February 10, 2015

Leadership changes at the Admiralty 

As Churchill assumed control of the Admiralty he became more convinced that Germany was intent on a war for control of Europe, and that the Naval War Staff was required to prepare the Royal Navy for the coming struggle. In order to reorganize the Royal Naval high command he asked for the resignation of the First Sea Lord, Sir Arthur Wilson, and replaced him with Sir Francis Bridgeman.

As Second Sea Lord he appointed Prince Louis of Battenberg. His views on the Royal Navy were later expressed in The World Crisis: “…when I went to the Admiralty I found that there was not a moment in the career and training of a naval officer when he was obliged to read a single book about naval war…. The Royal Navy had made no important contribution to naval literature.”

He viewed the Royal Navy as crucial to Britain’s very existence: “The British Navy is to us a necessity and, from some points of view, the German Navy is to them more in the nature of a luxury. . . It is the British Navy which makes Great Britain a great power. But Germany was a great power, respected and honoured all over the world, before she had a single ship…”

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