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Continuity and Change: Strategy and Technology in the Royal Navy, 1890–1918

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)892-930
Number of pages38
JournalThe English Historical Review
Issue number575
Early online dateSep 2020
Accepted/In press8 Aug 2017
E-pub ahead of printSep 2020
Published9 Oct 2020

King's Authors


This article presents a new interpretation of the relationship between technology and warfare at sea before and during the First World War. It challenges existing accounts which view technological innovations as the primary driver of naval strategy during this period, and argues for a more contingent, incremental and contextualised approach to the relationship between technology and strategy. It illustrates these points with a specific example: the highly controversial topic of the Royal Navy’s so-called ‘Battle Cruisers’, three of which suffered catastrophic explosions at the Battle of Jutland in 1916. In doing so it forwards a new interpretation of British naval policy between 1890 and 1918, the Anglo-German naval arms race, and elements of the First World War at sea.

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