The History of the Royal Navy


We are about to see a new generation of powerful  Battleships,called "THE DREADNOUGHTS"


HMS DREADNOUGHT,  was commissioned  on-2nd,December 1906,she was fitted with the new steam-turbines which enabled her to achieve 21 Knots.             Her armament included:-ten BL 304.8 mm guns,arranged in 5 twin turrets.also twenty seven 12pdr 18 cwt L/50 Mk1 guns,and five 450mm torpedo tubes.She was designed and built very quickly,and apart from her strengthened bows,had very poor anti-submarine armour.

Launching 1906

At the out break of WW1,HMS DREADNOUGHT was the flagship of the Fourth Battle Squadron, North Sea.  Her only significant action was the ramming and sinking of the German Submarine U-29 who was  skippered by K/Lt Otto Weddigen(of U-9 fame) on the  18th March 1915.Her condition deteriorated due her service in the North sea,and by 1916 she was obsolete,  as ever faster designs were put into service,and she found herself out-paced by the 'Super Dreadnoughts'  Her turret arrangement had been abandoned in favour of in-line turrets.She survived the war and was scrapped 2nd January 1923.



Twin 304.8 mm guns


A SHOW OF FORCE at the Royal Navy Pageant 1909 in the Thames,showing the Combined British Home and Atlantic Fleets off Southend  July 1909.

Royal Navy Pageant

The first naval battle of the first World War,28/8/1914 THE BATTLE OF HELIGOLAND. Commander Tyrwhitt  led the Harwich Force,including cruisers,Fearless and Arethusa in a raid on German shipping close to the German naval base at Heligoland.Acting as cover was the 1st Bat/cruiser squadron under the command of    Vice Admiral Beatty.In the second battle Tyrwhitt sank two German Torpedo boats,the Germans then deployed the Frauenlob and the Steffin and four light cruisers.Out-gunned Tyrwhitt called Beatty for help,   Beatty arrived in time,and his squadron sank the Mainz the Koln and the Ariadne.The Germans retreated they had lost 1200 men in comparison to 35 British fatalities

Battle of Heligoland

The battle of JUTLAND,  took place between the   British Grand Fleet & the German High-Seas Fleet  on 31st of May 1916,in the North Sea,off the mainland coast of Denmark.It became the largest sea battle in Naval warfare history in the terms of numbers of Battleships & Battle Cruisers engaged between the two most powerful naval forces at the time.The British Fleet was commanded by Admiral Sir John Jellicoe,and the German Fleet by Admiral Reinhard Scheer.

There is too much information to fit into this page,and to make sure you can view the entire documented history of this Battle, open this link to a FREE ebook,select download,and the instructions will appear for you to save this book in pdf format,you will then be able to view this file whenever you want . 



A NEW ERA:- We have seen centuries of wars and conflicts between all the Nations of the world.And it is time to take a break from them and enjoy a short look at the achievements of the period of peace between the two World wars.It is a time of adventure and imagination,and allthough we were enjoying our break from war,there was continuing conflicts in other parts of the globe.We can look at subjects like the creation of the Fleet Air Arm, and interesting projects like the Schneider Trophy, which encouraged our need to up -grade our machines.Also the growth of the Navies of our Commonwealth countries.(which we were soon to need) because while we were enjoying our freedom,Germany and Japan were planning for war!

Fleet Air Arm

The early sailing ships had a "crow's nest" high in the rigging of the ship,this was used for 'surveillance',but as time went on, the navy wanted to go higher to see what was on the other side of the horizon.Hot air balloons had long been used for transport,and the navy found these useful for their purpose of surveillance.  Then came the invention of the aeroplane, and as soon as these aircraft became reliable, the navy saw the  prospect of their use.  This was an opportunity to explore the prospects of a ship that could launch an aeroplane, and successfully land it from the deck.        So after much experimenting,and converting existing ships with a deck suitably designed,they created the first Aircraft Carriers.And now there was a need for a new branch of the Royal Navy dedicated to this,and it was the begining of the Fleet Air Arm. And the invention of the Internal Combustion Engine made this all possible.     


Fleet Air Arm-the begining.

British naval flying started in 1909, with an airship  constructed for naval duties.In 1911,the Royal Navy graduated it's first aeroplane pilots,and in 1912,  Naval and Army aviation were combined to become the (RFC) The Royal Flying Corps.The navy wing lasted until 1914 when the RN reformed it,The Royal Naval Air Service, (RNAS).The Fleet Air Arm of the RAF was formed on   1st April 1924,encompassing those RAF units that normally embark on aircraft carriers & fighting ships.  It was restored to Admiralty control 24/04/1939 


The first successful takeoff from the deck of a ship was by Eugene Ely on 14th November 1910,flying his Curtis-pusher airplane,he took off from the deck of the             USS Birmingham,he flew for two miles before landing on a Willoughby Spit beach.And on 18th January 1911  he was the first to land successfully on the deck of the USS Pennsylvania.With the same airplane,this was a historical event.

Eugene Ely

USS Birmingham

HMS HERMES-was the first ship in any navy to be designed and built as an aircraft carrier,although the Japanese Hosho was the 1st to be commissioned,her design was influenced by that of the Hermes.

HMS HERMES.launched 1919,

Commissioned 1923.

The sinking of HMS HERMES,she was sunk in the   Indian Ocean in 1942,by a Japanese air attack of 70 jap bombers and hit 40 times.

HMS HERMES,Burning before sinking.

Although  we  were  enjoying  our  period  of  peace , The Royal Navy never stopped working, they were   continually patroling the oceans of the world ,to make sure the peace was maintained.One very interesting time was our presence in the Indian Ocean and the China Sea,this was known as The China Station.           There was a continuous flow of our ships to and frow   from the UK to Hong Kong, Shanghia ,Singapore and all the islands in the area,and back.Some of our most famous ships were in this fleet,and they remained there until they were recalled for duty at the start of WW2.They had to be particularly vigilant towards the end of the 1930s,because Japan had started their attacks on China,and there was many of our service men and citizens in the area,and they needed to be protected: 

The Navy never stopped training,and was involved in many activities,all the ships had a football team and there was much competition between the ships,if you were good at the sport,the Commander of the Flagship would get you 'transfered' to his ship.              As allready mentioned,the navy took a great interest in the Schneider Trophy,because of the improvement of aircraft for use on their Aircraft Carriers :    They were also involved in the developement of Flying Boats and Sea Planes,Because all of our armed forces were starting to intergrate more :

The navies involvement in the Royal Tournament :-    On the 11th June 1880,the first military tournament was announced in the 'Times' to be held at the  Agricultural Hall in Islington.In 1896 the first all naval display appeared in the program,which consisted of a Cutlass Drill and a Fieldgun drill by 40 ratings of         HMS Excellent,and a year later the Royal Navy staged the first command feildgun competition.It remained at Islington and in 1905 the Royal Navy was present at the Centenary of the Battle of Trafalgar.In 1907 it was relocated to Olympia.This National event took place every year with the exception of the war years,and our navy put on exibitions of syncronized rope climbing and fieldgun exersizes.


There have been many programs throughout the years here is just a few examples:-



AND YOU "MUST" SEE THIS,GO TO NAVAL VIDEOS, AND WATCH THE T45 rm destroyer video,it shows the detailed building of this ship.


The World War 2, this is well documented and you have probably seen many 'movies' telling the stories of this masive conflict,nearly every country in the world was involved,with very few exceptions,there were some countries that chose to remain neutral.Germany and Japan had hugh naval and military resourses,and were both very powerfull.The United Kingdom had many allies,all of our colonies such as Canada,Australia,    Newzealand & India were involved,Holland & Russia  were also on our side,and later the USA joined in.        The Italians changed sides whenever it suited them. Curiously,Spain remained neutral,having just recovered from a civil war,they were not in the position to provide much support,and we will never know which side they would have supported.Many South American countries also remained neutral. The first British warship to be lost in WW2:"HMS Courageous"

A Tribute to the Courageous and her crew.



The emblem of HMS VERITY



THE BATTLE OF THE RIVER PLATE.The 1st major  naval battle of WW2,The German pocket battleship,   the Admiral Graff Spee,           commanded  by      Captain Hans Langsdorff,had been commerce raiding since the start of the war in September.It was engaged in the estuary of the River Plate off the coast of Argentina andUruguay,by one of the hunting groups set up by the Admiralty to search for her.The Battleship was engaged by three smaller     Royal Navy Cruisers     HMS EXETER, HMS AJAX  and  HMS ARCHILLES,       which were part of the newly formed New Zealand Div; in the ensuing battle the Exeter was severely damaged and forced to retire to the Faulklands,where the other ship of the group,HMS CUMBERLAND was being re-fitted.The Ajax and Archilles,having received moderate damage,shadowed the Graff Spee to Monte Video.

The Graf Spee was only allowed to stay for 72 hours,and was not permitted to carry out any repairs other than to make her sea worthy to enable her to leave the neutral waters.The captain believed that there was a superior force of British Naval vessels waiting for him,and decided to scuttle his ship,and he evacuated his crew to safety,and with a small demolishion crew left the harbour and blew his ship up.By doing this he saved the lives of many seamen,both German and British.He returned to Monte Video,and later shot himself.

Captain Hans W Langsdorff gave the world a matchless example of personel integrity and human compassion in wartime.Sailors from every nation showed respect for their enemies,they were 'Genlemen Seamen' and not politically motivated

Captain Hans Langsdorff

                 THE HUNTERS.

The war with Japan, Britain and her Allies were in conflicts on many fronts,in all the Oceans of the World.  Besides our conflict with Germany in the Atlantic,we were also fighting the Japanese in the Pacific,Indian Oceans and the China sea.Japan had been active in this area since 1931,with attacks on China,and because there were many British Civilians and Servicemen in Hong Kong and Shanghai, the  British naval fleet called the China Station was involved in their protection,the Sino-Japanese war esculated to a full scale conflict in 1937.

Japanese occupation map

Much information on this conflict can be obtained by visiting the "Links"page in the side menu bar. And with the Japanese invasion of Pearl Harbour,this esculated into a full scale war,involving all the British Colonies,the USA and all of our allies.

Chiang-kai Shek

We suffered many defeats in the war with Japan in the Phillipeans,and Japan was getting ready to invade Australia.Thousands of servicemen had to surrender, and because the Japs despised anyone who surrended, our troops were treated very bad.But they too had to surrender,when it was decided to put a swift end to the war dropping two Atom bombs on their Island.

Left-Torpedoed Jap Destroyer and right-Battleship Yomashiro


Left-USS Arizona at Pearl Habour and right USS Lexington.

The subsequent result!

The bombing of NAGASAKI.

After the world war our navy was still active all over the world,tidying up.The navy was needed to transport our troops to all areas to maintain security and help rebuild.There  was still conflict in other countries and Britain was involved helping to solve the issues. However,not all of our attempts were successfull,one example was the problems in Palestine,we eventually pulled out and left the Palestinians to fight it out alone.Full details of this can be accessed on the LINKS page.

Palestine at war with the Jews

Another well known and documented incident,was the "Yangtze Incident" which involved the attack on one of our ships,HMS Amethyst by the Chinese PLA.There was a film made about this,and was watched in all the cinemas and another very interesting event which happened whilst this attack was being carried out,was the story of SIMON the ships cat,allthough he was injured,he still carried out his duties as rat catcher.And received a medal for his bravery.Details of these events are to be found on the LINKS page,and are well worth viewing.

HMS Amethyst

SIMON the ships cat,bravery beyond the call of duty.

Please read my story in the links page.


The Latest in Ship Design, the US Navy's Pirate Catcher LSC-2 USS Independence.


At 43 knots, these should be able to clean up the Pirates of the coast of Africa. This is a Triple Hulled Weapon laden MONSTER.

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