Sir John Fisher's Naval Revolution 1570034923, 9781570034923

For most of the twentieth century, historians have thought that British naval policy was driven by the Anglo-German arms

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Table of contents :
Title Page
Copyright
Contents
List of Illustrations and Maps
Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
Introduction
Part 1
Chapter 1 The_Price of Naval Supremacy
Chapter 2. Complexity and Duplicity
Chapter 3 Radical Jack Fisher 1899-1904
Part II
Chapter_4_Necessary_Reforms_1904-1905
Chapter_5_Defending_British_Naval_Supremacy_1905-1908
Chapter_6_Illusions_and_Realities_Naval_Strategic_Planning_1905-1909
Part III
Chapter_7_Aberrations_The_Grand_Fleet_of_Battle_1910-1912
Chapter_8_The_Churchill_Administration_1911-1913
Chapter_9_The_Revolution_1913-1914
Appendices
Notes
Selected_Bibliography
Index
Recommend Papers

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Sir Sir John John Fisher’s Fisher’s Naval Naval Revolution Revolution

Nicholas Nicholas A. A. Lambert Lambert

All PY; Press Carolina Press South Carolina of South University of University - oo , oum Ia: ou aroma ress, , ps...... Downloaded on behalf of Digital Theological Lrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

© © 1999 1999 University University of of South South Carolina Carolina Published Published in in Columbia, Columbia, South South Carolina, Carolina, by by the the University University of of South South Carolina Carolina Press Press Manufactured Manufactured in in the the United United States States of of America America

First First paperback paperback printing printing 2002 2002 16151413121110090807 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 09 08 07

65432 6543 2

The The Library Library of of Congress Congress has has cataloged cataloged the the cloth cloth edition edition as as follows: follows:

Lambert, Lambert, Nicholas Nicholas A., A., 1967— 1967Sir John sir John Fisher’s Fisher’s naval naval revolution revolution // Nicholas Nicholas A. A. Lambert. Lambert. p. cm. p. cm. — — (Studies (Studies in in maritime maritime history) history) Includes Includes bibliographical bibliographical references references and and index. index. ISBN 1-57003-277-7 (hardcover : alk. ISBN 1-57003-277-7 (hardcover : alk. paper paper 1. 2. 1. Fisher, Fisher, John John Arbuthnot Arbuthnot Fisher, Fisher, Baron, Baron, 1841-1920. 1841-1920. 2. Great Great Britain—History, Naval—20th century. 3. Britain—History, Naval—20th century. 3. Great Great Britain—History. Britain—History, Naval—19th 4. Naval—19th century. century. 4. Great Great Britain. Britain. Royal Royal Navy—History. Navy—History. I. ll. I. Title. Title. Il. Series. Series. DA89.1.F5 1999 DA89.1.F5 L36 L386 1999 359'.0092—dc21 359'.0092—dc21

[Bl [B]

ISBN ISBN ISBN ISBN

99-6012 99-6012

10: 10: 13: 13:

1-57003-492-3 1-57003-492-3 978—1-57003-492-3 978-1-57003-492-3

Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

Downloaded on behalf of Digital Theological Library, Claremont, CA

© © 1999 1999 University University of of South South Carolina Carolina Published Published in in Columbia, Columbia, South South Carolina, Carolina, by by the the University University of of South South Carolina Carolina Press Press Manufactured Manufactured in in the the United United States States of of America America

First First paperback paperback printing printing 2002 2002 16151413121110090807 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 09 08 07

65432 6543 2

The The Library Library of of Congress Congress has has cataloged cataloged the the cloth cloth edition edition as as follows: follows:

Lambert, Lambert, Nicholas Nicholas A., A., 1967— 1967Sir John sir John Fisher’s Fisher’s naval naval revolution revolution // Nicholas Nicholas A. A. Lambert. Lambert. p. cm. p. cm. — — (Studies (Studies in in maritime maritime history) history) Includes Includes bibliographical bibliographical references references and and index. index. ISBN 1-57003-277-7 (hardcover : alk. ISBN 1-57003-277-7 (hardcover : alk. paper paper 1. 2. 1. Fisher, Fisher, John John Arbuthnot Arbuthnot Fisher, Fisher, Baron, Baron, 1841-1920. 1841-1920. 2. Great Great Britain—History, Naval—20th century. 3. Britain—History, Naval—20th century. 3. Great Great Britain—History. Britain—History, Naval—19th 4. Naval—19th century. century. 4. Great Great Britain. Britain. Royal Royal Navy—History. Navy—History. I. ll. I. Title. Title. Il. Series. Series. DA89.1.F5 1999 DA89.1.F5 L36 L386 1999 359'.0092—dc21 359'.0092—dc21

[Bl [B]

ISBN ISBN ISBN ISBN

99-6012 99-6012

10: 10: 13: 13:

1-57003-492-3 1-57003-492-3 978—1-57003-492-3 978-1-57003-492-3

Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

Downloaded on behalf of Digital Theological Library, Claremont, CA

To To Jenny, Jenny, my my wife wife ——-Wh0 . . . —Who Bid Bid Highest Highest...

Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hdl.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

Downloaded on behalf of Digital Theological Library, Claremont, CA

Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hdl.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

Downloaded on behalf of Digital Theological Library, Claremont, CA

Contents Contents lHusUans Iilustrations Maps Maps Acknowledgments Acknowledgments Abbreviations Abbreviations

=

humodUCUon Introduction Part Part 1I Chapter Chapter 1. 1. Chapter Chapter 2. 2.

3. Chapter 3. Chapter

ix ix xi xv

1 The The Price Price of of Naval Naval Supremacy Supremacy Complexity Complexity and and Duplicity: Duplicity: 1898-1904 Submarine, 1898-1904 the Submarine, and the Admiralty and The Admiralty The 1899—1904 Fisher, 1899-1904 Jack Fisher, Radical Jack Radical

15 15

38 38 73 13

Part Part [I Il Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter

4. 4. 5. 5. 6. 6.

1904—1905 Reforms, 1904-1905 Necessary Reforms, Necessary 1905—1908 Supremacy, 1905-1908 Naval British Defending Defending British Naval Supremacy, Illusions and and Realities: Realities: I}iusions 1905—1909 Planning, 1905-1909 Strategic Planning, Naval Strategic Naval

97 97 127 127

165 165

Part Hl III Part Chapter Chapter 7. 7.

8. Chapter 8. Chapter 9. Chapter 9. Chapter

Aberrations: Aberrations: 1910-1912 Battle, 1910-1912 of Battle, Fleet of Grand Fleet The Grand The 1911—1913 Administration, 1911-1913 Churchill Administration, The Churchill The 1913—1914 Revolution, 1913-1914 The Revolution, The

305 305 306 306 307 307 309 309 311 311 312 312 313 313 397 397 407 407

Appendix 11 Appendix Appendix 22 Appendix Appendix 33 Appendix Appendix 44 Appendix Appendix 55 Appendix Appendix 66 Appendix Notes Notes Bibliography Selected Bibliography Selected Index Index

Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.hand|e.neU2027W.31569.

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199 199 235 235 274 274

vil

Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hdl.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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Illustratio lIlustrations ns following following page page 126 126

Five Five years years of of British British submarine submarine development development Holland Holland and and the the warrior warrior The The fleet fleet submarine submarine experiment experiment Admiral Admiral Sir Sir George George Callaghan Callaghan Admiral Admiral of of the the Fleet Fleet Sir Sir Arthur Arthur Knyvett-Wilson Knyvett-Wilson VC VC Fueling Fueling at at an an advanced advanced base base Winston Winston Churchill Churchill Gadgets Gadgets HMS HMS Dreadnought Dreadnought under under construction construction HMS HMS Dreadnought Dreadnought fitting fitting out out Smoke smoke could could be be a a problem problem for for HMS HMS InfleXible Inflexible at at Speed Speed Admiral Admiral of of the the Fleet Fleet Sir Sir John John Fisher Fisher

Maps Maps following following illustrations illustrations Bases World World Bases British Home Home Waters Waters British Mediterreanean Mediterreanean Bases Bases

Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hdl.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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ix

Illustratio lIlustrations ns following following page page 126 126

Five Five years years of of British British submarine submarine development development Holland Holland and and the the warrior warrior The The fleet fleet submarine submarine experiment experiment Admiral Admiral Sir Sir George George Callaghan Callaghan Admiral Admiral of of the the Fleet Fleet Sir Sir Arthur Arthur Knyvett-Wilson Knyvett-Wilson VC VC Fueling Fueling at at an an advanced advanced base base Winston Winston Churchill Churchill Gadgets Gadgets HMS HMS Dreadnought Dreadnought under under construction construction HMS HMS Dreadnought Dreadnought fitting fitting out out Smoke smoke could could be be a a problem problem for for HMS HMS InfleXible Inflexible at at Speed Speed Admiral Admiral of of the the Fleet Fleet Sir Sir John John Fisher Fisher

Maps Maps following following illustrations illustrations Bases World World Bases British Home Home Waters Waters British Mediterreanean Mediterreanean Bases Bases

Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hdl.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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ix

Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hdl.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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Acknowledgments Acknowledgments Over Over the the years years II have have received received help help and and encouragement encouragement from from a a great great many many people. people. Among Among my my most most valued valued supporters supporters II am am privileged privileged to to count count the the late late John John Dottridge Dottridge and and the the late late “Gus” “Gus” Britton. Britton. Both Both saw saw aa great great deal deal of active service with of active service with the the Royal Royal Navy—the Navy—the former former held held the the rank rank of of lieulieutenant tenant (RNVR) (RNVR) and and the the latter latter that that of of ordinary ordinary Signalman. signalman. Both Both did did their their best best to to provide provide me me with with a a sense sense of of perspective perspective toward toward the the documents documents I| have have read. read. And And both both were were friends. friends. I| also also owe owe aa debt debt of of thanks thanks to to my my grandfather, grandfather, the the late late Lt.-Commander Lt.-Commander Douglas Douglas Lambert Lambert DSC*, DSC*, who who served served in in submarines submarines from from 1937 1937 to to 1950. 1950. His His name name opened opened many many doors doors for me for me and and served served as as aa letter letter of of introduction introduction to to former former submarine submarine offiofficers, cers, old old comrades, comrades, and and their their families. families. II am am particularly particularly grateful grateful to to Professor Professor George George Baer, Baer, David David Brown, Brown, Professor Professor James James Campbell, Campbell, Jock Jock Gardner, Gardner, Professor Professor Paul Paul Halpern, Halpern, Brian Brian Head, Head, Professor Professor Sir Sir Michael Michael Howard Howard MC, MC, Professor Professor Paul Paul Kennedy, Kennedy, Jan Jan Morris, Morris, the the late late Rear Rear Admiral Admiral David David Dunbar-Nasmith Dunbar-Nasmith DSC, DSC, Professor Professor Robert Robert O’Neill, O'Neill, Mrs. Mrs. Kathleen Kathleen Nicholson, Nicholson, Professor Professor Keith Keith Neilson, Neilson, Mrs. Mrs. Frances Frances Read, Read, Captain Captain Jeremy Jeremy Read Read RN, RN, Professor Professor Jon Jon Sumida Sumida (my (my coconspirator), coconspirator), Professor Professor Russell Russell Weigley, Weigley, and and Jenny Jenny Wraight. Wraight. II am am obliged obliged to to Tim Tim and and Bahija Bahija Dottridge, Dottridge, Professor Professor Daniel Daniel E. E. Rogers, Rogers, and and Wyatt Wyatt and and Jennifer Jennifer Rushton. Rushton. Thanks Thanks are are also also due due to to the the following: following: Miss Miss Pat Pat Andrews Andrews (Cabinet (Cabinet Office Office Historical Historical Section), Section), Anne-Louise Anne-Louise Antonoff, Antonoff, Miss Miss Elizabeth Elizabeth Bennett Bennett and and Carolyn Carolyn Lye Lye (Churchill (Churchill Archives Archives Centre), Centre), Mr. Mr. Edward Edward Cadwallender, Cadwallender, Dr. Evelyn Evelyn Cherpak Cherpak (U.S. (US. Naval Naval War War College), College), Mr. Mr. Peregrine Peregrine Churchill, Churchill, Dr. Mme. Edith Edith Colli Colli (French (French Naval Naval Archives, Archives, Vincennes); Vincennes); Mr. Mr. Richard Richard von von Mme. Dornberg Dornberg (US. (U.S. National National Archives); Archives); Captain Captain James James Goldrick Goldrick RAN, RAN, Miss Miss Caroline Humphreys Humphreys (Hampshire (Hampshire Records Records Office), OffiCe), Dr. Dr. Charles Charles Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Caroline Dr. Dr. Norman Norman Friedman, Friedman, Dr. Dr. G. G. Andrew Andrew Gordon, Gordon, Capitaine Capitaine de de Vasseau Vasseau Claude Huan, Martin Jones, Mrs. Jill Kelsey (Royal Archives), Mr. Claude Huan, Martin Jones, Mrs. Jill Kelsey (Royal Archives), Mr. G. G. H. H. Le May, Mr. David Lyon Le May, Mr. David Lyon (National (National Maritime Maritime Museum), Museum), George George Malcolmson, Malcolmson, Mrs. Mrs. Jan Jan Martin, Martin, Commander Commander Richard Richard Percival-Maxwell Percival-Maxwell RN RN ret., ret., Professor Professor David David Rosenberg, Rosenberg, Commander Commander Mark Mark Ruddle Ruddle RN RN ret., ret., Dr. Dr. Mark Mark Shulman, Shulman, Miss Miss Bridget Bridget Spiers Spiers (MoD (MoD Naval Naval Library), Library), Anthony Anthony Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.hand|e.net/2027/h.eb.31569.

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xi

Acknowledgments Acknowledgments Over Over the the years years II have have received received help help and and encouragement encouragement from from a a great great many many people. people. Among Among my my most most valued valued supporters supporters II am am privileged privileged to to count count the the late late John John Dottridge Dottridge and and the the late late “Gus” “Gus” Britton. Britton. Both Both saw saw aa great great deal deal of active service with of active service with the the Royal Royal Navy—the Navy—the former former held held the the rank rank of of lieulieutenant tenant (RNVR) (RNVR) and and the the latter latter that that of of ordinary ordinary Signalman. signalman. Both Both did did their their best best to to provide provide me me with with a a sense sense of of perspective perspective toward toward the the documents documents I| have have read. read. And And both both were were friends. friends. I| also also owe owe aa debt debt of of thanks thanks to to my my grandfather, grandfather, the the late late Lt.-Commander Lt.-Commander Douglas Douglas Lambert Lambert DSC*, DSC*, who who served served in in submarines submarines from from 1937 1937 to to 1950. 1950. His His name name opened opened many many doors doors for me for me and and served served as as aa letter letter of of introduction introduction to to former former submarine submarine offiofficers, cers, old old comrades, comrades, and and their their families. families. II am am particularly particularly grateful grateful to to Professor Professor George George Baer, Baer, David David Brown, Brown, Professor Professor James James Campbell, Campbell, Jock Jock Gardner, Gardner, Professor Professor Paul Paul Halpern, Halpern, Brian Brian Head, Head, Professor Professor Sir Sir Michael Michael Howard Howard MC, MC, Professor Professor Paul Paul Kennedy, Kennedy, Jan Jan Morris, Morris, the the late late Rear Rear Admiral Admiral David David Dunbar-Nasmith Dunbar-Nasmith DSC, DSC, Professor Professor Robert Robert O’Neill, O'Neill, Mrs. Mrs. Kathleen Kathleen Nicholson, Nicholson, Professor Professor Keith Keith Neilson, Neilson, Mrs. Mrs. Frances Frances Read, Read, Captain Captain Jeremy Jeremy Read Read RN, RN, Professor Professor Jon Jon Sumida Sumida (my (my coconspirator), coconspirator), Professor Professor Russell Russell Weigley, Weigley, and and Jenny Jenny Wraight. Wraight. II am am obliged obliged to to Tim Tim and and Bahija Bahija Dottridge, Dottridge, Professor Professor Daniel Daniel E. E. Rogers, Rogers, and and Wyatt Wyatt and and Jennifer Jennifer Rushton. Rushton. Thanks Thanks are are also also due due to to the the following: following: Miss Miss Pat Pat Andrews Andrews (Cabinet (Cabinet Office Office Historical Historical Section), Section), Anne-Louise Anne-Louise Antonoff, Antonoff, Miss Miss Elizabeth Elizabeth Bennett Bennett and and Carolyn Carolyn Lye Lye (Churchill (Churchill Archives Archives Centre), Centre), Mr. Mr. Edward Edward Cadwallender, Cadwallender, Dr. Evelyn Evelyn Cherpak Cherpak (U.S. (US. Naval Naval War War College), College), Mr. Mr. Peregrine Peregrine Churchill, Churchill, Dr. Mme. Edith Edith Colli Colli (French (French Naval Naval Archives, Archives, Vincennes); Vincennes); Mr. Mr. Richard Richard von von Mme. Dornberg Dornberg (US. (U.S. National National Archives); Archives); Captain Captain James James Goldrick Goldrick RAN, RAN, Miss Miss Caroline Humphreys Humphreys (Hampshire (Hampshire Records Records Office), OffiCe), Dr. Dr. Charles Charles Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Caroline Dr. Dr. Norman Norman Friedman, Friedman, Dr. Dr. G. G. Andrew Andrew Gordon, Gordon, Capitaine Capitaine de de Vasseau Vasseau Claude Huan, Martin Jones, Mrs. Jill Kelsey (Royal Archives), Mr. Claude Huan, Martin Jones, Mrs. Jill Kelsey (Royal Archives), Mr. G. G. H. H. Le May, Mr. David Lyon Le May, Mr. David Lyon (National (National Maritime Maritime Museum), Museum), George George Malcolmson, Malcolmson, Mrs. Mrs. Jan Jan Martin, Martin, Commander Commander Richard Richard Percival-Maxwell Percival-Maxwell RN RN ret., ret., Professor Professor David David Rosenberg, Rosenberg, Commander Commander Mark Mark Ruddle Ruddle RN RN ret., ret., Dr. Dr. Mark Mark Shulman, Shulman, Miss Miss Bridget Bridget Spiers Spiers (MoD (MoD Naval Naval Library), Library), Anthony Anthony Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.hand|e.net/2027/h.eb.31569.

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xi

xii xii

Acknowledgments Acknowledgments

Simmonds, Simmonds, Lt.-Commander Lt.-Commander David David Stevens Stevens RAN RAN ret., ret., Dr. Dr. Rodderick Rodderick Sudderby Sudderby (Imperial (Imperial War War Museum), Museum), Commander Commander Jeff Jeff Tall Tall RN RN ret. ret. (RN (RN Submarine Submarine Museum), Museum), Bob Bob Todd Todd (Brass (Brass Foundry, Foundry, National National Maritime Maritime Museum), Lt.-Commander Lt.-Commander Brian Brian Witts Witts RN RN ret. (HMS Excellent Museum), ret. (HMS Excellent RN RN Gunnery and (Southampton Gunnery Museum), Museum), and Dr. Dr. Christopher Christopher Woolgar Woolgar (Southampton University University Library). Library). Three Three institutions institutions contributed contributed generously generously towards towards my my research research expenses. expenses. A A postdoctoral postdoctoral fellowship fellowship from from the the Olin Olin Foundation Foundation under under the the auspices auspices of of the the International International Security Security Program Program at at Yale Yale University University gave gave me me the the opportunity opportunity to to read read and and think think for for more more than than aa year. year. It It was was during during this this time time that that II became became convinced convinced II must must stop stop rewriting rewriting my my dissertation dissertation and and instead instead begin begin the the present present book. book. A A Charter Charter fellowship fellowship at at Wolfson Wolfson College, College, Oxford, Oxford, and and a a Hartley Hartley research research fellowship fellowship at at Southampton Southampton University University enabled enabled me me to to complete complete my my research research and and (nearly) (nearly) finish finish writwriting ing the the manuscript. manuscript.

Extracts Extracts from from the the Royal Royal Archives Archives are are quoted quoted with with the the gracious gracious perpermission of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II; crown COpyright material mission of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II; crown copyright material at at the the Public Public Records Records Office Office and and on on deposit deposit at at various various other other archives archives is is quoted quoted by by permission permission of of the the Controller Controller of of Her Her Majesty’s Majesty's Stationary Stationary Office. Office. For For permission permission to to quote quote extracts extracts from from the the various various manuscript manuscript collections collections II have have used, used, II thank thank the the Admiralty Admiralty Librarian Librarian (collections (collections held held

by by the the Ministry Ministry of of Defence Defence Admiralty Admiralty Library); Library); the the Bodleian Bodleian Library; Library: the the trustees trustees of of the the National National Maritime Maritime Museum Museum (collections (collections held held by by the the National National Maritime Maritime Museum); Museum); the the trustees trustees of of the the British British Museum Museum (collec(collections tions held held at at the the British British Library); Library); Mr. Mr. Nigel Nigel Arnold-Forster Arnold-Forster (H. (H. Oakley Oakley Arnold-Forster Arnold-Forster papers); papers); the the Royal Royal Navy Navy Submarine Submarine Museum Museum (Rear(RearAdmiral Admiral Frank Frank D. D. Arnold-Forster Arnold-Forster papers); papers); Jane Jane Bonham-Carter Bonham-Carter (H. (H. H. H. Asquith Asquith papers); papers); Mrs. Mrs. Margret Margret Sinclair Sinclair (Sir (Sir Henry Henry Campbell-Bannerman Campbell-Bannerman papers); papers); the the trustees trustees of of the the Broadlands Broadlands archive archive and and Dr. Dr. Christopher Christopher Woolgar Woolgar (Admiral (Admiral Prince Prince Louis Louis of of Battenberg Battenberg papers papers and and Sir Sir Edward Edward Cassel Cassel papers); papers); Winston Winston Churchill Churchill (Sir (Sir Winston Winston S. S. Churchill Churchill papers); papers); the the Lord Lord Esher Esher (Viscount (Viscount Lord Lord Esher Esher papers); papers); the the masters masters and and fellows fellows of of Churchill College Cambridge (Admiral of the Fleet Lord Churchill College Cambridge (Admiral of the Fleet Lord Fisher Fisher papers); papers); Gloucestershire Gloucestershire County County Records Records Office Office (Sir (Sir Michael Michael E. E. Hicks Hicks Beach Beach papers); papers); the the Hon. Hon. Mrs. Mrs. Ann Ann Gascoigne Gascoigne and and Mr. Mr. Andrew Andrew Dixon Dixon (Lewis (Lewis Harcourt Harcourt papers); papers); the the Rt. Rt. Hon. Hon. The The earl earl Jellicoe Jellicoe (Admiral (Admiral of of the the Fleet Fleet Lord Lord Jellicoe Jellicoe papers); papers); Lord Lord Keyes Keyes (Admiral (Admiral of of the the Fleet Fleet Lord Lord Keyes Keyes papers); papers); Mr. Mr. David David McKenna McKenna (Reginald (Reginald McKenna McKenna papers); papers); the the late late Rear Rear

Admiral Admiral David David Dunbar-Nasmith Dunbar-Nasmith (Admiral (Admiral Sir Sir Martin Martin E. E. Dunbar-Nasmith Dunbar-Nasmith Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.hand|e.net/2027/heb.31569.

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Acknowledgments Acknowledgments

xiii xiii

papers); papers); Mr. Mr. J. J. Edward Edward Sandars Sandars (John (John S. S. Sandars Sandars papers); papers); the the earl earl of of Selborne Selborne (the (the 2d 2d Earl Earl of of Selborne Selborne papers); papers); Mr. Mr. Thomas Thomas Troubridge Troubridge (Admiral (Admiral Ernest Ernest Troubridge Troubridge papers); papers); the the late late Mr. Mr. John John Dottridge Dottridge and and Mrs. Mrs. Anne Anne Lankton Lankton (Admiral (Admiral Sir Sir Reginald Reginald Tupper Tupper papers); papers); the the Bedford Bedford Estate Estate Office Office (Arnold (Arnold White White papers). papers).

Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

Downloaded on behalf of Digital Theological Library, Claremont, CA

Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hdl.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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Abbreviations Abbreviations AP AP APC APC ART ART

BEF BEF Captain Captain (D) (D) Captain Captain (S) (S) CHART CHART Commodore Commodore (S) (S) CID CID DNC DNC DNI DNI DNM DNM DNO DNO a/DNO a/DNO DID DID

DOD DOD DMD DMD

FDSF FDSF FGDN FGDN

FISR FISR FLM FLM

F.P.1. F.P.1.

Armour Armour Piercing Piercing (shell) (shell) Capped Capped Armour Armour Piercing Piercing (shell) (shell) Annual Annual Report Report of of the the Torpedo Torpedo School School (volumes (volumes held held at at Ministry Ministry of of Defence Defence Admiralty Admiralty Library) Library) British British Expeditionary Expeditionary Force Force Senior Senior Captain Captain commanding commanding destroyer destroyer flotilla flotilla or or flotillas flotillas Inspecting Inspecting Captain Captain of of Submarines Submarines Winston Winston S. S. Churchill Churchill Papers, Papers, Chartwell Chartwell Trust Trust Collection Cambridge. Collection held held at at Churchill Churchill College, College, Cambridge. Commodore Commodore (second (second class) class) commanding commanding submarine submarine service service Committee Committee of of Imperial Imperial Defence Defence Director Director of of Naval Naval Construction Construction Director Director of of Naval Naval Intelligence Intelligence Director Director of of Naval Naval Mobilisation Mobilisation Director Director of of Naval Naval Ordnance Ordnance Assistant Assistant Director Director of of Naval Naval Ordnance Ordnance Director Director of of Intelligence Intelligence Division, Division, Naval Naval Staff Staff (after 1912) 1912) (after Staff Naval Staff Division, Naval Operations Division, of Operations Director of Director (after 1912) 1912) (after Staff Naval Staff Division, Naval Mobilisation Division, of Mobilisation Director of Director (after 1912) 1912) (after Flow, Scapa Flow, to Scapa Dreadnought to the Dreadnought From the From Arthur J.J. Marder Marder (5 (5 vols.) vols.) Arthur Fear Fear God God and and Dread Dread Nought, Nought, Arthur Arthur J. J. Marder, Marder, ed. ed. (3 (3 vols.) vols.) Cambridge College Cambridge Churchill College at Churchill held at Papers held Fisher Papers Fisher at held at (1911—1915)(volumes held Minutes (1911-1915)(volumes Lord’s Minutes First Lord’s First Library) Admiralty Library) Defence Admiralty of Defence Ministry of Ministry

ed. Kemp, ed. Peter Kemp, Volume 1,1, Peter Papers Volume Fisher Papers Fisher (Naval Records Records Society: Society: 1960) 1960) (Naval

Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, httpszllhdl.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

Downloaded on behalf of Digital Theological Library, Claremont, CA

Abbreviations Abbreviations AP AP APC APC ART ART

BEF BEF Captain Captain (D) (D) Captain Captain (S) (S) CHART CHART Commodore Commodore (S) (S) CID CID DNC DNC DNI DNI DNM DNM DNO DNO a/DNO a/DNO DID DID

DOD DOD DMD DMD

FDSF FDSF FGDN FGDN

FISR FISR FLM FLM

F.P.1. F.P.1.

Armour Armour Piercing Piercing (shell) (shell) Capped Capped Armour Armour Piercing Piercing (shell) (shell) Annual Annual Report Report of of the the Torpedo Torpedo School School (volumes (volumes held held at at Ministry Ministry of of Defence Defence Admiralty Admiralty Library) Library) British British Expeditionary Expeditionary Force Force Senior Senior Captain Captain commanding commanding destroyer destroyer flotilla flotilla or or flotillas flotillas Inspecting Inspecting Captain Captain of of Submarines Submarines Winston Winston S. S. Churchill Churchill Papers, Papers, Chartwell Chartwell Trust Trust Collection Cambridge. Collection held held at at Churchill Churchill College, College, Cambridge. Commodore Commodore (second (second class) class) commanding commanding submarine submarine service service Committee Committee of of Imperial Imperial Defence Defence Director Director of of Naval Naval Construction Construction Director Director of of Naval Naval Intelligence Intelligence Director Director of of Naval Naval Mobilisation Mobilisation Director Director of of Naval Naval Ordnance Ordnance Assistant Assistant Director Director of of Naval Naval Ordnance Ordnance Director Director of of Intelligence Intelligence Division, Division, Naval Naval Staff Staff (after 1912) 1912) (after Staff Naval Staff Division, Naval Operations Division, of Operations Director of Director (after 1912) 1912) (after Staff Naval Staff Division, Naval Mobilisation Division, of Mobilisation Director of Director (after 1912) 1912) (after Flow, Scapa Flow, to Scapa Dreadnought to the Dreadnought From the From Arthur J.J. Marder Marder (5 (5 vols.) vols.) Arthur Fear Fear God God and and Dread Dread Nought, Nought, Arthur Arthur J. J. Marder, Marder, ed. ed. (3 (3 vols.) vols.) Cambridge College Cambridge Churchill College at Churchill held at Papers held Fisher Papers Fisher at held at (1911—1915)(volumes held Minutes (1911-1915)(volumes Lord’s Minutes First Lord’s First Library) Admiralty Library) Defence Admiralty of Defence Ministry of Ministry

ed. Kemp, ed. Peter Kemp, Volume 1,1, Peter Papers Volume Fisher Papers Fisher (Naval Records Records Society: Society: 1960) 1960) (Naval

Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, httpszllhdl.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

Downloaded on behalf of Digital Theological Library, Claremont, CA

xvi xvi

Abbreviations Abbreviations

F.P.2. FP. 2. HMS HMS IQDNO IODNO (01‘ (or PO) PQ)

NID NID NMM NMM P0 PQ (or (or lODNO) IQDNO)

PRO PRO RE RE RN RN RNAS RNAS RNVR RNVR YS, YS, 02 c2

Y8, YS, 03 c3

ed. Kemp, ed. Peter Kemp, 2, Peter Volume 2, Papers Volume Fisher Papers Fisher 1964) Society: 1964) Records Society: (Naval Records (Naval

His Majesty's Majesty’s Ship Ship His Important Questions Questions dealt dealt with with by by the the Director Director of of Important Naval Naval Ordnance Ordnance (volumes (volumes held held at at Ministry Ministry of of Defence Defence Library) Admiralty Library) Admiralty Naval Naval Intelligence Intelligence Division Division National National Maritime Maritime Museum Museum (Greenwich) (Greenwich) Principal Questions Questions dealt dealt with with by by the the Director Director of of Principal Naval Naval Ordnance Ordnance (volumes (volumes held held at at Ministry Ministry of of Defence Defence Admiralty Library) Library) Admiralty Public Record Record Office, Office, Kew Kew Public Royal Royal Engineers Engineers (Army) (Army) Royal Royal Navy Navy Royal Royal Naval Naval Air Air Service Service Royal Royal Naval Naval Volunteer Volunteer Reserve Reserve Winston Winston 3. S. Churchill: Churchill: Young Young Statesman, Statesman, companion companion volume volume 2, 2, Randolph Randolph S. S. Churchill, Churchill, ed. ed. (London, (London, 1967—69) 1967-69) Winston Winston 8. S. Churchill: Churchill: Young Young Statesman, Statesman, companion companion volume volume 3, 3, Randolph Randolph S. S. Churchill, Churchill, ed. ed. (London, (London, 1967—69) 1967-69)

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Revolution Naval Revolution Fisher’s Naval John Fisher's Sir John sir

Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hdl.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

Downloaded on behalf of Digital Theological Library, Claremont, CA

Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hdl.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

Downloaded on behalf of Digital Theological Library, Claremont, CA

Introduction Introduction Mr. Mr. Churchill: Churchill: “I “] must must say say again again that that it it would would be be aa very very good good thing thing when when we we have have got got our our report report that that we we should should agree agree upon upon what what papers papers should should be be kept kept and and burn burn all all the the rest. rest. It It is is aa great great pity pity that that there there should should be be aa great great quantity quantity of of documents documents of of all all kinds kinds dealing dealing with with different different aspects aspects of of propro-

fessional fessional views. views. They They all all ought ought to to be be surrendered." surrendered.” The The prime prime minister: minister: “Certainly. “Certainly. The The larger larger the the holocaust holocaust the the better better in in my my opinion.” opinion.” Testimony Testimony of of the the first first lord lord of of the the Admiralty Admiralty before before the the Invasion Invasion Subcommittee Subcommittee of of Imperial Imperial Defense, Defense, 33 December December 1913. 1913.

The The formulation formulation of of British British naval naval policy policy in in the the decade decade or or so so prior prior to to the the beginning beginning of of the the First First World World War War is is usually usually explained explained in in terms terms of of great great power power rivalry rivalry in in Europe. Europe. The The received received opinion opinion is is that that by by about about 1902 1902 the the British British government government realized realized that that the the expansion expansion of of the the High High Sea Sea Fleet Fleet was was intended intended by by German German statesmen statesmen to to gain gain diplomatic diplomatic leverage leverage over over Great Great Britain Britain by by threatening threatening the the Royal Royal Navy’s Navy's command command of of the the narnarrow row European European seas. seas. Once Once recognized, recognized, the the lords lords commissioners commissioners of of the the Admiralty Admiralty responded responded by by implementing implementing aa series series of of overdue overdue reforms reforms designed designed to to improve improve the the navy’s navy’s fighting fighting efficiency. efficiency. As As the the competition competition intensified, however, however, Britain Britain was was obliged obliged to to concentrate concentrate aa steadily steadily larglargintensified, er er proportion proportion of of her her fleet fleet at at home home in in order order to to ensure ensure her her continued continued domdominance inance of of northern northern waters. waters. Beginning Beginning in in December December 1904 1904 the the Board Board of of Admiralty began recalling warships from the periphery toward the cencenAdmiralty began recalling warships from the periphery toward the ter ter of of the the empire.‘ empire.' As As the the legions legions returned, returned, the the security security of of imperial imperial interinterests in the outer marches became increasingly more dependent ests in the outer marches became increasingly more dependent upon upon policy defense policy British defense that British notion that This notion deterrence. This naval deterrence. than naval diplomacy than diplomacy was was driven driven by by an an anti anti German German imperative imperative is is simple, simple, suits suits the the standard standard political political and and diplomatic diplomatic accounts accounts of of the the period, period, and and favors favors the the predispopredisposition sition of of many many to to View view the the period period as as aa lead lead up up to to the the outbreak outbreak of of the the First First World World War.2 War.’ This book book isis founded founded upon upon the the premise premise that that from from the the beginning beginning of of the the This twentieth twentieth century century the the overriding overriding problem problem for for British British defense defense planners planners was was the the insufficiency insufficiency of of central central government government finance. finance. This This is is not not aa novel novel argument. argument. it It features features prominently prominently in in the the works works of of those those historians historians who Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, httpszllhd|.hand|e.net/2027/heb.31569.

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power.3 world power.® as aa world empire as British empire the British of the decline of the decline studied the have studied have relative Britain’s of symptomatic was argue, they limitation, they argue, was symptomatic of Britain's relative Financial limitation, Financial or three or final three the final “in the and “in power, and industrial power, and industrial economic and an economic as an decline as decline an as position [Britain’s] position as an its [Britain's] century its nineteenth century the nineteenth of the decades of four decades four own—shrank its own—shrank of its class of in aa class order—indeed in first order—indeed the first of the power of industrial power industrial techand techindustry and of industry fields of various fields in various overtook itit in nations overtook other nations as other rapidly as rapidly military modern military of modern foundations of the foundations all, the after all, are, after which are, nology, which nology, comand comfinancial and the financial in the predominance in continued predominance Britain’s continued strength.” Britain’s strength.” might. industrial might. for industrial substitute for no substitute was no insist, was further insist, they further world, they mercial world, mercial destabilize inevitably destabilize would inevitably conflict would major conflict in aa major involvement in British involvement Any British Any nation’s the nation’s of the prosperity of the prosperity which the upon which system upon trading system global trading the global the increasingly increasingly service-based service-based economy economy depended.4 depended.* their comprehend their not comprehend did not leaders did Britain’s leaders time, Britain’s the time, at the course, at Of course, Of problems problems in in exactly exactly these these terms. terms. Those Those serving serving at at the the Board Board of of Admiralty Admiralty Before notions. Before such notions. entertained such have entertained not have certainly not would certainly particular would in particular in of Board of the Board of the members of professional members (the professional lords (the naval lords the naval 1914 the 1914 Admiralty) could could see see no no insoluble insoluble industrial industrial or or technological technological obstacles obstacles Admiralty) global thus, global and, thus, fleet and, war fleet supreme war of aa supreme maintenance of continued maintenance the continued to the to maritime maritime supremacy. supremacy. Britain’s Britain’s naval-armaments naval-armaments industry industry was was the the the in the profitable in most profitable and most organized, and best organized, innovative, best most innovative, largest, most largest, supequalitatively supewere qualitatively generally were yards generally British yards in British built in Warships built world. Warships world. rior rior and and cost cost less less than than foreign-built foreign-built craft. craft. The The Admiralty Admiralty maintained maintained close kept aa close and kept sector and private sector the private in the firms in armaments firms with armaments links with close links close First the First of the eve of the eve On the suppliers. On principal suppliers. navy’s principal the navy’s of the health of the health of the eye of eye ArmstrongLtd.; Son & Maxim, Vickers, as such firms War, World World War, firms such as Vickers, Maxim, & Son Ltd.; Armstrongwarshipworld’s warshipthe world’s dominated the still dominated Ltd. still Brown Ltd. John Brown and John Whitworth; and Whitworth; all were all rivals, European their of most unlike and, industry building building industry and, unlike most of their European rivals, were reported to be in good financial shape. It is often forgotten, reported to be in good financial shape. It is often forgotten, furthermore. furthermore, management the management for the responsible for was responsible itself was Admiralty itself of Admiralty Board of the Board that the that The country. The the country. in the concerns in manufacturing concerns largest manufacturing the largest of the one of perhaps one of perhaps of in workmen and artisans 30,000 of upwards employed Dockyards Royal Royal Dockyards employed upwards of 30,000 artisans and workmen in

organizashipbuilding organizaother shipbuilding any other than any more than alone, more Kingdom alone, United Kingdom the United the tion tion in in the the world. world. industhe induswith the endowed with well endowed relatively well Britain relatively Great Britain was Great only was Not only Not of Board the but armaments, but the Board of naval armaments, produce naval to produce required to assets required trial assets trial and largest the of the largest and resources of the resources all the upon all draw upon also draw could also Admiralty could Admiralty owned either owned Navy either Royal Navy The Royal world. The the world. in the empire in maritime empire wealthiest maritime wealthiest locastrategic locaat strategic bases at naval bases of naval network of unrivaled network an unrivaled to an access to had access or had or merworld’s merthe world’s dominated the companies dominated British companies globe. British the globe. around the tions around tions communication cable communication and cable wireless and the wireless of the most of controlled most marine, controlled chant marine, chant networks, networks, and, and, perhaps perhaps most most importantly, importantly, possessed possessed an an effective effective monopmonopoly oly on on the the supply supply of of steam steam coal coal outside outside European European waters waters and and the the east east Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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Introduction Introduction

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coast coast of of the the United United States. States. Without Without access access to to coal coal and and colliers, colliers, fleets fleets simply simply could could not not move. move. Ultimately, Ultimately, of of course, course, naval naval mastery mastery depended depended upon upon the the size size and and efficiency efficiency of of the the imperial imperial war war fleet. fleet. During During the the quarquarter ter of of a a century century prior prior to to the the outbreak outbreak of of war, war, the the Royal Royal Navy Navy maintained maintained aa larger larger battleship battleship fleet fleet than than the the secondsecond- and and third-ranking third-ranking naval naval powpowers ers combined combined and and possessed possessed more more cruisers cruisers than than the the four four largest largest naval naval powers. powers. For For the the most most part, part, moreover, moreover, the the fleet fleet was was comprised comprised of of up-toup-todate date warships. warships. As As one one authority authority has has noted, noted, “the “the numerical, numerical, material material and and strategical strategical superiority superiority of of the the Royal Royal Navy Navy was was aa cold, cold, hard hard reality, reality, as as the the French French nation nation found found to to its its dismay dismay at at the the end end of of 1898 1898 when when faced faced with with a a Britain Britain ready ready to to go go to to war war over over the the [control [control of of the] the] Upper Upper Nile.”5 Nile.”> For For good good reasons, reasons, therefore, therefore, the the Admiralty Admiralty had had no no major major worries worries at at the the turn turn of of the the nineteenth nineteenth century century about about the the ability ability of of British British industry industry to to meet meet the the navy’s navy’s mate’riel matériel requirements. requirements. The The board board was was also also broadly broadly satisfied satisfied with with the the existexisting ing stock stock of of modern modern warships warships and and the the condition condition of of the the fleet-support fleet-support infrainfrastructure. structure. What What did did perturb perturb the the naval naval lords, lords, however, however, was was the the willingness willingness of of Parliament Parliament to to fund fund an an adequate adequate warship warship replacement replacement program. program. in In every every era era of of history history the the costs costs associated associated with with building building and and maintaining maintaining modmodern, ern, up-to-date up-to-date fleets fleets have have been been enormous enormous and and beyond beyond the the means means of of all all but but the the richest richest states. states. For For much much of of the the nineteenth nineteenth century, century, Britain Britain had had possessed possessed the the largest largest and and most most efficient efficient navy navy in in the the world, world, and and at at little little cost cost to to the the nation’s nation’s taxpayers, taxpayers, largely largely because because the the other other great great powers powers lacked lacked either either the the industrial industrial base base or or willingness willingness to to mount mount aa sustained sustained challenge. challenge. From From the the mid-18808, mid-1880s, however, however, as as European European powers powers turned turned outward outward and and began began to to develop develop their their maritime maritime strengths, strengths, the the price price of of global global naval naval supremacy supremacy started started to to climb. climb. This This upward upward trend trend in in British British naval naval expenditure expenditure was was accelerated accelerated by by an an unparalleled unparalleled growth growth in in the the cost cost and and complexity complexity of of warships. warships. Between Between 1889 1889 and and 1904 1904 the the price price of of aa modern modern battleship battleship more more than than doubled doubled and and that that of of a a first-class first-class cruiser cruiser quintupled.6 quintupled.° Meanwhile, Meanwhile, largely largely because because the the pace pace of of technological technological change change was was so so rapid, rapid, the the combat-effective combat-effective life life of of aa warship warship dropped dropped to to fifteen fifteen years years or or less. less. As As the the predominant predominant naval naval power power determined determined to to maintain the the largest largest stock stock of of modern modern warships warships in in the the world, world, Britain Britain obviobvimaintain ously ously suffered suffered the the most most from from the the effects effects of of capital capital depreciation. depreciation. Indeed, Indeed, the the declining declining relative relative strength strength of of the the Royal Royal Navy Navy over over this this period period was was due due much much more more to to the the ravages ravages of of capital capital depreciation depreciation than than the the increased increased building programs programs of of rival rival powers. powers. The The financial financial consequences consequences of of rapid rapid building technological technological progress progress were were severe; severe; between between 1889 1889 and and 1904 1904 the the relative relative strength strength of of the the British British Navy Navy remained remained fairly fairly constant constant but but overall overall naval naval expenditures expenditures more more than than doubled. doubled. Over Over the the same same period period capital capital expendiexpenditure ture (on (on construction construction and and major major improvements improvements to to warships warships and and dockdockLambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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of percent of 44 percent year—representing 44 per year—representing million per 24.9 million yards) from £4.9 soared from yards) soared

naval annual naval gross annual of gross percent of 64 percent or 64 million or $26.9 million budget—to £26.9 the total budget—to the total expenditure.7 expenditure.’ comits commeet its to meet money to more money and more more and demanded more Admiralty demanded the Admiralty As the As of decade of last decade the last of the end of the end By the mounted. By opposition mounted. Treasury opposition mitments, mitments, Treasury the into the running into was running expenditure was naval expenditure British naval century, British the nineteenth century, the nineteenth For afford. For could afford. state could the state believed the experts believed financial experts many financial limits what many of what limits of increased be increased not be could not taxation could that taxation believed that they believed reasons they of reasons aa variety variety of position primary position London’s primary of London's city of the city endangering the significantly without endangering significantly without borrow to borrow ability to state’s ability the state’s jeopardizing the or jeopardizing system or financial system in world financial the world in the observed: Mahan observed: Alfred Mahan Capt. Alfred as Capt. And as emergency. And an emergency. in an sums in large sums large and destroy itit and flags; destroy vigour flags; and vigour lessen itit and war; lessen of war; life of the life credit, isis the “Money, credit, “Money, recognized long recognized had long governments had British governments Successive British dies.”8 Successive resistance dies.”® resistance sound of sound maintenance of the maintenance upon the depended upon empire depended the empire of the security of the security that that the in Opinions in deterrence. Opinions naval deterrence. credible naval on aa credible than on less than no less finance no finance economic of economic importance of relative importance the relative on the varied on have varied may have Westminster may Westminster argued experts argued defense experts some defense indeed, some supremacy; indeed, naval supremacy; and naval prosperity prosperity and creation the creation addition the in addition demanded in and demanded insufficient and were insufficient alone were these alone that these that leading most leading century, most twentieth century, the twentieth of the turn of the turn by the Yet by army. Yet large army. of aa large of sound have sound longer have no longer could no Britain could that Britain accepted that day accepted the day of the politicians of politicians alone supremacy—let alone naval supremacy—let towering naval afford towering time afford same time the same at the and at money and money well. as well. army as continental-sized army create aa continental-sized create Britain agreed, Britain have agreed, historians have 1902, historians of 1902, beginning of the beginning about the From about From horizon. strategic horizon. their strategic lower their to lower forces to armed forces the armed instructed the statesmen instructed statesmen in commitments in iettisoning commitments by jettisoning complied by once complied at once Admiralty at of Admiralty Board of The Board The home.9 at home.® fleet at the fleet concentrating the and concentrating globe and the globe of the regions of vital regions less vital the less the pretenhundred-year-old pretenits hundred-year-old abandoned its Navy abandoned Royal Navy the Royal process the the process 1n the In embraced willingly lords willingly embraced naval lords The naval supremacy. The naval supremacy. global naval to global sions to sions the of the growth of steady growth the steady because the argued, because retrenchment, itit isis argued, strategic retrenchment, strategic the of command Navy’s Royal the Royal Navy's command of the threatened the Fleet threatened Sea Fleet High Sea German High German challenge this meet to way only The lsles.’0 The only way to meet this challenge British Isles.'° the British washed the that washed seas that seas unwillthe unwillgiven the and, given waters, and, home waters, in home fleet in battle fleet the battle reinforce the to reinforce was to was way only way the only battleships, the new battleships, more new for more pay for to pay politicians to the politicians of the ingness of ingness abroad. stationed abroad. then stationed vessels then recalling vessels by recalling was by achieved was this be achieved could be this could the under the accomplished under was accomplished fleet was the fleet of the reorganization of subsequent reorganization The subsequent The was 1904 was October 1904 in October who in Fisher, who “Jacky” Fisher, John “Jacky” Sir John Adm. Sir of Adm. direction of direction professional senior professional the senior remained the and remained lord and naval lord senior naval the senior appointed the appointed generally 1910. ItIt isis generally early 1910. until early Admiralty until of Admiralty Board of the Board of the member of member transformed was transformed Navy was Royal Navy the Royal administration the his administration during his that during accepted that accepted formidable into aa formidable organism” into moth-eaten organism” inefficient, moth-eaten drowsy, inefficient, “a drowsy, from “a from Meanwhile, Germany.“ Meanwhile, against Germany.'' war against for war prepared for fully prepared machine fully fighting machine fighting Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, httpsz/lhd|.hand|e.net/2027/heb.31569.

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the overseas overseas dockyards dockyards were were allowed allowed to to run run down, down, the the traditional traditional system system the of of overseas overseas station station fleets fleets was was abolished, abolished, and and their their ships ships redeployed redeployed in in European European waters; waters; fleets fleets were were trained trained for for war war instead instead of of peace-time peace-time operoperation, ation, and and crews crews were were drilled drilled relentlessly relentlessly in in the the techniques techniques of of modern modern gunnery, gunnery, which which were were developed developed by by Adm. Adm. Percy Percy Scott. Scott. The The Fisher Fisher era era was was truly truly aa time time of of profound profound change change for for the the Royal Royal Navy, Navy, and and not not just just in in organizational organizational and and administrative administrative terms. terms. Fisher Fisher iniinitiated tiated aa virtual virtual revolution revolution in in naval naval materiel matériel during during his his five five years years in in office. office. Outdated Outdated ironclads ironclads and and gunboats gunboats were were scrapped scrapped en en masse masse and and replaced replaced with with modern modern dreadnoughts, dreadnoughts, submarines, submarines, and and aircraft. aircraft. Muzzle Muzzle loading loading guns guns and and sail sail training training were were finally finally abolished; abolished; turbine turbine machinery, machinery, wirewireless-telegraphy less-telegraphy sets, sets, and and analog analog fire-control fire-control computers computers were were introintroduced. duced. Yet, Yet, most most historians historians maintain, maintain, technological technological change change had had no no real real impact impact upon upon the the formulation formulation of of naval naval policy. policy. Fisher Fisher and and his his colleagues colleagues rationalized rationalized their their multitude multitude of of new new weapon weapon systems systems within within aa more more or or less less static static strategical strategical and and tactical tactical framework. framework. That That is is to to say, say, while while the the Royal Royal Navy Navy equipped equipped itself itself with with modern modern weaponry, weaponry, naval naval leaders leaders retained retained their their old old theories theories on on the the application application of of naval naval force. force. “That “That the the primary primary duty duty of of the the Navy Navy was was battle battle at at sea sea and and the the destruction destruction of of the the enemy’s enemy's battle battle fleet fleet was was the the opinion opinion of of successive successive Boards Boards of of Admiralty,” Admiralty,” it it is is asserted.12 asserted.’ Tactical Tactical thinking thinking was was equally equally retarded, retarded, it it is is assumed. assumed. Even Even today, today, almost almost aa century century after after the the occurrence occurrence of of these these events, events, it it still not not generally generally recognized recognized that that the the core core histories histories of of the the pre-1914 pre-1914 isis still Royal Royal Navy Navy were were written written without without recourse recourse to to systematic systematic examination examination of of financial, financial, economic, economic, technological, technologicai, administrative, administrative, or or personnel personnel records. records. Or Or that that when when writing writing these these narratives narratives their their authors authors placed placed theory theory ahead ahead of of fact fact and and description. description. That That is is to to say, say, they they interpreted interpreted events events using using the the theory theory of of naval naval warfare warfare rather rather than than making making aa proper proper analysis analysis of of the the background background decision-making decision-making process. process. As As aa consequence, consequence, these these core core hishistories are are still still widely widely regarded regarded as as being, being, ifif not not definitive, definitive, close to it. it. But But tories close to even even those those who who do do accept accept that that there there are are deficiencies deficiencies in in the the currently currently no in no result in would result investigation would further investigation that further believe that narratives believe accepted narratives accepted and motives and Fisher’s motives historians, Fisher’s most historians, To most improvement. To detail improvement. than detail more than more aim his aim obvious: his even obvious: and even unproblematic, and straightforward, unproblematic, seemed straightforward, goals seemed goals Germany. with Germany. war with inevitable war the inevitable for the Navy for Royal Navy the Royal prepare the to prepare was to was first became first Fisher became when Fisher that when book isis that this book of this conclusion of main conclusion The main The the of the growth of the growth by the concerned by unduly concerned not unduly was not he was 1904, he in 1904, lord in sea lord sea conceive he conceive did he only did not only that not shown that be shown will be Fleet. ItIt will Sea Fleet. High Sea German High German

and France and when France time when at aa time program at reform program his reform of his elements of the elements of the most of most that but that interests, but Britain’s interests, to Britain’s threat to main threat the main as the regarded as were regarded Russia were Russia in changes in various changes the various and the alignments and diplomatic alignments European diplomatic in European shifts in the shifts the Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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the the direction direction of of British British foreign foreign policy policy that that occurred occurred after after he he took took office office had had surprisingly surprisingly little little impact impact upon upon his his strategical strategical thinking. thinking. Furthermore, Furthermore, Sir John John Fisher Fisher was was not not convinced, convinced, in in 1904, 1904, that that the the age age of of Pax Pax Sir Britannica Britannica had had passed. passed. Throughout Throughout his his term term as as first first sea sea lord, lord, he he remained remained committed committed to to the the ideal ideal of of global global naval naval supremacy supremacy and and sought sought to to build build aa fleet fleet powerful powerful enough enough to to protect protect Britain’s Britain’s imperial imperial interests interests against against all all comers.'3 comers.'* More More specifically, specifically, Fisher Fisher wanted wanted what what his his predepredecessors cessors in in office office had had sought—namely sought—namely a a navy navy capable capable of of defeating defeating any any combination combination of of (two) (two) maritime maritime powers. powers. That That being being said, said, however, however, he he recrecognized ognized that that Britain Britain could could not not much much longer longer afford afford to to continue continue modernizmodernizing ing and and expanding expanding the the existing existing fleet fleet in in response response to to each each new new invention invention or or every every naval naval expansion expansion by by rival rival powers. powers. He He understood understood that that the the cost cost of of —. maintaining maintaining a a superabundant superabundant fleet fleet of of modern modern battleships battleships and and cruisers cruisers would would soon soon become become fiscally fiscally prohibitive. prohibitive. Fisher proposed that the Fisher proposed that the Royal Royal Navy Navy could could overcome overcome this this financial financial limitation by giving up the old policy of relying upon an limitation by giving up the old policy of relying upon an overwhelming overwhelming numerical numerical superiority superiority to to achieve achieve supremacy, supremacy, and and instead instead exploit exploit new new technologies to build specific force capabilities technologies to build specific force capabilities to to meet meet the the most most probaprobable build ble threats threats to to imperial imperial interests. interests. Or Or put put another another way, way, he he wanted wanted to to build aa new model navy capable of containing new model navy capable of containing specific specific threats threats to to British British interinterests, ests, instead instead of of maintaining maintaining a a conventional conventional fleet fleet organized organized primarily primarily for for battleship engagements and battleship engagements and designed designed to to intimidate intimidate potential potential enemies enemies from Fisher believed believed from even even challenging challenging the the supremacy supremacy of of the the Royal Royal Navy. Navy. Fisher that that new new inventions inventions and and developments developments in in engineering engineering permitted permitted the the crecreation ation of of new new types types of of warships warships and and enabled enabled the the adoption adoption of of new new radical radical methods methods of of applying applying naval naval force. force. He He further further believed believed that that naval naval supremasupremacy cy and and effective effective deterrence deterrence demanded demanded capability capability rather rather than than universal universal presence; force presence; in in other other words, words, the the navy navy did did not not need need to to be be deployed deployed in in force everywhere everywhere at at once—that once—that was was the the dream dream of of only only the the most most extreme extreme jinjingoists. goists. In In the the case case of of oceanic oceanic trade trade protection, protection, for for example, example, Fisher Fisher argued with the argued that that the the development development of of wireless wireless telegraphy telegraphy coupled coupled with the exploitation exploitation of of naval naval intelligence intelligence allowed allowed the thc navy navy to to replace replace the the numernumer-

ous ous assortment assortment of of cruisers cruisers scattered scattered around around the the globe globe with with aa centrally centrally located located force force of of modern modern long-range, long-range, high-speed high-speed vessels vessels that that could could be be vectored vectored toward toward any any commerce commerce raiders raiders at at large.” large." It It will will also also be be argued argued that that the the existing existing narratives narratives of of pre-1914 pre-1914 Royal Royal Navy Navy policy policy are are fundamentally fundamentally flawed flawed because because their their authors authors approached approached their their subject subject with with a a series series of of mistaken mistaken presumptions.‘5 presumptions." For For one one thing, thing, the the change change in in the the diplomatic diplomatic climate climate during during the the prewar prewar decade decade was was not not nearly nearly so so coherent coherent nor nor as as comprehensive comprehensive as as it it appears appears with with hindsight. hindsight. British British policy policy makers makers never never focused focused upon upon the the German German menace menace to to the the exclusion of all others potential threats.16 For another, the exclusion of all others potential threats.'* For another, the naval naval historihistoriLambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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ans ans responsible responsible for for the the core core histories histories failed failed to to consider consider that that the the Admiralty Admiralty was was just just one one of of several several departments departments of of government government competing competing for for limited limited resources. resources. Their Their narratives narratives also also failed failed to to appraise appraise a a myriad myriad of of “internal” “internal” influences influences upon upon the the formulation formulation of of “naval “naval policy,” policy,” such such as as the the prevailing prevailing climate climate of of financial financial limitation, limitation, institutional institutional or or personal personal ambitions, ambitions, or or the the impact impact of of interservice interservice rivalry, rivalry, not not to to mention mention the the conconfusion fusion generated generated by by the the rapid rapid technological technological change. change. In In short, short, they they forgot forgot that that naval naval policy policy was was not not a a function function of of Cabinet Cabinet policy policy or or strategic strategic prinprinciples, ciples, but but the the product product of of individuals individuals belonging belonging to to aa bureaucratized bureaucratized instiinstitution tution and and operating operating within within aa dynamic dynamic environment. environment. For For much much of of the the period period 1904—1914, 1904-1914, it it will will be be shown, shown, many many important important strategic strategic decisions decisions previously previously thought thought to to have have been been taken taken in in response response to to external external considerconsiderations ations such such as as foreign foreign naval naval rivalry rivalry were were in in fact fact determined determined more more by by internal internal domestic domestic concerns, concerns, especially especially money money and and service service politics.‘7 politics.'’ But But undoubtedly undoubtedly the the most most serious serious misperception misperception is is that that Fisher’s Fisher’s overriding overriding aim aim was was to to reorganize reorganize the the navy navy (by (by redistributing redistributing the the battleship battleship fleet) fleet) to to conform conform with with a a change change in in international international climate climate (i.e., (i.e., the the object object of of British British naval naval policy policy switched switched from from providing providing imperial imperial defense defense to to meeting meeting the the German German threat). threat). Or Or to to put put it it another another way, way, the the ends ends of of naval naval policy policy changed Changed but but the the means means remained remained the the same. same. In In fact, fact, Fisher Fisher sought sought to to achieve achieve exactly exactly the the opposite. opposite. With With his his eyes eyes fixed fixed upon upon maintaining maintaining an an effective effective system system of of imperial imperial defense, defense, at at an an affordable affordable price, price, he he reconreconceptualized ceptualized the the theory theory of of applying applying naval naval force. force. One One major major reason reason Why why historians historians have have so so misunderstood misunderstood Fisher’s Fisher’s aims aims and and motivations motivations is is that that for for most most of of his his administration administration he he felt felt comcompelled pelled to to mislead mislead the the nation's nation’s political political executive executive as as to to the the true true direction direction of of naval naval policy. policy. Whereas Whereas the the Conservative Conservative Party Party leadership leadership shared shared his his commitment commitment to to the the principle principle of of naval naval supremacy supremacy and and took took seriously seriously the the responsibility responsibility for for imperial imperial defense, defense, the the other other major major British British political political party. party, the the Liberals, Liberals, were were ambivalent ambivalent toward toward the the former former and and essentially essentially avoided avoided discussing discussing the the latter. latter. From From the the end end of of 1905 1905 until until 1915, 1915, moreover, moreover, the the Liberals Liberals remained remained the the party party of of government. government. The The Liberals Liberals took took office office determined determined to to cut cut naval naval expenditure expenditure by by slashing slashing the the new new construction construction budget budget and and compelling compelling the the navy navy to to live live off off its its existing existing capital. capital. This This shift shift in in naval naval policy policy was was inspired inspired mainly mainly by by financial financial considerations—although considerations—although ideology ideology also also had had a a part part to to play. play. The The Liberals Liberals needed needed to to find find large large savsavings ings in in government government expenditure expenditure in in order order to to pay pay for for their their expensive expensive proprogram gram of of social social reform, reform, and and the the fastest fastest way way of of achieving achieving this this was was to to shrink shrink the the naval naval budget budget by by cutting cutting off off capital capital investment. investment. Liberal Liberal ministers ministers jusjustified tified these these proposed proposed cuts cuts by by insisting insisting that that the the Royal Royal Navy Navy was was far far stronger stronger than than was was necessary necessary to to safeguard safeguard the the country country from from invasion; invasion; that that diplomacy diplomacy rather rather than than naval naval deterrence deterrence should should be be the the primary primary Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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Revolution Naval Revolution Sir Fisher's Naval John Fisher's Sir John

selfthe selfthat the and that seas; and distant seas; in distant means interests in British interests protecting British of protecting means of

prolarge proof aa large taxpayer of British taxpayer the British governing relieve the should relieve dominions should governing dominions

own their own for their responsibility for shouldering responsibility portion by shouldering burden by defense burden the defense of the portion of in fleet largest the with satisfied defense. They declared themselves satisfied with the largest fleet in defense. They declared themselves overmatchof capable fleet a meant European waters, which from 1905 meant a fleet capable of overmatch1905 European waters, which from more. no more. and no navy and ing German navy the German ing the suchighly sucproved highly administration proved From Liberal administration the Liberal perspective the one perspective From one propora as spending defense spending as a proporcessful. British defense 1914, British and 1914, 1905 and Between 1905 cessful. Between less to less 50 to than 50 more than from more steadily from fell steadily tion expenditure fell state expenditure total state of total tion of who ministers The misleading. The ministers who are misleading. than statistics are such statistics But such percent. But 40 percent. than 40 any raising any without raising goals without their goals took achieve their to achieve intended to 1905 intended in 1905 office in took office fall, did expenditure naval expenditure did fall, Though naval significant revenues. Though state revenues. additional state significant additional had they had as they budget as navy’s budget the navy’s into the the deeply into as deeply cut as to cut failed to Liberals failed the Liberals the that the explanation isis that traditional explanation first The traditional to. The needed to. hoped—or needed first hoped—or expanthe expanbehind the intent behind aggressive intent Admiralty the aggressive to the point to to point able to was able Admiralty was reason. the reason. of the part of only part was only however, was sion This, however, navy. This, German navy. the German of the sion of the 1905 the after 1905 years after many years for many “threat,” for Notwithstanding German “threat,” the German Notwithstanding the Sea High Sea the High than the stronger than times stronger Royal four times or four three or remained three Navy remained Royal Navy have safely have could safely words, could other words, in other Fleet. construction, in ship construction, capital ship British capital Fleet. British What demanded. What originally demanded. had originally been Liberals had the Liberals as the zero as to zero almost to cut almost been cut exagto exagability to Fisher’s ability Admiral Fisher's was Admiral so was doing so really from doing them from prevented them really prevented true the true blur the menace, blur naval menace, gerate German naval the German of the magnitude of the magnitude gerate the naval British naval of British direction of real direction the real strength conceal the and conceal Navy and Royal Navy the Royal of the strength of to was to maneuvers was policy. successful maneuvers most successful his most of his one of see, one shall see, we Shall As we policy. AS ship capital in propound the concept of a “dreadnought revolution” in capital ship revolution” “dreadnought propound the concept of a huge Navy’s huge Royal Navy’s the Royal design. discount the to discount Admiralty to the Admiralty allowed the This allowed design. This continued justify thereby and superiority in “pre-dreadnought” warships and thereby justify continued warships “pre-dreadnought” in superiority underbe undermust be Fisher, itit must high construction. Fisher, ship construction. capital ship new capital of new levels of high levels European in European fighting in for fighting stood, just for fleet just building aa fleet in building interested in not interested was not stood, was defense imperial defense effective imperial waters. an effective create an to create rather to aiming rather was aiming He was waters. He was Fisher was moreover, Fisher reasons, moreover, force of reasons, variety of For aa variety reach. For global reach. with global force with he course Of budget. especially anxious to preserve the construction budget. Of course he construction the preserve to anxious especially we as also, but warships, wanted to equip the Royal Navy with up-to-date warships, but also, aS we up-to-date with Navy Royal the equip wanted to

to appearing to While appearing Shall capacity. While building capacity. warship building maintain warship to maintain see, to shall see,

Fisher therefore, Fisher masters, therefore, cooperate political masters, his political of his wishes of the wishes with the cooperate with than stronger far only worked to create a new model fleet that was not only far stronger than not was worked to create a new model fleet that pridesigned was also but also was designed prinecessary waters but home waters of home control of ensure control to ensure necessary to thus, and, thus, marily oceans and, world’s oceans the world’s controlling the By controlling defense. By imperial defense. for imperial marily for simulcould simulNavy could Royal Navy the the Royal believed the Fisher believed overseas, Fisher trade overseas, to trade ability to the ability conflict of conflict taneously effects of worst effects the worst from the economy from British economy the British insulate the taneously insulate busileast, busiat least, Britain, at while For Britain, enemy. For the enemy. on the damage on massive damage inflicting massive while inflicting ness would would continue continue as as usual. usual. ness Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, httpsz/lhd|.hand|e.net/2027/heb.31569.

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Introduction Introduction

9 9

Thanks Thanks largely largely to to Fisher’s Fisher’s efforts, efforts, between between 1906 1906 and and 1909 1909 the the navy navy was was able able to to retain retain a a much much larger larger share share of of the the national national budget budget than than the the government government intended. intended. As As aa consequence consequence the the pace pace of of social social reform reform was was slower Slower and and the the Liberal’s Liberal’s ability ability to to implement implement their their domestic domestic agenda agenda was was undermined. undermined. Fisher’s Fisher’s ability ability to to preserve preserve the the naval naval budget budget from from signifi— significant cant cuts cuts ultimately ultimately compelled compelled the the Liberal Liberal chancellor chancellor in in 1909, 1909, David David Lloyd Lloyd George, George, to to take take aa huge huge electoral electoral gamble gamble by by massively massively increasing increasing the the level level of of personal personal taxation. taxation. As As it it happened happened that that gamble gamble succeeded. succeeded, and and at at the the 1910 1910 general general election election the the Liberals Liberals were were returned returned to to power power albeit albeit with with aa reduced reduced majority majority in in the the House House of of Commons. Commons. Over Over the the next next four four years years state state revenues revenues increased increased by by aa third third from from £151 £151 million million to to £209 £209 million—partially million—partially the the result result of of the the new new levies levies and and partially partially due due to to a a forfortuitous tuitous surge surge in in yields yields from from existing existing taxes—thus taxes—thus allowing allowing the the governgovernment ment to to pay pay for for both both social social reform reform and and (at (at least least until until 1913) 1913) easily easily meet meet the Admiralty’s Admiralty’s demands demands for for increases increases in in naval naval expenditure. expenditure. the Fisher’s successful successful duplicity duplicity was was largely largely the the result result of of his his ability ability to to Fisher's misleading thereby misleading politicians, thereby the politicians, of the illiteracy of technological illiteracy the technological exploit the exploit them them on on the the real real reasons reasons for for his his various various reforms, reforms, the the purpose purpose of of the the warwarships ships he he was was building, building, and and the the true true strength strength of of the the fleet. fleet. The The best best docudocuHis Sumida.18 His Jon Sumida."® Prof. Jon by Prof. recently by provided recently been provided has been example has mented example mented all why all and why how and explained how has explained policy has ship policy capital ship Fisher’s, capital of Fisher’s analysis of analysis previous previous historians historians have have completely completely misunderstood misunderstood the the so-called so-called “dread“dreadnought revolution.” revolution.” Far Far from from encouraging encouraging the the development development of of the the nought Dreadnought (as (as he be publicly publicly claimed), claimed), Fisher Fisher was was actually actually in in favor favor of of aa Dreadnought allof allbuilding of the building to the opposition to His opposition construction. His battleship construction. in battleship cessation in cessation intended aa indeed intended Fisher indeed however, Fisher notwithstanding, however, battleships notwithstanding, big-gun battleships big-gun “revolution" “revolution” in in capital capital ship ship design. design. He He wanted wanted the the Royal Royal Navy Navy to to build build aa yet armed yet heavily armed cruiser, aa heavily battle cruiser, the battle warship, the armored warship, of armored type of new type new powerful and powerful enough and swift enough be swift to be designed to warship designed armored warship lightly armored lightly comoceanic comBritish oceanic on British preying on cruisers preying enemy cruisers overwhelm enemy to overwhelm enough to enough enemy bring enemy to bring advantage to speed advantage their speed exploiting their of exploiting capable of and capable merce and merce state-of-thetheir state-of-thewhere their ranges where long ranges relatively long at relatively action at to action battleships to battleships to them to allow them would allow battery would all-big-gun battery and all-big-gun equipment and control equipment fire control art fire art cruisbattle cruishis battle developed his Fisher developed Before Fisher return. Before in return. hit in being hit without being hit without hit the fight the to fight cruisers to protected cruisers small protected its small use its to use planned to Navy planned Royal Navy the Royal er, the er, cruisarmored cruisfight armored to fight cruisers to armored cruisers big armored cruisers, big protected cruisers, enemy’s protected enemy’s the cruiser the battle cruiser the battle giving the By giving battleships. By fight battleships. to fight battleships to and battleships ers, and ers, to enough to fast enough making itit fast and making successfully, and battleship successfully, fight aa battleship to fight capability capability to to sought to Fisher sought cruisers, Fisher smaller cruisers, of smaller classes of all classes overwhelm all and overwhelm catch and catch Had three. Had by three. done by previously done work previously the work perform the ship perform of ship type of one type make one make liberathe liberain the resulted in have resulted would have implemented, itit would fully implemented, been fully policy been his policy his as history,” as all history,” “In all manpower. “In scarce manpower. and scarce money and of money amounts of vast amounts of vast tion of tion Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.hand|e.net/2027/heb.31569.

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10 10

Revolution Naval Revolution Sir Fisher’s Naval John Fisher's Sir John

such for such proposals for few proposals been few another have been “there have observed, “there has observed, scholar has another scholar serthe within from opposition radical changes in force structure.”’® But opposition from within the serBut structure.”‘9 force radical changes in capital his compromise to him vice to Fisher’s radical theories obliged him to compromise his capital obliged theories radical Fisher’s vice to dreadnought (albeit dreadnought conventional (albeit ship building conventional continue building to continue and to policy and ship policy type) battleships. type) battleships. one just one was just concept was cruiser concept This battle cruiser Fisher’s battle that Fisher’s show that will show book will This book firegunnery mechanized the component of his radical vision and that the mechanized gunnery firethat and vision radical component of his As exploit. As to exploit. proposed to he proposed control inventions he the inventions of the one of just one was just system was control system of development the in sums head of the navy, Fisher invested large sums in the development of large invested Fisher head of the navy, intelligence the telegraphy, submarines, long-range torpedoes, wireless telegraphy, the intelligence wireless submarines, long-range torpedoes, “revFisher’s “revof Fisher’s measure of full measure The full services, projects. The other projects. of other range of and aa range services, and considering by considering in by taken in be taken olution only be can only however, can affairs,” however, naval affairs,” in naval olution in that recognized that Fisher recognized the whole. Fisher as aa whole. program as his program of his characteristics of the characteristics adaptation revolutionary adaptation new potentially revolutionary to potentially themselves to lent themselves technologies lent new technologies as so as structure so force structure and naval force entire naval the entire reorganize the to reorganize proposed to thus proposed and thus build aa to build continuing to of continuing better Instead of systems. Instead weapon systems. new weapon exploit new to exploit better to creto creattempted to he attempted cruisers, he and cruisers, ‘fleet battleships and of battleships largely of comprised largely ‘ fleet comprised subdeveloped subnewly developed the newly and the ate cruiser and battle cruiser the battle around the built around navy built ate aa navy water blue water the blue as the serve as to serve was to marine. course, was of course, cruiser, of battle cruiser, The battle marine. The to were Submarines defense. multi-role surface warship for imperial defense. Submarines were to imperial for warship multi-role surface this To this invasion. To form against invasion. defense against naval defense Britain’s naval of Britain’s cornerstone of the cornerstone form the “flotilof “flotilconcept of end, power—the concept sea power—the of sea theory of new theory developed aa new Fisher developed end, Fisher the protect the to protect la intended to strategy intended denial strategy sea denial was aa sea This was defense.” This la defense.” main the main of the absence of British the absence in the invasion in of invasion possibility of the possibility from the Isles from British Isles force naval force project naval to project fleet, ability to the ability Navy the Royal Navy the Royal to the restoring to thus restoring fleet, thus another from another blue” from the blue” from the “bolt from into of aa “bolt fear of without fear waters without distant waters into distant Fisher service. Fisher foreign service. on foreign European was on fleet was surface fleet the surface while the power while European power not maintain ifif not to maintain Britain to hoped enable Britain would enable system would new system his new that his hOped that of spite of in spite powers in great powers other great to other enhance relative to strength relative naval strength its naval enhance its military—or conceived aa military—or Fisher conceived financial parlance, Fisher modern parlance, In modern weakness. In financial weakness. naval—technological naval—technological revolution. revolution. administrahis administraDuring his Fisher’s paper. During to paper. confined to not confined were not theories were Fisher’s theories guise the guise under the program under his program of his tion elements of the elements of the most of introduced most he introduced tion he in was in instance, was for instance, of defense, for flotilla defense, of flotilla system of The system reforms. The necessary reforms. of necessary batof batsquadron of first squadron its first had its Navy had place Royal Navy the Royal 1909 the by 1909 And by 1907. And by 1907. place by all convince all to convince able to immediately able tle not immediately was not Fisher was Although Fisher cruisers. Although tle cruisers. his his professional professional colleagues colleagues of of his his naval naval revolution, revolution, he he was was able, able, neverneverof core of upon aa core relying upon theless, by relying program by his program of his much of through much push through to push theless, to and changes and necessary changes supporters the necessary implement the to implement service to the service within the supporters within by ruthlessly ruthlessly suppressing suppressing all all internal internal dissent. dissent. And And even even though though Fisher's Fisher's by immediate successors successors at at the the Admiralty Admiralty abandoned abandoned flotilla flotilla defense defense and and immediate altered altered much much of of his his strategic strategic policy policy after after his his retirement retirement in in 1910, 1910, within within Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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Introduction Introduction

11 11

two two years years worsening worsening financial financial problems problems led led to to them them being being resurrected resurrected by by aa dynamic dynamic new new civilian civilian head head of of the the Admiralty—Winston Admiralty—Winston S. S. Churchill. Churchill. By By 1913, 1913, the the majority majority of of Britain’s Britain’s naval naval leaders leaders had had been been persuaded persuaded that that Fisher’s Fisher’s strategy strategy theory theory was was sound, sound, and and early early the the following following year year the the Board Board of of Admiralty Admiralty (civilian (civilian and and professional) professional) endorsed endorsed the the change change in in policy policy and and prepared prepared to to implement implement his his naval naval revolution. revolution. W ===> S———-

This This book book has has three three parts. parts. Each Each consists consists of of three three chapters. chapters. Part Part one one serves serves as as an an introduction introduction to to the the Fisher Fisher era era proper. proper. The The first first chapter chapter explores explores the the origins origins of of financial financial limitation limitation and and its its impact impact upon upon the the navy. navy. Chapter Chapter two two looks looks at at the the Admiralty’s Admiralty’s policy policy with with regard regard to to submarines submarines before before the the appointment appointment of of Fisher Fisher as as first first sea sea lord, lord, and and explodes explodes the the myth myth that that the the Royal Royal Navy Navy ignored ignored the the invention invention of of the the submarine submarine and and was was opposed opposed to to their their incorporation incorporation into into the the fleet. fleet. The The third third chapter chapter studies studies the the evolution evolution of of Fisher’s Fisher’s radical radical theories theories and and shows shows how how his his reaction reaction to to important important innovations innovations (such (such as as the the perfection perfection of of the the submarine) submarine) or or his his appreciation appreciation of of key key events events was was more more often often than than not not fundamentally fundamentally difdifferent ferent from from those those of of his his contemporaries. contemporaries. The The responses responses he he advocated, advocated, accordingly, accordingly, were were also also different. different. Part Part two two covers covers the the Fisher Fisher administraadministration. tion. These These three three chapters chapters examine examine his his true true motives motives and and intentions, intentions, how how he he implemented implemented his his theories, theories, how how he he misled misled the the government government over over the the purposes purposes of of his his reforms, reforms, how how further further technical technical progress progress modified modified his his vision, vision, and and how how he he was was deflected deflected from from his his course course by by a a range range of of political, political, financial, financial, administrative administrative factors, factors, culminating culminating in in his his battle battle for for control control of of naval naval policy policy with with Adm. Adm. Lord Lord Charles Charles Beresford Beresford and and then then the the Liberal Liberal prime prime minister, minister, H. H. H. H. Asquith. Asquith. The The final final three three chapters chapters look look at at how how Fisher’s Fisher's strategic strategic vision vision was was perverted perverted by by his his successors. successors. It It will will be be shown, shown, for for example, example, that that the the ponderous ponderous Grand Grand Fleet Fleet of of Battle Battle system system employed employed by by the the Royal Royal Navy Navy throughout throughout the the First First World World War—a War—a large large integrated integrated fleet fleet of of dreadnoughts, dreadnoughts, cruisers, cruisers, destroyers, destroyers, and and even even subsubmarines marines that that prowled prowled the the North North Sea Sea in in the the hope hope of of catching catching and and annihilating annihilating the the German German fleet fleet at at sea—which sea—which all all historians historians have have thought thought represented represented the the embodiment embodiment of of all all strategic strategic and and tactical tactical thinking thinking for for at at least least twenty twenty years years before before the the war, war, was was in in fact fact created created as as an an experiment experiment during during the the period period 1910—13. 1910-13. The The book book closes closes with with an an analysis analysis of of why why Churchill’s administration administration ultimately ultimately decided decided to to revive revive Fisher's Fisher’s strategy, strategy, Churchill’s so secret. kept so was kept policy was in policy change in the change why the reasons why the reasons and the and

Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.hand|e.net/2027/heb.31569.

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Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hdl.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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PART PART I|

Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hdl.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

Downloaded on behalf of Digital Theological Library, Claremont, CA

Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hdl.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

Downloaded on behalf of Digital Theological Library, Claremont, CA

CHAPTER CHAPTER 11

The The Price Price of of Naval Naval Supremacy Supremacy The The maintenance maintenance of of naval naval supremacy supremacy is is our our whole whole foundation. foundation. Upon Upon it it stands stands not not the the empire empire only, only, not not merely merely the the commercial commercial property property of of our our people, people, not not merely merely aa fine fine place place in in the the world's world’s affairs; affairs; upon upon our our naval naval

supremacy supremacy stands stands our our lives lives and and the the freedom freedom we we have have guarded guarded for for nearly nearly aa thousand thousand years. years. Winston Winston 8. S. Churchill, Churchill, first first lord lord of of the the Admiralty, Admiralty, 10 10 November November 1911 1911

British British naval naval supremacy supremacy has has always always been been a a difficult difficult concept concept to to define. define. Although Although the the term term was was commonplace commonplace in in the the language language of of politicians politicians and and statesmen Statesmen of of the the late-nineteenth late-nineteenth and and early-twentieth early-twentieth centuries, centuries, and and the the notion notion was was already already deeply deeply engraved engraved into into the the national national consciousness consciousness long long before before Capt. Capt. Alfred Alfred Mahan Mahan expounded expounded his his theory theory of of the the influence influence of of sea sea power power upon upon history, history, for for much much of of this this period period aa precise precise definition definition was was regarded regarded as as neither neither necessary necessary nor nor desirable. desirable. The The art art of of naval naval warfare warfare was was aa highly highly complex complex and and technical technical subject subject about about which which politicians politicians knew knew litlittle tle and and cared cared less. less. Statesmen Statesmen thought thought of of navies navies and and sea sea power power in in terms terms of of deterrence deterrence and and prestige prestige rather rather than than fighting fighting capability; capability; this this was was just just as as true true in in 1914 1914 as as it it was was in in 1880. 1880. From From this this perspective perspective numbers numbers of of warwarships ships (and (and their their cost) cost) were were more more important important than than combat combat effectiveness. effectiveness. Throughout Throughout this this period period the the British British government government expected expected the the Royal Royal Navy Navy to to perform perform three three main main tasks: tasks: first, first, and and foremost, foremost, the the navy navy was was to to dominate dominate the the narrow narrow seas seas and and approaches approaches to to the the British British Isles Isles and and so so prevent prevent invasion;‘ invasion;' second, second, the the navy navy was was to to secure secure communications communications with with the the colonies, colonies, and and particularly particularly the the route route through through the the Mediterranean Mediterranean to to India; and India; and and third, third, the the navy navy was was held held responsible responsible for for the the preservation preservation and the of the prosperity of the prosperity which the upon which system upon trading system global trading the global of the security of security nation nation depended. depended. This This involved involved patrolling patrolling the the ocean ocean trade trade routes, routes, chartcharting ing and and surveying, surveying, suppressing suppressing piracy, piracy, and and generally generally protecting protecting British British underalways underwas always return, itit was In return, interference. In from interference. trade from imperial trade and imperial and stood stood that that the the Royal Royal Navy Navy would would be be provided provided with with ample ample forces forces to to ensure ensure other of other combination of reasonable combination any reasonable over any predominance over maritime predominance aa maritime European European great great powers.2 powers.’ This This meant meant sufficient sufficient line-of—battle line-of-battle ships ships to to be be 15

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Revolution Naval Revolution Fisher’s Naval John Fisher's Sir John Sir

sure sure of of a a decisive decisive victory victory in in engagements engagements against against enemy enemy main main fleets, fleets, enough enough cruising cruising vessels vessels to to protect protect maritime maritime trade trade from from interference,3 interference,’ and and a a supply supply of of flotilla flotilla craft craft (chiefly (chiefly gunboats) gunboats) for for imperial imperial constabulary constabulary duties duties and and to to perform perform the the minor minor operations operations of of war. war. was the the responsibility responsibility of of the the lords lords commissioners commissioners for for executing executing ItIt was the the office office of of the the lord lord high high admiral admiral (collectively (collectively known known as as the the Board Board of of Admiralty) of Admiralty) to to articulate articulate the the Royal Royal Navy’s Navy's requirements. requirements. At At the the head head of this this board, board, or or committee, committee, sat sat the the first first lord. lord. This This post post was was aa ministerial ministerial portfolio portfolio carrying carrying senior senior rank rank in in the the Cabinet Cabinet of of ministers, ministers, the the political political executive, executive, and and during during the the period period covered covered by by this this survey survey was was always always held held by of by aa civilian. civilian. His His chief chief assistants assistants were were two two junior junior members members of Parliament, Parliament, who who held held the the offices offices of of financial financial secretary secretary and and parliamenparliamentary tary secretary; secretary; usually usually the the same same man man held held both. both. The The two two most most senior senior civil civil servants the servants in in the the department department (again (again civilians) civilians) were were also also members members of of the Board Board of of Admiralty. Admiralty. They They occupied occupied the the posts posts of of civil civil lord lord (from (from 1912 1912 there there were were two two civil civil lords) lords) and and that that of of permanent permanent secretary. secretary. Three Three naval naval lords, lords, the the controller, controller, and and the the naval naval secretary secretary represented represented professional professional naval naval officers. officers. The The controller, controller, who who sometimes sometimes was was also also referred referred to to as as third third naval naval lord, lord, held held responsibility responsibility for for all all aspects aspects of of naval naval materiel. matériel. He He supervised supervised the the Royal Royal Dockyards, Dockyards, the the Corps Corps of of Naval Naval Constructors, Constructors, the the Contracts Contracts Department, Department, and and the the Directorates Directorates of of Naval Naval Ordnance Ordnance and and Torpedoes. Torpedoes. The The controller, controller, in in effect, effect, was was the the managing managing director director of of the the navy’s navy’s substantial substantial manufacturing manufacturing concerns. concerns. The The naval naval secretary secretary generalgenerally ly served served as as administrative administrative assistant assistant to to the the first first lord lord and and oversaw oversaw the the promotions promotions and and appointments appointments of of naval naval officers. officers. Before Before 1904 1904 the the naval naval lords lords proper proper held held joint joint responsibility responsibility for for the the general general running running of of the the navy. navy. After of After this this date date their their labor labor was was divided: divided: the the senior senior or or first first took took charge charge of operational the operational and and strategic strategic policy; policy; the the second, second, naval naval personnel; personnel; and and the junior junior or or fourth fourth naval naval lord lord was was given given responsibility responsibility for for stores, stores, supply, supply, and and the the transport transport service. service. Although Although it it was was the the first first lord lord who who was was accountable accountable to to Cabinet Cabinet and and Parliament Parliament for for the the navy navy and and thus thus the the man man who who held held ultimate ultimate authority, authority, the the other other members members of of the the Board Board were were not not his his assistants. assistants. Power Power to to take take decisions decisions was was vested vested in in the the Board: Board: without without support support of of the the naval naval lords lords the the first first lord lord could could not not act. act. For For most most of of the the nineteenth nineteenth century, century, Great Great Britain Britain lacked lacked a a great great power power competitor competitor capable capable of of mounting mounting a a serious serious and and sustained sustained chalchallenge lenge at at sea. sea. She She was, was, consequently, consequently, able able to to preserve preserve her her “naval “naval masmastery” tery” at at little little cost, cost, with with a a fleet fleet comprised comprised of of old old ships ships as as well well as as new new ones. ones. Thus, Thus, the the construction construction budget budget was was low. low. Although Although the the numerical numerical strength Strength of of the the active active British British fleet—comprised fleet—comprised of of line-of-battle line-of-battle ships— ships— was was perhaps perhaps only only one-third one-third more more than than that that of of its its principal principal rival, rival, the the Marine Marine Francaise, Frangaise, the the Royal Royal Navy Navy possessed possessed an an enormous enormous reserve reserve stock stock Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.hand|e.net/2027/heb.31569.

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The Price Price of of Naval Naval Supremacy Supremacy The

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of of wooden wooden warships warships that that could, could, in in an an emergency, emergency, be be swiftly swiftly recommisrecommissioned Sioned and and manned manned by by crews crews drawn drawn from from the the largest largest merchant merchant marine marine in in the the world. world. Nor Nor was was Britain’s Britain’s naval naval position position seriously seriously challenged challenged during during the the transition transition from from sail-driven sail-driven to to steam-propelled steam-propelled warships. warships. When When it it came came to to building building ironclads, ironclads, the the Royal Royal Navy Navy was was able able to to rely rely upon upon Britain’s Britain’s huge huge financial financial and and industrial industrial strength strength to to build build warships warships both both faster faster and and cheaper cheaper than than any any other other power. power. As As late late as as 1880, 1880, for for instance, instance, Britain’s Britain’s output output of of coal, coal, pig-iron, pig-iron, and and steel steel was was more more than than twice twice that that of of any any Continental Continental power.4 power.‘ in In 1914 1914 the the British British naval naval armaments armaments industry industry could could still still build build more more warships warships per per year year than than all all the the other other great great naval naval powers powers combined. combined. During During the the 1880s 1880s there there grew grew within within the the country country aa perception perception that that the the Royal Royal Navy Navy was was losing losing its its naval naval mastery, mastery, Great Great Britain’s Britain’s still still comcommanding manding lead lead in in naval naval technologies technologies and and unrivaled unrivaled manufacturing manufacturing strength strength notwithstanding. notwithstanding. Not Not only only had had other other powers powers begun begun to to invest invest in in naval naval power, power, but, but, more more ominously, ominously, Britain’s Britain's economic economic lead lead was was seen seen to to be be slipping slipping to to countries countries with with better better endowed endowed and and more more flexible flexible economies. economies. War War scares scares in in 1884 1884 and and 1885 1885 against against Russia Russia and and again again in in 1888 1888 against against France France incited incited aa public public clamor clamor in in Britain Britain for for naval naval expanexpansion. sion. But But the the government’s government’s response response was was equivocal. equivocal. increases Increases in in naval naval estimates estimates in in 1885 1885 and and 1886 1886 were were followed followed by by cuts cuts in in naval naval expenditure expenditure the the next next two two years. years. Both Both political political parties parties were were reluctant reluctant to to raise raise taxes taxes to to fund fund aa permanent permanent increase increase in in the the naval naval establishment. establishment. The The question question of of whether whether late-Victorian Jate-Victorian Britain Britain retained retained her her naval naval mastery mastery was was immensely immensely difficult difficult to to prove prove or or disprove. disprove. The The crude crude quantitative quantitative measures measures of of naval naval strength strength that that had had served served in in the the age age of of sail sail were were meaningless meaningless in in aa period period of of rapid rapid technological technological innovation, innovation, and and it it was was virtually virtually impossible impossible to to add add aa sufficiently sufficiently flexible flexible qualitative qualitative element element to to the the equation. equation. Battleships Battleships under under construction construction at at the the beginning beginning of of the the decade decade were were already already obsolesobsolescent cent by by the the time time they they had had been been launched launched and and within within ten ten years years were were unfit unfit to to lie lie in in the the line line of of battle, battle, being being no no match match for for more more modern modern vessels. vessels. That That being being said, said, however, however, until until the the development development during during the the late late 18908 1890s of of the the American American navies, navies, and and especially especially the the Japanese Japanese navy, navy, such such warships warships were were capable capable of of rendering rendering service service in in distant distant waters. waters. “In “In the the China China Sea, Sea, on on the the west west coast coast of of South South America, America, in in every every harbour harbour remote remote from from Europe,” Europe,” as as Sir Sir Thomas Thomas Brassey, Brassey, aa prominent prominent naval naval authority, authority, noted noted in in 1882, 1882, “our “our flag flag will will be be shown shown with with credit credit for for years years to to come come in in ironclads, ironclads, condemned condemned as as obsolete obsolete for for aa commission commission in in the the Channel Channel and and Mediterranean.“ Mediterranean.”® in In peacetime peacetime anyway. anyway. The The value value of of these these semi-obsolete semi-obsolete vessels vessels in in wartime wartime was more more debatable. debatable. was Britain’s Britain’s naval naval leaders leaders deliberately deliberately made made little little effort effort to to educate educate their their political political masters masters on on the the true true workings workings of of sea sea power. power. For For the the Admiralty Admiralty Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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there there was was some some advantage advantage in in using using “vague “vague and and insubstantial” insubstantial” language language

whenever whenever the the first first lord lord was was obliged obliged to to ask ask Parliament Parliament for for more more money. money. A A spectrum spectrum of of political political interest interest groups groups could could be be persuaded persuaded to to ensure ensure the the provision provision of of additional additional money money needed needed to to uphold uphold “naval “naval supremacy” supremacy” withwithout out having having to to agree agree how how the the new new appropriation appropriation would would be be spent spent or or what what exactly exactly it it would would buy. buy. The The growing growing complexity complexity of of ironclad ironclad warships warships reinreinforced forced this this tendency tendency to to leave leave all all details details to to the the experts. experts. Whereas Whereas in in the the age age of of sail, sail, laymen laymen could could estimate estimate the the relative relative strength strength of of a a fleet, fleet, in in the the age age of of industrial industrial navies, navies, especially especially during during an an age age of of rapid rapid technological technological change, change, estimates estimates of of the the fighting fighting value value of of warships warships were were highly highly subjecsubjective, tive, and, and, thus, thus, only only professional professional naval naval officers officers were were in in aa position position to to say say with with any any authority authority how how many many ships ships were were required required to to uphold uphold naval naval supremacy—if supremacy—if such such aa number number existed. existed. So So long long as as the the Admiralty’s Admiralty’s demands demands upon upon the the Treasury Treasury were were moderate, moderate, and and dissatisfied dissatisfied naval naval officers officers did did not not try try to to stir stir up up public public support support for for more more ships ships by by issuing issuing sensational sensational revelations revelations (as (as occurred occurred in in 1884),6 1884),° the the Cabinet Cabinet seldom seldom chalchallenged lenged the the Admiralty’s Admiralty’s authority. authority. Once Once the the navy navy estimates estimates began began to to climb, climb, however, however, the the government government began began demanding demanding justification justification for for further further increases increases in in expenditure. expenditure. The The question question as as to to whether whether or or not not Britannia Britannia still still ruled ruled the the waves waves became became a a political political matter matter of of growing growing importance. importance. By By the the end end of of the the 1880s, 1880s, this this and and other other naval naval issues issues grabbed grabbed the the public public attention attention “in “in aa way way that that would would have have been been unthinkable” unthinkable” ten ten years years before.7 before.’ During During the the winter winter of of 1888, 1888, the the government government came came under under attack attack for for failing failing to to provide provide adequate adequate funding funding for for the the navy navy at at a a time time when when rival rival powers powers were were increasing increasing their their maritime maritime capabilities. capabilities. The The unfairness unfairness of of these these accusations, accusations, based based as as they they were were upon upon subjective subjective measures measures of of naval naval power, power, persuaded persuaded the the first first lord lord of of the the Admiralty, Admiralty, Lord Lord George George Hamilton, Hamilton, that that the the government government could could avoid avoid much much of of the the arbitrary arbitrary criticism criticism of of naval naval policy policy by by publishing publishing a a yardstick yardstick by by which which its its commitment commitment to to upholding upholding British British naval naval supremacy supremacy could could be be visibly visibly measured. measured. In In cooperation cooperation with with the the naval naval lords lords of of the the Admiralty, Admiralty,

Hamilton Hamilton set set himself himself the the task task of of calculating calculating the the navy’s navy’s matériel matériel requirerequire-

ments ments in in aa modern modern war. war. On On 7 7 March March 1889, 1889, the the first first lord lord explained explained his his new new formula formula to to Parliament. Parliament. II have have endeavoured endeavoured to to study study the the speeches speeches of of those those who who in in previous previous years years have have held held my my position position and and that that of of Prime Prime Minister, Minister, so so as as to to ascertain ascertain what what was was the the paramount paramount idea idea underlying underlying their their utterances utterances when when they they spoke spoke of of

the the standard standard at at which which our our naval naval establishment establishment should should be be maintained. maintained. I|

think think II am am correct correct in in saying saying that that the the leading leading idea idea has has been been that that our our estabestablishment lishment should should be be on on such such aa scale scale that that it it should should at at least least be be equal equal to to the the

naval naval strength strength of of any any two two other other countries.8 countries.® Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hdl.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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By By “our “our establishment,” establishment,” Hamilton Hamilton meant meant the the number number of of modern modern battlebattleships. ships. “Supremacy “Supremacy at at sea,” sea,” he he observed, observed, “must, “must, after after all, all, be be measured measured by by the the number number of of battleships battleships we we can can put put into into the the line.”9 line.” Elsewhere Elsewhere in in his his speech, speech, the the first first lord lord insisted insisted that that only only up-to-date up-to-date types types would would be be countcounted ed toward toward the the new new standard; standard; this this was was aa very very significant significant departure departure from from established established practice practice and and represented represented a a concession concession to to those those who who had had argued argued that that older older battleships battleships would would be be of of little little use use in in a a real real war. war. Deleting Deleting older older vessels vessels also also provided provided justification justification for for new new construction. construction. As As to to how how he he intended intended to to calculate calculate his his “two-Power “two-Power standard,” standard,” as as it it became became known, known, Hamilton Hamilton remained remained deliberately deliberately vague. vague. At At the the very very least least it it meant meant a a modern modern British British battleship battleship force force numerically numerically equal equal to to the the comcombined bined battleship battleship fleets fleets of of the the next next two two strongest strongest naval naval powers; powers; at at the the most most it it provided provided for for a a fleet fleet certain certain of of containing containing the the combined combined fleets fleets of of the the next next two two strongest strongest naval naval powers powers or, or, in in quantitative quantitative terms, terms, aa British British battle battle fleet fleet approximately approximately 10 10 to to 15 15 percent percent larger larger than than that that of of her her potenpotential tial opponents.‘0 opponents.'° Equality Equality plus plus a a margin, margin, in in other other words. words. When When later later that that

March March Hamilton Hamilton announced announced aa huge huge naval naval construction construction program program that that clearly clearly exceeded exceeded his his new new two-power two-power formula, formula, the the confusion confusion was was exacerexacerbated." bated.'' Without Without explaining explaining his his calculations, calculations, Hamilton Hamilton fixed fixed the the estabestablishment lishment of of the the British British fleet fleet at at forty-seven forty-seven battleships. battleships. This This gave gave the the Royal Royal Navy Navy aa margin margin of of six six units units over over the the combined combined battle battle fleets fleets of of France France and and ltaly—the Italy—the then then secondsecond- and and third-ranking third-ranking naval naval powers. powers. Over Over the the next next five five years, years, Hamilton Hamilton revealed revealed to to Parliament, Parliament, seventy seventy new new warships warships would would be be added added to to the the navy’s navy’s list, list, including including ten ten capital capital units units that that were were much much superior superior to to all all previous previous battleships. battleships. The The total total cost cost of of the the Naval Naval Defense Defense Act Act was was projected projected at at twenty-one twenty-one million million for for warships warships plus plus an additional additional five five million million to to pay pay for for improvements improvements in in fleet-support fleet-support infrainfraan structure. Hamilton Hamilton maintained maintained that that this this construction construction program program would would structure. provide provide the the navy navy with with ample ample warships, warships, “adequate “adequate not not only only to to our our immeimmediate, but but also also our our future future wants.” wants.” In In the the process process he he explained explained that that the the diate, Board Board hoped hoped the the magnitude magnitude of of the the sum sum to to be be spent spent under under the the Naval Naval Defense Act Act would would discourage discourage the the naval naval aspirations aspirations of of rival rival powers.” powers.12 Defense All interested interested groups groups quickly quickly accepted accepted the the “two-Power “two-Power standard” standard” as as All the literal literal definition definition of of British British naval naval supremacy; supremacy; in in other other words words public public the still was still Britain was that Britain satisfied that remained satisfied opinion remained parliamentary opinion and parliamentary and supreme at at Sea sea so so long long as as the the Royal Royal Navy Navy possessed possessed as as many many battleships battleships supreme as the the second second and and third third naval naval powers powers combined. combined. In In 1890, 1890, the the standard standard as was endorsed endorsed by by the the Liberal Liberal Party. Party. In In the the House House of of Commons, Commons, the the issue issue was stannew stanthe new why the reason why One reason importance. One in importance. faded in spending faded naval spending of naval of dard appealed appealed to to the the politicians politicians was was that that its its definition definition was dard was so so flexible. flexible. No No amendments amendments were were required required when when Russia Russia assumed assumed the the rank rank of of third third naval naval power, power, or or when when France France and and Russia Russia announced announced their their formal Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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to intended to was intended standard was the standard originally the Whereas originally alliance later. Whereas year later. alliance aa year

upholding with upholding consistent with strength consistent naval strength of naval level of establish minimum level the minimum establish the

After level. After maximum level. as aa maximum regarded as became regarded naval quickly became supremacy, itit quickly naval supremacy, was there was 1890s, there the 1890s, during the programs during naval programs further foreign naval in foreign increases in further increases taxBritish taxthe British that the parties that political parties the political between the informal agreement between informal agreement the matching the of matching burden of full burden the full assume the to assume asked to payer be asked not be would not payer would middle the middle By the ship. By for ship. ship for fleets ship Russian fleets and Russian increases French and the French in the increases in been had been battleships had in battleships superiority” in of superiority” “margin of of Hamilton’s “margin decade, Hamilton’s the decade, of the the of the members of professional members the professional of the dismay of the dismay to the eroded much to zero, much to zero, eroded to Board of of Admiralty. Admiralty. Board of politics of the politics simplified the have simplified may have formula may While two-power formula the two-power While the requirematerial requirenavy’s material the navy’s satisfy the not satisfy did not nevertheless did naval finance, itit nevertheless naval finance, essentially itit that essentially realize isis that to realize failed to have failed historians have ments. most historians What most ments. What to useful to was useful standard. ItIt was military standard. than aa military rather than political rather was always aa political was always naval the naval that the guarantee that as aa guarantee served as as itit served insofar as the Admiralty insofar of Admiralty Board of the Board did certainly did But itit certainly leVel. But minimum level. below aa minimum fall below not fall would not establishment establishment would fundathe fundaor the thinking or strategic thinking naval strategic of naval direction of the direction not either the reflect either not reflect theoretical any theoretical upon any based upon was itit based Nor was doctrine. Nor naval doctrine. mentals of naval mentals of that felt that fact, felt in fact, officers in naval officers senior naval Most senior warfare. Most principles naval warfare. of naval principles of Sir insufficient. Sir was insufficient. battleships was of battleships numbers of in numbers parity in two-power two-power parity from lord from naval lord senior naval as senior served as who served example, who for example, Richards, for Frederick Richards, Frederick the feel the we feel turn we every turn “at every that “at complained that frequently complained 1893 1899, frequently until 1899, 1893 until battleships in battleships equality in with equality content with being content of being policy of the policy of the inconvenience inconvenience of felt, he felt, sea,” he the sea,” by the lives by which lives power which “a power For “a Russia.”13 For with and Russia.”'® France and with France Lord Adm. Lord superiority.”14 Adm. unquestioned superiority.”’"* in unquestioned lies in policy lies “the true policy only true “the only term his term throughout his and throughout agreed and entirely agreed him entirely succeeded him Walter who succeeded Kerr, who Walter Kerr, margin.” “safety margin.” the “safety of the restoration of the restoration for the pressed for constantly constantly pressed and political and prevailing political the prevailing in the that, in appreciated that, both appreciated Nevertheless, Nevertheless, both financial financial climate, climate, their their aspirations aspirations were were impracticable. impracticable. legitimore legitimuch more serious—and much more serious—and held more Britain’s leaders held naval leaders Britain’s naval for suitable for cruisers suitable modern cruisers of modern number of available number the available at the mate—concerns mate—concerns at of defense of the defense for the scheme for In aa scheme trade. In oceanic trade. empire’s oceanic protecting the empire’s protecting the departintelligence departnaval intelligence the naval scare, the war scare, 1885 war the 1885 during the trade prepared during trade prepared of force of its force augment its to augment able to being able Navy being Royal Navy the Royal on the calculated on ment calculated ment armed seventy-five armed least seventy-five at least with at vessels with protection vessels trade protection eighty-three eighty-three trade an that an recognized that had recognized Admiralty had the Admiralty however, the 1892, however, By 1892, ships. By merchant ships. merchant plan the plan and the warship, and modern warship, for aa modern match for no match be no would be cruiser would auxiliary cruiser auxiliary shelved. consequently shelved. was consequently cruisers was as cruisers ships as merchant ships armed merchant use armed to use to There There was was no no alternative, alternative, the the naval naval lords lords argued, argued, other other than than to to build build more more cruisers. cruisers. The The Admiralty Admiralty estimated estimated that that to to provide provide adequate adequate proprotection to to British British trade trade in in time time of of war, war, the the Royal Royal Navy Navy would would require require at at tection least least twice twice as aS many many cruisers cruisers as as its its prospective prospective opponents. opponents. In In other other Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. 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words, words, twice twice as as many many as as those those possessed possessed by by the the Franco-Russian Franco-Russian combicombination. nation. In In number number of of battleships, battleships, it it will will be be noted, noted, the the Admiralty Admiralty acceptaccepted ed (albeit (albeit reluctantly) reluctantly) temporary temporary equality equality with with the the combined combined French French and and Russian Russian fleets. fleets. The The concern concern at at the the shortage shortage of of cruisers cruisers in in time time of of war war was was to to a a certain certain extent extent allayed allayed by by the the announcement announcement in in 1894 1894 of of the the Spencer Spencer program, program, which which added added to to the the naval naval establishment establishment another another seven seven battleships, battleships, twenty twenty large large cruisers, cruisers, and and over over one one hundred hundred flotilla flotilla craft craft (notably (notably torpedo torpedo boat boat destroyers). destroyers). But But soon soon the the naval naval lords lords found found themthemselves selves confronted confronted by by a a quite quite different different and and much much more more serious serious threat threat to to their their preparations preparations for for the the defense defense of of maritime maritime trade. trade.

The The Armored Armored Cruiser Cruiser Threat Threat

In In 1896, 1896, the the French French navy navy laid laid down down a a new new model model cruiser cruiser named named Jeanne Jeanne d’Arc. d’Arc. She She was was aa large, large, high-speed, high-speed, long-range, long-range, armored armored cruiser cruiser that that was was purposely purposely designed designed for for raiding raiding commerce commerce on on the the high high seas. seas. In In theory theory the the great great length length of of the the hull hull coupled coupled with with a a huge huge coal coal capacity capacity would would enable enable her her to to outpace outpace and and outdistance outdistance any any more more powerful powerful adveradversary. sary. But But the the most most remarkable remarkable feature feature of of this this warship warship was was the the provision provision of of an an armored armored belt belt along along the the complete complete length length of of the the hull. hull. Previous Previous gengenerations erations of of “first-class” “first-class” cruisers cruisers had had not not received received this this degree degree of of protecprotection, tion, because because it it was was simply simply not not possible possible to to armor armor a a large large enough enough area area of of the the hull hull without without prohibitive prohibitive sacrifices sacrifices in in either either speed speed or or endurance endurance or or both. both. Instead, Instead, large large cruisers cruisers had had been been given given an an armored armored deck deck located located at at the the waterline waterline covering covering the the machinery machinery spaces spaces and and the the magazines, magazines, which which were were further further protected protected by by coal coal bunkers bunkers located located along along the the ship’s ship’s sides.15 sides." With With the the development development in in the the early early 18903 1890s of of face-hardened face-hardened armor, armor, howhowever, ever, it it became became practicable practicable to to mount mount armor armor plates plates of of sufficient sufficient thickness thickness to to stop stop projectiles projectiles from from medium medium caliber caliber (up (up to to 6—inch) 6-inch) weapons. weapons. This This meant meant that that the the hull hull of of the the Jeanne Jeanne d’Arc, d’Arc, and and all all subsequent subsequent French French sidesidearmored armored cruisers, cruisers, was was virtually virtually shotproof shotproof against against the the armor armor piercing piercing shells Shells fired fired from from the the 6-inch 6-inch guns guns that that composed composed the the main main batteries batteries of of the the British British cruisers cruisers with with the the speed speed to to catch catch them.16 them.'® Their Their own own battery battery of of quick-firing quick-firing guns, guns, moreover, moreover, was was sufficient sufficient to to overwhelm overwhelm even even the the more more powerfully powerfully armed armed (yet (yet slow slow steaming steaming and and slow slow shooting) shooting) old old British British ironironclads clads relegated relegated to to station station duties duties in in distant distant waters. waters. At At first first the the British British paid paid little little attention attention to to the the French French development development of of the the side-armored side-armored cruiser, cruiser, questioning questioning the the accuracy accuracy of of their their intelligence intelligence reports. reports. The The ordering ordering of of two two similar similar vessels vessels at at the the beginning beginning of of 1897 1897 also also drew drew no no response. response. Not Not until until April April that that year, year, after after the the French French parparliament liament voted voted a a supplementary supplementary estimate estimate providing providing for for another another four four armored armored cruisers cruisers protected protected by by the the newly newly perfected perfected Krupp Krupp face-hardened face-hardened armor, armor, did did the the Admiralty Admiralty fmally finally react. react.’‘7 The The Board Board now now realized realized with with Lambert, Nicolas. SIrjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution.

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newest the newest even the outclassed even vessels outclassed powerful vessels these powerful that these concern that some concern some entire Navy’s entire Royal Navy's the Royal obsolete the rendered obsolete effect, rendered in effect, and, in cruisers and, British cruisers British only the only that the agreed that quickly agreed was quickly vessels. Itit was protection vessels. trade protection of trade stock of stock cruisers armored cruisers build armored to build Navy to Royal Navy the Royal for the was for response was appropriate response appropriate the accordingly, the 1897, accordingly, July 1897, 23 July On 23 numbers. On greater numbers. in greater and in own and its own of its of the of the Chancellor of informed Chancellor Goschen, informed George Goschen, Admiralty, George the Admiralty, of the lord of first lord first exertions extra exertions the extra of the view of “in view that “in Hicks-Beech that Michael Hicks-Beech Exchequer Michael Exchequer navy the navy cruisers” the fast cruisers” very fast of very respect of in respect specially in France specially by France made by made six) to six) increased to (later increased four (later immediately four down immediately lay down to lay money to required money required vesFrench vesthe French down the run down to run speed to necessary speed the necessary with the cruisers with large cruisers large necessary the necessary voted the Commons voted of Commons House of the House later the days later Three days sels.18 Three sels.'® French the that learned Admiralty the year, that of end the Toward sum.‘9 sum.'® Toward the end of that year, the Admiralty learned that the French year. following the early cruisers armored more yet down lay to intended intended to lay down yet more armored cruisers early the following year. naval British to challenge direct a as this interpreted rightly Board rightly interpreted this as a direct challenge to British naval The Board The their expressing their in expressing alone in not alone were not London were in London lords in naval lords The naval supremacy. The supremacy. the 1898 February In development.”20 formidable development.”” In February 1898 the and formidable “new and this “new at this alarm at alarm squadron Mediterranean premier Britain’s premier Mediterranean squadron of Britain's chief of in chief commander in commander in then in vessels then cruising vessels the cruising of the ability of the ability to the as to doubts as strong doubts expressed strong expressed cruisers.21 armored fast of generation new generation of fast armored cruisers.”' the new contain the to contain fleet to his fleet his situation the situation of the seriousness of the seriousness explained the Goschen explained month Goschen that month Later that Later Cabinet: the Cabinet: to the to recognise to recognise begun to have begun gauged, have be gauged, can be policy can their policy as their far as so far French, so The French, The most. us most. damage us can damage they can that they battleships that than battleships rather than cruisers rather by cruisers that itit isis by that facts the facts from the seen from been seen had been been had have been battleships have on battleships efforts on their efforts What their What now which isis now program which vast program and vast new and the new in the but in described, but have described, which Ii have which to battleship to new battleship one new only one there isis only Chamber there the Chamber of the sanction of the sanction awaiting the awaiting be be laid laid down down in in 1898. 1898. Their Their first first class class cruiser cruiser program, program, on on the the other other hand, hand, is is most most formidable.22 formidable.”

of batch of first batch Navy’s first Royal Navy's the Royal down the laid down Admiralty laid the Admiralty 1898, the early 1898, in early In carried aa They carried ships. They big ships. were big class were Cressy class six Cressy The six cruisers. The armored cruisers. armored Krupp piercing Krupp of piercing capable of guns capable 9.2-inch guns of 9.2-inch armament of main armament powerful main powerful the in the guns. In 6-inch guns. quick-firing 6-inch of quick-firing battery of numerous battery and aa numerous plate and armor plate armor be would be vessels would such vessels construction, such naval construction, of naval director of then director the then of the Opinion of opinion be thus and success of prospect some with battleship a engage to able able to engage a battleship with some prospect of success and thus be lord naval lord second naval The second France.23 The than France.” other than powers other against powers wars against in wars use in of use of dealing of capable quite be would “they that agreed controller the and and the controller agreed that “they would be quite capable of dealing singly.”1 them singly.” caught them they caught battleships ifif they foreign battleships the foreign of the many of with many with those than larger actually were cruisers armored of hulls the Although Although the hulls of armored cruisers were actually larger than those distheir armor less carried they because battleships, contemporary of of contemporary battleships, because they carried less armor their disbuild. to build. much to so much cost so not cost did not thus did they thus and they great and so great not so was not placement was placement the boilers feed the to feed needed to stokers needed of stokers number of large number the large of the because of But because But Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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when driving driving them them at at high high speeds, speeds, armored armored cruisers cruisers required required larger larger when crews crews than than battleships battleships and, and, as as aa consequence, consequence, were were more more expensive expensive to to maintain. The The dimensions dimensions of of the the Royal Royal Navy's Navy’s second second batch batch of of four four maintain. armored armored cruisers, cruisers, ordered ordered in in May May 1898, 1898, were were even even larger.25 larger.” At At 14,000 14,000 tons, tons, the the four four vessels vessels of of the the Drake Drake class class displaced displaced just just 350 350 tons tons less less than than the the London London class class battleships battleships ordered ordered under under the the same same program program and, and, at £1.05 £1.05 million million apiece, apiece, cost cost virtually virtually the the same.” same.26 To To proceed proceed at at at top top speed, these these craft craft required required aa complement complement of of almost almost nine nine hundred hundred men— men—— speed, no fewer fewer than than one one hundred hundred and and fifty fifty more more than than aa battleship. battleship. On On first first no reading reading these these figures, figures, the the senior senior naval naval lord lord immediately immediately labeled labeled the the authorize to authorize hesitated to too, hesitated Goschen, too, vessels.27 Goschen, eating” vessels.”’ “man eating” as “man Drakes as Drakes their construction, construction, being being concerned concerned not not so so much much with with their their price price as as their their their “vast “vast pull pull on on our our manning manning resources.”28 resources.’* It It was was no no coincidence coincidence that that in in 1898 the the Admiralty Admiralty raised raised an an additional additional 6,300 6,300 active active service service ratings.” ratings.29 1898 French the French to the responding to finished responding Admiralty finished the Admiralty had the sooner had No sooner No unexan unexto an react to to react compelled to were compelled they were than they program, than cruiser program, armored cruiser armored that indications that first indications The first navy.30 The Russian navy.* the Russian in the increase in large increase pectedly large pectedly in London in reached London fleet reached their fleet increase their to increase planning to were planning Russians were the Russians the the informed the Petersburg informed St. Petersburg in St. attache in British attaché The British 1898. The February 1898. early February early Admiralty that that aa senior senior Russian Russian admiral admiral had had “left “left for for the the United United States States Admiralty Tsar later, Tsar month later, warships.“ AA month buy warships.”*' to buy power to discretionary power with discretionary with refused but refused program but construction program naval construction six-year naval announced a a six-year Nicholas announced Nicholas navy. his navy. on his spend on to spend intended to he intended money he much money how much exactly how disclose exactly to disclose to Division Intelligence Division Naval Intelligence the Naval until the act until to act hesitated to Goschen hesitated London, Goschen In London, In meanthe meanIn the intentions.32 In Russian intentions.” the Russian of the sense of clearer sense obtain aa clearer could obtain could proposition “the proposition for “the approval for Cabinet approval obtained Cabinet he obtained time, nevertheless, he time, nevertheless, In be.”33 In might be.”* whatever itit might program whatever Russian program the Russian meet the that must meet we must that we the even the later even months later Several months check. Several blank check. given aa blank effect, was given he was effect, he Russians the Russians that the learned that was learned when itit was aback when taken aback Admiralty was taken Admiralty was in stationed in be stationed to be fleet to new fleet build aa new to build intended $27,560,000 to borrow £27,560,000 to borrow intended to

“The Arthur.34 “The Port Arthur.” at Port base at naval base acquired naval the recently acquired the recently at the East at Far East the Far

shipbuildof shipbuildprogram of gigantic program inaugurated aa gigantic has inaugurated Russian government has Russian government carried be carried to be “which isis to June, “which on 66 June, Cabinet on the Cabinet to the ing,” reported to Goschen reported ing,” Goschen Russian regular Russian the regular in the for in provided for construction provided out the construction to the addition to in addition out in an requested an Admiralty requested the Admiralty challenge, the this challenge, meet this annual To meet budgets.”35 To annual budgets.”*’ and battleships and four battleships for four pay for to pay appropriation to immediate supplementary appropriation immediate supplementary would More would million).36 More 29 million).*° approximately £9 (costing approximately four cruisers (costing armored cruisers four armored year. following year. the following be required the be required neck racing neck was racing Britain was that Britain Admiralty that the Admiralty to the ItIt was apparent to now apparent was now subthat suband that powers and naval powers third-ranking nava] and third-ranking second- and to the secondwith the neck with to neck Navy ifif Royal Navy the Royal for the provided for be provided to be have to would have stantial funds would additional funds stantial additional prothe proof the view of “In view insured. “In be insured. to be was to routes was trade routes the trade of the security of the security the Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hdl.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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Revolution Naval Revolution Fisher’s Naval John Fisher’s Sir John 24 = Sir 24

grams grams of of France France and and Russia” Russia” Goschen Goschen hastened hastened to to warn warn the the chancellor chancellor in in a a private private letter letter dated dated 21 21 July July 1898, 1898, “we “we must must resolutely resolutely face face the the

necessity necessity of of our our having having to to add add considerably considerably to to ours ours in in next next years years ordiordinary nary program. program. I| mention mention this this now, now, so so that that there there be be no no misunderstanding misunderstanding as as to to what what we we may may have have to to do. do. What What II am am proposing proposing now now is is not not in in allevialleviation ation of of next next years’ years’ estimates.”37 estimates.”*’ Hicks-Beech Hicks-Beech was was aghast. aghast. The The following following day day Goschen Goschen assured assured him him that that the the navy’s navy’s demands demands were were modest. modest. The The batbattleships were required to maintain the tleships were required to maintain the two-power two-power standard, standard, while while the the addition addition of of just just four four extra extra cruisers cruisers left left the the Royal Royal Navy Navy with with no no margin margin of of superiority. superiority. Later Later that that day day the the first first lord lord reminded reminded the the chancellor chancellor of of the the Exchequer Exchequer that that the the Admiralty Admiralty had had always always maintained maintained that that “we “we must must have have many more many more than than our our enemies enemies if if our our trade trade routes routes and and food food supplies supplies are are to to be be protected.”38 protected.”** The The only only concession concession that that Goschen Goschen was was prepared prepared to to make make was was to to overrule overrule objections objections from from his his advisors advisors to to the the purchase purchase of of smaller smaller armored armored cruisers, cruisers, the the Kent Kent class, class, which which cost cost just just £750,000 £750,000 apiece apiece and and which which required required only only half half the the crew crew of of the the Drake Drake class.39 class.*® In In time time they they proved proved to to be be aa false false economy.40 economy.” In In August August 1898, 1898, and and again again in in December, December, the the first first lord lord badgered badgered Hicks-Beech Hicks-Beech to to sanction sanction the the purchase purchase of of yet yet more more fast fast cruisers, cruisers, but but without without success.41 success.*' A A nationwide nationwide strike strike by by the the engineering engineering unions unions in in 1899 1899 resulted resulted in in aa shortage shortage of of armor armor plate, plate, which which prevented prevented the the Royal Royal Navy Navy from from ordering ordering as aS many many armored armored cruisers cruisers as as it it wanted wanted that that year. year. The The Admiralty, Admiralty, howevhowever, wasted little time in notifying er, wasted little time in notifying the the Treasury Treasury that, that, as as aa consequence, consequence, no no fewer fewer than than seven seven would would have have to to be be laid laid down down the the following following year.42 year.” For For the the first first time, time, moreover, moreover, cruisers cruisers ordered ordered under under the the 1900 1900 program program would would be be given given priority priority over over the the construction construction of of battleships. battleships. Increasingly Increasingly loud loud complaints complaints from from Hicks-Beech Hicks-Beech at at the the magnitude magnitude of of the the sums sums already already spent spent on on armored armored cruisers cruisers failed failed to to discourage discourage the the Admiralty. Admiralty. “Every “Every day day brings brings further further proof proof of of the the kind kind of of cruiser cruiser war war we we shall shall have have to to face, face, if if we we have have war war at at all,” all,” Goschen Goschen replied replied in in February February 1899.43 1899.* Yet Yet it it can can hardly hardly be be denied denied that that the the Admiralty’s Admiralty’s approach approach to to meeting meeting the the FrancoFrancoRussian Russian challenge challenge by by maintaining maintaining a a numerically numerically superior superior fleet fleet of of battlebattleships ships and and cruisers cruisers was, was, by by the the turn turn of of the the century, century, running running into into the the limits of the British state’s willingness limits of the British state’s willingness or or ability ability to to pay. pay. Asymmetrical Asymmetrical Force Force Structures Structures The The Board Board of of Admiralty Admiralty had had good good reason reason to to doubt doubt whether whether the the French threat to British French threat to British trade trade could could be be contained contained by by a a naval naval strategy strategy based based upon upon the the maintenance maintenance of of a a large large fleet fleet of of battleships. battleships. In In 1896 1896 Francois Fournier, Francois Fournier, a a highly highly respected respected French French admiral, admiral, postulated postulated that that recent recent advances advances in in technology technology allowed allowed navies navies to to build build new new types types of of warwarships ships and and even even adopt adopt new new force force structures. structures. With With an an eye eye on on confounding confounding Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, httpszllhdl.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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“perfidious “perfidious Albion,” Albion,” he he suggested suggested that that France France should should build build aa new new fleet fleet comprised comprised of of fast, fast, long-range long-range armored armored cruisers. cruisers. Fournier Fournier advised advised that that these these vessels vessels must must always always strive strive to to exploit exploit their their greater greater speed speed to to avoid avoid fighting fighting with with superior superior British British forces. forces. He He also also argued argued that that deliberately deliberately seeking seeking combat combat with with a a more more numerous numerous enemy enemy fleet fleet made made little little sense sense when when the the opponent’s opponent’s vital vital interests interests could could be be more more effectively effectively attacked attacked by by other other means. means. Rather Rather than than attempting attempting to to contest contest command command of of the the sea, sea, Fournier Fournier believed believed that that the the easiest easiest and and cheapest cheapest way way France France could could strike strike at at Great Great Britain Britain would would be be to to wage wage a a systematic systematic guerre guerre industrielle. industrielle. This This “industrial “industrial war” war” was was to to take take the the form form of of an an attack attack on on the the global global trading trading system. system. The The French French hoped hoped that that sinking sinking British British merchant merchant ships ships would would disdisrupt rupt the the London London financial financial markets markets by by driving driving up up the the price price of of insurance insurance and and interest interest rates rates to to politically politically unacceptable unacceptable levels. levels. The The supposed supposed vulvulnerability nerability of of Britain’s Britain’s financial financial system, system, according according to to Fournier, Fournier, made made the the actual actual material material severing severing of of Britain’s Britain’s trade trade arteries arteries unnecessary.“ unnecessary.“ Steadily Steadily worsening worsening economic economic disruption disruption would would eventually eventually force force the the city city of of London London to to demand demand the the government government make make peace. peace. Fournier Fournier insisted insisted that that the the implementation implementation of of his his strategy strategy was was pracpracticable ticable and and that that the the commerce commerce raiders raiders could could inflict inflict sufficient sufficient damage damage on on Britain’s Britain’s oceanic oceanic trade trade to to bring bring about about the the necessary necessary conditions conditions for for ecoeconomic nomic collapse. collapse. Anticipating Anticipating those those critics critics who who argued argued that that the the French French had hunhad unsuccessfully unsuccessfully employed employed a a similar similar strategy strategy against against Britain Britain one one hundred dred years years before, before, Fournier Fournier explained explained that that the the previous previous attempts attempts to to wage wage aa guerre guerre de de course course by by encouraging encouraging civilian civilian privateering privateering had had failed failed for for two two main main reasons: reasons: first, first, French French attacks attacks on on British British trade trade had had been been haphazard haphazard and and uncoordinated; uncoordinated; and and second, second, the the Royal Royal Navy Navy had had successsuccessfully blockfully contained contained much much of of the the French French effort effort by by mounting mounting an an effective effective blockade ade over over French French home home ports, ports, thus, thus, preventing preventing warships warships free free egress egress to to the the open open seas. seas. The The admiral admiral further further insisted insisted that that the the economic economic system system at at the the end end of of the the nineteenth nineteenth century century was was far far more more complex complex and, and, thus, thus, more more vulnerable vulnerable than than had had existed existed a a century century before. before. In In addition, addition, the the navy navy of of the the Third Third Republic Republic would would be be better better equipped. equipped. Fournier Fournier argued argued that that whereas whereas previously previously the the Marine Marine Francaise Francaise had had lacked lacked reach, reach, it it now now possessed possessed aa global global network network of of defended defended bases bases from from which which to to operate operate purpose-built purpose-built corsairs corsairs in in distant distant waters waters where where British British trade trade was was most most vulnerable. vulnerable. But But the most most important important reason reason Fournier Fournier cited cited in in support support of of his his guerre guerre indusindusthe trielle trielle strategy strategy was was the the widespread widespread belief belief that that close close blockade blockade of of French French ports ports was was no no longer longer practicable.45 practicable.” The The French French admiral’s admiral’s faith faith in in the the ability ability of of the the armored armored cruisers cruisers to to evade evade the the blockade blockade was was based based upon upon the the belief belief that that the the French French navy’s navy’s already already sizeable sizeable force force of of torpedo torpedo boats boats was was capable capable of of driving driving back back the the British observation squadrons whenever necessary. Since 1886 British observation squadrons whenever necessary. Since 1886 the the Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. 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Revolution Naval Revolution Fisher’s Naval ~=Sir John Fisher's Sir John

Originally craft.46 Originally torpedo craft.* in torpedo heavily in investing heavily Marine been investing had been Francaise had Marine Francaise permawaters permaterritorial waters French territorial all French render all to render their been to had been function had their function to open to ports open keeping ports thereby keeping and thereby warships and nently hostile warships for hostile unsafe for nently unsafe primitive relatively primitive still relatively were still torpedoes were trade. 18803, torpedoes the 1880s, During the trade. During they Nevertheless they yards. Nevertheless 600 yards. perhaps 600 of perhaps weapons range of effective range an effective with an weapons with cheap small cheap words aa small other words flotilla—in other the flotilla—in conferred on the power” on “battle power” conferred “battle warship expensive warship most expensive largest most the largest sink the to sink torpedo power to the power had the boat had torpedo boat and artillery and quick-firing artillery of quick-firing 1888 of in 1888 in perfection in the perfection after the But after world. But the world. in the had threat had torpedo threat the torpedo believed the experts believed naval experts high-explosive most naval shells, most high-explosive shells, could battleship could firers aa battleship quick firers of quick battery of with aa battery been Armed with contained. Armed been contained. could before itit could assailant before its assailant sinking its of sinking capable of throw fire” capable of fire” “hail of out aa “hail throw out At daylight. At of daylight. hours of the hours in the least in range—at least approach torpedo range—at within torpedo to within approach to hostile any hostile against any weapon against formidable weapon still aa formidable night, were still boats were torpedo boats night, torpedo suggested Fournier suggested Until Fournier base. Until their base. to their close to too close warship ventured too that ventured warship that by situation by this situation exploit this to exploit endeavor to should endeavor that cruisers should armored cruisers the armored that the the of the potential of night-fighting potential the night-fighting night, the at night, only at entering port only leaving port and leaving entering and howev1890s, howevlate 1890s, the late From the use. From little use. of little be of to be French appeared to flotilla appeared French flotilla warhostile warback hostile driving back night driving at night practiced at boats practiced er, torpedo boats French torpedo the French er, the waters. territorial waters. their territorial in their lurking in ships ships lurking all of all that of from that different from structure different force structure of aa force was of Fournier’s vision was Fournier’s vision the contest to and combat for organized navies, other fleets. Traditional navies, organized for combat and to contest the Traditional fleets. other warships: of warships: categories of general categories three general command comprised three sea, comprised the sea, of the command of would battleships would wartime, battleships In wartime, craft. In flotilla craft. battleships, and flotilla cruisers, and battleships, cruisers, face to face expected to be expected would be scouts would and scouts fight cruisers and battleships, cruisers other battleships, fight other warcraft, wartorpedo craft, for torpedo Except for forth. Except so forth. other and so scouts, and and scouts, cruisers and other cruisers power, Battle power, class. Battle own class. their own ships outside their fight outside to fight intended to not intended were not ships were prove would prove battleships would of battleships Numbers of therefore, improvised. Numbers be improvised. not be could not therefore, could symmetrical or symmetrical conventional or build aa conventional decisive. to build continuing to of continuing Instead of decisive. Instead his urged his Fournier urged navies, Fournier rival navies, of rival fleet, structures of force structures the force matching the fleet, matching that warships that new-model warships build new-model and build peers structure and different structure adopt aa different to adopt peers to the was the cruiser was armored cruiser The armored vessels. The did conventional vessels. with conventional compare with not compare did not enough fast enough were fast craft were These craft type. These perfect intermediate type. the intermediate of the example of perfect example to power to fighting power sufficient fighting possessed sufficient to yet possessed battleships, yet hostile battleships, evade hostile to evade France that France advised that also advised He also overwhelm cruisers; He trade-protection cruisers.. overwhelm trade-protection of aa idea of Fournier’s idea battleships. Fournier’s should expensive battleships. more expensive any more build any not build should not the in the support in considerable support found considerable navy corsairs found of corsairs fleet of upon aa fleet built upon navy built

theFournier’s thelobby.47 Fournier's colonial lobby.*” the colonial from the French particularly from parliament, particularly French parliament,

of imagination of the imagination caught the also caught structure” also ory force structure” “asymmetrical force an “asymmetrical of an ory of committee naval parliamentary the of Edouard Lockroy, the chairman of the parliamentary naval committee chairman the Edouard Lockroy, recLockroy recmarine.48 Lockroy of marine.* minister of as minister who term as short term served aa short also served had also who had with compete to strength financial ognized that his nation lacked the financial strength to compete with the lacked nation his that ognized He neverfleets. He battle fleets. large battle Britain maintaining large powers inin maintaining other powers and other Britain and Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.hand|e.net/2027/heb.31569.

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her keep her to keep France to for France strategy for Fournier’s strategy in Fournier’s opportunity in theless an opportunity saw an theless saw France that notion the addition, In power. In addition, the notion that France maritime power. first-class maritime as a a first-class rank as rank and British, and the British, than the warfare than of warfare form of sophisticated form more sophisticated employ aa more could employ could equipnaval sophisticated technologically sophisticated naval equipfor technologically demand for the demand that the idea that the idea the ment ment would would help help boost boost the the nation’s nation’s flailing flailing industries, industries, also also appealed.49 appealed.” the adopted the actually adopted had actually navy had French navy the French that the suspicions that British suspicions British Founier’s by Founier’s substantiated by be substantiated to be appeared to strategy appeared industrielle strategy guerre industrielle guerre based fleet based main fleet French main the French command the to command 1897 to of 1897 end of 'the end at the appointment appointment at early boosted early considerably boosted was considerably impression was The impression Mediterranean. The the Mediterranean. in in the of minister of of minister office of the office to the returned to was returned Lockroy was when Lockroy year when following year the the following the from the battleship from drop aa battleship to drop was to moreover, was acts, moreover, first acts, his first of his One of marine. marine. One to saved to thus saved money thus the money use the and use program and construction program French construction published published French for pay for to pay and to program, and cruiser program, armored cruiser the armored in the acceleration in an acceleration fund an fund Successive bases. Successive overseas bases. protecting overseas fortifications protecting the fortifications in the improvements improvements in interof interupsurge of an upsurge noted an Paris noted in Paris attaché in naval attaché British naval the British from the reports from reports and press, and the press, politicians, the among politicians, war among naval war of naval theories of radical theories in radical est in est breaktechnological breakImportant technological officers. Important naval officers. junior naval among junior especially among especially weaponry naval weaponry of naval areas of other areas in other engineers in naval engineers French naval by French throughs by throughs From navy. From French navy. new-look French the new-look of the credibility of the credibility strengthened the further strengthened further doubled effectively doubled was effectively torpedoes was all torpedoes of all range of effective range the effective 1898 1898 the mechaguidance mechatheir guidance to their gyroscope to the gyroscope of the application of the application by the overnight by overnight navy’s French navy's the French of the news of was news however, was significant, however, more significant, Even more nism. Even nism. boats.50 torpedo boats.” submarine torpedo with submarine successful experiments with successful experiments commanding the commanding charged the personally charged Lockroy personally 1898, Lockroy On November 1898, 19 November On 19 officer officer of of the the experimental experimental submarine submarine Gustave-Ze’dé, Gustave-Zédé, Lt. Lt. Lucian Lucian Mottez, Mottez, his of his value of military value the military demonstrate the to demonstrate ways to finding ways of finding with task of the task with the Vice of Vice connivance of the connivance With the say. With not say. did not he did benefit he craft.5' whose benefit For whose craft.51 For Gustavethe Gustaveenthusiast, the submarine enthusiast, another submarine Fournier, another Adm. Francois Fournier, Adm. Francois forthcoming the forthcoming participate in to participate permission to Zédé in the granted permission was granted Zédé was Mottez December, Mottez of December, week of first week the first In the exercises. In Mediterranean Fleet exercises. Mediterranean Fleet d’Hyeres Isles d’Hyéres the Isles to the Toulon to from Toulon miles from forty miles navigated the forty craft the his craft navigated his the Magenta; the ship Magenta; training ship gunnery training the gunnery torpedoed the whereupon twice torpedoed he twice whereupon he was she was while she second while the second anchor, the at anchor, was at first battleship was the battleship when the time when first time The enormous. The was enormous. achievement was this achievement of this under significance of The significance way.52 The under way.” an longer an no longer was no that itit was time that first time the first for the submarine demonstrated for had demonstrated submarine had the was the This was war. This of war. acts of deadly acts performing deadly of performing engineer's capable of but capable toy but engineer’s toy at aa torpedo at fired aa torpedo successfully fired had successfully submarine had first submerged submarine time aa submerged first time his repeated his Mottez repeated (1899) Mottez year (1899) new year the new in the surface Early in target. Early surface target. most But most press. But world’s press. the world’s and the Lockroy and of Lockroy achievement benefit of the benefit for the achievement for

intelligence naval intelligence British naval the British of the head of the head foreign notably the analysts, notably naval analysts, foreign naval been had been exercises had the exercises that the claiming that by claiming event by department, the event dismissed the department, dismissed

justified. On seemed justified. skepticism seemed Their skepticism for political reasons.53 Their political reasons.® stage?! for; L b staged E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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Fournier, wife, Fournier, his wife, Lockroy, his were Lockroy, attack were the attack witness the to witness Magenta to board Magenta board and notables and other notables several other and several admiral, and port admiral, the port daughter, the and daughter, wife and his wife his encouraged undoubtedly encouraged presence undoubtedly Their presence press. Their the press. of the members of selected members selected trials Gustave-Ze’dé trials second Gustave-Zédé the second Although the atmosphere.54 Although theatrical atmosphere.” aa theatrical in slow in not slow was not Lockroy was stage-managed, Lockroy actually stage-managed, been actually have been not have might not might conto conappearing to thereby appearing capital, thereby political capital, for political success for their success exploiting their exploiting speech In aa speech critics. In foreign critics. his foreign of his suspicions of and suspicions allegations and the allegations firm the firm given Deputies given of Deputies Chamber of the Chamber to the estimates to forthcoming estimates the forthcoming introducing the introducing the of the perfection of the perfection that the claimed that Lockroy claimed instance, Lockroy for instance, 1899, for March 1899, in March in navy.55 French navy.” the French of the fortunes of the fortunes in the renaissance in heralded aa renaissance submarine heralded submarine by credit by the credit of the much of himself much for himself claiming for in claiming backward in not backward was not he was And he And the initiated the had initiated who had he who been he had been that itit had audience that his audience reminding his reminding conthe conwith the rewarded with was rewarded Lockroy was 1896. Lockroy in 1896. back in program back submarine program submarine more build more to build appropriation to large appropriation and aa large chamber and the chamber of the gratulations of gratulations promotion. accelerated promotion. an accelerated received an Mottez received part, Mottez his part, For his submarines. For submarines. Thanks Thanks largely largely to to Lockroy’s Lockroy’s efforts, efforts, by by the the time time he he left left office office in in late late 1899, 1899, another with another commission with in commission submarines in two submarines possessed two navy possessed French navy the French the submarine French submarine the French to the response to British response The British construction. The under construction. ten under ten program program is is the the subject subject of of the the next next chapter. chapter. the strategy, the industrielle strategy, guerre industrielle new guerre the new of the light of the light in the viewed in When viewed When submarine the submarine and the torpedo, and the torpedo, cruiser, the armored cruiser, the armored of the development of development before Even before defense. Even trade defense. of trade system of Britain’s system to Britain’s threat to credible threat posed posed aa credible blockade permanent blockade any permanent made any which made submarine, which the submarine, of the advent of the advent the close “a close that “a conclusion that the conclusion reached the had reached officers had naval officers senior naval untenable, senior untenable, of days of these days in these advisable in seems advisable hardly seems port hardly enemy’s port an enemy’s of an blockade of blockade to Navy to Royal Navy the Royal for the instead, for safer, instead, be safer, would be Warfare.”56 ItIt would Torpedo Warfare.” Torpedo greater to greater drawback to the drawback But the blockade. But “observational” blockade. looser “observational” impose aa looser impose prothe proobvious—without the was obvious—without sea was to sea out to further out station further taking station by taking safety by safety would port would blockaded port the blockaded surrounding the net surrounding the net warships the more warships of more vision of vision escape to escape chance to more chance raiders more commerce raiders giving commerce thus giving thinner, thus be thinner, to be have to have the to the submitted to Admiralty submitted the Admiralty Papers the night. Papers at night. especially at undetected, especially undetected, armored expensive armored build expensive to build required to sums required huge sums the huge justify the to justify Cabinet to Cabinet the that the show that battleships, show of battleships, number of requisite number the requisite to the addition to cruisers inin addition cruisers lucid most lucid The most industrial/e. The guerre industrielle. the guerre of the afraid of truly afraid was truly Admiralty was Admiralty cirmemorandum CirCabinet memorandum in aa Cabinet provided in was provided situation was the situation of the explanation of explanation culated in in January January 1901. 1901. culated statorpedo-boat stawith torpedo-boat studded with now studded Channel isis now the Channel of the coast of French coast The French The has Mobile” “Défense Mobile” has the “Défense as the known as what isis known of what development of this development and this tions. and tions, any blockade any to blockade battleships to British battleships for British impossible for make itit impossible to make object to its object for its for

be would be they would which they to which danger to the danger to the owing to ports owing naval ports French naval the French of the of French the French of the blockade of The blockade submarines. The and submarines. torpedo-boats and by torpedo-boats exposed by exposed Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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ports ports by by aa British British fleet fleet being being thus thus rendered, rendered, in in their their view view impracticable. impracticable, the idea of the French strategists the idea of the French strategists is is that that from from these these ports ports could could issue issue by by night night their their powerful powerful fast fast new new armored armored cruisers, cruisers, which which would would then then proceed proceed to place themselves upon our trade routes and do great to place themselves upon our trade routes and do great damage damage to to our our

mercantile mercantile marine. marine. None None of of the the large large fleet fleet of of unarmored unarmored cruisers cruisers which which are are allocated allocated routes routes would would

for for the the protection protection of of our our commerce commerce on on the the various various trade trade be capable of meeting be capable of meeting any any of of these these new new armored armored cruisers, cruisers, but but as as the the preceding preceding tables tables will will have have shown, shown, we we have have already already begun begun to to

build build the the ships ships that that could could do do so, so, though though not not yet yet in in sufficient sufficient numbers.57 numbers.*’ By By this this time, time, however, however, the the Admiralty Admiralty was was becoming becoming increasingly increasingly aware aware of of the the specter specter of of state state financial financial limitation limitation that that was was casting casting a a lengthenlengthening ing shadow shadow over over the the achievement achievement of of naval naval sufficiency.58 sufficiency. The The cost cost of of building building armored armored cruisers cruisers “in “in sufficient sufficient numbers” numbers” to to protect protect British British trade, trade, while while at at the the same same time time building building sufficient sufficient battleships battleships to to preserve preserve naval naval supremacy, supremacy, was was threatening threatening to to strain strain British British state state finances finances to to the the point point of of collapse. collapse.

Financing Financing the the Navy Navy At At the the end end of of the the nineteenth nineteenth century, century, the the spiraling spiraling trend trend in in naval naval expenditure expenditure was was aa major major worry worry for for most most British British politicians, politicians, who who were were still still unwilling unwilling to to alienate alienate the the electorate electorate by by raising raising taxation taxation to to pay pay for for a a larger larger navy. navy. To To avoid avoid this this the the government government resorted resorted to to borrowing. borrowing. While While paying paying for for current current expenditure expenditure by by adding adding to to the the national national debt debt was was always always politically politically out out of of the the question, question, since since 1895 1895 Parliament Parliament had had relaxed relaxed this this “principle “principle of of national national finance” finance” by by passing passing an an act act that that allowed allowed improveimprovements ments in in naval naval works works to to be be paid paid for for by by the the issue issue of of thirty-year thirty-year bonds.59 bonds.°*° The The government government of of the the day day had had justified justified this this controversial controversial step step by by claimclaiming ing that that improvements improvements to to dockyard dockyard facilities facilities could could legitimately legitimately be be regarded regarded as as aa capital Capital investment investment project project to to meet meet the the navy’s navy's long-term long-term requirements, requirements, in in which which case case there there was was no no reason reason why why the the entire entire cost cost should should fall fall entirely entirely upon upon the the current current generation generation of of taxpayers. taxpayers. As As a a gesgesture ture towards towards fiscal fiscal orthodoxy, orthodoxy, though, though, the the interest interest payable payable on on these these bonds bonds was was deducted deducted from from the the naval naval estimates estimates account. account. This This practice practice of of paying for for naval naval works works by by money money raised raised on on the the capital capital markets markets rather rather paying than the parliaparliathan out out of of current current revenue revenue was was continued continued until until 1904, 1904, when when the mentary mentary finance finance committee committee protested protested it it must must stop. stop. Notwithstanding Notwithstanding the the passage of of successive successive naval naval works works acts, acts, paying paying for for warships warships by by longlongpassage term term borrowing borrowing was was never never an an option option for for any any British British government. government.

The The crisis crisis in in naval naval spending spending came came suddenly. suddenly. In In 1889, 1889, funding funding the the Naval Naval Defense Defense Act Act had had not not been been a a problem problem for for the the Treasury. Treasury. A A year year earearlier, the chancellor of the Exchequer had introduced lier, the chancellor of the Exchequer had introduced a a debt debt conversion conversion Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.hand|e.net/2027/heb.31569.

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scheme that that substantially substantially reduced reduced the the cost cost of of annual annual debt debt servicing, servicing, scheme thereby releasing releasing money money to to pay pay for for the the fleet fleet expansion. expansion. Similarly, Similarly, in in thereby 1894 1894 the the government government had had been been able able to to respond respond generously generously to to the the navy’s navy’s request for for more more warships, warships, because because the the introduction introduction of of graduated graduated scale scale request of death-duties death-duties that that year year subsequently subsequently provided provided the the state state with with an an addiaddiof tional three three million million pounds pounds aa year.” year.60 Between Between 1896 1896 and and 1898, 1898, moreover, moreover, tional the upward upward trend trend in in state state revenues revenues was was sustained sustained by by an an economic economic boom. boom. the govConservative govthe Conservative allowed the taxes allowed existing taxes The from existing revenues from bountiful revenues The bountiful ernment not not only only to to pay pay for for the the large large increases increases in in defense defense expenditure expenditure ernment but also also to to buy buy some some political political popularity popularity with with its its supporters supporters by by easing easing but the burden burden of of land land tax.*' tax.61 Even Even ifif some some political political leaders leaders doubted doubted “that “that the the the junction junction of of Russia Russia and and France France in in aa maritime maritime war war is is at at all all aa probable probable concontingency,” additional additional money money was was always always provided provided whenever whenever the the tingency,” Admiralty Admiralty asked.62 asked.” Indications Indications that that the the British British government government might might encounter encounter difficulties difficulties in in meeting meeting all all the the Admiralty’s Admiralty’s future future requirements requirements first first emerged emerged in in the the summer Summer of of 1898. 1898. Treasury Treasury forecasters forecasters had had for for several several months months been been aware aware of of an an impending impending surge surge in in state state expenditure, expenditure, largely largely due due to to the the unprecedented unprecedented size size of of the the 1898—99 1898-99 naval naval construction construction program. program. The The Admiralty Admiralty had had ordered ordered no no fewer fewer than than seven seven battleships battleships and and eight eight armored armored cruisers. cruisers. Initially, Initially, the the Treasury Treasury was was confident confident of of finding finding the the necessary necessary extra extra funds funds if if the the Cabinet Cabinet sanctioned sanctioned the the expenditure. expenditure. The The economy economy was was booming booming and, and, because because most most of of these these vessels vessels would would not not be be laid laid down down until until late late in in the the year, year, the the financial financial burden burden would would not not be be felt felt until until the the following following fiscal fiscal year. year. In In the the autumn autumn of of 1898, 1898, however, however, while while preparing preparing for for the the forthcoming forthcoming budget, budget, Sir Sir Michael Michael Hicks-Beech Hicks-Beech discovdiscovered ered that that the the growth growth of of the the state’s state’s revenue revenue was was no no longer longer keeping keeping pace pace with with projected projected expenditures. expenditures. On On 12 12 October October 1898, 1898, he he cautioned cautioned the the prime prime minister, minister, Lord Lord Salisbury, Salisbury, that that the the level level of of duty duty on on “Beer “Beer and and Spirits” Spirits” had had inexplicably inexplicably reached reached a a point point of of diminishing diminishing returns returns and and that. that, consequently, consequently, in in the the following following year year net net revenue revenue was was projected projected to to fall.63 fall.® This was was serious serious because because excise excise duties duties contributed contributed over over 40 40 percent percent of of This Treasury Treasury revenue, revenue, and and Hicks-Beech Hicks-Beech had had been been relying relying upon upon an an anticipatanticipated increase increase in in revenue revenue from from this this source source to to help help pay pay for for the the naval naval ed increase.64 increase.“ Over Over the the next next few few months, months, the the chancellor chancellor became became increasincreasingly ingly gloomy gloomy at at the the fiscal fiscal outlook. outlook. “I “I am am sorry sorry to to tell tell you,” you,” he he informed informed the the prime prime minister minister at at the the end end of of January January 1899, 1899, “that “that the the prospect prospect is is very very

disagreeable.”65 disagreeable.” Revenues Revenues had had already already begun begun to to fall, fall, and and the the Treasury Treasury

now now anticipated anticipated a a sizeable sizeable budget budget deficit deficit of of at at least least four four million million pounds: pounds: “mainly, “mainly, of of course, course, due due to to the the Army Army and and Navy.”66 Navy.”® At At first first the the prime prime minister minister disputed disputed his his chancellor’s chancellor’s economic economic prepredictions dictions and and refused refused to to let let taxes taxes be be raised. raised. “An “An increase increase of of taxation—l taxation—I Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.hand|e.net/2027/heb.31569.

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wine—~—will and wine—will tea and on tea something on and something tax and income tax the income on the penny on suppose aa penny suppose require require justification justification because because it it is is clearly clearly an an alarmist alarmist budget,” budget,” he he replied. replied. “Though “Though II cannot cannot say say there there is is no no danger,” danger,” he he added, added, “I “I do do not not see see any any danger justifying justifying such such aa step.”*’ step.”67 Salisbury Salisbury insisted insisted that that the the fiscal fiscal deficit deficit danger must must be be the the result result of of a a “temporary” “temporary” shortfall shortfall in in excise excise revenues revenues and and could could legitimately legitimately be be covered covered by by borrowing.68 borrowing.” Hicks-Beech Hicks-Beech strongly strongly disdisagreed. agreed. “This “This is is no no temporary temporary emergency,” emergency,” he he wrote wrote back, back, “it “it is is the the result result of of aa continuous continuous increase increase of of expenditure expenditure which which will will grow grow rather rather than than diminish diminish in in future future years.”69 years.”® The The Admiralty, Admiralty, he he again again protested, protested, was was continuing continuing to to ignore ignore the the Treasury’s Treasury's requests requests for for economy.70 economy.” But But the the prime prime minister minister remained remained unmoved. unmoved. While While Salisbury Salisbury agreed agreed with with HicksHicksBeech Beech that that Goschen’s Goschen’s Board Board of of Admiralty Admiralty had had become become “insatiable,” “insatiable,” and and acknowledged acknowledged that that fiscal fiscal difficulties difficulties existed, existed, he he refused refused to to allow allow the the Treasury Treasury to to impose impose a a ceiling ceiling on on the the navy navy estimates.71 estimates.”' He He did did not, not, howev— however, er, forbid forbid Hicks-Beech Hicks-Beech from from canvassing canvassing his his other other Cabinet Cabinet colleagues colleagues for for support support over over the the issue. issue. British British state state finances finances received received aa mauling mauling during during the the South South African African colonial colonial war war that that lasted lasted from from October October 1899 1899 until until mid-1902. mid-1902. Although Although the the Treasury Treasury quickly quickly raised raised taxes taxes to to meet meet the the necessary necessary increase increase in in military military expenditure, expenditure, the the unexpectedly unexpectedly long long duration duration of of the the Boer Boer War War obliged obliged the the government government to to borrow borrow on on aa large large scale. scale. The The Cabinet’s Cabinet's reluctance reluctance to to further 1900 further of 1900 end of the end at the election at general election the general at the voters at the voters upset the upset encouraged the the preference preference to to pay pay for for the the war war mainly mainly through through loans loans encouraged rather rather than than higher higher taxes. taxes. As As a a result, result, between between October October 1899 1899 and and the the More quarter. More than aa quarter. more than by more grew by debt grew national debt the national 1903, the of 1903, end of end importantly, importantly, from from aa fiscal fiscal standpoint, standpoint, the the annual annual debt debt service service charges charges grew by by almost almost aa third, third, from from £25.9 225.9 million million to to £32.2 232.2 million.” million.72 Over Over the the grew rise. to rise. continued to expenditure continued naval expenditure of naval level of peacetime level same the peacetime period, the same period, to 1897—98 to in 1897-98 million in 222.5 million from £22.5 rose from navy rose the navy on the Gross spending on Gross spending was trend was the trend And the percent). And 80 percent). than 80 more than by more (or by 1904—5 (or £41.7 in 1904-5 million in 241.7 million same the same over the perspective, over in perspective, figures in these figures put these To put still upwards.73 To still upwards.” £142 to £142 million to £103 million from £103 rose from expenditure rose period government expenditure total government period total prehad preHicks-Beech had as Hicks-Beech Furthermore, as million percent). Furthermore, 40 percent). only 40 by only (or by million (or pace keep pace not keep did not taxation did of taxation levels of prewar levels dicted, the prewar from the yields from the yields dicted, the expenditure. with with expenditure. become immediately become not immediately did not crisis did fiscal crisis impending fiscal Of the impending course the Of course apparent apparent to to the the British British government. government. At At the the beginning beginning of of the the Boer Boer War, War, in rise in inexorable rise the inexorable at the concern at more concern Hicks-Beech exhibiting more still exhibiting was still Hicks-Beech was Africa South Africa in South operations in military operations of military cost of the cost naval than the expenditure than naval expenditure account. repayment account. debt repayment the debt upon the having upon was having war was and the war impact the the impact and the that minister that prime minister the prime to the protested to he protested In instance, he for instance, 1900, for January 1900, In January had requested, as expenditure their trimming than the rather than trimming their expenditure as requested, had Admiralty, rather the Admiralty, Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hdl.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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demandAdmiralty demandthe Admiralty time the This time estimates. This inflated estimates. submitted inflated again submitted yet again yet conthe conto the added to be added warships be armored warships large armored nine large than nine fewer than ed no fewer that no ed that quibble not quibble did not chancellor did the chancellor that the significant that program. ItIt isis significant struction program. struction anger his anger focused his He focused included. He battleships included. two battleships the two of the construction of at construction at of wisdom of the wisdom questioning the policy, questioning cruiser policy, Admiralty’s cruiser the Admiralty’s at the rather at rather techrapid techof rapid period of during aa period bloc during en bloc cruisers en armored cruisers seven armored ordering seven ordering of life of effective life an effective have an to have supposed to were supposed Cruisers were change.74 Cruisers nological change.” nological being already being were already age were this age half this than half less than vessels less but vessels years, but twenty years, twenty we that we be that well be very well may very “It may obsolete. “It as obsolete. Admiralty as the Admiralty by the classified by classified have “we have Salisbury, “we to Salisbury, moaned to Hicks-Beech moaned cruisers,” Hicks-Beech fast cruisers,” more fast want more want fear [but] II fear years [but] ten years last ten the last in the cruisers in of cruisers number of enormous number an enormous built an built in are in we are because we wasted, because comparatively wasted, been comparatively has been money has the money of the much of much hurry.”75 in aa hurry.”” much in too much too pasthe pasbetween the years between eight years the eight In the merit. In had merit. case had Hicks-Beech’s case Hicks-Beech’s armored the armored of the advent of the advent and the 1889 and in 1889 Act in Defense Act Naval Defense the Naval of the sage of sage battlenew battleon new million on 218.8 million spent £18.8 had spent Navy had Royal Navy the Royal 1896, the in 1896, cruiser in cruiser eight next eight the next Over the cruisers. Over first-class cruisers. on first-class million on 27.3 million just £7.3 and just ships and ships to rose to construction rose on construction expenditure on 1904, expenditure and 1904, 1897 and between 1897 years, between years, cruisers. armored cruisers. for armored million for 226.9 million and £26.9 battleships and for battleships million for 229.6 million £29.6 addition. in addition. cruisers in smaller cruisers on smaller spent on been spent had been millions had more millions Several more Several moreprogram,‘ morecruiser program, armored cruiser French armored the French to the responding to of responding cost of The cost The of dimensions of The dimensions warships. The the warships. of the price of the price to the limited to not limited was not over, was over, was cruiser was armored cruiser an armored of an hull of the hull that the recalled that be recalled will be (it will vessels (it these vessels these conspend conto spend Navy to Royal Navy the Royal compelled the battleship) compelled of aa battleship) that of than that larger than larger In them. In accommodate them. to accommodate dockyards to its dockyards all its rebuilding all on rebuilding sums on siderable sums siderable to came to works came naval works on naval spending on total spending 1896, total to 1896, prior to years prior eight years the eight the naval on naval expenditure on period expenditure second period the second over the whereas over million, whereas 25.1 million, £5.1 works works totaled totaled 224.8 £24.8 million.76 million.”® general the general at the politics at from politics retire from to retire decision to Goschen’s decision George Goschen’s George opporrare opporchancellor aa rare the chancellor afforded the 1900 afforded November 1900 in November called in election called election electhe elecbefore the week before control.77 AA week under control.” spending under naval spending bring naval to bring tunity to tunity had too had he too time he some time for some that for Beach that assured Beach Salisbury assured moreover, Salisbury tion, moreover, tion, question “the question address “the Admiralty address of Admiralty Board of the Board see the to see anxious” to “most anxious” been “most been

to “useless” to thought itit “useless” had thought he had that he adding that expenditure,” adding naval expenditure,” about naval about exert to exert desire to The desire lord.78 The first lord.” remained first Goschen remained while Goschen matter while the matter press the press the why the explain why partially explain may partially navy may the navy over the control over financial control tighter financial tighter prime minister minister awarded awarded the the prized prized Admiralty Admiralty portfolio portfolio to to the the earl earl of of prime than man than experienced man less experienced and less younger and much younger was aa much Selborne was Selborne. Selborne Selborne. his predecessor predecessor and and was was in in addition addition Salisbury’s Salisbury’s own own son-in-law. son-in-law. After After his the election, election, Hicks-Beech Hicks-Beech greeted greeted the the new new first first lord lord with with aa letter letter the requesting aa conference conference to to go go through through the the sketch sketch navy navy estimates estimates page page by by requesting page looking looking for for possible possible cuts.” cuts.79 Selborne, Selborne, however, however, refused refused to to be be hushuspage Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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tled tled into into making making concessions concessions and and declined declined the the invitation. invitation. His His resolve resolve to to proceed proceed cautiously cautiously was was bolstered bolstered by by the the senior senior naval naval lord, lord, Adm. Adm. Lord Lord Walter Walter Kerr, Kerr, who who was was equally equally determined determined to to secure secure an an increase increase in in the the naval naval budget. budget. Kerr Kerr wasted wasted no no time time in in remonstrating remonstrating to to his his new new master master that that the the British British government government was was failing failing to to uphold uphold the the two-power two-power stanstandard. dard. The The Royal Royal Navy, Navy, he he complained, complained, was was only only just just clinging clinging to to numerinumerical cal equality equality over over France France and and Russia Russia by by counting counting eight eight old old battleships battleships armed armed with with obsolete obsolete muzzle-loading muzzle-loading guns.80 guns.” The The Treasury Treasury had had already already been been warned warned that that these these units units would would shortly shortly have have to to be be replaced replaced and and two two years years earlier earlier had had agreed agreed in in principle principle to to fund fund their their replacements.“ replacements.* But But since since then then no no money money had had been been forthcoming. forthcoming. Kerr, Kerr, in in fact, fact, demanded demanded even even more; more; he he wanted wanted the the restoration restoration of of the the traditional traditional “margins “margins of of superiorsuperiority” ity” for for battleships battleships and and first-class first-class cruisers. cruisers. By By his his calculations, calculations, over over the the next next five five years years the the Royal Royal Navy Navy should should be be augmented augmented by by at at least least eleven eleven battleships battleships and and no no fewer fewer than than nineteen nineteen armored armored cruisers.82 cruisers.” Selborne Sselborne was was sold.83 sold.®* At At the the end end of of December December 1900 1900 he he replied replied to to the the chancellor that chancellor that that a a reduction reduction in'naval in naval spending spending was was impossible impossible and and that some some increase increase was was necessary. necessary. “Leaving “Leaving out out of of account account the the rapidly rapidly increasing navies of Germany, Japan and the U.S.,” he explained, increasing navies of Germany, Japan and the U.S.,” he explained, “we “we must must keep keep at at least least equal equal to to France France and and Russia Russia combined.” combined.” Selborne Selborne agreed agreed that that a a three-power three-power standard standard was was beyond beyond the the financial financial means means of of the state, but, he added, “I am inclined to think that we shall be the state, but, he added, “I am inclined to think that we shall be liable liable to to be be blackmailed blackmailed by by our our ‘friends’ ‘friends’ if if we we give give ourselves ourselves no no margin.”84 margin.”* Selborne’s “margin” be Selborne’s “margin” translated translated into into a a request request for for naval naval spending spending to to be raised raised by by approximately approximately £2.75 £2.75 million.85 million.® The The first first lord lord of of the the Admiralty’s Admiralty’s idea idea of of restoring restoring the the “margin” “margin” was was put put before before the the Cabinet Cabinet on on 17 17 January January 1901.86 1901.® At At the the meeting meeting Selborne Selborne justified justified the the proposal proposal by by pointing pointing out out that that the the recent recent inventions inventions of of the the gyroscopically gyroscopically controlled controlled torpedo torpedo and and the submarine-boat submarine-boat had had “materially “materially increased” increased” the the chances chances of of aa British British the battle battle squadron squadron being being successfully successfully ambushed. ambushed. “The “The loss loss of of a a few few battlebattleships ships by by us us after after starting starting with with an an exact exact equality equality of of numbers,” numbers,” he he observed, observed, “might “might make make just just the the difference difference between between the the possibility possibility and and impossibility impossibility of of an an invasion invasion of of England.”87 England.”®’ Selborne’s Selborne’s costly costly request, request, however, however, received received short short shrift shrift from from the the Cabinet. Cabinet. Much Much to to the the naval naval lords’ lords’ chagrin, chagrin, indeed, indeed, the the new new first first lord lord failed failed to to prevent prevent his his political political colcolleagues leagues from from trimming trimming aa battleship battleship and and an an armored armored cruiser cruiser from from the the building program “for reasons of state.”88 In March 1901 Walter Kerr pribuilding program “for reasons of state.”® In March 1901 Walter Kerr privately vately confessed confessed to to a a friend friend his his exasperation exasperation at at the the “difficulty “difficulty of of getting getting through through anything anything on on account account of of the the Treasury.”89 Treasury.” Pressure Pressure on on the the Admiralty Admiralty to to curb curb their their expenditures expenditures was was renewed renewed toward toward the the end end of of the the year. year. In In October October 1901, 1901, partially partially in in response response to to ominous ominous reports reports from from his his advisers advisers on on the the fiscal fiscal outlook outlook and and partially partially Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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South in South war in the war to the due to debt due national debt mounting national rapidly mounting the rapidly of the because of because in economy in for economy “appeal for an “appeal Cabinet an the Cabinet to the issued to Hicks-Beech issued Africa,9° Hicks-Beech Africa,” revthat revexplained that chancellor explained the chancellor memorandum, the his memorandum, In his estimates.”91 In the estimates.”*' the less or less more or remain more to remain forecast to was forecast taxes was existing taxes from existing generated from enue generated enue constant constant for for many many years. years. Consequently, Consequently, a a return return to to balanced balanced budgets budgets and politically politically desirable desirable levels levels of of direct direct taxation taxation after after the the war war would would not not and be possible possible unless unless “the “the growth growth of of the the normal normal expenditure, expenditure, which which of of be recent years years has has shewn shewn aa tendency tendency to to advance advance at at an an ever ever increasing increasing recent rate” rate” could could be be contained contained or or ideally ideally reversed. reversed. Failure Failure to to do do so, so, he he warned. warned, would would lead lead “straight “straight to to financial financial ruin.”92 ruin.”*? Hicks-Beech Hicks-Beech went went on on in in his his memorandum memorandum to to single single out out the the Admiralty Admiralty as as the the worst worst offender offender and and to to suggest suggest possible possible areas areas in in naval naval expenditure expenditure where where economies economies might might be be found.” found.® But But any any hopes hopes the the chancellor chancellor might might have have entertained entertained of of winning winning Cabinet Cabinet approval approval for for reductions reductions in in the the navy navy estimates estimates were were quickly quickly dashed by the reply several weeks later of Lord Selborne.94 The first dashed by the reply several weeks later of Lord Selborne.” The first lord lord skillfully skillfully persuaded persuaded the the majority majority of of ministers ministers that that “the “the efforts efforts of of France France and and Russia Russia to to establish establish a a naval naval superiority superiority over over this this country” country” was was a a more more immediate and pressing threat to the future of the empire than the immediate and pressing threat to the future of the empire than the pospossibility sibility of of national national bankruptcy.95 bankruptcy.* While While privately privately the the prime prime minister minister “sym“sympathised pathised deeply” deeply” with with HiCks-Beech’s Hicks-Beech’s position, position, he he explained explained that that he he could could not impose a ceiling on not impose a ceiling on naval naval expenditure expenditure or or even even endorse endorse the the chancelchancellor’s lor’s appeal appeal for for economies economies without without risk risk of of breaking breaking up up the the Cabinet.96 Cabinet.” r[\ivelve Twelve months months later, later, in in October October 1902, 1902, the the Cabinet Cabinet inexplicably inexplicably endorsed endorsed the the Admiralty’s Admiralty’s policy policy of of equality equality plus plus a a margin. margin. Selborne Selborne was was authorized authorized to to build build up up during during the the next next five five years years aa margin margin above above the the twotwopower power standard standard of of six six battleships battleships and and fourteen fourteen armored armored cruisers—at cruisers—at aa cost cost to to the the Treasury Treasury of of another another £3 £3 million million per per year.97 year.’ The The navy navy was was also also allowed allowed to to build build a a brand brand new new dockyard dockyard at at Rosyth Rosyth on on the the Firth Firth of of Forth, Forth, which which was was projected projected to to cost cost ten ten million million pounds. pounds. Previously, Previously, historians historians have have used used the the decision decision to to establish establish a a dockyard dockyard on on the the North North Sea Sea as as evievidence dence to to support support the the argument argument that that as as early early as as 1902 1902 the the Admiralty Admiralty was was responding responding to to the the growth growth of of the the German German High High Sea Sea Fleet. Fleet. This This was was not not so. so. The The recommendation recommendation to to build build a a dockyard dockyard in in the the north north of of Britain Britain came came from from a a committee committee set set up up to to investigate investigate the the shortage shortage of of berthing berthing and and repair facilities at existing naval ports. The committee chose repair facilities at existing naval ports. The committee chose to to site site the the new new dockyard dockyard at at Rosyth Rosyth because because of of its its proximity proximity to to existing existing shipbuilding shipbuilding

facilities utility in facilities in in Scotland.98 Scotland.” No No mention mention was was made made of of its its potential potential utility in case of a war with Germany. “Any case of a war with Germany. “Any strategical strategical points points in in favor favor of of the the Firth Firth of of Forth,” Forth,” as as Kerr Kerr explained explained in in a a private private letter letter to to Selborne Selborne dated dated 28 28 April April 1902, “are secondary 1902, “are secondary to to the the necessary necessary expansion expansion for for repairs repairs and and berthing.”99 berthing.’” In In any any case, case, shortage shortage of of funds funds resulted resulted in in construction construction work work being being postponed postponed until until late late 1909. 1909. Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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In In view view of of the the long-term long-term financial financial outlook outlook in in 1902, 1902, the the Cabinet’s Cabinet’s willwillingness ingness to to raise raise the the naval naval standard standard was, was, to to say say the the least, least, surprising. surprising. The The decision decision to to give give Selborne Selborne his his naval naval margin margin is is largely largely explained explained by by the the fact fact that that over over the the previous previous twelve twelve months months the the political political balance balance within within the the Conservative Conservative Party Party had had shifted. shifted. At At the the beginning beginning of of July July 1902, 1902, Lord Lord Salisbury Salisbury retired retired as as prime prime minister minister and and had had been been succeeded succeeded by by Arthur Arthur Balfour, Balfour, his his nephew, nephew, who who for for many many years years had had held held aa keen keen interest interest in in defense defense matters. matters. During During the the transition transition of of power, power, Selborne Selborne had had intimated intimated to to Balfour Balfour that that the the price price of of his his loyalty loyalty was was aa promise promise to to endorse endorse his his marmargin.‘00 gin.'® The The first first lord’s lord’s prospects prospects were were boosted boosted later later that that month month after after his his nemesis, nemesis, Hicks-Beech, Hicks-Beech, announced announced his his intention intention to to follow follow Salisbury Salisbury into into retirement. retirement. The The former former chancellor chancellor complained complained to to the the new new prime prime minisminister ter that that he he was was tired tired of of the the Admiralty Admiralty constantly constantly wrecking wrecking his his budget budget forecasts.‘01 forecasts." Selborne Selborne could could scarcely scarcely contain contain his his glee glee at at the the news. news. “Matters “Matters had had got got to to the the point point between between him him and and me,” me,” he he observed observed in in a a letletter ter to to his his friend friend the the secretary secretary of of state state for for India, India, “that “that one one of of us us had had to to go.”102 go.”'? With With his his most most troublesome troublesome critic critic out out of of the the way, way, the the first first lord lord proproceeded ceeded to to convince convince the the rest rest of of the the Cabinet Cabinet to to give give the the Royal Royal Navy Navy the the measure measure of of superiority superiority he he wanted. wanted.

Lord Lord Selborne’s Selborne’s Victory victory was was short-lived.103 short-lived.'’” At At the the end end of of 1902, 1902, the the Treasury Treasury reported reported that that Britain’s Britain’s economic economic boom boom was was over over and and that that the the fiscal fiscal outlook outlook was was dire; dire; though though it it was was difficult difficult to to say say just just how how bad bad the the sitsituation uation was. was. Military Military expenditure expenditure was was still still at at an an inflated inflated level level because because of of the the ongoing ongoing war war in in South South Africa, Africa, and and the the government government was was still still borrowing borrowing large large sums sums to to meet meet all all its its financial financial requirements. requirements. The The Treasury Treasury warned, warned, however, however, that that even even after after the the army army had had been been demobilized demobilized and and expenditure expenditure returned returned to to peace-time peace-time levels, levels, aa sizeable sizeable budget budget deficit deficit could could be be expectexpected. ed. The The government government would would then then be be confronted confronted by by stark stark fiscal fiscal alternaalternatives. tives. They They could could either either abandon abandon certain certain defense defense commitments commitments to to allow allow aa cut cut in in defense defense spending spending or or court court electoral electoral disaster disaster by by maintaining maintaining aa high high level level of of income income tax. tax. Both Both alternatives alternatives carried carried severe severe political political price price tags—though whether whether the the latter latter policy policy was was at at all all practicable practicable was was tags—though doubtful. doubtful. Many Many politicians politicians and and financial financial experts experts believed believed that that the the electorate electorate simply simply would would not not accept accept aa larger larger burden burden of of taxation.104 taxation.'* Some Some within the the Conservative Conservative Cabinet, Cabinet, notably notably the the colonial colonial secretary, secretary, Joseph Joseph within Chamberlain, Chamberlain, believed believed there there was was an an alternative alternative way way of of raising raising additionadditional al revenue revenue while while at at the the same same time time keep keep within within the the bounds bounds of of internainternationally tionally accepted accepted sound sound financial financial methods, methods, and and that that was was to to levy levy aa tariff tariff on on imports. imports. But But this this idea idea was was vehemently vehemently opposed opposed by by aa large large group group of of Cabinet Cabinet ministers ministers who who refused refused to to countenance countenance any any move move away away from from the the principle principle of of free free trade.105 trade.’ While While there there may may have have been been argument argument over over the the b long-tehrmhtrends long-term trends [in in British British state state finances, finances, it it was was clear clear to to everyone everyone that that Lam ert, Nico as. Sirjo nFis er's Nava Revo ution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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consethat conseand that overnight and accomplished overnight be accomplished not be could not revolution could aa fiscal fiscal revolution mediumthe mediumin the least in at least necessary, at be necessary, would be retrenchment would quently some retrenchment quently some civil the civil and the education, and Ireland, education, on Ireland, expenditure on in expenditure cuts in that cuts term. Given that term. Given the was the target was obvious target the obvious question, the the question, of the out of politically out were politically service were service defense budget. budget. defense that budget that defense budget the defensé reduce the to reduce need to the need of the anticipation of in anticipation was in ItIt was the of the committee of defense committee formed aa defense Balfour formed Arthur Balfour 1902 Arthur in December 1902 in December the for the requirements for military requirements the military reviewing the in reviewing him in assist him to assist Cabinet to Cabinet requirements defense requirements essential defense Britain’s essential define Britain’s to define was to aim was His aim empire.106 His empire.’ expenditure. defense expenditure. of defense level of possible level lowest possible the lowest calculate the to calculate thence to and thence and higher considerably higher stood considerably navy stood the navy of the reputation of and reputation status and the status While the While had Cabinet had the Cabinet and the eyes, and Balfour’s eyes, in Balfour’s especially in army, especially the army, of the that of than that than next the for estimates navy the in increase further a authorized recently authorized a further increase in the navy estimates for the next recently military in military cuts in large cuts demanding large time demanding same time the same at the while at year while financial year financial service the that granted for it take not could Admiralty could not take it for granted that the service the Admiralty expenditure, the ,- expenditure, 1903 February In favor. Cabinet’s the retain automatically would automatically retain the Cabinet’s favor. In February 1903 would economies, possible for look to lords naval the naval lords to look for possible economies, urging the began urging Selborne began Selborne take: to take: them to directing them directing derelict the derelict leave the not leave and not efficiency and beside efficiency sit beside to sit fireside to their fireside to their finance to finance process. mental process. their mental reverse their must reverse they must Further they charge. Further sole charge. my sole to my orphan to orphan money get money we get can we how can plan; how ideal plan; the ideal is the “This is say “This to say cease to must cease They must They how sovereign; how “Here isis aa sovereign; instead “Here say instead must say They must out?” They carry itit out?” to carry enough to enough Naval in aa Naval victory in for victory count for really count will really that will of itit that out of squeeze out we squeeze can we much can much war'?’"°7 war?”!07

on attention on its attention fixed its Committee fixed Defense Committee Cabinet Defense the Cabinet meantime, the the meantime, In the In claimed services claimed both services As both invasion. As serious invasion. of serious possibility of the possibility evaluating the evaluating thinkfor thinkgrounds for strong grounds were strong there were defense, there home defense, in home role in primary role the primary the found. be found. would be savings would that savings and that effort and of effort duplication of was duplication there was that there ing that ing was There was complacency. There afford complacency. not afford could not Admiralty could the Admiralty well the as well Here as Here in army, in the army, with the side with would side committee would the committee that the possibility that always aa possibility always which case the axe would fall on the naval budget.108 which case the axe would fall on the naval budget.'® crisis fiscal crisis Edwardian fiscal the Edwardian about the written about been written has been much has Although much Although scarcely have historians controversy, reform tariff subsequent the and the subsequent tariff reform controversy, historians have scarcely and naval of naval level of The level navy.‘09 The the navy.'® upon the impact upon its impact of its extent of the extent appreciated the appreciated became policy, naval of direction the indirectly, the direction of naval policy, became thus, indirectly, and thus, expenditure and expenditure considerations. strategical considerations. than strategical rather than fiscal rather by fiscal determined by increasingly determined increasingly to threatened to fleet threatened cruiser fleet and cruiser battleship and supreme battleship Maintaining aa supreme Maintaining twothe twoafter the so after especially so was especially This was expensive. This prohibitively expensive. become prohibitively become serious were serious There were 1902. There in 1902. upwards in revised upwards was revised standard was power standard power of fleet of superabundant fleet support aa superabundant could support state could the state whether the to whether as to doubts as doubts internal that internal initially that believed initially have believed may have Selborne may warships. Selborne modern warships. modern Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.hand|e.net/2027/heb.31569.

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sigyield sigcould yield approach” could and approach” attitude and in attitude change in “a change to “a coupled to reform reform coupled but taxpayers; but the taxpayers; to the cost to extra cost no extra at no strength at fighting strength additional fighting nificant additional nificant continuing were continuing navies were Foreign navies him. Foreign disabused him. had disabused 1903 had of 1903 events of the the events Sooner money. Sooner of money. out of running out rapidly running was rapidly state was British state the British while the grow while to grow to surto surhave to would have Admiralty would of Admiralty Board of the Board seemed, the later, itit seemed, than later, rather than rather protection its protection withdraw its and withdraw supremacy and naval supremacy global naval to global claim to its claim render its render pervasive The pervasive waters.“0 The distant waters.''® in distant interests in British interests nonessential British to nonessential to longand longacute and by acute confronted by was confronted Britain was Edwardian Britain that Edwardian assumption, that assumption, backthe backforms the finances, forms state finances, of state management of the management in the deficiencies in term deficiencies term drop to to the the revolution revolution in in British British naval naval policy policy that that follows. follows. drop

Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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CHAPTER 22 CHAPTER

Duplicity: and Duplicity: Complexity and Complexity Submarine, the Submarine, and the Admiralty and The Admiralty The 1898—1904 1898-1904 harbours. the harbours, off the or off in or remain in to remain not to be, not will be, navy will the navy of the duty of main duty [Tlhe main [T]he enemy the enemy blockade the to blockade but to operations, but naval operations, our naval of our bases of the bases form the which form which may which may squadrons which any squadrons of any search of in search sea in at sea cruise at and cruise ports, and own ports, his own in his in communications. our communications. interrupt our to interrupt or to colonies or our colonies attack our to attack forth to set forth have set have to auxiliaries to as auxiliaries shown, as be shown, hereafter be will hereafter as will needed, as are needed, vessels are Smaller vessels Smaller concentrated: mainly concentrated: be mainly should be efforts should our efforts which our on which ships on powerful ships the powerful the battle. of battle. time of the time for the primarily for adapted primarily be adapted should be fleet should fighting fleet the fighting but the but against balance against the balance in the set in be set can be enterprises can secondary enterprises in secondary success in No success No struggles. decisive struggles. the decisive in the defeat in defeat Navy British Navy The British Brassey, The Thomas Brassey, Sir Thomas Sir

leadernaval leaderBritain’s naval condemned Britain’s frequently condemned have frequently historians have Naval historians Naval submarine the of development the toward hostility consistent hostility toward the development of the submarine its consistent for its ship for ship negative This negative centuries. This twentieth centuries. early twentieth and early nineteenth and late nineteenth the late during the during attitude navy’s Victorian the of typical was argued, often is it disposition, it is often argued, was typical of the Victorian navy's attitude disposition, such case particular this in But armaments. naval in “progress” toward toward “progress” in naval armaments. But in this particular case such subprimitive when all, After justified. nor fair neither seems criticism criticism seems neither fair nor justified. After all, when primitive subninethe of quarter last the during appear to began first boats marine boats first began to appear during the last quarter of the ninemarine equipped best equipped and best largest and the largest possessed the Navy possessed Royal Navy the Royal century, the teenth century, teenth foundavery the Furthermore, world. the in warships ironclad warships in the world. Furthermore, the very foundaof ironclad fleet of fleet of maintenance continued the upon rested upon the continued maintenance of strategy rested naval strategy British naval of British tions of tions of Board the taught History preponderance. History taught the Board of naval preponderance. crushing naval that crushing that battle of battle line of strongest line the strongest possessed the which possessed power which the power that the Admiralty that Admiralty enemy weaker enemy intimidate weaker to intimidate superiority to this superiority upon this rely upon invariably rely could invariably could

power stronger power the stronger leaving the thus leaving port, thus remain inin port, would remain they would fleets; they battle fleets; battle had superiority” had “moral superiority” this “moral Once this sea. Once the sea. of the command of effective command with effective with and cruisers and its cruisers deploy its then deploy could then power could stronger power the stronger established, the been established, been watch could watch squadrons” could “inshore squadrons” These “inshore coast. These enemy coast. the enemy off the craft off flotilla craft flotilla guard trade, guard overseas trade, enemy’s overseas the enemy’s interdict the movements, interdict ship movements, enemy ship enemy Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hdl.hand|e.net/2027/heb.31569.

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against against the the possibility possibility of of an an invasion invasion fleet fleet putting putting to to sea, Sea, and and intercept intercept commerce raiders. All the while, the squadrons of battleships commerce raiders. All the while, the squadrons of battleships would would remain remain close close by by ready ready to to inflict inflict aa crushing crushing blow blow on on the the enemy enemy main main fleet fleet when When the the opportunity opportunity arose. arose. This This strategy strategy had had been been repeatedly repeatedly proven proven effective effective during during the the age age of of sail, sail, and and at at the the end end of of the the nineteenth nineteenth century century the Board of Admiralty could the Board of Admiralty could see see no no reason reason to to abandon abandon it it for for another. another. Why Why then then should should the the late-nineteenth-century late-nineteenth-century Royal Royal Navy Navy have have wanted wanted to develop to develop submarine submarine boats? boats? And And how how would would it it have have employed employed them them if if it it had? had? The The experimental experimental 'craft craft then then available available possessed possessed neither neither the the range range nor nor the the endurance endurance to to operate operate in in open open waters waters with, with, or or against, against, aa main main fleet. fleet. Nor, Nor, for for that that matter, matter, did did they they carry carry weapons weapons capable capable of of inflicting inflicting serious serious damage damage upon upon aa battleship. battleship. Torpedo Torpedo tubes tubes were were not not fitted fitted to to the the experiexperimental mental craft craft before before 1892 1892 and, and, as as we we have have seen, seen, the the first first successful successful attempt attempt to to fire fire aa torpedo torpedo underwater underwater was was not not made made until until 1898. 1898. Even Even assuming assuming that that aa submarine submarine could could have have crossed crossed the the Channel Channel to to blockade blockade the the enemy enemy coast, coast, aa surface surface vessel vessel that that could could be be built built at at less less cost cost could could perperform form that that duty duty for for aa much much longer longer period period and and considerably considerably more more efficiently. efficiently. Submarines, Submarines, in in other other words, words, were were of of little little use use to to the the Royal Royal Navy. Navy. in In the the hands hands of of “a “a maritime maritime power power on on the the defensive,” defensive,” on on the the other other hand, hand, subsubmarines marines would would obviously obviously prove prove more more useful. useful. They They might might just just have have the the range range to to prove prove troublesome troublesome to to the the enemy enemy inshore inshore squadrons, squadrons, thus thus forcing forcing them them to to take take station station further further to to seaward seaward and and thereby thereby loosening loosening the the blockblockade. ade. But But until until the the very very end end of of the the nineteenth nineteenth century century no no submarine submarine in in exisexistence tence could could reliably reliably perform perform even even this this limited limited mission. mission. Throughout Throughout the the nineteenth nineteenth century, century, the the Board Board of of Admiralty Admiralty kept kept itself itself well well informed informed about about the the capabilities capabilities of of the the experimental experimental subsubmarine marine boats. boats. Beginning Beginning in in 1856 1856 with with the the vessel vessel designed designed by by Charles Charles Fox Fox and and the the prominent prominent naval naval architect architect John John Russell, Russell, Royal Royal Navy Navy officers officers discreetly discreetly inspected inspected all all the the submarine submarine craft craft built built in in Britain Britain by by civilian civilian inventors. inventors. In In 1879, 1879, for for example, example, the the Admiralty Admiralty sent sent observers observers to to watch watch ‘the the trials trials of of Rev. Rev. George George Garrett’s Garrett's Resurgam. Resurgam. In In 1886 1886 naval naval officers officers inspected inspected Charles Charles Waddington’s Waddington’s Porpoise, Porpoise, and and in in 1888 1888 they they tested tested Thorsten Thorsten Nordenfelt’s Nordenfelt's Nordenfelt Nordenfelt IV IV before before it it was was sold sold to to the the Russian Russian government. The The Admiralty Admiralty archives archives show show that that successive successive naval naval minmingovernment. istries istries recognized recognized that that one one day day the the submarine submarine would would be be perfected perfected as as aa weapon weapon of of war.1 war.' But But they they also also saw saw this this could could not not be be achieved achieved without without a a sustained Sustained effort effort and and the the expenditure expenditure of of considerable considerable sums sums of of money. money. Only Only a a large large organization, organization, such such as as aa rival rival navy navy or or aa British British naval naval armaarmaments firm, firm, itit was was felt, felt, possessed possessed sufficient sufficient resources resources and and engineering engineering ments know-how know-how to to complete complete such such aa project. project. So So long long as as the the development development of of underwater underwater craft craft remained remained in in the the hands hands of of amateur amateur inventors, inventors, therefore, therefore, the the pace pace of of progress progress would would continue continue to to be be very very slow. slow. Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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toward policy toward Admiralty’s policy of Admiralty’s Board of the Board years, the hundred years, one hundred For almost one For almost anydo not must Navy Royal the that premise that the Royal Navy must not do anythe premise upon the rested upon submarines submarines rested develtheir sponsoring from navies rival navies from sponsoring their develencourage” rival or encourage” thing “justify or to “justify thing to the at the memoirs at his memoirs in his recorded in Freemantle recorded Edmund Freemantle Sir Edmund Adm. Sir opment. As Adm. opment. As century, twentieth century, the twentieth of the beginning of beginning same the same submarine isis the the submarine towards the mind towards naval mind the naval of the attitude of the natural attitude the natural been has been Fulton has 1805] .. .. .. Fulton [in 1805] St.Vincent [in Lord St.Vincent by Lord expressed by now that expressed as that now as William] Minister William] [Prime Minister before [Prime experiments before [submarine] experiments trying some [submarine] tryn some of Lord of First Lord the First Vincent, the St. Vincent, Lord St. which Lord to which project, to the project, Pitt, favored the who favored Pitt, who

was “Pitt was that, “Pitt stated that, bluntly stated he bluntly and he opposed, and strongly opposed, was strongly Admiralty, was the Admiralty, the they which they war which of war mode of encourage aa mode to encourage existed, to ever existed, that ever fool that greatest fool the greatest the would successful, would which, ifif successful, and which, want, and not want, did not seas did the seas commanded the who commanded who deprive them them of of it.” it."2 deprive

leadnaval leadBritish naval century, British nineteenth century, the nineteenth of the remainder of the remainder Throughout the Throughout than further than went further they went indeed, they Often, indeed, sentiments.3 Often, similar sentiments.’ expressed similar ers expressed ers pubhaving pubofficers having senior officers of senior anecdotes of numerous anecdotes are numerous There are necessary. There necessary. suggestions any suggestions ridiculed any warfare, ridiculed submarine warfare, of submarine talk of all talk at all scoffed at licly scoffed licly that that submarine submarine boats boats might might pose pose a a major major threat threat to to British British supremacy. supremacy, as craft as such craft built such who built inventors who civilian inventors all civilian dismissed all having dismissed and having and deliberprobably deliberwas probably posturing was this posturing officers this Admiralty officers With Admiralty eccentrics“ With eccentrics.* first its first acquire its to acquire decided to finally decided Navy finally Royal Navy the Royal 1901, the in 1901, When, in ate. When, ate. colleague new colleague to aa new explained to navy explained the navy of the controller of then controller the then submarines, the submarines, Britain in Britain built in craft built underwater craft of underwater type of previous type every previous that every Board that the Board on the on made been made has been experiment has sufficient experiment and sufficient examined and carefully examined been carefully “has been “has in each each case case to to ascertain ascertain its its probable probable value. value. Itit has has then then been been quietly quietly in submarine the submarine of the development of the development delaying the of delaying result of the result with the dropped with dropped boat boat for for about about twenty twenty years."5 years.”° keep aa to keep managed to also managed Admiralty also the Admiralty attention the attracting attention Without attracting Without officers British officers 1866, British In 1866, abroad. In progress abroad. submarine progress on submarine eye on watchful eye watchful the by the built by Whale built Intelligent Whale the Intelligent of the inspections of clandestine inspections conducted clandestine conducted The 1881.6 The in 1881.° Ram in Fenian Ram Holland’s Fenian John Holland’s and John Halstead, and Oscar Halstead, American Oscar American improved was improved overseas was progress overseas of progress rate of the rate gauge the to gauge ability to Admiralty’s ability Admiralty’s intelligence Foreign Intelligence the Foreign of the expansion of the expansion with the 1887 with February 1887 after February after Admiralty. the Admiralty. of the (NID) of Division (NID) intelligence Division Naval Intelligence the Naval into the Committee into Committee of veils of thickening veils the thickening pierce the to pierce especially to established especially was established MD was The NID The inforcollate inforto collate and to development and foreign-warship development surrounding foreign-warship secrecy surrounding secrecy progress foreign progress on foreign agents on other agents and other attaches and naval attachés by naval gathered by mation gathered mation acceleratinnovation accelerattechnological innovation of technological pace of the pace As the technologies. As naval technologies. in naval in ed ed during during the the 18803, 1880s, so so up-to-date up-to-date naval naval and and industrial industrial intelligence intelligence time this time at this Progress at Navy. Progress Royal Navy. the Royal to the important to increasingly important became increasingly became could could be be dramatic. dramatic. By By exploiting exploiting aa breakthrough breakthrough in, in, say, say, metallurgy metallurgy or or Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.hand|e.net/2027/heb.31569.

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engineering, engineering, it it was was perfectly perfectly possible possible for for a a foreign foreign power power to to create create aa new new model model battleship battleship possessing possessing significantly significantly greater greater fighting fighting capabilities capabilities than than any any British British warship. warship. Alternatively, Alternatively, that that rival rival navy navy could could develop develop aa submarine. the submarine. or the torpedo or the torpedo as the such as system, such weapon system, new weapon completely new completely In 1887 1887 the the Marine Marine Francaise Francaise became became the the first first major major navy navy to to sponsponIn sor sor the the development development of of the the submarine. submarine. Early Early success success with with aa fifty-ton fifty-ton 1892 in 1892 down in lay down to lay French to the French encouraged the Gymnote, encouraged boat, Gymnote, experimental boat, experimental Gustavechristened Gustavevessel christened two-hundred-and-seventy—ton vessel larger two-hundred-and-seventy-ton much larger aa much Zédé. Zédé. This This craft craft was was built built at at Toulon Toulon Dockyard Dockyard under under great great secrecy secrecy and and took four four years years to to complete. complete. The The British British response response to to news news that that the the took French French had had commenced commenced aa submarine submarine development development program program was was to to order order their naval naval attaché attache in in Paris Paris to to collect collect as as much much relevant relevant information information as as their he could could find.’ find.7 Although Although the the NID NID subsequently subsequently received received some some excellent excellent he

intelligence intelligence on on the the progress progress of of experiments experiments with with Gustave-Zédé, Gustave-Zédé, the the qualqualwithin buried within was buried often was and often appreciated and always appreciated not always was not data was the data of the ity of ity aa mass mass of of contradictory contradictory reports. reports. Not Not having having had had practical practical experience experience of of submarines themselves, themselves, moreover, moreover, officers officers serving serving in in the the NID NID could could not, not, submarines they reports they intelligence reports the intelligence of the value of relative value the reiative judge the understandably, judge understandably, special any had department the in serving officers the of None received. received. None of the officers serving in the department had any special interest interest in in the the subject subject nor nor were were any any given given incentive incentive to to develop develop such such an an expertise. expertise. Analysis Analysis of of intelligence intelligence on on submarine submarine development development received received evaluate. to evaluate. little to was little there was 1896 there until 1896 besides, until and besides, priority, and low priority, only aa low only quickhow misjudged Admiralty the that the Admiralty misjudged how quicksurprising that hardly surprising therefore hardly ItIt isis therefore progressing.8 were progressing.® French were the French ly the ly for source for best source the best service, the secret service, naval secret the naval of the up of setting up the setting Before the Before Paris. in Paris. attache in naval attaché British naval the British was the navy was French navy the French on the information on information the of the enthusiasm of and enthusiasm energy and the energy upon the depended upon course, depended of course, Much, of Much, most was NID the 1899, and 1896 Between post. this for chosen officer officer chosen for this post. Between 1896 and 1899, the NID was most scientifically Jackson, aa scientifically Henry Jackson, Capt. Henry of Capt. services of the services have the to have fortunate to fortunate develthe develpioneering the in pioneering Marconi in Signor Marconi of Signor rival of wasa a rival who was officer who minded officer minded with aa Admiralty with the Admiralty supplied the Jackson supplied telegraphy. Jackson wireless telegraphy. of wireless opment of opment examfor exam1898, for February 1898, in February reports. In informative reports. particularly informative of particularly number of number boat submarine boat sponsored submarine privately sponsored of aa privately trials of first trials the first witnessed the he witnessed ple, he ple, carbe to designed tons eleven only displacing vessel tiny Goubet—a Le Le Goubet—a tiny vessel displacing only eleven tons designed to be cardemonthe by excited was attaché The warship. surface a aboard a surface warship. The attaché was excited by the demonried aboard ried of be of might be craft might such aa craft that such London that informed London immediately informed and immediately stration and stration at Division Intelligence Division at Naval Intelligence the Naval of the director of The director Navy.9 The Royal Navy.’ the Royal to the use to use William Sir William to Sir report to dispiriting report perspective) dispiriting his perspective) (from his the (from passed the once passed once as regarded as widely regarded was widely who was construction, who naval construction, of naval director of the director White, the White, From design.10 From warship design.’ on warship country on the country in the authority in preeminent authority the preeminent the Jackson’s dismissed Jackson’s White dismissed however, White Whitehall, however, at Whitehall, desk at his desk behind his behind actual trials.” of actual result of the result not the and not “estimates and as “estimates craft as the craft of the appraisal of appraisal Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.hand|e.net/2027/heb.31569.

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weapons practical weapons yet practical not yet were not submarines were that submarines DNI that the DNI assured the White assured White relaxed. Admiralty relaxed. The Admiralty war.“ The of war.'' of during that during Whitehall that notified Whitehall Jackson notified Captain Jackson 1899 Captain January 1899 in January In reportedly had reportedly Gustave-Zédé had the Gustave-Zédé maneuvers, the naval maneuvers, French naval recent French recent implicathe implicaJackson the To Jackson Magenta. To battleship Magenta. the battleship at the torpedo at launched aa torpedo launched have vessels have submersible vessels “These submersible serious: “These were serious: achievement were this achievement of this tions of tions will “and will concluded, “and he concluded, warfare,” he modern warfare,” stage inin modern practical stage reached aa practical reached most a In war.” European future a in met, and with, reckoned be to have have to be reckoned with, and met, in a future European war.” In a most and report and Jackson’s report endorsed Jackson's ambassador endorsed British ambassador the British step, the unusual step, unusual likeis invention this in success the in “belief that Admiralty the warned warned the Admiralty that “belief in the success in this invention is likeEngland to England inferiority to naval inferiority their naval regard their to regard Frenchmen to encourage Frenchmen to encourage ly to ly not did not however, diplomat, a of a diplomat, however, did opinions of The opinions great.”12 The so great.”’” means so no means by no as by as with impressed much they were seems, were they much impressed with Nor, itit seems, Admiralty. Nor, the Admiralty. interest the interest Edmund Capt. Edmund Ordnance, Capt. Naval Ordnance, of Naval director of the director Only the report.13 Only Jackson’s report.'* Jackson’s with concerned with less concerned was less he was Though he interest. Though real interest. any real exhibited any Jeffreys, exhibited Jeffreys, whether establishing whether with establishing than with progress than French progress about French more about out more finding out finding value great value of great be of not be might not continues, might development continues, their development "if their submarines “if submarines which ports”—in which their ports’—in in their fleet in enemy’s fleet an enemy’s against an purposes against offensive purposes for offensive for tow or tow convoy or could convoy we could “As we Navy. “As Royal Navy. the Royal to the use to of use be of might be they might case they case they that they opinion that the opinion of the am of distance II am short distance within aa short to within across to them across them speculated.14 be speculated." effectively,” he most effectively,” used most be used might be might the and the Admiralty, and the Admiralty, of the lord of first lord the first Goschen, the George Goschen, Although George Although were they were suggestion, they Jeffreys’s suggestion, considered Jeffreys’s board considered the board of the members of other members other few vindicated aa few be vindicated to be appeared to hesitation appeared Their hesitation more.15 Their do more.'> to do reluctant to reluctant arrived Magenta arrived of Magenta torpedoing of the torpedoing on the report on second report after aa second later after weeks later weeks Gustave-Ze’dé the Gustave-Zédé to the favorable to less favorable “much less judged “much was judged and was Whitehall and at Whitehall at report second report this second wrote this who wrote Just who Jackson.”16 Just Captain Jackson.”'® by Captain given by that given than that than as only to referred was author was referred to only as the author docket, the covering docket, the covering In the known. In not known. isis not of director the that note to note that the director of interesting to Yet itit isis interesting source.” Yet reliable source.” most reliable “a most “a weight more far placed Custance, placed far more weight Reginald Custance, Capt. Reginald intelligence, Capt. Naval Intelligence, Naval of opinion of the opinion upon the did upon he did than he agent than anonymous agent this anonymous of this views of the views upon the upon lords, naval lords, the naval for the papers for the papers Summarizing the attache. Summarizing naval attaché. British naval the British the that insisting that failure,” insisting “a failure,” as “a Gustave-Zédé as the Gustave-Zédé dismissed the curtly dismissed Custance curtly Custance very was very trip was recent trip her recent after her Marseilles after from Marseilles back from coming back ever coming “her ever “her the board, the the board, to the explained to he explained reasons,” he political reasons,” “For political problematical.”17 “For problematical.”" she but she so, but did so, she did said she they said and they succeed and to succeed bound to “was bound Gustave-Zédé “was Gustave-Zédé attendrew attenCustance drew assessment, Custance his assessment, support his To support much.”18 To worth much.”" not worth isis not 17 on 17 Deputies on of Deputies Chamber of French Chamber the French in the delivered in speech delivered to aa speech tion to tion theatrically somewhat theatrically had somewhat marine had of marine minister of the minister which the in which 1899, in March 1899, March described the the recent recent success success of of the the Gustave-Zédé Gustave-Zéde’ as as heralding heralding aa renaisrenaisdescribed

sance sance in in the the fortunes fortunes of of the the Marine Marine Francaise.'9 Frangaise.'? After After William William White White cast cast further doubts doubts on on the the credibility credibility of of Jackson’s Jackson’s assessments, assessments, labeling labeling him him further Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.hand|e.net/2027/heb.31569.

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as as an an “enthusiast,” “enthusiast,” the the Admiralty Admiralty subsequently subsequently dismissed dismissed his his claim claim that that the the Gustave-Zédé Gustave-Zédé had had proved proved the the submarine submarine to to be be aa weapon weapon of of war war and and rejected rejected as as unsubstantiated unsubstantiated his his warning warning that that the the French French had had secretly secretly ordered ordered between between eight eight and and twelve twelve more more submarines.20 submarines.” Again Again the the board board concluded concluded that that no no action action was was necessary. necessary. In In January January 1900 1900 the the short-sightedness short-sightedness of of this this decision decision was was brought brought home home to to the the Admiralty Admiralty after after the the Naval Naval Intelligence Intelligence Division Division was was literally literally flooded with reports indicating that submarine flooded with reports indicating that submarine development development was was now now rapidly rapidly progressing. progressing. First First to to arrive arrive was was a a dispatch dispatch from from the the naval naval attache attaché in in Washington, Washington, D.C., D.C., with with news news of of “a “a rumour rumour that that the the United United States States govgovernment are about to ernment are about to purchase” purchase” the the submarine-boat submarine-boat designed designed by by John John Holland. Holland. Enclosed Enclosed with with the the report report from from Capt. Capt. Charles Charles Ottley Ottley were were conficonfidential dential reports reports on on the the performance performance of of the the boat boat written written by by the the United United States States Navy’s Navy's Board Board of of Inspection Inspection and and Survey, Survey, complete complete with with blueprints.21 blueprints.”' Pressure Pressure on on the the Admiralty Admiralty to to take take action action intensified intensified three three weeks weeks later later after after the the new new naval naval attache attaché in in Paris, Paris, Capt. Capt. Douglas Douglas Gamble, Gamble, reported reported that that his his predecessor predecessor had had not not been been exaggerating exaggerating French French progress. progress. “Submarine“Submarineboats boats of of the the Gustave-Zédé Gustave-Zédé type type are are considered considered to to be be a a real real success,” success,” he he confirmed, confirmed, “and “and the the extremely extremely difficult difficult problem problem of of submerged submerged navigation navigation is is looked looked upon upon as as practically practically solved solved after after ten ten years years of of laborious laborious experiexperiment.”22 ment.’” This This latest latest assessment, assessment, from from a a new new man man who who could could not not be be disdismissed missed as as an an enthusiast, enthusiast, was was impossible impossible to to ignore. ignore. “The “The French French seem seem to to be be overcoming overcoming the the difficulties difficulties of of the the submarine submarine boat,” boat,” noted noted the the new new senior senior naval naval lord, lord, Adm. Adm. Lord Lord Walter Walter Kerr, Kerr, and and “we “we cannot cannot altogether altogether afford afford to to disregard disregard them them and and their their increased increased proficiency.”23 proficiency.” The The Naval Naval Intelligence Intelligence Division Division was was directed directed to to gather gather all all available available intelligence intelligence on on submarines submarines for for submission submission to to the the board, board, and and at at the the same same time time prepare prepare aa confidential confidential print print for for issue issue to to senior senior fleet fleet officers.24 officers.” While While the the papers papers were were being being recovered recovered from from the the files files at at the the record record office, office, in in February February 1900 1900 the the Admiralty Admiralty received received an an urgent urgent despatch despatch from from Adm. Adm. Sir Sir John John Fisher Fisher (commander (commander in in chief, chief, Mediterranean, Mediterranean, 1899—1902) 1899-1902) requesting requesting advice advice on on how how best best to to protect protect warships warships at at anchor anchor from from the the threat of of submarine submarine attack. attack. In In the the dispatch, dispatch, Fisher Fisher expressed expressed his his opinopinthreat

ion ion that that the the easiest easiest solution solution would would be be to to plant plant aa protective protective barrier barrier of of contact mines mines around around his his anchorage.*> anchorage.25 This This suggestion suggestion was was disingenudisingenucontact ous. Fisher Fisher knew knew full full well well that that since since 1895 1895 itit had had been been Admiralty Admiralty policy policy ous. not to to use use or or even even experiment experiment with with contact contact mines mines so so as as not not to to “justify “justify not and and encourage” encourage” the the efforts efforts of of other other powers.26 powers.”* Predictably, Predictably, therefore, therefore, the the board’s board’s initial initial reaction reaction was was to to refuse; refuse; that that is is until until the the imaginative imaginative Captain Jeffreys Jeffreys pointed pointed out out that that “foreign “foreign nations, nations, especially especially France France and and Captain Russia, Russia, have have not not waited waited for for our our “justifying ‘justifying and and encouraging encouraging them’ them’ but but have have [already] [already] adopted adopted them them [contact [contact mines] mines] on on an an extensive extensive scale.”27 scale.” Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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rapidly be rapidly to be “appears to added, “appears he added, Meanwhile, boat, he submarine boat, the submarine Meanwhile, the

and itit warfare,” and of warfare,” instrument of new instrument as aa new approaching position as defined position approaching aa defined

conthemselves confind themselves would find warships would seemed British warships soon British very soon that very likely that seemed likely was Admiralty was the Admiralty that the insisted that fronted Jeffreys insisted craft. Jeffreys underwater craft. with underwater fronted with way practical way only practical “the only wrote, “the he wrote, far, he So far, compelled issue. So the issue. address the to address compelled to home, at home, them at keep them to keep as to much as so much to them so frighten them or frighten boats, or these boats, stop these to stop using on using ban on the ban concluded, the he concluded, so, he seems mines.”28 IfIf so, blockade mines.”” by blockade be by to be seems to lifted. be lifted. to be ought to contact mines ought contact mines can “It can logic.29 “It this logic.” with this uncomfortable with The initially uncomfortable was initially Admiralty was The Admiralty to way to practical way only practical the only mine isis the hardly blockade mine the blockade that the accepted that be accepted hardly be with observation with An observation responded. An meet Custance responded. boat,” Custance submerged boat,” the submerged meet the naval senior naval the senior reflection the further reflection which upon further But upon agreed. But first agreed. at first Kerr at which Kerr of end of the end at the conceded at he conceded events,” he of events,” lord march of “The march mind. “The his mind. changed his lord changed by taken by action taken the action to the part to our part on our April, response on some response for some calls for “now calls April, “now May On 44 May boats.”3° On submarine boats.”* of submarine foreign construction of their construction in their powers in foreign powers appears boats appears submarine boats French submarine the French of the Kerr success of “the success that “the declared that Kerr declared them.”3' AA meet them.”*' to meet now to necessary now to make itit necessary to make assured to sufficiently assured be sufficiently to be at schools at torpedo schools navy’s torpedo the navy’ to the fortnight sent to were sent orders were later, orders fortnight later, experiof experiprogram of secret aa program in secret Portsmouth organize in to organize Devonport to and Devonport Portsmouth and and boats and submarine boats with submarine dealing with of dealing ments means of best means “the best discover “the to discover ments to orders issuing after week a Barely destroying them when discovered.”* Barely a week after issuing orders discovered.”32 when them destroying United the United that the learnt that Admiralty learnt the Admiralty to experiments, the antisubmarine experiments, begin antisubmarine to begin development submarine development of submarine program of States sponsoring aa program now sponsoring was now Navy was States Navy strongly bay,” strongly Manila bay,” of Manila “hero of after the “hero Dewey, the George Dewey, Adm. George Fleet Adm. after Fleet The boat.” The submarine boat.” advised Holland’s submarine John Holland’s purchase John to purchase Congress to advised Congress colthe colupon the impact upon profound impact American had aa profound have had to have seems to decision seems American decision Charles Lord Charles As Lord lective establishment. As naval establishment. British naval the British of the mind of lective mind “when aa observed: “when Fleet, observed: Beresford, Mediterranean Fleet, the Mediterranean in the admiral in rear admiral Beresford, aa rear has States has United States the United of the that of common like that nation like headed nation level headed sense level common sense such that such probable that appear probable tried would appear boats, itit would submarine boats, adopted submarine and adopted tried and craft operations.”34 warlike operations.’ in warlike value in some value have some must have craft must disthe disauthorize the to authorize was to act was Kerr first act His first impressed. His likewise impressed. was likewise Kerr was the advised the he advised Next, he Fleet. Next, patch Mediterranean Fleet. the Mediterranean to the mines to contact mines of contact patch of

and ignored and be ignored cannot be boats cannot first submarine boats of submarine matter of the matter “that the that “that lord that first lord

cerAlmost Cerdesign.”35 Almost will want isis aa design.”® first want us—our first by us—our up by taken up be taken to be have to will have

of pleas of the pleas by the step by tainly “drastic” step this “drastic” take this to take convinced to been convinced had been Kerr had tainly Kerr anxmost anxwas most who was VC, who the Knyvett-Wilson VC, Arthur Knyvett-Wilson Adm. Arthur Rear Adm. controller, Rear the controller, was Wilson ious to develop counter measures against the submarine.* Wilson was submarine.36 the against measures counter develop to ious Charles Capt. by persuaded no submarine enthusiast; but he had been persuaded by Capt. Charles been had he but no submarine enthusiast; until that until Portsmouth, that Robinson, at Portsmouth, school at torpedo school the torpedo of the charge of in charge Robinson, in submaa what of something someone staff something of what a submahis staff and his him and to him explain to could explain someone could means of best means “the best advise “the to advise rine expected to be expected hardly be could hardly he could do he could do rine could

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avoiding avoiding and and destroying destroying them.”37 them.”*’ Accordingly, Accordingly, he he had had asked asked the the board board to to authorize authorize the the purchase purchase of of a a submarine submarine “for “for the the purpose purpose of of ascertaining ascertaining for for ourselves ourselves the the limits limits of of the the powers powers of of these these vessels vessels and and the the best best means means of of avoiding avoiding and and destroying destroying them.”38 them.”* The The logic logic was was irrefutable. irrefutable. “l “I have have read read the the whole whole of of the the papers papers very very carefully,” carefully,” Goschen Goschen gloomily gloomily noted noted on on the the file, file, “they “they are are not not pleasant pleasant reading—for reading—for clearly clearly great great progress progress is is gradually gradually being being made made with with submarine submarine boats.”39 boats.” Reluctantly, Reluctantly, the the first first lord lord granted granted permission permission to to buy buy a a submarine submarine and and entrusted entrusted the the task task of of finding finding aa suitable suitable design design to to Wilson. Wilson. Acquiring Acquiring aa practicable practicable submarine submarine design design for for the the Royal Royal Navy Navy was was never never going going to to be be easy. easy. Except Except for for the the Naval Naval Construction Construction Company Company (since (since taken taken over over by by Vickers Vickers Ltd.) Ltd.) which which had had built built the the Nordenfelt Nordenfelt boats boats in in the the late late 18808, 1880s, no no shipbuilding shipbuilding firm firm in in Britain Britain had had experience experience in in building building such such craft. craft. Unable Unable to to find find aa suitable suitable design design at at home, home, ultimately ultimately the the

Admiralty Admiralty turned turned to to the the United United States. States. The The story story has has often often been been told told of of how how the the Royal Royal Navy Navy ended ended up up buying buying John John Holland’s Holland’s submarine submarine boat, boat, an an Irish-American Irish-American inventor inventor who who devoted devoted his his life life to to perfecting perfecting his his craft craft out out of of hatred hatred for for the the British, British, and and so so need need not not be be recounted recounted here.40 here.* Suffice Suffice it it to to say Say that that in in August August 1900, 1900, Wilson Wilson approached approached the the Holland Holland Torpedo Torpedo Boat Boat Company Company to to find find out out “whether “whether they they are are in in a a position position to to supply supply a a boat boat or or furnish furnish us us with with drawings.”‘“ drawings.”*' After After Sir Sir William William White White (the (the DNC) DNC) grudging— grudgingly ly conceded conceded that that “the “the Holland Holland type type seems seems to to afford afford the the best best opening,” opening,” forformal mal discussions discussions were were opened opened between between the the Admiralty Admiralty and and Isaac Isaac Rice, Rice, president president of of the the Electric Electric Boat Boat Company, Company, which which had had recently recently purchased purchased the the Holland Holland patents.42 patents.” Within Within weeks weeks an an arrangement arrangement was was reached reached wherewhereby by Electric Electric Boat Boat would would license license Messrs. Messrs. Vickers Vickers Ltd. Ltd. of of Barrow-in-Furness Barrow-in-Furness to build build submarines submarines for for the the Royal Royal Navy.“ Navy.43 And And shortly shortly afterwards afterwards the the to Admiralty Admiralty placed placed an an order order for for five five boats. boats. This This was was reckoned reckoned to to be be the the smallest number number that that would would be be required required for for aa program program of of antisubmarine antisubmarine smallest experiments—“one to to be be attached attached to to the the ‘Vernon,’ ‘Vernon,’ one one to to the the ‘Defiance’ ‘Defiance’ experiments—‘one and the the other other three three allocated allocated one one to to each each port port to to be be used used in in connection connection and with with the the destroyer destroyer flotillas flotillas in in practising practising methods methods of of meeting meeting their their attacks.”44 This This was was not not regarded regarded as as aa one-off one-off purchase. purchase. All All parties parties underunderattacks.”“ stood that that ifif the the Holland Holland boats boats proved proved successful, successful, then then Vickers Vickers would would stood receive further further contracts contracts to to supply supply the the Royal Royal Navy Navy with with submarines. submarines. receive On 23 23 October October 1900 1900 Wilson Wilson drafted drafted aa letter letter to to the the Treasury Treasury requestrequestOn ing ing a a secret secret appropriation appropriation to to enable enable the the Admiralty Admiralty to to order order the the subsubmarines marines at at once once and and submitted submitted it it to to the the first first lord lord for for approval. approval. To To his his undoubted surprise, the draft provoked a sharp debate among the memundoubted surprise, the draft provoked a sharp debate among the members bers of of the the board board over over what what exactly exactly the the Royal Royal Navy Navy would would do do with with the the submarines after they had been delivered. In Wilson’s opinion, submarines after they had been delivered. In Wilson’s opinion, for for instance, the craft were needed to find some method “of meeting attacks instance, the craft were needed to find some method “of meeting attacks Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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in numbers in considerable numbers in considerable building in now building are now which are boats which submarine boats of of submarine France.” In In other other words, words, they they were were required required solely solely as tarFrance.” as antisubmarine antisubmarine tarletdraft letthe draft on the Commenting on disagreed. Commenting however, disagreed. colleagues, however, His colleagues, gets.45 His gets.* ter ter Goschen Goschen scribbled: scribbled: doctrine the doctrine to the absolutely to so absolutely ourselves so confine ourselves should confine we should think we not think do not II do subforeign submeeting foreign of meeting means of best means the best ascertain the to ascertain order to in order only in that itit isis only that They States. They United States. the United from the boats from five boats buy five to buy wish to we wish that we boats that marine marine boats Kong, Hong Kong, e.g. Hong boats: e.g. torpedo boats: like torpedo places, like many places, in many us in to us useful to be useful may be may

war.46 of war.“ men of our men of our absence of defend inin absence to defend wish to might wish we might ports we other ports and other and the of the members of other members that other impression that the impression under the was under he was added he Goschen added Goschen conKerr conOctober, Kerr 26 October, on 26 later, on days later, Two days viewpoint. Two his viewpoint. shared his board shared board fessed fessed that that while while he he accepted accepted the the principal principal use use of of the the submarine submarine boats boats at at the the present present stage stage is is to to work work out, out, if if possible, possible, some some plan plan for for meeting meeting hostile hostile submarines, submarines, he he too too was was prepared prepared to to see see the the vessels vessels exploited exploited “for “for to intimidation to an intimidation “as an adapted”—even “as be adapted’—even can be they can which they to which purpose to any purpose any large vessels vessels menacing menacing our our ports.’*’ ports.”7 Kerr, Kerr, itit Should should be be added, added, was was also also large offensive an offensive as an submarine as the submarine developing the of developing possibility of the possibility by the intrigued by intrigued on debate on provoked aa debate have provoked would have comments would these comments Normally, these weapon.48 Normally, weapon.” of beginning of the beginning at the suspended at was suspended discussion was all discussion But all subject. But the subject. the November 1900, 1900, after after the the prime prime minister minister called called aa snap snap general general election. election. November The The Board Board agreed agreed that that the the request request for for the the appropriation appropriation should should be be sent sent immediately. immediately. Goschen Goschen was was not not inclined inclined to to press press his his objections objections to to the the wording of of the the letter letter because because he he had had already already decided decided to to stand stand down down at at —' wording the election election and and quit quit politics. politics. the man was aa man Selborne, was of Selborne, earl of the earl Admiralty, the the Admiralty, of the lord of first lord new first The new The with no no previous previous interest interest or or experience experience in in naval naval affairs. affairs. But But itit should should be be with the for the son-in-law for own son-in-law his own nominated his minister nominated prime minister the prime that the noted that noted accepting to accepting “submit” to he “submit” that he understanding that the understanding on the only on portfolio only vacant portfolio vacant House the House in the secretary in parliamentary secretary the parliamentary as the Arnold-Forster as Oakley Arnold-Forster Hugh Oakley Hugh an of an something of as something him as regarded him peers regarded Arnold-Forster’s peers Commons.49 Arnold-Forster’s of of Commons.® of member of as aa member and as journalist and As aa journalist matters. As defense matters. on defense expert on expert the about the complaints about amplifying complaints reputation amplifying his reputation made his had made he had Parliament, he Parliament, interest various interest by various made by forces made armed forces the armed of the strength of inadequate strength inadequate naval in naval voice in party aa voice the party of the jingoes of the jingoes promised the selection promised His selection groups. His groups. interlong-time interhad aa long-time he had story, he this story, for this importantly for More importantly making. More policy making. policy est est in in submarines. submarines. Before Before Arnold-Forster Arnold-Forster joined joined the the government, government, he he had had tried tried to to entice entice Goschen Goschen into into providing providing Parliament Parliament with with an an explanation explanation for for the the Admiralty’s Admiralty’s apparent apparent lack lack of of concern concern at at the the development development of of the the submasubmarine.50 rine.’ Throughout Throughout 1900 1900 Goschen Goschen had had not not been been allowed allowed to to rest rest in in peace. peace. L b ”N. I Although :Altto/ugh Arnold-Forster firnold-Forster did did not not succeed succeed inin his his original original object, object, during during E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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one verbal verbal exchange exchange in in the the Commons Commons he he did did succeed succeed in in drawing drawing the the aged aged one first lord into carelessly describing the submarine as “the weapon of first lord into carelessly describing the submarine as “the weapon of the the weaker weaker power.” power.” “l “I have have no no doubt doubt whatsoever,” whatsoever,” the the young young M.‘P. M.P. had had retortretorted, ed, “that “that this this argument argument about about the the weapon weapon of of the the inferior inferior power power seems seems absolutely meaningless?“ Goschen had been made to look absolutely meaningless.”*' Goschen had been made to look foolish foolish and and his his department department reactionary. reactionary. Shortly Shortly before before Arnold-Forster Arnold-Forster joined joined the the new new Board Board of of Admiralty Admiralty in in December December 1900, 1900, he he mentioned mentioned to to his his nephew, nephew, aa lieutenant lieutenant in in the the navy, navy, that that he he was was “anxious “anxious that that we we should should start start buildbuilding submarine boats as a reply to the French.”52 He must, therefore, ing submarine boats as a reply to the French.” He must, therefore, have have been been surprised surprised to to learn learn on on taking taking office office that that the the Admiralty Admiralty had had already already secretly secretly negotiated negotiated the the purchase purchase of of five five Holland Holland boats boats (contract (contract dated dated 18 18 December December 1900); 1900); yet yet Arnold-Forster Arnold-Forster was was not not satisfied. satisfied. After After the the Christmas Christmas recess, recess, he he petitioned petitioned the the new new first first lord lord to to abandon abandon the the prepretense tense that that the the Admiralty Admiralty was was not not interested interested in in submarines submarines and and also also to to adopt adopt aa more more ambitious ambitious construction construction program. program. Selborne did did indeed indeed begin begin to to pay pay more more attention attention after after he he learned learned on on Selborne 29 29 December December 1900 1900 that that the the French French parliament parliament had had recently recently voted voted “no “no less aa sum” sum” than than £4,750,000 £4,750,000 for for new new flotilla flotilla craft. craft. “This “This means means nearly nearly less 150 150 torpedo-boats torpedo-boats and and submarines,” submarines,” the the first first lord lord exclaimed exclaimed in in aa letter letter British the British reviewing the After reviewing Exchequer!53 After the Exchequer!® of the chancellor of the chancellor to the to began Selborne began program, Selborne submarine program, French submarine the French to the far to thus far response thus response his to his remarked to he remarked think,” he not think,” do not complaints. “I“1 do Arnold-Forster’s complaints. echoing Arnold-Forster’s echoing the buy the to buy decision to the decision that the 1901, that January 1901, 17 January on 17 colleagues on Cabinet colleagues Cabinet week that week Later that soon.”54 Later too soon.”™ day too taken aa day been taken “has been boats “has Holland boats Holland first the first that the lords that naval lords the naval to the dissatisfaction to expressed dissatisfaction Selborne expressed Selborne thus October, thus of October, end of the end before the delivered before be delivered not be would not boat would Holland boat Holland considalready considtheir already extend their to extend months to nine months another nine French another the French allowing the allowing the that the him that concerned him also concerned development.55 Itit also submarine development.” in submarine lead in erable lead erable For boats.56 For French boats. the French as the sophisticated as as sophisticated be as not be might not craft might American craft American secparliamentary sechis parliamentary ordered his subsequently ordered lord subsequently first lord the first reasons the these reasons these an at boats “workable obtaining of possibilities of obtaining “workable boats at an the possibilities reexamine the to reexamine retary to retary that informed quickly was Selborne anticipated.”57 Selborne was quickly informed that now anticipated.”®*’ than now date than earlier date earlier might added, itit might Arnold-Forster added, Nevertheless, Arnold-Forster nil. Nevertheless, were nil. prospects were the prospects the known “well several “well known approach several to approach Admiralty to the Admiralty for the idea for good idea be aa good anyway be anyway subdevelop subto develop Constructors” to British Constructors” encourage British “to encourage order “to in order firms” in firms” the with the up with catch up quickly catch more quickly so more and so Navy and Royal Navy the Royal for the marines for marines parthe parpassed the idea, passed the idea, to the objections to no objections seeing no lord, seeing first lord, The first French.58 The French.* lords.59 naval lords.°*° the naval onto the paper onto secretary’s paper liamentary secretary's liamentary memservice memthe service with the favor with find favor not find did not suggestion did Arnold-Forster’s suggestion Arnold-Forster’s uncomfortable still uncomfortable were still lords were naval lords the naval stage the this stage At this Board. At the Board. of the bers of bers subthe subof the development of the development “encouraging” the blatantly “encouraging” so blatantly of so idea of the idea with the with second naval the second instance, the for instance, Douglas, for Archibald Douglas, Adm. Archibald Vice Adm. marine. Vice marine. Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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the of the powers of inventive powers the inventive use the “to use lord, unwise “to most unwise be most would be felt itit would lord, felt himdeclared and warfare,” country to develop and advance submarine warfare,” and declared himsubmarine advance country to develop and contemplated.”60 present contemplated.” at present is at than is self more than anything more doing anything to doing “averse to self “averse conformed still conformed Vickers with contract Douglas secret contract with Vickers still the secret that the maintained that Douglas maintained subencourage” and “justify to with the old principle of doing nothing to “justify and encourage” subnothing with the old principle of doing his in outspoken more even was Wilson was even more outspoken in his marines. Arthur Wilson Sir Arthur Adm. Sir Rear Adm. marines. Rear of policy the abandon “to rejection recommendation “to abandon the policy of Arnold-Forster’s recommendation of Arnold-Forster’s rejection of Many progress.”61 unostentatious progress.”* Many of unostentatious one of discouragement adopt one to adopt and to discouragement and intensely so intensely submarines so “disliked submarines historians Wilson “disliked that Wilson claimed that have claimed historians have time in time that, in announce that, publicly announce that should publicly board should the board that the suggested that he suggested that he pirates as pirates treated as be treated would be captured would of submarines captured all submarines of all crews of the crews war, the of war, statethis statethat this moreover, that charged, moreover, and have charged, writers have Various writers hanged.”62 Various and hanged.”® offinaval offilate-Victorian naval by late-Victorian held by View” held naval view” ment orthodox naval “the orthodox typified “the ment typified wrote Wilson wrote memorandum Wilson assertions isis aa memorandum cers.® these assertions for these evidence for The evidence cers.63 The selhas selpaper has the paper historians, the by historians, cited by often cited on Though often 1901. Though January 1901. 21 January on 21 Wilson’s why Wilson's explain why must explain format—which must dom original format—which its original in its read in been read dom been conproper conthe proper in the read in When read misrepresented. When views badly misrepresented. so badly been so have been views have by aa obscured by logical, ifif obscured perfectly logical, were perfectly therein were text, expressed therein views expressed the views text, the style. poor poor style. French the French that the acknowledgment that an acknowledgment with an Wilson paper with his paper began his Wilson began not does not this does “but this sound, “but perfectly sound, was perfectly policy submarines was developing submarines of developing policy of own our own of our submarines of by submarines meet itit by to meet be to imply would be policy would best policy our best that our imply that French with French pace with keeping pace in keeping point in no point as see no could see Wilson could suggested.” Wilson as suggested.” such for such use for no use have no submarine would have Navy would Royal Navy the Royal as the construction as submarine construction our to our danger to are aa danger craft. submarines are French submarines that ifif French thought that be thought may be “It may craft. “It “but reasoned, “but he reasoned, theirs,” he to theirs,” ships danger to equal danger an equal be an would be boats would our boats ships our that weakened that so weakened was so this Fleet was our Fleet case ifif our the case be the to be come to only come would only this would recogWilson ports.” our of the French were able to attempt a blockade of our ports.” Wilson recogblockade a the French were able to attempt the crossing the of crossing capable of not capable nized were not submarines were French submarines yet French as yet that as nized that both available became craft became available both Channel, such craft when such predicted, when he predicted, but, he Channel, but, bottled fleets bottled merchant fleets and merchant Britain warships and their warships find their would find France would and France Britain and was While itit was matter. While up the matter. of the crux of the crux was the this was Wilson this For Wilson port. For in port. up in

so not so “it isis not flowing, “it trade flowing, essential overseas trade her overseas keep her to keep Britain to for Britain essential for Thus: ships.” Thus: important own ships.” their own for their access for free access maintain free to maintain them to for them important for nation to aa nation detrimental to be detrimental must be The warfare must submarine warfare of submarine development of The development necthe necand the food and of food supplies of depending its supplies for its surface for the surface at the navigation at on navigation depending on

cannot we cannot [and] we essaries direction [and] this direction invention inin this stop invention cannot stop We cannot life. We of life. essaries of anything doing anything avoid doing delay still avoid should still we should but we longer, but any longer, introduction any its introduction delay its and trapping and of trapping means of our means to that our order that in order improvement in its improvement in its assist in to assist boats submarine boats the submarine destroying than the rate than greater rate at aa greater develop at may develop destroying itit may opportunifavorable opportuniall favorable themselves. take all should take politicians should end,] politicians this end,] [To this themselves. [To Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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ties ties of of enlisting enlisting the the moral moral sense sense of of nations nations against against this this and above all avoid saying anything to prevent and above all avoid saying anything to prevent the the being being adopted adopted in in war war against against the the crews crews of of submarine submarine in the act of using them.64 in the act of using them.™ [my [my italics] italics]

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method method of of warfare, warfare, sternest sternest measures measures boats boats when when caught caught

The The reprisals reprisals Wilson Wilson advocated advocated may may have have been been open open to to question, question, but but his his sentiments were cogent. sentiments were cogent. What What is is more, more, the the other other three three professional professional members members of of the the board board endorsed endorsed the the broad broad thrust thrust of of Wilson’s Wilson’s remarks. remarks. Even the progressive Even the progressive Walter Walter Kerr, Kerr, who who favored favored the the Royal Royal Navy Navy exploiting exploiting submarines, submarines, found found himself himself concurring concurring with with “the “the argument argument he he brings brings forforward.” ward.” His His only only objection objection to to Wilson’s Wilson’s remarks remarks was was that that they they were were “per“perhaps haps too too forcible.”65 forcible.”® Evidently Evidently Selborne Selborne thought thought so so too, too, for for in in March March 1901 1901 Wilson Wilson was was dismissed dismissed from from the the post post of of controller controller for for his his “obsti“obstinate” nate” manner manner and and banished banished to to a a sea-going sea-going command.66 command.® With With the the four four professional professional members members of of the the Board Board of of Admiralty Admiralty unanunanimously imously opposed opposed to to the the motion motion calling calling for for the the Royal Royal Navy Navy to to adopt adopt aa more more openly openly progressive progressive submarine submarine policy, policy, the the motion motion put put forward forward by by the the parparliamentary liamentary secretary secretary seemed seemed defeated. defeated. But But having having served served alongside alongside Arnold-Forster Arnold-Forster for for less less than than three three months, months, the the naval naval lords lords had had yet yet to to learn learn that that he he rarely rarely took took “no” “no” for for an an answer. answer. Arnold-Forster’s Arnold-Forster’s goal goal was was made made a a good good deal deal easier easier at at the the end end of of February February 1901, 1901, after after a a Glasgow Glasgow newspaper newspaper revealed revealed what what was was really really under under construction construction inside inside the the covcovered ered “yacht “yacht shed” shed” at at Vickers Vickers yard yard at at Barrow-in-Furness.67 Barrow-in-Furness.® On On 11 March March the the Admiralty Admiralty confirmed confirmed the the story. story. Everyone Everyone now now knew knew that that Britain Britain was was building building submarines—even submarines—even if if it it was was not not yet yet clear clear for for what what purpose purpose they they were were being being built. built. Over Over the the next next few few months, months, Arnold-Forster Arnold-Forster subjected subjected his his naval naval colleagues colleagues to to a a sustained sustained verbal verbal attack attack supported supported by by a a wellwelldirected directed barrage barrage of of memoranda.68 memoranda.® In In March, March, for for instance, instance, he he protested protested that that “if “if the the French French were were by by this this time time next next year year to to have have aa squadron squadron of of twenty twenty perfected perfected submarines submarines it it is is impossible impossible to to doubt doubt that that our our [mer[merchant] chant] shipping shipping in in the the narrow narrow waters waters of of the the Channel Channel would would be be exposed exposed to to serious serious danger.”69 danger.”® Whether Whether or or not not members members of of the the Board Board believed believed in in submarines Submarines (which (which they they all all clearly clearly did) did) surely, surely, he he pleaded, pleaded, it it was was sensisensible ble to to keep keep pace pace with with the the French French over over numbers numbers of of submarines submarines completcompleted? ed? “It “It seems seems to to me,” me,” he he urged urged Selborne Selborne in in July, July, “that “that it it may may be be a a good good plan plan to to have have no no submarines, submarines, or or to to have have a a great great many, many, but but there there can’t can't be be much much advantage advantage in in having having six six only.”70 only.”” in In August August 1901 1901 Arnold-Forster Arnoid-Forster developed aa new new line line of of attack. attack. That That month month he he circulated circulated aa memorandum memorandum developed suggesting Suggesting that that Admiralty Admiralty could could use use submarines submarines to to safeguard safeguard the the British British Isles Isles from from invasion. invasion. At At the the time, time, most most of of the the army army was was away away fighting fighting in in South South Africa, Africa, and and there there was was widespread widespread concern concern in in the the country country at at the the possibility possibility of of aa French French invasion. invasion. As As usual usual his his argument argument was was well well prepreLambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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of matter of the matter in the equipped in well equipped as well are as sented we are “Provided we logical. “Provided and logical. sented and speculated, he speculated, submarines neighbours,” he our neighbours,” as our submarines as to disadvantage to being aa disadvantage from being far from so far the weapon, so new weapon, this new of this introduction of the introduction other any other invade any to invade desire to no desire have no us, We have position. We our position. strengthen our will strengthen us, will submarine the submarine invaded. IfIf the not invaded. are not country; ourselves are we ourselves that we important that it’s important country; it’s the case, the the case, be the to be likely to is likely think is proves authorities think some authorities as some formidable as as formidable proves as will shores will our shores on our troops on of troops landing of bombardment the landing and the ports, and our ports, of our bombardment of

impossible.“ become absolutely impossible.” become absolutely

profeshis profesof his advice of the advice overrule the to overrule Although refused to still refused lord still first lord the first Although the persuaded. been persuaded. had been he had personally he sional policy, personally submarine policy, on submarine advisers on sional advisers placed Selborne placed 1901, Selborne November 1901, in November Cabinet in In the Cabinet to the circulated to paper circulated In aa paper seriously be seriously to be vessel to submarine isis aa vessel the submarine on that the “conviction that his “conviction record his on record answer an answer is an “submarine is the “submarine that, the reckoned concurred that, also concurred He also with.”72 He reckoned with.”” to prove to may prove submarine may the submarine value the to whatever value that whatever order that in order submarine in to submarine our to our as to well as as well side as our side on our asset on an asset be an have may be future itit may the future in the war in in war have in by us by upon us work upon to work able to be able may be they may damage they opponents, whatever damage and whatever opponents, and came when itit came Still, when them.”73 Still, upon them.”” retaliate upon to retaliate its able to be able may be we may means, we its means, first the first years, the seven years, next seven the next for the to requirements for navy’s requirements the navy’s projecting the to projecting likely submarines.74 ItIt isis likely twenty submarines.” than twenty lord more than no more for no money for requested money lord requested number minimum number the minimum probably the were probably annum were that per annum vessels per three vessels that three submanufacturing subin manufacturing interested in Vickers them interested keep them to keep demanded to Vickers demanded He patient. He be patient. to be Arnold-Forster to urged Arnold-Forster marines. Selborne urged Meanwhile, Selborne marines. Meanwhile, to “subject to be “subject would be numbers would assured the numbers two” the or two” year or “a year after “a that after him that assured him Arnold-Forster reconsideration.” that Arnold-Forster show that may show hindsight may Although hindsight reconsideration.”75 Although should readers should faster, readers move faster, was to move Admiralty to the Admiralty pressed the have pressed to have right to was right comto comyet to had yet Navy had note Royal Navy the Royal 1901, the November 1901, stage, November this stage, at this that at note that these with these experience with mission practical experience Without practical submarine. Without first submarine. its first mission its understandable. was understandable. craft, caution was with caution proceed with to proceed decision to the decision craft, the Experiments Experiments and and Prototypes Prototypes

the adopted the Navy adopted Royal Navy the Royal The why the reason why important reason most important single most The single proven possible aa proven as possible quickly as American as quickly obtain as to obtain was to boat was Holland boat American Holland was performance was their performance that their underwater matter that not matter did not trials. ItIt did for trials. craft for underwater craft the Submerged, the service. Submerged, well already inin service. submarines already French submarines of French that of below that well below

or knots, or five knots, at five miles at Holland twenty miles just twenty running just of running capable of were capable boats were Holland boats priorifirst prioriAdmiralty’s first less The Admiralty’s boats. The French boats. of French range of the range third the than aa third less than

lords naval lords The naval navigation. The ty submarine navigation. of submarine principles of the principles master the to master was to ty was difficulthe difficulsoon underestimated the greatly underestimated had greatly they had however, they discovered, however, soon discovered, White William White as William not, as ties was not, submarines. ItIt was constructing submarines. actually constructing of actually ties of “folLtd., “folVickers Ltd., had contractors, Vickers the contractors, of the matter of simply aa matter them, simply assured them, had assured lowing” lowing” the the plans plans provided provided by by the the Electric Electric Boat Boat Company. Company. There There was, was, as as Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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a a result, result, a a considerable considerable delay delay in in delivery. delivery. Though Though to to be be fair fair it it must must be be said said that that Vickers Vickers were were not not sold sold the the designs designs of of the the original original Holland Holland but but an an improved improved experimental experimental design design known known in in the the United United States States as as Fulton. Fulton. This This version version was was somewhat somewhat larger larger than than the the prototype, prototype, displacing displacing one one hundred hundred six six tons tons and and measuring measuring sixty-three sixty-three feet feet and and ten ten inches inches in in length length as as opposed to to fifty-three fifty-three feet feet and and only only sixty-five sixty-five tons. tons. The The British British built built boats boats opposed had also also been been given given aa much much more more powerful powerful but but as as yet yet untested untested 180 180 hp. hp. had gasoline engine engine for for surface surface propulsion. propulsion. Teething Teething problems problems took took time time to to gasoline rectify rectify and and further further contributed contributed to to the the delay.76 delay.”* As As a a result, result, HM HM submarine submarine torpedo boat boat “number “number 1” 1” which which was was supposed supposed to to have have been been ready ready by by torpedo October October 1901, 1901, did did not not make make her her first first dive dive at at sea sea until until 6 6 April April 1902.77 1902.” Readers Readers will will recall recall that that in in January January 1901, 1901, Lord Lord Selborne Selborne had had queried queried the naval naval lords lords as as to to whether whether they they still still thought thought that that the the purchase purchase of of the the the Holland Holland boats boats from from Vickers Vickers arranged arranged by by his his predecessor predecessor was was the the best best course. course. By By this this time, time, it it will will also also be be remembered, remembered, the the Admiralty Admiralty no no longer longer regarded regarded submarines submarines simply simply as as antisubmarine antisubmarine targets targets but but as as prototypes prototypes for for future future development. development. At At that that time, time, however, however, no no one one in in the the service service was was really really capable capable of of making making an' an informed informed judgement judgement on on this this question. question. Because the the Admiralty Admiralty were were reluctant reluctant to to depend depend upon upon Vickers Vickers for for techtechBecause nical nical advice, advice, in in May May 1901 1901 Capt. Capt. Reginald Reginald Bacon Bacon was was appointed appointed to to the the controller’s controller's department department with with the the title title of of inspecting inspecting captain captain of of subsubmarines. He He was was charged charged to to acquaint acquaint himself himself with with all all aspects aspects of of submasubmamarines. rine boats boats and and to to oversee oversee their their construction construction and and trials. trials. In In other other words words he he rine was was ordered ordered to to become become the the navy’s navy’s resident resident expert expert on on submarine submarine warfare. warfare. promising was aa promising He was selection. He Bacon’s selection. for Bacon's reason for obvious reason no obvious was no There was There as aa trained as bent, trained technical bent, termed aa technical be termed might be what might with what captain with young captain young But boats. But torpedo boats. surface torpedo with surface experienced with greatly experienced and greatly officer and torpedo officer torpedo less much less and much well-qualified and equally well-qualified several equally possessed several Navy possessed Royal Navy the Royal the officers. prickly officers. prickly new the new informed the Bacon informed boats, Bacon Holland boats, the Holland of the plans of the plans seeing the After seeing After performance the performance that the doubts that his doubts of his May, of William May, Adm. William Rear Adm. controller, Rear controller, Narval, submersible Narval, French submersible the French match the would match craft would American craft the American of the of of surface of the surface along the steering along of steering “capable of be “capable to be reported to been reported had been which had which then and then Channel, and the Channel, cross the to cross sufficient to least sufficient at least distance at for aa distance water for the water the acknowlBacon acknowlsubmarine-boat.”78 Bacon as aa submarine-boat.”” acting as and acting itself and submerging itself of submerging of underwater, safely underwater, operate safely could operate boats could Holland boats the Holland doubtless the that doubtless edged that edged their question their to question him to led him boats led torpedo boats surface torpedo with surface experience with his experience but his but be would be boats would Holland boats the Holland suspected the rightly suspected He rightly capabilities.79 He seagoing capabilities.” seagoing of calmest of the calmest but the anything but in anything operate in to operate small to craft”—-too small weather craft’—too “fair weather “fair Holland fifth Holland and fifth fourth and the fourth before the that before suggested that thus suggested Bacon thus weather.80 Bacon weather.” seatheir seaenhance their to enhance modified to be modified could be lines could their lines down their laid down were laid boats were boats refused to department refused contracts department Admiralty contracts the Admiralty But the abilities.81 But keeping abilities.*’ keeping Lambert, Nicolas. 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allow allow any any alterations alterations to to be be made; made; the the “sea-lawyers” “sea-lawyers” feared feared that that “any “any interference [by the navy] with the plans of the Holland Company interference [by the navy] with the plans of the Holland Company must must result result in in that that company company disclaiming disclaiming responsibility responsibility should should any any mishap mishap occur.”82 Bacon’s arguments that the commercially designed occur.” Bacon’s arguments that the commercially designed Holland Holland boats boats would would not not accurately accurately reflect reflect the the capabilities capabilities of of aa French French submarine submarine was too persuasive to ignore, however. So the following month, the the Board Board was too persuasive to ignore, however. So the following month, of Admiralty authorized the construction of a sixth submarine to be built of Admiralty authorized the construction of a sixth submarine to be built to “Admiralty design” and incorporating the improvements suggested to “Admiralty design” and incorporating the improvements suggested by by Captain as Captain Bacon.83 Bacon.® The The new new model model vessel, vessel, the the “number “number six six boat” boat” or or “A1” “A1” as she she was was known, known, was was laid laid down down two two days days after after Holland Holland 11 was was finally finally comcompleted in February 1902.84 pleted in February 1902." She She was was significantly significantly larger larger than than the the Holland Holland boats, the boats, displacing displacing 203 203 tons, tons, and and propelled propelled by by aa 500 500 hp. hp. engine. engine. By By far far the most important improvement was top most important improvement was the the building building of of aa “conning” “conning” tower tower on on top of of the the deck deck that that greatly greatly improved improved sea-keeping sea-keeping in in poor poor weather. weather. Also Also by by raising raising the the ventilation ventilation intakes intakes sixteen sixteen feet feet above above the the water, water, the the main main engine engine could could be be operated operated on on the the surface surface in in a a seaway Seaway without without the the danger danger of of water water flooding flooding down down the the hatches hatches and and into into the the boat.85 boat.® Shortly Shortly after after Holland Holland 11 was was commissioned commissioned into into the the Royal Royal Navy Navy in in 1902, 1902, she she was was “borrowed” “borrowed” by by the the Torpedo Torpedo School School at at Portsmouth Portsmouth and and employed employed as as an an antisubmarine antisubmarine target.86 target. Over Over the the preceding preceding two two years years the the staff Staff at at the the “Vernon” “Vernon” had had achieved achieved little little success success in in their their quest quest to to develdevelop op a a workable workable antisubmarine antisubmarine weapon. weapon. it It had had been been hoped hoped that that an an antidote antidote would would be be found found in in the the use use of of high high explosive explosive bombs.87 bombs.” In In 1901, 1901, trials trials had had been the been conducted conducted using using aa torpedo torpedo as as the the submarine. submarine. Beforehand, Beforehand, the experts experts at at the the “Vernon” “Vernon” had had expected expected the the target target to to be be destroyed destroyed by by aa 168 168 lb. lb. guncotton guncotton charge charge detonated detonated at at nine nine hundred hundred feet. feet. It It was, was, therefore, therefore, aa considerable shock to discover “that the torpedo was only damaged, at considerable shock to discover “that the torpedo was only damaged, at eighty—four to ninety feet instead of 900 as calculated.”88 Further expereighty-four to ninety feet instead of 900 as calculated.”®* Further experiments iments conducted conducted in in October October 1901, 1901, at at closer closer ranges ranges and and with with bigger bigger (250 lbs. and 500 lbs.) charges had proved equally unsuccessful.89 in (250 Ibs. and 500 Ibs.) charges had proved equally unsuccessful.® In November 1902, the experiments were repeated against the brand new November 1902, the experiments were repeated against the brand new Holland Holland 11 in in the the hope hope that that a a nearby nearby explosion explosion might might incapacitate incapacitate the the crew. But no damage was caused to the submarine—or crew. But no damage was caused to the submarine—or the the crew—by crew—by a a charge charge detonated detonated at at only only fifty fifty yards.90 yards.” At At the the end end of of 1902, 1902, Bacon Bacon confidentially confidentially informed informed the the controller controller that that he believed continuing he believed continuing the the experiments experiments was was futile futile because because of of the the near near impossibility to impossibility of of dropping dropping a a charge charge sufficiently sufficiently close close to to the the submarine submarine to do any damage.“ do any damage." He He advised advised that that first first it it was was necessary necessary to to devise devise some some means means to to locate locate the the approximate approximate position position of of a a submerged submerged vessel.92 vessel.” Shortly of Shortly afterwards afterwards Bacon Bacon initiated initiated attempts attempts to to detect detect the the presence presence of submarines submarines by by using using aa primitive primitive hydrophone hydrophone to to listen listen for for underwater underwater machinery machinery noises.93 noises.* But But the the results results were were discouraging discouraging and and only only served served to to Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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reinforce reinforce his his conviction conviction that that submarines submarines were were effectively effectively “unattackable.” “unattackable.” Yet Yet despite despite Bacon’s Bacon’s insistence insistence that that further further attempts attempts to to develop develop an an exploexplosive Sive antisubmarine antisubmarine weapon weapon were were aa waste waste of of time, time, the the controller controller ordered ordered the the officers officers at at the the “Vernon” “Vernon” to to persevere. persevere. The The Torpedo Torpedo School School spent spent the the next next eighteen eighteen months months trying trying to to develop develop aa bomb bomb that that could could be be dropped dropped from from aa destroyer, destroyer, towed towed to to the the position position where where the the submarine submarine periscope periscope was was last last seen, seen, and and then then detonated. detonated. But But as as Bacon Bacon had had predicted, predicted, it it was was found found impossible impossible to to ascertain ascertain when when or or where where to to fire fire the the charge. charge. Further Further “live” “live” experiments experiments with with a a Holland Holland boat boat confirmed confirmed that that at at aa range range of of “eighty “eighty yards yards the the submarine submarine would would suffer suffer no no inconvenience inconvenience from from the the explosion explosion of of 200l 200lbs of of gun gun cotton.”94 cotton.”™ it It was was not not until until the the controller controller was was warned warned that that the the towed towed explosive explosive charge charge was was more more likely likely to to blow blow the the stern stern off off aa destroyer destroyer than than sink sink aa hostile hostile submarine, submarine, that that the the program program was was finalfinally ly abandoned.95 abandoned.® Another Another reason reason for for dropping dropping the the idea idea was was reluctance reluctance of of the the senior senior naval naval lord lord “to “to lumber lumber up” up” destroyers destroyers with with equipment equipment that that hinhindered dered them them from from performing performing their their primary primary role role as as torpedo torpedo boat boat destroydestroyers.96 ers.”° At At that that time time destroyers destroyers displaced displaced less less than than six six hundred hundred tons tons and and were were thus thus too too small small to to carry carry more more than than aa couple couple of of these these explosive explosive bombs bombs without without endangering endangering their their stability stability and and reducing reducing their their speed.97 speed.” in In February February 1903, 1903, with with the the completion completion and and delivery delivery of of the the remaining remaining Holland Holland boats, boats, Bacon Bacon commenced commenced aa program program of of tactical tactical maneuvers maneuvers between between surface surface ships ships and and his his submarines. submarines. The The early early trials trials off off Portsmouth Portsmouth were were undertaken, undertaken, supposedly, supposedly, “not “not so so much much with the View view of of with'the establishing establishing the the actual actual value value of of the the Holland Holland boat, boat, as as to to arrive arrive at at general general conclusions conclusions as as to to the the visibility visibility of of the the boats, boats, the the errors errors they they would would make make in in attack, attack, and and to to practice practice them them in in the the correction correction of of these these and and at at the the same same time time to to indicate indicate general general rules rules for for ships ships to to avoid avoid these these craft.”98 craft.”® It It must must be be said said though, though, that that Bacon Bacon and and his his lieutenants lieutenants exhibited exhibited far far more more interest interest in in perfecting perfecting submarine submarine tactics tactics than than in in trying trying to to work work out out suitable suitable evaevasive Sive maneuvers maneuvers for for surface surface vessels. vessels. In In any any case, case, after after only only three three months months Bacon Bacon started started to to campaign campaign openly openly for for the the navy navy to to spend spend less less time time trying trying to boats. to destroy destroy submarines submarines and and more more on on developing developing them them as as torpedo torpedo boats. In May May 1903, 1903, the the inspecting inspecting captain captain of of submarines submarines proclaimed proclaimed that that “suf“sufIn ficient ficient experience experience has has been been obtained obtained with with these these boats boats to to assign assign them them aa definite role role in in the the armaments armaments of of the the Navy.”* Navy. ”99 AA group group of of just just three three to to five five definite submarines, he he advised advised the the Admiralty, Admiralty, would would pose pose an an insurmountable insurmountable submarines, obstacle to to aa squadron squadron attempting attempting to to operate operate in in the the vicinity vicinity of of aa port port obstacle where where submarines submarines were were based. based. “The “The risks risks of of allowing allowing aa large large ship ship to to approach approach such such aa port port are are so so great great that that lI unhesitatingly unhesitatingly affirm affirm that that in in war war time time it it should should never never be be allowed,” allowed,” he he thought.100 thought.'*’ Bacon Bacon closed closed his his report report with with aa recommendation recommendation that that the the Admiralty Admiralty consider consider emulating emulating the the French French network network of of “defenses “défenses mobiles” mobiles” by by relying relying upon upon submarines submarines and and Lambert, Nicolas. 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he Submarines, he mines. Submarines, than mines. rather than defense rather coastal defense for coastal boats for torpedo torpedo boats than warships than hostile warships intruding hostile to intruding deterrence to better deterrence far better were aa far advised, advised, were encountered being encountered their being of their possibility of “the possibility mobile, “the being mobile, because being mines mines because disregard.”101 cannot disregard.” enemy cannot an enemy that an fact that coast, isis aa fact the coast, of the part of near any part near any of report of Bacon’s report Captain Bacon’s historian, Captain prominent historian, one prominent to one According According to take to take Admiralty to of Admiralty Board of the Board persuading the in persuading instrumental in was instrumental 1903 was May 1903 May of because of Largely because submarine.102 Largely the submarine.'” of the advent of the advent seriously” the “very seriously” “very Admiralty of Admiralty Board of the Board 1903 the of 1903 autumn of the autumn argued, inin the he argued, report, he Bacon’s report, Bacon’s at boats at few boats “a few of “a allocation of the allocation involving the system” involving “defence system” created aa “defence created histothe histohowever, the Surprisingly, however, bases.”103 Surprisingly, [naval] bases.”' principal [naval] the principal each of the each of departure fundamental departure to aa fundamental amounted to what amounted on what comment on no comment passed no rian passed rian to use to no use of no were of warships were “defensive” warships that “defensive” doctrine that prevailing doctrine the prevailing from the from For overstated. For be overstated. cannot be point cannot this point of this significance of The significance Navy. The Royal Navy. the Royal the the at the circulated at papers circulated in papers that in insisted that Admiralty insisted the Admiralty 1902 the in 1902 instance, in instance, appear. ItIt not appear. [must] not ‘defense’ [must] word ‘defense’ “the word Conference, “the Defense Conference, Colonial Colonial Defense navy isis British navy the British of the object of primary object the primary because the advisedly, because omitted advisedly, isis omitted the this isis the enemy.. . . . this the enemy of the fleet of the fleet attack the to attack but to anything but defend anything to defend not to not dogmathis dogmaby this infected by been infected had been Selborne had Lord Selborne Even Lord aim.”‘°“ Even ultimate aim.”'** ultimate any towards any service towards the service within the hostility within entrenched hostility the entrenched of the View of In view tism.‘°5 In tism.'°> post-captain junior post-captain that aa junior inconceivable that therefore, itit isis inconceivable craft, therefore, “defensive” craft, “defensive” the of the mind of collective mind the collective changed the have changed could have report could single report with aa single armed with armed his making his in making Furthermore, in overnight. Furthermore, virtually overnight. Admiralty virtually of Admiralty Board of Board the with the collide with would collide proposals would his proposals that his well that full well knew full Bacon knew report Bacon report always has always prejudice has “Considerable prejudice doctrine. “Considerable water” doctrine. “blue water” of “blue principles of principles in observed in had observed he had craft,” he torpedo craft,” developing torpedo England developing against England existed against existed torthat torstating that formula stating seductive formula the seductive of the account of on account “chiefly on report, “chiefly his report, his power.”’106 weaker power.’”'” the weaker of the arm of ‘the arm were ‘the craft were pedo craft pedo Captain before Captain months before five months some five that some show that documents show fact, documents In fact, In year almost aa year and almost boats, and Holland boats, the Holland with the trials with tactical trials his tactical began his Bacon began Bacon had Admiralty had the Admiralty Whitehall, the reached Whitehall, report reached making” report “epoch making” his “epoch before his before the in the role in definite role “a definite submarines “a give submarines to give reason to sufficient reason found sufficient already found already the 1902, the October 1902, and October July and between July Sometime between navy.” Sometime the navy.” of the armaments of armaments year submarines aa year ten submarines purchase ten to purchase navy to the navy commit the to commit agreed to lord agreed first lord first

and built and already built nine already the nine to the addition to these inin addition years, these four years, next four the next for the for

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by memorandum by decision isis aa memorandum this decision to this reference to earliest reference The earliest building. The building. expendithe expendiinvolved the proposal involved The proposal 1902.‘07 The October 1902.'” 10 October dated 10 Selborne dated Selborne the of the one-third of roughly one-third or roughly annum, or per annum, £500,000 per approximately £500,000 of approximately ture of ture underwater to underwater attached to now attached importance now The importance battleship. The new battleship. of aa new price of price contheir confund their to fund willingness to Admiralty’s willingness the Admiralty’s from the gauged from be gauged may be craft may craft vessels flotilla vessels surface flotilla of surface number of proportionate number cutting aa proportionate by cutting struction by struction February in February later, in months later, Four months estimates.‘08 Four naval estimates.’ projected naval the projected from the from of ten batch of first batch the first for the contract for Vickers aa contract awarded Vickers Admiralty awarded 1903, [the I 1903, the Admiralty

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vessels. vessels. That That was was before before Vickers Vickers had had delivered delivered the the last last of of the the Holland Holland would navy would the navy that the evidence that some evidence There isis some Navy.109 There Royal Navy.'” the Royal to the boats to boats have liked liked to to have have ordered ordered even even more more than than ten ten craft craft annually annually but but ten ten have “was “was the the largest largest number number that that Vickers Vickers could could turn turn out.”“0 out.”'"° There There is is no no obvious obvious explanation explanation for for why why the the decision decision to to order order subsubmarines marines in in large large numbers numbers was was taken taken when when it it was. was. It It is is true true that that since since the the summer summer of of 1902 1902 the the navy navy had had been been “playing” “playing” with with its its first first submarine submarine boat. boat. But But clear clear ideas ideas on on submarine submarine tactics tactics or or capabilities capabilities had had yet yet to to emerge emerge and and the the advent advent of of the the submarine submarine had had not not produced produced aa discernible discernible impact impact upon upon naval naval opinion.“ opinion.'"’ In In July, July, Arnold-Forster Arnold-Forster was was still still comcomplaining that plaining that the the Admiralty Admiralty was was not not yet yet taking taking submarines submarines seriously.H2 seriously.''” Although Although serious serious doubts doubts had had begun begun to to emerge emerge over over the the practicality practicality of of enforcing enforcing aa close close blockade blockade of of French French ports, ports, these these stemmed stemmed more more from from concern concern at at the the dramatic dramatic improvement improvement in in the the effectiveness effectiveness of of torpedoes torpedoes after after being being fitted fitted with with gyroscopes. gyroscopes. Nor Nor had had intelligence intelligence uncovered uncovered any any new new revelations revelations about about the the French French program.“3 program.'® in In the the absence absence of of concrete concrete documentary evidence, evidence, therefore, therefore, the the only only credible credible explanation explanation for for the the documentary Admiralty’s Admiralty’s change change in in policy policy is is that that majority majority opinion opinion on on the the Board Board had had shifted shifted in in favor favor of of Arnold-Forster’s Arnold-Forster’s proposal proposal to to keep keep pace pace with with French French construction. Such Such aa change change at at Whitehall Whitehall isis plausible.''* plausible.‘14 Since Since ArnoldArnoldconstruction. Forster’s Forster's idea idea had had been been first first rejected rejected in in early early 1901, 1901, two two new new men men had had joined joined the the Board. Board. in In March March 1901, 1901, Capt. Capt. William William May May had had succeeded succeeded Wilson Wilson as as controller. controller. And And in in July July 1902, 1902, the the energetic energetic Adm. Adm. Sir Sir John John Fisher Fisher took took office office as as second second naval naval lord lord in in place place of of Admiral Admiral Douglas. Douglas. As As we we shall shall see, see, both both officers officers soon soon became became powerful powerful and and consistent consistent supsupporters porters of of the the submarine.“5 submarine.' Fighting for for Supremacy: Supremacy: Fighting The The Army, Army, the the Navy, Navy, and and Home Home Defense Defense

the encouraging the for encouraging credit for the credit of the much of seem, much Strange may seem, as itit may Strange as Admiralty Admiralty to to give give submarines submarines “a “a definite definite role role in in the the armaments armaments of of the the the that the understand that to understand essential to army. ItIt isis essential British army. the British to the belongs to Navy” belongs Navy” place took place 1902 took of 1902 winter of the winter during the Whitehall during at Whitehall policy at in policy change in change demarthe demarover the rivalry over interservice rivalry heightened interservice of heightened against background of against aa background the throughout the bases throughout naval bases of naval defense of the defense for the cation responsibility for of responsibility cation of the years the many years For many important. For are important. squabble are this squabble of this Empire. details of The details Empire. The War the War with the disputes with into disputes drawn into being drawn avoid being to avoid Admiralty tried to had tried Admiralty had acted had acted administrations had naval administrations Successive naval question. Successive this question. over this Office over Office entire the entire leave the to leave always to was always course was safest course the safest that the upon principle that the principle upon the responsibility in in the the hands hands of of the the army. army. This This stance stance had had been been reaffirmed reaffirmed responsibility most most recently recently in in December December 1900, 1900, at at aa joint-services joint-services conference conference held held to to of defense of coast defense the coast governing the considerations governing “consider strategical considerations the strategical “consider the Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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the attending naval the United United Kingdom.”"6 Kingdom.”''® On On that that occasion occasion the the attending naval represenrepresentative, tative, Rear Rear Adm. Adm. Custance, Custance, advised advised the the War War Office Office that that “in “in order order that that the the Navy Navy may may not not be be hampered hampered in in its its primary primary functions, functions, the the Admiralty Admiralty decline decline in in any any way way to to be be responsible responsible for for coastal coastal defenses defenses beyond beyond giving giving advice advice on on matters matters that that directly directly or or indirectly indirectly effect effect the the navy. navy. It It follows follows therefore, therefore, that that the the Military Military authorities authorities are are alone alone responsible responsible for for the the same.”“7 same.”''’ In In short, short, the the navy navy did did not not really really care care what what the the War War Office Office did did provided provided their their defensive defensive preparations preparations did did not not interfere interfere with with shipping shipping leaving leaving or or entering entering port. port. There There was was not not an an admiral admiral on on the the flag flag list list who who did did not not earnestly earnestly believe believe that that all all talk talk about about the the possibility possibility of of an an invasion invasion of of the the United United Kingdom Kingdom was was balderdash.118 balderdash.'® During During the the second second half half of of 1902, 1902, the the Admiralty Admiralty was was given given good good reareason son to to reconsider reconsider its its approach. approach. The The preceding preceding twelve twelve months months had had seen seen a a deepening deepening crisis crisis in in government government finances, finances, a a renewed renewed invasion invasion scare scare in in the pressure the press, press, and and the the Admiralty Admiralty had had also also come come under under renewed renewed pressure from from the the Treasury Treasury to to find find savings savings in in their their budget. budget. More More ominously, ominously, the the

War War Office, Office, desperate desperate to to justify justify inflated inflated military military estimates estimates in in the the afteraftermath math of of the the army’s army's dismal dismal performance performance in in the the Boer Boer War, War, began began claiming claiming the invathe need need for for a a large large peace-time peace-time army army to to protect protect the the country country from from invasion. sion. At At the the end end of of 1902, 1902, Prime Prime Minister Minister Arthur Arthur Balfour Balfour ordered ordered the the newly newly established established Cabinet Cabinet Defense Defense Committee Committee to to investigate investigate the the possipossibility of of an an invasion invasion of of the the British British Isles. Isles. At At the the beginning beginning of of 1903, 1903, service service bility chiefs chiefs were were asked asked to to submit submit their their assessments assessments of of the the likelihood likelihood of of the the French invasion of French capturing capturing a a port port on on the the south south coast coast to to facilitate facilitate an an invasion of the the British British Isles.“9 Isles.'’? Seeing Seeing the the fiscal fiscal axe axe poised poised to to strike, strike, the the Admirals Admirals saw saw advantage the finished finished advantage in in quietly quietly abandoning abandoning their their usual usual position. position. When When the papers papers were were distributed distributed for for comment, comment, the the War War Office Office was was dismayed dismayed to to find find that that “the “the Admiralty Admiralty now now contend contend that that the the Navy Navy will will entirely entirely suffice suffice to to protect protect the the United United Kingdom Kingdom from from any any attack attack or or invasion,” invasion,” other other than than the the occasional occasional minor minor raid.120 raid.'”° The The Admiralty Admiralty now now claimed claimed that that history history taught taught “an “an attack attack on on a a firstfirstclass defended defended home home port, port, such such as as Portsmouth, Portsmouth, involving involving not not only only bombomclass bardment by by aa squadron squadron of of armored armored ships, ships, but but the the landing landing of of aa field field force force bardment with with heavy heavy artillery artillery for for the the purpose purpose of of capturing capturing the the place place from from the the land land side, side, [was] [was] impossible impossible .. .. .. while while the the fleet fleet remains remains undefeated.”‘2' undefeated.”'2' Even Even if if

the the main main battle battle fleet fleet suffered suffered aa reverse reverse or or was was temporarily temporarily absent absent from from home home waters, waters, the the naval naval representatives representatives contended, contended, there there would would still still be be sufficient older older battleships battleships and and cruisers cruisers to to form form aa respectable respectable force. force. This This sufficient fleet fleet could could be be bolstered bolstered by by the the navy’s navy’s large large flotilla flotilla of of torpedo torpedo craft, craft, including including the the submarines.122 submarines.'” In In the the Admiralty’s Admiralty’s opinion opinion the the role role of of the the army army in in home home defense defense was was simply simply to to provide provide coastal coastal defense defense batteries batteries to to guard guard the the approaches approaches to to important important naval naval bases bases and and other other valuable valuakle marmarLambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hdl.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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itime itime targets targets such such as as in in the the naval naval shipbuilding shipbuilding yards yards on on the the Tyne.‘23 Tyne.'* “Land “Land fortifications," fortifications,” it it was was admitted, admitted, were were “a “a better better form form of of local local defense, as as aa rule, rule, than than stationary stationary ships.”'’ ships???" In In addition, addition, aa small small field field defense, force force was was required required to to deal deal with with enemy enemy raids. raids. While While the the enemy enemy fleet fleet remained remained in in being, being, the the Admiralty Admiralty advised, advised, “we “we cannot cannot make make sure sure of of prepreventing venting a a small small force, force, say say 5000 5000 men, men, being being landed landed somewhere somewhere in in the the three Kingdoms.”'* Kingdoms.”125 three In In the the ensuing ensuing (and (and animated) animated) discussion, discussion, the the Admiralty Admiralty comprecomprehensively arguments for for aa large field army army for hensively demolished demolished the the War War Office Office arguments large field for home home defense. defense. The The politicians politicians were were persuaded persuaded that that invasion invasion was was indeed indeed impossible impossible so so long long as as the the Royal Royal Navy Navy remained remained supreme supreme at at sea. sea. The The gengenerals Their erals were were left left to to pick pick at at minor minor inconsistencies inconsistencies in in the the navy’s navy’s case. case. Their only line line of of attack attack was was to to query query the the “admission” “admission” that that the the navy navy could could not not only ensure ensure the the interception interception of of all all raiding raiding forces.126 forces.'” If If the the army army was was supposed supposed to to have have sole sole responsibility responsibility for for coastal coastal defense, defense, insisted insisted the the generals. generals, then protection at at then they they should should be be allowed allowed to to fix fix the the appropriate appropriate level level of of protection each port. port. The The War War Office Office then then proceeded proceeded to to demand demand of Of aa force force of of each 350,000 these. 350,000 men men to to defend defend the the British British coasts coasts from from minor minor raids!127 raids!'”’ Of Of these, 229,000 229,000 would would be be locked locked up up in in thirty-seven thirty-seven defended defended ports ports to to man man the the coast defense defense artillery, artillery, garrison garrison the the fortresses, fortresses, and and maintain maintain the the sea sea coast mines sown sown in in the the vicinity vicinity of of those those ports.'” ports.‘28 The The remainder remainder would would form form aa mines mobile mobile field field army. army. When When it it was was suggested suggested that that perhaps perhaps the the size size of of this this force force was was a a little little big big to to deal deal with with enemy enemy raids raids by by no no more more than than 5,000 5,000 men, the the soldiers soldiers retorted retorted they they had had understood understood from from Admiral Admiral Custance Custanee men, that aa strong strong home home army army was was essential essential to to “unshackle” “unshackle” the the navy navy from from the the that British coastline coastline to to conduct conduct the the offensive offensive operations operations prescribed prescribed by by its its British “blue “blue water” water” doctrine, doctrine, and and anyway anyway the the proper proper size size of of the the army army was was a a judge.‘29 to judge.'” qualified to was qualified Office was War Office the War only the which only matter which technical matter technical From From the the navy’s navy’s perspective, perspective, the the most most disturbing disturbing aspect aspect of of the the War War Office defense defense scheme scheme for for the the defense defense of of Home Home Ports Ports was was the the role role Office volunThis volunMiners. This Submarine Miners. of Submarine Corps of Engineers Corps Royal Engineers the Royal to the assigned to assigned when time when at aa time 1870s, at the 1870s, during the established during been established had been formation had teer formation teer which loaders which muzzle loaders firing muzzle slow firing of slow consisted of artillery consisted defense artillery coast defense coast prevent to prevent enough to quickly enough fired quickly and fired trained and being trained of being incapable of were incapable were bomcould bomthey could where they ranges where to ranges closing to from closing warships from propelled warships steam propelled steam to was to mines was the mines of the function of The function guns. The the guns. behind the facilities behind port facilities the port bard the bard gunners defense gunners coastal defense the coastal of the duty of the duty ships: the to ships: obstacle to an obstacle as an serve as serve employed, itit mines employed, The mines removed.130 The being removed.’ from being mines from the mines prevent the to prevent was to was did they did words they other words In other type. In “observation” type. old “observation” the old were the noted, were be noted, should be should detcould detshore could on shore observer on an observer only an ship: only by aa ship: struck by when struck explode when not explode not onate them. them. This This was was not not much much consolation consolation to to the the navy. navy. Most Most of of the the onate Lambergpsgsiggrsismepaea,rg§leowists, and, as had been frequently shown in maneuobservers were reservists, and, aS had been frequently shown in E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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only Admiralty only the Admiralty fact, the In fact, foe.‘3‘ In vers, from aa foe.'*' ship from friendly ship tell aa friendly not tell could not vers, could

recogBoard recogthe Board after the Miners after tolerated of Miners Corps of Engineers Corps Royal Engineers the Royal tolerated the

finanas finanwell as as well capital—political as nized much capital—political too much already too that already 1893 that in 1893 nized in navy’s the navy’s for the return for in return cial—had organization.132 In the organization.” into the sunk into been sunk cial—had been admiral port admiral local port the local consult the to consult silence agreed to had agreed Engineers had Royal Engineers the Royal silence the former Clarke, aa former George Clarke, Sir George before Col. Sir like Col. Cynics like mines.133 Cynics any mines.'® sowing any before sowing the of the “most of that “most sure that felt sure engineers expert, felt defense expert, noted defense and aa noted officer and engineers officer Navy Royal Navy the Royal because the anyway because mines used anyway be used never be will never ports will naval ports at naval mines at channels?”34 don’t obstructing channels!”'* them obstructing want them don’t want Brodrick, John Brodrick, St. John war, St. for war, In state for of state secretary of the secretary 1903, the January 1903, In January reorganize to reorganize preparing to was preparing notified department was his department that his Admiralty that the Admiralty notified the training new training build aa new and build and Miners and Submarine Miners of Submarine Corps of the Corps reequip the and reequip to proposal to was aa proposal reforms was intended reforms school of intended list of the list On the Sheerness.135 On at Sheerness.'*> school at indiscriminatory with indiscriminatory mines with replace observation mines harmless observation relatively harmless the relatively replace the program expensive program an expensive such an on such contact embarking on Before embarking mines. Before contact mines. question general question “the general Brodrick on “the opinion on their opinion for their Admiralty for the Admiralty asked the Brodrick asked Capt. Warfare.”136 Capt. Naval Warfare.”'** in Naval mines in of submarine mines of submarine functions of future functions the future of the was school, was mine-warfare school, and mine-warfare George torpedo and the torpedo of the charge of in charge Egerton, in George Egerton, the first first naval naval officer officer to to comment. comment. His His View view was was unequivocal. unequivocal. Egerton Egerton the contact sow contact to sow soldiers to part-time soldiers shuddered allowing part-time of allowing thought of the thought at the shuddered at more and more country and the country to the cheaper to mines be cheaper would be “It would ports. “It British ports. off British mines off defences floating defences the floating “if the reliable advised, “if he advised, view,” he of view,” point of naval point from aa naval reliable from Navy.” the Navy.” to the over to of turned over were turned waters were home waters in home arsenals in chief arsenals the chief of the Egerton Egerton went went on on to to suggest suggest the the Admiralty Admiralty should should consider consider whether whether “sub“submarines marines and and torpedo-boats torpedo-boats could could take take the the place place of of submarine submarine mines”?I37 mines”?'*’ Capt. Henry Henry Jackson, Jackson, formerly formerly the the naval naval attache attaché in in Paris Paris and and now now servServCapt. assessment. Egerton’s assessment. echoed Egerton’s DN0, echoed ing the DNO, to the assistant to as assistant Whitehall as at Whitehall ing at Somewhat Somewhat more more diplomatically, diplomatically, however, however, he he stressed stressed that: that: the the increased increased range range of of modern modern guns guns has has in in most most cases cases reduced reduced the the value value effectively and effectively laid and be laid not be could not of mines could observation mines the observation as the minefields, as the minefields, of the fired, fired, at at distances distances beyond beyond which which effective effective attack attack by by artillery artillery fire fire could could not not the defending the guns defending the guns on the ships on be attacking ships the attacking by the out by carried out easily carried be easily rear.138 in rear.'** dockyard in as aa dockyard such as minefield, objective such main objective the main on the possibly on and possibly minefield, and

obserplaced obsersuitably placed replace aa suitably “Nothing,” well replace “can well admitted, “can Jackson admitted, “Nothing,” Jackson observation for observation deep for too deep was too water was vation the water ports the many ports off many But off mine.” But vation mine.” now were now army were the army why the was why mines which was effectively which employed effectively be employed to be mines to of Board of the Board that the proposing adamant that was adamant Jackson was mines. Jackson contact mines. lay contact to lay proposing to were defense were port defense improved port Admiralty proposal. IfIf improved this proposal. oppose this must oppose Admiralty must deemed necessary, necessary, Jackson Jackson agreed agreed with with Egerton, Egerton, then then in in many many cases cases deemed submarine boats boats might might well well prove prove safer safer and and more more reliable reliable than than contact contact submarine mines mines.'°° ‘39 Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.hand|e.net/2027/heb.31569.

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The The new new director director of of Naval Naval Intelligence, Intelligence, Capt. Capt. the the Prince Prince Louis Louis of of Battenberg, Battenberg, was was less less happy happy with with the the idea idea of of detailing detailing submarines submarines for for the the defense defense of of ports ports in in lieu lieu of of mines. mines. He He agreed agreed that that “the “the submarine submarine could could in in the the near near future future be be relied relied upon upon to to do do all all that that aa minefield minefield does does now now and and probably probably aa good good deal deal more.”140 more.”'” Indeed, Indeed, at at aa meeting meeting of of the the CID CID on on 14 14 February, February, Battenberg Battenberg referred referred to to the the embryonic embryonic submarine submarine flotilla flotilla as as “probably “probably the the most most formidable formidable obstacle obstacle of of all” all” to to a a successful successful French French amphibious amphibious raid raid on on the the south south coast.”1 coast.’ But But the the DN1 DNI recognized recognized that that nomnominating inating submarines submarines for for port port defense defense duties duties would would have have wider wider implicaimplications. tions. On On 26 26 February February he he reminded reminded the the naval naval lords lords that that for for years years the the army army had had been been trying trying to to foist foist upon upon the the Admiralty Admiralty the the responsibility responsibility for for the the defense defense of of the the navy’s navy’s coaling coaling stations stations scattered scattered around around the the world.142 world.'”

The The last last attempt attempt had had been been made made just just twelve twelve months months earlier. earlier. “One “One of of the the chief chief reasons reasons why why the the War War Office Office has has so so persistently persistently endeavoured endeavoured to to throw throw on on to to the the Admiralty Admiralty the the duty duty of of providing providing garrisons garrisons for for certain certain colonial colonial ports,” ports,” the the DN1 DNI suspected, suspected, “is “is that that many many of of these these places places are are unhealthy unhealthy [and] [and] the the duties duties irksome irksome in in time time of of peace.”143 peace.”'* Battenberg Battenberg feared feared an an admission admission by by the the Admiralty Admiralty that that submarines submarines could could protect protect naval naval ports ports more more effectively effectively and and also also probably probably at at less less cost cost than than mines, mines, might might well well induce induce the the soldiers soldiers to to petition petition the the government government to to give give navy navy the the responsibility responsibility for for all all imperial imperial ports. ports. This This eventuality, eventuality, he he reminded reminded his his superiors, superiors, would would add add considerably considerably to to the the expense expense and and complexity complexity of of naval naval strategic strategic policy.144 policy.'** In In his his opinion, opinion, such such an an unpleasant unpleasant possibility possibility was was to to be be avoided: avoided: The The arrangement arrangement by by which which the the War War Office Office defends defends our our ports ports leaving leaving us us free free to to do do our our duty duty at at sea, sea, is is the the basis basis of of our our War War Policy. Policy. it It is is not not a a question, question, as as some some naval naval officers officers contend, contend, that that we we could could do do it it better better than than the the army. army. Probably Probably we we could. could. The The point point is is that that if if we we were were to to undertake undertake it, it, aa portion portion of of the the strength strength which which we we are are now now able able to to develop develop at at sea, sea, would would be be absorbed absorbed by by local local defenses.I45 defenses.'*

L b

The The first first lord lord refused refused to to allow allow such such aa stance. stance. “If “If the the submarines submarines can can do do more more effectively effectively and and economically economically the the work work done done by by the the larger larger submasubmarine rine mining mining organisation organisation of of the the Army," Army,” he he told told the the naval naval lords lords on on 4 4 March, March, “then “then submarine submarine boats boats must must replace replace submarine submarine mines mines whether whether controlled controlled by by the the Army Army or or the the Navy.”146 Navy.”'* Fortunately Fortunately Selborne Selborne was was perpersuaded Suaded to to suspend suspend judgement judgement until until after after a a joint joint services services committee committee had had been been given given aa chance chance to to investigate investigate the the merits merits of of idea. idea. Brodrick’s Brodrick’s agreeagreement ment to to the the formation formation of of such such aa committee committee allowed allowed the the matter matter to to be be shelved Shelved until until the the end end of of the the year. year. This, This, however, however, did did not not stop stop the the naval naval lords lords from from trying trying to to prejudice prejudice the the Admiralty’s Admiralty’s case. case. The The naval naval represenrepresentatilvesj tatives [appointed/to appointed to the the joint joint service service committee committee were were briefed briefed not not to to

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of admission of an admission as an (mis)interpreted as be (mis)interpreted could be make that could statement that any statement make any the of the estimate of an estimate give an to give pressed to ports. IfIf pressed naval defend ports. to defend responsibility to naval responsibility that reply that to reply ordered to were ordered they were submarines, they and submarines, relative mines and of mines value of relative value mines replacing mines submarines replacing of submarines question of any question be any never be while could never there could while there naval to naval close to mines close plant mines to plant not to army not the the army prefer the would prefer Admiralty would the Admiralty freethe freewith the “interfere with would “interfere they would because they bases, Portsmouth, because as Portsmouth, such as bases, such boats.”7 [submarine] boats.”'” the [submarine] of the dom action of of action dom of for responsibility for assuming responsibility not assuming for not Aside reasons for political reasons the political from the Aside from to as to doubts as genuine doubts some genuine held some have held must have port Admiralty must the Admiralty defenses, the port defenses, Captain from Captain reports from latest reports The latest the course. The such aa course. taking such of taking wisdom of the wisdom technical minor technical numerous minor that numerous Bacon indicated that 1903) indicated February 1903) (dated February Bacon (dated relied be relied could be submarines could before submarines overcome before problems be overcome to be had to still had problems still and Kerr, and Lord Kerr, Selborne, Lord Lord Selborne, mid-March, Lord In mid-March, upon duties. In combat duties. for combat upon for subthe subthemselves the for themselves witness for to witness William Portsmouth to visited Portsmouth all visited May all William May further giving further to giving View to the view with the Solent—possibly with marine the Solent—possibly in the trials in boat trials marine boat defense.I48 port defense.'® for port them for upon them relying upon consideration of relying idea of the idea to the consideration to the and the poor, and exceptionally poor, was exceptionally week was Unfortunately that week weather that the weather Unfortunately the unfavorThe unfavorboasts. The Bacon’s boasts. Captain Bacon's to Captain Holland up to live up to live failed to boats failed Holland boats At measurable. At was measurable. Board was the Board upon the had upon able demonstration had this demonstration impact this able impact Battenberg when Battenberg Committee, when Defense Committee, the Cabinet Defense the Cabinet of the meeting of next meeting the next the on the thoughts on Admiralty’s thoughts the Admiralty’s outline the to outline was Office to War Office the War by the asked by was asked before. than before. cautious than more cautious much more was much reply was utility his reply submarines, his of submarines, utility of advised, he advised, evidence,” he sufficient evidence,” of sufficient possession of in possession “We present in at present not at are not “We are This war. This in war. submarines in of submarines value of the value of the estimate of to exact estimate an exact form an to form able to be able to be in experience in they experience difficulty they main difficulty the main that the know, that do know, much, we do however, we much, however, the on the latter isis on the latter when the and when enemy and the enemy of the attacking view of good view keep aa good to keep attackn isis to seriously to seriously as to great as so great be so will be difficulty will move this difficulty that this probable that seems probable move itit seems limited.149 very limited.'” also very action isis also of action radius of Their radius militate value. Their their value. against their militate against

as acting as submarines acting to submarines objections to technical objections Besides and technical political and the political Besides the inside concern inside some concern been some have been must have the there must ports, there of ports, defense of main defense the main

that news that to news officers to flag officers many flag from many reaction from Whitehall probable reaction the probable at the Whitehall at purposes. defensive purposes. for defensive submarines for purchase submarines the to purchase intended to Admiralty intended the Admiralty

men antagonize men to antagonize bound to was bound defense was the defense to the Allocating resources to naval resources Allocating naval parwas parlatter was The latter Custance. The Reginald Custance. or Reginald like Lambton or Hedworth Lambton Adms. Hedworth like Adms. mind” of mind” “attitude of defensive “attitude assuming aa defensive ticularly navy assuming the navy to the opposed to ticularly opposed

as submarine as the submarine develop the to develop wished to who wished those who and all those condemned all loudly condemned and loudly

b

ports our ports defending our of defending method of effective method most effective “The most aa defensive vessel. “The defensive vessel. against offensive against rigorous offensive “is aa rigorous blustered, “is he blustered, and invasion,” he preventing invasion,” and preventing develbe develshould be submarine should the submarine that the and that the enemy, and the enemy, of the force of floating force the floating weapon. defensive weapon. not defensive and not offensive and an offensive oped view—as an in view—as that in with that oped with to offensive to the offensive from the diverted from be diverted will be [Otherwise] large money will of money sums of large sums [[Other’wisel

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the the defensive. defensive. . . . The The fact fact is is that that naval naval opinion opinion is is and and has has been been for for years years saturated saturated with with the the ideas ideas of of defense defense not not withstanding withstanding the the efforts efforts of of aa small small minority minority to to counteract counteract them.”‘50 them.”'° The The Possibility Possibility of of Invasion: Invasion: A A Role Role in in Imperial Imperial Defense Defense

In In the the fall fall of of 1903, 1903, Prime Prime Minister Minister Arthur Arthur Balfour Balfour came came under under renewed renewed pressure pressure to to find find aa solution solution to to the the on-going on-going military military reform reform issue. issue. ln In March, March, the the House House of of Commons Commons had had rejected rejected as as too too expensive expensive the latest War Office proposal to reorganize the British army the latest War Office proposal to reorganize the British army into into six six European style army corps: yet six months later the secretary of European style army corps: yet six months later the secretary of state state for for war war confessed confessed he he was was unable unable to to put put forward forward aa cheaper cheaper and and more more flexflexible scheme.‘51 The administration of the War Office had recently ible scheme." The administration of the War Office had recently been been subject subject to to further further criticism criticism by by the the independent independent commission commission appointed appointed under the chairmanship of Lord Elgin to investigate under the chairmanship of Lord Elgin to investigate the the abysmal abysmal performance performance of of the the army army during during the the South South African African war. war. The The generals, generals, however, however, had had chosen chosen to to ignore ignore the the commission’s commission's report. report. Finally, Finally, the the chancellor chancellor of of the the Exchequer Exchequer warned warned that that he he could could not not deliver deliver a a politipolitically cally significant significant cut cut in in the the rate rate of of income income tax tax until until after after defense defense spendspending ing had had been been brought brought under under control. control. Here Here again, again, the the blame blame lay lay at at the the door door to to the the War War Office Office administration. administration. The The generals generals were were obstructing obstructing all all military the military calculate the to calculate Committee to Defense Committee Cabinet Defense the Cabinet by the attempts by attempts requirements requirements of of the the empire empire in in order order to to fix fix the the establishment establishment of of the the army army at at aa realistic realistic and and affordable affordable level. level. Balfour, Balfour, recognized recognized he he had had “to “to do do something” something” about about the the army army and and the the War War Office Office bureaucracy bureaucracy in in order order to to bring bring down down military military expenditure expenditure and and so so rally rally his his supporters supporters in in the the know. yet know. not yet did not he did exactly he what exactly But what Commons.152 But Commons.'” The The urgency urgency of of finding finding aa solution solution was was underlined underlined in in September September 1903, 1903, after after the the Cabinet Cabinet disintegrated disintegrated over over the the question question of of whether whether or or not not the the by constraints by fiscal constraints its fiscal overcome its to overcome try to should try Party should Conservative Party Conservative renouncing Britain's Britain’s commitment commitment to to free free trade trade and and adopting adopting an an empire empire renouncing conthan conrather than desperation rather was desperation imports. ItIt was on imports. tariffs on of tariffs system of wide system wide viction viction that that drove drove most most MPs MPs to to call call for for imperial imperial preference.153 preference.’ During During the the to comment to without comment able without was able Balfour was followed, Balfour that followed, reshuffle that Cabinet reshuffle Cabinet rotate rotate the the discredited discredited Brodrick Brodrick out out of of Pall Pall Mall Mall and and into into the the India India Office. Office. To replace replace him, him, the the prime prime minister minister first first turned turned to to the the highly highly respected respected To than more than do more to do declined to Esher declined but Esher Esher; but Lord Esher; neutral Lord politically neutral and politically and interthe interinvestigate the to investigate experts to independent experts of independent committee of small committee chair aa small chair post the post offered the subsequently offered Balfour subsequently Office. Balfour War Office. the War of the organization of nal organization nal eventually before eventually statesmen before other statesmen ten other to ten war to for war state for of state secretary of of secretary of parliamenthe parliamenArnold-Forster, the Oakley Arnold-Forster, to Oakley chalice” to “poisoned chalice” the “poisoned handing the handing Arnoldlike Arnoldnot like did not Balfour did Personally, Balfour Admiralty. Personally, the Admiralty. to the secretary to tary secretary tary “uncompromising an “uncompromising was an he was that he view that held view widely held the widely sharing the Forster, Sharing Forster, Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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personality personality whose whose dogmatism dogmatism and and self Self assertiveness assertiveness went went beyond beyond all all limits.”154 limits.”'** Nevertheless, Nevertheless, the the prime prime minister minister recognized recognized Arnold-Forster Arnold-Forster possessed possessed “great “great ability” ability” and and a a “burning “burning zeal” zeal” for for military military reform.‘55 reform.'® He He was, was, moreover, moreover, a’tariff a tariff reformer. reformer. But But perhaps perhaps most most importantly, importantly, he he shared shared Balfour’s Balfour’s view view “of “of the the War War Office’s Office’s gross gross exaggeration exaggeration of of its its

importance importance in in the the defense defense of of the the empire.”156 empire.”’”°

|_

Arnold-Forster Arnold-Forster took took office office as as secretary secretary of of state state for for war war on on 5 5 October October 1903, 1903, charged charged with with the the task task of of defining defining precisely precisely the the role role of of the the army army in in imperial imperial defense, defense, thus thus permitting permitting the the Cabinet Cabinet Defense Defense Committee Committee to to fix fix the the level level of of its its permanent permanent strength.‘57 strength.’ The The former former defense defense correspondent correspondent set set to to work work with with some some very very clear clear ideas ideas on on army army reform.158 reform.'® Within Within two two months months Arnold-Forster Arnold-Forster had had sketched sketched a a new new organization organization for for the the army army which which at at first first glance glance appeared appeared to to be be much much more more suitable suitable for for imperial imperial defense defense purposes purposes than than Brodrick’s Brodrick’s army army corps corps plan. plan. Basically, Basically, the the scheme scheme called called for for massive massive reductions reductions in in military military garrisons garrisons at at home home and and overseas overseas in in order order to to free free men men and and money money for for the the creation creation of of a a large large rapid rapid deployment deployment force. force. As As a a bonus, bonus, he he promised promised to to deliver deliver substantial substantial savings savings in in military military expenditure. expenditure. Of Of course course there there were were a a number number of of drawbacks drawbacks to to his his scheme. scheme. For For example, example, the the new new minister minister demanded demanded the the jettisoning jettisoning of of several several important important military military commitments commitments without without considering considering the the politipolitical cal or or diplomatic diplomatic repercussions. repercussions. But, But, as as we we shall shall see, see, Arnold-Forster’s Arnold-Forster’s biggest biggest mistake mistake was was the the methods methods be he employed employed to to achieve achieve his his goals. goals. Not Not only only did did he he not not bother bother obtaining obtaining the the support support of of the the senior senior military military adviadvisors sors who who would would have have to to implement implement the the proposed proposed reforms, reforms, but but in in pursupursuing ing his his objective objective he he was was devious devious and and underhanded. underhanded. Arnold-Forster Arnold-Forster began began looking looking for for savings savings by by scrutinizing scrutinizing the the large large number number of of auxiliary auxiliary and and volunteer volunteer units units organized organized for for home home defense. defense. In In view view of of his his penchant penchant for for submarines submarines and and his his recent recent experience experience at at the the Admiralty, Admiralty, it it was was hardly hardly surprising surprising that that within within a a month month of of taking taking office office he he decided decided to to take take an an axe axe to to the the Royal Royal Engineers Engineers Corps Corps of of Submarine Submarine Miners.159 Miners.'*® He He was was undoubtedly undoubtedly encouraged encouraged to to pursue pursue this this course course after after discovering discovering on on 30 30 October October that that his his old old colleague colleague the the senior senior naval naval lord lord had had recently recently become become more more favorably favorably inclined inclined to to the the idea idea of of allocating allocating submarines submarines for for port port defense defense duties.160 duties.’ After After reading reading Captain Captain Bacon’s Bacon’s “epoch “epoch making” making” report report on on tactical tactical trials trials with with submarines, submarines, Kerr Kerr admitted admitted to to having having second second thoughts thoughts over over the the Board’s Board’s refusal refusal to to have have anything anything to to do do with with port port defenses.‘61 defenses.'®' Arnold-Forster Arnold-Forster had had also also known, known, of of course, course, that that the the previous previous March, March, the the first first lord lord had had been been uncomfortable uncomfortable with with Battenberg’s Battenberg’s suggestions suggestions that that the the Admiralty Admiralty should should deliberately deliberately mislead mislead the the government government over over the the practicability practicability of of using using submarines submarines in in this this role.162 role.’ He He had had reasons reasons to to believe, believe, therefore, therefore, that that Selborne Selborne would would help help him him overovercome come any any lingering lingering resistance resistance from from the the armed armed forces. forces. Thus Thus after after conconLambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hdl.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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sulting sulting the the army’s army's commander commander in in chief chief on on the the subject subject of of the the disbandment disbandment of of the the Royal Royal Corps Corps of of Miners,163 Miners,'* on on 22 November November Arnold-Forster Arnold-Forster wrote wrote unofficially unofficially to to Selborne Selborne asking asking for for his his support support in in abolishing abolishing the the “military “military aquatics.” aquatics.” “The “The mining,” mining,” his his letter letter began, began, is is undertaken undertaken with with the the object object of of protecting protecting maritime maritime ports ports against against attack attack from from the the sea; sea; in in other other words words with with the the object object of of denying denying access access to to foreign foreign men men of of War. war. 1I have have frequently frequently heard heard it it said said that that in in the the opinion opinion of of Naval Naval offiofficers, cers, much much of of the the work work done done by by these these submarine submarine miners miners is is useless, useless, or or superfluous, superfluous, as as far far as as the the Navy Navy is is concerned. concerned. II remember remember that that there there have have frequently frequently been been complaints complaints during during the the maneuvers maneuvers of of the the difficulties difficulties caused caused by by the the want want of of harmony harmony between between land land and and sea sea forces, forces, respectively.‘64 respectively.'*

“If “If on on the the other other hand,” hand,” suggested suggested Arnold-Forster, Arnold-Forster, “the “the Navy Navy thinks thinks that that submarine mines are necessary,” submarine mines are necessary,” then then in in order order to to eliminate eliminate confusion confusion in in the the command command and and control control of of seaward seaward defenses, defenses, “the “the Navy Navy itself itself should should undertake undertake the the service service which which they they are are particularly particularly qualified qualified to to perform.” perform.” To sweeten To sweeten the the pill pill he he offered offered to to transfer transfer the the £556,000 £556,000 spent spent annually annually on on the the “aquatics” “aquatics” from from the the army army to to the the navy navy estimates.165 estimates.'® By By approachapproaching ing Selborne Selborne unofficially, unofficially, the the war war minister minister clearly clearly hoped hoped to to entice entice the the first first lord lord to to overrule overrule the the politically politically inspired inspired objections objections to to a a formal formal transtransfer. fer. Despite Despite the the loss loss of of the the original original copy copy of of the the aforementioned aforementioned “Bacon “Bacon report” report” and and the the all-important all-important minute minute sheets sheets with with the the remarks remarks of of the the naval naval lords, lords, it it is is possible possible to to reconstruct reconstruct the the docket docket from from the the sizeable sizeable extracts extracts quoted quoted by by Arthur Arthur Marder Marder in in his his book book The The Anatomy Anatomy of of British British Sea Sea Power. Power. In In addition, addition, there there are are among among Selborne’s Selborne’s private private papers papers a a number number of of documents documents on on the the subject. subject. According According to to Marder, Marder, “the “the Admiralty Admiralty found found the the report report most most instructive” instructive” and and “it “it was was agreed agreed after after full full discussion discussion that that Bacon’s Bacon’s experience experience had had proved proved that that submarines submarines were were a a very very effective effective ‘défense ‘défense mobile’ mobile’ for for the the naval naval harbours.”166 harbours.”'® This This is is unquestionunquestionable. able. The The Board Board decided decided that that “submarines “submarines should should gradually gradually replace replace minefields minefields in in the the defense defense system, system, aa few few boats boats each each at at each each of of the the principrincipal pal naval naval bases—Portsmouth, bases—Portsmouth, Sheerness, Sheerness, Plymouth, Plymouth, Malta, Malta, Hong Hong Kong, Kong, Oueenstown, Queenstown, Pembroke. Pembroke. Some Some were were [also] [also] to to be be stationed stationed at at Dover Dover and and Gibraltar Gibraltar where where their their presence presence would would make make passage passage of of the the straits straits very very hazardous hazardous for for any any hostile hostile ships.” ships.” Even Even Battenberg, Battenberg, it it seems, seems, endorsed endorsed the the scheme.167 scheme.'® There There is is no no doubting doubting Kerr’s Kerr’s change change of of heart. heart. In In a a private private letter letter to to Selborne Selborne dated dated 4 4 November, November, the the senior senior naval naval lord lord credited credited Bacon Bacon with with having having persuaded persuaded him him that that “not “not only only are are submarine submarine boats boats more more effective effective in in themselves,” themselves,” but but “we “we may may well well accept accept in in principle, principle, that that wherever wherever we we have have submarine submarine boats, boats, the the mines mines may may go.”168 go.”'*® Commenting Commenting on on the the former former Lambeparlgamgptaemagegg ionary’s offer parliamentary secretary's offer to to transfer transfer or or abolish abolish the the “military “military aquatE-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hdl.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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ics,” ics,” Kerr Kerr responded responded with with cautious cautious enthusiasm.169 enthusiasm.'® Accordingly Accordingly on on 14 14 November Selborne Selborne informally informally replied replied to to Arnold-Forster Arnold-Forster that: that: November If If the the War War Office Office ask ask the the Admiralty Admiralty to to relieve relieve them them of of the the responsibility responsibility for for submarine submarine mines, mines, the the Admiralty Admiralty will will reply reply that, that, so so far far as as the the Naval Naval Ports Ports are that responsibility responsibility transferred are concerned, concerned, they they are are willing willing to to have have that transferred to to

them as as submarines submarines become become available. available. We We could, could, I think, them think, begin begin with with the the [three] [three] Home Home Ports Ports at at once. once. But But in in respect respect of of the the eighteen eighteen ports ports in in which which there there is is now now aa submarine submarine mining mining organisation organisation but but which which are are not not naval naval ports, ports, the the Admiralty Admiralty would would not not be be prepared prepared to to accept accept responsibility. responsibility.

Though Though eventually, eventually, he he added, added, “submarines “submarines might might be be stationed stationed at at these these non-naval non-naval ports ports in in charge charge of of the the R.N.V.R.” R.N.V.R.” (Royal (Royal Navy Navy Volunteer Volunteer Reserve).‘70 The Admiralty were considering a Reserve).'” The Admiralty were considering a proposal proposal to to store store the the unwanted unwanted experimental experimental submarines submarines on on land land to to prevent prevent deterioration, deterioration, which which would would be be commissioned commissioned during during wartime wartime by by crews crews of of reservists."“ reservists.'” But it would be many years, Selborne But it would be many years, Selborne emphasized, emphasized, before before such such aa scheme scheme could could be be implemented. implemented. That That the the Admiralty Admiralty was was greatly greatly impressed impressed by by Captain Captain Bacon’s Bacon’s report report cannot cannot entirely entirely explain explain the the newfound newfound willingness willingness to to employ employ submarines submarines as as adjuncts adjuncts to to port port defenses. defenses. It It will will be be recalled recalled that that when when the the Admiralty Admiralty had had discussed discussed this this question question earlier earlier in in 1903, 1903, few few officers officers had had doubted doubted that that submarines submarines would would provide provide aa better better defense defense than than mines. mines. Much Much more more serious serious concerns concerns had had been been expressed expressed over over the the “political,” “political,” financial, financial, and and strategic strategic ramifications ramifications of of the the navy navy taking taking responsibility responsibility for for the the defense defense of of naval naval bases. bases. Selborne’s Selborne’s senior senior professional professional advisors advisors had had all all been been vehemently opposed to the idea. vehemently opposed to the idea. So So why why then then six six months months later later did did the the Board Board suddenly suddenly overcome overcome these these fears? fears? The The reason reason is is almost almost certainly certainly attributable attributable to to the the increasingly increasingly bitter bitter debate debate in in the the Cabinet Cabinet Defense Defense Committee over the allocation of Committee over the allocation of limited limited defense defense resources. resources. Minutes Minutes by by Battenberg Battenberg dated dated October October 1903, 1903, makes makes it it clear clear that that it it was was with with their their eyes eyes focused focused on on the the War War Office Office rather rather than than the the French, French, that that the the Admiralty agreed Admiralty agreed to to tie tie submarines submarines to to the the defense defense of of naval naval bases. bases. “The “The establishment establishment of of submarine submarine stations stations along along the the South South Coast Coast of of England,” England,” Battenberg Battenberg remarked, remarked, ought ought to to go go aa long long way way towards towards dispelling dispelling the the ever-recurring ever-recurring fears fears of of invainva-

sion sion so so dear dear to to the the “old “old women women of of both both sexes" sexes” mentioned mentioned by by Lord Lord St.Vincent. St.Vincent. To To these these (a (a few few live live in in the the War War Office) Office) it it may may be be pointed pointed out out that that the the French French in in all all their their utterances utterances on on the the subject—be subject—be they they Ministerial Ministerial speeches speeches or or press press articles—point articles—point out out with with pride pride that that the the existence existence of of submarines submarines as as part part of of the the defense defense mobile mobile [sic] [sic] makes makes any any attempt attempt at at invasion invasion of of French French territory territory the the act act of of lunacy. lunacy. They They are are quite quite right right and and the the argument argument cuts cuts both both ways.‘72 ways.'” Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.hand|e.net/2027/heb.31569.

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The The Admiralty’s Admiralty’s motives motives are are not not hard hard to to understand. understand. By By the the end end of of 1903, 1903, the the thoroughness thoroughness with with which which the the Cabinet Cabinet Defense Defense Committee Committee was was studystudying ing Britain’s Britain’s imperial imperial strategic strategic policy policy had had convinced convinced the the naval naval lords lords that that the the government government was was determined determined to to make make deep deep cuts cuts in in the the defense defense budbudget. get. And And it it was was obvious obvious that that as as the the pool pool of of defense defense resources resources shrank, shrank, either either the the Royal Royal Navy Navy would would have have to to abandon abandon its its claim claim to to naval naval supremasupremacy cy or or fight fight the the army army for for aa greater greater share share of of the the defense defense budget. budget. As As we we have have seen, seen, at at the the beginning beginning of of 1903 1903 the the Admiralty Admiralty chose chose the the latter latter policy policy by by disputing disputing War War Office Office claims claims for for the the need need to to retain retain a a large large army army for for home home defense. defense. Their Their subsequent subsequent decision decision to to take take responsibility responsibility for for the the defense defense of of naval naval bases, bases, therefore, therefore, was was no no more more than than another another step step along along this this road. road. Whether Whether the the Admiralty Admiralty really really believed believed that that submarines submarines were were needneeded ed to to defend defend ports ports from from possible possible invasion invasion or or raids raids by by hostile hostile cruisers cruisers was was not not the the point: point: the the argument argument justified justified the the claim claim that that the the navy navy could could protect the the country country at at less less cost cost and and more more efficiently efficiently than than the the army army and and protect that that the the navy navy should should thus thus receive receive priority priority in in the the allocation allocation of of the the limited limited resources.173 defense resources.'” defense The The Admiralty Admiralty had had another another reason reason to to propose propose giving giving submarines submarines an an important role role in in home home defense. defense. Since Since taking taking over over the the chairmanship chairmanship of of important the the Cabinet Cabinet Defense Defense Committee Committee in in mid-1903, mid-1903, Prime Prime Minister Minister Arthur Arthur Balfour Balfour had had developed developed a a keen keen interest interest in in the the submarine. submarine. Very Very quickly, quickly, this this enthusiasm enthusiasm had had grown grown into into a a conviction conviction that that the the submarine submarine offered offered the the only only affordable affordable solution solution to to Britain’s Britain’s chronic chronic defense defense problems. problems. In In November, Balfour Balfour drafted drafted aa memorandum memorandum outlining outlining his his thoughts thoughts on on the the November, possibility possibility of of “Serious “Serious Invasion” Invasion” which which subsequently subsequently was was adopted adopted as as the the Defense Committee's Committee’s final final report report on on the the subject. subject. In In itit the the prime prime minister minister Defense Navy Royal Navy the Royal as the long as So long Admiralty. So the Admiralty. with the unequivocally with sided unequivocally sided retained command command of of the the sea sea in in home home waters, waters, he he concurred, concurred, “the “the chief chief retained rather Indian, rather of Indian, that of face isis that to face has to country has this country which this problem which military problem military case, Office case, War Office the War of the rejection of his rejection Explaining his defense.”I74 Explaining Home defense.”'” of Home than of than modified “profoundly modified been “profoundly had been question had invasion question the invasion that the argued that Balfour argued Balfour in wars” in old wars” “the old During “the invention.” During of invention.” progress of the progress by the advantage by our advantage to our to the for the possible for been possible always been not always had not explained, itit had he explained, sail, he of sail, age of the age the But point. But threatened point. the threatened at the force at superior force concentrate aa superior to concentrate Navy to Royal Navy Royal in in the the age age of of technology, technology, steam steam power power enabled enabled warships warships to to move move indeindependently of of the the wind wind direction, direction, and and wireless wireless telegraphy telegraphy permitted permitted an an pendently much too much not too “It isis not horizon.175 “It the horizon.'” over the from over ships from his ships summon his to summon admiral to admiral of bodies of large bodies landing large of landing problem of whole problem the whole “that the concluded, “that he concluded, say,” he to say,” to the of the invention of the invention by the revolutionised by been revolutionised has been shore has hostile shore on aa hostile troops on troops submarine.”‘76 the submarine.”'” and the torpedo and torpedo even that even Admiralty that the Admiralty with the agreed with Balfour agreed theme, Balfour this theme, Developing this Developing Navy’s Royal Navy's the Royal waters, the home waters, from home absent from was absent fleet was battle fleet British battle the British ifif the Lambert, Nicolas. 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effective an effective provide an still provide would still craft would flotilla craft and flotilla cruisers and of cruisers force of ample force ample continued the continued upon the not upon reasoning not his reasoning based his He based invasion. He to invasion. deterrent to deterrent but done) but had done) Admiralty had the Admiralty (as the fleet (as reserve fleet sizeable reserve of aa sizeable existence of existence covnor aa covconvoy nor invasion convoy an invasion neither an that neither assumption that the assumption upon the rather upon rather torpedo the torpedo of the reach of within reach remain within “long remain dare “long would dare fleet would battle fleet ering battle ering submarine.” the submarine.” and the and History History has has no no record record of of what what would would happen happen to to an an army army of of 70,000 70,000 men men closely packed in improvised transports if even two or three torpedo-boats closely packed in improvised transports if even two or three torpedo-boats got got in in amongst amongst them—to them—to say say nothing nothing of of a a whole whole flotilla. flotilla. That That the the confusion confusion the the destruction destruction and and the the horror horror would would exceed exceed anything anything which which we we can can easily easily

imagine imagine in in cold cold blood blood is is certain.‘77 certain.'” Balfour Balfour reasoned reasoned that that because because battleships battleships could could not not sweep sweep the the sea sea of of the the Royal Royal Navy’s Navy's much much larger larger fleet fleet of of torpedo torpedo boats, boats, and and because because “the “the submarine submarine cannot cannot be be driven driven from from the the sea sea at at all,” all,” invasion invasion across across a a narnarrow row stretch stretch of of water water such such as as the the English English Channel Channel would would thus thus be be imposimpossible.178 sible.'” The The first first lord lord of of the the Admiralty Admiralty m0ved moved quickly quickly to to endorse endorse Balfour’s Balfour's assumptions.179 assumptions.'” At At a a meeting meeting of of the the Defense Defense Committee Committee held held on on 25 25 November, November, Balfour Balfour explored explored the the possibility possibility of of further further extending extending the the role role of of subsubmarines marines to to imperial imperial defense. defense. During During a a discussion discussion on on the the appropriate appropriate scale scale of of defenses defenses for for the the naval naval base base at at Bermuda,180 Bermuda,'® the the prime prime minister minister asked asked the the naval naval and and military military representatives representatives to to consider consider “whether “whether the the island island might might not not be be made made almost almost impregnable impregnable at at a a small small cost cost by by strengthening strengthening the the naval naval defenses, defenses, and and whether, whether, in in this this case, case, the the existing existing garrison garrison might might not not be be reduced”?“” reduced”?'*' What What exactly exactly Balfour Balfour had had meant meant emerges emerges from from the the written written reply reply submitted submitted by by the the War War Office. Office. This This docudocument shows shows that that the the phrase phrase “strengthening “strengthening naval naval defenses” defenses” meant meant “the “the ment addition addition of of submarine-boats submarine-boats and and more more torpedo-boats torpedo-boats to to the the local local naval naval force.“82 force.”'* Very Very properly properly the the generals generals had had replied replied that that “this “this is is a a matter matter for for the the naval naval authorities authorities to to determine”-—then determine’—then with with aa parting parting shot shot added added sevseveral eral reasons reasons why why the the Army Army did did not not believe believe the the idea idea practicable.183 practicable.’® Although Although this this time time the the Admiralty Admiralty was was much much slower slower to to endorse endorse the the prime prime minister’s minister’s idea, idea, it it seems seems that that Selborne Selborne at at once once assured assured Balfour Balfour in in private private that that his his department department would would look look favorably favorably on on the the idea.‘84 idea.'* In In January January 1904, 1904, the the prime prime minister minister wrote wrote to to another another submarine submarine enthusiast, enthusiast, Adm. Adm. Sir Sir John John Fisher, Fisher, that that “some “some of of the the things things you you recommend recommend have, have, I| think, think, been been already already practically practically agreed agreed upon upon by by the the defense defense Committee Committee and and the the Cabinet, Cabinet, e.g. e.g. the the substitution substitution of of submarines submarines for for mines, mines, and and the the defense defense of of places places like like Malta, Malta, Gibraltar Gibraltar and and Bermuda Bermuda by by submarines.”185 submarines.”'® Balfour Balfour was was not not the the only only one one to to be be excited excited by by the the thought thought of of using using submarines fortioinmperial defense. The political members of the Cabinet submarines for imperial defense. The political members of the Cabinet Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolu E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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Defense Defense Committee, Committee, including including Arnold-Forster, Arnold-Forster, Selborne, Selborne, Esher Esher and and Austen Austen Chamberlain Chamberlain (the (the chancellor chancellor of of the the Exchequer) Exchequer) were were all all mesmesmerized merized by by the the possibilities possibilities offered offered of of building building twenty twenty or or thirty thirty subsubmarines marines for for the the price price of of aa single single battleship. battleship. In In one one highly highly imaginative imaginative paper paper distributed distributed at at this this time, time, Lord Lord Esher Esher prophesied prophesied that that “submarine “submarine boats, boats, coupled coupled with with a a system system of of rapid rapid communications communications by by W/T, W/T, will will not not impossibly impossibly alter alter the the scheme scheme of of defense defense for for our our coaling coaling stations stations all all over over the the world.”186 world.” Another Another advantage advantage of of relying relying upon upon submarines, submarines, Balfour Balfour thought, thought, was was that that their their military military value value would would depreciate depreciate much much more more slowslowly ly than than conventional conventional surface surface ships ships because because enemy enemy transports transports would would always always be be vulnerable vulnerable to to even even the the oldest oldest and and slowest slowest submarine submarine boats. boats. This This idea idea came came from from Admiral Admiral Fisher.187 Fisher.'® In In early early 1904, 1904, the the Prime Prime Minister Minister wrote wrote to to Selborne: Selborne: II wish wish we we had had more more submarines. submarines. Would Would it it not not be be possible possible to to induce induce some some new new firm firm to to build build us us a a few? few? They They are, are, after after all, all, cheap, cheap, and and their their peculiaripeculiarity ty is is that, that, inasmuch inasmuch as as they they cannot cannot be be attacked attacked by by other other submarines, submarines, the the type type does does not not get get antiquated;—-in antiquated;—in other other words, words, however however much much submarines submarines may may be be improved improved in in the the future, future, existing existing submarines submarines will will never never become become obsolete obsolete as as against against the the types types of of vessels vessels with with which which they they are are intended intended to to fight.188 fight.'*°

Adopting Adopting aa high high technology technology approach approach to to national national defense defense seemed seemed to to offer offer a a realistic realistic chance chance to to cut cut the the Gordian Gordian Knot Knot that that had had been been dogging dogging British British defense defense planners planners for for more more than than twenty twenty years—how years—how to to provide provide effective effective defense defense of of imperial imperial maritime maritime interests interests at at a a time time of of “imperial “imperial overoverstretch.” Or Or to to put put itit another another way, way, exploiting exploiting high high technology technology appeared appeared stretch.” to to offer offer the the government government aa way way of of meeting meeting defense defense commitments commitments at at a a time time when when costs costs were were spiraling spiraling and and financial financial resources resources were were either either static static or or diminishing. diminishing. But But as as we we shall shall see, see, ordinary ordinary naval naval officers officers greeted greeted this this vision vision with with skepticism. skepticism.

At At the the end end of of November November 1903, 1903, Selborne Selborne arranged arranged with with ArnoldArnoldForster Forster for for Captain Captain Bacon Bacon to to tour tour all all the the army army mining mining establishments establishments at at the three three Home Home Ports Ports to to inspect inspect their their suitability suitability for for conversion conversion into into subsubthe marine marine bases.189 bases.'®® On On 14 14 December December 1903, 1903, Kerr Kerr circulated circulated Bacon’s Bacon's favorfavorable appraisal appraisal to to the the other other naval naval Lords Lords along along with with aa request request for for them them to to able endorse endorse the the plan.190 plan.'* in In his his minute, minute, the the senior senior naval naval lord lord hinted hinted that that taktaking ing responsibility responsibility for for the the three three naval naval bases bases would would only only be be the the first first step. step. “Commercial “Commercial and and other other naval naval ports ports in in the the United United Kingdom Kingdom will will have have to to be be considered in the future,” he noted, “but the commercial ports in any considered in the future,” he noted, “but the commercial ports in any Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.3l 569.

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case case must must be be left left until until our our foreign foreign naval naval bases bases have have been been provided.”‘91 provided.”'*' Much Much

to Kerr’s Selborne’s surprise, surprise, however, however, both Vice Adm. Adm. Charles Charles Drury Drury to Kerr’s and and Selborne’s both Vice (who (who in in September September had had replaced replaced Fisher Fisher as as second second naval naval lord) lord) and and Rear Rear Adm. Adm. John John Durnford Durnford (the (the junior junior lord), lord), replied replied that that they they were were “unable “unable to to agree agree to to

this this far far reaching reaching proposal."192 proposal.”'” To To better better understand understand their their objections, objections, the the first first lord lord called called upon upon Drury Drury and and Durnford Durnford to to submit submit their their views views in in writing. writing. Rear Rear Adm. Adm. John John Durnford Durnford was was particularly particularly forceful forceful in in his his condemcondemnation nation of of the the proposal. proposal. Substituting Substituting naval naval submarines submarines for for army army mines, mines, he he anticipated, would would be be anticipated, a a great great and and additional additional burden burden to to the the Navy Navy in in men men and and materiel, materiel, the the Navy Navy Estimates Estimates must must bear bear it: it: these these are are and and must must be be limited, limited, and and do do what what you you will, will, Vote Vote 8 8 [the [the construction construction budget] budget] is is the the loser. loser. A A large large and and well well trained trained personnel personnel will will be be required required sooner sooner or or later. later. .. .. .. I| think think the the acceptation acceptation [sic] [sic] of of the the principle principle as as regards regards the the Home Home Ports Ports will will in in the the end end involve involve taking taking over over a a great great deal, deal, including including probably probably the the coaling coaling stations stations abroad, abroad, 3a propopropo-

sition sition that that has has been been always always strongly strongly resisted, resisted, as as involving involving the the Navy Navy in in local local defense defense and and making making him him responsible responsible for for the the safety safety of of localities, localities, thus thus hamhampering pering his his liberty liberty and and freedom freedom of of action action with with the the fleet fleet at at sea)” sea.'”

Drury Drury concurred. concurred. “This “This is is a a principle principle of of defense defense that that their their Lordships Lordships have have up up to to the the present present time time never never admitted admitted as as part part of of the the duties duties of of the the Royal Royal Navy Navy [and] [and] if if this this principle principle is is now now adopted adopted the the Admiralty Admiralty must must be be prepared prepared to to appropriate appropriate a a large large number number of of Submarine Submarine boats boats and and perpersonnel ”'94 Both sonnel as as “fixed “fixed defenses. defenses.”'** Both admirals admirals also also expressed expressed their their doubts doubts on on the the efficiency efficiency of of submarines. submarines. Durnford Durnford insisted insisted on on first first seeing seeing aa demonstration. demonstration. So So did did Drury. Drury. “As “As far far as as II know,” know,” wrote wrote the the former, former, no no practical practical experiment experiment has has been been made made by by us us in in this this direction. direction. Our Our subsubmarines marines have have never never run run aa torpedo torpedo at at a a ship ship underway underway or or at at anchor anchor for for that that matter, and I strongly urge that matter, and I strongly urge that more more practical practical experiments experiments be be undertaken. undertaken, as as for for instance instance in in attempting attempting to to prevent prevent ships ships of of the the home home Fleet Fleet entering entering the Solent . . . we are the Solent .. . we are in in no no sense sense ready ready for for the the transfer. transfer. Captain Captain Bacon Bacon with with his his eyes eyes fixed fixed on on the the success success of of submarines submarines has has become become an an enthusiast(!).‘95 enthusiast(!).'*

Drury’s Drury’s and and Durnford’s Durnford’s memoranda memoranda indicate indicate just just how how secret secret the the subma— submarine rine experimental experimental program program had had been been kept. kept. They They also also indicate indicate how how deeply deeply embedded embedded among among naval naval officers officers was was the the notion notion that that the the Admiralty Admiralty should should have have nothing nothing to to do do with with defensive defensive preparations—for preparations—for political political reasons. reasons. Rear Rear Admiral Admiral Durnford’s Durnford’s memorandum memorandum indicates indicates he he was was unaware unaware that that the the “practical “practical trials” trials” he he demanded demanded had had already already been been carried carried out. out. Considering Considering this this officer’s officer’s rank rank and and position, position, not not to to mention mention his his experiexperience ence as as a a torpedo torpedo officer, officer, it it seems seems remarkable. remarkable. Yet Yet the the fact fact is is confirmed confirmed in in minutes minutes attached attached to to the the file file by by Rear Rear Admiral Admiral May, May, the the controller. controller. “I “I

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am am afraid,” afraid,” he he wrote, wrote, “neither “neither the the Second Second nor nor Junior Junior Naval Naval Lords Lords has has

had had the the benefit benefit of of seeing seeing the the reports reports of of tactical tactical exercises exercises that that have have already already been been carried carried out out by by submarines.”196 submarines.”'® And And on on 6 6 January January 1904, 1904, Kerr Kerr added: “the Second and Junior added: “the Second and Junior Naval Naval Lord’s Lord’s can can hardly hardly be be aware aware of of the the extent extent of of the the experience experience already already gained.”197 gained.”'*’ Kerr Kerr also also dismissed dismissed the the fear fear that that by by agreeing agreeing to to provide provide the the seaward seaward defense defense of of the the Home Home Ports Ports the the navy might later navy might later be be compelled compelled to to accept accept the the full full responsibility responsibility for for the the defense defense of of “our “our principal principal Naval Naval Ports Ports and and our our coaling coaling stations.”198 stations.”'® On On 7 7 January January 1904, 1904, Selborne Selborne endorsed endorsed this this view. view. “I “I cannot cannot agree,” agree,” he he wrote, wrote, “that “that the the question question raised raised in in these these papers papers has has any any connection connection with with that that of of the the garrisons garrisons of of the the coaling coaling stations stations or or Home Home Ports.”199 Ports.”' Days Days later, later, howhowever, ever, Selborne Selborne and and Kerr Kerr learned learned they they had had been been mistaken. mistaken. Three Three weeks weeks earlier, earlier, and and unbeknown unbeknown to to Selborne, Selborne, Arnold-Forster Arnold-Forster had had outlined outlined his his army army reform reform scheme scheme to to the the prime prime minister.200 minister.2” The The secsecretary retary of of state state for for war’s war’s memorandum memorandum posited posited that that Britain’s Britain’s requirerequirements ments for for imperial imperial defense defense could could be be met met with with a a regular regular army army of of 190,000 190,000 strong—always strong—always assuming assuming “that “that aa successful successful invasion invasion of of the the UK UK by by a a large large force force need need not not be be contemplated contemplated under under present present conditions.” conditions.” Out Out of of this this total, total, one one hundred hundred thousand thousand men men would would be be organized organized into into a a rapid rapid reacreaction tion force force and and the the remainder remainder forming forming permanent permanent garrisons garrisons around around the the globe?“ globe.” Arnold-Forster Arnold-Forster further further informed informed Balfour Balfour that that he he still still anticipatanticipated ed an an overall overall saving saving in in the the army army budget, budget, mainly mainly realized realized by by cutting cutting the the militia, militia, the the volunteers volunteers and and the the auxiliary auxiliary reserves reserves such such as as the the Corps Corps of of Miners, Miners, but but the the need need to to retain retain so so many many regulars regulars for for garrison garrison duties duties meant meant that that the the overall overall reduction reduction in in the the military military budget budget could could not not be be as as large large as as he he originally originally had had promised.202 promised.”” But, But, he he deviously deviously offered, offered, it it is is possible possible that that an an additional additional reduction reduction of of the the Army Army might might be be effected effected by by a a change change of of policy policy with with respect respect to to the the defense defense of of naval naval bases bases at at home home and and abroad. abroad. It It would would be be no no doubt doubt advantageous advantageous to to the the Army Army if if the the duties duties of of maintaining maintaining garrisons garrisons and and fixed fixed defenses defenses of of all all naval naval bases bases and and coaling coaling stations Stations abroad, abroad, except except Gibraltar, Gibraltar, Malta, Malta, Aden, Aden, Indian Indian defended defended ports, ports, and and the the Cape Cape were were transferred transferred to to the the Admiralty. Admiralty. To To avoid avoid an an undue undue proportion proportion

of of foreign foreign service service thus thus being being thrown thrown upon upon the the Royal Royal Marines, Marines, the the entire entire defenses defenses of of the the Naval Naval bases bases at at Plymouth, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Portsmouth, and and the the Medway, Medway,

might also also be be handed handed over over to to the the Navy.”” Navy.203 might

Arnold-Forster Arnold-Forster must must have have known known that that the the Board Board of of Admiralty Admiralty would would never never approve approve such such an an idea.204 idea.™ It It is is also also difficult difficult to to believe believe that that he he could could have have interpreted interpreted Selborne’s Selborne’s agreement agreement to to take take charge charge of of the the defenses defenses for for the the three three Home Home Ports Ports for for an an endorsement endorsement of of the the principle principle that that the the navy navy should should take take full full responsibility responsibility for for all all imperial imperial naval naval bases. bases. Selborne’s Selborne’s blettershadF letter had been/emphatic been emphatic on on this this point. point. Nevertheless, Nevertheless, notes notes in in ArnoldArnoldLam ert, ico as. ir a n is er's ava evo ution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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exploit to exploit intended to actually intended he actually that he suggest that papers suggest private papers Forster’s private Forster’s entire the entire undertake the to undertake Admiralty to “the Admiralty compel “the to compel concession to Selborne’s concession Selborne’s navy,”5 aa the navy,”® by the stations by coaling stations and coaling bases and naval bases of naval defense" of maritime defense” maritime to not to “ought not Office “ought War Office the War himself the convinced himself had convinced he had which he duty which duty for responsibility for entire responsibility the entire Admiralty the the Admiralty upon the foisting upon thus foisting By thus have.”206 By have.” secrethe secrestations, the coaling stations, and coaling bases and naval bases imperial naval all imperial of all defense of the defense the dramatic a affecting of goal his achieve to hoped war for state of tary tary of state for war hoped to achieve his goal of affecting a dramatic expeditionary his expeditionary for his men for freeing men and freeing budget and Office budget War Office the War in the reduction in reduction but plan, but the plan, discovered Admiralty the exactly when clear not is It force. force. It is not clear when exactly the Admiralty discovered the it was certainly not well received. it was certainly not well received. working By working outraged. By more outraged. even more were even generals were the generals possible, the IfIf possible, War the of machinery the than rather than the machinery of the War Committee rather Defense Committee the Defense through the through his for his approval for Cabinet approval gain Cabinet to gain hoped to had hoped Arnold-Forster had Office, Arnold-Forster Office, He command. He high command. army high the army to the intentions to his intentions revealing his before revealing scheme before scheme soon as that as soon rightly) that quite rightly) (probably quite arguing (probably by arguing behavior by such behavior justified such justified large impose large to impose plan to government plan any government of any learned of chiefs learned service chiefs the service as the as proved quickly proved was quickly he was Indeed he solidify.207 Indeed quickly solidify.”” would quickly resistance would cuts, resistance cuts, right. right. When When in in the the last last week week of of December December 1903, 1903, the the War War Office Office adminisadminisCorps Royal Corps the Royal abolish the to abolish intention to minister’s intention their minister’s discovered their trators discovered trators by state by of state secretary of the secretary brake the to brake tried to immediately tried they immediately Miners, they of Miners, of informing informing him him he he could could not not act act before before the the joint joint service service committee committee on on the the On long. On for long. work for not work did not This did reported.208 This had reported.”" war had in war mines in of mines function of function forand forreport and the report of the copy of draft copy acquired aa draft Arnold-Forster acquired January, Arnold-Forster 77 January, had he had that he him that informing him note informing covering note with aa covering Selborne with to Selborne warded itit to warded already already taken taken steps steps to to disband disband the the “aquatics” “aquatics” at at the the three three Home Home Ports. Ports. Would the the Admiralty Admiralty endorse endorse the the abolition abolition of of mining mining stations stations at at any any Would inquired? innocently inquired? he innocently ports, he other ports, other the of the meeting of special meeting convened aa special Selborne convened 1904, Selborne January 1904, 13 January On 13 On that show minutes The question.209 the consider to Admiralty of Board Board of Admiralty to consider the question.”°° The minutes show that the in the aids in “effective aids be “effective would be submarines would that submarines agreed that present agreed everyone present everyone major each at stationed be should be stationed at each major flotilla should that aa flotilla and that port” and of aa port” defense of defense to available to be available would be craft would sufficient craft years sufficient two years Within two base.210 Within naval base.?'’? naval naval the naval however, the now, however, By now, waters?“ By home waters.”'' in home bases in naval bases six naval the six defend the defend more proceed more to proceed resolved to and resolved Arnold-Forster and of Arnold-Forster wary of more wary were more lords were lords established was established Office.212 ItIt was War Office.” the War with the negotiations with their negotiations in their cautiously in cautiously “their” link “their” to link attempt to any attempt resist any would resist Admiralty would the Admiralty henceforth the that henceforth that garrisons.213 military garrisons.*” of military strength of the strength of the reappraisal of to aa reappraisal submarines to submarines thanks their thanks expressing their Arnold-Forster expressing to Arnold-Forster wrote to Board wrote the Board Accordingly, the Accordingly, to bound to were bound they were “as they Ports “as Home Ports the Home from the minefields from the minefields removing the for removing for hamper hamper the the movements movements and and curtail curtail the the effectiveness” effectiveness” of of submarines submarines politely Admiralty politely the Admiralty sentence the next sentence the next in the Then in them.214 Then from them.?"* operating from operating insisted insisted that that the the “sole “sole responsibility responsibility for for the the defense defense of of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, Lambert, Nicolas. 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Devonport, and and the the Medway, Medway, will will henceforward henceforward as as heretofore heretofore rest rest with with Devonport, the the War War Office.”215 Office.”?'° Replying Replying to to Arnold-Forster’s Arnold-Forster’s personal personal communication, communication, Selborne explained explained that that at at present present his his advisors advisors were were “not “not disposed” disposed” to to Selborne press for for the press the abolition abolition of of minefields minefields at at any any other other ports, ports, although although they they were were prepared prepared to to see see the the formation formation of of yet yet another another joint joint service service commitcommittee tee to to consider consider the the matter.216 matter.?'® Any counterattack counterattack that that Arnold-Forster Arnold-Forster might might have have contemplated contemplated Any making making against against the the Admiralty Admiralty was was unavoidably unavoidably postponed postponed in in February February 1904, 1904, after after Japan Japan commenced commenced hostilities hostilities against against Russia Russia by by launching launching aa surprise torpedo torpedo attack attack on on the the enemy enemy fleet fleet stationed stationed at at Port Port Arthur. Arthur. As As surprise both departments departments were were keen keen to to observe observe the the effectiveness effectiveness of of modern modern both weapon weapon systems systems in in action action before before committing committing to to any any policy policy decisions, decisions, it it was was agreed agreed that that further further discussion discussion on on the the substitution substitution of of mines mines for for subsubmarines would would be be suspended.”” suspended.217 The The files files were were not not reopened reopened until until July July marines 1904.218 During During this this interlude, interlude, meanwhile, meanwhile, as as the the generals generals learned learned the the 1904.?'* true true scale scale of of Arnold-Forster’s Arnold-Forster’s proposed proposed scheme scheme for for military military retrenchretrenchment, opposition opposition to to any any changes changes in in policy policy solidified solidified inside inside the the War War ment, Sir Gen. Sir Lt. Gen. intelligence, Lt. military intelligence, of military director-general of the director-general by the Led by Office.219 Led Office.?’® William Nicholson, Nicholson, the the soldiers soldiers fought fought “tenaciously” “tenaciously” to claim William to retain retain their their claim for aa role in home home defense. defense. Their for role in Their first first action action was was to to try try to to stop stop the the disdisbandment of of the the Royal Royal Engineers Engineers Corps Corps of of Miners. Miners. In In February February 1904, 1904, the the bandment themselves announced themselves council announced army council established army newly established the newly of the members of members “at “at variance” variance” with with the the secretary secretary of of state state for for war war over over the the plans plans to to disdisdefinitively of definitively wisdom of the wisdom question the to question “inclined to and “inclined corps, and the corps, band the band opinions As opinions boats.”220 As [submarine] boats.”*” the [submarine] of the favor of in favor mines in the mines abolishing the abolishing army the army May, the In May, defiance?“ In open defiance.*?' to open way to gave way resistance gave hardened, resistance hardened, was opinion was military opinion that military Committee that Defense Committee the Defense informed the council informed council the of the requirements of garrison requirements overall garrison the overall in the reduction in any reduction to any “opposed to “opposed the for the responsibility for take responsibility to take refusal to Admiralty’s refusal the Admiralty’s of the view of in view Empire, in Empire, bases”?22 overseas bases.”?” of overseas defense of defense from opposition from stiff opposition unexpectedly stiff encountered unexpectedly also encountered Arnold-Forster also Arnold-Forster were ministers were Two ministers militia. Two the militia. abolish the to abolish plans to his plans to his Cabinet to the Cabinet within the within brother the brother was the third was and aa third regiments; and local regiments; their local of their colonels of honorary colonels honorary badly had badly Arnold-Forster had that Arnold-Forster clear that was clear staff. Itit was of staff. chief of of army’s chief the army's of the simAfter aa simman. After the man. of the characteristic of was characteristic This was support.223 This his support.’” misjudged his misjudged Esher Lord Esher to Lord remarked to Balfour remarked year, Balfour that year, later that misunderstanding later ilar misunderstanding ilar someone with someone talked with has talked he has after he “believes after often “believes that Arnold-Forster often that Arnold-Forster have might have Selborne might sympathy Selborne any sympathy Similarly, any agree.”224 Similarly, always agree.’ that they always that they conAdmiralty conto Admiralty bases to naval bases imperial naval transfer imperial to transfer proposal to had the proposal for the had for the Notwithstanding the duplicity. Notwithstanding Arnold-Forster’s duplicity. after Arnold-Forster’s trol evaporated after had evaporated trol had Arnold-Forster reform, Arnold-Forster military reform, for military ideas for his ideas to his strength opposition to of opposition strength of deteriorate to deteriorate continued to position continued fiscal position the fiscal as the that as remained confident that remained confident Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hdl.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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the the logic logic of of his his arguments arguments would would eventually eventually prevail. prevail. In In June June 1904, 1904, he he succeeded succeeded in in placing placing the the question question of of whether whether to to abolish abolish the the “Aquatics” “Aquatics” high high on on the the agenda agenda for for discussion discussion by by the the newly newly formed formed Committee Committee of of Imperial Imperial Defense. Defense. He He was was confident confident that that a a change change in in attitude attitude at at Whitehall Whitehall was was likely likely with with the the imminent imminent appointment appointment of of Sir Sir John John Fisher Fisher to to the the post post of of senior senior naval naval lord.225 lord.”” After After one one particularly particularly frustrating frustrating meetmeeting of of the the Cabinet, Cabinet, Arnold-Forster Arnold-Forster recording recording in in his his diary: diary: ing

we we discussed discussed the the reduction reduction of of Colonial Colonial garrisons garrisons at at some some length, length, and and iI made made considerable considerable Fisher Fisher comes comes to to the the

progress progress in in Admiralty, Admiralty, II

getting getting my my principles principles admitted. admitted. When When do not doubt that some do not doubt that some of of the the battalions battalions

at at which which my my friends friends now now boggle boggle will will be be brought brought home home and and out out of of their their prepresent sent useless useless garrisons garrisons at at short short order.226 order.”

Arnold-Forster Arnold-Forster knew knew that that he he and and Admiral Admiral Fisher Fisher shared shared a a similar similar stratestrategic gic outlook. outlook. They They had had worked worked closely closely when when both both served served on on the the Board Board of of Admiralty Admiralty in in 1902, 1902, and and more more recently recently while while Fisher Fisher had had been been serving serving as as aa member member of of the the War War Office Office Reconstitution Reconstitution Committee. Committee. As As we we shall shall see see in in the the next next chapter, chapter, the the admiral admiral was was fully fully aware aware of of the the political political imporimportance tance to to the the government government of of securing securing reductions reductions in in the the military military estimates. estimates. Indeed Indeed his his appointment appointment to to succeed succeed Kerr Kerr had had been been the the result result of of his his promise promise that that he he could could find find the the government government substantial substantial savings savings in in the the naval naval estimates estimates which which would would enable enable the the Conservative Conservative Party Party to to make make tax tax cuts, cuts, thereby thereby improving improving its its chances chances of of reelection. reelection. Fisher Fisher was was determined determined that that any any further further reductions reductions in in defense defense expenditure expenditure should should be be imposed imposed on on the the army army rather rather than than the the Royal Royal Navy. Navy.

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Radical Radical Jack Jack Fisher, Fisher, 1899—1904 1899-1904 II am am perfectly perfectly certain certain II am am right right in in what what II tell tell you you and and II am am perfectly perfectly con— convinced vinced II could could carry carry out out all all the the proposals proposals I[ make, make, but but ten ten years’ years’ experiexperience ence at at the the Admiralty Admiralty as as Director Director of of Naval Naval Ordnance Ordnance and and Controller Controller of of the the Navy Navy in in very very troublesome troublesome times times has has taught taught me me that that unless unless one one has has the the actual actual carrying carrying out out of of reforms reforms and and innovations, innovations, with with ruthless ruthless and and relentrelentless less removal removal of of all all obstructionists, obstructionists, it it is is usually usually aa waste waste of of time time and and only only causes causes friction friction.... . .. Sir Sir John John Fisher Fisher to to Selborne, Selborne, 19 19 December December 1900 1900

The The naval naval career career of of John John Arbuthnot Arbuthnot Fisher Fisher already already has has been been the the subsubject ject of of three three major major and and two two minor minor biographies, biographies, a a “caprice,” “caprice,” plus plus numerous numerous other other books, books, articles, articles, and and essays.‘ essays.' More More biographies biographies are are in in the the process process of of being being written: written: countless countless others others have have been been aborted.2 aborted. In In addition, addition, there there have have been been published published no no fewer fewer than than five five volumes volumes of of Fisher’s Fisher’s private private and and official official correspondence. correspondence. Despite Despite this this huge huge volume volume of of output, output, however, however, the the magnimagnitude tude and and exact exact nature nature of of Jacky’s Jacky’s achievements achievements have have been been scarcely scarcely recogrecognized. nized. Partially Partially this this is is because because Fisher’s Fisher's biographers biographers blindly blindly accepted accepted the the old old assumptions assumptions as as to to his his motives, motives, his his intentions, intentions, and and the the direction direction of of his his naval naval policy. policy. And And partly partly it it is is because because his his biographers biographers and and naval naval historians historians have have slanted slanted their their efforts efforts away away from from analyzing analyzing his his naval naval policy policy in in favor favor of of trying trying to to capture capture Jacky’s Jacky’s personality; personality; ignoring ignoring warnings warnings from from those those who who knew knew him him well well that that “no “no writer, writer, however however capable capable a a judge judge of of character character ... . .. can make make ‘Jacky ‘Jacky Fisher’ Fisher’ as as he he really really was was to to live live again again for for the the benefit benefit of of can those those who who never never saw saw or or knew knew him.”3 him.” “It “It is is difficult difficult enough enough to to describe describe a a man man who who differs differs but but little little from from the the normal normal run run of of mankind,” mankind,” wrote wrote Fisher’s Fisher's first biographer biographer and and former former naval naval assistant, assistant, Reginald Reginald Bacon: Bacon: first How How can can success success be be achieved achieved when when portraying portraying one one of of whom whom a a close close observer wrote: wrote: “I“I have have known known personally personally aa dozen dozen men men who who have have been been in in observer my my time time among among the the most most remarkable remarkable and and famous famous men men in in the the world; world; Lord Lord Fisher Fisher was was the the most most fascinating fascinating of of them them all, all, and and the the least least like like any any other other man.” man.” Since Since it it is is impossible impossible to to describe describe personality personality in in mere mere words, words, the the more more abnormal abnormal the the person person the the more more difficult difficult the the description description becomes.4 becomes.‘ Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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Something Something of of Fisher’s Fisher’s character character can can of of course course be be recovered recovered by by examinexamining ing his his private private correspondence, correspondence, but but it it should should not not be be forgotten forgotten that that the the Admiral Admiral communicated communicated most most of of his his ideas ideas verbally verbally rather rather than than on on paper. paper. Those who who knew knew and and worked worked alongside aldngside Fisher Fisher remembered remembered him him mainly mainly Those as as a a “demonic” “demonic” and and mesmerizing mesmerizing conversationalist conversationalist rather rather than than as as “a “a great great letter letter writer.”5 writer.”> That That Fisher Fisher generally generally provoked provoked violently violently contrastcontrasting emotions emotions in in people people also also makes makes itit hard hard to to draw draw aa balanced balanced picture. picture. As As ing Jan Jan Morris Morris discovered discovered while while gathering gathering material material for for her her “caprice”, “caprice’, “Fisher, itit seemed, seemed, was was aa Great Great Englishman, Englishman, aa disgrace disgrace to to his his uniform, uniform, “Fisher, manipulator, aa hobgoblin, hobgoblin, aa damned damned Socialist, Socialist, aa crook, crook, aa paragon paragon of of aa manipulator, kindness, kindness, aa parvenu, parvenu, aa cad, cad, aa genius, genius, a a fraud, fraud, a a delight. delight. Only Only one one thing thing all all were were agreed agreed upon: upon: he he had had a a marvellous marvellous face.”6 face.”® Fisher Fisher is is more more easily easily measured measured by by his his deeds. deeds. Entering Entering the the Royal Royal Navy Navy in in 1854, 1854, “penniless” “penniless” and and “forlorn,” “forlorn,” he he rose rose to to the the top top of of his his proprofession fession on on his his own own merit merit and and in in spite spite of of the the widespread widespread jealousy jealousy and and mismistrust trust he he inspired inspired among among his his peers. peers. “I “I won’t won't hide hide from from you you that that II am am called called a a ‘Radical ‘Radical enthusiast,’ enthusiast, ‘Gambetta,’ ‘Gambetta,’ and and several several other other names names indicating indicating aa very very bad bad opinion opinion of of me,” me,” he he admitted admitted to to prospective prospective allies.7 allies.’ Fisher Fisher never never once once received received an an accelerated accelerated promotion. promotion. He He was was thus thus sixty-one-years sixty-one-years old old when when he he was was at at last last promoted promoted admiral admiral and and just just three three months months short short of of his his sixty-fourth Sixty-fourth birthday birthday when when he he was was appointed appointed senior senior naval naval lord. lord. Throughout Throughout his his career, career, Fisher Fisher retained retained the the reputation reputation for for being being aa proprogressive gressive officer officer with with a a keen keen interest interest in in new new technologies. technologies. He He was was an an expert expert in in gunnery gunnery and and also also aa pioneer pioneer in in torpedo torpedo warfare. warfare. But But it it was was as as a a Whitehall Whitehall administrator administrator that that Jacky Jacky was was to to leave leave his his mark mark upon upon the the serservice. vice. In In 1886, 1886, Fisher Fisher was was appointed appointed to to the the Admiralty Admiralty as as director director of of Naval Naval Ordnance, Ordnance, remaining remaining there there for for the the unusually unusually long long period period of of five five years. years. After After a a brief brief spell spell as as superintendent superintendent of of Portsmouth Portsmouth Dockyard Dockyard overseeing overseeing the the construction construction of of HMS HMS Royal Royal Sovereign—the Sovereign—the “dreadnought” “dreadnought” of of her her day day and and lead lead ship ship of of the the Naval Naval Defense Defense Act—Fisher Act—Fisher returned returned to to the the Admiralty Admiralty as as controller controller of of the the navy navy in in 1892. 1892. Here Here again again he he served served aa doudouble ble term: term: this this time time an an unprecedented unprecedented five-and-a-half five-and-a-half years. years. In In 1897. 1897, after after fifteen fifteen years years away away from from the the sea, sea, Fisher Fisher left left the the Admiralty Admiralty to to take take command command of of the the North North America America and and West West Indies Indies Station, Station, a a maritime maritime backwater backwater that that was was normally normally allocated allocated to to passed passed over over flag flag officers officers as as a a sinecure. Sinecure. Half Half way way through through this this commission, commission, however, however, in in March March 1899. 1899, George George Goschen Goschen telegraphed telegraphed Sir Sir John John Fisher Fisher informing informing his his that that the the Cabinet Cabinet had had selected selected him him to to attend attend the the forthcoming forthcoming Hague Hague Peace Peace

Conference Conference as as the the British British naval naval delegate delegate and and that that afterwards afterwards he he would would be be given given the the command command of of the the Mediterranean Mediterranean Fleet—which Fleet—which at at that that time time was was “the “the tip-top tip-top appointment appointment of of the the service.”8 service.”® Both Both honors honors were were unexunexpected; pected; the the latter latter particularly particularly so so because because Fisher Fisher had had no no reputation reputation of of Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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being being a a “fighting “fighting admiral” admiral” and and in in making making the the appointment appointment the the first first lord lord had men.9 had passed passed over over several several more more senior senior and and arguably arguably better better qualified qualified men.° Why Why exactly exactly Goschen Goschen picked picked Fisher Fisher for for the the job, job, thereby thereby reviving reviving his his flagflagging ging career, career, is is still still not not clear. clear. Fisher’s Fisher’s ideas ideas on on the the application application of of naval naval force force underwent underwent a a dradramatic matic modification modification while while serving serving in in the the Mediterranean Mediterranean between between September of his recent career career September 1899 1899 and and June June 1902. 1902. Having Having spent spent most most of his recent developing developing new new weapon weapon systems systems and and overseeing overseeing their their development development and and eventual eventual procurement, procurement, he he had had found found little little time time to to consider consider properly properly the the implications implications of of the the veritable veritable revolution revolution in in naval naval materiel matériel that that had had occurred occurred with with the the introduction introduction during during the the 18908 1890s of of armored armored cruisers, cruisers, destroyers, destroyers, and and submarines, submarines, not not to to mention mention wireless wireless telegraphy, telegraphy, smokesmokeless less powder, powder, and and quick-firing quick-firing guns.10 guns.'® But, But, to to be be fair, fair, nor nor had had anyone anyone else. AS As the the man man who who had had been been mainly mainly responsible responsible for for introducing introducing the the else. new equipment equipment into into service, service, Fisher Fisher was was perhaps perhaps thought thought to to be be the the best best new qualified qualified admiral admiral to to develop develop ideas ideas for for means means of of using using them. them. In In the the Mediterranean, Mediterranean, the the prospect prospect that that in in the the event event of of war war he he would would be be commanding Britain's Britain’s premier premier fleet fleet encouraged encouraged Fisher Fisher to to think think very very commanding carefully about about how how he he would would employ employ his his forces. forces. He He was was undoubtedly undoubtedly carefully encouraged to to do do so so by by the the knowledge knowledge that that in in recent recent years years the the French French encouraged Mediterranean fleet fleet had had been been worked worked up up to to aa high high level level of of efficiency, efficiency, first first Mediterranean by Adm. Adm. Albert Albert Gervais Gervais and and then then by by Adm. Adm. Francois Francois Fournier.'' Fournier,“ Fournier, Fournier, by moreover, was was highly highly regarded regarded as as aa tactician tactician and and known known to to favor favor radical radical moreover, deployment. force deployment. on force theories on theories All All Fisher’s Fisher’s contemporaries contemporaries and and naval naval historians historians have have agreed agreed that that the admiral admiral injected injected aa new new spirit spirit and and sense sense of of purpose purpose into into the the the Mediterranean Fleet.” Fleet.12 “It “It isis difficult difficult for for anyone anyone who who had had not not lived lived under under Mediterranean about,” brought about,” Fisher brought change Fisher what aa change realise what to realise regime to previous regime the previous the memoirs. his memoirs. in his recalled in marines, recalled the marines, in the captain in then aa captain Hankey, then Lord Hankey, Lord In enthusiasm. In of enthusiasm. full of and full keen and be, keen will be, always will and always was, and personnel was, Naval personnel Naval comparaon comparawasted on often wasted was often keenness was this keenness however, this era, however, pre-Fisher era, the pre-Fisher the tively unworthy unworthy objects. objects. Before Before his his arrival arrival the the topics topics and and arguments arguments of of the the tively

cleaning the cleaning as the matters as such matters to such confined to mainly confined were mainly messes .. .. .. were officers’ messes officers’ and anchors, and and anchors, nets and torpedo nets of torpedo out of getting out the getting brasswork, the and brasswork, paint and of paint of forgotten were these regime Fisher’s of year a After a year of Fisher's regime these were forgotten trivialities. After similar trivialities. similar gunstrategy, guntactics, strategy, on tactics, controversies on incessant controversies by incessant replaced by were replaced and were and and renaissance and veritable renaissance was aa veritable etc. ItIt was blockade etc. warfare, blockade torpedo warfare, nery, torpedo nery,

fleet.'3 the fleet.’ in the officer in every officer affected every affected

the commanding the while commanding was while that itit was recognized that also recognized have also Scholars have Scholars Mediterranean Fleet Fleet that that Fisher Fisher formulated formulated the the new new theory theory of of capital capital Mediterranean But lord.M But naval lord.'* senior naval becoming senior after becoming introduce after to introduce tried to he tried design he ship design ship Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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in occurred in that occurred changes that profound changes the profound few realized the have realized commentators have few commentators how of question of how fundamental question more fundamental the more on the his period on this period during this thinking during his thinking fought. be fought. should be and should future would and wars would future wars developed Fisher developed that Fisher Mediterranean that the Mediterranean ItIt was in the serving in while serving also while was also the with the coincided with appointment coincided his appointment As his warfare. As his submarine warfare. in submarine interest in his interest testing main testing their main and their program, and acceleration submarine program, French submarine the French in the acceleration in first the first was the Fisher was that Fisher wonder that small wonder ground was small Toulon, itit was off Toulon, was off ground was As seriously. As threat seriously. underwater threat the underwater take the to take British commander to fleet commander British fleet the pressing the was pressing Fisher was shown, Fisher been shown, has been early 1900, itit has February 1900, as February early as might some might that some order that in order mines in contact mines on contact ban on their ban Admiralty revoke their to revoke Admiralty to anchor.15 at anchor.’ when at fleet when the fleet protect the to protect be Mediterranean to the Mediterranean to the out to sent out be sent Beresford, Charles Beresford, Lord Charles Adm. Lord Rear Adm. command, Rear in command, second in his second for his Except for Except the In the seriously.16 In possibility seriously.'® this possibility take this to take chose to no admiral chose British admiral other British no other in developments in further developments about further informed about meantime himself informed kept himself Fisher kept meantime Fisher employdid employas did dividends, as paid dividends, newspapers paid French newspapers the French France.'’ Reading the France.)7 Reading establishing or establishing maneuvers or naval maneuvers French naval on French spy on to spy ing officials to consular officials ing consular Mediterranean the Mediterranean spanned the that spanned an network that intelligence network informal intelligence an informal very he very that he show that Selborne show Lord Selborne to Lord letters to region.'® private letters Fisher’s private region.‘8 Fisher’s significance the significance Yet the submarine—boats.I9 Yet with submarine-boats.'® quickly fascinated with became fascinated quickly became appreFisher’s appretime Fisher's this time At this overstated. At be overstated. not be should not of enthusiasm should this enthusiasm of this over concern over greater concern his greater by his overshadowed by was overshadowed submarines was of submarines hension hension of fleet. surface fleet. French surface the French the develnewly develthe newly of the specter of the specter by the haunted by Fisher particularly haunted was particularly Fisher was arsenals French arsenals the French in the congestion in Although congestion oped cruiser. Although side-armored cruiser. oped side-armored the left the Fisher left after Fisher till after vessels till these vessels of these most of of most completion of the completion delayed delayed the source were aa source service were entered service already entered had already that had few that the few Mediterranean, the Mediterranean, Mediterranean the Mediterranean to the attached to ships attached the ships of the None of of concern.20 None great concern.” of great as calibre as “such calibre of “such were of complained, were Fisher complained, duties, Fisher scouting duties, for scouting Fleet Fleet for not to to cause cause an an admiral admiral grave grave concern concern ifif allowed allowed to to wander wander from from the the not cruisers third-class cruisers the third-class use the than use Rather than protection ships.”21 Rather larger ships.”*' of larger protection of preFisher pretherefore, Fisher provided, therefore, been provided, had been he had and which he with which gunboats with and gunboats ferred to to employ employ torpedo-boat torpedo-boat destroyers destroyers to to scout scout for for the the fleet. fleet. IfIf these these ferred proper for proper qualities for seakeeping qualities or seakeeping endurance or craft the endurance have the not have did not craft did Fisher trouble. Fisher escape trouble. to escape speed to the speed had the they had least they cruiser at least work, at cruiser work, danmore daneven more prove even would prove cruisers would armored cruisers anticipated French armored the French anticipated the commerce as commerce independently as deployed independently gerous contain ifif deployed to contain difficult to and difficult gerous and raiders.” raiders.22 “It “it can can be be incontestably incontestably shewn,” shown,” he he wrote, wrote, “that “that unarmored unarmored another after another one after captured one be captured and be powerless and rendered powerless be rendered can be cruisers cruisers can preponthe preponbe the may be great may how great matter how no matter cruisers no armored cruisers swifter armored by swifter by derance in in numbers numbers of of unarmored unarmored cruisers.”” cruisers.”23 Fisher’s Fisher’s concerns concerns were were derance widely widely shared. shared. Both Both Selborne Selborne and and Kerr Kerr accepted accepted that that the the “armored “armored cruiser cruiser will will brook brook no no rival rival in in war.”24 war.””* Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, httpszllhd|.hand|e.net/2027/heb.31569.

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by posed by fleet posed his fleet to his threat to the threat about the also about concerned also was concerned Fisher was Fisher surface torpedo torpedo boats. boats. By By 1901, 1901, the the French French flotilla flotilla in in the the western western MediterMeditersurface ranean had had grown grown to to ninety-five ninety-five vessels, vessels, though though only only forty-six forty-six were were reckreckranean oned oned to to be be effective effective beyond beyond inshore inshore waters.25 waters.” Coping Coping with with the the numerous numerous French torpedo torpedo flotillas flotillas was was always always going going to to be be aa major major headache headache for for any any French British observation observation squadron squadron cruising cruising the the Gulf Gulf of of Lyons Lyons in in wartime. wartime. British Attrition was expected to Attrition was expected to be be high. high. In In February February 1902, 1902, Fisher Fisher confessed confessed his his doubts whether whether the the Mediterranean Mediterranean Fleet Fleet would would be be able able to to keep keep an an effeceffecdoubts tive tive watch watch over over Toulon.26 Toulon.” But But after after reading reading of of the the aggressive aggressive deployment deployment of of torpedo craft craft during during the the French French naval naval maneuvers maneuvers in in 1900 1900 and and 1901, 1901, torpedo Fisher Fisher became became much much more more concerned concerned that that larger larger French French torpedo torpedo boats boats might simply simply ignore ignore the the inshore inshore squadron squadron and and attack attack more more valuable valuable tartarmight gets lying lying further further out out to to sea.”’ sea.27 Still Still more more alarming alarming was was the the possibility possibility that that gets the the French French flotilla flotilla operating operating in in conjunction conjunction with with their their numerically numerically weak weak battle battle squadron squadron might might be be aa potent potent match match for for the the British British fleet. fleet. For For many many years the the French French had had been been practicing practicing their their torpedo torpedo boats boats to to launch launch mass mass years attacks against enemy battle squadrons. Hitherto the Royal Navy had disattacks against enemy battle squadrons. Hitherto the Royal Navy had dismissed the threat—at least during the hours of daylight—trusting to missed the threat—at least during the hours of daylight—trusting to the the numerous quick-firing guns guns mounted mounted on on their their ships ships to to throw throw out out an an impenimpennumerous quick-firing etrable “hail “hail of of shot” shot” which which would would sink sink the the enemy enemy torpedo torpedo craft craft before before they they etrable reached firing range. reached firing range. By the the beginning beginning of of the the twentieth twentieth century, century, however, however, the the relative relative difdifBy ference between between the the effective effective range range of of naval naval artillery artillery and and the the torpedo torpedo ference narrowed considerably. considerably. The The addition addition of of aa gyroscope gyroscope to to the the torpedo torpedo guidguidnarrowed ance mechanism mechanism in in 1896,. 1896,. an an invention invention perfected perfected by by 1900, 1900, overnight overnight ance ranges at ranges only at accurate only weapon accurate from aa weapon torpedo from existing torpedo the existing transformed the transformed disthis distimes this three times at three hit at could hit that could one that into one yards into hundred yards six hundred to six up to up range maximum range considered aa maximum was considered yards was 600 yards ago 600 year ago “Whereas aa year tance. “Whereas tance. in aa Egerton in George Egerton Capt. George noted Capt. on,” noted relied on,” be relied could be torpedo could which aa torpedo at which at report that was widely circulated within the fleet during report that was widely circulated within the fleet during 1900, 1900, now 1,000 1,000 or or even even 2,000 2,000 can can be be relied relied on; on; and and whilst whilst at at that that time time running running from from now

tube, other tube, any other from any as from good as as good now itit isis as unreliable, now quite unreliable, was quite tube was stern tube aa stern under ship under the ship with the even with even hill requires fleet a of tics tics of a fleet requires full

being That being helm. That extreme helm. extreme would I and consideration, consideration, and I would

tac— the tacon the effects on its effects so, its so, French, the that out point point out that the French,

who, who, we we know, know, advocate advocate the the use use of of torpedo torpedo boats boats in in fleet fleet actions, actions, will will derive derive from the the adoption adoption of of the the gyroscope gyroscope so so much much advantage advantage that that we we can can no-longer no-longer from which to which fleet to the fleet to the encumbrance to an encumbrance as an merely as boats merely these boats on these look on to look afford to afford 1,200 say, 1,200 at, say, boat at, torpedo boat destroying aa torpedo of destroying prospect of The prospect attached .. .. .. The are attached they are they destroying of destroying chances of the chances than the less than much less very much action isis very fleet action during aa fleet yards during yards yards 1,200 yards at 1,200 hitting at torpedo hitting the torpedo of the chances of the chances and the range, and yards range, 600 yards at 600 one at one

yards.28 600 yards.” at 600 formerly at was formerly than itit was now than greater now isis greater Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handIe.net/2027/heb.31569.

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Fisher, Admirals Fisher, including Admirals leaders, including naval leaders, senior naval most senior 1901, most By early 1901, By early agreed Wilson, agreed Arthur Wilson, and Arthur Rawson and Harry Rawson Sir Harry Lord Beresford, Sir Charles Beresford, Lord Charles .that that with with increasing increasing range range and and accuracy, accuracy, the the torpedo torpedo was was becoming becoming a a the that say to exaggeration no is “It tactics.29 fleet in fleet tactics.” “It is no exaggeration to say that the significant factor in significant factor fact," accomplished fact,” an accomplished now an is now which is application, which perfecting this application, of this perfecting of made “has 1901, January in Admiralty in January 1901, “has made the Admiralty of the lord of acknowledged first lord the first acknowledged the has than itit has offence than of offence weapon of dangerous weapon more dangerous the four-fold more torpedo aa four-fold the torpedo been.”30 previously previously been.”* commanfleet commanBritish fleet that British torpedo that the torpedo for the fear for of fear out of mainly out was mainly Itit was long-range practice long-range to practice squadrons to battle squadrons their battle encouraging their ders began encouraging ders began guns naval guns of naval range of effective range the effective 1900, the of 1900, beginning of the beginning At the gunnery.*'’ gunnery.“ At folafter, folyear after, the year But the yards.32 But 2,000 yards. than 2,000 less than be less to be held to was generally held was generally comthen comWilson, then Arthur Wilson, Sir Arthur Adm. Sir Vice Adm. exercises, Vice fleet exercises, of fleet series of lowing lowing aa series mander mander in in chief chief of of the the Channel Channel Squadron, Squadron, was was persuaded persuaded of of “the “the respect respect action, naval action, modern naval in aa modern held in be held must be torpedo must gyroscopic torpedo the gyroscopic in which the in which Mark (18-inch Mark torpedo (18-inch present torpedo the present with the even with that, even and appear that, would appear and itit would W), itit isis unsafe unsafe to to approach approach within within 2,000 2,000 yards.” yards.” Wilson Wilson concluded: concluded: IV), “This “This points points to to the the all-importance all-importance of of long long range range fire.”33 fire.”* Fisher Fisher was was yet yet tacfleet tacof fleet point of cardinal point be aa cardinal must be that itit must insisted that He insisted more cautious. He more cautious. sufare sufwe are though we (even though enemy (even the enemy of the yards of 4,000 yards inside 4,000 get inside to get tics “not to tics “not fering from from want want of of accuracy accuracy in in gunfire gunfire due due to to want want of of velocity), velocity), because, because, fering 1900, June 1900, as June early as As early in.”34 As get in.”** will get torpedo will the torpedo so, the do so, you do as you as sure as as sure Fisher was was authorizing authorizing gunnery gunnery officer officer to to conduct conduct practice practice shoots shoots with with Fisher medium medium caliber caliber quick-firing quick-firing guns guns (which (which then then were were regarded regarded as as aa batbat6,000 of 6,000 range of unprecedented range then unprecedented the then at the weapons) at tleship’s long-range weapons) tleship’s long-range Admiralty the Admiralty Fleet, the Mediterranean Fleet, the Mediterranean from the lead from the lead yards.® Following the yards.35 Following next next year year directed directed that that all all fleets fleets should should practice practice at at that that range range at at least least once once aa year. year. These These impossibly impossibly high high standards standards were were modified modified after after very very better of better introduction of the introduction with the 1905, with disappointing until 1905, Not until results. Not disappointing results. techcontrol techfire contro] sophisticated fire more sophisticated sight-setting and more instruments and sight-setting instruments niques, did did the the Royal Royal Navy Navy again again strive strive to to master master long-range long-range gunnery.36 gunnery.” niques, Lack of of confidence confidence in in long-range long-range naval naval gunnery, gunnery, meanwhile, meanwhile, led led Lack Fisher Fisher and and Wilson Wilson to to attach attach torpedo-boat torpedo-boat destroyers destroyers to to their their battle battle darkness, of darkness, hours of the hours during the especially during that especially believed that squadrons. Both believed squadrons. Both destroyers destroyers would would protect protect the the line line of of battle battle from from torpedo torpedo attack attack far far more more reliably reliably than than battleship battleship gunfire. gunfire. “It “It will will be be simply simply suicidal,” suicidal,” Fisher Fisher leclectured tured his his subordinate subordinate captains, captains, “for “for any any battleship battleship squadron squadron to to cruise cruise without without an an attendant attendant destroyer destroyer flotilla.”37 flotilla.”*’ A A series series of of fleet fleet exercises exercises were were held the Fisher held to to demonstrate demonstrate the point.38 point.*® When When Fisher arrived arrived in in the the Mediterranean, Mediterranean, he he was was given given only only sixteen sixteen destroyers destroyers and and thereafter thereafter was was constantly constantly complaining complaining that that the the force force at at his his disposal disposal was was insufficient insufficient for for his his needs.39 needs.* According According to to his his own own committee committee of of experts experts at at least least sixty sixty Lambert, Nicolas. 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were were required. required. The The Admiralty, Admiralty, however, however, were were unsympathetic unsympathetic to to his his demands.40 demands.* “Both “Both Fisher Fisher and and Wilson,” Wilson,” Lord Lord Walter Walter Kerr Kerr protested protested to to Selborne in August 1901, “have used their destroyers for purposes Selborne in August 1901, “have used their destroyers for purposes which Which they they were were not not intended.”‘“ intended.”“' “Destroyers “Destroyers were were not not intended intended to to accompany a fleet at sea,” Kerr explained on another paper, accompany a fleet at sea,” Kerr explained on another paper, “but “but were were designed designed to to operate operate from from bases bases against against the the torpedo torpedo boats boats of of the the enemy enemy also operating from a base”; instead of employing also operating from a base”; instead of employing destroyers destroyers as as scouts, scouts, Kerr Kerr declared, declared, fleet fleet commanders commanders should should use use the the third-class third-class cruisers cruisers and and gunboats with which gunboats with which they they had had been been provided.42 provided.” The The senior senior naval naval lord lord was was encouraged encouraged to to stand stand firm firm on on this this point point by by the the DN1 DNI Rear Rear Adm. Adm. Reginald Reginald Custance, Custance, who who was was convinced convinced that that using using destroyers destroyers to to screen screen a a fleet fleet rather rather than than deploying deploying them them to to seek seek out out and and destroy destroy enemy enemy torpedo torpedo craft craft was was unsound. unsound. “The “The mind mind of of the the Commander Commander in in Chief Chief leans leans largely largely to to aa defensive defensive policy,” policy,” he he sneered, sneered, “and “and that that [worse] [worse] he he has has to to some some extent extent indoctrinated indoctrinated those those about about him him with with the the same same views.”43 views.”* In In official official minutes minutes to to the the Board, Board, Custance Custance accused accused Fisher Fisher of of promulgating promulgating pusillanimous pusillanimous doctrine—a doctrine—a serious serious charge. charge. Kerr Kerr was was inclined inclined to to agree.44 agree.’ Both Both men, men, howhowever, ever, underestimated underestimated the the torpedo torpedo threat, threat, and and neither neither offered offered an an alternaalternative tive method method of of protecting protecting aa fleet fleet from from torpedo torpedo attack.45 attack.* After After Fisher Fisher left left the the Mediterranean Mediterranean in in June June 1902, 1902, he he became became increasingly increasingly convinced convinced that that the the danger danger from from torpedoes torpedoes would would soon soon inhibinhibit it the the Royal Royal Navy Navy from from regularly regularly deploying deploying its its armored armored warships warships within within range range of of hostile hostile torpedo torpedo craft.46 craft.** To To the the consternation consternation of of naval naval officers officers such such as as Rear Rear Adm. Adm. William William May, May, the the controller, controller, the the plausibility plausibility of of this this notion notion strengthened strengthened as as the the range range of of the the torpedo torpedo continued continued to to lengthen.47 lengthen.” “Soon “Soon it it will will be be 5,000 5,000 yards,” yards,” Fisher Fisher exclaimed exclaimed to to his his flag flag captain captain in in January January 1904, 1904, “and “and then then where where is is your your gunnery gunnery going going to to be?”48 be?” Later Later that that year, year, furthermore, furthermore, the the Royal Royal Navy Navy began began experimenting experimenting with with aa device device that that heated heated the the compressed compressed air air used used to to drive drive the the torpedo’s torpedo’s engine.49 engine.* “Heaters” “Heaters” threatened threatened to to extend extend the the range range of of torpedoes torpedoes well well beyond beyond the the maximum maximum range range at at which which naval naval artillery artillery could could then then be be fired fired with with effect.50 effect.” Another Another reason reason to to take take torpedoes torpedoes seriously seriously was was that that its its warhead warhead was was much more more destructive destructive than than aa shell shell fired fired by by the the biggest biggest gun. gun. ItIt was was gengenmuch erally accepted accepted that that “one “one shot shot getting getting home home from from aa torpedo torpedo tube tube isis worth worth erally thirty thirty from from aa gun.”5' gun.”*' The The magnitude magnitude of of the the danger danger from from torpedoes torpedoes was was brought brought home home to to the the Admiralty Admiralty in in 1903 1903 after after practical practical trials trials revealed revealed that that existing armored armored warships warships were were even even more more vuinerable vulnerable to to underwater underwater existing damage than than had had previously previously been been presumed.” presumed.52 The The most most dramatic dramatic confirconfirdamage mation mation of of this this fact fact took took place place in in September. September. This This involved involved the the old old cruiser cruiser HMS HMS Belleisle Belleisle that that had had been been specially specially modified modified to to withstand withstand aa hit hit from from aa torpedo. torpedo. So So confident confident were were the the experts experts of of the the “Vernon” “Vernon” that that they they had had made made the the ship ship unsinkable unsinkable that that the the experiment experiment was was conducted conducted inside inside Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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Portsmouth Portsmouth Harbor; Harbor; to to everyone’s everyone's embarrassment embarrassment the the ship ship sank sank at at her her mooring mooring inside inside seven seven minutes. minutes. “I “I regret regret very very much,” much,” atterwards afterwards wrote wrote Admiral Admiral May, May, “but “but II fear fear we we must must accept accept that that with with our our present present knowledge knowledge it is not possible to make a ship invulnerable against attacks it is not possible to make a ship invulnerable against attacks of of the the 1818inch Whitehead, without going to prohibitive size.”53 Subsequently, inch Whitehead, without going to prohibitive size.”® Subsequently, aa priprivate vate salvage salvage company company was was hired hired to to remove remove the the wreck wreck from from the the middle middle of of the harbor. harbor.54 the In In the the autumn autumn of of 1902, 1902, Admiral Admiral Fisher Fisher was was unexpectedly unexpectedly recalled recalled to to Whitehall Whitehall as as second second naval naval lord.55 lord.® Although Although recognizing recognizing that that Sir Sir John John was was too too senior senior to to be be “playing “playing second second fiddle," fiddle,” Selborne Selborne had had overruled overruled Kerr’s Kerr’s objections objections and and insisted insisted upon upon recruiting recruiting Fisher’s Fisher’s unrivaled unrivaled administrative administrative skills skills to to help help sort sort out out the the navy’s navy's critical critical personnel personnel problems. problems. Among Among Fisher’s Fisher's duties duties as as second second naval naval lord lord was was the the responsibility responsibility for for providing providing crews crews to to man man the the armada armada of of new new submarines submarines under under construction.56 construction.® This This allowed allowed him him special special access access to to the the dookets dockets on on submarine submarine policy, policy, which which until until then then had had been been given given aa limited limited circulation circulation even even within within Whitehall. Whitehall. It It also also brought brought him him into into contact contact with with Capt. Capt. Reginald Reginald Bacon, Bacon, the the inspecting inspecting captain captain of of submarines, submarines, who who proceeded proceeded to to educate educate him him on on the the tactical tactical possibilities possibilities with with submarines. submarines. Until Until then then Fisher’s Fisher’s notions notions had had been been simsimplistic, plistic, lacking lacking in in detailed detailed knowledge knowledge of of their their technical technical limitations limitations and and actual actual capabilities. capabilities. Before Before he he became became second second naval naval lord, lord, for for instance, instance, Fisher Fisher had had envisaged envisaged the the Royal Royal Navy Navy using using submarines submarines to to “flush “flush out out like like rabbits” rabbits” reluctant reluctant enemy enemy warships warships sheltering sheltering in in port.57 port.*’ Capt. Capt. Edmond Edmond Jeffreys, Jeffreys, the the DN0, DNO, Capt. Capt. Henry Henry Jackson, Jackson, the the former former naval naval attaché attaché in in Paris, Paris, and and Adm. Adm. Lord Lord Walter Walter Kerr Kerr had had all all expressed expressed similar similar ideas.58 ideas. Thanks Thanks to to Bacon, Bacon, Fisher Fisher was was disabused disabused of of such such impracticable impracticable ideas ideas and and left left Whitehall Whitehall with with a a thorough thorough grasp grasp of of the the true true tactical tactical possibilities possibilities of of submarines.59 submarines.°° Much Much more more difficult difficult to to gauge gauge is is the the extent extent to to which which Bacon Bacon might might have have contributed contributed to to the the radicalization radicalization of of Fisher’s Fisher’s thinking thinking on on naval naval strategy. strategy. Many Many historians historians have have assumed assumed Bacon’s Bacon’s influence influence upon upon the the admiral admiral was was great: great: but but as as their their private private correspondence correspondence has has not not survived survived this this imposimpossible sible to to prove. prove. Nevertheless, Nevertheless, it it is is perhaps perhaps significant significant to to note note that that Bacon Bacon did did not not complete complete his his report report on on the the role role of of the the submarine submarine until until 31 31 May May 1903, 1903, and and that that it it did did not not arrive arrive in in Whitehall Whitehall until until October—or October—or several several

months months after after Fisher Fisher quit quit the the Board.60 Board.© Yet Yet in in aa speech speech to to the the Royal Royal Academy Academy delivered delivered on on 14 14 May May 1903, 1903, Fisher Fisher was was already already asking asking the the audiaudience ence to to consider: consider: the the submarine-boat submarine-boat and and wireless wireless telegraphy. telegraphy. When When they they are are perfected perfected we we do not know what a revolution will come about. In their do not know what a revolution will come about. In their inception inception they they were were weapons weapons of of the the weak. weak. Now Now they they loom loom large large as as weapons weapons of of the the strong. strong. Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.hand|e.net/2027/heb.31569.

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of fear of slightest fear the slightest there the Is there waters? Is Will narrow waters? in narrow be in to be able to be able fleet be any fleet Will any invasion with with them, them, even even for for the the most most extreme extreme pessimist?® pessimist?61 invasion

not was not notwithstanding, itit was vision notwithstanding, This Fisher’s vision of Fisher's demonstration of early demonstration This early September in September Portsmouth, in at Portsmouth, chief at until in chief commander in became commander he became after he until after underalready underbeing already “revolution” being 1903, this “revolution” of this talk of to talk began to he began that he 1903, that submaBritish upon British submaway. influence upon Fisher’s influence of Fisher's extent of the extent should the Nor should way. Nor former one former submarine,” one “The submarine,” rine overstated. “The be overstated. stage be this stage at this policy at rine policy inspecting inspecting captain captain of of submarines submarines asserted asserted in in his his memoirs, memoirs, “was “was Fisher’s child, child, and and his his dynamic dynamic energy energy overrode overrode all all naval naval and and departdepartFisher's mental mental obstruction obstruction and and gave gave itit aa good good start start in in life.”®? life.”62 But, But, although although “Radical “Radical Jack” Jack” did did lend lend his his “irresistible” “irresistible” drive drive to to Captain Captain Bacon’s Bacon’s camcampaign paign in in the the spring spring of of 1903 1903 “to “to give give the the submarine submarine aa definite definite role role in in the the armaments armaments of of the the navy,” navy,” his his support support was was indirect indirect and and his his influence influence limlimited. ited. As As we we have have seen, seen, Fisher's Fisher’s “zealous “zealous support” support” simply simply was was not not aa facfactor tor in in the the Admiralty's Admiralty’s decision decision to to accept accept the the submarine submarine as as an an adjunct adjunct ports. to naval ports. of naval defense of the defense to the As commander commander in in chief chief at at Portsmouth, Portsmouth, the the submarine submarine service service came came As under under Fisher’s Fisher’s direct direct command. command. He He was was thus thus in in aa position position to to watch watch closely closely the the development development of of the the embryonic embryonic Holland Holland boats. boats. Possibly Possibly Fisher Fisher was was alluding alluding to to his his own own conversion conversion when when he he wrote wrote in in November November 1903. 1903, that that “only “only those those who who have have seen seen a a flotilla flotilla of of submarine-boats submarine-boats (as (as at at Portsmouth) Portsmouth) working working out out in in the the open open sea sea can can form form the the right right conception conception of of the the revolution revolution they they have have caused.’® caused.”63 The The Admiral Admiral subsequently subsequently took took and and to down to politicians down influential politicians created bring influential to bring opportunity to every opportunity created every Portsmouth Portsmouth to to see see the the submarines submarines for for themselves. themselves. In In one one instance, instance,

from MP’s from of MP’s lot of took aa lot Fisher took recalled “Jackie Fisher submariner, “Jackie young submariner, one young recalled one college training college new training Portsmouth inspect new to inspect Volcano to [HMS] Volcano in [HMS] Osborne in to Osborne Portsmouth to tug the tug attacked the “submarines attacked [on crossing “submarines the crossing During the White] During of White].” Isle of the Isle [on the running provide aa running to provide hand to on hand was on and Fisher was Spithead.”64 Fisher at Spithead.”* off at showed off and showed the outlining the programs outlining commentary distribute programs to distribute and to display, and the display, of the commentary of made have made chief "Submarines have tour. “Submarines the tour. by the covered by interest covered of interest points of chief points invasion, regards invasion, as regards feasible as impossible just feasible perhaps just formally perhaps was formally what was impossible what down bring down will bring as will! and economies as Office economies War Office such War of such productive of be productive will be and will Mr. as Mr. “but as booklets: “but these booklets: in these income claimed in he claimed 2,” he the £,” in the 3d in to 3d tax to income tax occasions special occasions On special Rudyard story.”65 On another story.’”’"® ‘that’s another says, ‘that’s Kipling says, Rudyard Kipling inside visits inside Fisher unauthorized visits make unauthorized to make journalists to selected journalists allowed selected Fisher allowed publicity.66 submarines favorable publicity.® for favorable return for in return submarines in the to the abilities to Some assigned abilities Fisher assigned that Fisher alleged that have alleged historians have Some historians his of his all of not all Most ifif not so. Most not so. was not submarine This was possess.67 This not possess.® did not that itit did submarine that Reginald from Reginald came from ideas submarines came with submarines possibilities with tactical possibilities the tactical on the ideas on notothe notocultivated the deliberately cultivated Bacon. had deliberately Jacky had lord, Jacky naval lord, second naval As second Bacon. As Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.riet/2027/heb.31569.

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riously riously “prickly” “prickly” inspecting inspecting captain captain of of submarines, submarines, in in order order to to keep keep his his

own own emerging emerging thoughts thoughts on on the the strategic strategic implications implications of of submarines submarines within he within the the bounds bounds of of technical technical and and tactical tactical practicability. practicability. After After he became became commander commander in in chief chief at at Portsmouth, Portsmouth, the the two two developed developed an an even even closer closer working working relationship. relationship. When When Fisher Fisher was was appointed appointed senior senior naval naval lord lord in in October October 1904, 1904, indeed, indeed, he he invited invited Bacon Bacon to to become become his his assistant. assistant. It accused of of It is is also also relevant relevant to to note note that that in in early early 1904, 1904, Bacon Bacon too too was was accused exaggerating to exaggerating the the capabilities capabilities of of submarines. submarines. His His response response had had been been to “insist “insist that that my my experience experience as as to to the the performance performance of of the the boats boats is is greater greater than boat than that that of of many many critics critics who who have have never never seen seen an an attack attack made, made, or or a a boat submerged.”68 submerged.” Bacon Bacon always always maintained maintained that that only only a a handful handful of of persons persons were were really really qualified qualified to to make make assessments assessments of of the the value value of of submarines.69 submarines.® Few were Few officers, officers, he he declared, declared, realized realized just just how how rapidly rapidly submarine submarine were developing. developing. With With hindsight hindsight it it is is possible possible to to see see that that Bacon Bacon was was justified justified in in his his claims. claims. As As early early as as January January 1904, 1904, Bacon Bacon began began planning planning exercisexercises es “far “far out out in in the the [English] [English] Channel.”70 Channel.”” Once Once the the A A class class submarines submarines began began entering entering service service in in the the middle middle of of that that year, year, Bacon Bacon conducted conducted “extended “extended maneuvers” maneuvers” on on the the French French side side of of the the Channel Channel “over “over towards towards the the Channel Channel Islands?“ Islands.”’”' Also Also in in early early 1904, 1904, the the Admiralty Admiralty endorsed endorsed Bacon’s 800 Bacon’s plans plans for for aa BOO-ton 300-ton submarine submarine with with aa radius radius of of action action of of 800 miles designed to operate anywhere in the Channel for up to a week.72 miles designed to operate anywhere in the Channel for up to a week.” One class submarines One of of the the ten ten A Aclass submarines projected projected under under the the 1903—4 1903-4 estimates estimates was was replaced replaced by by an an experimental experimental (B (B type) type) vessel. vessel. By By 1906, 1906, after after just just three three years years service, service, the the original original Holland Holland boats boats were were classified classified as as obsoobsolete lete by by the the Royal Royal Navy Navy and and judged judged unsuitable unsuitable even even for for training training duties.73 duties.” At At Portsmouth, Portsmouth, Fisher Fisher spent spent aa great great deal deal of of time time contemplating contemplating the the impact impact submarines submarines would would have have upon upon traditional traditional methods methods of of conducting conducting war war at at sea. sea. Fisher, Fisher, for for instance, instance, read read Bacon’s Bacon’s report report on on the the possibilities possibilities of of submarines submarines more more carefully carefully than than Kerr, Kerr, and and reflected reflected upon upon about about the the more more “fantastic” “fantastic” predictions predictions it it contained. contained. “He “He was was _ particularly particularly impressed impressed with with the the fact fact that that the the submarine submarine was was no no answer answer to to the the subsubmarine,” marine,’ recalled recalled Captain Captain Bacon, Bacon, “here “here was was aa new new invention, invention, to to combat combat which new veswhich some some new new method, method, some some new new appliance, appliance, perhaps perhaps some some new vessel, Fisher was sel, would would have have to to be be invented.”74 invented.”” For For the the foreseeable foreseeable future, future, Fisher was persuaded, persuaded, submarines submarines would would remain remain “absolutely “absolutely unattackable.” unattackable.” To To Fisher, this was “the pith and marrow Fisher, this was “the pith and marrow of of the the whole whole matter.”75 matter.”” If If correct, correct, he vessels he reasoned, reasoned, then then it it was was difficult difficult to to imagine imagine how how large large armored armored vessels could could exercise exercise command command of of seas seas in in the the face face of of submarines.76 submarines.”® In In May May 1903, 1903, Bacon Bacon had had suggested suggested that that the the Dover Dover Straits Straits “might, “might, and and should should be be easily easily held held and and controlled controlled by by torpedo torpedo craft craft without without risking risking large large ships ships at at sea, By sea, wasting wasting coal coal and and exposed exposed to to attack attack in in such such narrow narrow waters.”77 waters.”” By January January 1904 1904 Fisher Fisher had had already already gone gone further further and and was was speculating speculating that that Lambert, Nicolas. 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improved improved torpedo torpedo craft craft would would be be able able to to control control the the “narrow “narrow seas” seas” and and other other key key strategic strategic waters: waters: he he predicted predicted that that “in “in the the course course of of a a few few years years no no fleet fleet will will be be able able to to remain remain in in the the [western] [western] Mediterranean Mediterranean or or in in the the English English Channel!”78 Channel!” A A number number of of letters letters written written by by Fisher Fisher in in the the first first half half of of 1904, 1904, show show in in unambiguous unambiguous language language that that he he envisaged envisaged the the submarine submarine playing playing a a cencentral tral role role in in the the next next war. war. “My “My beloved beloved submarines," submarines,” he he wrote wrote to to a a friend friend in in March, March, are are “going “going to to magnify magnify the the naval naval power power of of England England seven seven times times more more than than present.”79 present.”” “lt’s “It’s astounding astounding to to me, me, perfectly perfectly astounding, astounding, how how the the very very best best amongst amongst us us absolutely absolutely fail fail to to realise realise the the vast vast impending impending revrevolution Olution in in naval naval warfare warfare and and naval naval strategy strategy that that the the submarine submarine will will accomplish,” accomplish,” he he exclaimed exclaimed to to Admiral Admiral May. May. “In “In all all seriousness seriousness II don’t don’t think think it it is is even even faintly faintly realised—the realised—the immense immense impending impending revolution revolution which which the the submarines submarines will will effect effect as as offensive offensive weapons weapons of of war,” war,” he he added, added, before before going going on on to to suggest suggest that, that, “when “when you you calmly calmly sit sit down down and and work work out out what what will will happen happen in in the the narrow narrow waters waters of of the the Channel Channel and and the the Mediterranean, Mediterranean, how how totally totally the the submarines submarines will will alter alter the the effects effects of of Gibraltar, Gibraltar, Port Port Said, Said, Lemnos Lemnos and and Malta, Malta, it it makes makes one’s one’s hair hair stand stand on on end!”80 end!”®° Submarines Submarines and and Fleet Fleet Maneuvers Maneuvers

On On 13 13 January January 1904, 1904, the the Admiralty Admiralty instructed instructed Sir Sir Arthur Arthur Wilson Wilson to to arrange a series of exercises off Portsmouth between arrange a series of exercises off Portsmouth between Bacon’s Bacon’s subsubmarines marines and and his his Channel Channel Squadron.“ Squadron.*' These These orders orders were were prompted prompted by by concerns expressed at Whitehall by the second concerns expressed at Whitehall by the second and and junior junior naval naval lords lords at at the the wisdom wisdom of of abolishing abolishing the the observation observation minefields minefields at at naval naval bases, bases, examined examined in in the the last last chapter.82 chapter.” The The maneuvers maneuvers were were set set for for March; March; their their object object was was “to “to ascertain ascertain as as far far as as possible possible the the extent extent of of the the danger danger which which threatens threatens aa fleet fleet compelled compelled by by strategic strategic exigencies exigencies to to move move within within the the radius radius of of action action of of a a strong strong hostile hostile torpedo torpedo craft craft flotilla, flotilla, but but having having the the advantage advantage of of superiority superiority of of force.”83 force.”® Wilson Wilson arrived arrived at at Portsmouth Portsmouth at at the the end end of of February February 1904, 1904, however, however, with with a a very very different different agenda agenda in in mind. mind. Since Since his his departure departure from from the the Admiralty Admiralty some some three three years years before, before, he he had had been frequently frequently urging urging “a “a commencement commencement being being made made in in the the work work for for been which which these these [submarines] [submarines] were were originally originally purchased—namely, purchased—namely, the the investigation investigation of of the the best best methods methods of of destroying destroying them them or or of of frustrating frustrating their attacks.”84 “You know,” Wilson privately reminded Lord Selborne their attacks.” “You know,” Wilson privately reminded Lord Selborne shortly before the exercises commenced, “l attach great importance shortly before the exercises commenced, “| attach great importance to to developing the the means means of of destroying destroying submarines submarines boats, boats, while while all all efforts efforts developing hitherto hitherto have have been been made made on on the the side side of of improving improving them.”85 them.”® By By insisting insisting upon upon framing framing the the program program of of events events himself himself and and at at the the same time time appointing appointing himself himself commander commander of of the the attacking attacking fleet, fleet, Sir Sir same Arthur Arthur succeeded succeeded in in altering altering the the intended intended character character of of the the exercises exercises to to Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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had Admiralty had the Admiralty as the “wargame” as organizing aa “wargame” of organizing Instead of ends. Instead his ends. serve his serve the test the to test maneuvers to set-piece maneuvers of set-piece series of arranged aa series Wilson arranged wanted, Wilson wanted, had staff had his staff and his he and weapons he antisubmarine weapons several antisubmarine of several practicability of practicability official his official in his successful, in proved successful, devices proved the devices of the none of Although none devised. Although devised. the of the result “the that thought the with himself consoled Wilson report report Wilson consoled himself with the thought that “the result of guard a as destroyers of value great the establish to been has maneuvers has been to establish the great value of destroyers as a guard maneuvers exerThe exersubmarines.”86 The with submarines.”® infested with be infested to be supposed to waters supposed in waters fleet in to aa fleet to that showed March, of end the at Admiralty the informed the Admiralty at the end of March, showed that he informed cises, he cises, by sea to putting from submarine-s intimidate easily intimidate submarines from putting to sea by could easily destroyers could destroyers conclusion this of validity The periscopes.87 The validity of this conclusion their periscopes.® for their directly for steering directly steering all with all loss with accidental loss the accidental by the demonstrated by been demonstrated have been to have appeared to appeared and into run been had She had been run into and A1. She HMS A/7/. submarine HMS new submarine brand new the brand of the hands of hands shook deeply shook loss deeply The loss area.88 The the area.™ through the passing through steamer passing mail steamer by aa mail sunk by sunk program his of remainder of his program the remainder short the cut short to cut Wilson to prompted Wilson and prompted Bacon and Bacon maneuvers.89 of maneuvers.” of who officers who other officers among other argument among bitter argument provoked bitter report provoked Wilson’s report Wilson’s had they had thought they instance, thought for instance, Fisher, for maneuvers. Fisher, the maneuvers. to the witness to been witness had been had In time. In of time. waste of complete waste them aa complete made them have made to have as to “unrealistic” as so “unrealistic” been so been scenarios tactical scenarios set-piece tactical the set-piece condemned the be condemned Esher he Lord Esher to Lord letter to aa letter circumstances of circumstances set of misleading set most misleading “the most being “the as being Wilson as by Wilson devised by devised have to have ought to “we ought case, “we any case, in any evolved!”0 In have evolved!”™ could have man could of man mind of the mind that the that Fleet Home Fleet the Home as the force as large force such aa large against such submarines against many submarines as many times as 55 times secprivate secKing’s private the King’s to the explained to Fisher explained destroyers,” Fisher of destroyers,” flotillas of and 33 flotillas and had Wilson had that Wilson complained that commentators complained Other commentators Knollysf’l Other Lord Knollys.*’ retary, Lord retary, missed consequently missed had consequently and had issues and tactical issues with tactical preoccupied with too preoccupied been too been the the strategical strategical lessons lessons taught taught by by the the exercises. exercises. Bacon, Bacon, for for example. example, the was the maneuvers was the maneuvers of the lesson of important lesson most important the most that the argued that argued the “on submarines his by his submarines “on the exercised by influence” exercised restraining influence” “extraordinary restraining “extraordinary

Bacon predicted, Bacon had predicted, Fisher had and Fisher he and As he Fleet.”92 As Home Fleet.”” the Home of the operations of operations Channel the Channel intimidated the successfully intimidated had successfully submarines had the submarines out, the pointed out, pointed harm’s of harm’s sea—out of to sea—out out to well out battleships well his battleships kept his had kept Wilson had Squadron. Wilson Squadron. were they were dockyard they the dockyard bombard the to bombard position to no position in no were in they were way—where they way—where supposed supposed to to have have “attacked.” “attacked.” Capt. Capt. Robert Robert Arbuthnot, Arbuthnot, the the chief chief umpire. umpire, and care and restraining care “introduced aa restraining had “introduced submarines had the submarines that the observed that also observed also only not only that not Admiralty that the Admiralty told the he told report, he his report, In his fleet.” In the fleet.” on the vigilance on vigilance had the the maneuvers maneuvers shown shown the the capabilities capabilities of of the the submarine submarine to to be be “very “very had great,” its great,” but but more more fundamentally fundamentally “the “the fear fear of of what what it it can can do do renders renders its best who best Fisher who was Fisher Characteristically, itit was greater."93 Characteristically, still greater.”* strength still strength original the original of the here of have here we have submarines we six submarines “The six results. “The the results. up the summed up summed milsinking milin sinking maneuvers in recent maneuvers the recent in the “succeeded in declared, “succeeded he declared, type,” he type,” lions of of £’s 2’s of of battleships battleships and and cruisers cruisers and and established established such such aa ‘funk’ ‘funk’ as as to to lions keep keep the the Home Home Fleet Fleet miles miles away away from from Portsmouth.”94 Portsmouth.”” Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hdl.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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In In May May 1904, 1904, Fisher Fisher organized organized aa second second series series of of maneuvers maneuvers to to setsettle tle the the argument argument over over “the “the relative relative value value of of the the destroyer destroyer and and the the subsubmarine boat boat when when opposed opposed to to each each other.”® other.”95 In In contrast contrast to to Wilson, Wilson, Fisher marine Fisher remained aloof aloof from from conducting conducting the the trials trials and and sensibly sensibly delegated delegated all all remained responsibility for for writing writing the the official official report report to to Edward Edward Charlton Charlton (captain (captain responsibility of of destroyers destroyers at at Portsmouth) Portsmouth) and and Reginald Reginald Bacon Bacon (inspecting (inspecting captain captain of of submarines). submarines). The The admiral’s admiral’s trust trust was was not not misplaced. misplaced. His His subordinates subordinates concluded concluded after after three three weeks weeks of of trials trials that that “the “the balance balance of of power power to to inflict inflict damage damage lies lies with with the the submarine.” submarine.” While While they they conceded conceded that that escorting escorting destroyers destroyers could could distract distract submarines submarines from from larger larger targets, targets, “the “the destroydestroyers however incur considerable danger in thus protecting ers however incur considerable danger in thus protecting aa ship.” ship.” For For destroyers destroyers “to “to remain remain in in such such waters waters without without any any objective objective other other than than the the attack attack of of 8M. S.M. boats, boats, we we consider consider decidedly decidedly hazardous,” hazardous,” and and likely likely to to prove more danger to the hunter than the hunted. Bacon and Charlton prove more danger to the hunter than the hunted. Bacon and Chariton closed closed their their report report by by reminding reminding their their superiors superiors that that “no “no method method by by which destroyers can inflict which destroyers can inflict injury injury on on s.m. s.m. boats boats with with certainty, certainty, has has yet yet been been devised.”96 devised.’ Fisher held held up up this this report report as as aa vindication vindication of of his his idea idea on on the the deterdeterFisher rent rent value value of of submarines, submarines, but but in in London London the the naval naval lords lords were were less less sure.97 sure.%” While While conceding conceding that that the the submarines submarines certainly certainly “had “had the the best best of of it,” it,” Kerr Kerr found found it it “not “not easy easy to to imagine imagine struggles struggles between between s.m. s.m. and and destroyers destroyers unless they they were were forming forming aa cover cover to to battleships battleships operating operating against against aa unless port.”98 In In which which case, case, May port.”* May agreed, agreed, “when “when submarines submarines are are harassed harassed by by aa well well organised organised combination combination of of small small boats boats or or vessels, vessels, their their attention attention must must be be taken taken off off the the primary primary object object viz:—the viz:—the battleships.”99 battleships.” Admiral Admiral Wilson Wilson was was similarly similarly unconvinced. unconvinced. Returning Returning his his copy copy of of the the report report to to the the Admiralty, Admiralty, the the commander commander in in chief chief insisted insisted that that it it did did “not “not throw throw any any additional light light on on the the important important question question of of the the risks risks that that destroyers destroyers additional would would really really incur incur from from the the torpedoes torpedoes of of submarines.”100 submarines.”'” He He felt felt that that this this the with trials” actual by “except settled be really be settled “except by actual trials” with the not really could not question could question submarines firing real torpedoes fitted with collision heads. The only submarines firing real torpedoes fitted with collision heads. The only problem problem with with this this apparently apparently sensible sensible suggestion suggestion was was that that even even without without knots thirty-one at proceeding torpedo lb.) (1,326 ton half a warhead, a a warhead, a half ton (1,326 lb.) torpedo proceeding at thirty-one knots destroyer.‘°‘ plated lightly a 3i even or damage or even sink a lightly plated destroyer.'” seriously damage could seriously could Nonetheless, Nonetheless, Wilson Wilson thought thought the the loss loss of of a a couple couple of of destroyers destroyers would would be be experience.‘02 the experience.'” worth the worth lrish the Irish in the held in were held maneuvers were of maneuvers series of third series 1904, aa third August 1904, In August In plus destroyers, plus six destroyers, and six hundred and one hundred and one submarines and eight submarines involving eight Sea involving Sea were there were again there Once again Squadron. Once Channel Squadron. the Channel from the units from fleet units several fleet several too too few few submarines submarines to to patrol patrol or or “infest” “infest” the the waters waters around around their their base, base, thus thus compelling compelling the the submariners submariners to to improvise improvise new new tactics tactics for for the the occaoccasion. sion. Bacon Bacon subsequently subsequently chose chose to to confound confound his his opponents opponents by by instructLambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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ing ing the the Holland Holland boats boats to to operate operate on on the the surface surface at at night. night. “The “The result result was was in in every every way way satisfactory,” Satisfactory,” he he afterwards afterwards gloated, gloated, “five “five destroyers destroyers were were attacked attacked at at close close range, range, and and in in no no case case was was a a submarine submarine seen.” seen.” With With their their low low silhouettes silhouettes the the craft craft were were found found to to be be virtually virtually invisible invisible at at night.103 night.'°* Though Though these these tactics tactics worked worked they they were were dangerous, dangerous, and and for for this this reason reason were were prohibited prohibited in in all all subsequent subsequent fleet fleet maneuvers maneuvers before before 1914. 1914. With With the the three three larger larger more more seaworthy seaworthy A A class class vessels vessels Bacon Bacon had had h0ped hoped to to “strike “strike a a blow blow at at the the battle battle fleet.” fleet.” But But the the opportunity opportunity never never arose. arose. Wilson’s Wilson’s fleet fleet seemed seemed content content “merely “merely to to steam steam up up and and down down the the manoeuvre manoeuvre area area with with as as little little loss loss as as possible.”104 possible.”'™ Although Although frustrated frustrated from from actually actually engaging engaging the the Channel Channel Squadron, Squadron, the the submarines submarines were were again again judged judged by by neutral neutral umpires umpires to to have have exerted exerted a a decisive decisive “moral “moral influinfluence” ence” over over its its movements. movements. “The “The existence existence of of submarines submarines made made the the close close blockade blockade of of Milford Milford Haven Haven more more difficult, difficult, and and the the fact fact of of their their presence presence ' inspired inspired fear," fear,” judged judged chief chief umpire umpire Rear Rear Adm. Adm. Hugh Hugh Grenfell. Grenfell. Although Although “they “they were were repeatedly repeatedly being being reported reported off off Oueenstown Queenstown [they] [they] never never left left the the precincts precincts of of Milford Milford Haven.”“’5 Haven.”'® Begging Begging to to differ differ with with Wilson, Wilson, Rear Rear Adm. Adm. Charles Charles Robinson Robinson reported reported that that “battleships “battleships and and cruisers cruisers are are not not safe safe within within the the radius radius of of action action of of hostile hostile torpedo torpedo craft, craft, even even though though protected protected by by a a larger larger force force of of destroyers destroyers than than is is possessed possessed by by their their enemy.”106 enemy.”'® This This exercise exercise killed killed dead dead any any lingering lingering thoughts thoughts of of imposing imposing a a close close blockade blockade against against aa port port defended defended by by submarines.107 submarines.'” The The Irish Irish Sea Sea maneuvers maneuvers also also provided provided yet yet another another endorsement endorsement of of Bacon’s Bacon’s and and Fisher’s Fisher's axiom axiom that that “ship “ship will will not not risk risk themselves themselves in in narrow narrow waters waters known known to to contain contain submarine submarine boats. boats. The The risk risk is is out out of of all all proportion proportion to to the the gain.”‘08 gain.”'® National National Strategic Strategic Policy Policy

As As commander commander in in chief, chief, Portsmouth, Portsmouth, Adm. Adm. Sir Sir John John Fisher Fisher was was in in a a marvelous position to marvelous position to watch watch the the extraordinarily extraordinarily rapid rapid progress progress being being made made by by the the navy navy in in exploiting exploiting several several recent recent inventions inventions and and improve improve the the effectiveness effectiveness of of naval naval armaments. armaments. Letters Letters passed passed through through his his office office en en

route route to to the the Admiralty Admiralty from from HMS HMS Excellent Excellent (overseeing (overseeing the the development development of of long long range range gunnery); gunnery); HMS HMS Vernon Vernon (the (the torpedo torpedo and and mine mine warfare warfare school, school, which which had had also also been been given given the the responsibility responsibility for for wireless wireless telegteleg-

raphy); raphy); and and of of course course HMS HMS Mercury Mercury (head (head quarters quarters of of the the submarine submarine

section). section). Fisher Fisher was was well well placed placed to to consult consult with with the the heads heads of of these these establishments establishments when when he he needed needed clarification clarification of of certain certain points. points. In In addition, addition, with with the the entertainment entertainment facilities facilities of of Admiralty Admiralty House House at at his his disdisposal, posal, he he was was able able to to cultivate cultivate a a wide wide range range of of political political and and industrial industrial leaders leaders and and most most importantly importantly cement cement his his friendship friendship with with King King Edward Edward Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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VII VII and and his his satellites.109 satellites.’ But But undoubtedly undoubtedly the the most most valuable valuable experience experience he he acquired acquired at at Portsmouth Portsmouth was was the the insight insight he he gained gained into into the the difficulties difficulties with with formulating formulating national national defense defense policy, policy, through through his his close close association association with with two two of of the the most most influential influential defense defense authorities authorities of of the the day—Reginald day—Reginald Viscount Viscount Esher Esher and and Arthur Arthur James James Balfour. Balfour. Shortly Shortly after after being being sent sent to to Portsmouth, Portsmouth, Fisher Fisher was was invited invited first first by by the the king king and and then then by by the the prime prime minister minister to to join join “The “The War War Office Office Reconstitution Reconstitution Committee” Committee” chaired chaired by by Lord Lord Esher. Esher. Despite Despite fierce fierce objections objections from from the the Admiralty Admiralty that that he he would would be be fully fully occupied occupied with with routine routine administrative administrative duties, duties, Fisher Fisher was was able able to to accept accept the the post post after after Balfour Balfour silenced silenced Selborne’s Selborne’s protests protests by by arranging arranging for for the the committee committee to to assemble assemble at at Admiralty Admiralty House, House, Portsmouth, Portsmouth, rather rather than than in in London.“0 London.''® The The third third memmember ber of of the the committee committee was was Col. Col. Sir Sir George George Clarke, Clarke, a a retired retired soldier soldier turned turned colonial colonial governor. governor. The The prime prime minister’s minister’s determination determination that that Fisher Fisher would would be be one one of of the the triumvirate triumvirate is is an an indication indication of of the the confidence confidence he he had had in in the the latter’s latter’s abilities. abilities. During During 1903, 1903, the the two two had had often often met met while while both both were were in in attendance attendance at at the the royal royal palaces. palaces. In In their their conversations, conversations, Fisher Fisher convinced convinced Balfour Balfour that that he he understood understood the the government’s government's financial financial difficulties, difficulties, and and let let it it be be known known he he accepted accepted that that for for political political reasons reasons defense defense cuts cuts were were inevitable. inevitable. “The “The time time is is coming coming when when the the cry cry will will be be heard heard for for “retrench“retrenchment ment and and reform,” reform,” he he chimed. chimed. “It “It is is well well to to face face the the inevitable inevitable reaction reaction of of public public sentiment, sentiment, and, and, if if possible, possible, to to anticipate anticipate it it by by wise wise economies.”‘“ economies.”"' Fisher Fisher willingness willingness to to accept accept Balfour’s Balfour's invitation invitation to to reform reform the the War War Office Office was was not not motivated motivated entirely entirely by by personal personal ambition. ambition. Having Having served served so so recently recently as as second second naval naval lord, lord, Fisher Fisher was was also also aware aware of of the the wrangling wrangling within within the the Cabinet Cabinet Defense Defense Committee Committee over over the the army’s army’s role role in in home home defense. defense. And And he he recognized recognized that that a a seat seat on on the the Esher Esher committee committee would would afford afford chances chances to to undermine undermine the the War War Office Office case case for for a a large large home home army. army. After After his his appointment appointment was was finally finally confirmed, confirmed, Fisher Fisher informed informed the the nervous nervous Lord Lord Selborne Selborne of of his his intention intention to to exploit exploit every every such such opportunity!“2 opportunity!''? He He jusjustified this this aggressive aggressive stance stance by by claiming claiming that that securing securing the the necessary necessary tified funds funds to to uphold uphold Britain’s Britain’s naval naval supremacy supremacy was was more more important important than than solthe solamongst the bitterness amongst and bitterness “ill-feeling and the “ill-feeling avoid the to avoid treading carefully to treading carefully diers” diers” which which would would result result from from such such an an aggressive aggressive posture.“3 posture.'” As As soon soon as as the the inquiry inquiry got got underway, underway, Admiral Admiral Fisher Fisher urged urged Lord Lord Esher Esher and and Sir Sir George George Clarke Clarke first first to to consider consider the the broad broad picture. picture. “We “We cannot reform reform the the Army Army administration,” administration,” he he argued, argued, “until “until itit isis laid laid down down cannot Furthermore, administer.”“4 Furthermore, to administer.”''* going to what administration isis going the administration what the Office isis War Office the War of the organisation of the organisation that the forefront that the forefront in the put in be put to be has to ItIt has what stated what yet stated has yet Who has superiority. Who naval superiority. our naval with our associated with intimately associated intimately we want want the the British British Army Army to to do? do? No No one! one! .. . . .. what what would would be be the the good good of of aa _. we Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.hand|e.net/2027/heb.31569.

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keep to keep insufficient to was insufficient Navy was the Navy Germany ifif the of Germany that of as that big as as big British Army as British Army

sea?“5 the sea?!” of the command of command

army defense army home defense that aa home retort that Office retort War Office To standard War the standard counter the To counter pointed Fisher disaster, naval disaster, Fisher pointed against aa naval policy” against served “insurance policy” an “insurance as an served as conbe conwould be nation would the nation supremacy the naval supremacy her naval out lost her Britain lost that ifif Britain out that starvation.H6 but starvation.'’® invasion but with invasion fronted not with fronted not days three days has three England has May England of May month of the month momentz—ln the Follow for aa moment:—In this for Follow this in-gaththe in-gathof the account of (on account September (on of September month of the month country—in the the country—in in the food in food incoming the incoming Stop the food. Stop weeks food. three weeks there isis three harvest) there ering English harvest) the English of the ering of capitumust capitucountry must The country do? The Army do? the Army can the what can two: what or two: week or for aa week food for food than powerful than more powerful belly isis more empty belly “an empty said, “an Admiral said, French Admiral the French As the late! late! As

patriotism!“7 patriotism!'”

mean not mean does not this does but this navalist: but fervent navalist: was aa fervent Fisher was John Fisher Sir John course Sir Of course Of some as some motivated, as were motivated, navy were the navy for the priority for financial priority gain financial to gain attempts to his attempts his rivalry. interservice rivalry. of interservice sense of “childish” sense by aa “childish” suggested, by have suggested, historians have historians the from the taken from Army isis aa'penny the Army on the spent on penny spent “every penny wrote “every he wrote When he When penny taken Nevertheless, right.“8 Nevertheless, was right.''® he was limitation, he financial limitation, acute financial of acute time of at aa time Navy,” at Navy,” when Fisher Fisher first first began began to to grapple grapple with with the the problems problems of of national national defense defense when of horizon of limited horizon the limited beyond the far beyond extended far vision extended his vision that his demonstrated that he he demonstrated Esher the Esher before the Shortly before strategists. Shortly naval strategists. of naval School” of the Water School” “Blue Water the “Blue Edward King Edward with King possibility with the possibility raised the Admiral raised the Admiral Committee convened, the Committee convened, single into aa single forces into armed forces Britain’s armed reorganizing Britain’s of reorganizing Balfour of Arthur Balfour and Arthur VII and Vil the course, the of course, defense—provided, of of defense—provided, minister of supreme minister under aa supreme service under service hatching scheme hatching big scheme new big got aa new “We got navy.”9 “I’ve the navy.'’® to the army subordinated to was subordinated army was been has been which has shade which the shade in the everything in put everything will put think will which II think year which next year next he it,” in people influential very some interesting am past. II am interesting some very influential people in it,” he the past. in the done in done for only for millions only 23 millions for 23 idea for “My idea September. “My of September. end of the end at the son at his son to his wrote to wrote [T]he tax. [T]he income tax. penny income three penny and three Navy, and the Navy, for the millions for 37 millions Army, 37 the Army, the milown its providing county each army, Lieutenant’s army, each county providing its own milLord Lieutenant's be aa Lord will te Army Army will purextraneous purfor extraneous army for expeditionary army small expeditionary and aa small militia and la militia force aa la itary force itary put when put schemes—even when revolutionary schemes—even that revolutionary learned that soon learned Jacky soon poses.“20 Jacky poses.”'”? Most interests. Most established interests. to established appeal to not appeal admiral—did not senior admiral—did by aa senior forward by forward understand not understand did not found, did he found, leaders, he military leaders, and military political and Britain’s political of Britain’s of

be must be navy must the navy that the see that to see enough to well enough strategy well maritime strategy of maritime benefits of benefits given given financial financial priority priority ahead ahead of of the the Army. Army. They They always always tried tried to to steer steer aa arguin arguheadway in more headway made more he made that he discovered that Fisher discovered course. Fisher middle course. middie arguing of arguing instead of profligacy instead military profligacy attacking military and attacking emphasizing and by emphasizing ments by ments the the merits merits of of his his own own case. case. deliberately Fisher deliberately Committee, Fisher Esher Committee, the Esher on the tenure on his tenure During his During steered steered the the inquiry inquiry towards towards the the broader broader questions questions of of military military policy policy and and Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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the he surreptitiously the organization organization of of the the field. field. After After opening opening this this door door he surreptitiously responsi“unnecessary” responsiof “unnecessary” relieved of Office relieved War Office the War have the to have campaigned to campaigned bilities that that entitled entitled the the generals generals to to claim claim aa share share of of the the defense defense budget. budget. bilities For For example, example, he he was was quite quite prepared prepared to to see see the the Admiralty Admiralty assume assume the the burden of of manning manning the the coastal coastal defense defense batteries batteries at at home home and and overoverburden seas.121 Sseas.'”' Fisher Fisher gave gave and and was was given given considerable considerable support support in in his his endeavors endeavors by by Oakley Oakley Arnold-Forster, Arnold-Forster, the the secretary secretary of of state state for for war, war, who who was was an an old old acquaintance acquaintance and and shared shared many many of of his his views.122 views.'” It It is is no no coincidence coincidence that that Arnold-Forster Arnold-Forster drafted drafted the the outline outline of of his his scheme scheme of of Army Army reform reform while while he he was was staying staying with with Fisher Fisher at at Portsmouth Portsmouth during during the the weekend weekend of of 5—6 5-6 December 1903.' IQOB.‘23 December In In November November 1903, 1903, Fisher Fisher was was asked asked to to appraise appraise aa draft draft copy copy of of the the prime prime minister’s minister's report report on on “The “The Possibility Possibility of of Serious Serious Invasion." Invasion.” Balfour Balfour had had written written that that even even if if the the navy’s navy's battle battle fleet fleet was was absent absent from from home home waters, waters, he he had had been been convinced convinced that that the the Royal Royal Navy’s Navy’s superiority superiority in in cruiscruisers ers and and flotilla flotilla craft craft would would be be sufficient sufficient to to deter deter any any French French attempt attempt at at invasion.124 invasion.'** Fisher Fisher appreciated appreciated the the emphasis emphasis on on the the implications implications of of the the torpedo torpedo armed armed flotilla. flotilla. The The paper paper was was returned returned with with his his favorable favorable comcomments, ments, and and an an endorsement endorsement of of the the basic basic premise premise that: that: A A raid raid on on the the sea sea coast coast is is all all that that is is possible possible with with aa fleet fleet or or aa squadron squadron backing up up the the landing landing force force and and ready ready to to re-embark re—embark it, it, but but serious serious invainvabacking sion sion (as (as defined defined in in this this paper) paper) is is absolutely absolutely now now beyond beyond the the conception conception of of the the pessimists pessimists however however extreme extreme because because as as stated stated (though (though hardly hardly in in forceforceful ful enough enough terms) terms) in in this this paper paper the the development development of of the the submarine-boat submarine-boat has has absolutely absolutely precluded precluded the the idea idea of of aa mass mass of of transports transports approaching approaching any any posiposition tion where where the the landing landing of of troops troops is is feasible.‘25 feasible.'”

At At the the end end of of December, December, Balfour Balfour invited invited Fisher Fisher to to expand expand upon upon his his arguarguments. ments. The The admiral admiral enthusiastically enthusiastically complied. complied. In In aa paper paper entitled entitled “Invasion and and Submarines,” Submarines,” Fisher Fisher contended contended that that aa successful successful “sur“sur“Invasion prise” prise” invasion invasion of of the the British British Isles Isles would would depend depend upon upon the the enemy enemy capcapturing aa port port to to facilitate facilitate the the landing landing of of heavy heavy equipment equipment and and supplies. supplies. turing “No “No rational rational commander,” commander,” he he asserted, asserted, “would “would rely rely on on landing landing on on an an open open beach.” beach.” Fisher Fisher went went on on to to plead plead that that if if the the Royal Royal Navy Navy provided. provided, say, say, three three submarines submarines for for the the defense defense of of each each port port on on the the south south coast, coast, the enemy enemy would would be be intimidated intimidated from from launching launching an an amphibious amphibious assault assault the intimidate isis word intimidate “The word neutralized. “The been neutralized. had been submarines had the submarines first the until first until used since the history of the world points to intimidation being used since the history of the world points to intimidation being the the greatgreatrationale this was only Not operations.”126 hostile against hostile operations.”'° Not only was this rationale safeguard against est safeguard est well well argued, argued, being being essentially essentially the the same same that that the the War War Office Office had had always always was ports, itit was major ports, all major at all mines at observation mines of observation siting of the siting justify the to justify used to used also calculated calculated to to leave leave the the soldiers soldiers unable unable to to respond. respond. also Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, httpsz/lhd|.hand|e.net/2027/heb.31569.

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The The memorandum memorandum on on “Invasion “Invasion and and Submarines” Submarines” was was not not the the prodproduct uct of of Fisher’s Fisher’s desire desire to to draw draw attention attention to to the the possibilities possibilities with with subsubmarines, marines, as as has has often often been been assumed. assumed. It It was was not not a a particularly particularly good good example example of of his his vision vision in in anticipating anticipating the the dominance dominance of of the the submarine submarine in in the the war war at at sea.127 sea.'?’ Most Most of of the the ideas ideas employed employed were were not not original. original. Balfour Balfour certainly certainly did did not not regard regard the the paper paper as as at at all all controversial. controversial. “It “It is is unnecesunnecessary sary to to tell tell you,” you,” he he replied replied to to Fisher, Fisher, “how “how heartily heartily II am am in in sympathy sympathy with with your your observations observations on on the the relations relations between between submarines submarines and and invainvasion.”128 sion.”'”® 80 So self-evident self-evident did did he he regard regard the the connection, connection, indeed, indeed, that that he he did did not not bother bother to to spell spell it it out. out. Actually, Actually, “Invasion “Invasion and and Submarines” Submarines” was was intended intended to to serve serve as as aa political political document. document. It It was was drafted drafted to to provide provide ammunition ammunition against against recalcitrant recalcitrant generals generals and and their their supporters supporters in in Cabinet.129 Fisher actually wrote in Cabinet.'?? Fisher actually wrote in his his covering covering letter letter to to Jack Jack Sanders. Sanders, the the prime prime minister’s minister's private private secretary: secretary: “I “I got got out out the the invasion invasion print print from from our our War War Office Office committee committee to to show show the the futility futility of of invasion invasion and and the the six six Army Army corps corps and and the the mismanagement mismanagement of of the the Woolwich Woolwich arsenal.“30 arsenal.”'® The The timing timing of of its its circulation circulation is is equally equally significant. significant. It It almost almost certainly certainly was was no no coincidence that Fisher circulated his paper shortly after Arnold-Forster coincidence that Fisher circulated his paper shortly after Arnold-Forster launched launched his his campaign campaign to to replace replace the the army’s army's observation observation mines mines guardguarding the navy’s ports with ing the navy's ports with submarine submarine boats.‘3‘ boats.'* Gratified Gratified by by the the favorable favorable reception reception given given to to his his paper paper by by Balfour, Balfour, Fisher Fisher immediately immediately aired aired his his much much more more radical radical idea idea that that very very soon soon subsubmarines, marines, in in conjunction conjunction with with surface surface torpedo torpedo craft, craft, would would be be able able to to concontrol trol key key strategic strategic waters, waters, which which he he referred referred to to as as “narrow “narrow seas.”‘32 seas.”'? “Even “Even Satan Satan disguised disguised as as the the Angel Angel of of Light,” Light,” he he told told the the prime prime minister, minister, “would“wouldn’t n't persuade persuade any any late late colleagues colleagues at at the the Admiralty Admiralty that that in in the the course course of of aa few few years years no no fleet fleet will will be be able able to to remain remain in in the the Mediterranean Mediterranean or or the the English English Channel.”133 Channel.”'** In In another another letter, letter, also also written written in in January January 1904, 1904, this this time time addressed addressed to to Rear Rear Adm. Adm. Francis Francis Bridgeman, Bridgeman, Fisher Fisher predicted predicted that: that: a) a) The The submarine submarine is is coming coming into into play play in in ocean ocean warfare warfare almost almost immediately. immediately.

b) b) Associated Associated with with aa Whitehead Whitehead torpedo torpedo eighteen eighteen feet feet in in length length it it will will disdisplace place the the gun gun and and absolutely absolutely revolutionise revolutionise naval naval tactics. tactics.

c) Cc) No No single single submarine submarine ever ever built built or or building building will will ever ever be be obsolete. obsolete.

“I “I stake stake my my reputation reputation on on the the absolute absolute reliability reliability of of these these three three statestatements,” ments,” Fisher Fisher proclaimed. proclaimed. “The “The deduction deduction is:—‘drop is:—‘drop a a battleship battleship out out of of the the program’ program’ (if (if it it be be necessary necessary on on account account of of financial financial necessities) necessities) but but at at any any cost cost double double the the output output of of submarines.”134 submarines.”'** Qualifications Qualifications as as Senior Senior Naval Naval Lord Lord In In May May 1904, 1904, Sir Sir John John Fisher Fisher was was formally formally invited invited to to become become senior senior naval naval lord lord from from October, October, following following the the retirement retirement of of Lord Lord Walter Walter Kerr. Kerr. Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hdl.hand|e.net/2027/heb.31569.

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Contrary Contrary to to general general belief, belief, before before then then his his appointment appointment was was far far from from being being a a certainty certainty even even though though the the field field of of selection selection was was very very narrow.‘35 narrow.'*® Fisher’s Fisher's proven proven talents talents as as an an administrator administrator might might have have made made him him the the obvious obvious choice choice but but he he was was almost almost sixty-four sixty-four years years old. old. Furthermore, Furthermore, “Radical “Radical Jack” Jack” was was highly highly unpopular unpopular among among his his peers peers and and generally generally disdistrusted.”6 trusted.'*° Among Among his his fiercest fiercest critics critics was was Lord Lord Walter Walter Kerr.I37 Kerr.'*’ Indeed Indeed it it had had been been growing growing friction friction between between the the two, two, caused caused by by the the Kerr’s Kerr's refusal refusal to to endorse endorse Fisher’s Fisher's ideas ideas to to alleviate alleviate the the strain strain on on the the naval naval budget, budget, that that had had caused caused the the latter’s latter’s early early departure departure from from the the office office of of second second naval naval lord lord in in the the summer summer of of 1903.’38 1903.’ “My “My dear dear Walker,” Walker,” Fisher Fisher had had remarked remarked to to his his private private secretary secretary after after one one particularly particularly heated heated Board Board meeting, meeting, “I “I did did not not think think admirals admirals could could have have been been so so rude rude to to one one another!”‘39 another!”'® According According to to Rear Rear Adm. Adm. George George King-Hall, King-Hall, who who was was then then serving serving in in Whitehall Whitehall and and who who knew knew both both men men well, well, Kerr Kerr and and Fisher Fisher made made no no attempt attempt to to conceal conceal their their dislike dislike for for each each other.140 other.'*® Selborne’s Selborne’s habitual habitual reluctance reluctance to to ignore ignore professional professional naval naval opinion, opinion, caused caused him him to to hesitate hesitate appointing him appointing Fisher Fisher as as senior senior naval naval lord. lord. What What eventually eventually compelled compelled him to to relent relent was was intensifying intensifying pressure pressure from from the the Cabinet Cabinet to to reduce reduce the the navy navy estimates, flag estimates, and and recognition recognition that that Fisher Fisher was was the the only only admiral admiral on on the the flag list list willing willing (and (and able) able) to to find find economies economies in in naval naval expenditure. expenditure. “In “In his his heart heart of of hearts,” hearts,” Capt. Capt. Louis Louis Battenberg Battenberg wrote wrote to to Fisher, Fisher, shortly shortly before before he he was was finally finally offered offered the the top top post, post, Lord Lord Selborne Selborne “knows “knows you you are are the the directing brain and mainspring of the ‘Selborne Administration.’ directing brain and mainspring of the ‘Selborne Administration.’ Before Before you you joined joined the the Board Board and and since since you you left left it, it, he he has has accomplished accomplished nothing nothing [though] he would rather die than admit this to others. [though| he would rather die than admit this to others.... . 3"“ ."'"' In In 1904, 1904, Britain Britain still still based based her her naval naval supremacy supremacy upon upon aa conventionconventionnumerically was numerically that was cruisers, that and cruisers, battleships and of battleships comprised of fleet comprised al fleet al strateNaval stratepowers. Naval naval powers. third-ranking naval and third-ranking second- and the secondthan the stronger than stronger gy was was based based upon upon the the theory theory of of deterrence. deterrence. For For this this to to work, work, the the Royal Royal gy fleet any fleet in any victory in guarantee victory to guarantee battleships to sufficient battleships required sufficient Navy required Navy To trade. To of trade. defense of the defense ensure the to ensure cruisers to of cruisers force of large force and aa large action, and action, committed was committed Admiralty was the Admiralty strength, the relative strength, Navy’s relative Royal Navy's the Royal maintain the maintain per cruisers per armored cruisers four armored and four battleships and new battleships three new average) three (on average) build (on to build to reasons, financial reasons, complex financial of complex series of For aa series craft. For smaller craft. plus smaller annum plus annum becomwas becomsupremacy was naval supremacy to naval approach to this approach 1900 this by 1900 explained, by already explained, already of price The impossible. become had it 1904 By sustain. to difficult ing ing difficult to sustain. By 1904 it had become impossible. The price of million $1.4 cost cruisers and million, 21.6 to risen had battleship each each battleship had risen to £1.6 million, and cruisers cost £1.4 million million—represent£12 million—representabove £12 budget above construction budget the construction pushing the apiece,I42 pushing apiece,'” ing a 30 percent increase since the turn of the century!“ ing a 30 percent increase since the turn of the century.'** Meanwhile, Meanwhile, the the expenditure. naval in cut significant cut in naval expenditure. demanding aa significant was demanding Treasury was Treasury Fisher Fisher was was undoubtedly undoubtedly an an imaginative imaginative and and gifted gifted administrator, administrator, historians historians have have agreed. agreed. But But what what they they have have failed failed to to appreciate appreciate is is that Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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Fisher’s Fisher's ability ability in in 1904 1904 to to offer offer significant significant economies economies in in naval naval expendiexpenditure stemmed stemmed mainly mainly from from his his radically radically different different vision vision of of future future naval naval ture warfare. During the early months of 1904, in anticipation of his promowarfare. During the early months of 1904, in anticipation of his promotion tion to to senior senior naval naval lord, lord, Fisher Fisher began began outlining outlining his his ideas ideas for for reform reform on on paper and circulating them to trusted friends for comment.”4 Those paper and circulating them to trusted friends for comment.'* Those relating relating to to the the distribution distribution of of the the fleet fleet and and the the warship warship construction construction proprogram, in particular, were based upon a fundamentally undergram, in particular, were based upon a fundamentally different different understanding of of naval naval strategy. strategy. Fisher, Fisher, moreover, moreover, was was acutely acutely aware aware of of the the standing controversy withcontroversy his his ideas ideas would would provoke, provoke, which which is is why why he he deliberately deliberately withheld held them them from from Selborne Selborne until until after after he he was was safely safely established established in in Whitehall.‘45 Whitehall.'* “I’m “I'm not not such such a a born born idiot idiot as as to to tell tell those those chaps chaps at at the the Admiralty Admiralty what what I’m I'm going going to to do do before before I| go go there,” there,” he he once once let let slip slip to to his his flag flag captain.I46 captain.'* Alth0ugh Although these these papers papers have have been been widely widely available available for for many many years, years, naval naval historians historians have have dismissed dismissed Fisher’s Fisher’s assaults assaults on on conconventional ventional naval naval theory, theory, such such as as his his suggestion suggestion to to abandon abandon the the construcconstruction tion of of battleships, battleships, as as speculative speculative rhetoric. rhetoric. In In fact, fact, abandoning abandoning the the construction construction of of battleships battleships was was fundamental fundamental to to affect to Fisher’s Fisher's vision vision of of future future war war at at sea sea and and central central to to his his plans plans to affect large large cuts cuts in in naval naval expenditure. expenditure. “ln “In approaching approaching the the important important question question of of ship ship design design the the first first essential essential is is to to divest divest our our minds minds totally totally of of the the idea idea that in that a a single single type type of of ship ship as as now now built built is is necessary,” necessary,” Fisher Fisher declared declared in aa carefully “The Fighting carefully reasoned reasoned paper paper written written in in early early 1904, 1904, entitled entitled “The Fighting Characteristics Characteristics of of Vessel Vessel of of War.”"'7 War.”'” “STRATEGY,” “straTEecy,” he he wrote, wrote, not not tradition, tradition, “should “should govern govern the the types types of of ships ships to to be be designed.”148 designed.”'* Fisher, Fisher, it it must must be be understood, understood, thought thought of of strategy strategy in in terms terms of of capability capability rather rather than than deterdeterrence. rence. He He believed believed that that the the Royal Royal Navy’s Navy's principal principal duties duties were were to to prevent prevent invasion invasion of of the the United United Kingdom Kingdom and and to to protect protect sea sea communications communications with with the the empire. empire. Fisher, Fisher, incidentally, incidentally, also also believed believed that that a a guerre guerre industrielle industrielle waged waged against against British British commerce commerce would would be be much much more more difficult difficult to to contain contain than were than most most naval naval officers officers realized.149 realized.'*? Recognizing Recognizing that that battleships battleships were vulnerable vulnerable to to torpedo torpedo attack attack in in the the “narrow “narrow waters” waters” of of the the English English Channel, Channel, and and lacked lacked the the endurance endurance and and speed speed to to catch catch commerce commerce raidraiding ing armored armored cruisers cruisers on on the the high high seas, seas, led led Fisher Fisher to to query query the the utility utility of of battleships. battleships. “Here,” “Here,” Fisher Fisher postulated, postulated,

there there is is try try can can

good good ground ground for for enquiry enquiry whether whether the the naval naval supremacy supremacy of of aa councounany longer be assessed by its battleships. To build any longer be assessed by its battleships. To build battleships battleships

merely merely to to fight fight an an enemy’s enemy's battleships, battleships, so so long long as as cheaper cheaper craft craft can can

destroy destroy them, them, and and prevent prevent them them of of themselves themselves protecting protecting sea sea Operations. operations, is is merely merely purposes purposes

to to breed breed Kilkenny Kilkenny cats cats unable unable to to catch catch rats rats or or mice. mice. For For fighting fighting they would be excellent, they would be excellent, but but for for gaining gaining practical practical results results they they would would be be useless. Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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Fisher Fisher continued: continued:

Of Of what what use use is is a a battle battle fleet fleet to to a a country country called called (A) (A) at at war war with with a a country country called called (B) (B) possessing possessing no no battleships, battleships, but but having having fast fast armored armored cruisers cruisers and and clouds clouds of of fast fast torpedo torpedo craft? craft? What What damage damage would would (A's) (A’s) battleships battleships do do to to

(B)? (B)? Would Would (B) (B) wish wish for for a a few few battleships battleships or or for for more more armored armored cruisers? cruisers? Would Would not not (A) (A) willingly willingly exchange exchange aa few few battleships battleships for for more more fast fast armored armored cruisers? cruisers? In In such such aa case, case, neither neither side side wanting wanting battleships battleships is is presumptive presumptive evidence evidence that that they they are are not not of of much much value.‘50 value.'°

Although Although Fisher Fisher closed closed his his paper paper by by conceding conceding that that “naval “naval experience experience is is not not sufficiently sufficiently ripe ripe to to abolish abolish totally totally the the building building of of battleships” battleships’ he he was was being being deliberately deliberately disingenuous. disingenuous. In In another another paper paper written written at at about about the the same Same time time he he noted noted that that “no “no one one can can draw draw the the line line where where the the armored armored cruiser cruiser becomes becomes a a battleship battleship any any more more than than when when aa kitten kitten becomes becomes a a cat!”““ As Professor Jon Sumida has shown, once Fisher cat!”'' As Professor Jon Sumida has shown, once Fisher was was safely safely installed installed in in the the chair chair of of the the senior senior naval naval lord lord he he began began openly openly pressing pressing for the battleship to be replaced for the battleship to be replaced by by the the “super” “super” armored armored cruiser—later cruiser—later known known as as the the battle battle cruiser—a cruiser—a large large armored armored vessel vessel with with the the speed speed and and endurance to endurance to perform perform trade trade protection protection duties, duties, yet yet with with the the gun gun armaarmament ment to to engage engage battleships battleships when when necessary.‘52 necessary.'” Building Building a a single single dual dual purpose purpose armored armored warship warship instead instead of of two two types types offered offered enormous enormous potenpotential tial saving saving in in both both money money and and manpower. manpower. Fisher’s Fisher's “battle “battle cruiser cruiser concept” concept” becomes becomes more more comprehensible comprehensible once once it it is is understood understood that that by by the the time time he he was was appointed appointed senior senior naval naval lord, lord, he he was was convinced convinced that that in in the the face face of of hostile hostile torpedo torpedo craft craft and and subsubmarines, marines, large large armored armored ships ships could could not not be be regularly regularly deployed deployed in in the the “narrow “narrow seas.” seas.” No No one one was was more more aware aware that that Fisher Fisher really really believed believed that that such such a a revolution revolution in in naval naval warfare warfare had had occurred occurred than than the the first first lord lord of of the the Admiralty, the earl of Selborne. On Admiralty, the earl of Selborne. On leaving leaving the the Admiralty Admiralty to to become become gov— governor ernor of of South South Africa Africa in in early early 1905, 1905, he he warned warned Balfour Balfour of of what what he he regarded as Fisher’s eccentric viewpoint. “i always regarded as Fisher’s eccentric viewpoint. “J always said,” said,” Selborne Selborne wro te, wrote, that that the the battleship battleship held held the the field, field, that that the the battleship battleship counted counted for for more more than than anything else, else, and and that that no no number number of of cruisers cruisers could could be be substitutes substitutes for for anything

them. Fisher Fisher did did not not believe believe this this when when Ii left left the the Admiralty, Admiralty, though though he he them. believed believed it it before before all all other other opinions opinions when when he he was was Commander-in-Chief Commander-in-Chief in in the the Mediterranean. Mediterranean. Fisher Fisher believed believed that that the the torpedo torpedo as as used used by by torpedotorpedoboats boats and and the the submarine submarine was was going going to to make make the the narrow narrow seas seas (they (they widely widely interpreted) interpreted) impossible impossible for for battleships, battleships, that that the the torpedo torpedo was was going going to to be be the lord lord and and master master of of the the narrow narrow seas seas under under all all conditions. conditions. II never never the believed anything anything of of the the kind.'* kind.‘53 believed Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, httpszllhd|.hand|e.net/2027/heb.31569.

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raids and raids invasion and deter invasion to deter fleet to battle fleet the battle upon the relying upon of relying Instead of Instead Royal the Royal to the task to this task give this to give proposed to Fisher proposed Isles, Fisher British Isles, the British against the against prove defense” prove “flotilla defense” would “flotilla only would Not only flotilla. Not armed flotilla. torpedo armed own torpedo Navy’s own Navy's mainand mainbuilt and be built could be fleet could mosquito fleet but aa mosquito argued, but he argued, effective, he more effective, more revolution Such aa revolution fleet. Such battle fleet. than aa battle cost than less cost considerably less and considerably tained and tained battleship. traditional battleship. the traditional for the role for no role left no course, left of course, strategy, of naval strategy, in naval in Royal the Royal reorientate the to reorientate attempts to Fisher’s attempts behind Fisher’s logic behind the logic was the then was This then This decisive win decisive to win primarily to organized primarily being organized from being away from fleet away surface fleet Navy’s surface Navy's communioceanic communito oceanic threat to the threat combating the towards combating actions, towards fleet actions, battle fleet battle “flotilof “flotiltheory of Fisher's theory on Fisher’s expand on shall expand we shall chapter we next chapter the next In the cations. In cations. and strategy, and coherent strategy, into aa coherent idea into this idea of this evolution of the evolution follow the defense,” follow la defense,’ la examine its its implementation implementation in in the the wider wider context. examine

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PART PART II II

Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hdl.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hdl.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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CHAPTER CHAPTER 4 4

Necessary Necessary Reforms, Reforms, 1904—1905 1904-1905 it It is is impossible, impossible, without without confusion confusion of of narrative, narrative, to to deal deal chronologically chronologically with with Sir Sir John John Fisher’s Fisher's work work as as First First Sea Sea Lord. Lord. His His many many activities activities ran ran

concurrently concurrently during during the the whole whole period period that that he he held held office. office. Adm. Adm. Reginald Reginald Bacon, Bacon, The The Life Life of of Lord Lord Fisher Fisher

On On 20 20 October October 1904, 1904, Adm. Adm. Sir Sir John John Fisher Fisher joined joined the the Board Board of of Admiralty Admiralty as as senior senior naval naval lord.‘ lord.' His His first first business business was was to to change change the the title title of of his his office. office. The The next next day day (Trafalgar (Trafalgar Day) Day) Jacky—as Jacky—as he he was was popularly popularly known—was known—was proclaimed proclaimed first first sea sea lord.2 lord.? Since Since learning learning of of his his appointappointment ment the the previous previous May, May, Fisher Fisher had had been been working working on on aa policy policy manifesto manifesto outlining Outlining his his intended intended course course of of action. action. For For most most of of the the summer summer he he “steadfastly “steadfastly declined declined to to say say aa word word or or write write aa line” line” about about his his plans plans until until safely Safely installed installed in in his his chair chair at at Whitehall.3 Whitehall.’ The The admiral admiral made made Lord Lord Selborne Selborne wait wait until until the the third third week week of of August August before before showing showing him him just just an an outline outline of of his his proposed proposed administrative administrative reforms.4 reforms.’ Although Although Radical Radical Jack Jack refused refused to to divulge divulge his his thoughts thoughts to to anyone, anyone, even even to to his his future future colleagues, colleagues, several several persons persons anticipated anticipated he he was was contemplating contemplating “revolutionary “revolutionary schemes.”5 schemes.”* When When on on the the very very eve eve of of his his appointment appointment Sir Sir John John finally finally unveiled unveiled his his grand grand “scheme” “scheme” to to the the first first lord, lord, this this proved proved to to be be the the case.6 case.° Early Karly in in November November the the first first sea sea lord lord bound bound together together aa selection selection of of his his prints, prints, some some of of which which included included the the marginal marginal comments comments written written by by Selborne naval Selborne on on the the October October drafts, drafts, and and circulated circulated them them to to selected selected naval officers officers under under the the title title of of “Naval “Naval Necessities.”7 Necessities.”’ Included Included in in this this volume volume were were thirty-four thirty-four essays, essays, thirteen thirteen sets sets of of tables, tables, plus plus nine nine appendices. appendices. The The size Size of of this this document document and and the the range range of of subjects subjects it it covered covered not not only only reveal reveal Fisher’s Fisher’s “boundless “boundless energy energy and and relentless relentless enthusiasm,” enthusiasm,” it it also also stands stands as as a a testament testament to to his his organizational organizational skills skills and and professional professional competence.“ competence.* The The scope scope of of Fisher’s Fisher’s Vision vision was was extraordinary. extraordinary. “Naval “Naval Necessities” Necessities” reprepresented resented aa blueprint blueprint for for tackling tackling simultaneously simultaneously all all the the major major problems problems which which had had been been plaguing plaguing the the navy navy for for at at least least twenty twenty years. years. In In aa preampreamble ble to to the the manuscript, manuscript, Fisher Fisher insisted insisted that that “the “the scheme scheme herein herein shadowed shadowed forth forth must must be be adogned adopted as as a a Whole! whole! Simply Simply because because all all portions portions of of it it are are Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revol E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.hand|e.net/2027/heb.31569.

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be will be tampering will any tampering that any interlaced that so interlaced all so absolutely essential—and itit isis all absolutely essential—and in introduced be not could reforms The fatal!”® This was no hyperbole. The reforms could not be introduced in hyperbole. no fatal!”9 This was interrethan rather interdependent were they part or in series because they were interdependent rather than interrepart or in series because below. clearer below. become clearer will become case will the case was the lated. this was How this lated. How Fisher’s of Fisher's outlines of broad the endorsed Admiralty endorsed the broad outlines After of Admiralty Board of the Board After the of committee a appointed immediately Selborne immediately appointed a committee of crusade reform, Selborne of reform, crusade of Naval of Director the of chairmanship the under the chairmanship of the Director of Naval Whitehall administrators under Whitehall administrators more in more scheme in the scheme appraise the to appraise Battenberg, to of Battenberg, Intelligence, Louis of Prince Louis Intelligence, Prince promised also lord first The preparations.10 The first lord also promised detail necessary preparations." the necessary make the and make detail and be would be designs would warship designs armored warship new armored his new Fisher course his due course in due that in Fisher that of light in considered and considered in light of Designs” and on Designs” “Committee on examined special “Committee by aa special examined by concombat under tested materiel tested under combat connaval matériel of naval recently evaluations of received evaluations recently received to Fisher to allowing Fisher of allowing Instead of navy.“ Instead Japanese navy.'' the Japanese ditions by the supplied by ditions supplied of chairman of aa as chairman work as to work him to put him Selborne put committee, Selborne oversee DNI’s committee, the DNI’s oversee the estimates naval estimates the naval of the vote of every vote scrutinize every to scrutinize charged to finance committee charged finance committee In time. In his time. all his nearly all occupied nearly task occupied This task economies. This looking possible economies. for possible looking for steering Battenberg steering the Battenberg November, the of November, end of the end the towards the meantime, towards the meantime, reforms the reforms and the complete and were complete arrangements were all arrangements that all committee reported that committee reported implemented. be implemented. to be ready to ready “the Cabinet, “the the Cabinet, to the proclaimed to Selborne proclaimed 1904 Selborne On December 1904 On 66 December distribthe distribin the changes in certain changes make certain to make decided to have decided Board Admiralty have of Admiralty Board of the mobilization, the its mobilization, for its arrangements for the arrangements in the and in fleet, and the fleet, ution of the ution of on principles, on “The principles, explain!”2 “The to explain.” desire to which II| desire of which nature reason of and reason nature and the and the ships and Majesty’s ships His Majesty’s of His distribution of peace distribution which present peace the present which the from “date from began, “date lord began, first lord the first based,” the are based,” stations are their stations arrangement of their arrangement of the was the wind was when wind and when exist and not exist did not telegraph did electric telegraph aa period the electric when the period when new of new emergence of the emergence years the thirty years preceding thirty the preceding Over the motive power.” Over motive power.” the changed the totally changed had totally globe had the globe around the powers around naval powers first-class first-class naval the addition the In addition operated. In Navy operated. Royal Navy the Royal which the in which strategic environment in strategic environment period this period during this technologies during new technologies of new application of and application development development and and range, and capabilities, range, fighting capabilities, the fighting improved the had dramatically improved had dramatically have battleships have older battleships the older all the Navy all British Navy the British “In the warships. “In of warships. endurance endurance of the all the that all said that be said now be may now that itit may so that ones, so modern ones, by modern been replaced by been replaced he battleships,” he modern battleships,” of modern composed of are composed commission are battle in commission fleets in battle fleets consequences its consequences in its reaching in far reaching and far significant and more significant still more “but still reported, “but reported, numof aa numpossessed of becoming possessed rapidly becoming now rapidly country isis now this country that this isis the fact that the fact new this hew years this four years past four the past Over the cruisers.”13 Over armored cruisers.”'? ber modern armored of modern ber of numbers. considerable numbers. in considerable navies in rival navies to rival added to been added had been warship had of warship type of type has that has anything that from anything them from differentiate them that differentiate ships, that these ships, The features inin these The features armatheir armaand their armour . . . and their armour. speed .. ... . their great speed their great are their preceded them, are preceded them, older battleships. the older of the that of as that powerful as as powerful cases isis as ment, some cases in some which in ment, which Lambert, Nicolas. 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With With such such ships ships even even the the best best protected protected cruisers cruisers would would engage engage at at aa conconsiderable disadvantage, and the slower or smaller protected cruisers siderable disadvantage, and the slower or smaller protected cruisers and and all all unprotected unprotected cruisers cruisers would would be be hopelessly hopelessly outmatched; outmatched; their their only only chance chance would would be be flight, flight, and and they they could could not not flee flee because because they they have have not not the the speed.‘4 speed."

In In their their wake, wake, Selborne Selborne thus thus concluded, concluded, the the armored armored cruiser cruiser has has brought brought

“a “a revolution revolution in in respect respect of of the the composition composition of of our our cruiser cruiser squadrons.”15 squadrons.”

Selborne Selborne next next outlined outlined the the plans plans to to rationalize rationalize the the strategic strategic comcommand mand and and control control for for the the numerous numerous gunboats gunboats and and cruising cruising vessels vessels scatscattered tered around around the the globe globe into into three three geographical geographical commands. commands. In In essence, essence, he he opened, opened, various various station station fleets fleets were were to to be be merged merged and and warships warships “too “too old old to to fight fight and and too too slow slow to to run run away” away” withdrawn withdrawn from from service. service. To To supsupport port the the colonial colonial station station fleets, fleets, the the Royal Royal Navy Navy presently presently maintained maintained four four main main fighting fighting fleets. fleets. In In home home waters waters there there were were the the Channel Channel Squadron, Squadron, composed composed of of eight eight battleships, battleships, and and the the Home Home Fleet, Fleet, with with another another eight eight plus plus a a “flying “flying squadron” squadron” of of six six armored armored cruisers. cruisers. Overseas, Overseas, the the navy navy maintained maintained twelve twelve battleships battleships in in the the Mediterranean Mediterranean and and five five in in China.‘6 China.'® Included Included within within each each fleet fleet was was also also a a “fast-division” “fast-division” of of two two or or more more armored cruisers.l7 Selborne announced that from 1 January 1905, armored cruisers.'’ Selborne announced that from 1 January 1905, the the existing existing Channel Channel Squadron Squadron would would be be shifted shifted to to Gibraltar Gibraltar and and thenceforth thenceforth known known as as the the Atlantic Atlantic Fleet; Fleet; the the Home Home Fleet Fleet would would be be renamed renamed the the Channel Fleet and its strength increased from eight to twelve Channel Fleet and its strength increased from eight to twelve battleships battleships by recalling recalling four four units units from from the the Mediterranean." Mediterranean.‘8 AA decision decision on on the the future future by of the China battle squadron would be deferred until the end of of the China battle squadron would be deferred until the end of the the henceforwould henceforcruisers would armored cruisers addition, armored In addition, War.'9 In Russo-Japanese War.'® Russo-Japanese ward ward be be separated separated from from battleship battleship commands commands and and grouped grouped into into three three techniAlthough technianywhere.”20 Although go anywhere.”” to go “ready to squadrons “ready flying squadrons independent flying independent cally cally these these squadrons squadrons would would be be affiliated affiliated to to the the fighting fighting fleets fleets in in tactical than tactical administrative than for administrative more for done more was done this was waters, this European waters, European when but when battleships but the battleships support the to support not to was not role was primary role Their primary reasons. Their reasons. outer the outer reinforce the rapidly reinforce or rapidly routes or trade routes the trade defend the to defend necessary to necessary empire.“ the empire.?! of the marches of marches continSelborne continfleet, Selborne the fleet, of the redistribution of the redistribution with the conjunction with In conjunction In of manning of for manning arrangements for the arrangements reform the to reform planned to Admiralty planned the Admiralty ued, the ued, were waters home in based warships system, old the Under fleet. the the fleet. Under the old system, warships based in home waters were of quarter of so, aa quarter or so, months or six months Every six commission. Every in commission. permanently in kept permanently kept postwas or schools training into fleet the of out rotated was crew each each crew was rotated out of the fleet into training schools or was postyoungest the youngest generally the depots, generally the depots, from the entries from “fresh entries with “fresh overseas, with ed overseas, ed

of shifting of constant shifting This constant place.”22 This their place.”” taking their seamen, taking entered seamen, last entered and last and trainwith traininterfered with efficiency, interfered fighting efficiency, the fighting undermined the complements undermined complements ing, ing, and and caused caused resentment resentment among among the the lower lower deck. deck. Even Even more more unpopuLambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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abroad years abroad six years to six up to spending up of spending prospect of the prospect was the ratings was the ratings with the lar with lar scheme new the Under overseas. service for commissioned ship their if if their ship commissioned for service overseas. Under the new scheme fixed for aa fixed commissioned for be commissioned would be ships would all ships that all intended that Admiralty intended the Admiralty the except her from removed be will man or officer “No years. two of period of two years. “No officer or man will be removed from her except period men sea men at sea years at two years spending two After spending death.” After or death.” sickness or promotion, sickness by promotion, by reserve.23 in ship a crewing home” “at year one spend to allowed be would be allowed to spend one year “at home” crewing a ship in reserve.” would Hitherto, announced.24 Hitherto, also announced.” was also reserve was fleet reserve the fleet of the reorganization of AA reorganization were list effective the on still but crews permanent without permanent crews but still on the effective list were warships without warships by after looked was machinery their and creeks various creeks and their machinery was looked after by up various scattered up scattered

seamen of seamen pool of were drawnfrom These were parties. These maintenance parties. and maintenance care and care drawn from aa pool and backwards and went backwards “who went Ports, “who Home Ports, the Home of the each of at each barracks at in barracks kept in kept of period a In off.”25 told were told off.”* In a period of they were which they to which ships to the ships to the daily to forwards daily forwards active of active mixture of with aa mixture commissioned with be commissioned would be ships would these ships emergency these emergency full of full case of In case reservists. In and reservists. schools and training schools the training from the ratings from service ratings service of crews of the crews diluting the by diluting formed by be formed would be crews would additional crews mobilization, additional mobilization, could warship could of aa warship captain of the captain meant the This meant commission. This in commission. already in ships already ships of aa beginning of the beginning at the men at trained men his trained of his quarter of to aa quarter up to lose up to lose expect to expect war.26 war.” The The disadvantages disadvantages of of this this system system were were obvious. obvious. It It took took months, months, Most efficiency.27 Most peak efficiency.”’ reach peak to reach crews to scratch crews for scratch years, for sometimes years, sometimes business the business more the and more more and becoming more daily becoming was daily “gunnery was importantly, “gunnery importantly, men and men officers and the officers shooting, the efficient shooting, really efficient obtain really to obtain and to experts; and of experts; of commisnewly commisships.”28 AA newly own ships.” their own in their [constantly] in trained [constantly] be trained to be had to had an for an match for no match was no out, was pointed out, system pointed the system of the critics of ship, critics sioned ship, sioned crew. experienced crew. an experienced by an manned by craft manned enemy craft enemy warbest warthe best 1905, the January 1905, in January promulgated in scheme, promulgated new scheme, the new Under the Under and squadrons and homogenous squadrons into homogenous together into grouped together were grouped reserve were in reserve ships in ships comwar comtheir war of their two-fifths of of two-fifths crew” of “nucleus crew” permanent “nucleus given aa permanent each given each unskilled the unskilled less the crew less full crew to aa full equivalent to was equivalent this was Essentially this plements. Essentially plements. only were only who were handlers—men who ammunition handlers—men and ammunition stokers and as stokers such as men, such men, could crew could nucleus crew service. AA nucleus active service. on active was on ship was the ship when the needed when really needed really tacand tacgunnery and for gunnery sea for to sea ship to their ship take their periodically take and periodically normally and drill normally drill by that by was that arrangement was new arrangement this new of this advantage of main advantage The main exercises. The tical exercises. tical the ratings, the skilled ratings, and skilled officers and principal officers of principal teams of the teams together the keeping together keeping level the level almost the at almost maintained at be maintained could be warship could the warship of the efficiency of fighting efficiency fighting man(and mancost (and the cost of the fraction of at aa fraction yet at warship yet commissioned warship fully commissioned of aa fully of local the local from the crews from balance crews draft balance to draft hours to of hours matter of took aa matter power). ItIt took power). training training schools. schools. that admitting that quietly admitting by quietly Cabinet by to Cabinet address to his address closed his lord closed first lord The first The “in order order to to provide provide the the personnel personnel for for the the above above mentioned mentioned purposes purposes aa “in been have been value have fighting value small fighting comparatively small of comparatively ships of of ships number of certain number certain that was that say was not say did not he did What he commission.”29 What from commission.””° withdrawn from be withdrawn will be or will or the navy from the ships from 154 ships than 154 fewer than no fewer off no strike off to strike planned to Admiralty planned the Admiralty the Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book», Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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list. list. This This decision, decision, Lord Lord Selborne Selborne knew, knew, would would be be greeted greeted with with a a storm storm of protest—which protest—which isis probably probably why why he he omitted omitted to to print print any any figures figures in in his his of memorandum. memorandum. For For many many years, years, pressed pressed by by Arnold—Forster, Arnold-Forster, he he had had been been trying trying to to reduce reduce the the numbers numbers of of dilapidated dilapidated gunboats gunboats in in commission commission but but had had been been always always thwarted thwarted by by protests protests against against such such aa reform reform by by other other departments departments of of government, government, and and by by the the refusal refusal of of Lord Lord Walter Walter Kerr Kerr to to disregard disregard their their wishes. wishes. The The former former senior senior naval naval lord lord had had maintained maintained that that “the “the Foreign Foreign Office, Office, Colonial Colonial Office Office and and India India Office Office are are largely largely responsible responsible both both for for the the present present distribution distribution and and also also for for the the present present composition composition of of those those squadrons.”30 squadrons.” And And he he had had insisted insisted that that the the navy navy was was obliged obliged to to provide provide the the numbers numbers of of gunboats gunboats requested. requested. Kerr’s Kerr's reluctance reluctance to to endorse endorse retrenchment retrenchment had had been been reinforced reinforced by by his his personal personal conviction conviction that that “if “if we we do do not not show show the the flag flag we we shall shall lose lose prestige” prestige” overseas.“ overseas." Selborne, Selborne, believing believing “disruption “disruption of of the the Board Board was was aa greater greater evil" evil” than than the the retention of these obsolete craft, had always refused to overrule retention of these obsolete craft, had always refused to overrule Kerr.32 Kerr.*? Or Or so so he he claimed. claimed. Fisher’s Fisher's perspective perspective of of imperial imperial defense defense and and of of the the navy’s navy's obligaobligations to the other departments was quite tions to the other departments was quite different. different. He He held held that that the the Admiralty’s Admiralty’s first first duty duty was was to to ensure ensure the the fighting fighting efficiency efficiency of of the the main main fleet. fleet. Since Since the the end end of of 1901, 1901, if if not not earlier, earlier, Fisher Fisher had had been been urging urging Selborne Selborne to to replace replace isolated isolated gunboats gunboats scattered scattered across across the the globe globe with with centrally centrally located located cruiser cruiser squadrons.33 squadrons.* “The “The Navy Navy is is being being fleeced fleeced in in every every direction direction by by every every department department of of the the state” state” he he protested protested in in one one letter letter to to the the first first lord. lord. “We “We ought ought to to absolutely absolutely decline decline any any work work for for our our ships ships and and men men that that unfits unfits them them for for fighting?“ fighting.”** More More than than half half seriously, seriously, Fisher Fisher sugsug-

gested gested that that “police “police duties” duties” might might be be performed performed just just as as well well by by aa retired retired officer in a converted merchant ship armed with machine gun!°** gun!35 officer in a converted merchant ship armed with aa machine Incidentally, when in December 1904 Kerr wrote to congratulate Incidentally, when in December 1904 Kerr wrote to congratulate the the first first lord lord on on the the new new “scheme,” “scheme,” he he acknowledged acknowledged that that “the “the key” key” to to the the reforms reforms was was the the policy policy of of scrapping scrapping the the gunboats—“which gunboats—‘“which as as you you may may remember,” remember,’ he he conceded, conceded, “I “I was was always always a a bit bit shy shy about about not not on on the the Admiralty Admiralty so so much much as as the the Foreign Foreign Office Office account.”36 account.”** Motives Motives and and Intentions Intentions

Historians Historians have have uncritically uncritically attributed attributed the the “rearrangement “rearrangement of of naval naval forces” and related reforms announced by Selborne at the forces” and related reforms announced by Selborne at the end end of of 1904 1904 to to a a desire desire by by the the Admiralty Admiralty to to concentrate concentrate the the fleet fleet against against the the “German “German navy navy menace.”37 menace.”*’ Arthur Arthur Marder, Marder, for for instance, instance, insisted insisted that that Fisher Fisher perpersuaded suaded the the rest rest of of the the Board Board to to distribute distribute warships warships “to “to meet meet strategical strategical ‘(and ‘(and not not sentimental)’ sentimental)’ requirements.” requirements.” The The first first sea sea lord’s lord's motives motives and and intentions intentions were were “to “to concentrate concentrate the the cream cream of of the the fleet fleet where where it it belonged—in belonged—in home home waters.”38 waters.” To To achieve achieve this this primary primary goal, goal, he he further further Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, httpszllhd|.hand|e.net/2027/heb.31569.

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argued, argued, Fisher Fisher sacrificed sacrificed the the Royal Royal Navy’s Navy's ability ability to to protect protect British British lives lives reorganithe reorganipolicy, the scrapping policy, the scrapping And the waters. And distant waters. in distant interests in and interests and zation of of the the fleet fleet reserve, reserve, and and the the introduction introduction of of nucleus nucleus crews crews were were zation similarly explained explained by by him him as as intended intended simply simply to to improve improve the the war war readireadisimilarly ness of of ships ships in in reserve.* reserve.39 By By placing placing aa larger larger proportion proportion of of the the fleet fleet in in ness reserve, reserve, Marder Marder declared, declared, Great Great Britain Britain was was steadily steadily (and (and subtly) subtly) able able to to concentrate concentrate the the fleet fleet in in home home waters waters “without “without unduly unduly straining straining the the interinternational national political political situation” situation” or or offending offending sensitive sensitive public public opinion. opinion. Thus, Thus, he he reasoned, reasoned, “Fisher “Fisher concentrated concentrated the the most most powerful powerful battleships battleships in in the the North Sea Sea before before the the Germans Germans were were aware aware of of what what was was happening.”” happening.”40 North With With the the benefit benefit of of hindsight hindsight there there is is much much logical logical appeal appeal to to this this explaexplanation. And it conforms with most of the standard political nation. And it conforms with most of the standard political and and diplodiplomatic matic accounts accounts of of this this period.“ period.” Until Until recently, recently, most most historians historians of of this this period period have have agreed agreed that that between 1902 and 1906, a fundamental shift occurred between 1902 and 1906, a fundamental shift occurred in in the the direction direction of of British British diplomacy. diplomacy. Henceforward Henceforward London London regarded regarded Germany Germany rather rather than than the the Franco-Russian Franco-Russian alliance alliance as as the the most most dangerous dangerous threat threat to to British British interests.42 interests.** Lately, Lately, however, however, aa group group of of scholars scholars have have protested protested the the importance importance placed placed on on the the Anglo-German Anglo-German antagonism antagonism in in the the formulation formulation of of British British foreign foreign policy.“ policy. While While not not denying denying that that aa deterioration deterioration in in relarelations tions did did occur occur between between Germany Germany and and Great Great Britain Britain during during this this period, period, they they argue argue that that imperial imperial considerations considerations continued continued to to have have a a major major influinfluence ence upon upon foreign foreign policy policy decision decision making. making. Britain, Britain, after after all, all, was was not not simsimply ply aa European European state state but but rather rather an an imperial imperial power. power. This This school school insists. insists, that that for for most most of of the the decade decade before before the the outbreak outbreak of of war war in in 1914, 1914, Russia, Russia, not Germany, was regarded as the not Germany, was regarded as the greatest greatest long-term long-term threat threat to to Britain Britain and and her her empire.44 empire.“ While While it it is is not not intended intended to to enter enter this this debate debate here, here, it it is is pertinent, pertinent, nevertheless, nevertheless, to to question question the the widespread widespread notion notion that that the the Admiralty, Admiralty, and and specifically specifically Fisher, Fisher, was was among among the the first first to to recognize recognize the the German threat and that this is what induced him in 1904 to German threat and that this is what induced him in 1904 to press press for for aa redistribution redistribution of of the the fleet. fleet. As As we we shall shall see see later, later, there there are are many many reasons reasons to doubt whether the Admiralty was as preoccupied to doubt whether the Admiralty was as preoccupied with with the the German German threat threat at at this this time time as as has has so so often often been been asserted. asserted. New New evidence evidence has has been been found, moreover, to found, moreover, to show show that that Fisher Fisher possessed possessed aa more more imperialist imperialist perperspective spective than than has has been been generally generally realized.45 realized.*

Many Many historians historians have have overstated overstated the the strength strength of of the the German German navy navy in in 1904. 1904. At At that that time, time, Germany Germany was was still still only only the the fourthfourth- or or fifth-ranking fifth-ranking naval naval power—depending power—depending on on how how one one counts counts the the strength strength of of the the United United States States Navy. Navy. In In numbers numbers of of battleships, battleships, the the High High Sea Sea Fleet Fleet was was a a quarquarter ter the the strength strength of of the the Royal Royal Navy, Navy, and and in in cruisers cruisers and and flotilla flotilla craft craft the the Germans Germans were were even even weaker. weaker. Ships Ships for for ship, ship, moreover, moreover, German German vessels vessels were were qualitatively qualitatively inferior inferior to to British British ones. ones. Although Although Germany Germany had had aa pubpubLambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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lished lished naval naval program program that that provided provided eventually eventually for for the the provision provision of of a a “home fleet” consisting “home fleet” consisting of of nineteen nineteen modern modern battleships, battleships, many many of of these these warships warships had had not not yet yet been been built built and and it it was was by by no no means means certain certain that that the the German German legislature legislature was was prepared prepared to to endorse endorse an an ongoing ongoing replacement replacement program program to to ensure ensure that that the the fleet fleet was was always always provided provided with with up-to-date up-to-date warships.46 was not warships.* In In addition, addition, until until the the beginning beginning of of 1905 1905 the the Admiralty Admiralty was not yet yet aware aware of of the the seriousness seriousness of of Russia's Russia’s naval naval losses losses in in the the Far Far East, Kast, and and nobody then en nobody predicted predicted that that the the Russian Russian Second Second Pacific Pacific Squadron, Squadron, then en route the Straits route for for Port Port Arthur, Arthur, would would be be intercepted intercepted and and annihilated annihilated at at the Straits of of Tsushima Tsushima at at the the end end of of May. May. The The few few internal internal planning planning documents documents from from this this period period that that have have survived survived suggest suggest that that if if the the Admiralty Admiralty were were concerned concerned about about the the High High Sea Sea Fleet Fleet at at the the end end of of 1904, 1904, then then it it was was in in the the context context of of the the German German fleet fleet joining joining a a triple triple alliance alliance against against Britain. Britain. “The “The worst worst case case which which can can befall befall us us under under present present conditions conditions is is for for Germany Germany to to throw throw her her weight weight against against us us in in the the middle middle of of aa still still undecidundecided ed war war between between [us [us and] and] France France and and Russia Russia in in alliance,” alliance,” noted noted Selborne Selborne on on 21 21 November November 1904.47 1904.” Whether Whether or or not not British British foreign foreign policy policy underwent underwent a a fundamental fundamental shift shift in in response response to to the the growing growing Anglo-German Anglo-German antagonism, antagonism, no no one one can can deny deny that that throughout throughout the the winter winter of of 1904—while 1904—while the the Admiralty Admiralty was was preparing preparing to to adopt adopt Fisher’s Fisher’s scheme—all scheme—all eyes eyes in in London London were were focused focused on on the the war war in in the the Far Far East East between between Russia Russia and and Japan.48 Japan.” With With justification. justification. France France was was allied allied to to Russia. Russia. And And since since 1902, 1902, Britain Britain and and Japan Japan had had been been allies. allies. Hitherto, Hitherto, the the Western Western powers powers had had avoided avoided entanglement entanglement in in the the conflict, conflict, being being able able to to do do so so because because the the two two antagonists antagonists were were so so evenly evenly matched. matched. But But there there was was real real concern concern both both in in London London and and Paris Paris that that if if one one of of the the belligerents belligerents gained gained the the upper upper hand hand in in the the conflict, conflict, the the other other might might demand demand military military assistance assistance from from their their ally, ally, which which could could well well precipitate precipitate aa global global war.49 war.” The The Admiralty Admiralty certainly certainly took took this this eventuality eventuality seriously. seriously. While While Selborne’s Selborne’s memorandum memorandum was was being being printed printed for for distribution distribution to to the the Cabinet on on 66 December, December, the the Admiralty Admiralty was was ordering ordering large large stocks stocks of of coal coal Cabinet to to be be deposited deposited at at Aden Aden and and Hong Hong Kong, Kong, and and the the British British Mediterranean Mediterranean Fleet RussoFleet was was standing standing by by to to proceed proceed east east of of Suez.50 Suez. Even Even so, so, the the RussoJapanese War War had had little little impact impact upon upon the the Admiralty’s Admiralty’s deliberations deliberations in in the the Japanese winter of of 1904 1904 upon upon the the redistribution redistribution of of the the fleet. fleet. Selborne’s Selborne’s memoranmemoranwinter dum to to Cabinet Cabinet makes makes itit clear clear that that while while fixing fixing the the strengths strengths of of the the varivaridum ous ous squadrons squadrons the the Admiralty Admiraity were were looking looking beyond beyond the the war war in in the the Far Far East. East. The notion notion that that an an anti-German anti-German imperative imperative spurred spurred the the Admiralty Admiralty The into initiating initiating wholesale wholesale reform reform was was first first challenged challenged by by the the author author of of into Fisher’s most most authoritative authoritative biography, biography, Ruddock Ruddock Mackay. Mackay. He He noted noted that that Fisher's naval Britain’s naval 1904 Britain's in 1904 that in View that the view support the to support evidence to little evidence was little there was there waters home waters in home fleet in the fleet concentrate the to concentrate deliberately to sought deliberately leadership sought leadership Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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the that the argued that subsequently argued Mackay subsequently navy. Mackay German navy. growing German the growing against the against power. great power. single great any single against any directed against not directed was not redistribution was 1904 redistribution 1904 flexremained flexprobabilities remained strategic probabilities the strategic of the view of Admiralty’s view “the Admiralty’s Rather, “the Rather, then suggested, then he suggested, place, he took place, force took naval force of naval concentration of any concentration ible.”51 IfIf any ible.”*' own Fisher’s own use Fisher’s to use created, to was created, fleet was Atlantic fleet new Atlantic Gibraltar. AA new at Gibraltar. was at itit was cruisers and cruisers battleships and fastest battleships and fastest best and “our best comprised “our which comprised words, which words, to ready to instantly ready “always instantly flank, “always the flank, on the poised on admirals,” poised best admirals,” our best and our and North the North in. the world) in the world) in the fleet in any fleet of any speed of highest speed the highest (at the scale (at the scale turn the turn new the new to the refer to did refer Selborne did Admittedly, Selborne Mediterranean.”5-’- Admittedly, the Mediterranean.” or the Sea or Sea effimost effithe most of the navy of “a navy as “a Cabinet as to aa Cabinet memorandum to his memorandum in his fleet in German fleet German that itit [sic] that circumstanced [sic] “fortunately circumstanced was “fortunately noted itit was also noted and also type” and cient type” cient its all its including all and including fleet and its fleet of its whole of the whole almost the concentrate almost to concentrate able to isis able should historians should warned, historians Mackay warned, as Mackay But, as ports.” But, home ports.” its home at its battleships at battleships “leave to “leave careful to be careful should be and should remark and single remark of aa single out of much out too much make too not make not lord first lord the first paragraph the same paragraph the same In the context.”53 In its context.”* in its sentence in the sentence the observation Selborne’s observation And Selborne’s powers. And naval powers. great naval the great of the each of to each referred to referred can forefront,” can the forefront,” in the always, in as always, stands, as navy stands, French navy “the French that “the therein, that therein, perand perFinally, and did.54 Finally, Marder did.™ “innocuous”—-—as Marder as “innocuous’—as classified as be classified scarcely be scarcely the how the on how ideas on Fisher’s ideas that Fisher's show that documents show conclusively, documents most conclusively, haps most haps 1902 of 1902 beginning of the beginning to the back to traced back be traced can be redistributed can be redistributed should be fleet should fleet when when there there was was very very little little concern concern about about the the German German fleet. fleet. In In February February replacethe replacefor the calling for Selborne calling to Selborne paper to submitted aa paper Fisher submitted year, Fisher that year, that Channel the Channel for the and for squadrons and cruiser Squadrons with cruiser fleets with station fleets the station of the ment of ment orgaand orgadistribution and proposed distribution The proposed Gibraltar. The to Gibraltar. moved to be moved to be Squadron to Squadron 1904.55 in 1904.°° made in those made to those identical to almost identical were almost nization were nization or “flexible” or traditionally “flexible” of aa traditionally idea of the idea reasons the various reasons For various For interests imperial interests British imperial protect British to protect designed to strategy designed “Gibraltar-based” strategy “Gibraltar-based” histoamong histoacceptance among widespread acceptance achieved widespread never achieved comers never all comers against all against rians. rians. The The thesis thesis was was most most recently recently dismissed, dismissed, if if not not actually actually ignored, ignored, by by —' Britain’s of Britain’s analysis of his analysis into his fit into not fit did not that itit did found that He found Friedberg. He Aaron Friedberg. Aaron arguments central arguments the central of the one of 1905, one and 1905, 1895 and between 1895 decline between relative decline relative “acquiAdmiralty “acquithe Admiralty period the ten-year period this ten-year of this end of the end at the that at was that which was of which of in oceans” in world’s oceans” the world’s of the control of long-standing control its long-standing of its loss of the loss in the esced in esced in admitted in he admitted Although he waters.”56 Although home waters.” in home “supremacy in ensure “supremacy to ensure order to order a redistribua footnote footnote that that maybe, maybe, “in “in their their early early formulations, formulations, Fisher’s Fisher’s redistributhe in the forces in of forces balance of the balance over the concern over by aa concern driven by were driven schemes were tion schemes tion he anti-French,” he essentially anti-French,” were essentially they were words they other words Mediterranean—in other Mediterranean—in went went on on to to assert assert that that “there “there seems seems little little doubt doubt that that by by the the beginning beginning of of 1905 1905 Germany Germany had had emerged emerged as as Britain’s Britain’s number number one one enemy enemy at at sea.”57 sea.”” In In the main main text text he he took took as as given given that that “the “the intention intention and and eventual eventual result result of of the the the scheme scheme that that Selborne Selborne announced announced [in [in December December 1904] 1904] was was to to permit permit a a permanent permanent strengthening strengthening of of British British naval naval power power in in European European waters waters at at Lambert, Nicolas. 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the the expense expense of of the the Far Far East East and and the the Western Western hemisphere. hemisphere. This This became became evident evident in in the the following following year year after after five five battleships battleships were were withdrawn withdrawn from from the the China China station station and and assigned assigned to to the the Channel Channel fleet.”58 fleet.” (No (No mention mention was was made made of of the the enhanced enhanced military military effectiveness effectiveness of of the the numerically numerically smaller smaller British British “station” “station” fleets fleets after after the the reorganization.) reorganization.) To To reinforce reinforce this this arguargument ment he he cited cited evidence evidence which which showed showed that that even even before before Fisher’s Fisher’s arrival arrival at at Whitehall, Whitehall, several several more more open-minded open-minded officers officers at at the the Admiralty, Admiralty, notably Capt. Louis Battenberg (the DN1) had already recognized notably Capt. Louis Battenberg (the DNI) had already recognized the the inevitable inevitable and and had had been been pressing pressing Selborne Selborne to to recall recall battleships battleships from from disdistant tant waters waters to to face face Germany.59 Germany.” A closer examination A closer examination of of Battenberg’s Battenberg’s correspondence correspondence with with Selborne, Selborne, however, reveals some confusion however, reveals some confusion over over precisely precisely what what the the DN1 DNI was was asking asking for for and and why. why. It It is is true true that that he he wanted wanted to to recall recall “the “the China China B[attle] B[attle] Ships,” Ships,” and and did did argue argue that that the the deployment deployment of of these these ships ships in in the the Far Far East East was was “misplaced power.”60 Other documents dating “misplaced power.”* Other documents dating from from this this period period cast cast his his words words in in quite quite aa different different light. light. For For one one thing, thing, when when Battenberg Battenberg asked asked the the China China battleships battleships be be brought brought home, home, he he was was not not proposing proposing (as (as implied) implied) to to reinforce reinforce the the numbers numbers of of battleships battleships in in commission commission in in home home waters. waters. This This is is made made clear clear in in a a subsequent subsequent letter letter the the DN1 DNI penned penned to to Selborne: Selborne: “I “I wish wish we we could could get get two two Oceans Oceans [class [class battleships] battleships] home home from from China China and and with with the the two two [Oceans] [Oceans] in in reserve, reserve, replace replace the the four four Royal Royal Sovereigns Sovereigns in in the the Home Home Fleet?“ Fleet.”*' Four Four days days later later he he further further clarified clarified his his thoughts. thoughts. Battenberg Battenberg argued argued that that he he wanted wanted the the newer newer battleships battleships home home from from China China because because he he was was afraid afraid that that in in wartime wartime the the older older Royal Royal Sovereigns Sovereigns would would handicap handicap the the rest rest of of the the Home Home Fleet. Fleet. Battenberg Battenberg felt felt they they belonged belonged in in reserve. reserve. “It “It is is merely merely aa matter matter of of degree,” degree,” he he explained: explained: “they “they are are undoubtedly very very powerful powerful ships ships and and fit fit to to lie lie in in our our line line for for aa good good many many undoubtedly years years to to come. come. Still Still in in protection, protection, armament armament and and speed speed they they stand stand now now at at the bottom bottom of of the the list list of of our our completed completed first first class class ships ships to to the the number number of of the Royal the off Paying serious.”62 is speed in difference the and . . . forty forty .. . and the difference in speed is serious.” Paying off the Royal have would have Fleet would Home Fleet the Home to the Oceans to the Oceans transferring the and transferring Sovereigns and Sovereigns resulted in a net reduction of battleships in full commission.63 resulted in a net reduction of battleships in full commission.” Similarly, when when in in early early October October 1904 1904 Battenberg Battenberg asked asked for for “the “the four four Similarly, Mediterranean Duncan’ Duncan” class class battleships battleships to to be be brought brought home, home, he he did did not not Mediterranean Navy Royal Navy the Royal time the this time At this Fleet. At Sea Fleet. High Sea German High the German face the to face them to want them want already had had sixteen sixteen modern modern battleships battleships in in home home waters. waters. Rather, Rather, he he wantwantalready the of the battleships of remaining battleships five remaining the five cover” the and cover” match and “to match them “to ed them ed Russian Russian Baltic Baltic Fleet.64 Fleet. On On this this occasion occasion the the DN1 DNI was was worried worried about about the the possibility possibility of of an an alliance alliance between between Russia Russia and and Germany, Germany, who who “have “have now now between between Kiel Kiel and and Libau Libau seventeen seventeen first first class class battleships battleships in in commission commission

(5+12).”65 (5+12).” As As unlikely unlikely as as such such aa combination combination seemed, seemed, even even Kerr Kerr admitted admitted “one “one cannot cannot shut shut ones’ ones’ eyes eyes to to the the possibility possibility of of aa Russo-German Russo-German combiLambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. , E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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advised Kerr advised Walter Kerr Lord Walter occasion Lord this occasion on this Though on someday.”66 Though nation someday.” nation DN1 the DNI believed the controller) believed (the controller) May (the William May Adm. William and Adm. he and that he Selborne that Selborne Squadron Channel Squadron the Channel of the battleships of sixteen battleships The sixteen overcautious. The being overcautious. was being was foreign than foreign powerful than more powerful were more unit were for unit unit for (which unit Fleet (which Home Fleet and Home and defense.67 home defense.® of home purposes of the purposes for the force for sufficient force quite sufficient be quite would be ships) would ships) conmore conmuch more am much added, “I“1 am he added, reinforcing, he needed reinforcing, Fleet needed Home Fleet the Home IfIf the for have for we have object we an object commission, an in commission, destroyers in more destroyers getting more in getting cerned in cerned personnel.”68 of personnel.’® want of from want meet from to meet unable to but unable view but in view had in time had some time some the in the service in for service needed for were needed moreover, were destroyers, moreover, additional destroyers, These additional These nothing. did nothing. Kerr did Ultimately, Kerr Sea. Ultimately, North Sea. the North than the rather than Mediterranean rather Mediterranean evidence of evidence weight of the weight that the believe that to believe continue to historians continue Most historians Most (or strategic (or by strategic mainly by inspired mainly being inspired reforms being naval reforms 1904 naval the 1904 to the points to points observations Mackay’s observations aimed, Mackays were aimed, and were considerations and diplomatic) considerations diplomatic) character the character about the notions about Preconceived notions Germany. Preconceived at Germany. notwithstanding, at notwithstanding, hapreally hapwhat really of what picture of the picture obscure the helped obscure also helped have also sea have at sea war at of war of have to have believed to warfare isis believed naval warfare as naval long as So long 1904. So of 1904. end of the end at the pened at pened redis1904 redisthe 1904 of the object of the object that the and that battleships and of. battleships affair of an affair mainly an been mainly been the then the waters, then European waters, to European units to capital units all capital recall all to recall was to tribution was tribution of concentration of affect aa concentration to affect attempting to was attempting Admiralty was the Admiralty that the argument that argument howevsaid, howevbeing said, That being incontrovertible. That seems incontrovertible. Germany seems against Germany force against force an in an resulted in actually resulted redistribution actually the redistribution that the forgotten that often forgotten er, itit isis often er, commisfull commisin full battleships in British battleships of British numbers of the numbers in the reduction in overall reduction overall fully thirty-five fully had thirty-five Navy had Royal Navy the Royal 1904 the October 1904 in October Whereas in sion. Whereas sion. thirty-two. only thirty-two. at only stood at figure stood this figure later this year later battleships, aa year manned battleships, manned comfully comof fully number of the number that the fact that the fact significant isis the more significant even more Perhaps even Perhaps batfour batAlthough four fell. Although also fell. waters also home waters in home kept in battleships kept missioned battleships missioned 1904, of 1904, end of the end at the Fleet at Mediterranean Fleet the Mediterranean from the recalled from were recalled tleships were tleships (King units (King newer units eight newer simultaneously eight requested, simultaneously had requested, Battenberg had as Battenberg as from steaming from days steaming Gibraltar—two days to Gibraltar—two dispatched to were dispatched class) were Edward class) Edward numbers, crude numbers, in crude Expressed in Sea. Expressed North Sea. the North from the away from four away and four Malta and Malta this move move left left the the Royal Royal Navy Navy with with only only the the twelve twelve battleships battleships of of the the this vessels older vessels fourteen older by fourteen supported by albeit supported waters, albeit home waters, in home Fleet in Channel Fleet Channel the of the battleships of newest battleships twelve newest the twelve match the to match crews, to nucleus crews, by nucleus manned by manned certainly was certainly waters was home waters in home fleet in British fleet the British Although the Fleet. Although Sea Fleet. High Sea High stronger stronger after after 1904 1904 than than it it had had been been before, before, this this was was largely largely the the result result making thereby making crews, thereby nucleus crews, with nucleus reserve with in reserve warships in providing warships of providing of effifighting effiThe fighting commission. The full commission. in full units in as units efficient as as efficient almost as them almost them ciency ciency of of the the fleet fleet in in home home waters waters was was increased, increased, in in other other words. words, through through reorganization reorganization of of existing existing resources resources rather rather than than through through an an increase increase in in absolute absolute numbers. numbers. Indeed, Indeed, the the total total of of battleships battleships in in the the naval of naval distribution of of distribution issue of The issue fell. The actually fell. fleets actually reserve fleets and reserve active and active personnel personnel will will be be considered considered later. later. Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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While While trying trying to to fathom fathom the the complex complex strategic strategic intentions intentions behind behind the the 1904 1904 reforms, reforms, historians historians have have allowed allowed themselves themselves to to be be mesmerized mesmerized by by the the marching marching and and counter counter marching marching of of battleships. battleships. A A closer closer look look at at the the evidence evidence shows shows that that in in 1904 1904 Britain’s Britain’s naval naval leaders leaders were were at at least, least, and and perhaps perhaps more, more, concerned concerned with with the the numbers numbers and and redistribution redistribution of of armored armored cruisers. cruisers. In In the the last last chapter chapter it it was was shown shown that that historians historians have have been been certainly certainly wrong wrong in in thinking thinking that that Sir Sir John John Fisher Fisher measured measured naval naval strength Strength by by numbers numbers of of battleships. battleships. There There is is ample ample evidence evidence that that he he attached attached more more importance importance to to armored armored cruisers. cruisers. While While Fisher Fisher was was servserving ing as as commander commander in in chief, chief, Mediterranean, Mediterranean, for for example, example, he he postulated postulated in in one one of of his his lectures lectures to to fleet fleet officers officers that that in in the the next next war war admirals admirals would would fly fly their their flags flags in in armored armored cruisers cruisers rather rather than than battleships battleships and and use use their their cruiser cruiser squadrons squadrons as as the the principle principle striking striking force.69 force.® In In February February 1902, 1902, when when Fisher Fisher first first aired aired his his ideas ideas on on aa large—scale large-scale redistribution redistribution of of the the fleet, fleet, he he proposed proposed that that an an “elite” “elite” Atlantic Atlantic fleet fleet based based at at Gibraltar Gibraltar should should be be formed formed of of twelve twelve armored armored cruisers.70 cruisers.” More More tangibly, tangibly, in in October October 1904 1904 Fisher Fisher handed handed Lord Lord Selborne Selborne aa paper paper that that claimed claimed “there “there is is good good ground ground for for enquiry enquiry whether whether the the naval naval supremacy supremacy of of aa country country can can any any longer longer be be assessed assessed by by its its battleships.”71 battleships.””’ Although Although he he went went on on to to anticipate anticipate objecobjections tions to to this this proposal proposal and and conceded conceded that that maybe maybe giVing giving up up battleship battleship conconstruction struction was was not not yet yet practicable, practicable, he he was, was, personally, personally, convinced convinced that that his his new-model new-model “super” “super” armored armored cruisers cruisers could could better better protect protect Britain’s Britain’s far far flung flung empire empire than than battleships. battleships. Jacky Jacky went went on on to to suggest suggest that that the the navy navy should should measure measure its its relative relative strength strength by by numbers numbers of of armored armored cruisers cruisers and and torpedo torpedo craft craft rather rather than than battleships.72 battleships.” The The battleship battleship of of the the olden olden days days was was necessary necessary because because it it was was the the one one and and only only vessel vessel that that nothing nothing could could sink sink except except another another battleship. battleship. Now Now every every battleship battleship is is open open to to attack attack by by fast fast torpedo-craft torpedo-craft and and submarines. submarines. Formerly, Formerly, transports transports or or military military operations operations could could be be covered covered by by aa fleet fleet of of battle-ships battle-ships with with the the certainty certainty that that nothing nothing could could attack attack them them without without first first being crushed crushed by by the the covering covering fleet! fleet! now now all all this this has has been been absolutely absolutely being altered! AA battle-fleet battle-fleet isis no no protection protection to to anything, anything, or or any any operation operation during during altered!

dark dark hours, hours, and and in in certain certain waters waters no no protection protection in in daytime daytime because because of of the the submarine. Hence Hence what what isis the the use use of of battleships battleships as as we we have have hitherto hitherto submarine. known known them? them? None! None! Their Their one one and and only only function—that function—that of of ultimate ultimate security security of of defense defense is is gone—lost! gone—lost! No No one one would would seriously seriously advocate advocate building building battlebattleships ships merely merely to to fight fight other other battleships—since battleships—since if if battleships battleships have have no no funcfunc-

tion tion that that the the first first class class armored armored cruiser cruiser cannot cannot fulfil, fulfil, then then they they are are useless useless fought.73 be fought.” to be need to not need do not and do enemy and an enemy to an to

Fisher’s Fisher's paper paper did did not not convince convince the the first first lord lord of of the the Admiralty.74 Admiralty.”* Nor Nor did did he he manage manage to to persuade persuade him him to to cancel cancel the the two two battleships battleships authorized authorized but but Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, httpszllhdl.hand|e.net/2027/heb.31569.

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not yet yet laid laid down down under the 1904-5 1904-5 program. program. The The maxim maxim “from not under the “from which which |I will never never depart,” depart,” Selborne will Selborne replied, replied, is is to to “lay “lay down down battleships battleships every every year.”75 The The only only concession concession he he was was prepared prepared to to make make was was to to agree agree gengenyear.”” erally erally with with Fisher’s Fisher’s observation observation that that “the “the battleship battleship type type and and the the other.”76 each other.”” into each merging into are merging type are cruiser type armored cruiser armored Barely Barely months months later, later, in in early early 1905, 1905, Fisher Fisher issued issued repeated repeated appeals appeals to the Committee on Designs to endorse his call for the Royal to to the Committee on Designs to endorse his call for the Royal Navy Navy to abandon the construction of battleships. He requested his chosen abandon the construction of battleships. He requested his chosen experts of experts to to set set aside aside the the turbine turbine driven driven all-big—gun all-big-gun battleship battleship in in favor favor of the faster, less well-protected “armored cruiser” version." With one the faster, less well-protected “armored cruiser” version.” With one exception exception they they refused: refused: but but agreed agreed to to reconsider reconsider the the proposal proposal at at a a latter latter date. Ultimately the Board of Admiralty ordered under the date. Ultimately the Board of Admiralty ordered under the 1905—6 1905-6 proprogram gram four four (later (later reduced reduced to to three) three) “lndomitable” “Indomitable” type type big-gun big-gun armored armored cruisers up. cruisers plus plus HMS HMS Dreadnought. Dreadnought. Still, Still, however, however, Fisher Fisher did did not not give give up. After Selborne’s departure from the first sea sea After Selborne’s departure from the board board in in March March 1905, 1905, the the first lord Admiralty to to lord launched launched his his third third attempt attempt to to persuade persuade the the rest rest of of the the Admiralty give up give up the the construction construction of of battleships battleships in in favor favor of of battle battle cruisers.78 cruisers.” This This time pertime he he approached approached his his goal goal obliquely. obliquely. He He disingenuously disingenuously tried tried to to persuade suade his his colleagues colleagues that that overall overall savings savings would would accrue accrue from from adopting adopting aa single, single, qualitatively qualitatively superior, superior, “multi-role” “multi-role” armored armored warship-type warship-type instead instead of of continuing continuing to to build build both both battleships battleships and and armored armored cruisers. cruisers. Unfortunately, the 1906-7 Unfortunately, his his so-called so-called “fusion “fusion design” design” projected projected for for the 1906-7 program on program was was rejected rejected by by his his second second (hand-picked) (hand-picked) Committee Committee on Designs. the AngloDesigns. In In the the committee’s committee’s opinion, opinion, the the recent recent cementing cementing of of the AngloFrench at French understanding understanding coupled coupled to to the the annihilation annihilation of of the the Russian Russian fleet fleet at Tsushima, had significantly diminished the Royal Navy Tsushima, had significantly diminished the the likelihood likelihood that that the Royal Navy would cruiser would have have to to fight fight the the global global cruiser cruiser war war for for which which the the battle battle cruiser had been primarily designed. It was felt that “whatever had been primarily designed. It was felt that “whatever armored armored cruiser cruiser peril to peril still still remained remained could could be be met met by by existing existing vessels.”79 vessels.”” Instead, Instead, to Fisher’s chagrin, the design committee recommended the construction Fisher’s chagrin, the design committee recommended the construction of of more more battleships battleships or or “dreadnoughts” “dreadnoughts” as as they they were were becoming becoming known. known. Fisher was not the Fisher was not the only only senior senior policy policy maker maker in in Whitehall Whitehall at at this this time time with with a a high high regard regard for for the the armored armored cruiser. cruiser. Even Even before before Jacky’s Jacky’s appointappoint-

ment petiment as as first first sea sea lord lord had had been been confirmed, confirmed, Battenberg Battenberg had had been been petitioning of tioning Selborne Selborne that that the the imminent imminent completion completion of of the the large large number number of armored the armored cruisers cruisers then then under under construction construction must must drastically drastically “affect “affect the foreign foreign stations—beyond stations—beyond the the Mediterranean.”80 Mediterranean.”® Battenberg’s Battenberg’s corresponcorrespondence Fisher’s dence with with Selborne Selborne shows shows that that he he shared shared much, much, if if not not all, all, of of Fisher’s concern urged concern of of the the armored armored cruiser cruiser threat. threat. In In May May 1904 1904 the the DN1 DNI had had urged

the the first first lord lord to to overrule overrule Kerr’s Kerr’s opposition opposition and and go go ahead ahead with with the the formaformation tion of of a a second second “flying” “flying” squadron squadron “ready “ready to to go go anywhere.” anywhere.” But But “nothing “nothing that that II can can say,” say,” he he afterwards afterwards lamented lamented to to Fisher, Fisher, “will “will make make Selborne Selborne Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.hand|e.net/2027/heb.31569.

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give give way. way. He He is is as as obstinate obstinate as as a a mule.”81 mule.”*' Later Later in in November, November, Battenberg Battenberg counseled the the first first lord lord to to switch switch all all funds funds earmarked earmarked for for new new battlebattlecounseled ships under under the the 1905-6 1905—6 program program to to buy buy “five “five armored armored cruisers cruisers of of the the ships new new type”—-in type’—in other other words words five five battle battle cruisers.82 cruisers.” It It is is no no coincidence, coincidence, furfurthermore, that that when when Prince Prince Louis Louis left left Whitehall Whitehall in in February February 1905, 1905, he he thermore, was was promoted promoted to to command command the the First First Cruiser Cruiser Squadron Squadron based based at at Gibraltar. Gibraltar. The The importance importance Battenberg Battenberg attached attached to to the the armored armored cruiser—cruiser— incidentally—sheds incidentally—sheds important important new new light light on on his his attempts attempts as as DNl DNI to to bring bring home home the the battleships battleships from from China. China. It It has has already already been been shown shown that that when when he he first first made made this this suggestion suggestion he he had had not not envisaged envisaged increasing increasing the the numnumber ber of of battleships battleships in in home home waters; waters; he he had had wanted wanted to to substitute substitute them them for for two two Royal Royal Sovereigns Sovereigns which which he he thought thought belonged belonged in in reserve. reserve. It It is is now now clear clear that that he he wanted wanted to to pay pay off off these these ships ships in in order order to to free free personnel personnel to to man man aa couple couple of of new new armored armored cruisers.83 cruisers.” Thus Thus when when Battenberg Battenberg referred referred to to the the battleships battleships in in China China as as being being “misplaced “misplaced power,” power,” what what he he really really meant meant was was that that capital capital ships ships were were not not the the appropriate appropriate vessels vessels to to protect protect British British interests interests east east of of Suez Suez where where the the main main threat threat to to British British interests interests was was directed directed at at seaborne seaborne commerce.84 commerce.” 0r Or put put another another way, way, the the battlebattleships were were locking locking up up valuable valuable personnel personnel that that might might better better be be employed employed ships in in new new cruisers—a cruisers—a View view that that mirrored mirrored exactly exactly the the opinion opinion of of the the first first sea sea lord.85 lord.® The The views views of of Fisher Fisher and and Battenberg Battenberg on on the the importance importance of of armored armored cruisers belie belie the the notion notion that that Britain’s Britain’s naval naval leaders leaders thought thought about about naval naval cruisers strategy only only in in terms terms of of battleships. battleships. strategy Motives Motives and and Intentions—Part Intentions—Part 2 2

There isis too too often often aa tendency tendency by by naval naval historians historians to to stress stress the the role role There securiexternal securicountry’s external particular country’s of aa particular context of the context in the forces in armed forces of of armed domestic of domestic policy of upon policy influence upon the influence considering the of considering expense of the expense at the ty at ty considerations.“ considerations.* The The argument argument that that the the 1904 1904 naval naval reforms reforms were were inspired inspired solely solely or or mainly mainly by by external external factors factors such such as as the the change change in in the the European diplomatic diplomatic climate climate or or aa growing growing perception perception of of aa threat threat to to European on based on empire isis based German empire expansionist German an expansionist by an posed by interests posed British interests British probadministrative probmany administrative the many of the account of no account thin takes no also takes evidence. ItIt also thin evidence. lems lems confronting confronting the the Admiralty Admiralty at at this this time time and and the the interrelatedness interrelatedness of of been has been example, itit has For example, reforms. For administrative reforms. and administrative strategic and the strategic the considerwas considerAdmiralty was of Admiralty Board of the Board while the that while demonstrated that recently demonstrated recently was Whitehall was at Whitehall mind at everyone’s mind in everyone’s uppermost in “scheme,” uppermost Fisher’s “scheme,” ing Fisher's ing naval future naval for future plans for all plans on all Cabinet on the Cabinet by the imposed by limits imposed strict limits the strict the the on the largely on lord largely sea lord first sea appointed first was appointed spending.*”’ Fisher was lndeed, Fisher spending.87 Indeed, estinaval estiin naval reduction in significant reduction the significant make the understanding would make he would that he understanding that mates mates that that the the Balfour Balfour government government so so desperately desperately required. required. When When Selborne Selborne first first offered offered him him the the post post on on 14 14 May May 1904, 1904, he he made made it it “abun— “abunLambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.hand|e.net/2027/heb.31569.

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basis essential basis “the essential be “the must be “economy” must that “economy” admiral that the admiral to the clear” to dantly dantly clear” policy. ”88 Admiralty policy.’® of Admiralty of reached present reached the present for the have for Estimates have Navy Estimates the Navy that the certain that quite certain ItIt isis quite no be no there can only not 1905-06 In year. present year. In 1905-06 not only can there be the present in the maximum in their their maximum

Admiralty the Admiralty of the influence of the influence for the necessary, for but itit isis necessary, possible increase, but possible increase, finances, national finances, the national of the stability of the stability for the and for Commons and of Commons over House of the House over the decrease.89 substantial show aa substantial decrease.” should show we should that that we

from come from would come savings would of savings most of envisaged most he envisaged that he added that lord added first lord The first The necof necpostponement of the postponement and the program and construction program the construction in the reduction in aa reduction had Selborne had course, Selborne of course, stage, of his stage, At his votes. At other votes. on other expenditure on essary expenditure essary redistribution.90 warship redistribution.” on warship ideas on Fisher’s ideas hear Fisher’s to hear yet yet to imporparamount importhe paramount appreciate the to appreciate failed to either failed have either writers have Most writers Most winthe winduring the reform during naval reform for naval motive for as aa motive limitation as financial limitation of financial tance tance of influenced issue influenced money issue the money how the misunderstood how have misunderstood they have or they 1904, or of 1904, ter of ter efficiency” and efficiency” “economy and that “economy true that sense itit isis true one sense In one making. In decision making. decision historians some historians as some “scheme,” as Fisher’s “scheme,” behind Fisher’s motives behind principal motives the principal were the were volunteer to volunteer inspired to was inspired Jacky was that Jacky say that to say wrong to But itit isis wrong argued. But have argued. have volunteered. not volunteered. were not They were efficiency.“ They of efficiency.”’ sake of the sake for the purely for economies purely economies “adminisan “adminisdisplaying an for displaying condemned for be condemned fairly be cannot fairly Fisher cannot Similarly, Fisher Similarly, his of his formulation of the formulation in the thinking” in of thinking” way of strategic way than strategic rather than trative rather trative of lack of “evident lack an “evident possessing an for possessing criticized for be criticized he be can he Nor can scheme.92 Nor scheme.” his of his variants of later variants and later this and in this both in analysis, both strategic analysis, in strategic interest in interest “organisasolving “organisafor solving concern” for “overriding concern’ an “overriding showing an for showing or for scheme.” or scheme,” overwhelmthe overwhelmignore the accusations ignore Such accusations problems.”93 Such technical problems.” or technical tional tional or to specifically to Admiralty specifically the Admiralty into the brought into was brought Fisher was that Fisher evidence that ing evidence ing probadministrative probconsequent administrative the consequent solve the and solve retrenchment and implement retrenchment implement the in the shift in execute aa shift to execute order to in order lord in sea lord first sea appointed first not appointed was not He was lems. He lems. remembered. be remembered. always be must always This must orientation.94 This strategic orientation.“ Navy’s strategic Royal Navy's Royal office, took office, he took before he days before three days just three this, just forget this, Fisher forget Lest Lest Fisher thing first thing “the first priorities: “the of priorities: order of the order home the hammered home again hammered Selborne Selborne again 20 October 20 on October Board on the Board on the seat on your seat taken your have taken you have after you do after must do we must we

once When once [19105/6. When for [19]05/6. estimates for the estimates of the framework of the framework establish the isis to to establish to able to be able will be Admiralty will the Admiralty of the departments of the departments then the that then done that have done we have we of consideration of the consideration for the free for be free shall be we shall and we details and the details up the filling up so on filling go on he time, he same time, the same At the with.”95 At deal with.” to deal desire to we desire subjects we multifarious subjects the multifarious the deteriorate to deteriorate forecast to was forecast climate was financial climate the financial that the Fisher that cautioned Fisher cautioned

be to be have to would have cuts would deeper cuts even deeper that even likely that was likely and itit was further and still further still made looks made in in the the navy navy estimates. estimates. “Revenue “Revenue is is dropping dropping so so fast fast that that it it looks like like a a deficit deficit on on the the estimated estimated revenue revenue of of the the current current year year of of two two millions millions and and on on that that of of next next year year of of [even [even more]!!!”96 more]!!!’"* In In early early November, November, the the chanchancellor cellor of of the the Exchequer Exchequer reminded reminded Selborne Selborne that that “the “the whole whole character character of of Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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the the budget, budget, vile vile or or passable” passable” depended depended upon upon the the magnitude magnitude of of the the savsavings ings offered offered by by the the Board Board of of Admiralty. Admiralty. “Nothing “Nothing but but millions millions would would realreally ly help.”97 help.”®’ Accordingly, Accordingly, there there can can be be little little doubt doubt that that Fisher’s Fisher’s proposals proposals for for the the redistribution redistribution of of the the fleet fleet were were accepted accepted by by Selborne Selborne not not because because they they better better suited suited “strategical “strategical requirements,” requirements,” though though they they did, did, but but priprimarily marily because because the the new new organization organization he he was was offering offering was was very very much much cheaper cheaper to to maintain. maintain. Another Another “domestic” “domestic” concern concern worrying worrying Selborne Selborne in in 1904 1904 was was the the acute acute shortage shortage of of trained trained personnel.98 personnel.” For For many many years years the the navy navy had had seen seen this this as as its its worst worst long-term long-term problem.99 problem.” It It is is not not generally generally appreciated appreciated that that the the Royal Royal Navy Navy did did not not keep keep its its entire entire fleet fleet in in full full commission. commission. ln In peacepeacetime, time, at at least least one-third one-third of of naval naval personnel personnel were were billeted billeted ashore ashore in in traintraining ing schools schools and and almost almost half half the the “War “War Fleet” Fleet” was was in in reserve. reserve. To To develop develop its its full full two-power two-power strength, strength, therefore, therefore, the the Royal Royal Navy Navy had had to to mobilize mobilize the the reserve. reserve. With With the the high high degree degree of of probability probability that that Britain Britain would would be be facing facing two, two, if if not not three, three, other other great great powers powers in in the the next next war, war, it it was was essential essential that that her her fleet fleet could could be be made made ready ready for for action action as as quickly quickly as as possible. possible. In In his his memorandum memorandum to to Cabinet Cabinet dated dated 6 6 December December 1904, 1904, the the first first lord lord stated stated that that one one of of the the Admiralty’s Admiralty’s main main objectives objectives in in proposing proposing the the fleet fleet reorreorganization ganization was was “to “to overcome overcome certain certain difficulties difficulties with with which which they they have have been been long long confronted confronted in in matters matters of of mobilization.”"’° mobilization.”' For For at at least least fifteen fifteen years years the the navy navy had had been been unable unable to to keep keep more more than than aa handful handful of of ships ships of of the the fleet fleet reserve reserve in in good good mechanical mechanical condition condition because because of of aa shortage shortage of of personnel.“ This further exacerbated the inefficiency of the newly compersonnel.'”' This further exacerbated the inefficiency of the newly commissioned missioned warships warships manned manned at at the the outbreak outbreak of of hostilities hostilities by by scratch scratch crews.‘02 crews.'” The The introduction introduction of of the the nucleus nucleus crew crew system system was was intended intended to to eliminate eliminate these these problems.“ problems.'® Just Just how how seriously seriously the the first first lord lord regarded regarded the the personnel personnel issue issue is is revealed revealed in in aa memorandum memorandum sent sent by by Selborne Selborne to to Lord Lord Knollys, Knollys, King King Edward Edward Vll’s VII's personal personal secretary. secretary. The The first first lord lord intiintimated mated that that the the manning manning difficulty difficulty was was in in fact fact the the main main reason reason for for reform: reform: The The Board Board for for some some years years past past have have had had no no greater greater anxiety anxiety than than in in respect respect of of the the condition condition of of the the ships ships in in the the Fleet Fleet reserve reserve on on mobilization mobilization for for war. war. . . . there there never never has has been been aa time time in in recent recent years years when when there there were were enough enough ... officers officers and and men men at at home home to to provide provide proper proper care care and and maintenance maintenance parties parties for for the the ships ships in in the the Fleet Fleet reserve, reserve, and and the the Board Board have have come come to to the the decision decision offiof offinumber of sufficient number provide aa sufficient to provide evil isis to this evil cure this to cure way to only way the only that the that cers and and men men for for the the purpose purpose of of keeping keeping these these ships ships in in proper proper order. order. cers These officers officers and and men men could could only only be be provided provided in in one one way way and and that that isis by by These reducing the the number number of of ships ships in in commission.'" commission.”4 reducing

Understanding Understanding the the personnel personnel question, question, which which has has been been mostly mostly ignored ignored by by naval historians, is essential to naval historians, is essential to comprehending comprehending the the distribution distribution of of the the Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hdl.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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period entire period the entire throughout the but throughout 1904, but in 1904, just in not just warships not Navy’s warships Royal Royal Navy’s had manpower had fleet manpower 1904, fleet and 1904, 1889 and Between 1889 beyond. Between and beyond. 1914 and before before 1914 the over the expansion, over huge expansion, the huge Despite the 131,100. Despite to 131,100. doubled to than doubled more than more had commission had in commission ships in of ships size of and size number and the number in the increases in period increases same period same Parliament.105 by Parliament.'’™ voted by personnel” voted in personnel” increases in the increases swallowed the than swallowed “more than “more 1904 in 1904 pressing in more pressing even more was even personnel was of personnel shortage of the shortage words the other words In other In fifteen these fifteen Over these simple. Over was simple. explanation was The explanation 1889. The in 1889. been in had been than itit had than years as old, old. years “practically “practically no no vessels vessels were were being being discarded discarded from from the the Navy Navy as was relief was no relief Hence no upkeep. Hence their upkeep. worth their not worth therefore, not and, therefore, date, and, of date, out of out perof peramount of the amount in the expected, in been expected, have been reasonably have might reasonably as might obtained, as obtained, were ones were new ones the new as the ships as oldest ships the oldest of the rid of getting rid by getting required, by sonnel required, sonnel an as an But, as ships. But, modern ships. of modern abundance of an abundance had an navy had the navy 1904 the In 1904 built.”"’6 In built.”' all supplied all have supplied “to have explained, “to subject explained, this subject on this memorandum on Admiralty memorandum Admiralty been have been would have crews, would nucleus crews, even nucleus crews, even with crews, Navy with the Navy of the ships of ships or increased, or largely increased, were largely navy were the navy of the numbers of the numbers unless the impossible unless impossible up.""’7 broken up.”'” were broken establishments were training establishments the training of the whole of the whole unless the unless finanonly finannot only was not 1904 was in 1904 existed in that existed organization that naval organization the naval Clearly the Clearly introThe intromanpower. The of manpower. wasteful of also wasteful but also maintain but to maintain expensive to cially expensive cially old 154 old of 154 scrapping of subsequent scrapping the subsequent and the 1905, and in 1905, “scheme” in the “scheme” of the duction of duction officers 950 officers than 950 fewer than no fewer released no have released to have calculated to later calculated was later ships, was ships, estabnaval estabentire naval the entire perspective, the into perspective, this into put this To put men.108 To 11,000 men.'® and 11,000 and not were not who were coastguardsmen who 5,000 coastguardsmen (including 5,000 time (including this time at this lishment at lishment personnel odd personnel 30,000 odd the 30,000 and the peacetime and in peacetime warships in man warships to man available to available even Yet even men. Yet 130,000 men. about 130,000 at about stood at depots) stood training depots) at training ashore at billeted ashore billeted enough have enough not have did not still did navy still the navy vessels, the old vessels, many old this many scrapping this after scrapping after men to to provide provide crews crews for for all all its its modern modern warships.’ warships!” men of numbers of “the numbers expand “the to expand continuing to reasons, continuing financial reasons, mainly financial For mainly For Lord earlier Lord years earlier Three years 1904.“0 Three after 1904.'° option after an option longer an no longer was no navy” was the navy” the “ancilin “ancilgrowth in projected growth the projected at the alarm at expressing alarm begun expressing had begun Selborne had Selborne in expansion in from expansion pensions—resulting from and pensions—resulting victuals, and votes—wages, victuals, lary” votes—wages, lary” he 1901, he June 1901, as June early as As early personnel.“' As service personnel.'"’ active service of active numbers of the numbers the warnnumbers, warnin numbers, growth in the growth to the brakes to the brakes apply the to apply unsuccessfully to tried unsuccessfully tried the then the direction then this direction in this taken in not taken were not steps were that ifif steps lords that naval lords the naval ing the ing comroyal comappoint aa royal and appoint hands and own hands their own into their matters into take matters might take Cabinet might Cabinet Kerr’s unheeded. Kerr's went unheeded. however, went time, however, that time, at that entreaties at His entreaties mission.“2 His mission.'? led subsequently led crisis subsequently personnel crisis worsening personnel the worsening address the to address reluctance to reluctance Fisher of Fisher appointment of the appointment on the insist on to insist 1901, to of 1901, end of the end at the lord, at first lord, the first the the untangling the of untangling task of the task with the charged with was charged Fisher was lord. Fisher naval lord. second naval as second as existing their existing optimize their better optimize might better Admiralty might the Admiralty that the so that mess so personnel mess personnel manpower manpower resources. resources. This This step step had had unfortunately unfortunately backfired backfired on on Selborne. Selborne. his in his miscalculations in serious miscalculations uncovered serious Fisher uncovered 1902, Fisher of 1902, end of the end Towards the Towards “war the “war man the to man required to men required of men number of the number for the estimates for predecessors’ estimates predecessors’ Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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fleet” fleet” fixed fixed for for completion completion by by the the end end of of 1905.“3 1905.'" The The result result had had been been aa furfurther ther expansion expansion in in prospective prospective naval naval personnel personnel requirements. requirements. When When Fisher Fisher became became first first sea sea lord, lord, the the Royal Royal Navy Navy was was already already paying paying almost almost aa million million aa year year in in pensions pensions and and related related charges. charges. According According to to calculations calculations made made by by Fisher Fisher at at the the end end of of 1905, 1905, even even if if the the establishment establishment of of the the navy navy could could be be held held constant constant at at 131,000 131,000 men, men, this this sum sum was was set set to to double double withwithin in aa matter matter of of years years as as the the additional additional ratings ratings recruited recruited during during the the 1890s 1890s began began retiring retiring from from the the service.”4 service.'" The The Admiralty Admiralty had had other other compelling compelling reasons, reasons, besides besides finance, finance, to to stem stem the the flow flow of of recruits recruits into into the the navy. navy. There There was, was, as as Selborne Selborne put put it it in in 1902, 1902, “a “a definite definite limit limit to to the the rate rate at at which which additional additional men men can can be be added added to to the the personnel personnel of of the the Navy.” Navy.” Not Not only only was was the the supply supply of of high-quality high-quality volunteers volunteers limited, limited, but but “the “the complements complements of of our our ships ships are are even even now now too too young young and and I|

should Should deplore deplore the the rate rate of of addition addition being being further further forced.”“5 forced.”'’ In In 1904', 1904, sixty sixty percent percent of of naval naval personnel personnel were were under under twenty-five twenty-five years years of of age."6 age.''® At At first first glance glance it it is is difficult difficult to to see see why why the the first first lord lord was was quite quite so so concerned. concerned. On On paper, paper, the the numbers numbers borne borne by by the the Royal Royal Navy Navy increased increased between between 1900 1900 and and 1904 1904 by by only only 19,100 19,100 from from 110,978 110,978 to to 130,078—a 130,078—a 16 16 percent percent increase increase over over the the space space of of four four years. years. These These figures, figures, however, however, do do not not include include the the numbers numbers enlisted enlisted to to replace replace the the “natural “natural wastage” wastage” of of men men leaving leaving the the navy navy once once their their term term of of engagement engagement had had expired. expired. If If these these are are included, included, the the total total number number of of men men recruited recruited by by the the navy navy over over these these four four years years reached reached 58,892.“7 58,892.'" Perhaps Perhaps as as many many as as 40 40 percent percent of of ratings ratings serving serving at at the the end end of of 1904, 1904, therefore, therefore, may may have have been been in in the the navy navy for for less less than than four four years. years. For For aa professional professional service, service, this this was was an an unacceptably unacceptably high high proporproportion. tion. The The entry entry of of large large numbers numbers of of recruits, recruits, moreover, moreover, brought brought with with them them aa host host of of administrative administrative problems.‘”’ problems.''® Most Most importantly, importantly, British British warships warships were were increasingly increasingly being being fitted fitted with with sophisticated sophisticated labor-saving labor-saving equipment equipment designed designed to to be be operated operated by by skilled skilled ratings.“9 ratings.''? As As many many as as three-quarters three-quarters of of the the seamen seamen ratings ratings in in Invincible Invincible (1906-design (1906-design battle battle cruiser) cruiser) were were supsupposed to to hold hold higher higher rates rates as as compared compared with with only only one-third one-third of of the the seamen seamen posed complement complement manning manning the the armored armored cruiser cruiser Drake Drake designed designed only only four four years years earlier.120 earlier.'” The The crux crux of of the the problem problem was was that that it it took took the the navy navy not not less less than than six six years years to to qualify qualify aa suitable suitable ordinary ordinary seaman seaman as as a‘specialist a’specialist gunnery gunnery or or torpedo torpedo rating?“ rating.'?' Or Or twice twice as as long long as as it it took took to to build build aa large large ship. ship. And And to to keep keep its its warships warships at at aa high high level level of of battle battle efficiency, efficiency, the the Royal Royal Navy Navy needneeded ed experienced experienced long long service service ratings. ratings. Further Further examination examination of of the the redistribution redistribution of of personnel personnel at at the the end end of of 1904 1904 brings brings to to light light more more evidence evidence to to contradict contradict the the notion notion that that the the naval naval reforms reforms were were motivated motivated primarily primarily by by an an anti-German anti-German imperative. imperative. Between 1902 and 1909, effective fleet manpower remained level level at at Between 1902 and 1909, effective fleet manpower remained between 85,000 85,000 and and 90,000.'” 90,000.‘22 The The other other 30,000-odd 30,000-odd men men were were billeted billeted between Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, httpsz/lhd|.hand|e.net/2027/heb.31569.

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personnel of personnel distribution of in distribution shifts in the shifts of the examination of close examination ashore. AA close ashore. of numbers of large numbers that large confirms that 1907 confirms April 1907 and April 1904 and October 1904 between between October 1904, October 1904, In October reserve.123 In in reserve.'” ships in into ships planned, into as planned, flow, as did flow, seamen seamen did

year 2,357; aa year at 2,357; stood at crews stood nucleus crews into nucleus formed into men formed of men number of the number the than fewer than no fewer reached no and reached 12,507 and to 12,5907 jumped to had jumped number had the number later the later in increase in no increase absolutely no was absolutely there was But there 1907. But January 1907. by January men by 14,335 men 14,335 In fell. In numbers fell. fact numbers In fact waters. In home waters. in home afloat in personnel afloat of personnel number of the number the home in home ships in to ships allocated to men allocated 42,915 men were 42,915 there were 1904 there October 1904 October 42,001 just 42,001 to just dipped to had dipped number had this number later this months later Twelve months waters. Twelve waters. nucleus in nucleus reserve, in in reserve, ships in to ships allocated to men allocated all men include all figures include (these figures (these period same period the same During the commission)?“ During full commission).'** in full and in readiness, and crews readiness, crews including (again including battleships (again to battleships allocated to personnel allocated of personnel number of total number the total the thouover aa thouby over fell by actually fell reserve) actually in reserve) and in commission and in commission ships in both ships both overseas of overseas scrapping of the scrapping by the freed by men freed the men words, the other words, In other sand.125 In sand.’ that for that or, for battleships or, man battleships to man transferred to not transferred were not vessels were cruising vessels cruising to went to actually went They actually waters. They home waters. in home warships in other warships any other matter, any matter, drarose Fleet Atlantic the to allocated men of number The Gibraltar. Gibraltar. The number of men allocated to the Atlantic Fleet rose drafollowing the following 13,351 the to 13,351 1904, to October 1904, in October zero in almost zero from almost matically from matically away steaming days four was moreover, Squadron, Gibraltar The year. year. The Gibraltar Squadron, moreover, was four days steaming away really was Germany If Malta. from days two just yet Flow Scapa from from Scapa Flow yet just two days from Malta. If Germany was really station to station sense to more sense made more have made would have threat itit would major threat as aa major regarded as regarded of coast of south coast the south on the Oueenstown on at Queenstown perhaps at home, perhaps to home, closer to them closer them Ireland, rather rather than than at at the the entrance entrance to to the the Mediterranean. Mediterranean. In In any any case, case, Ireland, home in home ships in crewing ships men crewing of men number of the number did the 1906 did early 1906 until early not until not the until the not until And not office.126 And took office.’ Fisher took before Fisher level before the level reach the waters reach waters numany numin any home in arriving home begin arriving legions” begin “the legions” did “the 1907 did of 1907 beginning of beginning had circumstances had and circumstances conditions and see, conditions shall see, we shall as we time, as this time, By this bers.127 By bers.'?’ assertions undermine assertions seriously undermine figures seriously These figures changed. These considerably changed. considerably concentraof concentrapolicy of pursuing aa policy was pursuing Admiralty was of Admiralty Board of Fisher’s Board that Fisher's that of aa thesis of Mackay’s thesis corroborate Mackay’s to corroborate tend to and tend Sea, and North Sea, the North in the tion in tion more flexible strategic deployment. more flexible strategic deployment. important more important were more cruisers were armored cruisers mind armored Fisher’s mind in Fisher’s that in Given that Given changes actual changes the actual consideration the into consideration taking into after taking and after battleships, and than battleships, than what that suggests evidence the personnel, naval of distribution the in in the distribution of naval personnel, the evidence suggests that what fleximore a of creation the was accomplish to intended actually Jacky Jacky actually intended to accomplish was the creation of a more flexiintertrade interand trade territorial and overseas territorial Britain’s overseas protecting Britain’s for protecting system for ble system ble ests. In In essence, essence, Fisher Fisher devised devised his his scheme scheme to to facilitate facilitate aa change change in in the the ests. method method by by which which the the Admiralty Admiralty employed employed naval naval force, force, not not to to concentrate concentrate the the fleet fleet in in home home waters. waters. The The Royal Royal Navy’s Navy's primary primary strategical strategical mission mission was in retretwas intended intended to to remain remain the the same. same. If If this this does does not not seem seem obvious obvious in rospect not rospect it it is is because because his his plan plan for for the the redistribution redistribution of of the the fleet fleet was was not fully fully implemented. implemented. A A closer closer examination examination of of Fisher’s Fisher’s original original proposals, proposals, Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. 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as as set set out out in in “Naval “Naval Necessities,” Necessities,” shows shows that that after after paying paying off off the the old old gunboats gunboats and and cruising cruising vessels vessels in in distant distant waters waters he he anticipated anticipated sending sending the the crews crews back back out out in in armored armored cruisers.128 cruisers.'* For For example, example, the the number number of of cruisers cruisers on on station station in in the the Pacific Pacific was was originally originally scheduled scheduled to to rise rise from from nineteen nineteen to to twenty-eight. twenty-eight. As As aa first first step, step, after after scrapping scrapping the the old old cruising cruising vessels, vessels, Fisher Fisher was was able able in in 1905 1905 to to commission commission aa half-dozen half-dozen brand-new brand-new armored armored cruisers cruisers that that had had been been sitting sitting in in reserve reserve for for want want of of crews.129 crews.'” Fisher Fisher hoped hoped that that station station fleets fleets would would eventually eventually be be made made up up solely solely of of these these vessels.‘30 vessels.'*° He He had had first first considered considered this this ideal ideal while while serving serving in in the the Mediterranean!“ Mediterranean."*’ Looking Looking further further ahead ahead he he had had hoped hoped to to commission commission another another thirty thirty armored armored cruisers.‘32 cruisers.'” The The first first sea sea lord lord proposed proposed to to find find the the necessary necessary crews crews by by further further pruning pruning the the number number of of old old protected protected cruiscruisers ers on on the the navy navy list list and, and, more more controversially, controversially, by by cutting cutting the the number number of of men men allocated allocated to to the the battle battle fleet. fleet. In In “Naval “Naval Necessities,” Necessities,” Fisher Fisher originaloriginally ly proposed proposed to to cut cut the the number number of of battleships battleships in in full full commission commission from from thirty-five thirty-five to to twenty-eight.‘33 twenty-eight.'"* This This recommendation, recommendation, however, however, was was not not implemented. implemented. The The new new distribution distribution of of the the fleet, fleet, as as announced announced on on 11 January January 1905, 1905, was was actually actually the the product product of of aa compromise compromise reached reached between between Fisher, Fisher, Selborne, and and aa small small Admiralty Admiralty committee committee headed headed by by Battenberg.'™ Battenberg.134 In In Selborne, order to secure unanimous support for his scheme, order to secure unanimous support for his scheme, the the first first sea sea lord lord was was obliged to to make make aa number number of of concessions. concessions. Consequently, Consequently, the the change change in in obliged the the pattern pattern of of warship warship distribution distribution was was not not as as pronounced pronounced as as he he had had originally intended. intended. Largely Largely in in order order to to save save money, money, Selborne Selborne directed directed originally that that more more ships ships be be retained retained in in home home waters. waters. Most Most importantly, importantly, Fisher’s Fisher's attempt attempt to to increase increase the the numbers numbers of of armored armored cruisers cruisers available available for for impe— imperial rial defense defense duties duties was was compromised compromised by by Selborne’s Selborne’s stubborn stubborn faith faith in in bat— battleships. Initially Initially the the first first lord lord refused refused to to recall recall the the five five battleships battleships from from tleships. China.‘35 When, When, in in the the spring Spring of of 1905 1905 Fisher Fisher was was at at last last permitted permitted to to China.’ order order them them home, home, itit was was on on the the proviso proviso that that four four remain remain in in full full commiscommiseach one each and one Fleet, and Channel Fleet, the Channel to the added to be added would be battleships would Two battleships sion. Two sion. to the the Atlantic Atlantic and and Mediterranean Mediterranean Squadrons.136 Squadrons.'* Selborne Selborne also also insisted insisted to had lord had sea lord first sea the first battleships the obsolete battleships eleven obsolete reserve eleven in reserve keeping in on on keeping earmarked for for scrap.137 scrap.'*’ Needless Needless to to say, say, all all these these battleships battleships continued continued earmarked were there were 1905, there October 1905, in October result, in As aa result, manpower. As scarce manpower. absorb scarce to to absorb reserve in Ships” “Fighting of A” “List original Fisher’s original “List A” of “Fighting Ships” in reserve on Fisher’s warships on still still warships for for want want of of crews, crews, including including six six armored armored cruisers, cruisers, twelve twelve first-class first-class protected protected cruisers, cruisers, and and sixteen sixteen destroyers.‘38 destroyers.'** Even Even if if Fisher Fisher had had been been prevented prevented by by Selborne Selborne from from fully fully implementing implementing his his original original plans, plans, nevernevertheless, theless, the the Royal Royal Navy’s Navy's fighting fighting efficiency efficiency had had certainly certainly been been increased, increased, the the worst worst administrative administrative problems problems had had been been solved, solved, and and over over three and and aa half half million million had had been been shaved shaved from from the the naval naval estimates. estimates. three Lambert, Nicolas. 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Enquiry Invasion Enquiry 1904 Invasion the 1904 and the The Leadership and Tory Leadership The Tory

he 1904, he October 1904, in October Whitehall in at Whitehall arrived at Fisher arrived John Fisher Sir John time Sir By the time By the force best force the best was the battleships was on battleships centered on fleet centered that aa fleet no believed that longer believed no longer convinced he convinced was he Nor was interests. Nor imperial interests. British imperial protecting British structure for protecting structure for the longer the any longer was any water was blue water the blue in the fleet in enemy fleet that the enemy out the seeking out that seeking he before he years before several years for several that for seen that have seen We have policy. We best strategic policy. best strategic should navy should the navy believed the privately believed had privately Fisher had lord, Fisher sea lord, became first sea became first cruisarmored cruissuper armored of super favor of in favor battleships in of battleships abandon construction of the construction abandon the previous the previous In the missions. In defense missions. imperial defense oceanic imperial for oceanic suited for better suited ers, ers, better armored large armored that large convinced that also convinced was also Fisher was that Fisher shown that chapter was shown chapter itit was the around the seas around narrow seas the narrow in the employed in be employed safely be not safely could not warships warships could that theory that developed aa theory he developed supposition, he this supposition, upon this Based upon Isles. Based British Isles. British subof subfleet of “mosquito” fleet by aa “mosquito” provided by be provided instead be could instead defense could home home defense and evolution and the evolution to the return to now return We now craft. We torpedo craft. surface torpedo and surface marines and marines implementation implementation of of this this concept concept of of “flotilla “flotilla defense.” defense.” asserFisher’s asserJohn Fisher's Sir John questioned Sir have questioned would have officers would naval officers Few naval Few to missions to principal missions two principal just two had just Navy had Royal Navy the Royal wartime the in wartime that in tion that tion trade the trade protecting the and protecting invasion, and from invasion, country from the country defending the perform: defending perform: achievof achievmethod of simplest method the simplest that the believed that most believed whereas most But whereas routes. But routes. them, sink them, and sink action and to action warships to enemy warships the enemy bring the to bring was to goals was these goals ing these ing He practicable. He be practicable. not be would not this would believed this Fisher believed reasons Fisher of reasons variety of for aa variety for endeavseas, endeavnarrow seas, the narrow patrolling the squadron patrolling battle squadron British battle that aa British feared that feared puttn from putting convoy from invasion convoy an invasion deter an or deter fleet or enemy fleet oring an enemy out an seek out to seek oring to association his association Since his attack.‘39 Since torpedo attack.'*® to torpedo to vulnerable to be vulnerable would be sea, would to sea, morePortsmouth, moreat Portsmouth, serving at were serving both were while both Bacon while Reginald Bacon with Capt. Reginald with Capt. would there would future there foreseeable future the foreseeable for the that for persuaded that been persuaded had been over, he had over, he hencethat, hencepostulate that, to postulate him to led him This led submarines. This against submarines. defense against be no defense be no with principally with here principally deal here Seas’——we deal ‘Narrow Seas’—we the ‘Narrow of the defense of “the defense forth, forth, “the Mediterranean”— the Mediterranean’"— of the basin of western basin the western and the Channel and English Channel the English the the from the separate from and separate apart and quite apart question quite “a question as “a with as dealt with be dealt should should be its upon its rely upon must rely Navy must Royal Navy The Royal fleets.”140 The fighting fleets.”'* working main fighting the main of the working of torpedo torpedo flotilla flotilla to to patrol patrol the the narrow narrow seas. Seas. by (backed by submarines (backed and submarines boats and torpedo boats The destroyers, torpedo that destroyers, idea that The idea indeinvasion indedeterring invasion of deterring capable of by capable might by fleet) might reserve fleet) the reserve units of the units of recalled, be recalled, will be 1903, itit will In 1903, new. In not new. was not fleet was battle fleet the battle from the pendently pendently from the by the claims by rebut claims to rebut argument to similar argument forward aa similar put forward had put the Admiralty had the Admiralty was fleet was battle fleet the battle whenever the possible whenever was possible invasion was that invasion Office that War Office War

absent from from home home waters waters or or ifif the the navy navy suffered suffered aa temporary temporary setback. setback. absent This This argument argument had had been been accepted accepted as as plausible plausible by by the the Cabinet Cabinet Defense Defense

Committeem And And the the concept concept of of “torpedo “torpedo armed armed flotilla” flotilla” had had subsesubseCommittee.'*’ L b

possibilthe possibilon the paper on minister’s paper prime minister’s the prime quently bNeeln been incorporated in the incOrporated in N. Iquently

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ity ity of of serious serious invasion.M2 invasion." Furthermore, Furthermore, the the first first lord lord of of the the Admiralty Admiralty had had endorsed endorsed Balfour’s Balfour’s conclusions.‘43 conclusions.'** “Our “Our fleet fleet of of torpedo torpedo craft,” craft,” Selborne Selborne wrote wrote in in 1904, 1904, “play “play an an immense immense part part in in the the naval naval protection protection of of this this country country against against invasion. invasion. It It has has really really been been on on the the superiority superiority of of our our fleet fleet of of torpedo torpedo craft craft in in all all possible possible naval naval contingencies contingencies that that the the Committee Committee of of Imperial Imperial Defense Defense has has felt felt able able to to advise advise that that the the strength strength of of the the home home Army Army may may be be calculated calculated apart apart from from any any fear fear of of serious serious invasion.”I44 invasion.”' Fisher, Fisher, however, however, was was the the first first British British admiral admiral to to suggest suggest the the Royal Royal Navy Navy should should deliberately deliberately rely rely upon upon the the torpedo torpedo flotilla flotilla rather rather than than the the battle battle fleet fleet to to act act as as the the main main instrument instrument of of strategic strategic deterrence. deterrence. ln In “Naval “Naval Necessities” Necessities” Fisher Fisher proposed proposed to to organize organize four four “defense “défense mobile” mobile” groups, groups, comprising comprising each each of of one one flotilla flotilla of of twenty-four twenty-four destroyers destroyers and and one one section section of of twelve twelve submarines, submarines, and and station station them them along along the the south south coast.145 coast.'* Selborne Selborne agreed.146 agreed.'* The The advantages advantages of of using using torpedo torpedo craft craft to to defend defend naval naval ports, ports, Fisher Fisher claimed, claimed, had had long long been been recognized recognized by by most most naval naval officers. officers. A A torpedo torpedo armed armed flotilla flotilla not not only only provided provided aa port port with with a a more more efficient efficient defense defense than than existing existing mines mines and and guns, guns, but but their their mobility mobility allowed allowed them them to to be be moved moved according according to to strategic strategic requirements. requirements. The The problem problem was was that that up up to to this this time time naval naval officers officers had had always always been been relucreluctant tant to to admit admit this this “for “for fear fear the the Admiralty Admiralty in in any any way way accepting accepting aa part part responsibility responsibility in in the the local local defences.”“‘7 defences.”'” In In consequence, consequence, the the defense defense of of naval naval ports ports had had been been left left in in the the hands hands of of the the army army who, who, it it was was widely widely felt, felt, “have “have never never attempted attempted seriously seriously to to make make their their officers officers in in charge charge of of guns guns or or minefields minefields acquainted acquainted with with the the typical typical differences differences between between British British and and foreign foreign warships?”8 warships.”'*® One One naval naval authority, authority, Battenberg, Battenberg, once once described described the the army’s army's understanding understanding of of their their role role in in coast coast defense defense as as “childish—there “childish—there is is no no other other word word for for it.”'49 it.”'*® The The time time had had come, come, Fisher Fisher agreed agreed in in 1904, 1904, for for “a “a reconsideration reconsideration of of the the whole whole question question of of control” control” and and the the “establishment “establishment of of floating floating local local defences.”'50 defences.”'” If If this this entailed entailed the the navy Navy assuming assuming full full responsibility responsibility for for port port defenses—then defenses—then so so be be it. it. Readers Readers will will recall recall that that for for some some months months before before Fisher Fisher was was appointappointed ed first first sea sea lord, lord, there there had had been been muted muted War War Office Office calls calls for for the the navy navy to to take take some some responsibility responsibility for for port port defenses. defenses. Oakley Oakley Arnold-Forster, Arnold-Forster, the the ambitious secretary secretary of of state state for for war, war, had had been been for for some some time time “not “not only only ambitious willing willing but but anxious” anxious” for for the the lines lines of of demarcation demarcation to to be be redrawn.‘5‘ redrawn.'*’ But But the the generals generals and and admirals admirals both both had had shied shied away away from from picking picking up up what what might might turn turn out out to to be be aa double-edged double-edged sword. sword. Arnold-Forster’s Arnoid-Forster’s insistent insistent prespressure, Sure, however, however, persuaded persuaded Balfour Balfour that that this this matter matter ought ought to to be be considconsidered ered by by the the Committee Committee of of imperial Imperial Defense. Defense. Discussions Discussions over over whether whether or or not the Corps of Submarine Miners should be transferred from not the Corps of Submarine Miners should be transferred from army army to to navy navy control control were were scheduled scheduled for for the the autumn autumn of of 1904. 1904. Predictably, Predictably, the the Admiralty’s Admiralty’s first first position position paper paper written written that that summer summer opposed opposed the the idea idea Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hdl.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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the however, the Kerr, however, Walter Kerr, from Walter unequivocally.'” over from took over Fisher took After Fisher unequivocally.152 After service which service about which arguing about of arguing Admiralty Instead of tune.153 Instead their tune.'* changed their Admiralty changed attenrefocused attensuccessfully refocused should lord successfully sea lord first sea the first mines, the the mines, control the should control mines these mines not these or not whether or of whether tion question of fundamental question more fundamental the more onto the tion onto all. at all. employed at be employed were should be and should use and any use of any were of by discussed by formally discussed was formally The mines was observation mines of observation value of military value The military 1904. November 1904. 22 November on 22 held on the meeting held hour meeting three hour heated three during aa heated CID during the CID the in the aggressiveness in his aggressiveness temper his Unlike not temper did not Fisher did predecessor, Fisher his predecessor, Unlike his representatives Office representatives War Office presence the War Although the ministers. Although Cabinet ministers. of Cabinet presence of were they were character, they forceful character, certainly was aa forceful lord was sea lord first sea the first that the knew that certainly knew of line of direct line brutally direct and brutally caught language and violent language his violent by his guard by off guard totally off caught totally likemore like“far more would “far argument.'* thundered, would Jacky thundered, mines, Jacky Observation mines, argument.154 Observation most anyway most and anyway ports, and ly most ports, to most protection” to than aa protection” hindrance than be aa hindrance to be ly to Obviously protection. Obviously were effective protection. provide effective to provide extent” to in extent” “insufficient in were “insufficient govof govlanguage of the language not the they was not This was forthwith. This abolished forthwith. be abolished should be they should night That night Arnold-Forster.155 That ernment. even Arnold-Forster.' startled even bellicosity startled Fisher’s bellicosity ernment. Fisher’s exaggerated “very exaggerated he made “very had made Admiral had the Admiral that the diary that his diary in his noted in he noted to dangerous to “more dangerous were “more statements” minefields were the minefields that the insisting that by insisting statements” by moreover, self-confidence, moreover, breezy self-confidence, friend lord’s breezy sea lord’s first sea The first foe.”’56 The than foe.”'* friend than matter,”‘57 the matter,”'*’ about the had “nothing about knowing “nothing Despite knowing contagious. Despite proved contagious. had proved into waded into had waded Austen Exchequer, had the Exchequer, of the chancellor of the chancellor Chamberlain, the Austen Chamberlain, observation of observation abolition” of branch abolition” the and branch “root and demand aa “root to demand discussions to the discussions events: recent events: of recent mines.'*® irony of the irony upon the reflected upon Arnold-Forster reflected mines.158 Arnold-Forster originalwho originalsituation. I,I, who odd situation. An odd The mining: An submarine mining: of submarine abandonment of The abandonment ly ly started started the the idea, idea, in in November November 1903, 1903, and and was was rebuffed rebuffed by by the the Admiralty, Admiralty, now now appear appear as as the the councillor councillor of of moderation, moderation, begging begging the the Admiralty Admiralty reprerepreare They are end. They an end. desirable an so desirable sentatives towards so even towards fast, even too fast, go too to go not to sentatives not going going too too fast!‘59 fast!'*

Fisher after Fisher mollified after partially mollified was partially The minister was war minister the war day the following day The following thick rather aa thick with rather on with “laid itit on privately had “laid he had that he him that to him admitted to privately admitted the bolster the to bolster brush.” necessary to being necessary as being language as his language justified his He justified brush.” He military the military rule the over rule resolve to over members to committee members civilian committee the civilian of the resolve of been had been generals had the generals “experts.” apparently, the meeting, apparently, the meeting, Throughout the “experts.” Throughout and advice and their advice muttering ignored their CID ignored the CID consequences” ifif the “dire consequences” muttering “dire disapArnold—Forster disapendorsed abolition.160 IfIf Arnold-Forster for abolition.'© recommendation for the recommendation endorsed the motives. his motives. with his sympathized with proved certainly sympathized he certainly methods, he Fisher’s methods, of Fisher’s proved of The war war minister minister often often confessed confessed in in his his diary diary that that he he was was equally equally exasThe exasno there isis no and there advisors, and military advisors, his military perated of his uncooperativeness of the uncooperativeness by the perated by steamFisher steamof Fisher sight of the sight at the doubt exhilarated at been exhilarated had been him had of him part of that part doubt that the to the written to already written had already indeed, had rollering Arnold-Forster, indeed, generals. Arnold-Forster, the generals. rollering the first member member of of the the army army council, council, Gen. Gen. Neville Neville Lyttleton, Lyttleton, aa terse terse letter letter first Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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demanding demanding action. action. “in “In pursuance pursuance to to the the decision decision arrived arrived at at today today at at the the

C.l.D.,” C.1.D.,” he he wrote, wrote, “I “J presume presume you you will will now now take take action action with with regard regard to to the the question question of of submarine submarine defense. defense. it It was, was, i| think, think, practically practically agreed agreed that that submarine submarine mining mining in in naval naval ports ports should should cease cease forthwith forthwith and and that that the the up.””" broken up.”'®' be broken should be establishment should establishment Direct Direct instructions instructions from from the the secretary secretary of of state state for for war war proved proved to to carry little little weight weight with with the the army army council. council. Arnold-Forster Arnold-Forster was was roundly roundly disdiscarry liked liked and and distrusted distrusted by by his his subordinates. subordinates. The The generals generals had had been been stung stung by by Fisher’s Fisher's criticisms criticisms and and had had resented resented being being portrayed portrayed as as a a bunch bunch of of reacreactionaries tionaries clinging clinging to to an an obsolete obsolete weapon weapon system. system. They They were were also also not not aa little little afraid afraid of of the the wider wider repercussions repercussions if if they they surrendered surrendered control control of of the the mines. mines. Two Two days days after after the the fifty-eighth fifty-eighth meeting meeting of of the the CID, CID, the the soldiers soldiers demanded demanded aa stay stay of of execution, execution, claiming claiming that that the the Admiralty Admiralty had had “misled” “misled” the the committee. committee. They They continued continued to to insist insist that that observation observation mines mines were were aa cheap cheap and and valuable valuable adjunct adjunct to to coastal coastal defences.‘62 defences.'” The The next next day, day, 25 25 November, November, the the CID CID was was reconvened. reconvened. At At this this second second meeting, meeting, Fisher Fisher clevcleverly erly changed changed tack. tack. Instead Instead of of complaining complaining about about the the uselessness uselessness of of the the mines mines he he instead instead revealed revealed that that the the navy navy now now believed believed submarine submarine boats boats could could prove prove more more efficient efficient than than mines mines for for the the port port defense. defense. The The first first sea sea lord lord went went on on to to request request the the CID CID direct direct all all “submarine “submarine mining mining establishestablishments” ments” be be “handed “handed over over to to the the Admiralty, Admiralty, who who would would arrange arrange to to station station submarine he submarine boats boats in in lieu.”'63 lieu.”'® Anticipating Anticipating the the army’s army’s objections, objections, he declared declared that that the the navy navy was was ready ready to to guarantee guarantee that that submarines submarines would would protect protect all all ports ports against against raids. raids. Fisher Fisher was was just just about about to to ask ask the the cm CID to to give maritime give the the Admiralty Admiralty the the full full responsibility responsibility for for all all naval naval ports, ports, maritime fortresses, fortresses, and and coastal coastal batteries, batteries, when when aa nervous nervous Lord Lord Selborne Selborne reigned reigned in his his first first sea sea lord. lord. Already, Already, however, however, Fisher's Fisher’s bold bold maneuvering maneuvering had had in again again caught caught the the War War Office Office off off balance balance and and left left the the generals generals spluttering. spluttering. Throughout Throughout the the meeting meeting the the first first sea sea lord lord received received strong strong backing backing from from Col. George George Clarke, Clarke, now now serving serving aS as permanent permanent secretary secretary to to the the CID. CID. The The Col. mines observation mines of observation value of military value the military describe the to describe used to had used he had language he language opinion Clarke’s opinion Fisher’s!‘““. Clarke’s as Fisher’s!'* colorful as as colorful been as have been to have reported to was reported was widely was widely He was minister. He prime minister. the prime with the weight with more weight carried more probably carried probably conclusions any conclusions before any But before warfare.I65 But mine warfare.'® on mine expert on an expert as an regarded as regarded were were reached reached the the meeting meeting was was adjourned.166 adjourned.'® Despite continued continued opposition opposition to to the the scheme scheme from from the the generals generals and and Despite November 30 on quickly, too moving were events that doubts lingering lingering doubts that events were moving too quickly, on 30 November Arnold-Forster assured assured Balfour Balfour that that he he regarded regarded the the original original decision decision to to Arnold-Forster abolish abolish the the mines mines at at naval naval ports ports “as “as binding binding on on the the War War Office Office and and have have already taken taken the the necessary necessary steps steps to to give give effect effect to to it.”'®’ it.”'67 At At the the next next meetmeetalready ing ing of of the the CID, CID, on on 2 2 December, December, the the prime prime minister minister ruled ruled that that all all mining mining establishments at at the the main main naval naval bases bases should should be be “at “at once” once” transferred transferred establishments Lambert, Nicolas. 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“to “to Admiralty Admiralty charge.“68 charge.”'® The The abolition abolition of of mines mines at at the the other other ports ports took took aa little little longer longer to to resolve. resolve. Balfour Balfour felt felt that that commercial commercial ports, ports, which which were were not not directly directly protected protected by by warships, warships, were were more more likely likely to to be be raided raided than than the forthe navy navy was was willing willing to to admit.169 admit.'® For For this this reason reason he he instructed instructed the the formation coastal mation of of a a joint joint service service committee committee to to consider consider whether whether or or not not coastal batteries batteries alone alone could could adequately adequately protect protect commercial commercial ports.‘70 ports.'” But, But, importantly, he also stipulated that the Admiralty would be “the sole importantly, he also stipulated that the Admiralty would be “the sole authority authority for for advising advising as as to to what what classes classes of of hostile hostile ships ships may may reasonably reasonably be expected to enter certain waters.”I71 Even so, it was three be expected to enter certain waters.”'” Even so, it was another another three months months before before the the CID CID finally finally endorsed endorsed the the dismantling dismantling of of mining mining stastations tions at at commercial commercial ports.172 ports.'” Much Much to to Arnold-Forster’s Arnold-Forster’s annoyance annoyance the the CID CID did did not not go go on on to to make make the “clear pronouncement” the “clear pronouncement” he he had had wanted wanted “as “as to to the the future future responsibilresponsibility ity of of the the army army in in connection connection with with the the non-naval non-naval ports.”‘73 ports.”'” The The committee committee had apparently had apparently lost lost sight sight of of the the question: question: who who would would be be held held accountable accountable if if aa commercial commercial port port were were bombarded? bombarded? Yet Yet it it seems seems that that Selborne Selborne had had urged this end urged Balfour Balfour not not to to investigate investigate these these questions questions too too closely. closely. To To this end he colleagues as he informally informally assured assured the the prime prime minister minister that that “my “my naval naval colleagues as well well as as myself myself look look forward forward to to stationing stationing submarine submarine boats boats at at these these ports, ports, to to be be manned, manned, as as II believe, believe, by by officers officers and and men men of of the the R.N.V.R.””4 R.N.V.R.”'% Ignoring From Sir Ignoring the the whole whole question question was was certainly certainly the the easiest easiest solution. solution. From Sir John John Fisher’s Fisher’s perspective, perspective, however, however, this this was was no no more more than than detail. detail. The The principle principle of of relying relying upon upon submarines submarines had had already already been been endorsed, endorsed, and and thus thus the the door door was was now now open open to to the the navy navy setting setting up up a a chain chain of of submarine submarine bases bases and and adopting adopting the the strategy strategy of of flotilla flotilla defense.175 defense.' The The navy, navy, moreover, moreover, had had struck struck a a major major blow blow at at the the army’s army’s case case for for a a role role in in home home defense. defense. In In light light of of the the still still deteriorating deteriorating fiscal fiscal climate, climate, the the significance significance of of this this should Should not not be be underestimated. underestimated. In the In March March 1905, 1905, the the Admiralty Admiralty scored scored a a decisive decisive victory victory against against the War Office in the battle War Office in the battle over over the the question question of of responsibility responsibility for for home home defense.176 defense.'” After After listening listening to to a a fine-polished fine-polished presentation presentation by by Fisher Fisher and and the new the new DNI, DNI, Capt. Capt. Charles Charles Ottley, Ottley, the the CID CID at at last last “affirmed “affirmed the the doctrine doctrine that that the the maximum maximum strength strength of of the the army army raid raid against against which which we we need need propro-

vide, vide, could could not not exceed exceed 5,000 5,000 men.”‘77 men.”'” This This decision decision gave gave the the navy navy clear clear priority priority in in the the allocation allocation of of defense defense resources resources for for the the task task of of home home defense defense and and relegated relegated the the army army to to little little more more than than a a minor minor supporting supporting role. role. The The generals generals were were dismayed. dismayed. Arnold-Forster, Arnold-Forster, on on the the other other hand, hand, at at once once capitalized capitalized upon upon this this decision decision by by resuming resuming his his campaign campaign for for reducreductions tions in in “the “the absolutely absolutely useless useless force force of of 375,000 375,000 men men in in peacetime peacetime addiadditional tional to to the the regular regular Army Army and and Navy, Navy, all all tied tied to to this this country.”178 country.”'® Reform Reform of of the the militia militia was was now now given given top top priority.‘79 priority.'”? Arnold-Forster Arnold-Forster also also succeedsucceeded ed in in forcing forcing the the prime prime minister minister to to publish, publish, on on 12 12 May May 1905, 1905, an an outline outline Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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of of the the conclusions conclusions reached reached so so far far by by the the CID. CID. The The war war minister minister h0ped hoped this this would would divert divert some some of of the the “flood “flood of of uninformed uninformed public public opinion opinion in in favour favour of of maintaining maintaining [these] [these] useless useless forces.”'80 forces.”'* It It is is quite quite clear, clear, theretherefore, fore, that that by by the the spring spring of of 1905, 1905, the the Admiralty’s Admiralty’s dominance dominance in in matters matters concerning concerning imperial imperial defense defense policy policy had had reached reached aa new new high. high. Yet, Yet, with with one one exception, exception, this this fact fact has has been been overlooked overlooked by by most most historians!“ historians.'*! Fisher’s Theory Theory of of Flotilla Flotilla Defense Defense Fisher’s Adm. Sir Sir John John Fisher Fisher seldom seldom explained explained his his radical radical strategic strategic theories theories Adm. in in writing. writing. Fortunately, Fortunately, however, however, two two documents documents have have survived survived in in which which Fisher Fisher set set out out his his concept concept of of “flotilla “flotilla defense.” defense.” Both Both date date from from early early 1905. 1905. These These show show that that Fisher Fisher intended intended that that the the aforementioned aforementioned mobile mobile defense defense groups groups would would not not be be restricted restricted to to harbor harbor or or coastal coastal defense defense mismissions. sions. They They would would be be deployed deployed well well forward forward into into the the middle middle waters waters with with orders to to prevent prevent enemy enemy transports transports and and large large warships warships from from cruising cruising on on orders the the narrow narrow seas seas without without incurring incurring serious serious risk risk of'being of being torpedoed. torpedoed. The The object Object was was explained explained in in a a “rough “rough paper” paper” sent sent to to Balfour Balfour on on 24 24 January January entitled entitled “Submarines “Submarines Used Used Offensively.”182 Offensively.”'®? The The Royal Royal Navy’s Navy's latest latest subsubmarines, Fisher Fisher began, began, the the B B type, type, were were seaworthy seaworthy enough enough to to operate operate at at marines, aa considerable considerable distance distance from from their their bases bases and and in in most most weather. weather. They They were were quite quite capable capable of of patrolling patrolling the the straits straits at at Dover Dover and and Gibraltar. Gibraltar. Others Others could could be be positioned positioned off off enemy enemy ports ports ready ready to to attack attack large large ships ships as as they they came came out. out. In In fact, fact, Fisher Fisher claimed, claimed, submarines submarines could could be be used used anyanywhere “within “within the the limits limits of of their their radius radius of of action.”'83 action.”'® Their Their range range could could be be where supplemented, moreover, moreover, by by towing towing them them out out to to sea sea with with surface surface ships. ships. supplemented, different Fisher’s fundamentally different was fundamentally however, was objective, however, strategic objective, Fisher’s strategic “offensive that “offensive postulated that He postulated from strategists. He naval strategists. conventional naval of conventional that of from that movefree movethe free of the strategy circumspection of the circumspection include the to include held to be held must be strategy must an movement isis an free movement ments their free limits their that limits activity that any activity enemy, any the enemy, of the ments of coma was enemy an enemy was a comto an action sea to the sea “denying” the Simply “denying” offence.”'84 Simply of offence.”'** action of had too had French too the French that the pletely aware that also aware was also He was thinking. He of thinking. way of new way pletely new the in anywhere less or submarine boats that could also operate more or less anywhere in the more operate also could that boats submarine channel. Consequently: Consequently: channel. to opposed to when opposed us when and us France and to France The same to the same Channel isis the the Channel in the position in The position since (!) since submarine (‘) the submarine to the one answer to only answer the only is the submarine is The submarine another. The one another. be can be vessel can particular vessel one particular they no one and no craft and all craft elude all to elude able to be able should be they should

use the use by the so, by being so, This being them. This built destroy them. to destroy upon to relied upon be relied can be which can built which Channel, the Channel, in the units in large units of keep large to keep impossible to made impossible maybe made craft itit maybe these craft of these invathen invacan, then enemy can, the enemy but the so but do so or cannot do we cannot waters. IfIf we confined waters. other confined or other on craft on these craft of these provision of the provision for the sion necessity for the necessity hence the certainty; hence sion isis aa certainty; instantly become instantly they become our purpose they this purpose for this them for having them But having frontiers. But sea frontiers. our sea Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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[by navigation [by years navigation many years before many use .. .. .. before extended use further extended for further available for available armored vessels} vessels] in in the the western western basin basin of of the the Mediterranean Mediterranean in in wartime wartime armored underdangerous undervery dangerous become aa very will become Channel) will English Channel) the English with the (equally with (equally

boat.185 of boat.'® class of this class of this action of offensive action the offensive to the owing to taking owing taking In In other other words words if if the the ability ability to to deploy deploy formations formations of of large large surface surface ships ships in in the the narrow narrow seas seas was was denied denied to to both both sides, sides, then then neither neither France France nor nor Britain would would be be able able to to convoy convoy an an expeditionary expeditionary force force across across the the chanchanBritain nel. nel. Strategically, Strategically, mutual mutual sea sea denial denial would would be be much much more more advantageous advantageous to to Britain Britain because because it it left left the the Royal Royal Navy Navy free free to to protect protect the the trade trade routes routes and to to defend defend distant distant colonies colonies with with armored armored ships ships that that would would otherwise otherwise and have have been been tied tied to to home home waters. waters. The The principle principle of of flotilla flotilla defense defense seems seems not not to to have have been been finally finally adoptadopted ed until until after after Lord Lord Selborne Selborne had had left left the the Board Board of of Admiralty. Admiralty. On On 2 2 March March 1905, 1905, he he was was posted posted to to the the governorship governorship of of South South Africa Africa and and his his portfoportfolio lio handed handed to to the the earl earl of of Cawdor Cawdor (formerly (formerly chairman chairman of of the the Great Great Western Western Railway).186 Railway).'®° The The new new first first lord lord was was quickly quickly convinced convinced by by Fisherthat Fisher that the the advent advent of of the the submarine submarine heralded heralded aa revolution revolution in in the the conduct conduct of of war war at at sea. sea. In In March March 1905, 1905, Cawdor Cawdor and and Fisher Fisher prepared prepared a a memorandum memorandum for for Cabinet Cabinet entitled entitled “Submarine-boats,” “Submarine-boats,” which which was was intended intended to to give give some some indication indication of of the the “general “general uses uses these these vessels vessels may may be be put put in in wartime.”187 wartime.”'® This This paper paper was was a a remarkably remarkably detailed detailed presentation presentation of of the the navy’s navy’s secret secret “flotilla “flotilla defense” defense” strategy, strategy, and and included included a a section section on on Fisher’s Fisher’s new new theory theory of of mutual mutual sea sea denial. denial. So So explicit explicit was was it, it, indeed, indeed, that that there there must must be be some some question question whether whether Cawdor Cawdor actually actually circulated circulated it it to to the the full full Cabinet. Cabinet. Copies Copies do do not not exist exist in in any any private private papers papers of of leading leading Cabinet Cabinet ministers ministers deposited deposited at at national national archive archive centers.188 centers.'® This This paper paper provides provides the the historian historian with with the the clearest clearest exposition exposition of of the the concept concept of of flotilla flotilla defense defense and and more more generally generally a a statement statement of of the the Admiralty’s Admiralty’s views views at at this this time time on on the the military military value value of of submarines. submarines. “Their “Their main main attribute,” attribute,” emphasized emphasized Lord Lord Cawdor, Cawdor, “is “is their their invisibility.” invisibility.” This This “invests “invests them them with with a a subtle subtle power power of of producing producing great great uncertainty uncertainty and and apprehension apprehension in in the the minds minds of of officers officers and and crews crews of of vessels vessels working working in in certain certain waters.”189 waters.”'® Also, Also, Their Their use use in in “expectant” “expectant” blockade blockade cannot cannot be be denied, denied, whether whether this this watchwatching ing is is in in the the offing offing of of an an enemy’s enemy's harbour harbour or or in in confined confined waters waters within within

reach reach of of the the boats’ boats’ bases. bases. We We must must also also not not neglect neglect the the possibility possibility of of cercertain tain waters waters being being denied denied to to large large ships, ships, from from the the danger danger of of being being attacked attacked

in in daylight daylight by by submarine submarine boats, boats, and and at at night night by by torpedo torpedo craft. craft. The The only only way, way, at at present, present, of of meeting meeting such such an an investment investment is is by by following following suit, suit, and and denying denying the the waters waters in in turn turn to to the the enemy, enemy, thereby thereby neutralising neutralising these these areas areas

for for offensive offensive operations. operations. Such Such aa case case may may be be far, far, at at present, present, from from actual actual Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hdl.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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realisation: realisation: but but affairs affairs move move quickly quickly in in these these days, days, and and we we must must be be ready ready to to forestall forestall any any dangerous dangerous contingencies.‘90 contingencies.'” [my [my italics] italics. ]

The The message message was was unmistakable. unmistakable. Confronted Confronted by by “unattackable” “unattackable” subsubmarines marines by by day day and and “invisible” “invisible” small small craft craft at at night, night, the the Royal Royal Navy’s Navy’s fighting fighting fleets fleets could could not not possibly possibly remain remain in in the the narrow narrow seas seas without without incurring incurring serious serious risks. risks. In In aa letter letter to to aa journalist journalist friend friend written written at at the the end end of of March March 1905, 1905, Fisher Fisher stated stated that that not not even even the the Dreadnought Dreadnought would would be be able able to to cruise cruise the the English English Channel Channel in in the the presence presence of of submarines.191 submarines.'*' “I “IT won’t won't weary weary you you with with technicalities,” technicalities,” promised promised Fisher Fisher in in another another letletter ter addressed addressed to to Lord Lord Cromer Cromer and and dated dated 22 22 April April 1905, 1905, “but “but suffice suffice to to say Say that that within within three three or or four four years years of of this this date date (and (and you you might might keep keep this this letter letter for for curiosity!) curiosity!) the the English English Channel Channel and and the the western western basin basin of of the the Mediterranean Mediterranean will will not not be be habitable habitable by by aa fleet fleet or or squadrons squadrons in in wartime.”"~"2 wartime.”'” How How practical practical was was the the concept concept of of flotilla flotilla defense defense at at this this time? time? Certainly Certainly the the submarines submarines available available to to the the Royal Royal Navy Navy in in 1905 1905 were were relarelatively tively primitive primitive compared compared to to the the vessels vessels employed employed ten ten years years later later during during the the First First World World War. War. But But readers readers should should note note that that at at this this time time Fisher Fisher was was talking talking about about submarine submarine operations operations in in the the narrow narrow waters waters of of the the English English Channel Channel and and the the Mediterranean. Mediterranean. The The sea sea conditions conditions in in these these areas areas were were much much less less severe severe than than the the prevailing prevailing weather weather in, in, say, say, the the western western approaches approaches or or the the Heligoland Heligoland Bight. Bight. The The many many practical practical experexperiments iments with with these these early early craft craft suggest suggest their their range range and and endurance endurance was was sufsufficient.193 ficient." In In January January 1904, 1904, the the Inspecting Inspecting captain captain of of submarines submarines expressed expressed confidence confidence that that the the A A class class could could operate operate as as far far away away as as the the Channel Channel Islands.‘94 Islands.'** He He also also thought thought that that the the new new B B and and C C classes classes (which (which were were essentially essentially the the same), same), due due to to enter enter service service towards towards the the end end of of that that anynavigating anyof navigating capable of and capable seaworthy and more seaworthy much more be much would be year, would year, positive such positive With such week.‘95 With to aa week.'® up to for up Channel for English Channel the English in the where in where to reason to every reason had every Fisher had therefore, Fisher experts, therefore, the experts, by the assessments by assessments performof performcapable of were capable 1905 were in 1905 available in submarines available the submarines that the believe that believe ten that ten note that should note readers should Finally, readers envisaged. Finally, he envisaged. missions he the missions ing the ing eastthe eastin the patrols in on patrols creditably on performed creditably craft performed same craft these same later these years later years ern ern Mediterranean Mediterranean Sea, Sea, the the Adriatic Adriatic Sea, Sea, and and the the North North Sea. Sea. If If there there was was any any doubt doubt over over the the practicability practicability of of flotilla flotilla defense, defense, it it admitalways admitFisher always submarines. Fisher of submarines. shortage of relative shortage the relative from the stemmed from stemmed craft flotilla craft of flotilla “swarms” of upon “swarms” depend upon to depend going to was going strategy was the strategy that the ted that ted “infesting” “infesting” or or “saturating” “saturating” the the narrow narrow seas.196 seas.'* He He once once estimated estimated the the numequal numan equal and an submarines and hundred submarines one hundred to one close to require close would require navy would navy twenty than twenty fewer than were fewer there were however, there 1904, however, In 1904, boats.197 In torpedo boats.'*” of torpedo ber of ber submarines submarines available. available. Two Two years years later later the the total total stood stood at at just just thirty-three. thirty-three. Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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craft. torpedo craft. surface torpedo with surface equipped with better equipped slightly better was slightly Navy was Royal Navy The Royal The waters home in commission in vessels forty about were there were about forty vessels in commission in home waters In 1905 there In 1905 coveted Fisher coveted 1904, Fisher December 1904, In December reserve. In in reserve. so in or so eighty or plus another eighty plus another idea the abandoned wisely but Mediterranean the Mediterranean but wisely abandoned the idea in the the destroyers in forty destroyers the forty

these recall these to recall tried to had tried he had waters.198 IfIf he home waters.'’® to home them to of withdrawing them of withdrawing he when he hypocrisy; when for hypocrisy; condemned for been condemned have been certainly have would certainly he would vessels he vessels the bullied had he Mediterranean, he had bullied the chief, Mediterranean, in chief, commander in been commander had been had destroyers. more destroyers. out more sending out into sending Admiralty into Admiralty steps of steps number of took aa number Fisher took John Fisher Sir John 1905, Sir February 1905, in February Beginning in Beginning to was to act was first act His first waters. His home waters. in home craft in flotilla craft of flotilla number of the number boost the to boost to reserve in reserve vessel in torpedo vessel effective torpedo “every effective that “every directing that order directing an order issue an issue full fifths full two fifths of two crew of with aa crew commissioned with henceforth commissioned and henceforth now and [be] now [be] sub“very subthat “very warned that were warned admirals were port admirals time, port same time, the same At the strength!”99 At strength.”'®? should organisation should former organisation the former of the extensions of and extensions improvements and stantial improvements stantial writ— craft writflotilla craft of flotilla organization of new organization the new on the report on anticipated.”200 AA report be anticipated.”?~ be that intended that was intended stated itit was clearly stated DNl clearly the DNI by the later by months later several months ten several ten craft” torpedo craft” “foreign torpedo all “foreign cover all to cover be to would be wartime would in wartime role in primary role their primary their coast Continental coast the Continental along the all along “distributed all channel “distributed the channel across the stationed across stationed to intended to was intended defense was flotilla defense words, flotilla other words, In other Elbe.”201 In the Elbe.”*” to the Brest to from Brest from there— Continent, therethe Continent, and the Isles and British Isles the British between the waters between the waters all the control all control blue.” the blue.” from the “bolt from possible “bolt any possible from any country from the country shielding the by shielding by was defense was flotilla defense of flotilla concept of the concept that the evidence that tangible evidence most tangible The most The allothe alloin the change in the change in the lies in Admiralty lies of Admiralty Board of the Board by the ratified by actually ratified actually his During his office. During took office. Fisher took after Fisher resources after construction resources of construction cation of cation rocketed craft rocketed flotilla craft new flotilla of new purchase of the purchase on the spending on administration, spending administration, signifmore signifthe more all the made all This isis made pounds.202 This million pounds.”” two million over two to over one to from one from budget construction budget total construction the total period the same period the same over the because over icant because icant when way: when another way: Put another percent. Put 20 percent. million—almost 20 two million—almost by two dropped by dropped construction the construction of the percent of 10 percent than 10 less than Whitehall, less at Whitehall, arrived at Fisher arrived Fisher grown had grown proportion had the proportion 1909 the By 1909 flotilla. By the flotilla. to the allocated to was allocated budget was budget the Had the third?“ Had took aa third.” submarines took which submarines of which percent, of 20 percent, over 20 to over to in change in the change 1905, the after 1905, power after in power remained in government remained Conservative government Conservative more even more and even quicker and been quicker have been would have expenditure would naval expenditure of naval pattern of the pattern the on committee on estimates committee naval estimates the naval of the meeting of first meeting the first At the pronounced.204 At pronounced.” should year should millions aa year half millions and aa half “nine and that “nine directed that Fisher directed 1905, Fisher July 1905, 20 July 20 absorb would absorb flotilla would the flotilla on the Spending on construction.” Spending new construction.” on new spent on be spent be for called for 1906 called for 1906 estimates for sketch estimates The sketch sum.205 The that sum.?” of that percent of 30 percent over 30 over special” “destroyer special” one “destroyer destroyers, one fleet destroyers, five fleet destroyers, five coastal destroyers, twenty coastal twenty four the four to the addition to in addition down in laid down be laid to be submarines to twenty submarines and twenty (Swift), and (Swift),

scheduled was scheduled program was flotilla program the flotilla year the following year The following vessels.206 The armored vessels.” armored concareful conmost careful the most deserves the program deserves This program larger.207 This even larger.” been even have been to have to

structure and force structure ideal force Fisher’s ideal of Fisher's expression of the expression siderahtion as L b N I sideration as [being being the am ert,

ico as. Sirjo nFis er’s Nova Revo ution.

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Necessary Necessary Reforms, Reforms, 1904—1905 1904-1905

125 125

as as an an indication indication of of the the point point to to which which his his radical radical conception conception of of naval naval warfare warfare had had already already reached. reached. Fisher’s Fisher’s desperation desperation to to expand expand the the flotilla flotilla as as quickly quickly as as possible possible can can be be seen seen also also in in his his decision decision to to order order small small and and cheap cheap vessels vessels in in prefpreference erence to to larger larger types.208 types.*° Immediately Immediately after after taking taking office office he he canceled canceled a a contract contract for for thirteen thirteen River River class class destroyers.209 destroyers.”® In In their their place place he he ordered ordered vessels vessels he he called called coastal coastal destroyers.“0 destroyers.”"° These These short-range short-range yet yet highly highly seaseaworthy worthy craft craft were were designed designed for for operations operations in in the the channel channel and and could could be be delivered delivered at at half half the the price price of of a a River?“ River”"' Hitherto, Hitherto, no no historian historian has has offered offered any any explanation explanation as as to to why why between between 1905 1905 and and 1907 1907 the the navy navy ordered ordered thirty-six thirty-six coastal coastal destroyers destroyers and and only only twelve twelve fleet fleet destroyers. destroyers. The The navy navy also also experimented experimented with with even even smaller smaller craft. craft. In In 1906, 1906, Fisher Fisher accompanied the king and queen to witness accompanied the king and queen to witness the the official official trials trials of of the the Alfred Alfred Yarrow—designed Yarrow—designed motor motor torpedo torpedo boat; boat; the the craft craft displaced displaced no no more more than than eight eight tons tons and and was was propelled propelled by by twin twin napier napier gasoline gasoline engines, engines, givgiving ing a a surface surface speed speed of of over over twenty-five twenty-five knots.”2 knots.?’? These These craft craft were were not not adopted adopted before before 1914, 1914, however. however. Again, Again, naval naval historians historians have have provided provided no no rational large rational explanation explanation for for Fisher’s Fisher's willingness willingness to to continue continue ordering ordering large numbers numbers of of small small but but again again relatively relatively cheap cheap C C class class submarines submarines after after 1906, built. The 1906, when when larger, larger, more more efficient efficient craft craft could could have have been been built. The answer answer was was simple. simple. According According to to Capt. Capt. Sydney Sydney Hall, Hall, who who had had been been closeclosely ly involved involved in in their their design design and and who who in in 1906 1906 was was appointed appointed inspecting inspecting captain captain of of submarines, submarines, “this “this was was merely merely a a question question of of money money policy—policy— [the] [the] Admiralty Admiralty said said they they preferred preferred to to have have twelve twelve single single screw screw rather rather than than eight eight or or nine nine twin twin screw” screw” submarines.213 submarines.?!” The The switch switch to to flotilla flotilla defense defense enabled enabled the the Admiralty Admiralty to to scrap scrap aa fairfairly ly sizable sizable fleet fleet of of obsolete obsolete armored armored warships warships kept kept in in reserve reserve at at anchoranchorages ages around around the the country, country, whose whose sole sole function function was was to to be be mobilized mobilized in in war war to assist assist in in home home defense.” defense.2M This This produced produced overall overall savings savings in in the the navy navy to estimates, which, which, of of course, course, was was the the Admiralty’s Admiralty’s single single most most important important estimates, proboats protorpedo boats and torpedo submarines and of submarines force of period. AA force this period. during this goal during goal vided not not only only aa more more effective effective and and flexible flexible deterrent deterrent against against invasion, invasion, vided wararmored warold armored than old maintain than and maintain build and to build cheaper to also cheaper was also but itit was but maintaining and maintaining repairing and of repairing cost of the cost of the estimates of the estimates Relieving the ships. Relieving ships. these vessels vessels saved saved an an estimated estimated £845,000 £845,000 aa year.” year.“5 Further Further savings savings these were accrued accrued by by rendering rendering unnecessary unnecessary projected projected increases increases in in personpersonwere nel and and works. works. Historians Historians have have argued argued these these savings savings were were made made possipossinel ble by by improvements improvements in in the the efficiency efficiency of of the the battle battle fleet.?'° fleet.“6 This This study, study, ble however, has has shown shown that that much much of of the the reserve reserve fleet fleet was was supplanted, supplanted, at at however, lesser cost, cost, by by the the expansion expansion of of the the flotilla. flotilla. lesser Choosing to to rely rely mainly mainly on on the the torpedo torpedo and and the the flotilla flotilla to to deter deter invainvaChoosing sion sion was was unquestionably unquestionably a a fundamental fundamental shift shift in in strategic strategic thinking thinking by by the the Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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126 126

Revolution Naval Revolution Fisher’s Naval John Fisher’s Sir John Sir

Admiralty. Admiralty. But But it it must must be be understood understood that that flotilla flotilla defense defense represented represented a a change change in in method method rather rather than than strategic strategic objective. objective. It It also also represented represented a a switch switch towards towards an an essentially essentially “reactive” “reactive” form form of of naval naval warfare. warfare. The The idea idea of mutual mutual sea sea denial denial did did not not conform to any any previously previously recognized recognized theory theory of conform to of naval naval strategy. strategy. ItIt was was fundamentally fundamentally at at odds odds with with the of the idea idea of of using using the the battle fleet offensively to enforce command of the sea by seeking and battle fleet offensively to enforce command of the sea by seeking out out and destroying destroying the the enemy enemy fleet fleet in in the the blue blue water. water. And And it it undercut undercut the the notion notion of of the the superior superior battle battle fleet fleet acting acting primarily primarily as as an an instrument instrument of of strategic strategic deterrence deterrence by by intimidating intimidating the the weaker weaker fleet.217 fleet.*"” Fisher Fisher did did not not expect expect the the flotilla flotilla to to sink sink every every enemy enemy ship ship in in the the narrow narrow seas. seas. A A fast-moving fast-moving ship ship was was a a difficult difficult target target to to torpedo, torpedo, but but cruisers cruisers steaming steaming at at economic economic speed speed or or lumbering lumbering transports transports would would be be much much easier easier targets targets to to hit. hit. The The presence presence of of the the flotilla flotilla was was intended intended to to prevent prevent armored armored warships warships from from “exercising” “exercising” or or “enforcing” “enforcing” command command of of the the sea. sea. And, And, as as we we shall shall see, see, the the ability ability to to rely rely upon upon the the flotilla flotilla to to deter deter invasion invasion was was intended intended to to allow allow the the Admiralty Admiralty unprecedented unprecedented flexibility flexibility in in wartime wartime to to deploy deploy armored armored squadrons squadrons to to reinforce reinforce the the outer outer marches marches of of the the empire. empire. It It also also providprovided ed justification justification for for adopting adopting the the battle battle cruiser cruiser type type of of capital capital ship. ship. These These fast, fast, powerfully powerfully armed, armed, long-range long-range warships warships were were far far better better suited suited for for imperial imperial defense defense missions missions than than battleships. battleships. Without Without doubt, doubt, Fisher’s Fisher's strategy strategy of of flotilla flotilla defense defense in in conjunction conjunction with with the the battle battle cruiser cruiser concept, concept, marked marked a a complete complete turn turn around around in in the the traditional traditional strategic strategic ethos ethos of of the the British British Admiralty.218 Admiralty.?"°

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Five development: the Five years years of of British British submarine submarine development: the Holland Holland 3 3 (1901 (1901 vintage) vintage) outoutboard depot ship board from from HMS HMS D1 D1 (1906 (1906 vintage) vintage) alongside alongside the the depot ship HMS HMS Dolphin Dolphin moored moored inside inside Portsmouth Portsmouth Harbour, Harbour, circa circa 1909. 1909. Courtesy Courtesy of of Royal Royal Navy Navy Submarine Submarine Museum Museum and and HMS HMS Alliance, Alliance, Gosport, Gosport, England. England.

Holland Holland and and the the warrior: warrior: the the submarine submarine Holland Holland 2 2 being being refitted refitted at at Vickers, Vickers, Maxim Maxim & & Sons Sons Ltd., Ltd., Barrow-in-Furness, Barrow-in-Furness, September September 1906. 1906. In In the the background background is is aa nearly warrior-class armored of Royal Royal Navy nearly complete complete warrior-class armored cruiser. cruiser. Courtesy Courtesy of Navy Submarine Museum and Alliance, Gosport, Submarine Museum and HMS HMS Alliance, Gosport, England. Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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3E YOU'VE GOT SOME SORT oF 1) ALL ABOUT THESE THING UMIER Wear’ professional on to a talking to officer talking Gadgets: aa perplexed perplexed cavalry cavalry officer a professional on board board what what Gadgets Museum submarine Courtesy and E-class appears to to be be and E-class submarine. Courtesy ofRoyal of Royal Navy Navy Submarine Submarine Museum appears d. and and HMS HMS Alliance Alliance, Gospor Gosport,t, Englan England. Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hdl.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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CHAPrER 55 CHAPTER

Defending Defending British British Naval Naval Supremacy, Supremacy,

1905—1908 1905-1908

When When 1| was was Controller Controller of of the the Navy Navy 1I had had an an excellent excellent secretary. secretary. Whenever Whenever I| asked asked him him for for facts, facts, he he always always asked asked me me what what II wanted wanted to to prove! prove! There There is is no no doubt doubt that that facts facts are are most most misleading. misleading. Adm. Adm. Sir Sir John John Fisher, Fisher, 1904 1904

On 44 December December 1905, 1905, Balfour Balfour resigned resigned as as prime prime minister minister bringing bringing On to to aa close close ten ten years years of of Conservative Conservative administration. administration. He He surrendered surrendered the the reins reins of of power power to to the the Liberal Liberal leader leader Sir Sir Henry Henry Campbell-Bannerman. Campbell-Bannerman. By By seeking than seeking rather than office rather from office resigning from of resigning step of unusual step the unusual taking taking the dissolution of of Parliament, Parliament, Balfour Balfour compelled compelled his his successor successor to to form form aa dissolution government before before being being allowed allowed to to appeal appeal to to the the country. country. This This was was aa government political ploy ploy designed designed to to test test the the “brittle “brittle unity” unity” of of the the opposition. opposition. He He political “Liberal so-called “Liberal the so-called between the rift between visible rift still aa visible was still there was believed there believed the and the Africa, and South Africa, in South war in the war supported the had supported who had MPs, who lmperialist” MPs, Imperialist” addition, In addition, Party. In Liberal Party. the Liberal of the members of “pro-Boer” members mainstream “pro-Boer” mainstream of coalition of uncertain coalition an uncertain him an around him orbit around in orbit had in Campbell-Bannerman Campbell-Bannerman had nationalists, Irish nationalists, and Irish unionists, and trade unionists, nonconformists, trade radicals, nonconformists, social radicals, social allegiance. their allegiance. for their price for demand aa price to demand expected to be expected could be who could of who all of all “a parade “a to parade opponents to his opponents forcing his thus forcing in thus pleasure in sly pleasure took sly Balfour took Balfour generforthcoming generthe forthcoming before the voters before the voters of the front of in front linen” in decade’s dirty linen” decade’s dirty the Chamberlain, the Joseph Chamberlain, with Joseph along with that along possible that also possible election.‘ ItIt isis also al election.' al hoped leader hoped Conservative leader the Conservative reform,” the “tariff reform,” for “tariff leading advocate for Tory advocate leading Tory purge itit and purge party and his party unify his help unify might help opposition might in opposition period in brief period that aa brief that the won the coalition won Liberal coalition the Liberal however, the 1906, however, January 1906, In January traders.2 In free traders.’ of free of of Commons of of Commons House of the House in the majority in gaining aa majority overwhelmingly, gaining election overwhelmingly, election office of office out of period out long period facing aa long were facing consequently, were Tories, consequently, The Tories, 358. The 358. drastic even drastic stop even to stop powerless to themselves powerless found themselves importantly, found more importantly, and, more and, policy.3 in policy.° changes in changes Campbell-Bannerman’s platform platform during during the the election election was was built built upon Campbell-Bannerman's upon pledges to to reallocate reallocate government government funds funds for for social social reform, reform, and and of of course course pledges Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hdl.hand|e.net/2027/heb.31569.

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1 27 127

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Revolution Naval Revolution Fisher’s Naval John Fisher's Sir John Sir

to maintain maintain free free trade. trade. From From aa fiscal fiscal standpoint, standpoint, however, his two two key to however, his key policies policies were were contradictory. contradictory. Implementing Implementing the the former former would would involve involve the the expenditure of of aa great great deal deal of of money, money, whereas whereas the the latter latter policy policy denied denied expenditure the Treasury Treasury the the only only conceivable conceivable new new source source of of revenue. revenue. The The experts, experts, the moreover, did did not not anticipate anticipate that that the the yields yields from from existing existing taxes taxes would would moreover, rise rise significantly, significantly, and and if if anything anything they they expected expected them them to to keep keep falling.4 falling.‘ At At

this stage, stage, neither neither Campbell-Bannerman Campbell-Bannerman nor nor H. H. H. H. Asquith, Asquith, his his chancelchancelthis lor lor of of the the Exchequer, Exchequer, were were prepared prepared to to contemplate contemplate radical radical solutions solutions to to the the financial financial problem. problem. Instead, Instead, they they intended intended to to finance finance all all welfare welfare proprograms grams by by making making reductions reductions in in defense defense expenditure expenditure to to pay pay off off the the unfunded unfunded debt debt incurred incurred during during the the Boer Boer War War and and apply apply the the savings savings from from debt debt service service to to increasing increasing social social welfare. welfare. This This policy policy won won over over the the radiradicals cals in in Parliament Parliament who who were were ideologically ideologically opposed opposed to to spending spending money money on on armaments. armaments. Senior Senior Liberal Liberal Party Party politicians politicians gave gave little little if if any any thought thought to to the the orgaorganization nization of of the the armed armed forces forces before before they they assumed assumed power. power. During During the the Boer Boer War, War, and and ever ever since, since, discussions discussions of of military military and and imperial imperial issues issues had had proved proved highly highly divisive divisive for for the the party. party. After After 1903, 1903, the the party party leadership leadership agreed agreed that that such such questions questions were were best best left left alone.5 alone.> Most Most Liberals Liberals were were only only too too pleased. pleased. Many Many potential potential ministers ministers regarded regarded the the entire entire subject subject as as aa “distasteful” “distasteful” distraction distraction from from more more important important domestic domestic issues.6 issues.® As As one one historian historian has has noted, noted, the the Liberal Liberal front front benches benches “cleared “cleared magically” magically” whenever whenever service service matters matters were were debated debated in in the the House.7 House.’ When When the the Liberals Liberals at at last last gained gained power, power, indeed, indeed, Campbell-Bannerman Campbell-Bannerman encounencountered tered great great difficulty difficulty in in filling filling all all the the administrative administrative posts posts at at the the Admiralty Admiralty and and the the War War Office. Office. It It took took him him no no less less than than three three weeks weeks to to find find someone someone willing willing to to serve serve as as parliamentary parliamentary secretary secretary for for the the Admiralty. Admiralty. Few Few political political commentators commentators would would have have disagreed disagreed with with the the observation observation made made by by the the secretary secretary of of the the Committee Committee of of Imperial Imperial Defense, Defense, Sir Sir George George Clarke, Clarke, “that “that in in matters matters of of national national defense, defense, a a

Liberal Liberal Government Government would would not—on not—on taking taking office—command office—command great great conficonfidence.”8 dence.”® Defense Defense issues, issues, nevertheless, nevertheless, had had to to be be addressed addressed if if for for no no betbetter ter reason reason than than the the fiscal fiscal implications implications of of military military expenditure. expenditure. The The implementation implementation of of social social reforms reforms depended depended upon upon the the effective effective managemanagement ment of of the the armed armed forces. forces. While While the the new new prime prime minister minister personally personally favored favored drastic drastic cuts cuts in in the the military, military, he he realized realized that that any any journey journey along along

this this road road must must be be aa slow slow one one so so as as not not to to frighten frighten his his “Liberal “Liberal imperialimperialist” ist” passengers passengers who who believed believed in in strong strong defences. defences. On On the the other other hand, hand, he he could could not not proceed proceed so so slowly slowly as as to to risk risk upsetting upsetting the the more more numerous numerous “progressive” “progressive” wing wing of of his his government government which which was was impatient impatient for for social social reform, or the “radicals” who were zealously reform, or the “radicals” who were zealously keen keen to to attack attack what what they they regarded regarded as as the the “bloated” “bloated” level level of of armaments.9 armaments. In In the the end, end, CampbellCampbellLambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.hand|e.net/2027/heb.31569.

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Bannerman Bannerman found found the the simplest simplest course course of of action action was was again again to to evade evade the the issues. By promising to send official representatives issues. By promising to send official representatives to to the the internationinternational al conference conference on on multilateral multilateral disarmament disarmament scheduled scheduled to to be be held held at at the the Hague in early 1907, he succeeded Hague in early 1907, he succeeded in in postponing postponing any any immediate immediate conconfrontation frontation between between his his multifarious multifarious supporters. supporters. Even Even so, so, during during their their first year of office he and first year of office he and his his ministers ministers remained remained constantly constantly wary wary of of their their unpredictable unpredictable radical radical tail. tail.

Welfare Welfare or or Warfare: Warfare: Naval Naval Finance Finance and and the the Liberal Liberal Government Government

Because Because the the Liberals Liberals took took office office at at the the end end of of the the financial financial year year they they were were more more or or less less compelled compelled to to pass pass the the defense defense estimates estimates drawn drawn up up by by the the previous previous Conservative Conservative administration. administration. They They were were also also given given little little option option but but to to allow allow Sir Sir John John Fisher Fisher to to continue continue at at the the Admiralty Admiralty as as first first sea sea lord lord after after Balfour Balfour specially specially arranged arranged for for him him to to be be promoted promoted admiadmiral ral of of the the fleet. fleet. This This final final step step in in rank rank allowed allowed Fisher Fisher to to remain remain on on the the active active list list for for another another five five years—without years—without which which he he would would have have been been obliged obliged to to retire retire upon upon reaching reaching his his sixty-fifth sixty-fifth birthday birthday on on 25 25 January January 1906. 1906. Surprisingly Surprisingly little little controversy controversy resulted resulted from from this this last-minute last-minute propromotion. motion. The The Liberals Liberals were were delighted delighted to to find find that that the the estimates estimates prepared prepared by by Fisher Fisher and and Lord Lord Cawdor Cawdor provided provided for for aa respectable respectable cut cut in in naval naval expenditure expenditure of of one one and and a a half half million. million. Toward Toward the the end end of of January January 1906, 1906, Sir Sir John John Fisher Fisher reported reported back back to to the the former former Conservative Conservative first first lord lord that that although although the the Liberal Liberal Cabinet Cabinet would would inevitably inevitably demand demand further further retrenchretrenchment ment later later in in the the year, year, he he was was confident confident his his “new “new colleagues” colleagues” would would stand stand up up for for the the Admiralty. Admiralty. The The radical radical parliamentary parliamentary secretary, secretary, Edmund Edmund Robertson, Robertson, had had been been tamed—while tamed—while the the new new first first lord, lord, Earl Earl Tweedmouth, Tweedmouth, “shows “shows such such aa nice nice spirit spirit as as to to make make me me very very happy.”“’ happy.” Confident Confident in in Fisher’s Fisher’s abilities abilities as as steward, steward, Cawdor Cawdor and and Balfour Balfour subsequently subsequently agreed agreed not not to to quibble quibble with with any any modest modest cuts cuts in in the the naval naval budget budget he he might might endorse endorse so so as as not not to to provoke provoke the the Liberals Liberals into into dismissing dismissing him him and and then then imposing imposing draconian draconian reductions. reductions. From From aa Liberal Liberal perspective, perspective, the the situation situation at at the the War War Office Office was was brighter. brighter. Richard Richard Haldane Haldane took took office office as as war war minister minister determined determined to to make make deep deep cuts cuts in in military military expenditure. expenditure. Immediately Immediately upon upon learning learning of of his his appointment, appointment, indeed, indeed, Haldane Haldane had had promised promised Asquith, Asquith, his his

close close friend, friend, that that before before the the end end of of the the year year he he would would somehow somehow trim trim two two million million from from his his budget.“ budget.'' Confident Confident that that Haldane Haldane and and Tweedmouth Tweedmouth were were committed committed to to seeking seeking out out further further economies economies within within their their departments, departments,

therefore, therefore, Asquith Asquith devoted devoted his his time time during during the the first first few few months months of of 1906 1906

L

to to preparing preparing his his first first budget. budget. In In early early May May 1906, 1906, the the chancellor chancellor of of the the Exchequer Exchequer resolved resolved to to scruscruttin'ize the naval naval bRudget, tinize the budget, it it having having become become evident evident that that Tweedmouth Tweedmouth had

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the neither the first neither At first savings. At further savings. no Treasury further the Treasury offering the of offering intention of no intention the by the alarmed by unduly alarmed were unduly leaderships were Admiralty Conservative leaderships the Conservative nor the Admiralty nor idenhe idenwas he only was Not only lenient. Not be lenient. would be news. Asquith would expected Asquith all expected They all news. They of admirer of professed admirer also aa professed was also he was tified but he imperialist” but “liberal imperialist” as aa “liberal tified as had Asquith had moreover, Asquith month, moreover, the month, of the Sir beginning of the beginning At the Fisher. At John Fisher. Sir John his of his effort of the effort with the pleased with was pleased he was assured that he Tweedmouth that Lord Tweedmouth assured Lord howdiscovered, howsoon discovered, Admiralty soon The Admiralty “most Board.”12 The prudent Board.”’? and prudent able and “most able Chancellor’s The Chancellor's misplaced.‘3 The was misplaced." ever, Asquith was in Asquith faith in the faith that the ever, that Tweedmouth after Tweedmouth noticeably after demeanor cooled noticeably Whitehall cooled towards Whitehall demeanor towards paycontinue payto continue allowed to was allowed Admiralty was the Admiralty explained unless the that unless him that to him explained to the loans, the raising loans, by raising facilities) by port facilities) to port ing (improvements to works (improvements naval works for naval ing for rise to rise have to would have (1907-8) would year (1907-8) annual following year the following for the estimates for annual estimates bill—even loan bill—even works loan naval works “new naval sharply.'* pleased. AA “new not pleased. was not Asquith was sharply.I4 Asquith the of the out of quite out works—is quite existing works—is confined completing existing of completing provision of to provision confined to altobe altowould be bill would such a a bill propose such “To propose question,” May. “To 23 May. on 23 replied on he replied question," he of House of the House in the up in took up we took which we gether position which the position with the inconsistent with gether inconsistent fiscal its fiscal achieve its might achieve Treasury might the Treasury Commons that the order that in order 1905’”5 In in 1905.”"> Commons in expendinaval expendireduce naval to reduce found to be found must be way must targets, insisted, aa way Asquith insisted, targets, Asquith chancellor’s The chancellor's mind.'6 The his mind.'* change his ture. could change declared, could he declared, “Nothing,” he ture. “Nothing,” of meeting of special meeting convene aa special to convene Fisher to John Fisher intransigence Sir John prompted Sir intransigence prompted do could do they could best they the best that the concluded that lords concluded the sea lords the sea which the at which board at the board be could be This could level.17 This 1906 level.'’ the 1906 at the was estimates at navy estimates 1907 navy the 1907 hold the to hold was to achieved Portsmouth dockyard, dockyard, achieved by by deferring deferring planned planned improvements improvements to to Portsmouth batthe batcanceling the and canceling commission, and full commission, reducing in full ships in of ships number of the number reducing the projected another projected and another program and 1906—7 program the 1906-7 tle under the authorized under cruiser authorized tle cruiser estimates. 1907—8 estimates. under the 1907-8 under the extract could extract he could that he confident that Asquith compromise, confident the compromise, rejected the Asquith rejected heavy further heavy any further that any grounds that the grounds on the much Admiralty on the Admiralty from the more from much more future. immediate future. the immediate in the unnecessary in ship appeared unnecessary construction appeared ship construction navy British navy the British of the strength of present strength the present According calculations, the his calculations, to his According to supported was supported contention was This contention standard.”18 This “far two-Power standard.”'® the two-Power exceeds the “far exceeds somethat somememorandum that Admiralty memorandum by internal Admiralty an internal in an contained in figures contained by figures to reason to little reason saw little therefore, saw Asquith, therefore, how hands.19 Asquith, his hands." into his fallen into had fallen how had his side-step his to side-step endeavored to Tweedmouth endeavored June, Tweedmouth negotiate. of June, end of the end At the negotiate. At Although Cabinet. Although the Cabinet. to the directly to appealing directly department's by appealing antagonist by department’s antagonist circulathe circulatmemorandum he the memorandum sound, the were sound, the presented were he presented arguments he the arguments lord first lord The first written. The poorly written. and poorly ed confused and was confused colleagues was his colleagues among his ed among the years the two years past two the past over the that over out that opened pointing out by pointing case by his case opened his Admiralty Admiralty had had reduced reduced their their expenditure expenditure by by five five million million (13 (13 percent). percent), budget. next budget. their next from their million from further million cut aa further to cut and offered to already offered had already and had combattleships comof battleships numbers of of numbers terms of in terms that in While admitting that candidly admitting While candidly went he went powerful,” he very powerful,” Navy isis very Royal Navy the Royal of the position of present position “the present pleted “the pleted Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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on argue that construction was was necessary necessary because on to to argue that some some capital capital ship ship construction because the of battleships the fighting fighting value value of battleships rapidly rapidly depreciated. depreciated. Tweedmouth Tweedmouth explained that “the “the life life of of aa modern modern battleship battleship isis brief— brief— explained to to his his colleagues colleagues that an instance, an for instance, 1908, for In 1908, class.”20 In first class.” the first in the years in fifteen years than fifteen more than not more not entire class class of of six six battleships battleships presently presently in in commission commission would would be be declared declared entire obsolete in 1911 another six. All obsolete en en bloc; bloc; and and in 1911 the the Royal Royal Navy Navy would would lose lose another six. All the while, while, the the relative relative strength strength of of the the British British fleet fleet would would be further eroderodthe be further ed update and their ed as as other other maritime maritime powers powers continued continued to to update and increase increase of of their navies. navies. Thus, Thus, Tweedmouth Tweedmouth explained, explained, “for “for us us to to fold fold our our hands hands and and allow allow aa serious serious gap gap in in the the continuity continuity of of our our construction construction of of the the newest newest type type of of battleships battleships would would be be aa rash rash experiment, experiment, and and likely likely to to lead lead to to future future disdisaster.”21 aster.”*' This This case, case, which which amounted amounted to to an an appeal appeal for for the the government government to to sacrifice their their current current spending spending plans plans by by insuring insuring against against an an invisible invisible sacrifice threat threat to to national national security—that security—that might might materialize materialize after after their their term term of of office had had expired—was expired—was unlikely unlikely to to succeed. succeed. office The The crudeness crudeness of of the the arguments arguments employed employed in in the the Admiralty Admiralty memomemorandum for the randum enabled enabled Asquith Asquith swiftly swiftly to to undermine undermine any any latent latent support support for the navy within within the the Cabinet. Cabinet. “The “The upshot upshot of of Lord Lord Tweedmouth’s Tweedmouth’s forecast forecast of of navy the that there there the Navy Navy Estimates Estimates for for 1907—1908,” 1907-1908,” he he warned warned on on 9 9 July, July, “is “is that will be be aa net net increase increase on on the the current current year’s year’s expenditure expenditure of of 750,000[£]” 750,000[£]” will at aa time time of of “profound “profound peace.”” peace.”22 The The chancellor chancellor revealed revealed to to his his surprised surprised at the fall the indeed fall would indeed expenditure would naval expenditure overall naval although overall that although colleagues that colleagues next year year as as the the Admiralty Admiralty memorandum memorandum claimed claimed the the navy navy estimates estimates the the next “headline” “headline” figure figure would would in in fact fact rise. rise. The The first first lord, lord, Asquith Asquith pointed pointed out, out, naval for naval pay for to pay money to year money next year from next that from mention that to mention neglected to had neglected had works would would no no longer longer be be borrowed borrowed but but instead instead charged charged to to the the navy navy estiestiworks on thoughts on own thoughts his own out his set out to set proceeded to then proceeded Asquith then account. Asquith mates account. mates subject. the subject. the conpresent conunder present rate, under any rate, (at any expenditure (at naval expenditure in naval factor in governing factor The governing The ditions) ditions) is is the the cost cost of of new new construction; construction; just just as as in in the the case case of of the the Army Army it it the number number of of men men to to be be maintained maintained on on the the establishment. establishment. But But naval naval isis the the because the retrenchment, because to retrenchment, easily to more easily much more itself much lends itself expenditure lends expenditure disthe within entirely hand isis entirely within the disin hand put in be put to be construction to new construction of new amount of amount Government.23 the Government.” of the cretion of cretion

as treated as be treated never be must never declared, must Asquith declared, budget, Asquith construction budget, The construction The concerned; primarily, concerned: even primarily, or even alone, or Admiralty isis alone, the Admiralty which the in which question in “a question “a opinion naval opinion allow naval to allow been to has been tendency has the tendency past the years past many years for many though for though matter.” the in influence decisive, a even and predominant, a exercise to to exercise a predominant, and even a decisive, influence in the matter.” Rather Rather it it should should be be seen seen as as “a “a question question of of policy policy which which ought ought to to be be deciddecided by the Cabinet as a whole.”24 He then went on to explain why he believed ed by the Cabinet as a whole.”™ He then went on to explain why he believed the navy navy did did not not really really need need the the three three battleships battleships they they had had requested.”° requested.25 the Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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It It was was Asquith’s Asquith’s contention contention that that since since the the signing signing of of the the Entente Entente with with France France and and the the annihilation annihilation of of the the Russian Russian fleet fleet in in the the Russo-Japanese Russo-Japanese War, War, Britain’s Britain’s two-power two-power naval naval standard standard was was no no longer longer an an appropriate appropriate yardstick yardstick by by which which to to measure measure the the strength strength of of the the Royal Royal Navy Navy and and thus thus needed needed to to be be “revised.”26 “revised.” He He was was careful careful not not to to propose propose an an outright outright renunciation renunciation of of the the standard. standard. The The chancellor chancellor realized realized that that plotting plotting such such

aa course course would would involve involve political political dangers. dangers. “In “In the the first first instance,” instance,” he he theretherefore fore advised, advised, the the Cabinet Cabinet should should ask ask the the Committee Committee of of Imperial Imperial Defense Defense to to consider consider “what “what our our standard standard of of naval naval strength strength should should be.”27 be.”?’ The The essence essence of of Asquith’s Asquith’s argument argument for for revision revision was was that that a a naval naval standard, standard, which which required required Britain Britain to to build build against against “the “the two two most most powerful powerful navies navies in in the the world,” world,” was was too too rigid. rigid. He He acknowledged acknowledged that that when when France France and and Russia Russia had had been been the the secondsecond- and and third-ranking third-ranking naval naval powers powers the the standard standard had had made made sense. sense. Since Since Germany’s Germany's promotion promotion to to the the rank rank of of third-ranking third-ranking naval naval power power in in May May 1905, 1905, however, however, the the Royal Royal Navy Navy had had been been striving striving to to overmatch overmatch the the battle battle fleets fleets of of France France and and Germany.28 Germany.” “Is “Js it it reasonable,” reasonable,” the the chancellor chancellor asked asked of of his his colleagues, colleagues, “to “to expect expect us us to to build build aa combicombination nation of of that that character—in character—in the the whole whole sphere sphere of of speculative speculative politics politics by by far far the the most most improbable improbable that that can can be be conceived?” conceived?” Even Even if if it it was, was, he he observed, observed, there there seemed seemed no no need need for for Britain Britain to to lay lay down down more more battleships battleships for for some some years. years. According According to to Weedmouth’s Tweedmouth’s own own figures figures the the Royal Royal Navy Navy already already possessed possessed “47 “47 completed completed battleships battleships less less than than fifteen fifteen years years old old against against 29 29 in in France France and and Germany.” Germany.” As As for for the the potential potential future future threat, threat, Asquith Asquith continued, continued, “a “a great great deal deal of of the the Admiralty Admiralty argument” argument” on on the the need need to to lay lay down down more more capital capital ships ships “rests “rests on on the the effective effective fulfilment fulfilment by by other other powers powers of of the the paper paper programs programs [which] [which] are are to to a a great great extent extent part part of of the the game game of of ‘bluff,’ ‘bluff,’ which which the the Continental Continental Powers Powers seem seem to to be be bent bent on on playplaying.”29 ing.”?° On On this this point point the the chancellor chancellor was was adamant. adamant. “The “The French French program,” program,” he he reiterated reiterated in in a a letter letter to to Weedmouth Tweedmouth the the following following day, day, “exists “exists and and will will in in the the main main continue continue to to exist exist on on paper paper and and no-where no-where else.” else.” And And “in “in

Germany, Germany, the the Kaiser Kaiser encounters encounters great great and and ever ever increasing increasing difficulties difficulties in in getting getting his his way way with with the the Reichstag.”30 Reichstag.”* There There did did not not appear appear to to be be any any visvisible ible justification, justification, therefore, therefore, for for Britain Britain to to lay lay down down any any more more new new battlebattleships ships for for the the foreseeable foreseeable future. future. Tweedmouth, Tweedmouth, who who was was regarded regarded by by his his colleagues colleagues as as aa weak weak minminister, ister, was was no no match match for for Asquith’s Asquith’s formidable formidable debating debating skills.31 skills.*’ The The chancellor chancellor of of the the Exchequer Exchequer argued argued his his case case against against the the Admiralty Admiralty so so convincingly convincingly that that by by the the end end of of Cabinet Cabinet deliberations deliberations on on 9 9 July, July, not not even even the the liberal liberal imperialists imperialists were were prepared prepared to to stand stand by by the the first first lord. lord. Richard Richard Haldane, Haldane, indeed, indeed, seemed seemed more more anxious anxious to to buy buy himself himself more more time time to to find find sufficient sufficient economies economies at at the the War War Office Office by by pushing pushing the the navy navy further further into into the the Treasury’s Treasury's line line of of fire. fire. After After the the meeting, meeting, he he joined joined Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hdl.hand|e.net/2027/heb.31569.

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those those who who were were pressing pressing Campbell-Bannerman Campbell-Bannerman to to impose impose drastic drastic cuts cuts in in the the naval naval shipbuilding shipbuilding budget.” budget.” But But surely surely the the most most remarkable remarkable aspect aspect of of this this story story was was the the attitude attitude of of Asquith Asquith himself. himself. As As a a liberal liberal imperialist imperialist he he was was supposed supposed to to be be protecting protecting the the Royal Royal Navy—-—not Navy—not leading leading the the charge charge against against that that institution. institution. Any Any analysis analysis of of Asquith’s Asquith’s motives, motives, of of course, course, must must remain remain speculative. speculative. He He may may well well have have gengenuinely uinely believed believed that that under under the the prevailing prevailing diplomatic diplomatic climate climate aa drastic drastic naval naval retrenchment retrenchment was was safe. safe. But But it it should should not not be be forgotten forgotten that that as as chancellor chancellor of of the the Exchequer Exchequer he he was was at at this this time time under under intense intense pressure pressure from from the the backbenchers backbenchers to to find find money money to to pay pay for for social social reform. reform. Put Put bluntly, bluntly, he he knew knew he he would would be be blamed blamed if if the the party’s party's social social program program stalled Stalled for for lack lack of of funds. funds. In In addition, addition, Asquith Asquith was was an an ambitious ambitious man man who who hoped hoped one one day day to to become become prime prime minister. minister. As As chancellor chancellor he he took took care care to to groom groom himself himself as as aa “progressive” “progressive” and and actively actively sought sought the the supsupport port of of the the radical radical and and Labor Labor members members of of Parliament. Parliament. In In his his memomemorandum randum to to Cabinet Cabinet of of 9 9 July, July, for for example, example, Asquith Asquith made made aa transparent transparent bid bid for for radical radical support support when when he he suggested suggested that that “a “a reduction reduction in in our our shipbuilding shipbuilding program program would would be be the the best best earnest earnest we we could could give give to to the the world” world” to to demonstrate demonstrate our our willingness willingness to to disarm.33 disarm.” This This sentence sentence cancannot not be be interpreted interpreted as as anything anything else. else. Asquith’s Asquith’s idea idea of of revising revising the the naval naval standard standard appealed appealed to to the the Cabinet. Adopting Adopting his his formula formula of of superiority superiority over over any any “reasonable “reasonable comcomCabinet. bination” bination” of of foreign foreign powers powers promised promised to to allow allow the the government, government, at at its its own own discretion, to to reduce reduce naval naval spending spending below below the the onerous onerous “irreducible “irreducible minmindiscretion, imum” imum” prescribed prescribed by by the the two-power two-power standard. standard. The The first first hurdle hurdle to to cross cross was was the the Board Board of of Admiralty. Admiralty. But But the the sea sea lords lords were were determined determined to to fight. fight. Ignoring Ignoring the the Treasury Treasury directive, directive, they they obstinately obstinately refused refused to to delete delete more more than aa token token three three destroyers destroyers and and four four submarines submarines from from the the published published than building program. program. Replying Replying to to Asquith’s Asquith’s claim claim that that presently presently there there was was building no justification justification for for building building more more battleships, battleships, the the Board Board resorted resorted to to the the no somewhat somewhat weak weak argument argument that that it it was was aa “necessity” “necessity” to to lay lay down down three three more “dreadnoughts” “dreadnoughts” in in 1906 1906 in in order order to to complete complete aa tactical tactical unit unit of of more four.34 Itlt nevertheless nevertheless sufficed. sufficed. More More controversially controversially they they also also refused refused four.* point blank blank to to drop drop any any more more armored armored ships ships from from the the next next (1907-8) (1907—8) propropoint gram.35 gram.” Here Here the the Board Board could could offer offer nothing nothing more more than than its its original original arguargument. “We “We cannot cannot build build for for the the moment,” moment,” Fisher Fisher pleaded: pleaded: ment. The The ships ships we we lay lay down down this this year year may may have have their their influence influence on on the the internainternational most tional situation situation twenty twenty years years hence. hence, when when Germany—or Germany—or whoever whoever our our most likely likely antagonist antagonist may may be be then—may then—may have have the the co-operation co-operation (even (even if if only only temporary) temporary) of of another another great great naval naval power. power. Hence Hence a a two-Power two-Power standard, standard, rationally interpreted, interpreted, isis by by no no means means out out of of date.* date.36 rationally Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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further justify further to justify try to not try did not Admiralty did the Admiralty that the ItIt is note that to note important to is important tried have tried To have navy. To German navy. the German of the growth of the growth to the pointing to construction by pointing construction by relthe relin the disparity in huge disparity the huge given the ridicule, given invited ridicule, to have invited would have so would do so to do

wanted Admiralty wanted the Admiralty which, the Besides which, navies. Besides two navies. the two ative of the strengths of ative strengths

rival largest rival the largest overmatching the of overmatching capable of fleet capable much than aa fleet more than much more effecThe effecwaters. The home waters. of home control of guaranteeing control thus guaranteeing European and thus fleet and European fleet one force, one larger force, much larger very much required aa very empire required Britain’s empire tive of Britain’s defense of tive defense thirdand thirdsecond- and the secondof the strength of combined strength the combined to the at equal to least equal at least the that the supremacy that naval supremacy global naval was global And itit was powers. And strongest naval powers. strongest naval maintain. to maintain. wished to Admiralty wished Admiralty the and the Tweedmouth and just, Tweedmouth was just, case was their case that their belief that its belief in its Confident Confident in with Campbell-Bannerman with left Campbell-Bannerman This left Cabinet. This the Cabinet. defy the to defy Board continued to Board continued risk aa and risk Tweedmouth and out Tweedmouth force out or force Asquith or restrain Asquith two alternatives: restrain two alternatives: fragile his fragile test his to test wish to no wish Having no lords. Having sea lords. the sea by the mass resignation by mass resignation surprisnot surprisminister not prime minister the prime power, the in power, months in six months only six coalition after only coalition after Three Admiralty. Three the Admiralty. backed the and backed route and safer route politically safer the politically chose the ingly chose ingly program. 1906—7 program. the 1906-7 under the down under laid down were laid accordingly, were ships, accordingly, capital capital ships, financial next financial the next for the that for lord that first lord the first to the intimated to Asquith intimated On July, Asquith 10 July, On 10 by proposed by compromise proposed accept aa compromise to accept willing to now willing was now he was year (1907—8) he year (1907-8) “by enquired, “by he enquired, line,” he to line,” in to everyone in bring everyone to bring possible to not possible “Is itit not Haldane. Haldane. “Is (or dreadnoughts (or certain dreadnoughts two certain 1907/8 two for 1907/8 program for the program announcing as the announcing as [results] the [results] on the contingent on third contingent and aa third them) and call them) to call chose to you chose whatever whatever you offer aa to offer seems to [T]his seems March? [T]his next March? held next be held to be conference to of Hague conference the Hague of the Two conviction.”37 Two of conviction.’*’ sacrifice of without sacrifice pass without all pass can all we can which we over which bridge over bridge of Board of recalcitrant Board still recalcitrant the still persuaded the minister persuaded prime minister the prime days later the days later deal.38 the deal.* accept the to accept Admiralty to Admiralty his reflected his probably reflected stage probably this stage at this off at back off to back willingness to Asquith’s willingness Asquith’s Vinwould vinpolicy would naval policy into naval investigation into CID investigation proposed CID the proposed that the confidence confidence that the During the revised. During be revised. to be standard to two-power standard the two-power for the demands for his demands dicate his dicate of secretary of permanent secretary the permanent Clarke, the George Clarke, Sir George debate, Sir estimates debate, recent estimates recent lay we lay “if we that “if assurances that Asquith assurances feeding Asquith privately feeding been privately had been CID, had the CID, the improbthe improbagainst the superiority against of superiority margin of year, aa margin this year, battleship this one battleship down one down assured.”39 absolutely assured.” be absolutely will be Germany will and Germany France and of France combination of able combination able appoint aa “to appoint Campbell-Bannerman “to pressing Campbell-Bannerman been pressing had been Clarke had Meanwhile, Clarke Meanwhile, Colonel policy.”40 Colonel building policy.”* of building question of whole question the whole reconsider the to reconsider committee to committee Admiralty the Admiralty ships the capital ships of capital number of the number to the only to not only objected not Clarke objected Clarke

allthe allto the opposed to was opposed he was see, he shall see, we shall as we also, as but also, build but to build wished to wished and authority and his authority exceed his to exceed moment to this moment chose this he chose why he Just why type. Just big-gun type. big-gun having at having frustrated at was frustrated he was Possibly he clear. Possibly not clear. affairs isis not naval affairs intervene inin naval intervene In reform.“1 In army reform.” for army schemes for latest schemes the latest in the voice in Haldane aa voice by Haldane denied by been denied been before “meddling” before Clarke’s “meddling” discovered Clarke’s fortuitously discovered Tweedmouth fortuitously case, Tweedmouth any case, any Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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the the prime prime minister minister had had time time to to refer refer the the question question of of the the naval naval standard standard forformally mally to to the the CID.42 CID.” Fisher Fisher was was beside beside himself himself with with anger anger on on learning learning of of the the attempt attempt to to usurp usurp the the Admiraltys Admiralty’s authority. authority. “The “The sooner sooner we we send send Clarke Clarke to to die die of of yellow yellow fever fever as as Governor Governor of of some some West West Indian Indian island,” island,” he he fumed fumed in in aa letter would letter to to Tweedmouth, Tweedmouth, “the “the better!”43 better!’* The The sea sea lords, lords, he he warned, warned, would ferociously ferociously resist resist any any further further attempts attempts to to refer refer future future naval naval construction construction to to the the Committee Committee of of Imperial Imperial Defense.44 Defense.“ Before Before proceeding, proceeding, it it is is worth worth noting noting that that several several historians historians have have noticed noticed that that from from 1906 1906 Sir Sir John John Fisher Fisher became became increasingly increasingly reluctant reluctant to to cooperate cooperate with with any any ClD CID investigation investigation that that touched touched on on naval naval affairs.45 affairs.* Clarke’s Clarke’s maneuvering maneuvering during during the the summer summer of of 1906 1906 indicate indicate that that the the Admiral Admiral was was not not paranoid—as paranoid—as some some have have suggested—rather suggested—rather he he justifijustifiably ably concerned concerned that that the the organization organization he he had had helped helped to to father father had had been been corrupted.46 corrupted.* When When Balfour Balfour had had been been in in the the chair, chair, the the CID CID had had instinctiveinstinctively ly sided sided with with the the navy navy on on every every issue issue “which “which the the two two [service] [service] departdepartments 'views.”47 The ments held held opposite opposite views.”*’ The senior senior Liberal Liberal politicians, politicians, by by contrast, contrast, were were less less inclined inclined to to favor favor the the Admiralty Admiralty case. case. Meanwhile Meanwhile Fisher Fisher found found himself himself on on the the horns horns of of a a dilemma. dilemma. On On the the one one hand hand he he had had Asquith, Asquith, encouraged encouraged by by Sir Sir George George Clarke, Clarke, pressing pressing to to annihilate annihilate the the capital-ship capital-ship construction construction budget. budget. On On the the other, other, he he faced faced growing growing criticism criticism of of his his administration administration from from officers officers who who disapproved disapproved of of his his increasingly increasingly radical radical reforms. reforms. Revealing Revealing to to the the Cabinet Cabinet the the true true direction direction of of his his naval naval policy, policy, in in other other words, words, necessarily necessarily meant meant inviting inviting further further and and potentially potentially disastrous disastrous criticism criticism from from within within the the service. service. It It is is little litthe wonder wonder that that Fisher Fisher became became reluctant reluctant to to hold hold frank frank discussions discussions of of naval naval policy policy with with outsiders. outsiders. From From mid-1906, mid-1906, moreover, moreover, he he started started to to conceal conceal the the Admiralty’s Admiralty’s true true thoughts thoughts on on naval naval subjects subjects and and instead instead sought sought to to employ employ arguments arguments that that were were designed designed to to justify justify the the current current levels levels of of naval naval expenditure. expenditure. For For this this decepdeception to to work, work, itit was was thus thus essential essential to to avoid avoid naval naval policy policy being being scrutinized scrutinized tion by to by outside outside experts, experts, such such as as Clarke, Clarke, especially especially if if they they were were predisposed predisposed to be be hostile. hostile. Between Between 1906 1906 and and 1910, 1910, the the relationship relationship between between the the Liberal Liberal Cabinet Cabinet and and the the Board Board of of Admiralty Admiralty became became increasingly increasingly characterized characterized by by mutual mutual distrust distrust and and suspicion. suspicion. perdisastrous pertheir disastrous to their response to first response Admiralty’s first The Admiralty’s resume: The To resume: To formance formance in in the the estimates estimates debate debate of of July July 1906, 1906, was was to to find find a a different—— different— and and more more effective—argument effective—argument with with which which to to block block Cabinet Cabinet demands demands for for cessation in in the the construction construction of of armored armored warships.* warships.48 Thereafter, Thereafter, the the aa cessation Board Board began began to to claim claim that: that: until until recently recently although although each each succeeding succeeding type type of of battleships battleships were were an an improvement improvement on on their their predecessors, predecessors, the the advance advance in in fighting fighting efficiency efficiency from from Lambert, Nicolas. 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introthe introwhereas—with the small, whereas—with one comparatively small, was comparatively another was to another type to one type power fighting power in fighting 200% in of 200% forward of leap forward duction Dreadnoughts—a leap the Dreadnoughts—a of the duction of all designs, all dreadnought designs, the dreadnought with the has compared with as compared that as so that effected, so been effected, has been date.49 of date.® out of less out or less more or are more existing battleships are of battleships types of existing types

all-big-gun that all-big-gun claim that Admiralty’s claim the Admiralty’s in the Certainly justification in was justification there was Certainly there predreadover predreadadvantage over gunnery advantage ships considerable gunnery have aa considerable would have ships would that 1906 that July 1906 in July suggest in to suggest Board to the Board for the noughts.*° hand for other hand the other On the noughts.50 On obsolete battleships obsolete existing battleships all existing render all would render their superiority would gunnery superiority their gunnery Admiralty the Admiralty that, the significant that, perhaps significant was question.“ ItIt isis perhaps to question.*' open to more open was more Dreadnought HMS Dreadnought of HMS launch of the launch after the made immediately after claims immediately such claims no such made no pracbattle pracsquadron battle of squadron results of the results Furthermore, the 1906.52 Furthermore, February 1906.” in February in in conditions, in certain conditions, under certain that under suggested that year suggested tices that year conducted that tices conducted armed battleships armed weather, battleships misty weather, or misty seas or engagements rough seas in rough fought in engagements fought over edge over the edge have the might have guns might quick-firing guns of quick-firing battery of with secondary battery with aa secondary comof comnumber of “large number afterwards, aa “large years afterwards, all-big-gun many years For many ships.‘53 For all-big-gun ships. dreadnoughts of dreadnoughts superiority of the superiority that the insist that to insist petent continued to officers” continued petent officers” adminAdmiralty adminsenior Admiralty Even senior exaggerated.54 Even was exaggerated.** over battleships was older battleships over older calculating that calculating politicians) that to politicians) not to (though not istrators confessed (though privately confessed istrators privately publn pubcomplexity.”55 In extreme complexity.”*° of extreme “one of was “one type was each type of each value of relative value the the relative engagements naval engagements future naval in future that in maintained that Admiralty maintained the Admiralty however, the lic, lic, however, Fisher though Fisher even though Furthermore, even matter.”56 Furthermore, “only would matter.” dreadnoughts would “only dreadnoughts battleships “dreadnought” battleships of “dreadnought” building of the building to the was opposed to personally opposed was personally as himself as presented himself he presented Whitehall he outside Whitehall cruiser), outside battle cruiser), the battle (preferring the (preferring an uncompromising uncompromising defender defender of of the the type, type, branding branding anyone anyone who who contracontraan dicted dicted the the official official line line as as aa heretic. heretic. Another Another argument argument Fisher Fisher started started had Admiralty had the Admiralty that the was that Dreadnought was the Dreadnought building the justify building to justify using using to forthat forintelligence that by intelligence battleships by all-big-gun battleships been building all-big-gun to building driven to been driven eign navies navies were were already already moving moving in in this this direction.*’ direction.57 The The evidence evidence to to supsupeign claims the claims not the or not whether or But whether thin.58 But however, isis thin.°*® argument, however, this argument, port this port really What really point. What the point. misses the not misses or not true or were true dreadnoughts were for dreadnoughts made for made conthe conof the preservation of the preservation was the Admiralty was the Admiralty and the Fisher and to Fisher mattered to mattered struction budget. budget. This This will will become become clearer clearer below. below. struction for claims for Admiralty’s claims the Admiralty’s refute the to refute Lacking knowledge to technical knowledge the technical Lacking the was Clarke was George Clarke Sir George 1906 Sir September 1906 in September warships,59 in model warships,” new model the new the described by by one one neutral neutral observer observer as as having having become become “all “all agog agog against against described dreadnoughts.”® dreadnoughts.”60 Henceforth Henceforth he he encouraged encouraged Liberal Liberal ministers ministers to to believe believe that that the the decision decision to to build build the the Dreadnought Dreadnought and and “the “the three three monster monster armored cruisers” cruisers” was was the the “worst “worst mistake mistake ever” ever” made made by by aa Board Board of of armored Admiralty.61 Admiralty.®' After After other other naval naval powers powers also also started started to to build build “dread“dreadnoughts,” Britain’s huge huge numernumernoughts,” Fisher Fisher was was accused accused of of “throwing “throwing away" away” Britain’s ical ical advantage advantage in in conventional conventional battleships. battleships. 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of of his his remarks remarks struck struck aa chord chord with with many many in in the the Cabinet.62 Cabinet.” This This impresimpression sion was was reinforced reinforced towards towards the the end end of of 1906, 1906, by by aa series series of of articles articles in in the press questioning the wisdom of the Admiralty’s “dreadnought policy” the press questioning the wisdom of the Admiralty’s “dreadnought policy” authored authored by by the the former former DNl DNI Rear Rear Adm. Adm. Reginald Reginald Custance, Custance, the the highly highly respected naval theorist and respected naval theorist and tactician, tactician, Sir Sir William William White, White, the the ex-DNC. ex-DNC, and Adm. Adm. Sir Sir Frederick Frederick Richards, Richards, the the former former senior senior naval naval lord.** lord.63 What What itit and is important to realize, nevertheless, and what these distinguished offiis important to realize, nevertheless, and what these distinguished officers did not realize, was the adoption of the dreadnought cers did not realize, was the adoption of the dreadnought type type battlebattleships ships proved proved to to be be the the Admiralty’s Admiralty’s best best justification justification for for the the continued continued construction construction of of big-ships big-ships during during the the Liberal Liberal administration; administration; without without the the concept of of aa “dreadnought “dreadnought revolution” revolution” itit isis difficult difficult to to see see how how Fisher Fisher concept could could have have persuaded persuaded the the Cabinet Cabinet between between 1906 1906 and, and, say, say, 1909, 1909, to to ignore ignore the the protests protests of of their their radical radical tail tail and and continue continue building building large large armored armored warships. warships. it It was was no no coincidence coincidence that that at at the the beginning beginning of of 1907, 1907, several several Cabinet Cabinet ministers began began openly openly to to question question Fisher's Fisher’s claims claims for for the the overwhelming overwhelming ministers superiority of of the the all-big-gun all-big-gun armored armored vessel vessel over over predreadnought predreadnought types. types. superiority Others, David David Lloyd Lloyd George George for for example, example, complained complained publically publically that that the the Others, dreadnought policy policy was was aa “piece “piece of of wanton wanton and and profligate profligate ostentation’— ostentation”— dreadnought whatever whatever that that meant.64 meant.” In In January, January, Campbell-Bannerman Campbell-Bannerman admitted admitted to to Asquith that that he he too too resented resented having having to to pay pay the the costs costs associated associated with with the the Asquith development and and construction construction of of “experimentally “experimentally large large ships ships which which no no development other power power possesses.’* possesses.”65 Growing Growing skepticism skepticism over over the the Admiralty’s Admiralty’s other claims of of aa “dreadnought “dreadnought revolution” revolution” may may explain explain why, why, that that month, month, the the claims Cabinet refused refused to to allow allow the the Admiralty Admiralty to to sell sell two two predreadnoughts predreadnoughts to to Cabinet the Brazilian Brazilian navy navy and and use use the the proceeds proceeds to to build build “another “another Dreadnought Dreadnought the or Invincible.”® Invincible.”66 Of Of course course the the politicians politicians may may simply simply have have felt felt that that for for or more carried more battleships carried old battleships two old purposes, two deterrence purposes, and deterrence diplomatic and diplomatic weight weight than than one one new new one.“ one.*’ But But judging judging from from the the tone tone of of Asquith’s Asquith’s correcorrelikely. seem likely. not seem does not this does subject this the subject on the spondence on spondence In early early 1907 1907 doubts doubts over over the the direction direction of of Admiralty Admiralty construction construction In policy had had become become sufficiently sufficiently widespread widespread for for Fisher Fisher to to recruit recruit the the hishispolicy policy.68 construction policy.” his construction of his criticism of rebut criticism help rebut to help Corbett to Julian Corbett torian Julian torian confidential several confidential with several Corbett with provided Corbett lord provided sea lord first sea the first end, the this end, To this To Building our Building of our Aspects of Strategic Aspects “The Strategic entitled “The one entitled the one including the papers including papers subCorbett subDN1,70 Corbett the DNI,” Ottley, the Charles Ottley, with Charles cooperation with In cooperation Program.”69 In Program.’® dreadthe dreadof the defense of partisan, defense impressive, ifif partisan, an impressive, produced an sequently produced sequently which type which the type of the criticism of dampening criticism in dampening succeeded in that succeeded type that nought type nought

write to write invitation to an invitation and an lord and sea lord first sea the first of the gratitude of the gratitude him the earned him earned further propaganda propaganda articles articles on on behalf behalf of of the the Admiralty.” Admiralty.”ll The The historian historian further in papers in further papers two further produced two summer produced that summer later that and later agreed and cautiously agreed cautiously support of of recent recent naval naval reforms.” reforms.72 While While Corbett’s Corbett’s articles articles silenced silenced the the support Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hdl.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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Admiralty’s Admiralty’s loudest loudest critics critics they they did did not not convince convince their their most most dangerous dangerous foe. Chancellor Chancellor Asquith, Asquith, who who in in April April 1908 1908 would would become become prime prime minisminisfoe. ter, remained remained “sceptical” “sceptical” (in (in the the matter matter of of shipbuilding) shipbuilding) as as to to the the whole whole ter, “dreadnought” policy for many more years. One of Asquith’s first acts “dreadnought” policy for many more years. One of Asquith’s first acts as as prime prime minister, minister, indeed, indeed, would would be be to to dismiss dismiss Tweedmouth Tweedmouth as as first first lord lord and want and replace replace him him with with the the chief chief secretary secretary from from the the Treasury. Treasury. “I “I don’t don’t want to press you," an impatient Asquith wrote to the new first lord of the to press you,” an impatient Asquith wrote to the new first lord of the Admiralty in July 1908, for example, “but as you have now surveyed the Admiralty in July 1908, for example, “but as you have now surveyed the whole whole situation situation from from the the inside, inside, 1I should should be be very very glad glad to to know know if if you you have have come to any conclusion of your own as to the lines upon which come to any conclusion of your own as to the lines upon which conconstruction money struction ought ought to to proceed proceed for for the the next next few few years. years. There There is is much much money in in it——and it—and more more than than money. money.... . 3’73 .”” Fisher’s ability from Fisher's ability from the the end end of of 1906 1906 to to always always provide provide a a plausible plausible answer answer as as to to why why more more cuts cuts should should not not be be made made in in the the naval naval construcconstruction budget budget made made him him extremely extremely unpopular unpOpular with with his his political political masters. masters. “I“I tion confess confess that that after after a a year’s year’s experience,” experience,” Asquith Asquith wrote wrote to to CampbellCampbellBannerman, Bannerman, lI have and have very very little little confidence confidence in in the the present present lot lot of of Sea Sea Lords Lords who who chop chop and change change as as the the whim whim suits suits them. them. Our Our naval naval supremacy supremacy is is so so completely completely assured assured having having regard regard to to the the sketchy sketchy paper paper program program and and inferior inferior shipshipbuilding building resources resources of of the the other other powers powers that that there there is is no no possible possible reason reason for for allowing allowing ourselves ourselves to to be be hastily hastily rushed rushed into into these these nebulous nebulous and and ambitious ambitious developments." developments.”

Campbell-Bannerman Campbell-Bannerman “entirely” “entirely” shared shared Asquith’s Asquith’s “dislike “dislike and and suspisuspicions. of the Navy.”75 Unfortunately cions. of the Navy.” Unfortunately at at a a time time when when the the international international naval the naval situation situation was was so so confused confused it it was was impossible impossible to to disregard disregard the expert advice from the Board of Admiralty. “There is desperately expert advice from the Board of Admiralty. “There is desperately little little sound sound standing standing ground ground in in all all this,” this,” sighed sighed Campbell-Bannerman.76 Campbell-Bannerman.” This This uncertainty, however, did not discourage him uncertainty, however, did not discourage him from from again again trying trying (unsuc(unsuccessfully) cessfully) to to coax coax Tweedmouth Tweedmouth into into endorsing endorsing a a change change in in the the definition definition of the two-power standard.77 “I think it will be sadly misunderstood of the two-power standard.” “I think it will be sadly misunderstood ifif you lord you were were to to throw throw over over its its validity validity at at the the present present time,” time,” the the first first lord had replied. had replied. “All “All governments governments for for at at least least twenty-one twenty-one years years have have acceptaccepted ed and and acted acted up up to to the the Two Two Power Power Standard Standard and and it it is is not not to to be be lightly lightly abandoned of abandoned now.”78 now.”” The The public public had had identified identified it it as as the the very very definition definition of

national the national security. security. He He did did not not need need to to add add that that any any attempt attempt to to dilute dilute the standard standard was was bound bound to to be be used used against against the the government government with with potentialpotentially ly serious serious effect. effect.

From From the the beginning beginning of of 1907 1907 the the Cabinet Cabinet and and Treasury Treasury became became resigned resigned to to do do no no more more than than hold hold the the line line on on the the Admiralty’s Admiralty’s spending. spending. This This uneasy uneasy truce truce between between the the departments departments lasted lasted for for almost almost a a year, year, Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, httpszl/hdl.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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until until the the Liberal Liberal Party’s Party’s radical radical tail tail began began to to twitch twitch restlessly.79 restlessly.” On On 4 4 November, November, one one hundred hundred and and thirty-eight thirty-eight backbencher backbencher MP’s MP’s submitted submitted aa petition petition to to the the prime prime minister minister calling calling for for massive massive cuts cuts in in defense defense spendspend- ‘— ing.80 ing. After After gauging gauging the the strength strength of of feeling feeling within within the the party, party, on on 20 20 November November the the Chief Chief Whip Whip reported reported to to the the Cabinet Cabinet that that “unless “unless some some subsubstantial Stantial reduction reduction is is made made in in the the combined combined total total of of naVal naval and and military military expenditure, expenditure, the the Government Government may may be be exposed exposed to to aa serious serious attack attack by by aa considerable considerable section section of of their their own own followers?“ followers.”* Before Before the the Cabinet Cabinet had had time time to to react react to to this this potential potential threat, threat, however, however, the the very very next next day day indeed, indeed, Asquith Asquith was was “aghast” “aghast” to to learn learn from from Tweedmouth Tweedmouth that that the the Admiralty Admiralty intended intended to to ask ask for for an an increase increase in in their their budget budget next next year year of of between between one one and and two two million.82 million.” The The increase increase was was the the result result of of the the Admiralty Admiralty having having now now to to pay pay for for works works out out of of the the annual annual navy navy estimates estimates rather rather than than borborrow row the the money money as as they they had had been been doing doing since since 1895. 1895. “I “I need need hardly hardly tell tell you,” you,’ the the Chancellor Chancellor at at once once wrote wrote back, back, “that “that II cannot cannot and and will will not not be be responsible for submitting such estimates to the House of Commons.”83 responsible for submitting such estimates to the House of Commons.”® This This time time Asquith’s Asquith’s reply reply was was not not simply simply an an expression expression of of personal personal ideideology ology or or symptomatic symptomatic of of his his desire desire to to remain remain friendly friendly with with the the radicals radicals for for political political reasons. reasons. He He was was committed committed (and (and becoming becoming increasingly increasingly desdesperate) to find money to pay for the Old Age Pensions Bill due to perate) to find money to pay for the Old Age Pensions Bill due to be be introduced introduced before before Parliament Parliament early early the the following following year.84 year. Yet Yet this this time time Asquith Asquith could could hardly hardly accuse accuse the the Admiralty Admiralty of of profligacy. profligacy. The The building building program for 1908—9 was modest; consisting of just one capital program for 1908-9 was modest; consisting of just one capital ship—a ship—a battleship—and battleship—and aa new new model model armored armored cruiser cruiser (armed (armed with with eight eight 9.29.2inch inch guns) guns) plus plus the the usual usual number number of of flotilla flotilla craft.85 craft. Had Had the the Admiralty Admiralty not not been been obliged obliged to to provide provide for for naval naval works, works, indeed, indeed, the the navy navy estimates estimates would would actually actually shown shown aa slight slight fall. fall. Finding Finding economies economies elsewhere elsewhere in in the the naval naval budget budget was was unlikely. unlikely. Tweedmouth Tweedmouth warned warned that that after after the the recent recent announcement announcement of of another another expansion expansion of of the the German German fleet, fleet, it it was was not not pospossible sible to to reduce reduce the the numbers numbers of of ships ships in in commission commission or or delete delete obsolete obsolete vessels vessels from from the the reserve. reserve. On 26 26 November, November, the the Cabinet Cabinet peremptorily peremptorily informed informed the the Admiralty Admiralty On that that their their estimates estimates “must “must be be completely completely revised revised with with the the view view of of secursecuring ing that that the the estimated estimated expenditure expenditure on on the the Navy Navy for for 1908/09 1908/09 shall shall not not exceed the the figures figures of of last last year.”** year.”86 Moreover, Moreover, “the “the Cabinet Cabinet have have decided decided exceed that no no estimate estimate for for aa new new Dreadnought Dreadnought need need be be included included in in the the estiestithat mates for 1908—09.”87 Unable to persuade Needmouth to stand firm, mates for 1908-09.”®’ Unable to persuade Tweedmouth to stand firm, Fisher Fisher offered offered to to compromise.88 compromise.” By By delaying delaying payments payments on on outstanding outstanding contracts and postponing the calling of tenders until the end contracts and postponing the calling of tenders until the end of of the the finanfinancial year, he suggested, the necessary increase might be restricted cial year, he suggested, the necessary increase might be restricted to to just just £500,000.89 £500,000." These These measures, measures, however, however, would would have have only only deferred deferred expenditure. expenditure. In In the the meantime, meantime, the the Treasury Treasury would would still still have have to to cough cough up up Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hdl.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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withdrew Admiralty withdrew the Admiralty however, the an later, however, days later, Five days million. Five half million. extra half an extra 1.4 extra 1.4 an extra for an demand for original demand the original this resubmitted the instead resubmitted and instead offer and this offer resolve. new resolve. found aa new had found lord had first lord the first million. lords the sea lords the sea to the Thanks to million. Thanks docusigned docuwith aa signed Tweedmouth with On presented Tweedmouth they presented 1907, they December 1907, On 33 December

memorandum the memorandum with the Along with diktat.90 Along ment Cabinet’s diktat.° the Cabinet’s at the protesting at ment protesting

New the New of the beginning of the beginning At the went resignation.“ At mass resignation.” of mass threat of verbal threat went aa verbal drawn.”92 daggers drawn.”” “at daggers still “at were still Year Admiralty were the Admiralty and the Treasury and the Treasury Year the the because the convincing because been convincing have been Tweedmouth’s must have performance must Tweedmouth’s performance himself bracing himself was bracing secretary, was private secretary, prime his private to his according to minister, according prime minister, Admiralty.93 of Admiralty.” Board of entire Board the entire to of the resignation of accept resignation to accept tensions, defuse tensions, and defuse disaster and In possible disaster this possible off this head off to head attempt to an attempt In an into secretary, foreign the Grey, Campbell-Bannerman sent Sir Edward Grey, the foreign secretary, into Edward Sir sent Campbell-Bannerman chowas choHe was economies. He out economies. ferret out to ferret Whitehall committee to small committee with aa small Whitehall with found however, found Grey, however, neutral. Grey, as neutral. sen him as regarded him sides regarded both sides because both sen because of week of first week the first during the sometime during nothing. afterwards, sometime shortly afterwards, And shortly nothing. And objections Treasury’s the overruled January 1908, the prime minister overruled the Treasury's objections minister prime the January 1908, before But before plans.94 But spending plans.* and Admiralty’s spending the Admiralty’s endorse the to endorse agreed to and agreed of House the before estimates navy Tweedmouth had time to lay the navy estimates before the House of the lay to Tweedmouth had time Political attack. heart major a Commons, Campbell-Bannerman suffered a major heart attack. Political suffered Commons, Campbell-Bannerman time.95 of time.® matter of only aa matter was only death was or death commentators resignation or his resignation knew his commentators knew the shifting thus leader, deputy In the meantime Asquith was appointed deputy leader, thus shifting the appointed was In the meantime Asquith February. of beginning the At Cabinet. the balance within the Cabinet. At the beginning of February, power within of power balance of was Admiralty was the Admiralty with the deal with accordingly, Campbell-Bannerman’s deal accordingly, Campbell-Bannerman’s minisof assembly an to declared void. Sir John Fisher was summoned to an assembly of minissummoned was Fisher John Sir void. declared to determined to unanimously determined “had unanimously ters Cabinet “had the Cabinet that the told that was told he was where he ters where last below last them below bring them to bring as to so as reduce £1,340,000, so by £1,340,000, Estimates by Navy Estimates the Navy reduce the the to the made to already made year’s concessions already the concessions Withdrawing the figure.”96 Withdrawing year’s figure.”® whatestimates whatnavy estimates the navy in the Admiralty increase in any increase allow any to allow refusing to and refusing Admiralty and to remarked to Fisher remarked soever Afterwards, Fisher provocation. Afterwards, of provocation. act of clear act was aa Clear soever was that and that wheels and within wheels his wheels within were wheels “there were suspected “there he suspected that he DNI that his DNI TweedLord Tweedeject Lord to eject want to there who want Cabinet who the Cabinet in the party in strong party there isis aa strong been has been estimates has the estimates mouth.” on the crisis on “the crisis that “the believed that now believed He now mouth.” He conto conhad to also had Fisher also view.”97 Fisher largely in view.”” object in this object with this manufactured with largely manufactured of behavior eccentric say to not tend with the increasingly unpredictable not to say eccentric behavior of unpredictable increasingly the with tend “menlord’s “menfirst lord’s the first Lord that the noted that commentators noted Polite commentators Tweedmouth.98 Polite Lord Tweedmouth.”

he said he Others said decay.”99 Others of decay.”® tal signs of alarming signs shown alarming lately shown had lately powers had tal powers

had had gone gone mad. mad. counterattack.100 to counterattack.'” At resolved to lord resolved sea lord first sea the first January, the of January, end of the end At the jourwith jourlinks with close links Throughout maintained close always maintained had always he had career he his career Throughout his press the press used the had used he had 1884, he nalists least 1884, at least Since at editors. Since newspaper editors. and newspaper nalists and Fleet in Fleet confidant in closest confidant to Fisher’s closest 1908, Fisher’s In 1908, politicians.‘01 In overcome politicians.’" to overcome with was it Thus Street isygaAswglaegjes was James L. Garvin—the editor of the Observer.'” Thus it was with Observer.”2 the of editor Garvin—the L. Lambert, Nicola§§£§h§ utIon. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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Garvin’s Garvin's help help that that Fisher Fisher connived connived to to embarrass embarrass Asquith Asquith and and the the Liberal Liberal government government by by leaking leaking information information to to the the public public that that contradicted contradicted repeatrepeated ed ministerial ministerial denials denials of of an an estimates estimates “crisis.” “crisis.” On On 9 9 February, February, the the Observer Observer published an “official" published an “official” letter letter received received from from the the first first sea sea lord, lord, deliberately deliberately composed composed to to stir stir up up public public opinion, opinion, that that pompously pompously demanded demanded to to know know who who had had passed passed the the newspaper newspaper confidential confidential papers papers on on naval naval policy— policy— thereby thereby implying implying that that the the editorials editorials were were accurate!103 accurate!’ Garvin’s Garvin's biographer biographer concluded concluded that that the the operation operation was was brilliantly brilliantly successful successful and and “undoubtedly” “undoubtedly” did did much much “to “to force force the the Radicals Radicals in in the the Cabinet Cabinet to to modify modify their their demands.”104 demands.”'™ In In essence essence this this is is correct, correct, though though it it does does requires requires qualification. qualification. On On 12 12 February February 1908, 1908, the the Cabinet Cabinet called called the the Admiralty’s Admiralty’s bluff bluff by by granting granting an an increase increase in in navy navy estimates estimates of of just just under under £900,000 £900,000 and and then then declaring declaring the the subject subject closed.105 closed.’ It It worked. worked. Tweedmouth Tweedmouth capitulated. capitulated. He He refused refused to to resign resign over over his his department department being being thus thus short-changed, short-changed, although had although he he was was furious furious at at “the “the very very cavalier cavalier manner" manner” in in which which he he had been he been treated treated by by his his political political colleagues. colleagues. That That being being said, said, however, however, he only only conceded conceded after after making making it it clear clear that that the the Admiralty Admiralty expected expected to to be be granted a appropriation later granted a supplementary supplementary appropriation later in in the the autumn. autumn. Tweedmouth Tweedmouth requested requested from from Asquith Asquith that that a a written written “assurance “assurance should should be be given given to to me me [now] [now] that that a[ny] a[ny] proposal proposal for for a a supplementary supplementary estimate estimate will this will not not be be received received with with ‘surprise’ ‘surprise’ nor nor blank blank opposition.”'06 opposition.”'°® Whether Whether this thinly his disthinly veiled veiled ultimatum ultimatum achieved achieved his his end end or or merely merely precipitated precipitated his dismissal missal from from the the Cabinet Cabinet several several weeks weeks later later is is debatable. debatable. In In any any case, case, at at the the beginning beginning of of April April 1908, 1908, upon upon formally formally succeeding succeeding CampbellCampbellBannerman as as prime prime minister, minister, Asquith Asquith replaced replaced Lord Lord Tweedmouth Tweedmouth with with Bannerman the the much much trustworthier trustworthier Reginald Reginald McKenna, McKenna, after after Winston Winston Churchill Churchill refused the the post.'*’ post."’7 McKenna McKenna had had previously previously served served as as Asquith’s Asquith’s chief chief refused assistant assistant at at the the Treasury. Treasury. It It is is significant significant that that both both candidates candidates Asquith Asquith wing “economist” wing the “economist” of the members of leading members were leading post were the post for the considered for considered of of the the party, party, avowedly avowedly bent bent on on securing securing reductions reductions in in armaments.‘08 armaments.'” Shortly after after his his dismissal, dismissal, Tweedmouth Tweedmouth sent sent Asquith Asquith aa bitter bitter letter letter Shortly reminding reminding him him that that during during his his two two years years at at the the Admiralty Admiralty he he had had repeatrepeatedly compromised compromised his his own own convictions convictions and and acted acted in in the the Party’s Party’s interest interest edly by by refusing refusing to to stand stand by by his his sea sea lords. lords. “I “I ought ought to to have have resigned resigned when when the the Cabinet did not not Cabinet again again and and again again out cut down down my my estimates,” estimates,” he he reflected, reflected, “I“I did do do so so because because it it would would have have involved involved the the resignation resignation of of the the whole whole Board Board thing.”'°9 terrible thing.”' been a a terrible have been would have that would and that civil and and civil sea and sea Fisher Fisher won won another another point point for for the the Admiralty Admiralty in in March March when, when, during during a a debate debate on on the the navy navy in in the the House House of of Commons, Commons, Asquith Asquith mistakenly mistakenly described described the the second second armored armored vessel vessel projected projected under under the the 1908—9 1908-9 proprogram gram as as a a “battle-cruiser.”“0 “battle-cruiser.”'’ Fisher Fisher gleefully gleefully exploited exploited this this slip slip of of the the Lambetqncgugjjgngheasftaea preparing aa new new design, design, surreptitiously surreptitiously upgradtongue and after Rhmastily hastily preparing E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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9.2-inch eight 9.2-inch with eight armed with cruiser” armed “armored cruiser” 15,500-ton “armored projected 15,500-ton the projected ed the ed

difThe difcruiser.“I The battle cruiser.'"' gunned battle 12-inch gunned 19,000-ton 12-inch full-sized 19,000-ton into aa full-sized guns into guns pounds million pounds of aa million quarter of the quarter for the up for made up than made more than price more in price ference in ference

February. back inin February. estimates back the estimates from the trimmed from arbitrarily trimmed had arbitrarily Cabinet had the Cabinet the government the government that the Parliament that informed Parliament had informed minister had prime minister the prime After the After nothing. do nothing. could do he could cruiser” he “battle cruiser” ordering aa “battle be ordering would be would Complex Industrial Complex Naval Industrial The Naval The

batthe batdefend the to defend went to Fisher went which Fisher to which lengths to extraordinary lengths The extraordinary The two-power the two-power of the redefinition of endorse aa redefinition to endorse refusal to his refusal standard, his tleship standard, tleship program dreadnought program the dreadnought of the defense of aggressive defense his aggressive and his standard, and standard, chapters previous chapters in previous forward in put forward arguments put the arguments contradict the to contradict appear to appear best the best was the fleet was battleship fleet supreme battleship that aa supreme believed that longer believed no longer he no that he that the at the Yet at interests.“2 Yet imperial interests."* British imperial defending British for defending structure for force structure force priwas he ships, capital more demanding was Fisher that time same same time that Fisher was demanding more capital ships, he was priof margin of present margin “our present that “our allies that and allies friends and closest friends his closest assuring his vately assuring vately as great so is years) for foe possible only (our Germany over superiority superiority over Germany (our only possible foe for years) is so great as our endangering our anything endangering of anything talk of to talk extreme to the extreme in the absurd in render itit absurd to render to In altogether!!!”3 shipbuilding all stopped we if even supremacy, naval naval supremacy, even if we stopped all shipbuilding altogether''!”'” In claimed lord sea first the 1907, October dated Edward King to letter to King Edward dated October 1907, the first sea lord claimed aa letter Navy,” German Navy,” the German than the stronger than times stronger four times now four Navy isis now English Navy “the English “the have shall have we shall so we because ifif so this, because all this, parade all to parade want to don’t want we don’t but we but the of the Members of 150 Members and 150 MP, and Brunner MP, John Brunner Sir John trouble. Sir Parliamentary trouble. Parliamentary warmest Campbell-Bannerman’s warmest Henry Campbell-Bannerman’s Sir Henry are Sir who are Commons who of Commons House of House him sent him have sent adversity, have in adversity, friends in steadfast friends his steadfast been his have been and have supporters and supporters showing convincingly showing read, convincingly have read, papers II have best papers the best of the one of recently one quite recently quite strong. ItIt so strong. are So all—we are at all—we ships at new ships any new down any lay down to lay want to don’t want we don’t that we that quite true!'" true!““ isis quite

insist Admiralty insist the Admiralty did the why did then why believed then be believed to be are to statements are such statements IfIf such evithe over confusion the of Much battleships? more ordering upon upon ordering more battleships? Much of the confusion over the evinarratives historical most in assumption pervasive the from stems dence dence stems from the pervasive assumption in most historical narratives efficiency.115 of efficiency.'’ sake of the sake for the simply for economies simply volunteered economies Fisher volunteered that Fisher that that forgotten often is it Furthermore, case. the not was simply This This simply was not the case. Furthermore, it is often forgotten that expenditure. naval in cuts largest the commanded government Balfour’s Balfour's government commanded the largest cuts in naval expenditure. Conservative the Conservative by the lord by sea lord first sea appointed first was appointed Fisher was seen, Fisher have seen, we have As we AS significant effect would he that understanding the on administration administration on the understanding that he would effect aa significant governthat realized he because agreed He estimates. navy the navy estimates. He agreed because he realized that governin the cut in cut ment ment had had to to “repair “repair and and rebuild rebuild the the structure structure of of British British financial financial credit credit been however, been had, however, There had, war.””6 There African war.”''® South African the South by the shaken by rudely shaken so rudely so “Augean” the cleansing for cleansing the “Augean” return for key—in return the key—in this isis the off—and this pay off—and aa pay the naval keep the to keep allowed to been allowed had been Fisher had budget, Fisher naval budget, the naval from the waste from waste Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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construction construction budget budget more more or or less less intact. intact. This This enabled enabled him him to to build build the the ships ships he he desired desired to to effect effect his his naval naval revolution. revolution. In In July July 1905, 1905, the the first first sea sea lord lord informed informed the the Naval Naval Estimates Estimates Committee Committee that that for for the the next next four four years years the the construction construction budget budget would would be be sustained sustained at at “nine “nine and and half half million million a a year.””7 year.”'” With With this this sum, sum, he he had had hoped hoped to to lay lay down down annually annually four four new new model model battle battle cruisers cruisers and and make make “large “large increases” increases” in in the the numbers numbers of of “submarines “submarines and and torpedo torpedo craft.”“8 craft.”''® Assuming Assuming the the navy navy estimates estimates did did not not rise rise above above 33 33 million, million, this this would would have have pushed pushed up up the the naval naval construction construction budget budget to to a a shade shade under under 30 30 percent percent of of total total navy navy estimates.“9 estimates.''’? Arthur Arthur Balfour Balfour not not only only knew knew about about Fisher’s Fisher’s aspirations—he aspirations—he endorsed endorsed them. them. One One of of his his last last acts acts as as prime prime minister minister was was to to issue issue a a parliamentary parliamentary paper paper committing committing his his party party to to consolidating consolidating the the Fisher Fisher revolution. revolution. The The memorandum memorandum also also served served to to announce announce that that if if the the Conservatives Conservatives were were returned returned to to power, power, the the navy navy would would be be given given approximately approximately nine nine and and aa half half million million per per annum annum for for new new construction.‘20 construction.'” Historians Historians have have made made a a great great deal deal of of confusion confusion over over the the purpose purpose of of the the so-called so-called “Cawdor “Cawdor Memorandum.” Memorandum.” When When Balfour Balfour authorized authorized its its pubpublication lication his his intention intention had had been been to to convince convince the the electorate electorate that that the the Conservatives Conservatives at at last last had had naval naval expenditure expenditure under under control, control, and and that that if if reelected naval conreelected would would spend spend no no more more than than nine nine and and a a half half million million on on naval construction struction annually. annually. Four Four large large armored armored vessels vessels aa year, year, in in other other words, words, was supposed to have been a maximum program.”' The Liberal was supposed to have been a maximum program.'*' The Liberal Party, Party, however, however, along along with with most most historians, historians, were were not not privy privy to to the the informal informal understanding understanding between between Balfour Balfour and and Fisher. Fisher. They, They, consequently, consequently, regardregarded the Cawdor ed the Cawdor Memorandum Memorandum as as a a thinly thinly disguised disguised attempt attempt to to convince convince the numthe public public that that four four large large armored armored vessels vessels a a year year was was the the minimum minimum number ber that that had had to to be be laid laid down down annually annually in in order order to to maintain maintain British British naval naval supremacy.122 supremacy.'” The The document, document, in in other other words, words, was was seen seen as as another another politpolitical ical ploy ploy designed designed to to restrict restrict the the Liberals’ Liberals’ fiscal fiscal freedom freedom of of action action after after taking taking power.123 power.'* Fisher, Fisher, who who actually actually drafted drafted the the memorandum, memorandum, insisted insisted in mainin his his memoirs memoirs that that both both these these interpretations interpretations were were wrong.124 wrong.'?* He He maintained tained that that the the prescribed prescribed four four ships ships a a year year building building policy policy represented represented the the average average number number of of warships warships required required to to be be laid laid down down over over the the fivefiveyear year period, period, the the actual actual number number of of contracts contracts awarded awarded each each year year dependdepending ing upon upon a a range range of of factors. factors. Fisher Fisher explained: explained: [Great [Great Britain] Britain} builds builds simply simply and and solely solely to to maintain maintain the the command command of of the the sea sea against against other other Powers. Powers. For For this this end end the the Admiralty Admiralty must must have have its its hands hands free free to to determine determine from from year year to to year year what what the the shipbuilding shipbuilding requirements requirements

are. are. But, But, again, again, this this does does not not mean mean that that our our efforts efforts must must be be spasmodic, spasmodic, that that because because foreign foreign Powers Powers lay lay down down six six ships ships one one year year and and none none the the next next, therefore therefore we we must must do do the the same. same. For For administrative administrative reasons, reasons, which which

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dilate to dilate place to the place not the this isis not case this any case in any which in and which obvious, and be obvious, should should be by year by approximate year should approximate shipbuilding should that shipbuilding necessary that very necessary upon, upon, itit isis very or increases or that increases and that figure, and normal figure, some normal to some practicable, to as practicable, far as so far year, year, so This gradually. This made gradually. be made should be necessary, should become necessary, they become when they decreases, decreases, when yet and yet year, and to year, year to from year program from the program determining the of determining principle, of double principle, double be to be has to years, has of years, number of over aa number built over ships built of ships number of the number averaging averaging the shipAdmiralty shipthe Admiralty understand the to understand desires to who desires anyone who by anyone grasped by firmly firmly grasped policy.125 building policy.’ building

over that over assurance that an assurance than an more than no more was no short, was in short, program, in Cawdor program, The Cawdor The year.126 ships a3 year.'* four ships at four average at would average construction would new construction years new five years next five the next the below. explained below. be explained will be construction will averaging construction of averaging importance of The importance The paronly parbudget isis only construction budget the construction of the defense of aggressive defense Fisher's aggressive Fisher’s to required to he required ships he model ships new model the new build the to build desire to his desire by his explained by tially explained tially his 1906 his January 1906 by January seen, by have seen, we have As we revolution. AS naval revolution. his naval effect his effect opinion majority opinion by majority rejected by been rejected had been project had warship project armored warship “fusion” armored “fusion” hopes Jacky’s hopes months Jacky’s nine months within nine that within true that though itit isis true Whitehall; though within Whitehall; within elecsophisticated electhe sophisticated after the revived after were revived reconsidered were be reconsidered would be that itit would that was Pollen was Arthur Pollen by Arthur designed by computer designed control computer fire control trical-mechanical fire trical-mechanical of hope of all hope up all given up therefore, given not, therefore, had not, He had attention.127 He his attention.'?”? to his brought to brought understand properly understand To properly design. To ship design. capital ship in capital revolution in his revolution affecting his affecting preserve to preserve 1908 to and 1908 1906 and between 1906 hard between so hard fought so Fisher fought John Fisher Sir John why Sir why look to look necessary to battleships itit isis necessary “dreadnought” battleships of “dreadnought” construction of the construction the to particularly to more particularly and more policy, and shipbuilding policy, Admiralty’s shipbuilding the Admiralty’s at the closer at closer the and the Navy and Royal Navy the Royal between the links between complex links increasingly complex the increasingly examine the examine warship building building industry. industry. warship supply to supply prerogative to the prerogative retained the always retained had always crown had the crown Historically, the Historically, conwas conAdmiralty was the Admiralty sail, the of sail, age of the age in the Navy. In Royal Navy. the Royal to the armaments to armaments DockRoyal Dockthe Royal in the ships-of-the-line in own ships-of-the-line its own build its and build design and to design tent to tent Private Ordnance. Private Royal Ordnance. the Royal by the produced by guns produced with guns them with arm them and arm yards, and yards, and frigates and as frigates such as ships such smaller ships build smaller to build only to exploited only were exploited resources were resources significhange signifinot change did not procurement did of procurement pattern of the pattern Outwardly, the sloops.128 Outwardly, sloops.'?®

steam by steam propelled by steel, propelled of steel, built of warships built of warships introduction of the introduction after the cantly after cantly explohigh explofiring high of firing capable of guns capable breech-loading guns mounting breech-loading screws mounting driven screws driven of supplier of sole supplier the sole as the Dockyards as the Dockyards retained the Admiralty retained The Admiralty shells. The sive shells. Sive at manufactured at guns manufactured with guns armed with Navy armed Royal Navy the Royal to the warships to armored warships armored

torpedo than torpedo larger than nothing larger built nothing firms built Private firms Arsenal. Private Woolwich Arsenal. the Woolwich the in reflected in however, reflected continuity, however, apparent continuity, This apparent destroyers.129 This and destroyers.'”? boats and boats impormasked imporwarships, masked armored warships, large armored for large contracts for of contracts allocation of the allocation the

the mid-18808 the the mid-1880s From the procurement. From naval procurement. of naval pattern of the pattern in the shifts in tant shifts tant Royal Royal Dockyards Dockyards relied relied increasingly increasingly upon upon trade trade to to supply supply sophisticated sophisticated heavy engineering. engineering. Private Private firms firms supplied supplied aa steadily steadily larger larger proportion proportion (by (by heavy Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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value) value) of of the the components components that that made made up up a a warship. warship. This This included included the the rifled rifled breech-loading breech-loading guns guns and and marine marine engines, engines, plus plus all all complex complex hydraulic hydraulic and and electrical electrical equipment. equipment. After After the the passage passage of of the the 1889 1889 Naval Naval Defense Defense Act Act and and the the subsequent subsequent rapid rapid expansion expansion of of the the fleet, fleet, the the Royal Royal Dockyards Dockyards proved proved incapable incapable of of meeting meeting all all the the navy’s navy’s requirements requirements for for large large warships. warships. Because Because aa large large proportion proportion of of dockyards dockyards personnel personnel and and facilities facilities were were permanently permanently prepreoccupied in refitting older warships, the Admiralty occupied in refitting older warships, the Admiralty was was compelled compelled to to give give a a significant Significant proportion proportion of of large-ship large-ship contracts contracts to to private private sector sector yards. yards. Though Though the the Royal Royal Dockyards Dockyards always always received received priority, priority, as as the the decade decade proprogressed, eressed, steadily steadily worsening worsening congestion congestion and and underinvestment underinvestment in in these these yards yards forced forced the the Admiralty Admiralty to to channel channel a a steadily steadily larger larger share share of of concontracts tracts towards towards the the private private firms.‘30 firms.'? The The Royal Royal Dockyards’ Dockyards’ majority majority hold hold on on the the building building of of large large warships warships was was finally finally broken broken in in the the mid-1890s. mid-1890s. In In 1897, 1897, the the Board Board of of Admiralty Admiralty was was compelled compelled by by a a shortage shortage of of large large buildbuilding ing slips slips in in the the state-owned state-owned shipbuilding shipbuilding yards yards to to order order all all six six (12,000 (12,000 ton) ton) armored armored cruisers cruisers of of the the Cressy Cressy class class from from trade.'3' trade.'*' Thereafter, Thereafter, between between 1897 1897 and and 1904, 1904, more more than than half half of of the the sixty-two sixty-two large large warships warships ordered ordered for for the the navy navy were were built built in in private private yards. yards. Over Over this this seven seven year year period period the the capacity capacity of of the the private private warship warship construction construction industry industry in in Britain Britain multiplied. multiplied. By By 1904, 1904, there there were were at at least least fourteen fourteen major major compacompanies nies “listed” “listed” as as having having the the necessary necessary facilities facilities and and experience experience to to build build the the hulls hulls of of large large armored armored ships; ships; some some firms firms could could build build more more than than one one at at a a time.'32 time.'’” This This meant, meant, in in theory, theory, sufficient sufficient capacity capacity existed existed in in the the councountry try to to out-build out-build all all the the major major naval naval powers powers in in the the world. world. Contemporary Contemporary politicians politicians (and (and historians historians alike) alike) subsequently subsequently assumed assumed that that in in the the last last resort resort Britain Britain could could easily easily out-build out-build any any challenger challenger that that threatened threatened her her naval naval supremacy.I33 supremacy.'® As As we we shall shall see see the the reality reality was was different. different. In In late late 1904, 1904, when when the the financial financial horizon horizon seemed seemed likely likely to to remain remain darkly darkly clouded clouded for for some some years years to to come, come, the the Admiralty Admiralty recognized recognized that that with with the the number number of of large large armored armored ships ships laid laid down down annually annually set set to to fall fall sharply, sharply, existing existing warship warship building building capacity capacity could could not not possibly possibly be be kept kept fully fully employed. employed. It It was was inevitable inevitable that that many many “great “great shipbuilding shipbuilding firms” firms” would would find find themselves themselves starved starved of of “Admiralty “Admiralty custom.”I34 custom.”'* In In January January 1905, 1905, Fisher, Fisher, as as first first sea sea lord, lord, initiated initiated aa review review of of the the navy’s navy’s shipbuilding shipbuilding policy policy and and appointed appointed himself himself as as chairman chairman of of the the committee committee estabestablished lished to to consider consider this this matter. matter. For For reasons reasons that that will will be be explained explained below, below, the the naval naval administration administration was was also also anxious anxious to to establish establish aa stable—and stable—and sustainable—working sustainable—working partnership partnership between between the the navy navy and and the the private private armaments armaments firms. firms. Fisher Fisher was was certainly certainly the the officer officer best best qualified qualified to to understand understand the the dynamics dynamics of of this this relationship. relationship. Over Over the the previous previous twenty twenty b years years he he had had built built up up an an unrivaled unrivaled knowledge knowledge of of naval naval technology technology and and Lam ert, Nico as. Sirjo nFis er's Nava Revo ution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, httpszllhd|.hand|e.net/2027/heb.31569.

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consecutively served consecutively he served 1897 he and 1897 munitions 1883 and Between 1883 procurement. Between munitions procurement. Ordnance, Naval Ordnance, of Naval director of in School, director Gunnery School, the Gunnery of the captain of of captain posts of the posts in the He navy. He the navy. of the controller of and controller superintendent Dockyard, and Portsmouth Dockyard, of Portsmouth superintendent of that terms, that consecutive terms, two consecutive had unparalleled two an unparalleled for an post for last post this last in this served in had served to him to for him enough for senior enough been senior not been isis six had not however, had office, however, That office, years. That six years. busi“conducted busiNavy “conducted make Royal Navy the Royal ways the the ways in the changes in fundamental changes make fundamental relaclose relavery close maintained very also maintained ness.” Fisher also officer, Fisher naval officer, for aa naval Unusually for ness.” Unusually Josiah Sir notably day, notably Sir Josiah the day, tionships of the industrialists of leading industrialists the leading with the tionships with of directors of senior directors were senior whom were of whom Vavasseur Noble—both of Andrew Noble—both Sir Andrew and Sir Vavasseur and conhis conof his most of bequeathed most Armstrong. Vavasseur bequeathed indeed, Vavasseur death, indeed, his death, On his Armstrong. On manageremarkable manageFisher’s remarkable John Fisher’s siderable Sir John son. Sir Fisher’s son. to Fisher’s estate to siderable estate between acknowledged; between ment widely acknowledged; were widely subject were his subject of his grasp of and grasp skills and ment skills fabulous of fabulous offers of by offers tempted by 1887 being tempted constantly being was constantly he was 1913 he and 1913 1887 and of head of as head stipend as his stipend times his salaries five times than five p.a.—more than £20,000 p.a.—more to £20,000 (up to salaries (up the the navy) navy) to to become become “dictator” “dictator” of of aa leading leading armaments armaments firm.'*® firm.135 Fisher's small small “shipbuilding “shipbuilding industry industry committee”—for committee’—for want want of of a a betbetFisher’s Designs on Designs Committee on ter 1905 Committee famous 1905 the famous with the closely with label—worked closely ter label—worked all-big-gun of all-big-gun appointed practicability of the practicability consider the to consider Selborne to Lord Selborne by Lord appointed by armored warships. warships. Armed Armed with with the the endorsement endorsement of of these these two two councils, councils, armored “conthat “conAdmiralty that of Admiralty Board of the Board the persuade the to persuade managed to lord managed sea lord first sea the first siderable siderable advantages” advantages” would would result result from from the the navy navy taking taking delivery delivery of of its its and three and normal three the normal to the new opposed to as opposed months as sixteen months within sixteen warships within new warships Fisher construction,” Fisher rapid construction,” by rapid aa half enabled by are enabled “We are years.136 “We more years.'** or more half or latthe latall the practically all explained, with practically line with fighting line the fighting into the vessels into get vessels “to get explained, “to joined warships joined most warships est then most Until then them.”137 Until in them.”'*’ embodied in improvements embodied est improvements models. available models. latest available the the latest to the inferior to was inferior that was equipment that with equipment fleet with the fleet Not Not only only did did this this reduce reduce their their fighting fighting efficiency, efficiency, but but the the need need subsesubsecostly.‘38 was costly.'* quently them was refit them to refit quently to large construct aa large to construct took to time itit took Amazing the time halving the seem, halving may seem, at itit may Amazing at in practices in labor practices armored Reforming labor attainable. Reforming be attainable. to be proved to warships proved armored warships big-gun as big-gun such as components, such path components, the critical path ordering critical and ordering dockyards, and the dockyards, conthe conplacing the before placing months before mountings several months engines, several turbine engines, and turbine mountings and January In January times.139 In tract completion times.'*? reduce completion to reduce most to the most did the hull, did the hull, for the tract for comparative Britain’s comparative develop Britain’s to develop 1905, resolved to Admiralty resolved of Admiralty Board of the Board 1905, the to drawback to only drawback The only advantage utmost?”0 The the utmost.”'*° “to the construction “to rapid construction in rapid advantage in every few every build aa few to build afford to only afford “rapid can only “we can that “we was that shipbuilding” was “rapid shipbuilding” of effect of the effect had the times had completion times year.’'*' shortening completion because shortening was because This was year.”““ This new for aa new payment for the payment accelerating previously the whereas previously spending; whereas naval spending; accelerating naval ship ship was was spread spread over over four four or or more more years, years, with with rapid rapid building building the the full full burburden fell fell upon upon just just two two or or three three fiscal fiscal years. years. Prior Prior to to 1905, 1905, the the Admiralty Admiralty den had envisaged envisaged its its long-term long-term construction construction program program to to average average out out at at had three three battleships battleships and and four four armored armored cruisers cruisers per per annum. annum. In In order order to to Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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adopt adopt rapid rapid building, building, therefore, therefore, without without increasing increasing expenditure, expenditure, the the

Admiralty Admiralty was was forced forced to to cut cut the the size size of of this this program. program. But But as as the the Admiralty Admiralty was was already already under under pressure pressure to to do do so so anyway anyway this this was was viewed viewed as as desirable. desirable. From From Fisher's Fisher’s perspective perspective the the priority priority was was to to feed feed the the shipshipbuilding building industry industry with with enough enough money money each each year year to to keep keep it it solvent, solvent, not not to to maximize maximize the the numbers numbers of of warships warships to to be be laid laid down down each each year. year. At At a a meeting meeting held held on on 6 6 January January 1905, 1905, the the Admiralty Admiralty decreed decreed that that henceforth henceforth contracts contracts for for two two capital capital ships ships would would be be reserved reserved for for Royal Royal Dockyards Dockyards at at Portsmouth Portsmouth and and Devonport, Devonport, thus thus leaving leaving two two others others for for the the private private sector.‘42 sector.'” It It was was also also agreed agreed that that “any “any abnormal abnormal increase increase in in building building can, can, it it is is hoped, hoped, be be met met by by private private yards."143 yards.”'* The The immediate immediate result result of of the the decision decision to to adopt adopt this this two-two two-two formula formula resulted resulted in in discharge discharge of of over over 8,000 8,000 redundant redundant state-employed state-employed dockyard dockyard workers.I44 workers.'* Actually Actually the the Royal Royal Dockyards Dockyards could could easily easily have have supplied supplied four four ships ships a a year. year. However, However, for for the the navy navy to to have have relied relied exclusively exclusively upon upon the the state state sector sector to to provide provide large large warships warships would would have have been been “simply “simply ruinous ruinous to to the the private private shipbuilding shipbuilding trade trade of of this this country.”“‘5 country.”’*® Already Already many many armaments armaments firms firms had had been been left left struggling struggling to to cope cope with with the the sharp sharp decline decline in in military military proprocurement curement in in the the aftermath aftermath of of the the Boer Boer War.146 War.'* It It was was thus thus hoped hoped that that two two capital capital ship ship contracts contracts per per year year plus plus orders orders from from overseas overseas would would be be sufficient sufficient to to keep keep solvent solvent the the four four principal principal warship warship building building firms, firms, i.e., i.e., Vickers, Vickers, Armstrong-Whitworth, Armstrong-Whitworth, the the Fairfield Fairfield Shipbuilding Shipbuilding Company, Company, and and John John Brown Brown & & Co. Co. Ltd.147 Ltd.’ In In late late 1905, 1905, the the Admiralty Admiralty deliberately deliberately invited invited the three three last last named named firms firms to to build build the the three three Invincible Invincible class class battles battles the cruisers authorized authorized to to be be laid laid down down that that year, year, rather rather than than following following the the cruisers normal practice practice of of putting putting the the contracts contracts out out for for tender. tender. Although normal Although this this controversial controversial procedure procedure was was not not repeated, repeated, it it should should be be noted noted that that not not until the the exceptional exceptional ten ten capital capital ship ship program program of of 1909 1909 did did the the Admiralty Admiralty until quartet. this quartet. outside this firm outside award to aa firm contract to ship contract big ship award aa big The good reareaThe Admiralty Admiralty was was not not motivated motivated by by altruism. altruism. There There were were good turn could turn generally could they generally First, they sons shipbuilders. First, private shipbuilders. the private ruin the to ruin not to sons not the Second, the dockyards. Second, the dockyards. than the out cheaper than and cheaper faster and warships faster out warships Admiralty wanted wanted to to combat combat the the spreading spreading unionization unionization among among dockyard dockyard Admiralty workers and and the the reluctance reluctance by by politicians politicians to to discharging discharging unwanted unwanted men men workers prithe prifrom the competition from that competition hoped that during was hoped inactivity.‘48 ItIt was of inactivity.'* periods of during periods Third, down.’49 Third, costs down.'” keep costs help keep and help vate militancy and curb militancy help curb would help sector would vate sector in the the event event of of war war the the Royal Royal Dockyards Dockyards were were expected expected to to be be fully fully occuoccuin pied with with repairing repairing damaged damaged ships, ships, and and that that consequently consequently building building would would pied would navy would the navy be therefore, the hostilities, therefore, of hostilities, period of During aa period suspended.150 During be suspended.'” have have to to rely rely upon upon private private yards yards for for new new ships ships to to maintain maintain the the flow flow of of upupto-date to-date warships warships into into the the fleet. fleet. (There (There isis no no evidence evidence to to suggest suggest the the Admiralty envisaged envisaged the the suspension suspension of of large large warship warship construction construction durdurAdmiralty Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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Dockyard the Dockyard keep the to keep that to recognized that ing Board recognized the Board Lastly, the war.) Lastly, major war.) ing aa major total the total not the destruction, ifif not the destruction, in the workmen result in “would result employed “would fully employed workmen fully neighher neighover her possesses over country possesses this country extinction, which this advantage which an advantage of an extinctibn, of in aa numbers, in large numbers, in large vessels in war vessels bours, produce war to produce power to the power viz., the bours, viz., conAdmiralty’s conthe Admiralty’s of the head of the head As the short cost.”‘5‘ As moderate cost.”'*' at moderate and at time, and short time, the Office, the War Office, the War in the counterpart in tracts his counterpart to his explained to department explained tracts department of proportion of large proportion award aa large to award navy importance” to special importance” “of special was “of felt itit was navy felt of sources of those sources open those keep open to keep contracts order to “in order firms “in private firms to private contracts to to reasons to other reasons had other Admiralty had The Admiralty supply need.”'52 The of need.”'” times of against times supply against the against the country against the country in the capacity in maintain shipbuilding capacity of shipbuilding level of the level maintain the that fact that the fact was the compelling was More compelling race." More possibility “arms race.” future “arms of aa future possibility of large of large bulls of the hulls build the to build ability to the ability although had the dockyards had state dockyards the state although the the upon the dependent upon totally dependent become totally had become armored they had 1905 they by 1905 vessels, by armored vessels, technologiof technologiproduction of and production design and private the design in the expertise in for expertise sector for private sector armor-plate, mountings, armor-plate, big-gun mountings, as big-gun such as cally components such sophisticated components cally sophisticated well for well accounted for items accounted three items these three and Together these engines.‘53 Together turbine engines.’ and turbine ship. capital ship. of aa capital cost of the cost of the over percent of 50 percent over 50 resistance Admiralty’s resistance the Admiralty’s that the confirm that memoranda confirm Several internal memoranda Several internal substanwas substan1905 was after 1905 budget after construction budget naval construction the naval in the to cuts in deep cuts to deep armaments the armaments upon the impact upon damaging impact the damaging at the tially concern at by concern motivated by tially motivated first the first of the height of the height at the written at document written in aa document 1906, in July 1906, industry. In July industry. In noted Board noted the Board estimates, the navy estimates, the navy major against the onslaught against Treasury onslaught major Treasury then: down, then: laid down, that were laid vessels were armored vessels no armored threatened, no as threatened, if, as that if, shipbuilding yards, yards, armor armor plate plate factories, factories, and and arsenals arsenals [will [will be] be] thrown thrown shipbuilding out out of of gear gear by by aa cessation cessation of of work work and and the the discharge discharge of of skilled skilled mechanics mechanics challenged, be challenged, ... again be will again supremacy will naval supremacy our naval when our come when will come day will [A] day . . . [A] and and when, when, by by consequence, consequence, the the ability ability to to rapidly rapidly build build warships warships in in considconsiderable erable numbers numbers will will be be aa national national asset asset of of incalculable incalculable importance. importance. To To

ever expansion ever should expansion starve will, should present will, the present in the vote in construction vote the construction starve the any of any cost of the cost again enhance the inevitably enhance merely inevitably not merely necessary, not become necessary, again become future program, program, but but will will greatly greatly impair impair the the national national power power of of rapid rapid naval naval future recuperation recuperation in in the the vital vital matter matter of of our our output output of of new new warships.'™ warships.154

the to the memorandum to The lords’ memorandum sea lords’ the sea in the prominent in was prominent argument was same argument The same first first lord lord of of 33 December December 1907, 1907, protesting protesting against against Cabinet Cabinet instructions instructions to to delete delete the the sole sole dreadnought dreadnought from from the the 1908—9 1908-9 program. program. Although Although itit isis quite quite true true that that our our preponderance preponderance in in battleships battleships at at the the prepre-

sent sent moment moment might might justify justify the the omission omission of of the the solitary solitary battleship battleship proposed, proposed, the by the afforded by yet (now afforded certainty (now absolute certainty and absolute knowledge and full knowledge the full with the yet with battleship large battleship German commence a a large to commence having to of having issued) of just issued) program just German program program program in in 1909/10, 1909/10, itit would would be be most most unbusinesslike, unbusinesslike, and and indeed indeed disasdisasLambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.3l 569.

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trous trous to to close close down down the the armor armor plate plate industry industry of of this this country country by by the the entire entire cessation of battleship building. It would be similarly disastrous to cessation of battleship building. It would be similarly disastrous to abruptabruptly ly stop stop the the manufacture manufacture of of heavy heavy gun gun mountings.155 mountings.'®

By By 1905, 1905, the the Royal Royal Navy Navy had had become become completely completely dependent dependent upon upon the the priprivate vate sector sector to to supply supply the the mountings mountings and and turrets turrets for for the the 12-inch 12-inch guns guns that that had had become become the the standard standard main main armament armament for for all all its its capital capital ships.156 ships.'* Messrs. Messrs. Vickers Vickers Ltd. Ltd. and and Armstrong-Whitworth Armstrong-Whitworth & & Co. Co. were were the the only only two two firms firms in in England England with with the the facilities facilities to to build build these these enormously enormously complex complex machines machines with with the the necessary necessary expertise expertise and and precision. precision. The The design design of of the the mountings mountings was was originally originally the the property property of of the the Armstrong Armstrong Company. Company. Since Since the the late late 1890s, 1890s, moreover, moreover, these these two two private private firms firms had had been been colluding. colluding. They They had had pooled pooled their their technical technical knowledge, knowledge, agreed agreed to to share Share the the research research and and development development burden, burden, and and had had cut cut their their manufacturing manufacturing costs costs by by stanstandardizing dardizing their their product. product. The The response response by by the the Admiralty Admiralty had had been been to to approach approach other other firms firms and and provide provide them them with with copies copies of of the the Armstrong Armstrong plans. plans. In In 1903, 1903, the the Admiralty Admiralty had had been been obliged obliged to to award award Vickers Vickers and and Armstrong Armstrong an an effective effective oligopoly oligopoly in in the the supply supply of of big-gun big-gun mountings mountings in in return return for for the the companies’ companies’ agreement agreement to to drop drop legal legal proceedings proceedings against against the the Controller’s Controller's Department Department for for back-payment back-payment of of royalties royalties and and infringeinfringement ment of of their their patents.“57 patents.'*’ As As aa result, result, Messrs. Messrs. Beardmore Beardmore and and John John Brown Brown Ltd. Ltd. had had been been forced forced to to close close their their brand-new brand-new gun gun mounting mounting plants plants for for want want of of contracts. contracts. Although Although the the granting granting of of this this concession concession certainly certainly narrowed narrowed the the field field of supply for big-gun mountings, for a period the Royal Navy benefited of supply for big-gun mountings, for a period the Royal Navy benefited from from the the arrangement. arrangement. The The speed speed at at which which aa manufacturer manufacturer could could supply supply such such specialized specialized naval naval equipment equipment was was closely closely correlated correlated to to its its stock stock of of manufacturing manufacturing plant plant and and pool pool of of experienced experienced machinists. machinists. Neither Neither factors factors could could be be improvised. improvised. The The scale scale of of the the plant plant required required to to construct construct big-gun big-gun mountings mountings may may be be gauged gauged from from the the fact fact that that it it required required no no fewer fewer than than five five hundred hundred machines machines to to build build just just one one unit.158 unit. Many Many were were custom-made custom-made for for the the job.159 job.' As As aa consequence, consequence, their their supply supply was was highly highly inelastic. inelastic. The The Admiralty Admiralty could could not not purchase purchase gun gun mountings mountings on on demand. demand. Battleship Battleship turturrets rets had had to to be be ordered ordered at at least least six six months—large months—large orders orders required required nine nine months—before months—before the the ships ships for for which which they they were were required required were were laid laid down. down. For For obvious obvious reasons, reasons, the the Admiralty Admiralty wanted wanted their their suppliers suppliers to to keep keep aa large large margin margin of of surplus surplus capacity capacity in in anticipation anticipation of of the the need need to to acceleraccelerate ate naval naval construction. construction. But But for for private private firms firms this this made made no no economic economic sense. sense. Experience Experience had had taught taught them them that that the the Royal Royal Navy’s Navy's demand demand for for capital ships (and thus big-gun mountings) was unpredictable. In addicapital ships (and thus big-gun mountings) was unpredictable. In addition, tion, the the costs costs of of retaining retaining extra extra skilled skilled workmen workmen and and underemploying underemploying factories equipped with up-to-date machine tools factories equipped with up-to-date machine tools were were prohibitive, prohibitive, Lambert, Nicolas. 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owing high owing was high depreciation was capital depreciation of capital cost of especially the cost when the time when at aa time especially at few moreover, few were, moreover, There were, progress.160 There to technological progress.'® of technological pace of rapid pace the rapid to the govBritish govthe British even the Not even machinery. Not alternate specialized machinery. such specialized for such uses for alternate uses of level of desired level the desired retaining the of retaining costs of the costs ernment incur the to incur prepared to was prepared ernment was expensive. too expensive. was too factory. ItIt was ordnance factory. royal ordnance spare at aa royal capacity at industrial capacity spare industrial of some of cover some to cover position to in aa position were in however, were Private companies, however, Private companies, more. What isis more, overseas. What products overseas. their products selling their by selling overheads by their plant overheads their plant first the first During the so.161 During do so.'* to do them to encouraged them the actively encouraged Admiralty actively the Admiralty per30 perand 30 20 and between 20 earned between Vickers earned decade century, Vickers twentieth century, the twentieth of the decade of from factories from mountings factories gun mountings their gun by their cent generated by incomes generated their incomes of their cent of oligopan oligopto an coupled to markets coupled overseas markets exploit overseas to exploit exports. freedom to This freedom exports. This conthe conArmstrong the Messrs. Armstrong and Messrs. Vickers and gave Vickers oly market, gave home market, their home in their oly in Royal the Royal supply the to supply required to they required than they plant than fidence larger plant maintain larger to maintain fidence to in scale in of scale economies of significant economies exploit significant to exploit Navy, them to allowed them thus allowed and thus Navy, and mountbig-gun mountmake big-gun to make position to in aa position were in they were result, they production.'® As aa result, production.162 As put itit to put Or to supplier. Or potential supplier. other potential any other than any faster than ings substantially faster ings substantially mountings big-gun mountings deliver big-gun could deliver companies could another large companies two large way, two another way, During firms. During smaller firms. four smaller or four three or of three efforts of quicker combined efforts the combined than the quicker than As all-important. As was all-important. manufacture was of manufacture speed of the administration, speed Fisher administration, the Fisher parliamento aa parliamen1907 to July 1907 in July explained in the Ordnance explained Naval Ordnance of Naval director of the director employ to employ refused to Admiralty refused the Admiralty why the into why inquiring into tary committee inquiring select committee tary select the the state-owned state-owned Royal Royal Gun Gun Factory: Factory: 12-inch manufacture 12-inch doubt, manufacture no doubt, could, no The [Arsenal] could, Woolwich [Arsenal] that Woolwich fact isis that The fact not aa were not time were firms ifif time private firms of private hydraulic designs of the designs to the machinery to gun machinery hydraulic gun increasing considerably increasing without considerably that without factor observed that be observed to be is to [but] itit is . . .. [but] factor .. to Woolwich to for Woolwich possible for not possible both Arsenal, itit isis not the Arsenal, of the staff of and staff plant and the plant both the requirepresent requirethe present meet the to meet time to in time machinery in manufacture gun machinery hydraulic gun manufacture hydraulic now are now cruisers are and cruisers battleships and that battleships ments—it out that pointed out being pointed ments—it being required required to to be be completed completed in in two two years.'® years.163

after even after required even not required were not factory were The gun factory Woolwich gun the Woolwich of the facilities of The facilities allof allintroduction of the introduction after the mountings after the big-gun mountings for big-gun demand for in demand surge in the surge 12-inch four 12-inch carried four battleships carried big-gun predreadnought battleships Whereas predreadnought ships. Whereas big-gun ships. big-guns these big-guns of these ten of require ten would require guns dreadnoughts would turrets, dreadnoughts two turrets, in two guns in gun heavy gun of heavy manufacture of of manufacture “rapidity of mounted Again, “rapidity turrets. Again, five turrets. in five mounted in

milithe milito the explained to Jackson) explained Henry Jackson) mountings,” (Capt. Henry controller (Capt. the controller mountings,” the

greatest the greatest of the “is of 1907, “is July 1907, arsenal inin July tary the arsenal of the superintendent of tary superintendent posand itit isis posshipbuilding, and naval shipbuilding, of naval conditions of importance present conditions under present importance under

of organization of and organization facilities, and plant, facilities, sible by plant, only by requirements only meet requirements to meet sible to latterly been latterly have been Trade have private Trade the private of the the resources of The resources best. The very best. the very and ample, and now ample, are now and are requirements, and greatly new requirements, the new meet the to meet increased to greatly increased are much in advance of those are much in advance of those at at Woolwich.”"54 Woolwich.”'*

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By By 1909, 1909, however, however, the the advantages advantages of of relying relying upon upon an an oligopoly oligopoly to to navy the navy that the possible that clear. ItIt isis possible less clear. were less supply components were critical components supply critical meeting At aa meeting Armstrong. At and Armstrong. Vickers and upon Vickers reliant upon overly reliant became overly had had became February in February ministers in government ministers senior government and senior lords and sea lords the sea between between the 1909, itit emerged emerged that that for for the the previous previous three three years years the the Admiralty Admiralty had had 1909, production their production retaining their for retaining return for In return firms. In both firms. subsidizing both been subsidizing been for expectations for their expectations that their higher that level higher at aa level capacity mountings at gun mountings for gun capacity for orders prices for for the the orders warranted, warranted, the the companies companies had had been been paid paid inflated inflated prices few gun gun mountings mountings they they had had completed.'® completed.165 The The minutes minutes of of this this meeting meeting few also show show that that the the traditionally traditionally aggressive aggressive posture posture adopted adopted by by the the also Admiralty towards towards their their suppliers suppliers was was being being tempered tempered by by recognition recognition Admiralty that that the the navy navy was was in in aa position position of of absolute absolute dependence. dependence. Those Those officials officials present present initially initially proposed proposed solving solving this this problem problem by by modernizing modernizing and and extending the the plant plant at at Woolwich. Woolwich. But But the the Admiralty Admiralty at at once once rejected rejected this this extending idea on on the the grounds grounds of of time time and and cost. cost. Furthermore, Furthermore, the the chancellor chancellor of of the the idea Exchequer Exchequer had had to to be be disabused disabused of of his his notion notion that, that, if if enough enough pressure pressure was was applied, applied, private private firms firms could could always always meet meet the the navy’s navy’s requirements. requirements. It It was was explained explained to to him him that that the the manufacturing manufacturing capacity capacity simply simply did did not not exist; and and anyway anyway the the Admiralty Admiralty no no longer longer had had the the necessary necessary leverage leverage to to exist; in again in and again 18903, and the 1890s, during the 1888, during in 1888, Previously, in employ tactics. Previously, such tactics. employ such or Vickers or either Vickers coaxed either or coaxed bullied or easily bullied had easily 1902, Admiralty had the Admiralty 1902, the Armstrong to to extend extend their their gun gun making making capacity threatening to to give give Armstrong capacity by by threatening the however, the Scare," however, “Navy Scare,” 1909 “Navy the 1909 During the contracts firm.'66 During another firm.'® to another contracts to firms these firms to these go to not go could not “we could explained “we then Admiralty explained the Admiralty of the lord of first lord then first orders, these orders, for these return for in return unless in nothing unless you nothing give you will give ‘we will say, ‘we and say, now now and many so many spend so to spend undertake to will undertake you will valuable, you very valuable, which be very not be may not which may firm new firm that aa new estimated that Admiralty estimated The Admiralty hundred pounds.”’ The thousand pounds.’” hundred thousand even to even experience to years experience two years least two at least require at entering would require industry would the industry entering the the plus the Armstrong, plus or Armstrong, Vickers or either Vickers of either output of match existing output the existing match the thus suasion, thus Moral suasion, years. Moral several years. for several book for promise order book full order of aa full promise of feasibly be feasibly could be that could pressure that only pressure the only now the advised was now lord, was first lord, the first advised the not have not they have years they three years or three two or last two the last applied, “for the then “for even then but even applied, but with footing with good footing very good on aa very us on put us to put made as to us as of us out of profit out such aa profit made such them.”'67 them.”'®’ not chose not administration chose Fisher administration the Fisher why the reason why Another important reason Another important was ships was armored ships build armored to build Dockyards to to Royal Dockyards the Royal upon the exclusively upon rely exclusively to rely armaprivate armathe private upon the dependent upon that become dependent had become navy had the navy 1905 the by 1905 that by of costs of The costs systems. The weapon systems. new weapon of new ments development of the development for the giants for ments giants during equipment existing of versions developing updated or improved versions of existing equipment during aa improved or updated developing freand high invariably were progress period of rapid technological progress were invariably high and fretechnological rapid of period keep to keep tried to have tried to have Dockyards to Royal Dockyards quently the Royal For the unpredictable. For quently unpredictable. bata aboard a batequipment aboard naval equipment of naval piece of every piece to every abreast improvements to of improvements abreast of Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hdl.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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Sir of Sir words of the words In the impossible. In financially impossible. tleship been financially have been would have tleship would

progress “the progress Construction, “the Naval Construction, of Naval director of former director William the former White, the William White,

rapid increasing, rapid is increasing, armaments] is naval armaments] [in naval discovery [in of and discovery invention and of invention neveris task the enormous, the task is neveris enormous, outlay is the outlay changes unceasingly, the occur unceasingly, changes occur providwere providVickers were as Vickers such as firms such century, firms the century, of the ending.”'* turn of the turn At the ending.”168 At cent per cent 6—12 per to 6-12 average to “on average amounting “on sums amounting ing with sums scientists with their scientists ing their effort. sustained effort. required aa sustained also required Development also of profits.”69 Development net profits.”' annual net of annual train to train years to took years workmen took and workmen draftsmen, and Teams designers, draftsmen, skilled designers, of skilled Teams of could components could warship components build warship to build required to plant required and the plant and the assemble; and and assemble; the in the compete in to compete wished to that wished firm that Any firm overnight. Any not improvised overnight. be improvised not be one over one of over team of required aa team instance, required for instance, mountings, for design big-gun mountings, of big-gun design of the for the draltsmen for paid) draftsmen highly paid) (and highly first-class (and experienced first-class hundred experienced hundred alone.”° team alone.'” design team design placed badly placed was badly Navy was Royal Navy the Royal century the twentieth century the twentieth of the turn of the turn At At the specialized required specialized that required projects that development projects and development research and to out research carry out to carry was staff was technical staff of technical shortage of navy’s shortage The navy’s effort.”‘ The sustained effort.'”' or sustained expertise or expertise service and service maintain and properly maintain not properly could not sometimes itit could that sometimes acute that so acute so to personnel to the personnel find the alone find led alone had, led already had, equipment itit already sophisticated equipment sophisticated position. better position. no better in no was in Ordnance was Royal Ordnance The Royal models. The improved models. develop improved develop ordnance the ordnance of the superintendent of chief superintendent the chief 1907 the in 1907 instance, in for instance, When, for When, in participate in to participate allowed to be allowed should be Woolwich should that Woolwich suggested that factory suggested factory Ordnance Naval Ordnance of Naval director of the director mountings,” the heavy mountings,” for heavy work for “design work “design that: Board that: the Board reminded the reminded No No Woolwich Woolwich design design of of even even the the smallest smallest naval naval gun gun mounting mounting has has ever ever yet yet of copies of close copies usually close are usually in are sent in designs sent the designs although the accepted, although been accepted, been the by the designed by ever designed mountings ever gun mountings large gun only large the only and the mountings; and existing mountings; existing Royal Royal Carriage Carriage Department, Department, viz., viz., the the 9.2—inch 9.2-inch mountings mountings of of HM HM Ships Ships ever failures ever absolute failures as absolute regarded as been regarded have been “Terrible,” have and “Terrible,” “Powerful’ and “Powerful” since since they they were were installed. installed. Large Large sums sums of of money money have have been been and and are are being being spent in in endeavors endeavors to to improve improve them, them, but but they they will will never never be be satisfactory satisfactory spent owing owing to to the the initially initially bad bad design.172 design.'”

inventive civilian inventive encourage civilian to encourage navy to the navy of the ability of the ability time the same time the same At the At on money on public money allocate public to allocate reluctance to the reluctance by the constrained by was constrained talent was talent docubest docuThis best inventions. This unperfected inventions. still unperfected yet still promising yet developing promising developing Argo the Argo between the squabble between the squabble situation isis the this situation of this example of mented example mented Company Company and and the the Admiralty Admiralty in in the the development development of of the the Pollen Pollen gunnery gunnery fire fire control control computer!" computer.'” Rather Rather than than continue continue to to subsidize subsidize this this small small and and financially financially shaky shaky company, company, the the Ordnance Ordnance Department Department repeatedly repeatedly urged urged the the inventor inventor sell-out sell-out his his patents patents to to one one of of the the armaments armaments giants. giants. He He refused. refused. Although Although perhaps perhaps insensitive insensitive and and high-handed, high-handed, the the Admiralty’s Admiralty’s behavior tow Ell)". Pollen was understandable. Because research and behavior toward Pollen was understandable. Because research Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revo E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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development development programmed programmed were were expensive expensive and and required required sustained sustained develdevelopment opment effort, effort, only only large large firms firms like like Viokers Vickers Ltd. Ltd. or or Armstrong-Whitworth Armstrong-Whitworth were were in in a a position position to to assume assume the the risks risks and and costs costs normally normally associated associated with with the the sponsorship sponsorship of of inventions.174 inventions.’ The The Royal Royal Navy Navy would would then then step step forward forward and and buy buy the the finished finished product. product. In In return return for for private private companies companies continuing continuing research research and and developdevelopment, ment, and and maintaining maintaining construction construction capacity, capacity, the the navy navy was was obliged obliged to to direct direct aa steady steady flow flow of of orders orders for for naval naval equipment equipment to to ensure ensure the the firms firms remained remained sufficiently sufficiently profitable. profitable. in In other other words words the the relationship relationship between between the the Admiralty Admiralty and and the the private private shipbuilding shipbuilding firms firms had had evolved evolved into into one one of of mutual mutual dependence. dependence. The The navy navy had had entered entered what what historian historian William William McNeill McNeill has has termed termed the the age age of of “command “command technology.”175 technology.”'” In In order order to to obtain obtain up—toup-todate date naval naval equipment equipment the the Admiralty Admiralty was was compelled compelled to to underwrite underwrite the the research research and and development development efforts efforts of of private private firms firms by by promising promising lucrative lucrative contracts contracts for for the the perfected perfected weapon weapon system. system. Only Only rarely rarely did did companies companies experience experience difficulties difficulties in in justifying justifying the the costs costs of of research research and and development development to to their their customer. customer. Under Under special special circumstances, circumstances, the the Admiralty Admiralty could could reward firms with-the reward firms with the promise promise of of an an oligopoly oligopoly in in the the distribution distribution of of concontracts, tracts, such such as as in in the the case case of of big-gun big-gun mountings. mountings. But But costs costs of of developing developing improved improved big big gun gun mountings mountings were were so so large large they they could could be be amortized amortized only only by by directing directing towards towards those those firms firms aa steady steady flow flow of of orders orders for for large large armored armored warships. warships. These These contracts contracts were were so so lucrative lucrative they they effectively effectively determined determined which which companies companies in in Britain Britain flourished flourished and and which which foundered. foundered. During During the the period period 1905—14, 1905-14, aa dozen dozen or or so so yards yards teetered teetered on on the the verge verge of of bankruptbankruptcy, cy, maintaining maintaining their their cash cash flow flow only only by by taking taking orders orders for for merchant merchant ships ships at at out cut prices prices and and depleting depleting reserves.I76 reserves.'” Some, Some, like like Thames Thames Iron Iron Works Works in in 1912, 1912, went went under. under. |_ This This brief brief sketch sketch of of the the interconnections interconnections between between the the Admiralty Admiralty shipbuilding policy policy and and the the armaments armaments firms firms will will have have demonstrated demonstrated to to shipbuilding the reader reader that that Fisher’s Fisher’s defense defense of of battleship battleship construction construction was was not not necnecthe essarily essarily symptomatic symptomatic of of his his anxiety anxiety to to acquire acquire the the “dreadnoughts” “dreadnoughts” themthemselves. His His efforts efforts in in this this direction direction can can be be also also attributed attributed to to recognition recognition selves. of the the need need to to preserve preserve the the warship-building warship-building industry. industry. Obviously Obviously this this of could could never never be be stated stated explicitly explicitly to to Cabinet. Cabinet. The The idea idea that that an an essential essential plank plank of of British British naval naval policy policy was was to to guarantee guarantee large large contracts contracts to to the the

“armaments ring” ring” was was not not likely likely to to appeal appeal to to Liberal Liberal ministers ministers on on either either “armaments economic or orideological grounds.177 This This isis not not to to say say that that Fisher Fisher did did not not economic ideological grounds.'” want any any dreadnoughts. dreadnoughts. For For his his purposes purposes they they were were better better than than preprewant dreadnoughts and and as as he he often often used used to to remark, remark, “half “half aa loaf loaf is is better better than than dreadnoughts no bread.” bread.” Even Even so, so, in in view view of of his his stated stated preference preference for for battle battle cruisers cruisers no (which (which he he continued continued to to believe believe would would one one day day be be adopted adopted as as the the standard standard armored war foignthe Royal Navy), and his acknowledgment armored warship for the Royal Navy), and his acknowledgment that the the that hip Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fishers§aval evolut E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, httpsz/lhd|.hand|e.net/2027/heb.31569.

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fleet fleet was was already already amply amply provided provided with with capital capital ships, ships, suggest suggest that that his his efforts to to resist resist cuts cuts in in the the construction construction budget budget probably probably stemmed stemmed more more efforts from industrial industrial than than military military considerations.‘78 considerations.'” After After all, all, battle battle cruisers cruisers from also also required required armor, armor, big-guns big-guns and and turbine turbine engines. engines. There There is is other other evidence evidence for for thinking thinking that that industrial industrial considerations considerations

were were at at least least as as important important as as strategic strategic ones. ones. When When in in August August 1908 1908 the the Cabinet Cabinet offered offered to to buy buy for for the the Royal Royal Navy Navy (at (at discount!) discount!) three three Brazilian Brazilian dreadnought dreadnought battleships battleships then then under under construction construction in in England England to to prevent prevent them them being being possibly possibly sold sold to to Germany, Germany, the the Admiralty Admiralty declined.179 declined.'” “We “We should should prefer,” prefer,” the the Board Board replied, replied, “to “to give give the the shipbuilding shipbuilding trade, trade, which which is is very very depressed, depressed, the the benefit benefit of of the the work work and and the the wages wages arising arising from from fresh fresh construction.”180 construction.”'® Fisher Fisher had had yet yet another another reason reason to to refuse refuse the the offer. offer. In In the the autumn autumn of of 1908, 1908, the the DNC DNC was was working working on on the the design design of of “Sans “Sans Pareil”—a Pareil’—a new new battle battle cruiser cruiser armed armed with with eight eight new new model model 13.5-inch 13.5-inch guns. guns. There There is is overwhelming overwhelming evidence evidence that that Fisher Fisher hoped hoped this this vessel vessel would would be be adopted adopted as as the the model model for for all all six six (later (later eight) eight) capital capital units units proprojected jected for for the the 1909—10 1909-10 program.““ program.'*' But But that that came came later. later. Submarine Design Design and and Production Production Submarine

While While there there were were manifest manifest advantages advantages in in exploiting exploiting private private firms, firms, the the Admiralty Admiralty recognized recognized the the drawbacks drawbacks to to the the Royal Royal Navy Navy relying relying upon upon them them too too heavily. heavily. Fundamentally, Fundamentally, private private companies companies did did not not exist exist for for the the benebene-

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fit fit of of the the state. state. Their Their ultimate ultimate goal goal was was profit.182 profit.'*? Consequently, Consequently, while while the the Admiralty directed Admiralty directed contracts contracts towards towards selected selected firms firms in in order order to to preserve preserve productive productive capacity, capacity, at at the the same same time time they they had had to to be be careful careful to to keep keep the the field field of of supply supply wide wide enough enough to to prevent prevent collusion collusion in in pricing. pricing. In In addition addition to to exploiting exploiting the the “invisible “invisible hand” hand” of of competition, competition, the the Admiralty Admiralty also also used used the the Royal Royal Dockyards Dockyards to to monitor monitor the the costs costs of of labor labor and and material material within within the the industry. industry. Civil Civil servants servants employed employed by by the the contracts contracts department department kept kept prices prices under under review review to to ensure ensure that that the the navy navy was was not not being being exploited!“ exploited.’* Profiteering Profiteering was was most most difficult difficult to to detect detect in in the the submarine submarine industry. industry. This This was was because because submarine submarine construction construction was was aa highly highly specialized specialized business business about about which which few few people people properly properly understood. understood. Furthermore, Furthermore, the the Admiralty Admiralty Board of Board of 1902 1902 had had inadvertently inadvertently made made the the task task harder harder by by granting granting Vickers Vickers aa seven-year seven-year monopoly monopoly on on submarine submarine contracts contracts in in return return for for assuming assuming all all the the costs costs of of development development and and on on the the understanding understanding suffisufficient cient capacity capacity would would be be retained retained to to meet meet all all the the navy’s navy’s requirements. requirements. In In 1905, 1905, due due mainly mainly to to growing growing concern concern in in Whitehall Whitehall that that Vickers Vickers were were makmaking ing “super-normal” “super-normal” profits profits on on submarine submarine contracts, contracts, the the navy navy delayed delayed the the introduction introduction of of an an improved improved type type of of submarine.‘84 submarine.'* The The last last major major advance advance made made by by the the navy navy in in the the field field of of submarine submarine N_ I design, design \IvNaithle was the B B type type approved approved at at the the end end of of 1903. 1903. Except Except for for minor minor

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improvements improvements in in the the arrangements arrangements of of the the batteries batteries the the C C class class was was basibasically cally the the same same craft. craft. In In 1903, 1903, submarine submarine design design had had been been still still very very much much constrained—rather constrained—rather than than led—by led—by the the limits limits of of engineering engineering and and techno— technological logical knowledge!“-5 knowledge.'” Although Although the the Admiralty Admiralty acknowledged acknowledged the the superiorsuperiority ity of of the the 300 300 ton ton vessels vessels of of the the B B class class over over earlier earlier models, models, it it was was felt felt that that “for “for seagoing seagoing purposes purposes they they will will be be of of little little use.”186 use.” What What the the navy navy really really wanted, wanted, declared declared the the controller controller in in January January 1904, 1904, was was a a long-range long-range vessel vessel capable capable of of operating operating on on the the high high seas seas in in any any weather. weather. “The “The sea sea limitations” limitations” of of aa submarine, submarine, he he recognized, recognized, “will “will always always be be governed governed by by the the size size of of the the boat.” boat.” With With this this objective objective in in mind, mind, Captain Captain Bacon Bacon was was instructed instructed “to “to rough rough out out the the design design of of a a boat boat of of 1000 1000 tons tons displacedisplacement.”‘87 ment.”'*’ Nothing Nothing came came of of this this exercise. exercise. And And not not until until 1905 1905 was was the the pospossibility Sibility of of building building an an “oversea” “oversea” boat boat again again seriously seriously considered considered when when the the Admiralty Admiralty secured secured an an appropriation appropriation under under the the 1905—6 1905-6 estimates estimates for for one improved submarine. one improved submarine. On On 23 23 June June 1905, 1905, Capt. Capt. Henry Henry Jackson, Jackson, who who had had recently recently sucsucceeded Admiral May as controller of the navy, assembled ceeded Admiral May as controller of the navy, assembled aa select select group group of of officers officers at at the the Admiralty Admiralty to to consider consider two two alternative alternative submasubmarine designs.‘88 Both sets of plans differed greatly from rine designs.’ Both sets of plans differed greatly from existing existing British British boats. boats. As As French French naval naval designers designers had had discovered discovered some some eight eight years years earearlier, lier, with with existing existing engineering engineering knowledge knowledge there there was was an an effective effective limit limit to to the the size size of of aa mono-hulled mono-hulled submarine. submarine. The The easiest easiest way way of of overcoming overcoming this technological barrier was to place the “ballast tanks” this technological barrier was to place the “ballast tanks” outside outside the the pressure hull thereby leaving more room inside the hull for pressure hull thereby leaving more room inside the hull for additional additional fuel fuel or or larger larger engines. engines. Both Both prototypes prototypes laid laid before before the the submarine submarine comcommittee of 1905 incorporated this feature. This indicates mittee of 1905 incorporated this feature. This indicates that that the the Admiralty’s Admiralty’s principal principal goal goal was was to to develop develop larger larger submarines. submarines. The The French, French, of of course, course, had had adopted adopted the the Laubeuf Laubeuf double-hull double-hull system. system. The The British British solution solution was was somewhat somewhat different. different. The The “CZ” “C2” design design had had its its balballast last tanks tanks on on top, top, the the “D” “D” was was given given side side or or “saddle” “saddle” tanks. tanks. The The task task of of the committee committee was was to to chose chose which which model model to to adopt adopt as as the the prototype prototype for for the future future development. development. Eventually Eventually the the “D” “D” plans plans were were chosen chosen largely largely on on account account of of its its better better anticipated anticipated underwater underwater performance. performance. It It was was “also “also agreed at at the the meeting meeting that that heavy-oil heavy-oil [diesel] [diesel] engines engines should should be be adoptadoptagreed ed as soon as a suitable engine working with it is available.“89 ed as soon as a Suitable engine working with it is available.”'®’ The The

advantages advantages were were manifest: manifest: “a “a diesel diesel engine engine which which is is about about twice twice the the weight weight and and one one and and a a half half times times the the volume volume of of a a petrol petrol engine engine for for the the same power” consumes “about half the weight and less than half Same power’ consumes “about half the weight and less than half the the volume volume of of fuel fuel than than an an oil oil engine.” engine.” In In other other words, words, for for a a given given quantity quantity of of fuel fuel aa submarine submarine propelled propelled by by diesels diesels could could proceed proceed twice twice as as far far than than it it could could if if driven driven by by a a petrol petrol engine. engine. Diesel Diesel fuel, fuel, moreover, moreover, cost cost less less than than half half the the price price of of gasoline.190 gasoline.'” There There is is no no evidence evidence that that the the “D” “D” Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, httpszllhd|.hand|e.net/2027/heb.31569.

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in requirements in operational requirements future operational of future expectation of in expectation selected in type was selected .type was more appeared more Committee appeared Submarine Committee the Submarine anything, the the Sea. IfIf anything, North Sea. the North all not all most ifif not 1905, most In 1905, French.191 In the French.'” with the pace with concerned keeping pace at keeping concerned at for primarily for designed primarily being designed still being were still craft were torpedo craft the Navy’s torpedo Royal Navy’s the Royal Channel.192 the Channel.'” in the action in action in let in not let was not submarine was experimental submarine new experimental the new for the The contract for The contract Vickers that Vickers learn that to learn annoyed to most annoyed was most Admiralty was of Admiralty 1905-6. Board of The Board 1905—6. The was price was The price vessel. The new vessel. the new build the to build £84,000 to was demanding £84,000 was demanding vessel. class vessel. of aa CC class cost of the cost than the percent—more than 60 percent—more £30,000—or £30,000—or 60 Submarine the Submarine of the meeting of the meeting At the outrage.193 At Board’s outrage.'* the Board’s shared the Jackson shared Jackson extra the extra that the out that “pointed out had “pointed Bacon had Captain Bacon and Captain be and Committee he Committee must which must vessels which of vessels case of the case in the consideration in serious consideration was aa serious expense was expense the “for the limit “for the limit set the Fisher set August Fisher On 88 August numbers.”‘94 On be in numbers.”'* built in be built twelve have twelve to have “preferred to Admiralty “preferred The Admiralty boat.195 The per boat.'* £60,000 per moment” at £60,000 moment” at Other submarines.196 Other screw” submarines.'® twin screw” nine twin or nine eight or than eight rather than screw rather single screw single conwas concommittee was the committee instance, the For instance, given. For also given. were also delay were reasons for delay reasons for tried.” and tried.” “made and been “made yet been not yet had not engine had diesel engine suitable diesel that aa suitable cerned that cerned “makexperience “makhis experience in his that in Jackson that reminded Jackson Bacon reminded meeting Bacon the meeting After the After producing attending producing difficulties attending the difficulties of the view of rosy view take aa rosy to take apt to so apt are SO ers are ers be should be work should at work engine at exact engine the exact of the short of “nothing short that “nothing an engine” that an engine” To justified. To proved justified. was proved caution was Bacon’s caution time Bacon’s In time granted.”197 In for granted.”'” taken for taken an constructing an not constructing for not excuse for no excuse was no this was however, this some officers, however, some officers, gasoline by gasoline propelled by hull-form propelled improved hull-form an improved with an craft with experimental craft experimental engines. engines. was submarines, was of submarines, captain of inspecting captain new inspecting the new Lees, the Edgar Lees, Capt. Edgar Capt. susbeen sushad been project had “D” project type “D” the type that the told that be told to be unhappy to especially unhappy especially to letters to forceful letters several forceful write several to write him to prompted him news prompted The news pended. The pended. objections technical objections the technical that the insisting that reconsider, insisting to reconsider, him to Jackson urging him Jackson urging In aa exaggerated.198 In grossly exaggerated.’ been grossly had been immediately had vessel immediately the vessel ordering the to ordering to the that the Lees that to Lees explained to Bacon explained off,” Bacon “lay off,” to “lay him to signaling him letter signaling letter 1902 The 1902 contract.199 The the contract.'*® placing the not placing for not motive for ulterior motive an ulterior had an Admiralty had Admiralty both for both provided for which provided clause which included aa clause agreement included monopoly agreement Vickers’s monopoly Vickers’s either by either out by taken out patents taken subsequent patents any subsequent of any ownership of share ownership to share parties to parties retained had retained however, had Vickers, however, boats. Vickers, submarine boats. with submarine connected with party connected party firm the firm since the Ever since product. Ever finished product. the finished on the price on final price the final set the the to set right to the right

exorbitant considered exorbitant Admiralty considered the Admiralty what the demanded what habitually demanded had habitually had

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submarines. their submarines. to their improvements to trivial improvements most trivial the most making the for making prices for prices the subsequently the straw; subsequently last straw; the last been the had been type had “D” type the “D” for the tender for The tender The Vickers with Vickers agreement with its agreement renegotiate its to renegotiate determined to became determined Admiralty became Admiralty further letting further before letting costs before and costs prices and over prices check over closer check establish aa closer and establish and the negotiating the by negotiating goal by this goal accomplish this be accomplish best be could best navy could The navy contracts. The contracts. from license from under license Dockyard under Royal Dockyard submarines inin aa Royal few submarines rightFWto right to build/a build a few

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revealed, Bacon revealed, types,” Bacon and DD types,” (32 and the C2 of the designs of the designs started the Vickers.200 “I“i started Vickers.” to intimating thus By patents?”1 Holland the infringe to way no “in as so So aS “in no way to infringe the Holland patents.””” By thus intimating to Vickers that the navy was capable of designing and building its own subVickers that the navy was capable of designing and building its own submarines, the the Admiralty Admiralty hoped hoped to to bring bring about about aa moderation moderation ininprices.202 marines, prices.” for authorized for submarines twelve the of seven just order to decision The The decision to order just seven of the twelve submarines authorized 1905 was possibly another 1905 was possibly another attempt attempt to to apply apply pressure. pressure. in In his his reply reply to to Captain Captain Lees, Lees, Bacon Bacon explained explained that that the the Admiralty Admiralty did did havof havinconvenience of the inconvenience incur the or incur Vickers or with Vickers totally with break totally to break want to not want not ing ing to to build build all all the the navy’s navy’s submarines submarines in in Royal Royal Dockyards. Dockyards. “We “We cannot cannot do do better than than cooperate cooperate with with Messrs Messrs Vickers Vickers in in building building the the number number we we better want. They They have have experience experience which which itit would would take take three three years years for for any any other other want. firm or or the the Dockyards Dockyards to to acquire.”*’ acquire.”203 Besides, Besides, he he added, added, “for “for the the firm Admiralty to to have have suddenly suddenly repudiated repudiated the the validity validity of of the the patents patents would would Admiralty have have been been aa very very unfair unfair proceeding.”204 proceeding.”** The The Admiralty Admiralty only only wanted wanted Vickers company, howhowVickers to to moderate moderate their their prices. prices. Negotiations Negotiations with with the the company, easily so easily not so was not Vickers was expected. Vickers than expected. slower than much slower proceeded much ever, proceeded ever, intimidated. In In November, November, with with still still no no compromise compromise in in sight, sight, Lees Lees lost lost intimidated. real the real to the as to “views as his “views with his controller with the controller to the wrote to again wrote and again patience and patience hopeleft hopebe left to be not to are not we are design ifif we the DD design with the proceeding with of proceeding necessity of necessity the that the insist that to insist continued to however, continued Bacon, however, French.”205 Bacon, the French.”?” behind the lessly behind lessly Admiralty should should wait wait until until aa new new agreement had been been signed signed with with Admiralty agreement had Vickers.206 Vickers.”° it It took took another another six six months months pressure pressure before before Vickers Vickers finally finally caved caved in. in. On On 17 17 May May 1906, 1906, Vickers Vickers licensed licensed the the Royal Royal Navy Navy to to construct construct craft type craft “D” type the “D” later the months later Three months Dockyards. Three Royal Dockyards. in Royal submarines in submarines ironically, £69,000.207 Ironically, of £69,000.”” price of contract price at aa contract Vickers at from Vickers ordered from was ordered was The margin. The profit margin. Vickers’s profit of Vickers’s magnitude of true magnitude the true realized the never realized Bacon never Bacon percent.208 70 percent.” as 70 much as as much profit—perhaps as enormous profit—perhaps made enormous still made company still company submaexperimental submathe experimental that the was that shenanigans was these shenanigans of these result of net result The net The the During the 1908. During late 1908. until late trials until her trials begin her not begin did not D1 did H.M.S. D1 rine H.M.S. rine the ordering the continue ordering to continue but to choice but little choice had little Admiralty had the Admiralty interim the interim class. superseded CC class. superseded

The The Home Home Fleet Fleet Saga Saga to way to only way the only that the decided that Admiralty decided of Admiralty Board of the Board 1906, the May 1906, In May In proconstruction pro(1907—8) construction next (1907-8) the next in the cuts in more cuts for more demands for off demands head off head

commission.209 full commission.*” ships inin full of ships number of the number reduce the to reduce be to would be gram would gram yield to yield calculated to was calculated ships was armored ships eleven armored Decommissioning eleven Decommissioning calculated Fisher calculated works, Fisher naval works, in‘ naval savings in further savings to further Added to £250,000.“0 Added £250,000.2"° for demands for chancellor’s demands the chancellor’s meet the to meet freed to be freed could be money could enough money that enough that third the third sacrifice the to sacrifice having to without having expenditure without in expenditure reduction in overall reduction an overall an other no other “By no program. “By 1906—7 program. the 1906-7 under the projected under warship projected armored warship armored insistFisher insistpromised,” Fisher as promised,” Estimates as Navy Estimates the Navy reduce the we reduce can we means can means Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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tradethe tradewith the happy with all happy at all not at was not ed.2'' however, was Tweedmouth, however, Lord Tweedmouth, ed?“ Lord “visible” particularly “visible” was aa particularly battleships was off battleships off. paying off that paying realized that He realized off. He Britain’s that Britain’s accusations that attract accusations to attract economy, bound to was bound which was one which and one economy, and misconsiderable miswith considerable was with jeopardized. ItIt was naval being jeopardized. was being supremacy was naval supremacy to order to that inin order Cabinet that to Cabinet reported to he reported givings, June he that inin June therefore, that givings, therefore, planwas planAdmiralty was the Admiralty targets the spending targets achieve set spending government’s set the government’s achieve the two and two Fleet and Channel Fleet the Channel from the (three from ning battleships (three seven battleships retire seven to retire ning to armored four armored and four Squadrons) and each Mediterranean Squadrons) and Mediterranean Atlantic and the Atlantic from the each from reserve.212 crew reserve.?” nucleus crew in nucleus them in cruisers place them and place service and active service from active cruisers from commanders the commanders warning the delayed warning lord delayed For first lord the first reasons the political reasons For political be to be about to was about squadrons was their squadrons in their in ships in of ships number of the number that the chief that in chief the in the attack in fierce attack under fierce came under had came reduced.?" government had the government July, the In July, reduced.213 In cutting by cutting program by Cawdor program the Cawdor from the press departing from for departing Parliament for and Parliament press and Tweedmouth and Tweedmouth budget, and construction budget, naval construction an the naval from the ship from armored ship an armored end the end until the not until was not Thus itit was critics. Thus his critics. had inflame his further inflame to further wish to no wish had no Tweedmouth dismay, Tweedmouth his dismay, To his released. To of was released. news was the news that the 1906 that August 1906 of August objecof objecbarrage of uncomfortable barrage most uncomfortable was to aa most subjected to immediately subjected was immediately the nerves, the his nerves, calm his to calm effort to an effort In an tions commanders.214 In fleet commanders.’ angry fleet from angry tions from him: assured him: lord assured sea lord first first sea the of the time of the time at the than at power than in power greater in sea isis greater The at sea force at naval force present naval The present have to have Russia to and Russia France and for France possible for Dogger was possible when itit was incident, when Bank incident, Dogger Bank then strength then naval strength our naval considered our we considered and we us, and thrown against us, lot against their lot in their thrown in and friend, and our friend, was France our annihilated, France Russia isis annihilated, Now Russia sufficient. Now amply sufficient. was amply how so how ourselves; so than ourselves; weaker than Germany times weaker many times foe. many possible foe, only possible our only Germany our pitch higher pitch at aa higher sea at at sea can strength at our strength up our keeping up justify keeping or justify support or we support can we than than that??' that?215

an Before redistribution an of redistribution scheme of the scheme publish the to publish able to was able Admiralty was the Admiralty Before the the leaked the Mediterranean, leaked officer chief, Mediterranean, in chief, commander in the commander of the staff of the staff on the officer on are we are afraid we am afraid gist newspaperman.216 “I“I am hostile newspaperman.’"* to aa hostile proposals to the proposals of the gist of subselikely Tweedmouth subseaffairs,” Tweedmouth naval affairs,” about naval hucker about great hucker in aa great be in to be likely to six of six placing of quently “the placing October, “the 15 October, on 15 minister on prime minister the prime to the reported to quently reported at reserve at battleships crew reserve nucleus crew the nucleus in the cruisers in armored cruisers four armored and four battleships and

it.”2"" about it.”°”” arising about home outcry arising great outcry there isis aa great and there out and come out now come has now home has the to the In announced to Fisher announced later Fisher days later ten days agitation, ten the agitation, quell the to quell effort to an effort In an to freed to thus freed crewmen thus press the crewmen use the to use planning to was planning Admiralty was the Admiralty that the press that improve improve the the war war readiness readiness of of the the nucleus nucleus crew crew reserve reserve by by organizing organizing the the best best ships ships into into distinct distinct squadrons. squadrons. The The ten ten armored armored warships warships scheduled scheduled to be be withdrawn withdrawn from from active active service service in in April April 1907 1907 would would form form the the corps to corps delite d’elite of of aa new new “Home “Home Fleet.” Fleet.” In In order order that that these these ships ships could could be be mobimobilized lized even even quicker quicker than than hitherto hitherto was was possible, possible, they they would would be be manned manned by by 60 60 percent percent of of their their war war complements. complements. Hitherto, Hitherto, two-fifths two-fifths had had been been the the Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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normal.“8 normal.” In In addition, addition, the the highly highly regarded regarded Rear Rear Adm. Adm. Sir Sir Francis Francis Bridgeman Bridgeman was was to to be be made made solely solely responsible responsible for for their their fighting fighting efficienefficiency.219 cy.*' Fisher’s Fisher’s attempt attempt to to dampen dampen criticism criticism had had little little effect. effect. if If anything, anything, it it served served only only to to confuse confuse matters matters by by creating creating the the impression impression that that a a secsecond ond “fleet” “fleet” was was being being established established in in home home waters waters quite quite distinct distinct from from the the Channel Channel Fleet.220 Fleet.?”° Hostility Hostility to to the the new new fleet fleet organization organization was was fueled fueled by by negative negative covercoverage age given given to to the the proposals proposals in in the the press. press. Tory Tory activists activists in in Fleet Fleet Street, Street, who who had had become become restless restless at at what what they they perceived perceived as as a a lack lack of of vigor vigor disdisplayed played by by their their Party’s Party’s leaders leaders in in attacking attacking cuts cuts in in the the House, House, deliberdeliberately ately amplified amplified objections objections raised raised by by Fisher’s Fisher’s personal personal enemies.221 enemies.”' The The controversy controversy over over the the “Home “Home Fleet” Fleet” was was to to have have much much more more serious serious impliimplications. cations. From From the the moment moment he he became became first first sea sea lord, lord, Sir Sir John John Fisher Fisher had had been been subjected subjected to to constant constant abuse abuse from from various various serving serving and and retired retired naval naval officers, officers, back-bench back-bench politicians politicians and and uninformed uninformed naval naval interest interest groups groups who who disagreed disagreed with with his his policies policies and and methods. methods. But But his his opponents opponents had had been been unable unable to to mount mount effective effective opposition opposition because because they they were were themselves themselves divided divided over over which which of of Fisher’s Fisher's reforms reforms were were bad bad for for the the service. service. Although Although press press criticism criticism of of the the Admiralty Admiralty briefly briefly subsided subsided in in December December 1906, 1906, the the decision decision to to create create the the Home Home Fleet Fleet had had served served as as aa rallying rallying point point for for Fisher’s Fisher's enemies. enemies. The The disparate disparate groups groups subsequently subsequently coalesced coalesced into into what what became became known known as as “the “the syndicate syndicate of of discontent.”222 discontent.”2” Their Their one one comcommon mon objective objective was was to to remove remove Sir Sir John John Fisher Fisher from from power. power. Compared to to the the activities activities of of Col. Col. Sir Sir George George Clarke, Clarke, the the press press camcamCompared paign paign waged waged against against the the formation formation of of the the Home Home Fleet Fleet was was only only a a minor minor irritant. irritant. Readers Readers will will recall recall that that throughout throughout 1906, 1906, the the secretary secretary of of the the CID CID had had been been sniping sniping at at the the Admiralty Admiralty and and giving giving support support to to the the Cabinet Cabinet campaign Campaign for for drastic drastic reductions reductions in in naval naval construction. construction. To To his his indignaindignation, tion, Clarke Clarke first first learned learned of of “the “the proposed proposed battleship battleship reduction” reduction” from from the the Standard.223 Standard.” The The prime prime minister, minister, evidently, evidently, had had not not troubled troubled to to inform inform the the cm CID of of the the decision decision he he had had endorsed endorsed some some four four months months previously.224 previously.?”* “I “] think think that that if if reductions reductions are are to to be be made made of of this this kind,” kind,” he he protested protested to to Lord Lord Esher Ksher on on 15 15 October October from from his his desk desk in in the the ClD, CID, “they “they ought ought to to be be considconsidered ered here.”225 here.’?” Clarke, Clarke, it it should should be be noted noted for for future future reference, reference, was was one one of of the the very very few few men men to to notice notice that that although although the the Admiralty Admiralty was was proposing proposing net net reductions reductions in in the the “battleship “battleship force,” force,” at at the the same same time time they they planned planned “to “to increase increase our our torpedo torpedo boat boat and and submarine submarine preponderance.”226 preponderance.” He He disdisapproved. approved. The The former former army army officer officer had had never never been been impressed impressed with with subsubmarines. marines. Nor Nor had had he he been been receptive receptive to to the the concept concept of of the the torpedo torpedo armed armed flotilla.227 He persisted in equating naval power with battleships.228 flotilla.??7 He persisted in equating naval power with battleships.?” Over Over the the next next four four weeks weeks Clarke Clarke synthesized synthesized the the various various arguments arguments circulatingiaegainst the formation of the Home Fleet and circulating sagainst the formation of the Home Fleet and presented presented them them Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjoh Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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made being made case being conceive aa case can conceive on Campbell-Bannerman.229 “I“I can to Campbell-Bannerman.”” paper to on paper commission in commission ships in of ships number of the number out reducing the for reducing time for present time the present at the out at 15 on 15 minister on prime minister the prime to the reported to he reported with economies,” he to economies,” View to with aa view for reasons for political reasons strong political are strong there are November, hand, there other hand, the other “on the November, “on prothe prowas the to was objected to most objected he most What he not fleet.”230 What Channel fleet.”2°° the Channel reducing the not reducing kept battleships kept commissioned battleships fully commissioned of fully posal number of the number reduce the to reduce posal to the than the fewer than two fewer was two in fourteen—which was to fourteen—which down to waters down home waters in home ignored had ignored (Fisher had Sea. (Fisher North Sea. the North strength across the Fleet across Sea Fleet High Sea the High of the strength of exploit)?“ to exploit.)**' critics to his critics for his opening for easy opening warnings an easy be an would be this would warnings this argued, he argued, Fleet, he Channel Fleet, stronger Channel The numerically stronger of aa numerically possession of The possession advantage.”232 political advantage.” and political “moral and always government aa “moral British government the British gave the always gave endeavouring been endeavouring have been country have this country in this Furthermore, writers in “numerous writers Furthermore, “numerous alarming the alarming of the one of and one scare, and for German scare, create aa German to create time to some time for some Roberts. ItIt Lord Roberts. of Lord imprimatur of the imprimatur received the brochures nature received this nature of this brochures of certain country aa certain this country in this produced in has produced isis clear propaganda has this propaganda that this clear that take to take necessary to which itit isis necessary of which suspicion of of suspicion feeling and of uneasiness and of uneasiness feeling of numerically mind aa numerically public mind the public in the that in account.” believed that Clarke believed account.”233 Clarke our between our interposing between of interposing purpose of stronger important purpose the important “served the fleet “served stronger fleet of that of to that superior to always superior force always shores invasion, aa force imagined invasion, the imagined and the shores and Germany.”234 Germany. "2" weight much weight how much indicate how to indicate evidence to There direct evidence no direct sadly no There isis sadly certainly he certainly though he minister, though prime minister, the prime Clarke’s with the carried with opinions carried Clarke’s Opinions the to the reaction to Fisher’s reaction contrast Fisher’s By contrast boasted great.235 By was great.?® influence was his influence boasted his had Edward, had King Edward, assured King he assured Clarke, he paper Colonel Clarke, unequivocal. Colonel was unequivocal. paper was tacthe tacoverstated the had overstated and had Fleet and Home Fleet mistaken new Home the new of the function of the function mistaken the battlefourteen battleremaining fourteen The remaining Fleet.236 The tical Channel Fleet.” the Channel of the weakness of tical weakness German entire German the entire to the superior to ships qualitatively superior themselves qualitatively by themselves were by ships were laytenable, laywas tenable, claim was this claim experts this naval experts to naval High Although to Fleet.237 Although Sea Fleet.’ High Sea men, who who measured measured naval naval strength strength by by counting counting numbers numbers of of battleships, battleships, men, govBritish govway a a British no way was no there was right: there was right: Clarke was were convinced.238 Clarke not convinced.”* were not commisfully commisof fully number of the number reducing the seen reducing be seen to be ernment afford to could afford ernment could The navy. The rival navy. of aa rival strength of the strength below the sioned waters below home waters in home battleships in sioned battleships matter that matter For that arguments. For qualitative arguments. public such qualitative understand such not understand did not public did for Hardinge, for Charles Hardinge, Sir Charles officials. Sir government officials. neither most government did most neither did thought Office, thought Foreign Office, the Foreign at the undersecretary at instance, permanent undersecretary the permanent instance, the German the German with the comparison with in comparison Fleet in that Channel Fleet the Channel of the weakness of “the weakness that “the tried he tried November, he In November, scandal.”239 In positive scandal.””°° Fleet Henry isis aa positive Prince Henry under Prince Fleet under inquiry independent inquiry an independent for an government for the government to within the support within up support drum up to drum into into the the distribution distribution of of the the fleet.240 fleet.?*° answer to answer having to at having impatient at became impatient quickly became very quickly lord very sea lord first sea The first The to refused to consistently refused he consistently But he critics.241 But his critics.2" by his raised by point raised new point every every new divulge divulge the the function function of of the the Home Home Fleet: Fleet: this, this, he he insisted, insisted, “is “is the the Lambert, Nicolas. 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inscrutable inscrutable secret secret of of the the Admiralty, Admiralty, and and will will remain remain so.”242 so.” His His refusal refusal to to explain explain clearly clearly his his strategic strategic policy policy lost lost him him a a considerable considerable number number of of friends. friends. “In “In a a country country like like ours, ours, governed governed by by discussion,” discussion,” Lord Lord Esher Esher wrote to to the the Admiral, Admiral, “a “a great great man man isis never never hanged. hanged. He He hangs hangs himself. himself. wrote Therefore Therefore pray pray be be Machiavellian, Machiavellian, and and play play upon upon the the delicate delicate instruments instruments of of public public opinion opinion with with your your fingers fingers and and not not with with your your feet—however feet—however tempting tempting the the latter latter may may be.”243 be.” Thanks Thanks to to Sir Sir George George Clarke’s Clarke’s agitation, agitation, opposition Opposition to to the the Home Home Fleet Fleet within within official official circles circles refused refused to to subside. subside. By By the the beginning beginning of of 1907, 1907, Fisher Fisher had had become become sufficiently sufficiently unnerved unnerved to to consider modifying modifying his his stance.” stance.244 In In February, February, Clarke Clarke confided confided to to Esher Esher consider that that the the Channel Channel Fleet Fleet would would “probably “probably be be returned returned to to sixteen sixteen if if what what II know know is is true.”245 true.”?* Clarke Clarke expected expected the the Atlantic Atlantic squadron squadron would would be be recalled recalled from from Gibraltar Gibraltar and and amalgamated amalgamated into into the the Channel Channel Fleet.246 Fleet.?“ To To everyone’s everyone's surprise surprise Fisher Fisher did did not not do do this. this. Instead, Instead, reported reported an an incredulous [ohn] F[isher] incredulous Louis Louis Battenberg, Battenberg, “it “it is is the the intention intention of of JJ[ohn] F[isher] to to form best form the the Sheerness/Chatham Sheerness/Chatham division division of of the the Home Home Fleet Fleet of of our our eight eight best battleships.” With With good good reason reason he he asked: asked: “where “where isis the the sense sense of of this”?2*’ this”?’-47 battleships.” The The decision decision to to attach attach the the most most powerful powerful ships ships in in the the navy, navy, including including Dreadnought and and the the three three Invincible Invincible class class all-big-gun all-big—gun cruisers cruisers to to what what Dreadnought had had been been originally originally conceived conceived as as a a reserve reserve fleet fleet was was manifestly manifestly illogiillogical.248 cal.2 Subsequent Subsequent charges charges that that the the Home Home Fleet Fleet now now was was “neither “neither a a reserve nor nor aa striking striking force” force” were were fully fully justified.“ justified.249 Some Some years years later later reserve Battenberg suggested suggested to to one one correspondent correspondent that that Fisher Fisher took took this this errant errant Battenberg adminishis adminison his attacks on by attacks antagonized by so antagonized become so had become he had because he step because step tration from from Lord Lord Charles Charles Beresford, Beresford, who who had had been been selected selected to to inherit inherit tration command of of the the Channel Channel Fleet, Fleet, that that he he “was “was determined determined that that Beresford Beresford command may charge may This charge command.”250 This honourable aa command.”*” and honourable big and so big have so not have would not would occurred have occurred to have appear to not appear does not thought does the thought but the basis, but some basis, had some have had have in Fisher, in that Fisher, likely that more likely later. ItIt isis more years later. several years until several Battenberg until to Battenberg to making into making himself into tripped himself inadvertently tripped criticism, inadvertently side-step criticism, to side-step trying to trying lord sea lord first sea the first 1907, the March 1907, On 55 March blunder. On publicity blunder. greater publicity even greater an even an the to the distribution to fleet distribution in fleet changes in the changes explain the to explain summoned to was summoned was explain “to explain that “to insisting that details, insisting into details, go into to go refused to Fisher refused Again Fisher Cabinet. Again Cabinet. most kept most be kept must be what must public what making public involves making clearly involves matter clearly the matter the assembly the assembly upon the impressed upon he impressed Instead he plans.”251 Instead fighting plans.””' secret—our fighting secret—our were Ministers were system.”252 Ministers crew system.””” nucleus crew the nucleus of the advantage of enormous advantage “the enormous “the the keep the to keep point: to the point: home the drove home which drove memorandum which given aa memorandum each given each This million.253 This four million.?* additional four an additional cost an would cost manned would fully manned fleet fully entire fleet entire of creation of the creation for the Approval for understood. Approval Cabinet understood. the Cabinet that the language that was language was George Sir Meanwhile, granted.254 subsequently was Fleet Home new the the new Home Fleet was subsequently granted.** Meanwhile, Sir George Clarke Clarke was was left left spluttering spluttering that that “the “the entire entire organization organization (naval) (naval) in in home home waters is thoroughly bad.”255 waters is thoroughly bad.”*” Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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The Silent Silent Fanfare Fanfare The

From From the the beginning beginning it it was was Fisher’s Fisher's intention intention to to organize organize the the Home Home Fleet Fleet into into a a “real “real fighting fighting fleet fleet of of the the first first quality quality and and peculiarly peculiarly adapted adapted for for the the first first onslaught onslaught of of war."256 war.”?* The The word word in in italics italics should should be be noted. noted. When When he he first first wrote wrote to to Tweedmouth Tweedmouth with with his his idea idea for for “a “a fresh fresh ‘Home ‘Home Fleet,” Fleet,” he he indicated indicated there there were were aa number number of of subtle subtle aspects aspects to to the the scheme.257 scheme.’ “You “You will will see see when when II explain explain the the details details (too (too intricate intricate for for a a letletter),” ter),” he he hinted, hinted, “how “how everything everything fits fits into into our our purpose.”258 purpose.’ Alas Alas he he never never set set down down on on paper paper what what exactly exactly be he intended. intended. As As a a result result historians historians have have assumed assumed the the squadron squadron of of battleships battleships based based at at Chatham Chatham formed formed the the core core of of the the Home Home Fleet—taking Fleet—taking little little notice notice of of the the first first sea sea lord’s lord’s claim claim that that things things were were not not what what they they seemed.259 seemed.”” “It “It is is surely surely obvious obvious to to all,” all,” he he hinthinted ed in in another another memorandum memorandum prepared prepared for for Cabinet, Cabinet, “that “that the the whole whole of of the the vessels vessels in in reserve reserve are are not not of of equal equal fighting fighting importance, importance, and and also also it it is is manifest manifest that that some some vessels, vessels, such, such, for for instance, instance, as as torpedo torpedo craft craft and and subsubmarines, marines, are are wanted wanted sooner sooner than than others.”260 others.”®° Under Under the the order order of of councilwhich council. which created created the the Home Home Fleet: Fleet: the the entire entire flotilla flotilla of of torpedo torpedo craft craft ..... . and and all all submarines submarines in in full full commiscommission which are not sion which are not allocated allocated for for local local defense defense of of Home Home Ports, Ports, together together with with all all scouts, scouts, torpedo-gunboats, torpedo-gunboats, destroyers destroyers and and their their respective respective parent parent vesvessels, sels, repair repair ships ships and and mine mine laying laying vessels vessels now now in in commission commission with with nuclenucleus us or or special special service service crews, crews, under under the the command command of of the the Admiral Admiral (D) (D) and and respective Captain (D)s will be respective Captain (D)s will be affiliated affiliated to to the the Home Home Fleet, Fleet, and and be be placed placed under under the the supreme supreme command command of of the the Commander-in—Chief. Commander-in-Chief, Home Home Fleet.261 Fleet.2*'

L b N. I

Fisher, Fisher, however, however, for for some some reason reason decided decided not not to to publicize publicize this this fact.262 fact.2° As As aa result, result, while while the the eyes eyes of of the the politicians politicians and and public public were were fixed fixed on on the the reshuffling reshuffling of of several several old old battleships, battleships, the the redistribution redistribution of of more more than than one one hundred hundred flotilla flotilla craft craft passed passed unnoticed.263 unnoticed.” One One of of those those who who did did notice notice it it was was Capt. Capt. (later (later Adm.) Adm.) Douglas Douglas Brownrigg. Brownrigg. In In November November 1906, 1906, he he wrote wrote to to Balfour’s Balfour’s secretary secretary drawing drawing his his attention attention to to the the unobtrusive unobtrusive movemovements ments of of flotillas flotillas from from the the south south to to the the east east coast. coast. Additional Additional destroyers destroyers were were brought brought home home from from overseas. overseas. “It “It is is natural natural that that no no flourish flourish of of trumpets trumpets should should be be required required over over this,” this,” he he cryptically cryptically noted.264 noted.? The The conconcentration centration of of flotilla flotilla craft craft in in home home waters waters would would have have been been even even more more noticeable noticeable if if the the Admiralty Admiralty had had gone gone ahead ahead with with plans plans to to reallocate reallocate subsubmarine marine flotillas flotillas to to Dover, Dover, Harwich, Harwich, Hull Hull and and Dundee. Dundee. But But “in “in view view of of the the contiguity contiguity of of existing existing facilities” facilities” at at Portsmouth, Portsmouth, and and doubtless doubtless the the cost cost of of setting setting up up new new bases, bases, it it was was decided decided that that in in peace peace time time only only aa reinforced reinforced flotilla flotilla at at Harwich Harwich would would be be permanently permanently maintained maintained on on the the east east coast.265 coast.? ghaFthFisheRr What Fisher hinted hinted at at but but never never explained explained was was that that the the torpedo torpedo flotillas flotillas

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were were the the core core of of the the Home Home Fleet; Fleet; and and flotilla flotilla defense defense was was the the strategy strategy “peculiarly “peculiarly adapted” adapted” for for the the defense defense of of the the narrow narrow seas. seas. In In aa confidential confidential memorandum memorandum written written to to mollify mollify angry angry fleet fleet comcommanders manders who who had had been been stripped stripped of of their their destroyer destroyer flotillas, flotillas, the the Admiralty Admiralty clearly clearly explained explained that: that: it it has has to to be be observed observed that that new new strategic strategic conditions conditions necessitate necessitate the the employemploy-

ment ment of of the the largest largest practicable practicable number number to to be be obtained obtained of of these these vessels vessels for for North North Sea Sea service, service, and and for for this this reason reason aa number number of of torpedo-boat torpedo-boat destroydestroy-

ers ers have have been been brought brought home home from from China, China, the the Mediterranean Mediterranean and and Gibraltar Gibraltar to to strengthen strengthen the the home home force, force, leaving leaving only only aa small small proportion proportion of of torpedo torpedo craft craft abroad. abroad. [Also] [Also] the the political political circumstances circumstances were were quite quite different different when when

originally originally twenty-four twenty-four destroyers destroyers were were attached attached to to the the Channel Channel Fleet.266 Fleet.?®

To To take take their their place, place, the the Admiralty Admiralty encouraged encouraged those those self-governing self-governing Dominions Dominions interested interested in in formn forming their their own own navies navies to to build build large large flotilla flotilla craft craft capable capable of of supporting supporting Royal Royal Navy Navy armored armored squadrons squadrons operating operating in in distant distant waters.267 waters.?é’ Fisher’s Fisher’s boast boast that that the the torpedo torpedo craft craft of of the the Home Home Fleet Fleet were were intendintend-

ed ed to to be be “the “the advanced advanced guard guard and and first first striking striking force force of of the the whole whole fleet,” fleet,” in in other other words words the the core core of of the the Home Home fleet, fleet, is is corroborated corroborated by by evidence evidence of of changes changes in in the the distribution distribution of of personnel personnel manning manning ships ships in in home home waters.268 waters.” Subsequent Subsequent to to the the decommissioning decommissioning of of the the eleven eleven armored armored vessels vessels in in 1906—7, 1906-7, the the crews crews of of all all torpedo torpedo craft craft in in nucleus nucleus crew crew reserve reserve were were strengthened from from 40 40 to to 80 80 percent percent of of their their war war complements. complements. Between Between strengthened October October 1906 1906 and and April April 1907, 1907, personnel personnel allocated allocated to to flotilla flotilla craft craft jumped jumped 20 20 percent percent from from 10,315 10,315 to to 12,486.269 12,486. Colonel Colonel Repington, Repington, military military correcorrespondent for for the the Times, Times, grasped grasped what what was was intended. intended. Commenting Commenting on on the the spondent plans‘to plansto establish establish submarine submarine and and destroyer destroyer bases bases on on the the east east coast, coast, he he explained to to his his editor, editor, “this “this apparently apparently defensive defensive organization organization will will not not explained prevent [ohn] F[isher] prevent Sir Sir JJ[ohn] F[isher] from from using using the the whole whole of of the the boats boats offensively offensively when when he he pleases, pleases, and and that that knowledge knowledge of of the the existence existence of of this this mobile mobile defense defense on on the the east east coast coast would would be be aa far far greater greater deterrent deterrent to to me me if if II were were German officer officer than than the the existing existing distribution.”?” distribution.”270 aa German The The ability ability to to rely rely upon upon “flotilla “flotilla defense” defense” to to prevent prevent invasion invasion also also gave the the Admiralty Admiralty far far greater greater flexibility flexibility in in deployment deployment of of squadrons squadrons of of gave armored warships. warships. Whereas Whereas “the “the constitution constitution of of the the Home Home Fleet, Fleet, and and its its armored effective administration administration and and efficiency, efficiency, entirely entirely rests rests on on its its retention retention in in effective home waters,” waters,” the the Admiralty Admiralty explained explained in in June June 1907, 1907, that that “the “the Channel Channel home and Atlantic Atlantic Fleets Fleets are are on on another another and and entirely entirely different different basis. basis. They They are are and commissioned definitely definitely for for two two years’ years’ service, service, and and could could be be sent sent tomortomorcommissioned row row on on distant distant and and prolonged prolonged service, service, involving involving indefinite indefinite absence absence from from home, home, should should political political considerations considerations render render it it necessary, necessary, without without its its Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher’s Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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was, defense was, Flotilla defense inconvenience.”271 Flotilla administrative inconvenience.”’” any administrative causing any causing incompaan with Together incompapolicy. an with naval Together Fisher’s of policy. hinge the naval Fisher’s therefore, of therefore, the hinge now Admiralty now the Admiralty bases, the overseas bases, and overseas stations and coaling stations of coaling rable network of rable network the reinforce to vessels the armored reinforce of to vessels squadrons send armored to of ability to send squadrons the ability had the had the to Isles British the exposing without Empire the of outer marches of the Empire without exposing the British Isles to the outer marches risk of of invasion.?” invasion.272 risk

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CHAPTER CHAPTER 6 6

Illusions [Ilusions and and Realities: Realities:

Naval Naval Strategic Strategic Planning, Planning, 1905—190 1905-19099 There There is is another another theory theory with with regard regard to to the the submarine. submarine. We We are are going going to to have have a a new new British British tradition, tradition, and and a a new new British British doctrine, doctrine, that that the the main main fleet fleet is is to to remain remain in in harbour harbour because because the the fleet fleet is is in in danger danger at at sea! sea! .. . .. Nelson Nelson would would turn turn in in his his grave grave . . . Adm. Adm. Lord Lord Charles Charles Beresford, Beresford, May May 1914. 1914.

Before Before 1914, 1914, few few Englishmen Englishmen would would have have disagreed disagreed that that the the mainmaintenance tenance of of naval naval supremacy supremacy was was the the foundation foundation of of British British commercial commercial prosperity prosperity and and imperial imperial security. security. Public Public confidence confidence in in the the Royal Royal Navy Navy was was concomitantly concomitantly absolute absolute and and latent latent determination determination to to uphold uphold naval naval strength strength whatever whatever the the cost cost was was a a political political factor factor that that no no British British governgovernment ment could could disregard.‘ disregard.' This This troubled troubled certain certain Liberal Liberal ministers, ministers, who who saw saw that that current current high high levels levels of of defense defense expenditure expenditure precluded precluded spending spending on on social social reform. reform. Despite Despite the the Cabinet’s Cabinet's best best efforts, efforts, in in 1908 1908 the the Royal Royal Navy Navy still still swallowed swallowed about about 25 25 percent percent of of annual annual state state revenue. revenue. To To some, some, the the Admiralty’s Admiralty’s ability ability to to withstand withstand government government pressure pressure for for cuts cuts in in the the navy navy estimates estimates was was deeply deeply frustrating. frustrating. “In “In the the present present humour humour of of the the country country about about warships, warships, there there is is no no economy economy to to be be looked looked for for in in that that quarter,” quarter,” complained complained John John Morley Morley (secretary (secretary of of state state for for India) India) in in 1908, 1908, “the “the more more we we spend spend in in novelties novelties of of every every sort sort upon upon the the water, water, the the more more popular popular will will be be the the spending spending ministers ministers with with the the public.”2 public.” Compared Compared with with men men like like Balfour, Balfour, Arnold-Forster, Arnold-Forster, Lansdowne Lansdowne and and Selborne, Selborne, Liberal Liberal ministers ministers were were ignorant ignorant of of how how sea sea power power actually actually worked. worked. They They assumed assumed that that naval naval combat combat was was an an affair affair of of close close blockblockades ades and and battleships. battleships. Whenever Whenever naval naval officers officers tried tried to to explain explain the the necesnecessity sity of of maintaining maintaining a a balanced balanced force, force, invariably invariably the the politicians politicians asked asked them them to to simplify simplify their their demands demands by by expressing expressing their their requirements requirements in in numnumbers bers of of battleships. battleships. Yet, Yet, for for aa combination combination of of financial financial and and political political reareaLambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, httpszllhd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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outthese outof these masters of new masters their new disabuse their to disabuse little to did little sons, Admiralty did the Admiralty sons, the twothe instance, for administration, for instance, the twoFisher administration, the Fisher dated During the notions. During dated notions. drastic against drastic bulwark against effective bulwark an effective as an recognized as power was recognized standard was power standard even that acknowledged that even be acknowledged also be must also Though itit must cuts estimates. Though navy estimates. the navy in the cuts in publicly lords sea lords publicly the sea by the attempt by an attempt different, an been different, ifif circumstances had been circumstances had been aa have been would have declined would had declined battleships had of battleships utility of the utility to that the declare that to declare selfmeans selfno means by no was by truth was The truth undertaking. The difficult dangerous undertaking. and dangerous difficult and warnaval warof naval understanding of fuller understanding with aa fuller experts” with evident “naval experts” to “naval even to evident even naval of naval understanding of simplistic understanding Cabinet’s simplistic Liberal Cabinet's the Liberal fare. Furthermore, the fare. Furthermore, the of the study of or study in or interest in of interest lack of of lack product of the product entirely the affairs not entirely was not affairs was thinking to thinking predisposed to generally predisposed were generally colors were all colors subject. of all Politicians of subject. Politicians diplomatand diplomatdeterrence and of deterrence instrument of an instrument as an more as Navy more about Royal Navy the Royal about the countprestige countviewpoint, prestige this viewpoint, From this force. From fighting force. as aa fighting than as influence than icic influence told been told had been they had Battleships, they effectiveness. Battleships, operational effectiveness. than operational more than for more ed for ed such Changing such power. Changing naval power. of naval symbols of ultimate symbols the ultimate were the years, were many years, for many for overnight. accomplished overnight. be accomplished not be could not attitudes could deep-rooted deep-rooted attitudes of nature of the nature misunderstanding the of misunderstanding guilty of less guilty no less are no Historians Historians are largethis isis largethat this said that be said must be however, itit must fair, however, be fair, To be power. To sea power. British British sea the in the scholars in leading scholars of leading errors of fundamental errors the fundamental to the attributable to ly ly attributable policy naval policy Edwardian naval of Edwardian historians of events, historians misrepresenting events, By misrepresenting field. field. By history diplomatic history and diplomatic political and their political of their efforts of the efforts compromised the have compromised have more were more policy were financial policy state financial and state policy and naval policy British naval colleagues. colleagues. British hisMost hisrealized. Most generally realized. been generally has been than has interrelated than and interrelated complicated and complicated August to August up to that up proposition that the proposition question the without question torians accepted without have accepted torians have against war against next war the next fighting the envisaged fighting leaders envisaged naval leaders Britain’s naval 1914, Britain’s 1914, sophistimore sophistinothing more involved nothing victory involved for victory strategy for their strategy that their Germany; that Germany; naval that naval and that coast; and enemy coast; the enemy against the operations against offensive operations than offensive cated than cated somewhere fleets somewhere battle fleets of battle clash of decisive clash in aa decisive climax in operations would climax operations would recwhile recinstance, while for instance, Marder, for Sea.3 Marder, North Sea.* the North of the half of southern half the southern in the in ognizing ognizing that that Fisher Fisher in in fact fact “had “had no no great great use” use” for for close close blockade. blockade, insisted insisted that that his his strategy strategy for for war war against against Germany Germany involved involved aa “modified” “modified” Bight Heligoland Bight the Heligoland inside the craft inside light craft by light blockade by observation blockade of observation system system of distance respectable distance fleet aa respectable main fleet supporting main the supporting keep the to keep intended to and intended and away away from from “the “the nearest nearest German German destroyer destroyer base.”4 base.”’ He He also also believed believed that that more or more one or of one capture of “the capture involved “the plan involved Jacky’s plan of Jacky’s part of integral part an integral an German German islands, islands, to to be be established established as as an an oversea oversea base base for for the the [observa[observational] tional] blockading blockading flotillas.”5 flotillas.”> Marder Marder also also insisted insisted that that Fisher Fisher saw saw decideciread have read writers have Other writers strategy. Other naval strategy. of naval end of ultimate end the ultimate as the battle as sive battle sive much much more more into into Fisher’s Fisher's expressions expressions of of interest interest in in amphibious amphibious warfare. warfare. A A few few have have gone gone so so far far as as to to suggest suggest that that aggressive aggressive “brown “brown water” water’ comcombined bined operations operations were were at at the the heart heart of of his his strategic strategic vision: vision: that that he he envisenvisaged “the “the massing massing of of overwhelming overwhelming naval naval strength strength on on the the very very doorstep doorstep aged Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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of of the the enemy, enemy, beating beating in in all all his his naval naval and and coastal coastal defences, defences, and and opening opening the the enemy’s enemy's seaboard seaboard to to the the possibility possibility of of aa British British military military descent.”6 descent.”® But But it it is is not not easy easy to to reconcile reconcile Fisher’s Fisher’s supposed supposed advocacy advocacy of of such such reckreckless less amphibious amphibious schemes schemes with with his his more more frequent frequent prophecies prophecies on on the the power power of of the the torpedo torpedo armed armed flotilla.7 flotilla.” Those Those who who propound propound such such theories, theories, moreover, moreover, tend tend to to ignore ignore his his explicit explicit predictions predictions about about the the impact impact subsubmarines marines would would have have upon upon the the conduct conduct of of war.8 war. The The one one fact fact even even the the best best historians historians accept accept is is that that Fisher Fisher was was an an unimaginatively conventional unimaginatively conventional strategist. strategist. Paul Paul Kennedy Kennedy has has suggested suggested that that although although the the admiral admiral possessed possessed aa genius genius for for recognizing recognizing the the potential potential of of new new weapon weapon systems systems even even before before they they had had been been perfected, perfected, paradoxically: paradoxically: [Jacky] [Jacky] appears appears to to have have had had little little consistent consistent appreciation appreciation of of the the many many practical practical ways ways in in which which this this newer newer weaponry weaponry would would undermine undermine the the effeceffectiveness tiveness of of his his beloved beloved Royal Royal Navy: Navy: for for example, example, that that neither neither the the German German nor nor the the British British fleets fleets dare dare cruise cruise in in the the North North Sea Sea when when those those waters waters were were infested infested by by submarines; submarines; that that aa close close blockade blockade was was aa thing thing of of the the past; past; that that amphibious amphibious landings landings [on [on the the German German coast] coast] would would be be immensely immensely difficult, difficult, if if not not impossible impossible to to carry carry out out in in the the face face of of the the enemy.9 enemy.°

Critics Critics and and admirers admirers alike alike have have generally generally agreed agreed Fisher Fisher expended expended most most of of his his energy energy dealing dealing with with questions questions of of materiel matériel policy policy and and so so “had “had litlittle tle or or no no time—or time—or inclination—to inclination—to consider consider the the fundamentals fundamentals of of naval naval strategy and and particularly particularly the the extent extent to to which which the the new new technology technology was was strategy revolutionising revolutionising the the conduct conduct of of naval naval warfare.”m warfare.”'® As As aa corollary corollary to to this, this, historians historians have have generally generally assumed assumed that that Fisher Fisher introduced introduced all-big-gun all-big-gun armored armored vessels vessels merely merely to to improve improve the the fighting fighting efficiency efficiency of of the the battle battle fleet.” fleet.'' His His strategic strategic myopia myopia has has been been partially partially excused excused by by suggestions suggestions that most most of of his his contemporaries contemporaries appeared appeared to to share share this this same same weakness. weakness. that Historians Historians have have thus thus concluded concluded that that the the entire entire British British naval naval leadership leadership possessed possessed aa “crudely “crudely Mahanian Mahanian vision vision of of the the workings workings of of sea sea power.”'2 power.”” Or put another way: “the Admiralty fixed its mind on the prospect Or put another way: “the Admiralty fixed its mind on the prospect of of aa single single great great battle battle that that would would decide decide the the command command of of the the sea” sea” and and of light of In light force.13 In naval force.’ applying naval of applying ways of other ways consider other even consider not even would not would unjustiseem Fisher of criticisms these reviewed already evidence already reviewed these criticisms of Fisher seem unjustithe evidence the fied.‘4 While While the the majority majority of of naval naval officers officers serving serving before before 1914 1914 may may have have fied.'* autobe autonot be should not historians should outlook, historians Mahanian outlook, broadly Mahanian possessed aa broadly possessed ever officers ever fleet officers by fleet expressed by opinions expressed the opinions that the assume that matically assume matically reflected “that “that imponderable imponderable and and unknown unknown quantity—the quantity—the mind mind of of the the reflected British Admiralty.”'> Admiralty.”'5 As As Capt. Capt. Charles Charles Ottley Ottley explained explained to to War War Minister Minister British Richard Haldane Haldane on on 11 11 December December 1909, 1909, “not “not one one naval naval officer officer out out of of Richard fifty has has any any knowledge knowledge of of what what the the British British fleet fleet will will do do in in war, war, or or how how fifty it.”'6 do it.”'° will do itit will Lambert, Nicolas. Sirjohn Fisher's Naval Revolution. E-book, Columbia: U of South Carolina Press, 2002, https://hd|.handle.net/2027/heb.31569.

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Fisher’s for Fisher's basis for rational basis more rational Recent presented aa more has presented scholarship has Recent scholarship disconclusively Offer Avner Germany. strategic thinking on a war against Germany. Avner Offer conclusively disagainst war a on strategic thinking prewar the prewar in the thinking in naval thinking “British naval that “British proved assertion that Marder’s assertion Arthur Marder’s proved Arthur would blockade would which blockade to which degree to decade extraordinary degree the extraordinary anticipate the not anticipate did not decade did during that showed He 1914—18.”17 in throttle the German war economy in 1914-18." He showed that during economy war German the throttle Intelligence Naval Intelligence the Naval of the division of Fisher’s trade division the trade administration, the Fisher’s administration, vulnerGermanyfs of study simplistic) Department made a detailed (albeit simplistic) study of Germany's vulner(albeit Department made a detailed of Board the did only Not blockade.18 ability to systematic économic blockade.’® Not only did the Board of economic ability to systematic 1905 between sometime but argued, he Admiralty consider this scheme, he argued, but sometime between 1905 Admiralty consider this scheme, The preparation.”‘9 The war preparation.” British war in British and element in central element “became aa central 1908 itit “became and 1908 the that forcibly so argued having despite Yet evidence seems irrefutable. Yet despite having argued so forcibly that the evidence seems irrefutable. grand naval of understanding sophisticated Admiralty pursued a more sophisticated understanding of naval grand Admiralty pursued a more author the author that the indications that are indications there are strategy suspected, there previously suspected, than previously strategy than policy operational navy’s the that idea the of found it difficult to let go of the idea that the navy’ operational policy go found it difficult to let prehow for explanations no offered He remained Mahanian.20 He offered no explanations for how preessentially Mahanian.”° remained essentially what or blockade, commercial the enforce the commercial blockade, or what cisely to enforce intended to Admiralty intended the Admiralty cisely the inside Fleet inside Sea Fleet High Sea the High contain the to contain measures necessary to be necessary to be thought to were thought measures were economy. German the throttling was Navy was throttling the German economy. Royal Navy the the Royal while the Sea while North Sea the North by complicated by intentions isis complicated Discovering operational intentions Admiraltys operational the Admiralty’s Discovering the perithis from this peridating from policy” dating “strategic policy” of “strategic the expositions of formal expositions of formal paucity of the paucity that remembered that be remembered must be written. ItIt must ever written. were ever od.?' documents were such documents Few such od.21 Few naval Britain’s of majority the century the majority of Britain’s naval at twentieth century the twentieth of the beginning of the beginning at the stairthe stairfrom the leading from corridor leading dark corridor the dark leaders along the offices along in offices worked in leaders worked strategy naval on discussion Most room. case outside the Admiralty board room. Most discussion on naval strategy board Admiralty the case outside crethe creconsider the not consider did not leaders did Naval leaders was orally. Naval conducted orally. and conducted informal and was informal attempt no attempt made no and made necessary, and be necessary, to be ation plans to war plans written war detailed written of detailed ation of inforthis inforencouraged this Fisher encouraged 1912. Fisher before 1912. to documents before such documents compile such to compile theoradical theohis radical to his opposition to considerable opposition was considerable mality. there was that there Aware that mality. Aware expressing avoiding expressing deliberately avoiding he deliberately Whitehall, he ry within Whitehall, even within war, even naval war, of naval ry of

be might be documents might such documents fear such for fear writing for official writing his thoughts inin official strategic thoughts his strategic war for war preparations for Admiraltys preparations the Admiralty’s to the clues to used other clues Most other him. Most against him. used against administrative of files the all nearly of have been lost with the destruction of nearly all the files of administrative destruction the with lost have been ordintelligence, ordof intelligence, departments of the departments within the correspondence generated within correspondence generated by only survived have Fragments nance, mobilization, and personnel.” Fragments have survived only by personnel.”and nance, mobilization,

hisoffer histo offer appear to which appear period which this period from this papers from of papers chance. set of only set The only chance. The Sea North Sea on North thoughts on Admiraltys thoughts the Admiraltys of the torians picture of coherent picture any coherent torians any to officers naval by given statements given by naval officers to written statements Strategy and written verbal and the verbal are the strategy are the the Committee Committee of of Imperial Imperial Defense.23 Defense.” W EEE SS

major three major conducted three Cabinet conducted Liberal Cabinet the Liberal 1910, the and 1910, 1906 and Between 1906 Between the compelled investigations into aspects of national defense that compelled the that defense neszozgfebpayonal ”$981.. ttpos mightier/"m Wktig Nicolas Lambert E-book, Columbia??? 0 out ress 20 Downloaded on behalf of Digital Theological Library, Claremont, CA

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Admiralty Admiralty to to give give the the CID CID an an explanation explanation of of their their strategic strategic policy. policy. No No sooner sooner had had the the Conservative Conservative ministry ministry left left office, office, indeed, indeed, than than various various interest interest groups groups began began pressing pressing the the incoming incoming government government to to exhume exhume the the old old strategical strategical problems problems recently recently laid laid to to rest rest by by Arthur Arthur Balfour. Balfour. The The most most vocal vocal and and certainly certainly most most persistent persistent of of these these was was the the National National Service Service League League which which since since the the end end of of the the Boer Boer War War had had been been campaigning campaigning for for the the introduction introduction of of some some form form of of military military conscription conscription for for all all male male adults adults in in Britain.24 Britain.“ The The appointment appointment of of Field Field Marshal Marshal Lord Lord Roberts, Roberts, one one of of the the country’s most respected soldiers, to head countrys most respected soldiers, to head this this organization organization in in early early 1906 1906 provided provided the the National National Service Service League League with with aa clearer clearer sense sense of of direcdirection. tion. Roberts Roberts demanded demanded the the formation formation of of aa large large home home defense defense army army to to serve serve as aS an an insurance insurance against against the the possibility possibility of of aa sudden sudden invasion. invasion. So So strongly strongly did did he he feel feel on on this this subject, subject, indeed, indeed, that that several several months months earlier earlier he he had had resigned resigned as as special special representative representative to to the the CID CID after after Balfour Balfour had had dismissed dismissed such such aa precaution precaution as as unnecessary.25 unnecessary.” As As soon soon as as the the Conservatives Conservatives were were out out of of office, office, Roberts Roberts and and his his band band started started agitating agitating for for this this decision decision to to be be reviewed reviewed in in light light of of recent recent changes changes in in diplomatic diplomatic conditions. conditions. Mr. Mr. Balfour, Balfour, they they pointed pointed out, out, had had examined examined the the possibility possibility of of aa French French rather rather than than German German invasion. invasion. The The Admiralty Admiralty had had persuaded persuaded him him that that aa “bolt “bolt from from the the blue” blue” was was impossible impossible largely largely because because the the French French lacked lacked sufficient sufficient commercial commercial shipping shipping to to gather gather in in secret secret the the transport transport to to carry carry an an invasion invasion army.26 army.” Since Since then, then, Roberts Roberts and and his his folfollowers lowers claimed, claimed, Germany Germany had had become become a a more more likely likely and and much much more more forformidable midable threat threat to to British British interests. interests. The The campaign campaign for for an an inquiry inquiry into into the the possibility possibility of of aa German German invasion invasion also also received received quiet quiet encouragement encouragement from from the the newly newly constituted constituted Army Army General General Staff. Staff. Throughout Throughout 1906 1906 and and 1907, 1907, Sir Sir John John Fisher Fisher fought fought hard hard against against the the establishment establishment of of aa new new invasion invasion inquiry.27 inquiry.”” From From his his perspective perspective the the navy navy had had nothing nothing to to gain gain and and everything everything to to lose. lose. In In 1904, 1904, the the prime prime minister minister had had placed placed the the entire entire responsibility responsibility for for protecting protecting the the country country against against invasion invasion and and raids raids in in the the hands hands of of the the Admiralty.28 Admiralty.” And And along along with with these these responsibilities responsibilities the the navy navy had had received received priority priority in in the the allocation allocation of of limited limited defense defense resources. resources. Fisher Fisher was was convinced convinced that that the the generals generals were were interinterested ested only only in in exploiting exploiting every every opportunity opportunity that that occurred occurred during during such such an an

investigation investigation to to demand demand aa larger larger slice slice of of the the defense defense budget.29 budget.” And And any any War War Office Office success success would would inevitably inevitably jeopardize jeopardize future future naval naval estimates. estimates. In In his his opinion, opinion, securing securing adequate adequate funding funding for for the the navy navy was was much much more more important important than than achieving achieving harmony harmony in in national national strategic strategic policy. policy. Following Following the the appointment appointment in in 1907 1907 of of Gen. Gen. William William Nicholson Nicholson as as chief chief of of the the General Staff, Staff,30 the the first first sea sea lord’s lord’s suspicions suspicions of of the the army's army’s motives motives borborGeneral dered dered on on paranoia.3| paranoia.*' After After being being humiliated humiliated at at the the 1903 1903 invasion invasion inquiry, inquiry, he he reminded reminded the the DN1, DNI, Nicholson Nicholson had had defiantly defiantly proclaimed proclaimed “his “his day day would would yet come to conquer.” The general had salways always refused prithe priadmit the to admit refused to Eflfidfiffib‘fifgolmémfifl‘é’fwfiulheigeneenalnhad

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notomoreover, aa notowas, moreover, he was, defense; he imperial defense; in imperial Navy in macy Royal Navy the Royal of the macy of with everyone with almost everyone antagonized almost who antagonized personality who riously abrasive personality riously abrasive quite was quite man was such aa man with such Cooperation with contact.33 Cooperation into contact. whom came into he came whom he impossible. impossible. establishthe establishto the opposition to his opposition express his not express could not Of Fisher could course Fisher Of course blustered he blustered Instead he terms. Instead bold terms. such bold inquiry inin such ment government inquiry of aa government ment of the to the suggest to would suggest last would the last after the soon after so soon inquiry so invasion inquiry that another invasion that another was aa This was Board.34 This the Board.” in the confidence in lacked confidence government lacked public the government that the public that from admonitions from him admonitions earned him also earned it.35 ItIt also knew it.* he knew weak and he argument and weak argument believe to believe only to not only are not functions are “Your functions friends. “Your some staunchest friends. his staunchest of his some of all at all Germans at the Germans defeat the to defeat enough to strong enough navy strong that possess aa navy you possess that you wheryou, wherin you, that isis in belief that the belief justify the to justify “but to Esher, “but Lord Esher, points,” warned Lord points,” warned day’s your day's of your part of but part perhaps but Tiresome perhaps required! Tiresome ever whenever required! and whenever ever and to replied to he replied generals, he The generals, unrepentant. The was unrepentant. however, was work.”** Fisher, however, work.”36 Fisher, at sidings at railway sidings of railway miles of and miles foolscap and of foolscap reams of out reams trot out “will trot Ksher, Esher, “will in get in can get who can soldiers who German soldiers of German millions of and millions Bremen, and Hamburg and Bremen, Hamburg and the quickly the how quickly explain how to explain on to go on then go seconds,” then in 55 seconds,” train in of aa train out of and and out they But they Britain."7 But of Britain.*’ coast of east coast the east on the disembark on could disembark German army could German army army invasion army the invasion how the protested, how lord protested, sea lord first sea the first would say, the never say, would never Royal the Royal by the intercepted by being intercepted without being Sea without North Sea the North would across the pass across would pass appointed Campbell-Bannerman appointed 1907, Campbell-Bannerman September 1907, in September Ultimately, in Navy. Navy. Ultimately, this investigate this to investigate CID to the CID of the subcommittee of chair aa subcommittee to chair Chancellor Asquith to Chancellor Asquith possibility. possibility. at inquiry at an inquiry such an face such to face wanting to not wanting for not reasons for Fisher other reasons had other Fisher had would investigation would any investigation that any concerned that especially concerned this was especially He was time. He this time. This, Sea. This, North Sea. the North for the plans for operational plans navy’s operational the navy’s force discuss the to discuss him to force him costs.38 all costs.* at all avoided at be avoided to be had to Tweedmouth, had he Lord Tweedmouth, to Lord explained to he explained disopen disan open that an afraid that more afraid was more Fisher was it. Fisher with it. do with Security little do had little Security had schisms widening schisms the widening expose the would expose policy would strategic policy cussion current strategic of current cussion of administration his administration to his opposition to growing opposition by growing caused by within service caus