By Christopher M. Bell
Winston Churchill had an extended and nearer courting with the Royal army than any British statesman nowa days, yet his checklist as a naval strategist and custodian of the nation's sea strength has been mired in controversy because the ill-fated Dardanelles crusade in 1915. this present day, Churchill continues to be seemed by means of many as a clumsy strategist who interfered in naval operations and infrequently overrode his specialist advisers--with unavoidably disastrous effects.
Churchill and Seapower is the 1st significant examine of Winston Churchill's checklist as a naval strategist and his effect because the such a lot favorite father or mother of Britain's sea strength within the glossy period. in accordance with vast archival study, the ebook debunks many renowned and well-entrenched myths surrounding arguable episodes in either global Wars, together with the Dardanelles catastrophe, the failed Norwegian crusade, the conflict of the Atlantic, and the devastating lack of the Prince of Wales and Repulse in 1941. It indicates that many universal criticisms of Churchill were exaggerated, but additionally that a few of his errors were principally overlooked--such as his willingness to delay the conflict of the Atlantic in an effort to focus assets at the bombing crusade opposed to Nazi Germany.
The e-book additionally examines Churchill's evolution as a maritime strategist over the process his profession, and files his severe half in handling Britain's naval decline through the first half the 20 th century. Churchill's real affection for the Royal military has frequently distracted cognizance from the truth that his perspectives on sea energy have been pragmatic and unsentimental. certainly, as Christopher M. Bell exhibits, in a interval ruled via declining assets, international threats, and fast technological swap, it used to be more and more air instead of sea energy that Churchill appeared to because the origin of Britain's safety.
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Additional info for Churchill and Seapower
Naval ofﬁcers, accustomed to considerable freedom in strictly professional matters, did not welcome intrusions by politicians. Most civilian service leaders during this period were content to defer to their uniformed advisers on technical questions. The average naval ofﬁcer was not well equipped to stand up to him. Churchill’s eloquence ‘became a positive danger’, Jellicoe lamented, ‘when the First Lord started to exercise his powers of argument on his colleagues on the Board [of Admiralty]. e.
32 Churchill now proposed to adopt this strategy in the Mediterranean. This, in his view, offered a viable means to safeguard British interests in the region at a bearable cost. These proposals met with strong opposition, however. Within the Admiralty, there were doubts about whether the strategy would in fact provide adequate protection for Britain’s extensive trade and imperial possessions in the Mediterranean. 33 Churchill’s redistribution plans also drew a storm of protest from other quarters, much of which was aired in Parliament and the press.
Churchill, with the support of his naval advisers, continued to insist that the ﬁrst priority must be to maintain Britain’s 60 per cent margin of superiority over Germany in the North Sea. ’ To meet his colleagues’ concerns about the security of British interests in the Mediterranean, he proposed that Britain and France together should aim to maintain superior strength over the combined strength of AustriaHungary and Italy. Britain would then require just four battlecruisers at Malta in peacetime, which was sufﬁcient, he insisted, to maintain British ap p re nt i c e shi p, 19 0 0 – 14 21 prestige in the region.
Churchill and Seapower by Christopher M. Bell