Ed. A summary of the UK Coastal Security and Communities conference that was co-hosted by the RN Strategic Studies Centre and the University of Portsmouth in April 2023. The author expands upon the major themes that were discussed, making the connection between technology, the environment, and the United Kingdom’s coastal communities. A 10 minute read.
Ed. In his analysis of strategic lessons to be drawn from the Second World War [40/4. p. 432], Captain S. W. Roskill, RN, wrote, “It took much ‘sad experience’ to show that Malta could have been properly defended and could have been kept in use as a base.” Roger Plumtree reconsiders the Maltese narrow margin with the question in mind: was Roskill wrong? A 15 minute read.
Ed. The author examines the leadership styles of Vice Admiral Sir Peter Gretton, Captain Donald Macintyre, and Captain Frederick ‘Johnny’ Walker during their Battle of the Atlantic convoy commands. Cultivating a high degree of trust among well-trained officers and crews enabled battle-winning delegation and initiative to develop. A 40 minute read.
Ed. 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.
Ed. 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.
Ed. 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.
Ed. 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
Ed. 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.
Ed. 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.