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The Royal Navy and Sea Power in British Strategy, 1945-55

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-398
Issue number252
Early online date14 Apr 2018
Accepted/In press6 Jun 2016
E-pub ahead of print14 Apr 2018
PublishedMay 2018


King's Authors


During the ten years following the end of the Second World War, the role of the Royal Navy and even the significance of sea power for Britain came under sustained challenge. A group of sceptics including cabinet ministers (not least the prime minister), as well as senior civil servants and Royal Air Force officers argued that the only conceivable war would see the use of nuclear weapons, leaving little need for the Navy, and any roles at sea that were still required could be taken over by land-based aircraft. This article explores these arguments and the response of the Admiralty, as it fought and eventually defeated what amounted to the bitterest peacetime challenge to the role of naval power in British strategy.

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