Spring 2015 Week 5 Seminar: Richard Dunley: The Royal Navy and Offensive Planning, 1914-15

The Week 5 Modern and Contemporary History Research Seminar is on Wednesday 11 February 2015, at 16:15 in the Rodney Hilton Library. It will be delivered by:

 Richard Dunley (The National Archives)

The Royal Navy and Offensive Planning, 1914-15

Abstract: Early twentieth century Britain was a maritime and imperial power ill prepared to fight a large continental conflict. Throughout the pre-war period there were a number of discussions of grand strategy in the event of war with Germany. However, no decisions were reached. Even after the British Expeditionary Force was committed to France in 1914 there was still a serious debate as to the type of war Britain should fight. This paper will look at the plans drawn up by the Royal Navy to follow a “British Way in Warfare” in executing the conflict against Germany. In particular it will explore the differing and at times contradictory plans to engage in littoral warfare against the German North Sea coast and those seeking to break into the Baltic. In doing so it will shed light on the difficult relations between the Admiralty and the rest of the government and the tensions within the Admiralty in particular those between Lord Fisher and Winston Churchill.

All are welcome, and there will be drinks.


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