The Modernisation of the Royal Navy

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

Naval Developments Post-1815

- post- 1815 - the need for a big navy was non-existant as Britain ruled the seas. Reduction in battleships - 100 in 1815, 13 in 1817. Gunboat diplomacy - threatening other nations with the Navy - became the main weapon of the British government. 

- Conservative Sea Lords rejected the sail to steam transition, but it was James Graham, First Lord of the Admiralty, who introduced them into the Navy (in a small scale at first).1845. Ships still had masts however - showed how untrusting the Conservative British were of this new invention. 

- usage of exploding shells at Sinope in 1853 made wooden hulls on ships obsolete. 

- most advancements were made by the French, with Britain copying and improving their ideas. 

- for example - the French first began to experiment with ironclad ships - in 1858, which was swiftly improved upon by the British through construction of completely iron hulls with HMS Warrior, 1860, the best ship in the known world at this stage. New tech combined with traditional/effective tactics.

- despite this prowess, the HMS Warrior was never engaged in conflict - a display of strength.

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Further Naval Developments

- HMS Inflexible was an ironclad (went backwards as had to find combo of offense, speed, defense and manufacture cost) with 360 degree turrets - first launched 1876. 8-10 on deck turrets rather than 20-24 broadside cannons - less weight and better manouverability. 

- the development of steam-powered engines to power propellers forever ended the age of sail.

- the HMS Devastation (commissioned 1873) was the first devastation-class mast-less turret ship with all its cannons on deck rather than below it. 

- Dreadnoughts, (the first creatively being named the HMS Dreadnought) were extremely awesome ships, high in both offensive and defensive capability but not fast. Didn't matter. 

- U-boat use during WWI would make most ships obsolete however. 

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