Britain needed a powerful navy for two main reasons:
- It is an island nation
- It had a large overseas empire to protect
At the end of the 19th century, Britain had the largest navy in the world.
In 1898, Kaiser Wilhelm II ordered the rapid buildup of Germany's navy so that it could rival Britain's.
The British saw this development as a direct challenge to their nation and empire. The alliances Britain made with France and Russia were prompted in part by fears about the build up of the German fleet.
The German navy became a real threat to Britain when the Germans began building Dreadnoughts in 1906…