The Naval Arms Race 1906-14

  • Created by: Fiona S
  • Created on: 28-05-15 18:54

As an island with a large overseas empire, Britain needed a powerful navy. Since the British army was very small, Britain relied even more heavily on naval power. At the end of the 19th century, Britain had the largest navy in the world.

In 1898 Kaiser Wilhelm ordered Admiral Tirpitz, the head of the German navy, to build up Germany's navy rapidly 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 Germany's naval build-up.

The German navy became a real threat to Britain after 1906, when both sides began building Dreadnoughts.


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