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Strategy and War Planning in the British Navy, 1887-1918 [Hardcover]

Shawn T. Grimes

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Book Description

16 Feb 2012
It has been widely accepted that British naval war planning from the late nineteenth century to the First World War was amateur and driven by personal political agenda. But Shawn T. Grimes argues that this was far from the case. His extensive original research shows that, in fact, the Royal Navy had a definitive war strategy, which was well thought-through and formulated in a professional manner. Faced by a perceived Franco-Russian naval threat, the Admiralty adopted an offensive strategy from 1888 to 1905 based on observational blockade and combined operations. This strategy was modified after 1905 for war with Wilhelmine Germany. The book shows how specific war plans aimed at Germany's naval and economic assets in the Baltic were drawn up between 1906 and 1908 and that the strategy of primary distant blockade, formulated between 1897 and 1907, became a reality in late 1912 and not July 1914 as previously thought. The book argues that the Naval Intelligence Department, which took a lead in devising these plans, was the Navy's de facto staff. Overall, it is clear that there was a continuity underpinning British thinking about how to wage a naval war. SHAWN GRIMES received his PhD in history from the University of London and has been a Lecturer in European History at the University of Saskatchewan.

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Strategy and War Planning in the British Navy, 1887-1918 + The Royal Navy and the German Threat 1901-1914: Admiralty Plans to Protect British Trade in a War Against Germany
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Review

An effective and competent discussion of a particularly turbulent period in British naval history. .. Grimes' arguments.are convincing and well reasoned. THE NORTHERN MARINER, July 2012 By far the most cohesive, well researched and thorough treatment of British naval war planning of the period. . This is an excellent book and a must read for all historians of the period. It is without doubt now one of the key works on the Royal Navy in the Fisher era. CANADIAN JOURNAL OF HISTORY The author's case is well argued and back with solid evidence. WARSHIPS As a corrective to the still commonplace view that pre-World War I British naval administration.was the preserve of incompetent amateurs, Grimes's study is of great value. He also drives another nail in the coffin of the myth.that the Royal Navy had to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into the twentieth century. JOURNAL OF BRITISH STUDIES

About the Author

SHAWN GRIMES received his PhD in history from the University of London and has been a Lecturer in European History at the University of Saskatchewan.

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Ground Breaking Look at the Royal Navy's Planning for World War I 23 Oct 2013
By A. A. Nofi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
A summary of the review on StrategyPage.Com:

'Amassing a huge amount of hitherto overlooked evidence, Dr. Grimes (Saskatchewan) looks at war planning in the Royal Navy from late-Victorian times through the end of World War I, and takes on the notion that strategy and war planning in the Royal Navy in this period was non-existent or at best amateurish. Opening with a look at how the Royal Navy thought about a Franco-Russian maritime alliance, Grimes moves on to discuss how, by 1905, the rising German naval threat led to a decisive shift in war planning, yet with clearly identifiable roots in earlier strategy. He then goes on to discuss how planning and strategy evolved and changed during the war itself. In doing this, Grimes makes use not only of actual wartime experience, but also takes a good look at the lessons of fleet maneuvers, an often overlooked element in the shaping of maritime strategy. There's more, of course, including a look at the many people involved, including some very interesting minor characters who played often surprising roles. An important book for anyone interested in the naval side of the Great War or in naval strategy in general.'

For the full review, see StrategyPage.Com
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