The Admiralty, the German Navy, and the Redistribution of the British Fleet, 1904–1905

By Ruddock F. Mackay, published August 1970

Abstract

Traditionally Fisher’s 1904 redistribution of the Fleet has been interpreted as reflecting Mahanite principles concentrating in the North Sea against Germany, Mackay questions this based on the continuing strong presence in the Mediterranean and renaming the Channel Fleet the Atlantic Fleet and basing it at Gibraltar. Challenges some of Marder’s assumptions, in particular his reading of Selbourne’s memorandum of 6 December 1904 setting the German challenge in the context of other naval powers. Concludes that 1904 redistribution preserved British strategic flexibility and wider geopolitical issues led to focus against Germany.

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Filed under: North Sea | Mediterranean | Other (Twentieth C)
Subjects include: Navies | Strategy & Diplomacy

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