British Naval Reforms 1790-1918

  • Created by: lwilson23
  • Created on: 14-03-19 20:46

Graham Reforms (1832)

- James Graham believed the Navy was reduced too far post-1815 - dependent on strong Navy.

- to ensure the Navy remained strong, he:

  • built new ships and revamped current ones, fitting them with steam engines/better weaponry. 
  • introduced school of gunnery, HMS Excellent - improved training of men. 
  • reviewed promotion rules - nepotism (who you know not what you know) no longer prevailed. 
  • put Navy in charge of own supply.

- the establishment of the 'Two Power Standard' in the 1889 Naval Defence Act meant that Britain's Navy had to be at least equal to the power of its two rivals - a costly undertaking.

- the Navy was also of great importance to Haldane - home defence force not needed if Navy powerful.

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The Fisher Reforms (1906)

- Fisher was no mug - had a naval background as superintendent of HMS Excellent 1892-94.

- Fisher was very technologically minded - believed innovation would transform naval warfare.

- Fisher's reforms:

  • abandoned two-power standard (sold 90 ships, 64 in reserve).
  • created Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve.
  • reorganised the fleet's position (stationed in Gibraltar/the Channel with the German threat).
  • improved tech massively (role in designing dreadnoughts etc.).
  • modernised uniform - made more practical.

- he was stopped by his less-technologically minded peers from building u-boats ('ungentlemanly').

- focussed on building battlecruisers - powerful/fast but lightly armoured. 

- by 1914 - Britain had 29 dreadnought's compared to Germany's 17 - all thanks to Fisher.

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