News & Views
The latest news and views in the UK Military Maritime Arena.
The author takes to task the need for public engagement by the RN, if a sceptical public is to be convinced of the vital importance of the maritime nature of the British Way of War. A 10 minute read.
Defence engagement is a vital component of any influence and deterrence strategy. But how well is defence engagement situated in the defence review and service doctrine literature? The author argues more can be done to explicitly define defence engagement as a core RN role. A 20 minute read.
David Waters concluded his 1995-1996 series of reflections on the Battle of the Atlantic [84/2 & 84/3] by returning to the question of convoy ‘laws’ and his concern that ideological assumptions and abstract thought concerning future operations would once again take precedence over the scientific conclusions he had reached forty years before. A 25 minute read.
In this second instalment of his reflections on the Battle of the Atlantic [84/1, p. 68], former Naval Staff historian David Waters, wary of the pernicious abuses of language so frequent in military affairs, asked the difficult question of why the convoy lessons of the First World War were not learnt before the Second. Republished here as part of the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic. A 20 minute read.
In 1995 staff historian David Waters began publishing in the NR [83/4, p. 349] a series of commentaries on the Battle of the Atlantic, a subject he had mastered while working on The Defeat of the Enemy Attack upon Shipping (1957). He was inspired in this case by the renewed naval history discourse, evident in a review of S. Howarth and D. Law, eds., The Battle of the Atlantic 1939-1945 (1994), the International Naval Conference on the battle held in Liverpool in 1993, and related writings in the NR [83/1, p. 84 & 83/2, p. 159]. Republished here as part of the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic. A 15 minute read.
In 1952, during his work on The War At Sea, 1939-1945, official historian Stephen Roskill published in the NR [40/4, p. 432] this appraisal of the Royal Navy’s strategic role in the Second World War, with particular attention to the subject of convoy operations and trade protection. Reprinted here as part of the 80th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic. A 15 minute read
Former Naval Staff historian D. W. Waters originally presented this essay as the Presidential Address to the British Society for the History of Science in 1978. It was reprinted in the NR over two volumes in 1984 [72/3 & 72/4]. Waters’ conclusions, based on the rigorous data analysis conducted for the Defeat of the Enemy Attack upon Shipping (1957), demonstrated mathematically the superiority of escorted convoys over independent sailings during the U-boat conflicts of 1914-1918 and 1939-1945. Reproduced here as part of the 80th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic. A 40 minute read.
Reflections on the current state of the UK’s strategic positioning amidst the background of an increasingly dangerous and unpredictable world. The author posits that the reality of medium power status means fundamentally reassessing the often ideologically driven assumptions that have brought the UK and the Royal Navy to this moment in history. A 40 minute read.
In a June 1946 article for the Commonwealth and Empire Review, Admiral Sir Frederic Dreyer detailed the vital importance of anti-submarine warfare for the protection of Britain’s merchant shipping. An expanded version of the article was published in the NR [34/3, p. 243], with Admiral Dreyer taking to task the ‘bomber mafia’ who had favoured the strategic destruction of Germany over the imperative to protect Britain’s convoy lifelines. Admiral Dreyer’s article is republished here as part of the 80th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic. A 20 minute read.
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