In search of the Royal Navy’s political friends (Part 1: the mainstream parties)

The general election due in May this year promises to be a tight contest and the result is unusually difficult to predict. Whatever the complexion of the new administration a defence review will be conducted in October that will be critical for the future of the RN and the security of the nation.

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Operation Sealion

Our new Battle of Britain – Have the lessons of history been forgotten or misunderstood?

This is a guest post by Dr. Anthony J. Cumming, graduate of Plymouth University and winner of the Julian Corbett Prize for Research in Modern Naval History. This piece provides a historical perspective on myths about defending Britain that continue to influence allocation of precious defence resources.

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Strategic Defence & Security Review 2015

SDSR 2015 Rumour Mill

This is an open post to that will be kept updated in the run up to the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) – the results of which are due to be announced by the Prime Minister on 23rd November. Here we will track and comment on the multiple rumours and media speculation about how the RN in particular maybe shaped by the defence review. Some of this will prove to be unfounded press stories, some are leaks from within different service factions indulging in ‘kite-flying’ to test reactions and some may prove to be true.

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George Osbourne visits HMS Defender

George Osborne’s big day out in Portsmouth

On Friday 30th January, the Chancellor of the Exchequer visited Portsmouth Naval base. A high-profile visit by a government minister to make announcements about spending investments is a sure sign there is an election looming.

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Putin and submarine

Is Britain prepared for the naval challenges of a new Cold War?

In December 2014 Russia quietly signaled what maybe called the start of Cold War II when it issued a new military doctrine which lists NATO as its “main threat”. President Putin, a former KGB officer is determined to return Russia to the superpower status of the Soviet Union. Communist dogma may have gone but it has been replaced by nationalist expansionism and paranoia used to justify a military renaissance. Western nations are feeling this growing power by increasing numbers of Russian ships, aircraft and submarines to probing defences and even entering territorial waters.

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Boeing P8A Posiedon

Dear Boeing… yours David

Dear Boeing Aircraft company,

David Cameron here. We find ourselves in something of a mess and I am writing to you to request an urgent delivery of some of your excellent P-8A Poseidon Aircraft. Despite being an island nation we currently have no maritime patrol aircraft.

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Cold War Command – Review

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Hot on the heels of the excellent “Hunter Killers” (2013) comes “Cold War Command” also published by Pen & Sword. Both books describe the operations of RN submarines during the same intense period from the 1960s to the end of the Cold War. While Hunter killers covers the activities of a variety of submariners, this book is a biography of Captain Dan Conley who had a diverse and interesting career.

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