British Naval Strategy 1755 – 1762: the Western Squadron
Interpretations of naval success between 1755 and 1762, are questioned, particularly the notion that William Pitt was responsible for the reversal of British naval fortunes. A detailed narrative of the Western Squadron’s activities in the English Channel is included. British naval success can be attributed to the pragmatic innovations implemented by First Lord Anson and Admiral Hawke that allowed the maintenance of a blockade at Brest for months at a time. This strategy led to the Battle of Quiberon Bay in 1759, and the total eclipse of French naval power.