On the Origins of the Royal Navy’s Grand Fleet. Book Review.
“They pay me to be an Admiral, not to think!” This quote attributed to Berkley Milne sums up an era of change that transformed the organization of the Royal Navy at the dawn of the Twentieth Century. Author Christopher M. Buckey explores this transformation in his recent book Genesis of the Grand Fleet: The Admiralty, Germany and the Home Fleet, 1896-1914. Buckley examines the factors and personalities that led to the creation of the mighty armada that was a foundational element in the Entente’s victory in the First World War. Buckey spotlights the truism that while technological superiority is definitely important in naval warfare, it means little if not paired with an effective tactical plan that in turn rests on a solid foundation of strategy. Buckey explores the intersection of geography, politics and personality and how these factors shaped the formation of the Royal Navy in the years leading up to the outbreak of the First World War. The book serves as an effective proof that geography matters. The...Read More