the Imperial German Navy.

The combat performance of the British fleet during the First World War are far from being excellent, she even experienced defeats and almost did not be able to continue fueling its metropolis. The Admiralty in particular Admiral Jelicoe have been slow to adopt the parade of the convoys against submarine warfare without restriction imposed by the German Reich, because they were obsessed by the prospect of a major confrontation against the surface Kaiserliche Marine and were reluctant to entertain their reserves to form escorts. When the confrontation occurred between the two fleets atJutlandin 1916, the result was disappointing, the Germans successfully escaped annihilation. For against the blockade resulting from the action of German submarine during the First Battle of the Atlantic very nearly strangling the British economy by depriving it of its raw material supply and force the people of the British Isles to starvation only after the American intervention enabled them to war to redress the situation. Another disappointment was the failure of operations at theBattleof theDardanelles, largely due to errors and prevarications of British command. This defeat also nearly put an end to the career of Winston Churchill. In general, the Admiralty lacked initiative and inventiveness to use his great numerical superiority in outmoded battleships, using them for operations against the coasts or ports ofGermany, like of what was attempted against theportofZeebruggeandOstend, at the end of the war. Strategically, for cons, the blockade remote works OK for the German surface fleet remained reduced to inaction, which led her to the mutiny and subsequent to the surrender and scuttling at Scapa Flow, she did never been directly threaten British trade after the crushing of the fleet of Admiral von Spee. Its casualties are estimated at the British merchant navy also paid a heavy price with a death toll estimated.

Even if she wins in 1918, the Royal Navy while still very powerful, could not take the decision alone, including sea booster of the U.S. Navy and Marines and French was comfortable Japan far from negligible, especially in anti-submarine warfare to solve the problem posed by German U-boats along the lines of communication, the British forces is clearly insufficient for revealing the role. Furthermore the superiority of British ships was far from obvious, including during major commitments surface.

During the inter-war period, the Royal Navy retained its position as the leading naval power despite a very rapid disarmament (the navy spending increased from 334 million pound sterling during the year 1918-1919 to 92 million during the fiscal year 1920/1921), perhaps largely due to the Washington Treaty, which froze the situation in the state because its economy was emerging from war, losing momentum. The only transactions that took place during this period were the intervention in favor of the White armies during the Russian Civil War when, among other things, the intervention in northernRussia. The mid-1930s and the emergence of totalitarian nations, awakened the naval arms race, theUKhad to follow and he began to construct new buildings and modernizing old ones, although the pace was less intense than before.

The results of the fleet during the Second World War were generally good, certainly better than in the first. The fleet was able to adapt quickly enough to technological developments, particularly the rise of aviation.

The danger submarine was particularly well set at the second Battle of the Atlantic, especially given the increased threat due to the capture of bases on the Atlantic coast by German forces and performance of new submarines, but the winning tactic is known, the convoy system, the only problem was enough to put online escorts, and again the British were able to innovate with the development of corvettes and frigates and aircraft carrier escort, specialize in this important role with the help of industry in the United States that provides 39 small aircraft carriers, frigates and more than 100 most of the naval and almost all the landing craft as well as Canada who gave 200 escorts. The use of radar and the asdic which, ships were equipped was decisive for the victory.

In the Mediterranean, the Royal Navy, took quite easily ascendancy over the Italian Navy, despite the disappearance of the French Navy and could create the conditions for victory at the front in North Africaby cutting off supplies to the Axis troops. The only major difficulties were encountered against the Empire of Japan, largely because of the length of communication lines and the secondary aspect of the theater. To defend British interests in East Asia, Singapore Strategy imagined during the inter-war was a failure.

The losses were still heavy with a minimum of 656 vessels of all types sunk during the war.

Note the disappearance of 7 battleships, 10 aircraft carriers, 30 cruisers, 148 destroyers, 75 submarines and 49 destroyers.

But in 1945, the fleet had to face the facts, she was relegated to a brilliant second before the technical and numerical superiority of the U.S. Navy ships. Its fleet of ships of the line is down sharply and is now basically a force of anti-submarine and the disastrous situation of the economy of theUnited Kingdom combined with the aging of the equipment industry makes it no longer has the economic support that was the foundation of his former power.

The post-war until today

During the conflict, the Royal Navy finally gave its first rank in favor of the U.S. Navy, supported by an economy far more powerful and dynamic. The latter now had such an advantage at least she was left Digital in the same position as the British fleet in the previous century. Its fleet of aircraft carriers giants, in particular, gave him the ability to control the world’s oceans, relying on its own merits. During the Korean War, the British navy could not play the auxiliary role of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

The Suez Canal crisis in 1956, military victory but major political defeat showing the weakening of theUnited Kingdomin the international arena the government decided to abandon the ambition of a powerful fleet and led to drastic cuts in its ranks.

The Royal Navy would still lose a place with the emergence of a powerful new fleet of ultra-modern buildings, the Soviet navy, to counter the might of U.S. navy sea created by Sergei Admiral Gorshkov, succeeds to compete in a few years, with the navy of the United States, by aligning a large number of submarines, cruiser and destroyers, for against it could never threaten the advantage of Western naval.

The political decision in the late 1960s to abandon conventional aircraft carriers to focus on submarine s ballistic missile launchers, yet diminished the capacity of the surface fleet of the Royal Navy and forced to do most consider to fight outside of a combined operation of NATO.

However, the only opportunity for the British Navy to fight in this period came with the Falklands War againstArgentinain 1982, which was only a national operation. This then created a lot of difficulties and forced the Royal Navy a few improvisations, but then she showed the clear superiority of his professional sailors, and its traditional ability to operate very far from his base, despite the loss of four ships.

Its ships have provided support and served as a fire base for the operation of the Royal Marines during theKuwaitwar in 1991 andIraqin 2003, and contributed significantly to the fleet deployed in these interventions.

Nevertheless, at the beginning, the fleet of His Majesty has never been in a situation of weakness. With sixty warships and surface more than 30 submarines in the 1980s, it aligns more than 28 vessels in 2006 leading (aircraft carriers, helicopter carriers, destroyers and frigates) and 13 submarines (9 sub-SSN and SSBN 4), it is then tonnage in the world behind the navy of the People’s Republic ofChina.

2010 forecast

Announcements made ​​on 19 October 2010 at the Strategic Defense and Security Review following the decision to reduce the defense budget announced an 8% effective and marine personnel by 2015 and by 2020. In December 2010, it is expected that the fleet will be composed as follows:

  • Keeping the construction of two aircraft carriers Queen Elizabeth class but will be fitted with catapults and one will be operational by 2016 version helicopter carrier until 2010, the fate of the second delivered by 2020 is not defined.
  • The aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious, will be maintained until 2014, but as helicopter carriers.
  • Seven nuclear submarines attack (eventually all of Astute Class)
  • 4 submarine Vanguard class ballistic missile
  • 19 ships of the first rank of which:
  • 6 destroyer s anti-aircraft Type 45 Daring class
  • Type 13 frigates Type 23 replaced by 26 from 2020

  1 LPH (HMS Ocean)

  An LPD Albion class (in reserve)

  3 Bay class LPD

  Four offshore patrol vessels (typeTyne)

  15 minesweepers (Class 7 and 8 classeHunt Sandown)

  TCD TCD 2 and 3 auxiliary

Royal Fleet Auxiliary include:

  • An auxiliary aircraft carrier (HMS Argus)
  • A versatile tanker
  • 2 tanker battle
  • 5 oil-tanker.

All represent a tonnage (including combatant ships), against tonnes in 2008 and tonnes in 1988 and 2012, it will be in the world at the tonnage behind the Japanese Navy .

Following the withdrawal of Harriers in late 2010 and deliveries of F-35 Cinstead of F-35 VSTOL B 2020, the Navy will have about 10 years without combat aircraft embedded .

Commandments and historical fleet


  Eastern Fleet andEast IndiesFleet

  British Pacific Fleet

  BritishFar EastFleet

  British Reserve Fleet

  British Western Fleet

  Strength H

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