For many years the naval warfare of World War I has been largely overlooked; yet, at the outbreak of that war, the British Government had expected and intended its military contribution to the conflict to be largely naval. Britain was not simply defending an island; it was defending a far flung empire. Without the navy such an undertaking would have been impossible. Following the naval arms race in the early 20th century, both Britain and Germany were equipped with the latest naval technology, including revolutionary new vessels such as dreadnoughts and diesel-powered submarines. Although the Royal Navy's operations in World War I were global, most of the fleet's strength was concentrated in the Grand Fleet, which confronted the German High Seas Fleet across the North Sea. At the Battle of Jutland in 1916 the Royal Navy, under the command of Admiral Jellicoe, fought an iconic, if inconclusive battle for control of shipping routes. 43,244 Royal Navy personnel lost their lives fighting on the seas in World War I. This book tells their story and places the navy back at the heart of the British war effort.
History of the Royal Navy: World War I