Week 9- Naval Warfare in World War I
Week 9- Naval Warfare in World War I HIST 388
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Austin McManus on Friday October 30, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to HIST 388 at George Mason University taught by Harry Butowsky in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 37 views. For similar materials see World War I in History at George Mason University.
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Date Created: 10/30/15
HIST 388 Notes Week 9 Naval Warfare in World War I A Significance of the Navy Prior to the outbreak of war in 1914 Germany had industrialized its military to the point that it had the best equipped and most welltrained army in the entire world but Britain still reigned as the overlord of the seas with its superior navy despite Germany not being far behind Britain When war broke out both the British and German government believed that whoever ruled the seas would win the war mainly the reason behind Germany developing its navy to the extent that it did Much of the ideology behind the importance placed on the navy comes from the book The In uence of Sea Power Upon History 1660 1783 written by American admiral Alfred T Mahan in 1890 Mahan emphasized that the extent of a country s sea power determined its impact in geopolitics and role on the world stage This dynamic was at the center of strategic thinking prior to and throughout the war B Evolution of Naval Technology 1700s1914 In the 18th century all professional navies consisted of wooden sailing ships lined with smoothbore cannons on both ends Robert Fulton s reveal of the Clermont and introduction of steam power in 1807 did not take off right away in Europe or the United States Britain s rst ironclad warship the HMS Warrior completed in 1860 was a steamandsail powered wooden ship with iron plates plastered on its hull The American Civil War saw a revolution in naval warfare when the USS Monitor fought and defeated CSS Merrimack the first two practical ironclad warships the Monitor was particularly revolutionary as it introduced the rotating turret drastically altering the meaning of naval mobility during combat Following the Civil War Britain and France began significantly reforming their respective navies replacing wind with coal and steam and wood with iron and steel By the 1890s steam and steel dominated the naval construction scene By which point Germany following its unification in 1871 had begun building up a navy of its own Britain perceived Germany s buildingup of its Navy in the 1880s and 1890s under Kaiser Wilhelm II as a threat to their hegemony on the sea to counter Germany s navy Britain invigorates its navy development for over a decade during which time the first Dreadnought the firstclass battleship of the First World War was introduced by the Royal Navy in 1906 The battleship made all other naval ships obsolete when it came to battle as the Dreadnought was faster and deadlier than any other ship at the time The introduction of the Dreadnought reinvigorated the naval arms race between Britain and Germany going into the war Germany despite having the second largest navy in the world still lagged half the number of ships of the Royal Navy by 1914 C Battle of Jutland 31 May 1 June 1916 While the Battle of Verdun was raging in France both the French and German forces were desperate for some sort of effort to divert their enemy s attention from Verdun Sentiments from both Britain and Germany to utilize their impressive navies against one another Yet Britain remains the superior naval force and the Germans fully comprehends this Reinhard Scheer the ViceAdmiral of the Imperial German Fleet plans to draw out the battlecruiser squadrons of ViceAdmiral Sir David Beatty using ViceAdmiral Franz Hipper s fast scouting cruisers to face the head of his battlecruiser eet After drawing out Beatty s squadrons Scheer s eet openfired destroying two British battlecruisers within five minutes After fortyfive minutes the remnants of Beatty s squadrons retreat Prior to the battle the British had planned for Scheer s plan due to intercepting German intelligence causing them to plan on Beatty s squadrons retreating to where the British battle eet under the command of Admiral Sir John J ellicoe was stationed awaiting the arrival of the Germans As the sun rose the next morning the two eets totaling over 200 battleships clashed The Battle of Jutland was the largest naval engagement of battleships in human history and the only one of its kind during the Great War
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