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Most powerful Martime power of the last 500 years

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Category: GENERAL HISTORY
Forum Name: Naval History
Forum Description: Events and developments, peaceful and warlike, at sea, especially covering broad areas or periods
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Topic: Most powerful Martime power of the last 500 years
Posted By: Gonads
Subject: Most powerful Martime power of the last 500 years
Date Posted: 24 May 2010 at 08:47
Opinions anyone?

Edited to remove Sweden and replaced it with the Russian/Soviet Union due to geographical reach and world wide influence. No offense intended towards the Swedes on the board.




Replies:
Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 24 May 2010 at 22:15
As phrased a pointless question. One nuclear submarine today could destroy all the world's navies put together over the last 500 years. Given I suppose it had enough ammunition.

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Citizen of Ankh-Morpork.

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.



Posted By: Sarmat
Date Posted: 25 May 2010 at 10:05
The answer is obvious, the British. Except that the US was such for most of the time in the last century until now.  But I don't understand how come the other guys are even on the list, especially, Belgium ? Smile

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Posted By: Gonads
Date Posted: 25 May 2010 at 12:19
I voted for the Brits, for length of naval superiority and also that they achieved such a hegemonic disparity in naval strength compared to their superpower peers.


Posted By: Gonads
Date Posted: 25 May 2010 at 16:14
Originally posted by Sarmat Sarmat wrote:

  But I don't understand how come the other guys are even on the list, especially, Belgium ? Smile


Ahem...  Because i am a super-duper cool guy! CoolBig smile


Posted By: Sarmat
Date Posted: 26 May 2010 at 01:42
Oh, right, now all of that makes sense... Smile

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Posted By: SPQR
Date Posted: 27 May 2010 at 04:48
I voted for the Royal Navy because of span of time in which they were dominant and also the proportion of the other navies through its heyday, 1600's 1800's. It victories were remarkable like the Spanish Armada, Trafalgar, and Battle of the Nile, and its leaders like Lord Nelson. The U.S. Navy is the greatest navy today but it doesn't go unmatched especially if you add up the combined naval forces of the Commonwealth who could put up a fight. In the golden age of the Royal Navy, there never really was no true competitor only the Spanish (which became irrelevant after The Armada was sunk) and the French Navy (never really could go toe to toe with the Royal Navy).

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Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind.

- Albert Einstein


Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 27 May 2010 at 06:29
I await Dr G's reaction with interest Cool

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Citizen of Ankh-Morpork.

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.



Posted By: Sarmat
Date Posted: 27 May 2010 at 08:02
Yeah, the Royal Navy was absolutely unmached in all the aspects for most of the time during the last five centuries.

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Posted By: Gonads
Date Posted: 27 May 2010 at 12:35
Okay, i do have a very healthy respect for the Royal Navy, heck i should say that i am an admirer of her maritime prowess! But just for the sake of an argument, let's say that the Royal Navy was only superior by the number of ships and men she could muster as opposed to any of her rivals in a international crisis, with the ratio of perhaps 3:1. Giving the British the ability to flood and overwhelm any of her opponents in whatever area was contested at the time before her opponents had time too react.

However, in single ship combat, how would or did the RN really fare against other rivals, primarily the US, French, or Germany throughout the 19th and perhaps even into the first decade of the twentieth. Of Germans, did the latter ever especially engage the RN in single ship actions before the great war? If not, then how might a hypothetical scenario had played out between the two?



Posted By: Sarmat
Date Posted: 27 May 2010 at 12:46
Hmmm... But in many instances, British had less ships than their opponents. The most famous example if Trafalgar...
 
It was not just the numbers, but rather technologies and advanced skills of the commanders and crews...
 
Germany didn't have strong fleet at all until the start of the 20th century. In the second half of the 19th century the most strongest navies were British-1, French-2 and Russian-3.  BTW, I don't understand why Russia-USSR isn't on the list, if even Belgium is there (BTW the Russian navy crushed Swedish and Ottoman navies). Smile


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Posted By: Gonads
Date Posted: 27 May 2010 at 14:19
Trafalgar is a good point in the differences of attitudes towards seamanship between France and Britain. However, what about when the attitudes in seamanship are nearly identical, or nearly so? I admit i was rather thinking of the war of 1812. Individual American frigates had bested their RN counter parts more often than not, that is until the British government got fed up with it and had the RN flood US water's with their ships, thereby effectively bottling them up in port at the risk of overwhelming annihilation, for the duration of the war.

Not that i have anything against the Russian navy, but...  the battle of Tsushima!




Posted By: Sarmat
Date Posted: 27 May 2010 at 14:28
Tsushima what ?
 
What is the point of including France and Spain after Trafalgar, Spain  after Gravelines and debalces of Spanish-American war? Ottomans after Lepanto, Navarino and Sinop etc.?  Even US after Pearl-Harbor...?


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Posted By: Gonads
Date Posted: 27 May 2010 at 15:01
Not that i want too try and prick your Russian pride, but France did have a colonial empire that existed into the 20th century. Spain's empire, while it did not make it into the nineteenth or twentieth as powerful as it once was in the centuries prior, was still powerful powerful enough too have founded itself an empire from the Americas and into the Pacific before all the other ones got going and then of course there was the British. The mentioned maritime powers flourished on, even during moments of reversal, until well... for the lack of better word, the world had changed!

Unfortunately for the Russians in this regard, was that she was predominantly a land power. Whatever quality navy they had from the late nineteenth century was effectively crushed by the Japanese at the mentioned battle, leaving Russia with no effective warm water port which continued to dog them throughout the twentieth century! Forget the Black seas fleet having any contributing effect, it could be and was effectively bottled up by a stronger maritime power in times of war.

 Now i imagine that if the Russian had won the battle at Tsushima, then things might have been drastically different by the mid twentieth century mark by the time of the second world war. Perhaps even a very quiet Pacific? But they did not win and so they became a minor player, if even that, in the Pacific until after the Pacific war! That is why i did not put Russia up there, not because i think any less of her naval prowess, but because of their short duration as a maritime power at any point and the lack for a significant impact in any part of the world!

Regards,
Panther


Posted By: Sarmat
Date Posted: 27 May 2010 at 15:54
Hmmm...  But this is complitely incorrect.  And it doesn't have to do with any "pride" of mine. You put on the list such countries as Sweden, Denmark and the Ottomans?
 
Pleas tell me how those "maritime powers" were any stronger than the Russian power?
 
"Short duration as a maritime power at any point and the lack of a significant impact in any part of the world" Ermm  How about Black and Baltic seas were the Russian maritime power has been dominating for the last 300 years?
 
During the Cold War the Soviet Navy was the second to the US only by its strength and even was exceeding the US Navy in submarine capabilities.
 
Moreover, the Soviet Navy operated world wide and its main ports were in Barents Seas (Murmansk for your information never freezes) and the Pacific, Cuba, Vietnam and Africa. It even was stationed in Port-Arthur for 10 years after WWII (effectively, overwriting the results of the Russo-Japanese war), but I bet you didn't know about that... It supeceded British, French and other, etc. navies except the American...
 
Now, you're trying to say that Denmark or Sweden were more signficiant maritime powers than Russia... Why?  Is that because they had some overseas territories?
 
But Russia had a large overseas colony in North America at some point as well...
 
So, sorry but your "list" doesn't make sense...
 
Or you need to define, precisely, what you mean by "maritime power."


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Posted By: Gonads
Date Posted: 27 May 2010 at 16:32
Originally posted by Sarmat Sarmat wrote:

Hmmm...  But this is complitely incorrect.  And it doesn't have to do with any "pride" of mine. You put on the list such countries as Sweden, Denmark and the Ottomans?
 
Pleas tell me how those "maritime powers" were any stronger than the Russian power?


Okay. Now that you put it that way, i think i am starting to see your point.

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"Short duration as a maritime power at any point and the lack of a significant impact in any part of the world" Ermm  How about Black and Baltic sea?


Again, any major maritime power can effectively block the Russians in, especially in the black sea!

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During the Cold War the Soviet Navy was the second to the US only by its strength and even was exceeding the US Navy in submarine capabilities.


Yes, by the efforts of the US and allied navies from world war 2. How truly effective was the soviet navy at that time and after the forties?

Quote
Moreover, the Soviet Navy operated world wide and its main ports were in Barents Seas (Murmansk for your information never freezes) and the Pacific, Cuba, Vietnam and Africa. It even was stationed in Port-Arthur for 10 years after WWII (effectively, overwriting the results of the Russo-Japanese war), but I bet you didn't know about that... Effectively, it supeceded British, French and other, etc. navies except the American...
 


Uh - huh and easily tracked from Norway, Iceland, UK and Greenland. Where incidentally... major Nato navies had conveniently  placed ports for a reason. As for the Pacific, they were not the power that the British and the Japanese were at the beginning of the 20th nor the US at the end of it.

Also again, yes i knew that they were stationed at Port Arthur, but not by their naval efforts did they arrive there. I seriously doubt the Soviet navy was any match for the Japanese navy at any point before then! Besides numbers do not equal quality of seamanship, especially against more established maritime powers. I'm not saying Russians make horrible sailors. I'm just saying their lives did not revolve around having a powerful maritime navy or even a pride in their navy like the British, Japanese or the US exhibited!

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Now, you're trying to say that Belgium or Sweden were more signficiant maritime powers than Russia... Why?  Is that because they had some overseas territories?


Because i hate Russia! TongueWink No seriously, your early point is being taken into consideration.

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But Russia had a large overseas colony in North America at some point as well...


Sure Alaska, but what... phhhttt... anybody with a canoe could have crossed the Bering strait! Tongue Anyways should it even really count?

 
Quote
So, sorry but your "list" doesn't make sense...


If i i put Russia on the list and took off one of the above, then would it make more sense? No snark intended. It is a serious question.


Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 27 May 2010 at 21:43
Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:

Trafalgar is a good point in the differences of attitudes towards seamanship between France and Britain.
Not really a difference of attitude to seamanship, which usually relates to the skills involved in battling nature, not other ships. A prime difference in the wars from say 1760-1815 was to do with French failure to give commanders sufficient freedom and their concentration on 'keeping the fleet in being'.
 
I'd say in fact that the single biggest factor (apart from Britain having more money) was the British attitude to risk. There was no French counter-example to Nelson's famous dictum that any captain who laid his ship alongside the enemy had anything to fear from defeat.
Quote  
However, what about when the attitudes in seamanship are nearly identical, or nearly so? I admit i was rather thinking of the war of 1812. Individual American frigates had bested their RN counter parts more often than not, that is until the British government got fed up with it and had the RN flood US water's with their ships, thereby effectively bottling them up in port at the risk of overwhelming annihilation, for the duration of the war.
From Chesapeake Bay (1781) to Coronel (1914)  the Royal Navy lost no engagements except single-ship actions between frigates in the war of 1812. Apart from the fact that there was little to choose between the crews, many of those on the American side having served with the Royal Navy before, the main difference was technological, in that the US had been building 42/44-gun heavy frigates as against the British 36-gun (or even 28-gun) frigates, with not only greater firepower, but bigger crews and thicker planking.
 
The famous battle between USS Chesapeake and  HMS Shannon in 1813 was fought on more or less equal terms, both being 38-gun vessels (though Chesapeake was bigger) and ended in victory for Shannon.



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Citizen of Ankh-Morpork.

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.



Posted By: Styrbiorn
Date Posted: 28 May 2010 at 00:38
Originally posted by Sarmat Sarmat wrote:

 
Now, you're trying to say that Denmark or Sweden were more signficiant maritime powers than Russia... Why?  Is that because they had some overseas territories?
 
The Russian navy is very young, more or less exactly 300 years old, and it was weaker than the Swedish and Danish during its first century after which the latter two countries had diminished from any sort of importance anyway - especially after Copenhagen and Sweden's loss of its eastern half. The Russian navy never "crushed" the Swedish as you claim either. Anyhow none of the three have anything to do on a voting list.

For the timeframe only the Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, English/British and American have any sort of claim. Belgium I presume is a joke.


Posted By: Sarmat
Date Posted: 28 May 2010 at 00:46
Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:





Again, any major maritime power can effectively block the Russians in, especially in the black sea!
 
This is a very vague statement. Cause for the most part of the last century nobody could really block the Russian navy for the reasons described above. The Black sea fleet for the less important of all the Soviet fleets...



Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:


Yes, by the efforts of the US and allied navies from world war 2. How truly effective was the soviet navy at that time and after the forties?

I'm not really getting the point here, because I was talking about the time after WWII.
 

Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:



Uh - huh and easily tracked from Norway, Iceland, UK and Greenland. Where incidentally... major Nato navies had conveniently  placed ports for a reason. As for the Pacific, they were not the power that the British and the Japanese were at the beginning of the 20th nor the US at the end of it.
 
Well. What if I say that the Japanese navy was a joke compare to the Soviet during the cold war? All that analysis is very "relative"


Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:

Also again, yes i knew that they were stationed at Port Arthur, but not by their naval efforts did they arrive there. I seriously doubt the Soviet navy was any match for the Japanese navy at any point before then! Besides numbers do not equal quality of seamanship, especially against more established maritime powers. I'm not saying Russians make horrible sailors. I'm just saying their lives did not revolve around having a powerful maritime navy or even a pride in their navy like the British, Japanese or the US exhibited!
 
This is incorrect. Because "maritime power" was quite important concept for Russia/USSR at some times of its history.

Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:



Quote
But Russia had a large overseas colony in North America at some point as well...


Sure Alaska, but what... phhhttt... anybody with a canoe could have crossed the Bering strait! Tongue Anyways should it even really count?
 
Besides Alaska do you know that Hawaii was a Russian protectorate?

Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:


If i i put Russia on the list and took off one of the above, then would it make more sense? No snark intended. It is a serious question.
 
Yeah, it will look better. But still this list weird Big smile


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Posted By: Styrbiorn
Date Posted: 28 May 2010 at 00:55
Originally posted by Sarmat Sarmat wrote:

 
Besides Alaska do you know that Hawaii was a Russian protectorate?
The Schäffer affair is hardly something to boast about as far as colonial ventures go Tongue


Posted By: Sarmat
Date Posted: 28 May 2010 at 02:55
No boasting, but it's an interesting fact.
 
Russian trade and naval activities in the Pacific in the late 18th and in the 19th centuries were quite substantial.  BTW, some researchers even believe that it were Russian who discovered the Antarctic continent. Tongue 


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Posted By: Gonads
Date Posted: 28 May 2010 at 03:24
Originally posted by Styrbiorn Styrbiorn wrote:


Belgium I presume is a joke.


Why would i joke about something like Belgium's navy? Wink



Posted By: Gonads
Date Posted: 28 May 2010 at 03:49
Originally posted by Sarmat Sarmat wrote:


 
This is a very vague statement. Cause for the most part of the last century nobody could really block the Russian navy for the reasons described above. The Black sea fleet for the less important of all the Soviet fleets...


No one really tried because there was no need to do so until a shooting war.


Quote
I'm not really getting the point here, because I was talking about the time after WWII.


They weren't anywhere near effective in the Pacific before or during the war, let alone never even once participating until the IJN was defeated! There was no proof in the pudding, so to speak. Leaving me too conclude that afterward, they never really represented a threat to the US Navy or it's regional allies in the Pacific!

Quote
 
Well. What if I say that the Japanese navy was a joke compare to the Soviet during the cold war? All that analysis is very "relative"


Hmmm... well their navy did become a shell of it's former self. Did the Soviets have anything to do with that? Still, my respect for the Japanese navy over the Soviet navy is unshaken.

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This is incorrect. Because "maritime power" was quite important concept for Russia/USSR at some times of its history.


I don't know about that. They never seemed to have grasped the importance of maritime trade.

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Besides Alaska do you know that Hawaii was a Russian protectorate?


Hmmm... could you please supply a link to back that up?



Posted By: Gonads
Date Posted: 28 May 2010 at 03:51
Originally posted by Sarmat Sarmat wrote:

No boasting, but it's an interesting fact.
 
Russian trade and naval activities in the Pacific in the late 18th and in the 19th centuries were quite substantial.  BTW, some researchers even believe that it were Russian who discovered the Antarctic continent. Tongue 


Again, it would be nice if you could provide some links Sarmat, please.


Posted By: Sarmat
Date Posted: 28 May 2010 at 04:19
Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:



They weren't anywhere near effective in the Pacific before or during the war, let alone never even once participating until the IJN was defeated! There was no proof in the pudding, so to speak. Leaving me too conclude that afterward, they never really represented a threat to the US Navy or it's regional allies in the Pacific!
 
 
LOL That's really funny, cause, of course, they represented a threat. I still don't get the shaky attempts to get WWII involved in this unrelated subject. Particularly, that was this military publication says:
 
http://www.navy.mil/navydata/cno/n87/usw/issue_27/asw.html - http://www.navy.mil/navydata/cno/n87/usw/issue_27/asw.html
 
Soviet strategic missile submarines were the greatest naval threat to the United States during the Cold War.
Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:


Hmmm... well their navy did become a shell of it's former self. Did the Soviets have anything to do with that? Still, my respect for the Japanese navy over the Soviet navy is unshaken.
 
It's not relevant. We are discussing naval capabilities of different powers and not who defeated the IJM in WWII 


Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:

I don't know about that. They never seemed to have grasped the importance of maritime trade.
 
Again, please define exactly what's your definition of "Maritime power"

Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:

Quote
Besides Alaska do you know that Hawaii was a Russian protectorate?


Hmmm... could you please supply a link to back that up?

 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Hawaii#Imperial_Russia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Hawaii#Imperial_Russia
 
And again I'm not claiming that it was significant, but just for the sake of the argument.


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Posted By: Sarmat
Date Posted: 28 May 2010 at 04:29
Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:

Originally posted by Sarmat Sarmat wrote:

No boasting, but it's an interesting fact.
 
Russian trade and naval activities in the Pacific in the late 18th and in the 19th centuries were quite substantial.  BTW, some researchers even believe that it were Russian who discovered the Antarctic continent. Tongue 


Again, it would be nice if you could provide some links Sarmat, please.
 
Check this for example:
 
http://en.mercopress.com/2010/01/30/russia-and-antarctica - http://en.mercopress.com/2010/01/30/russia-and-antarctica


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Posted By: Gonads
Date Posted: 28 May 2010 at 04:38
Originally posted by Sarmat Sarmat wrote:

 
 
LOL That's really funny, cause, of course, they represented a threat. I still don't get the shaky attempts to get WWII involved in this unrelated subject.


Big smile Well, it was last major shooting war that the Soviet navy could have gotten in on in reclaiming whatever honor they had lost in 1905.

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Soviet strategic missile submarines were the greatest naval threat to the United States during the Cold War.



I don't deny that ASW was the USN weak point. But as far as Soviet subs threatening the Navy's Pacific supremacy itself, no. The North American landmass however was another matter that kept American politicians up at night!

Quote
 
It's not relevant. We are discussing naval capabilities of different powers and not who defeated the IJM in WWII 


Well then, why did you bring it up? Besides, though small, the navy of Japanese self defense forces, had been capable for the last several decades of the cold war, of building itself up very quickly if the need did arise!

Quote
 
Again, please define exactly what's your definition of "Maritime power"


Well, what i am trying too say is if a country is going to have maritime trade, then they will need a navy too protect that trade from all comers. Unless of course, that is... if that country is perfectly willing and comfortable in allowing another maritime power to protect their merchant ships or if those countries pay bribes too certain parasitic countries in order to protect their trade.

Quote
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Hawaii#Imperial_Russia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Hawaii#Imperial_Russia
 
And again I'm not claiming that it was significant, but just for the sake of the argument.


I see.


Posted By: Cezar
Date Posted: 07 Jun 2010 at 18:06
Most powerful Martime power for the last 500 years -> I fail to see HallMart on the list.
 
OK, now for maritime power, which I guess is the topic.
If only powerful is the thing we're looking for, then the problem is that this term is to be narrowed to something that is significant for this discussion. So my choice would be to consider powerful one that has the ability to control the environment around itself, including the behavior of other entities (wiki and more...).
Therefore, the most powerful power powerfully poweredTongue would be the one that  has the at least the following:
1. enough tubs - numbers do matter
2. good tubs - state of the art is better than leaking buckets
2. good seamen - "10 degrees starboard !?!?! Mate, just give me a straight bourbon!"
3. enough cash/resorces - "Mein Fuhrer! if we build 100 aircraft carriers we should beat those pesky Englanders!"
4. effective activity/results - "We won the battle, Lexington is sunk! - Yeah, right! Is Hinomaru flying at Port Moresby?"
 
In the end, my choice is RN.


Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 08 Jun 2010 at 03:41
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

I await Dr G's reaction with interest Cool
 
Maritime "supremacy" within the last 500 years (1510-2010)...interesting but a bit ephemeral as a defensible hypothesis. Then, as has been previously emphasized, technology had an interesting role in assuring no such claim lasted for long. Even if one starts humming "Brittania Rules the Waves", the pretension is a bit feckless since, while tonnage may rule, the incidences of exceptions clutter the pages of history.
 
No navy is invinsible and its effectiveness is solely a function of the state structure that commits it to the seas. Recall the very fears of Churchill in the summer of 1940!
 
http://www.digitalsurvivors.com/archives/churchillsinkingfrenchfleet.php - http://www.digitalsurvivors.com/archives/churchillsinkingfrenchfleet.php  


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Posted By: The Madgod
Date Posted: 09 Jun 2010 at 02:24
IMO England in 500 years has been a military powerhouse. New nations like Germany and USA are new and I do not put them on this list. My nation is older than Germany. England has proven time and again that her navey save her from allot of potential invaders. France, Spain, Austria.


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WE ARE CANADIEN, I AM CANADIEN, EH?


Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 09 Jun 2010 at 11:58

Why Madgod you old mad dog you! I can hear the chorus singing:

He is an Englishman
For he himself has said it
And it's greatly to his credit That he is an Englishman!
 
For he might have been a Roosian,
A French, or Turk or Proossian,
Or perhaps Itali-an...
But in spite of all temptations
To belong to other nations,
He remains an Englishman!
 
Keep up with the polish and you too might be Admiral in the Queen's Navee...
 
(all apologies to Gilbert and Sullivan)


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Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: The Madgod
Date Posted: 09 Jun 2010 at 12:53
haha, I am not really pro-English. I am more or less, pro-German. :P


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WE ARE CANADIEN, I AM CANADIEN, EH?


Posted By: Gonads
Date Posted: 09 Jun 2010 at 15:00
Well in that case, i guess the chorus would be more guttural by the singing of Das Deutschlandlied. Big smile




Posted By: Sarmat
Date Posted: 10 Jun 2010 at 00:22
Anyway, it's obvious that Britain wins in this competition.

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Posted By: The Madgod
Date Posted: 10 Jun 2010 at 02:51
Yessir! She certainly does. Too bad Canada wasn't a naval power. Cry

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WE ARE CANADIEN, I AM CANADIEN, EH?


Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 10 Jun 2010 at 07:32
"She" most certainly does not since there was no such entity known as the "British" Navy formost of the period concerned and if we are going to discuss matters appropriately, who then can forget the Naval Battle of Cartagena de Indias (1741) during the course of the War of Jenkin's Ear (1739-1742) in which the recently organized Royal Navy of the United Kingdom suffered the loss of 50 ships and the death of some 18,000 sailors. Does the name Admiral Vernon ring a bell? And then can anyone forget the signal raised by Horatio Nelson: "England expects every man to do his duty".
 
Not to quibble but when one looks upon the Napoleonic Era then one might say a recognizable "British Navy" emerges but then an interesting phenomenon re-emerges: the upstarts with technological refinements asserting individual prowess.
 


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Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 10 Jun 2010 at 22:25
Generally the period of British dominance at sea dates from after Chesapeake Bay which was in 1781. Arguably the start date could be taken as the defeat of the French at the Battle of the Saintes in 1782 though superiority over the Spanish was established at the Moonlight Battle off St Vincent in 1780.
 
Sir George Rodney, commanding the British fleet in both battles, is therefore the first admiral of the ascendancy.
 
Yes the Royal Navy has never felt the need to have any other national appelation tacked on to its title. Rather like the only postage stamps with no country designation on them are British ones.
 
Nelson's famous signal was misleading in the sense that the fleet included seamen and officers from all over the United Kingdom. He's far from the only person to make the same mistake though.
 
I speculate sometimes about whether there actually was a coded flag hoist for 'United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland' and I suspect there wasn't - spelling it out letter by letter would have been tedious, and rather lacked the emotional impact. I don't have the code book for the period though.
 
Sending 'your country expects' might have been a better solution.


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Citizen of Ankh-Morpork.

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.



Posted By: Birddog
Date Posted: 10 Jun 2010 at 22:45
Nelson was at first going to send, "Nelson confides that every man will do his duty." One of his officers suggested changing Nelson to England. Nelson then went to Lt Pasco, who would send the signal and told him to be quick, because Nelson wanted to send his usual signal 'Engage the enemy more closely'. Pasco suggested changing 'confides' to 'expects'. Expects was in the code book. Confides would have had to have been spelt out. 31 flags were used in the sending of the signal, 4 of them for the word Duty.
Since the code for England was the flags B R C, it is very possible that their was not code for United Kingdom, and very likely that country would have had to have been spelt out like 'duty'. There is some useless historical information for ya all! Nite.


Posted By: warwolf1969
Date Posted: 31 Jul 2010 at 00:20
If I had been around in time to vote it would have to have been the Royal Navy.  It has been the major maritime force since the mid 1700's.  WIth the help of the royal navy Britain became the biggest empire the world has ever seen.  That empire was built upon the power of the Royal Navy.


Posted By: Darius of Parsa
Date Posted: 24 Aug 2011 at 16:05
No nation has ever controlled the oceans to such an extent as the modern United States. Not even the British of the 19th century came close to acheiving what the Americans have done since World War II. The Americans control every maritime trading route and have naval bases in every corner of the globe.

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"I am moved to pity, when I think of the brevity of human life, seeing that of all this host of men not one will still be alive in a hundred years time."

Emporer Xerxes I looking upon his army 480 BC


Posted By: Harburs
Date Posted: 24 Aug 2011 at 19:34
USASmile

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"Turn yourself not away from three best things: Good Thought, Good Word, and Good Deed" Zoroaster.


Posted By: Captain Vancouver
Date Posted: 24 Aug 2011 at 21:42
Originally posted by Darius of Parsa Darius of Parsa wrote:

No nation has ever controlled the oceans to such an extent as the modern United States. Not even the British of the 19th century came close to acheiving what the Americans have done since World War II. The Americans control every maritime trading route and have naval bases in every corner of the globe.
 
Yes- and no. Today the US exerts greater technological control over the world's oceans, but this has less overall impact than the Royal Navy's control of the seas in the nineteenth century. At that time, seapower was often decisive, with opponents having no military recourse to operations against them. In today's world of spreading nuclear technology, there are indeed devastating alternatives to naval actions, necessarily limiting their effect. A hundred years ago, for example, a blockade could have a powerful effect, but today may not. A blockade of Iran might be attempted to gain some political goal, but what about an Iran armed with nuclear missiles? Any such blockade would be severly limited in scope.
 
Napolean was quoted as saying to the American inventor Robert Fulton, after being offered the then high-tech steamboat concept: I fail to see good sir, how lighting bonfires under the decks of my ships will provide me any advantage what so ever! He passed, but Britain didn't, and in fact it continued to embrace new technologies for two centuries. British control of the seas was a major shaping factor in world history, throughout the nineteenth and well into the twentith centuries. US naval power was decisive in WW2, and for a short time thereafter. But it was fading even by the '60s. Even a US admiral at that time admitted that major surface ships would likely only last a matter of days in an all-out war with the Soviets. Pursuing geopolitical goals with naval power is limited in the nuclear age.
 


Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 24 Aug 2011 at 21:49
Originally posted by Darius of Parsa Darius of Parsa wrote:

No nation has ever controlled the oceans to such an extent as the modern United States. Not even the British of the 19th century came close to acheiving what the Americans have done since World War II. The Americans control every maritime trading route and have naval bases in every corner of the globe.
 
That was true of the Royal Navy, which is why Walpole (Horace) called the oceans, 'the streets of our capital'.  Of course the US navy is more powerful if you're comparing today's US fleet with Britain's 1880 fleet, but the gap between the Royal Navy and the rest was bigger than the gap between the US navy and the rest now.
 
For that matter I don't see much sign of the US Navy controlling the waters off east Africa.


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Citizen of Ankh-Morpork.

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.



Posted By: Darius of Parsa
Date Posted: 25 Aug 2011 at 14:39
Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:

 
Yes- and no. Today the US exerts greater technological control over the world's oceans, but this has less overall impact than the Royal Navy's control of the seas in the nineteenth century. At that time, seapower was often decisive, with opponents having no military recourse to operations against them. In today's world of spreading nuclear technology, there are indeed devastating alternatives to naval actions, necessarily limiting their effect. A hundred years ago, for example, a blockade could have a powerful effect, but today may not. A blockade of Iran might be attempted to gain some political goal, but what about an Iran armed with nuclear missiles? Any such blockade would be severly limited in scope.
 
Napolean was quoted as saying to the American inventor Robert Fulton, after being offered the then high-tech steamboat concept: I fail to see good sir, how lighting bonfires under the decks of my ships will provide me any advantage what so ever! He passed, but Britain didn't, and in fact it continued to embrace new technologies for two centuries. British control of the seas was a major shaping factor in world history, throughout the nineteenth and well into the twentith centuries. US naval power was decisive in WW2, and for a short time thereafter. But it was fading even by the '60s. Even a US admiral at that time admitted that major surface ships would likely only last a matter of days in an all-out war with the Soviets. Pursuing geopolitical goals with naval power is limited in the nuclear age.
 
 
Nuclear weapons? A country needs to we wary of using a nuclear weapon in aggression, especially when countries such as Russia or the United States could destroy the entire country, and the world for that matter. Iran's nuclear weaponry is not for the sake of being a weapon in and of itself. The idea is that the West and the United States keep their eyes focussed on the idea of a nuke. While distracting the United States, Iran is spreading its influence into Iraq, Kuwait, and ultimately Saudi Arabia. The United States is more worried about Iran blocking the straight of Hormuz (not with ships but with mines). In truth a peace or even an alliance will be made between the U.S and Iran, no a war or naval blockade.
 
One of the top strategic goals of the United States is to control the world's oceans. This it has done, and now it seeks to keep all other nations from challenging U.S naval power. Russia had a problem in the Cold War she could not solve, she could not challenge U.S naval power. The Baltic has only a small access point into the Atlantic, and the Pacific fleet was effectivly blocked by the American fleet stationed in Japan. The Americans have the ability and comfort of having both an Atlantic and Pacific coast, and therefore easy control of every ocean in the world. The U.S may not be able to dictate who will trade with who, but they can dictate who cannot trade. Maritime powers such as the United States have always been more wealthy than landlocked states such as Russia. Take into account maritime Athens and land lubberly Sparta. Nuclear weaponry does not challenge maritime power. It is still as important as ever, perhaps even more so. The fastest and least expensive way to trade is by sea, and America has control of these trade routes by way of its navy.


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"I am moved to pity, when I think of the brevity of human life, seeing that of all this host of men not one will still be alive in a hundred years time."

Emporer Xerxes I looking upon his army 480 BC


Posted By: Darius of Parsa
Date Posted: 25 Aug 2011 at 15:01
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

 
That was true of the Royal Navy, which is why Walpole (Horace) called the oceans, 'the streets of our capital'.  Of course the US navy is more powerful if you're comparing today's US fleet with Britain's 1880 fleet, but the gap between the Royal Navy and the rest was bigger than the gap between the US navy and the rest now.
 
For that matter I don't see much sign of the US Navy controlling the waters off east Africa.
 
There is no modern navy, besides the United States, is capable of playing more than a regional role. There is no Chinese fleet in the Mediterranean, there is no Russian naval presence in the Carribean, the British do not have ships stationed on the coasts of Japan. The American reach is global.
 
Is the gap not greater now than it was during the 1880s? Japanese naval power grew exponentially, and its presence was felt throughout the Pacific theatre. The Russian Pacific fleet, though regional, had a much further outreach than it does presently. French naval power also bounced back after its defeat in the beginning part of the century. The French had fleets positioned as far as the South China Sea by 1882.
 
 


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"I am moved to pity, when I think of the brevity of human life, seeing that of all this host of men not one will still be alive in a hundred years time."

Emporer Xerxes I looking upon his army 480 BC


Posted By: Captain Vancouver
Date Posted: 25 Aug 2011 at 15:50
Originally posted by Darius of Parsa Darius of Parsa wrote:

Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:

 
Yes- and no. Today the US exerts greater technological control over the world's oceans, but this has less overall impact than the Royal Navy's control of the seas in the nineteenth century. At that time, seapower was often decisive, with opponents having no military recourse to operations against them. In today's world of spreading nuclear technology, there are indeed devastating alternatives to naval actions, necessarily limiting their effect. A hundred years ago, for example, a blockade could have a powerful effect, but today may not. A blockade of Iran might be attempted to gain some political goal, but what about an Iran armed with nuclear missiles? Any such blockade would be severly limited in scope.
 
Napolean was quoted as saying to the American inventor Robert Fulton, after being offered the then high-tech steamboat concept: I fail to see good sir, how lighting bonfires under the decks of my ships will provide me any advantage what so ever! He passed, but Britain didn't, and in fact it continued to embrace new technologies for two centuries. British control of the seas was a major shaping factor in world history, throughout the nineteenth and well into the twentith centuries. US naval power was decisive in WW2, and for a short time thereafter. But it was fading even by the '60s. Even a US admiral at that time admitted that major surface ships would likely only last a matter of days in an all-out war with the Soviets. Pursuing geopolitical goals with naval power is limited in the nuclear age.
 
 
Nuclear weapons? A country needs to we wary of using a nuclear weapon in aggression, especially when countries such as Russia or the United States could destroy the entire country, and the world for that matter. Iran's nuclear weaponry is not for the sake of being a weapon in and of itself. The idea is that the West and the United States keep their eyes focussed on the idea of a nuke. While distracting the United States, Iran is spreading its influence into Iraq, Kuwait, and ultimately Saudi Arabia. The United States is more worried about Iran blocking the straight of Hormuz (not with ships but with mines). In truth a peace or even an alliance will be made between the U.S and Iran, no a war or naval blockade.
 
One of the top strategic goals of the United States is to control the world's oceans. This it has done, and now it seeks to keep all other nations from challenging U.S naval power. Russia had a problem in the Cold War she could not solve, she could not challenge U.S naval power. The Baltic has only a small access point into the Atlantic, and the Pacific fleet was effectivly blocked by the American fleet stationed in Japan. The Americans have the ability and comfort of having both an Atlantic and Pacific coast, and therefore easy control of every ocean in the world. The U.S may not be able to dictate who will trade with who, but they can dictate who cannot trade. Maritime powers such as the United States have always been more wealthy than landlocked states such as Russia. Take into account maritime Athens and land lubberly Sparta. Nuclear weaponry does not challenge maritime power. It is still as important as ever, perhaps even more so. The fastest and least expensive way to trade is by sea, and America has control of these trade routes by way of its navy.
 
 
To an extent, the Royal Navy did control the world's trade in the nineteenth century, but control of trade is much more problematic today. Trade is massive today, and complex. A container ship some US warship may encounter may have cargo for several different countries that was manufactured in China by a company in joint partnership with Germany, on a ship owned by Greeks but registered in Panama, and crewed by Singaporeans and Phillipinos. Do they send a torpedo their way, or not?
 
The US is today quite dependent on the flow of trade, and the flow of money through the financial markets. Attempts to interfere with the flow of trade on the sea could have serious repercussions for the US, that could take a number of forms in the far more tightly interlocked economy of today.
 
As for nuclear weapons, I take your point that all out use is unlikely, and one must prepare for intermediate scenerios. But in the great geopolitical poker game, the threat of an action, if dire enough, can often have the same effect as actual implementation. In the Cuban missile crisis for example, the US had the edge with naval forces, which was handy. But it was the threat of nuclear exchange that ultimately decided the game. Having those extra destroyers on hand was not enough. A hundred years previously, it probably would have been.
 
So to today. If a country singled out for "control" was small enough, or far enough out of favour with the world community, then their trade might be controlled to an extent. But for major players like China for example, control could only go so far. If they were to think themselves pushed to the point of unacceptable damage, then the nuclear option would surface. No doubt they would gamble with an action that was large enough to gain effect, but small enough to avoid a full exchange, but at that point naval forces diminish rapidly in importance.


Posted By: Darius of Parsa
Date Posted: 25 Aug 2011 at 16:30
Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:

 
To an extent, the Royal Navy did control the world's trade in the nineteenth century, but control of trade is much more problematic today. Trade is massive today, and complex. A container ship some US warship may encounter may have cargo for several different countries that was manufactured in China by a company in joint partnership with Germany, on a ship owned by Greeks but registered in Panama, and crewed by Singaporeans and Phillipinos. Do they send a torpedo their way, or not?
 
The US is today quite dependent on the flow of trade, and the flow of money through the financial markets. Attempts to interfere with the flow of trade on the sea could have serious repercussions for the US, that could take a number of forms in the far more tightly interlocked economy of today.
 
As for nuclear weapons, I take your point that all out use is unlikely, and one must prepare for intermediate scenerios. But in the great geopolitical poker game, the threat of an action, if dire enough, can often have the same effect as actual implementation. In the Cuban missile crisis for example, the US had the edge with naval forces, which was handy. But it was the threat of nuclear exchange that ultimately decided the game. Having those extra destroyers on hand was not enough. A hundred years previously, it probably would have been.
 
So to today. If a country singled out for "control" was small enough, or far enough out of favour with the world community, then their trade might be controlled to an extent. But for major players like China for example, control could only go so far. If they were to think themselves pushed to the point of unacceptable damage, then the nuclear option would surface. No doubt they would gamble with an action that was large enough to gain effect, but small enough to avoid a full exchange, but at that point naval forces diminish rapidly in importance.
 
The economy may be interlocked, but the United States is at its centre. The Americans by themselves, are 25% of the world economy. The question of whether to interfere with global trade is not a question - it must be done, and is being done.
 
China is perhaps the most constrained of them all. China is hostage to the countries to which she exports, that the main country to which China exports is the United States. The Chinese do not have a navy anywhere in comparison to their longtime rival the Japanese. They gambled in the 1980s in opening their doors to international trade. They are experiencing the pain from this decision, as now they are hostage to the United States. If the Chinese were to use nuclear weapons against the U.S, or threaten them with nuclear weapons, or even attack the Americans directly (which is impossible considering they do not have a navy of any size for it even to be considered), they are sabotaging themselves. The Americans would not continue to buy from the Chinese for obvious reasons. The Chinese economy which is built off American trade would collapse and the country would fall into ruin and revolt.
 
When you study geopolitics closely you realize countries have no decision in what they do. And when they do, their options are few. Outside restrictions reduce what a nation can actually accomplish or carry out. That being said countries with power are able to make more mistakes that countries without it.
 
The Americans could have overwhelmed the missiles placed in Cuba in 1962, in the same way the Russians could overwhelm the American's missiles in Poland in 2009. What bothered the United States was a Cuban-Russian relationship, and what annoyed the Russians was a Polish-American relationship. Neither was a direct attack on the country in the form of actual missiles, but was the workings of a anti-American or anti-Russian alliance.
 
The size of the American fleet coupled with its satelites means no nation can move its navy without the United States noticing. And no one can attack the United States by conventional means, as it is buffered by two large oceans. There is a reason why the United States has not been under attack since it became the leading power of the Western Hemisphere. No nation, expecially after European influence was removed in World War II in regards to the Lend-Lease Act, and after the American navy greatly expanded in size after the war, could even talk about launching an invasion of North America.
 
 
 
 


-------------
"I am moved to pity, when I think of the brevity of human life, seeing that of all this host of men not one will still be alive in a hundred years time."

Emporer Xerxes I looking upon his army 480 BC


Posted By: Captain Vancouver
Date Posted: 25 Aug 2011 at 19:04
Originally posted by Darius of Parsa Darius of Parsa wrote:

Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:

 
To an extent, the Royal Navy did control the world's trade in the nineteenth century, but control of trade is much more problematic today. Trade is massive today, and complex. A container ship some US warship may encounter may have cargo for several different countries that was manufactured in China by a company in joint partnership with Germany, on a ship owned by Greeks but registered in Panama, and crewed by Singaporeans and Phillipinos. Do they send a torpedo their way, or not?
 
The US is today quite dependent on the flow of trade, and the flow of money through the financial markets. Attempts to interfere with the flow of trade on the sea could have serious repercussions for the US, that could take a number of forms in the far more tightly interlocked economy of today.
 
As for nuclear weapons, I take your point that all out use is unlikely, and one must prepare for intermediate scenerios. But in the great geopolitical poker game, the threat of an action, if dire enough, can often have the same effect as actual implementation. In the Cuban missile crisis for example, the US had the edge with naval forces, which was handy. But it was the threat of nuclear exchange that ultimately decided the game. Having those extra destroyers on hand was not enough. A hundred years previously, it probably would have been.
 
So to today. If a country singled out for "control" was small enough, or far enough out of favour with the world community, then their trade might be controlled to an extent. But for major players like China for example, control could only go so far. If they were to think themselves pushed to the point of unacceptable damage, then the nuclear option would surface. No doubt they would gamble with an action that was large enough to gain effect, but small enough to avoid a full exchange, but at that point naval forces diminish rapidly in importance.
 
The economy may be interlocked, but the United States is at its centre. The Americans by themselves, are 25% of the world economy. The question of whether to interfere with global trade is not a question - it must be done, and is being done.
 
China is perhaps the most constrained of them all. China is hostage to the countries to which she exports, that the main country to which China exports is the United States. The Chinese do not have a navy anywhere in comparison to their longtime rival the Japanese. They gambled in the 1980s in opening their doors to international trade. They are experiencing the pain from this decision, as now they are hostage to the United States. If the Chinese were to use nuclear weapons against the U.S, or threaten them with nuclear weapons, or even attack the Americans directly (which is impossible considering they do not have a navy of any size for it even to be considered), they are sabotaging themselves. The Americans would not continue to buy from the Chinese for obvious reasons. The Chinese economy which is built off American trade would collapse and the country would fall into ruin and revolt.
 
True, China needs its exports, particularly to the US, for the time being anyway. But the game is poker, not solitaire. The US also needs China, for the time being, to finance parts of its society it either can't or won't itself because of economic or political considerations. This may change in the future, but is solidly in place at present. There are other similar situations such as OPEC- they have the oil countries need, but they have also become very dependent on the high revenues they receive. China is a hostage to the extent that they could loose part of the value of the trillion or so dollars they have invested in US securities if the US decides to default in some form on their debts. But measures such as these would also have a detremental effect on the US. A large scale sell-off of t-bills for example would cause interest rates to soar, debt to increase massively, and the economy to tank. The two countries are joined at the hip, at least until such time as greater independence asserts itself. It is not impossible that the US ends up being the greater "hostage" in the end. China is attempting to build a middle class that would increase local consumption, which would make it less dependent on exports. On the other hand many in the US are adamant that they do not want to pay taxes, pushing the government to further t-bill sales to foreign interests.
 
This just reinforces how interconnected the world is today, and also how conventional instruments of power, like naval forces, are of less utility. Warships are not going to change Chinese monetary or trade policies. Any attempt to disrupt trade with China would cause many a US corporation to have phone lines burning in Washington with demands to back off, because they have a lot of money to loose.
 
 
Originally posted by Darius of Parsa Darius of Parsa wrote:

When you study geopolitics closely you realize countries have no decision in what they do. And when they do, their options are few. Outside restrictions reduce what a nation can actually accomplish or carry out. That being said countries with power are able to make more mistakes that countries without it.
 
The Americans could have overwhelmed the missiles placed in Cuba in 1962, in the same way the Russians could overwhelm the American's missiles in Poland in 2009. What bothered the United States was a Cuban-Russian relationship, and what annoyed the Russians was a Polish-American relationship. Neither was a direct attack on the country in the form of actual missiles, but was the workings of a anti-American or anti-Russian alliance.
 
The size of the American fleet coupled with its satelites means no nation can move its navy without the United States noticing. And no one can attack the United States by conventional means, as it is buffered by two large oceans. There is a reason why the United States has not been under attack since it became the leading power of the Western Hemisphere. No nation, expecially after European influence was removed in World War II in regards to the Lend-Lease Act, and after the American navy greatly expanded in size after the war, could even talk about launching an invasion of North America.
 
 
 
 
Of course, no one is talking about an invasion of North America, or in fact any sort of similar operation. D-Day in 1944 was probably the last of this type of massive invasion by sea that will be seen, as technology, particularly nuclear weapons, has make this scale of operation too risky. In fact, if there were no US Navy at all, such an invasion would still be out of the question, due to satellite surveillance, air power, and nuclear weapons. Which brings us back to the point of this thread. Historically, the British navy was absolutely decisive in preventing this sort of attack, and in many other functions. Today, the US Navy, although stronger in firepower, carries less overall geopolitical weight in the world than did the RN in the nineteenth and early twentith centuries.


Posted By: Al Jassas
Date Posted: 26 Aug 2011 at 01:03
Originally posted by Darius of Parsa Darius of Parsa wrote:

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

 
That was true of the Royal Navy, which is why Walpole (Horace) called the oceans, 'the streets of our capital'.  Of course the US navy is more powerful if you're comparing today's US fleet with Britain's 1880 fleet, but the gap between the Royal Navy and the rest was bigger than the gap between the US navy and the rest now.
 
For that matter I don't see much sign of the US Navy controlling the waters off east Africa.
 
There is no modern navy, besides the United States, is capable of playing more than a regional role. There is no Chinese fleet in the Mediterranean, there is no Russian naval presence in the Carribean, the British do not have ships stationed on the coasts of Japan. The American reach is global.
 
Is the gap not greater now than it was during the 1880s? Japanese naval power grew exponentially, and its presence was felt throughout the Pacific theatre. The Russian Pacific fleet, though regional, had a much further outreach than it does presently. French naval power also bounced back after its defeat in the beginning part of the century. The French had fleets positioned as far as the South China Sea by 1882.
 
 
 
Hello Darius
 
I partly disagree with you on some points you mentioned above about the global reach of the US navy, this reach is simply because when all navies chose to down size the US navy decided to expand and while other navies decided to withdraw the US decided to continue its deployments. In short this global reach was not because the US navy is so powerfull, it is still smaller than it was in 1970, its because other countries (except Russia and China) decided to become regional because their empires collapsed.
 
In 1880, France existence in South China was becuase its colonies in SEA and that (with new Caledonia) was it. The Russian Pacific fleet was a coast guard, when the Russo Japanese war happened the Fleet had to be brought from the Baltic. The Royal navy's situation back them was similar to the US's in 1980, the largest and most powerful navy with global reach but also facing other large and powerful navies with global reach. The difference is the US remained when everyone else withered while the royal navy withered because it was simply too expensive for a medium sized country.
 
Al-Jassas


Posted By: Zagros
Date Posted: 26 Aug 2011 at 06:17
Easy answer: The Royal Navy in relative experience, scale, firepower, reach, purpose and length of time.


Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 26 Aug 2011 at 06:43
Quote
The economy may be interlocked, but the United States is at its centre. The Americans by themselves, are 25% of the world economy.
That's confusing the economy with international trade. Most of that US 25% (I assume you mean of GDP, where it is between 20-25%) is internal trade. Which of course navies can only minimally interfere with.
In any case the situatîon is changîng rather rapidly and anyway the country with the most trade is the one most dependent on it.
Quote
The question of whether to interfere with global trade is not a question - it must be done, and is being done.
In fact the EU commission interferes with international trade more than any other major bloc. EU sanctions have bite, whereas US sanctions sre largely ignored.
 
I chose 1880 rather deliberately, one of the reasons being that the launch of HMS Collingwood
and the rest of the class put the RN even further ahead technologically than it already was. Another reason was the de facto conquest of Egypt, which was made possible only by the RN and its bombardment of Alexandria. Where has the US navy successfully conquered anywhere - or even been the leading arm - recently?
 
Elsewhere in 1880 the US navy was tiny and out of date; Japan was beginnng to put together a fleet under Britsh guidance; Russia had no fleet of significance before Nicholas II - when there was a threat of war with France and England breaking out again its ships were forced to go shelter in US ports; and most of the rest weren't of any significance, even Italy and Austria.
 
The only fleet with anywhere near the global reach of the Royal Navy was the French, but atthat time the French designers were going down a false trail concentrating on developing small ships and motor boats, when right up to the arrival of aircraft, gunnery range was all important in warship encounters (as the beginning of the end of RN dominance was to show at Coronel in 1914).
 
Nowadays as has been pointed out, the significance of large warships has been dented badly by the arrival of missiles and indeed tactical nuclear ones. It's mportant to remember that taking out a battle fleet with a nuclear missile is not something of the scale of Hiroshima. Damage is limited pretty well by definition to war material and armed forces. It may not therefore call for end-of-the-world type response.


-------------
Citizen of Ankh-Morpork.

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.



Posted By: Gonads
Date Posted: 26 Aug 2011 at 16:23
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:


That was true of the Royal Navy, which is why Walpole (Horace) called the oceans, 'the streets of our capital'.  Of course the US navy is more powerful if you're comparing today's US fleet with Britain's 1880 fleet, but the gap between the Royal Navy and the rest was bigger than the gap between the US navy and the rest now.

 
I don't know, but i think that is disputable? Are you talking about tonnage or the superiority in the number of ships, you know the RN being more powerful than the next two naval powers? Admittedly, i haven't come across any other warship database other than this old one from around the turn of the century:

  http://www.strategypage.com/fyeo/howtomakewar/databases/navy/navalforcesoftheworld.asp" rel="nofollow - http://www.strategypage.com/fyeo/howtomakewar/databases/navy/navalforcesoftheworld.asp

Wasn't it tonnage rather than the actual number that the RN based it's navy on back then? I can't remember without digging it up.

Quote
For that matter I don't see much sign of the US Navy controlling the waters off east Africa.


Not that i am trying to toot my country's horn, but i would have thought it had been realized that the US Navy takes more of multilateral approach rather than a unilateral one to any minor policing issue. US naval policy, AFAIK, is Freedom of the seas and cooperation with other navies that have a vested regional interest in policing an area. That is what i am seeing at least in the waters off of east Africa.


Posted By: Gonads
Date Posted: 26 Aug 2011 at 17:00
I tend to disagree with those attaching far more importance to nation states nuclear weapons. In fact, i think we all are over thinking the issue and attaching way to much importance to the nuclear option in respect to current great power navies. Here on i speak in general terms of whether it is a nuclear attack on a navy in no particular country's littoral zone or the use of ICBM's.

Yes, nukes are very scary and extremely powerful, but what nation state leader, being in their right minds, would be willing to use it as a first strike option? Their use is impractical to the one who fires the first shot, regardless of whether it is a superpower or some backward-podunk-third rate power, like for example North Korea with the partial backing of a great power like China. I for one can see an end to the world scenario if that were too happen, bu i see it currently as highly most unlikely to ever happen, especially in this century.

So with that said, i will reiterate my position even further in clarifying my position. The point is moot as far as the nation state is concerned! Any use of a nuclear weapon will elicit a response to same. Any use of nuclear weapon by a country is only of the last resort and not the first option when it comes to a shooting war. So, in essence, it is an option of the last resort that i think even the North Koreans realize and would be leery of using at the first sign of a shooting war with the US and vice versa, believe it or not. The policy of MAD will always come into play here, as far as the nation state is concerned. In essence, the nuclear option is off the table within the first years of a shooting war between any nuclear nation!

Now a non-state terrorist organization with several nuclear weapons at it's disposal and the inclination too use them, on the other hand, is a totally different matter and far more scarier. How would any great power or any other nation respond to that and against whom?



Posted By: Captain Vancouver
Date Posted: 26 Aug 2011 at 19:09
Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:

I tend to disagree with those attaching far more importance to nation states nuclear weapons. In fact, i think we all are over thinking the issue and attaching way to much importance to the nuclear option in respect to current great power navies. Here on i speak in general terms of whether it is a nuclear attack on a navy in no particular country's littoral zone or the use of ICBM's.

Yes, nukes are very scary and extremely powerful, but what nation state leader, being in their right minds, would be willing to use it as a first strike option? Their use is impractical to the one who fires the first shot, regardless of whether it is a superpower or some backward-podunk-third rate power, like for example North Korea with the partial backing of a great power like China. I for one can see an end to the world scenario if that were too happen, bu i see it currently as highly most unlikely to ever happen, especially in this century.

So with that said, i will reiterate my position even further in clarifying my position. The point is moot as far as the nation state is concerned! Any use of a nuclear weapon will elicit a response to same. Any use of nuclear weapon by a country is only of the last resort and not the first option when it comes to a shooting war. So, in essence, it is an option of the last resort that i think even the North Koreans realize and would be leery of using at the first sign of a shooting war with the US and vice versa, believe it or not. The policy of MAD will always come into play here, as far as the nation state is concerned. In essence, the nuclear option is off the table within the first years of a shooting war between any nuclear nation!

Now a non-state terrorist organization with several nuclear weapons at it's disposal and the inclination too use them, on the other hand, is a totally different matter and far more scarier. How would any great power or any other nation respond to that and against whom?

 
Generally, I agree that the use of nuclear weapons is unlikely, and it would be crazy to escalate any sort of conflict by this means. But unfortunately, history is littered with crazy acts.
 
Depending on the situation, the concept of last resort could vary considerably. Some countries have seen horrendous losses just in conventional war (Russia for example), and may have a lower threshold for the use of nuclear weapons to avoid another such event. Others (like France) have suffered unacceptable outcomes from loosing (the 1940-44 occupation), and may well use powerful means to stop it happening again.
 
As in many conflicts, the first use of these weapons would likely be considered limited and controllable; something that should go according to script. But of course it may not, and spin out of control. In a hypothetical case of the US navy blockading China is some future dispute, Chinese leaders may feel, if essential supplies like oil were being choked off, that they had reached the position of "last resort". Limited nuclear strikes against key US warships may well be seen as achievable without serious escalation, and able to bring matters to a favorable end. Of course, limits can be quite elastic depending on the amount of desperation felt. There are probably many scenerios were a leader woud feel safe in the use of a very limited application of a nuclear weapon, thinking that things would end with that.
 
This is one of the main reasons, IMO, that the ultimate utility of naval forces today is less than it was in the past. Just the threat of use of today's highly destructive weapons is enough to limit the actions of naval forces. Britain did not have these constraints during its time in the sun, and hence the RN had more of an impact on history than the US navy does today.


Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 26 Aug 2011 at 20:38
Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:


That was true of the Royal Navy, which is why Walpole (Horace) called the oceans, 'the streets of our capital'.  Of course the US navy is more powerful if you're comparing today's US fleet with Britain's 1880 fleet, but the gap between the Royal Navy and the rest was bigger than the gap between the US navy and the rest now.

 
I don't know, but i think that is disputable? Are you talking about tonnage or the superiority in the number of ships, you know the RN being more powerful than the next two naval powers?
Number of ships in each category more or less equates to tonnage when you think about it. But technological advancement, gun size and numbers, range and speed are all vital characteristics. The first navy to threaten RN dominance in those areas was the German of course, but Germany was only just getting started in 1880.
 
Anyway the RN was stronger in all classes, except maybe (I haven't checked) in the matter of small craft vis à vis the French, as I already mentioned. Moreover navies at that time were the only force involved: the RN in 1880 didn't have to worry about aircraft let alone missiles. For that matter it didn't have to worry much about political considerations either.
Quote
Admittedly, i haven't come across any other warship database other than this old one from around the turn of the century:

  http://www.strategypage.com/fyeo/howtomakewar/databases/navy/navalforcesoftheworld.asp" rel="nofollow - http://www.strategypage.com/fyeo/howtomakewar/databases/navy/navalforcesoftheworld.asp

Wasn't it tonnage rather than the actual number that the RN based it's navy on back then? I can't remember without digging it up.

Quote
For that matter I don't see much sign of the US Navy controlling the waters off east Africa.


Not that i am trying to toot my country's horn, but i would have thought it had been realized that the US Navy takes more of multilateral approach rather than a unilateral one to any minor policing issue. US naval policy, AFAIK, is Freedom of the seas and cooperation with other navies that have a vested regional interest in policing an area. That is what i am seeing at least in the waters off of east Africa.
I don't mind changing that to "I haven't seen much sign of anyone controlling the waters off east Africa."


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Citizen of Ankh-Morpork.

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.



Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 27 Aug 2011 at 02:13
I have followed with some interest this discussion, which is heavy on the military but entirely ignores the more central issue with respect to "naval power", the Merchant Marine. Granted, given contemporary realities and the "flags of convenience" that characterize today's commerce on the seas, this facile preoccupation with expensive "white elephants" has more or less driven into the background why capital ships evolved to begin with and hence ignores the principal economic centrality that demands the inclusion of mercantile activity in any discussion of tonnage and "power". Or has everyone forgotten Mahan's dictum: A navy could justify its existence only by the protection of merchant shipping. Here is an interesting article that discusses this facet on assessing sea power:
 
http://www.navyleague.org/seapower/us_flag_merchant_marine_a_century_in_review.htm" rel="nofollow - http://www.navyleague.org/seapower/us_flag_merchant_marine_a_century_in_review.htm


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Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 27 Aug 2011 at 05:19
Quote "After the available resources of our own merchant marine had been exhausted, our Government was compelled to purchase some 51 foreign steamers, aggregating 128,000 tons and costing nearly $10,000,000.
Interesting statistic that I didn't know.
 
With some trepidation I disagree with Mahan with regard to the latter half of the 19th century (and actually I'd suggest that Mahan is here proferring a rather American point of view). With the establishment of the British Empire the justification of the Royal Navy rested to a large extent in the spreading and protection of the dominions and colonies. While the motto 'trade follows the flag' may be challengeable in soome situations (cf http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-05-03/edit-page/29495931_1_foreign-policy-indian-economy-india-chile" rel="nofollow - http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-05-03/edit-page/29495931_1_foreign-policy-indian-economy-india-chile  ) it was undoubtedly seen that way around in later 19th century Britain. It would be better to say that the Royal Navy at that time was seen as a tool to create and monopolise trade by planting the flag.
 
Which isn't to say that Mahan's point isn't valid for most of history, including of course the Roman empire, in which protecting trade was pretty well the sole point.


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Citizen of Ankh-Morpork.

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.



Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 27 Aug 2011 at 10:49
Gcle wrote:
With some trepidation I disagree with Mahan with regard to the latter half of the 19th century (and actually I'd suggest that Mahan is here proferring a rather American point of view). With the establishment of the British Empire the justification of the Royal Navy rested to a large extent in the spreading and protection of the dominions and colonies.
 
Well, Mahan did perforce blissfully ignore the army in terms of global territorial acquisition so as to assert maritime power, but in contradicting him with reference to the 1850s and thereafter, the positing of the Royal Navy as the incubus of empire commits the identical error. Now if the assertion merely reflects the political justification of the Naval Budget by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, such a declaration is true but one would be hard put to identify any significant acquisition of territory with the RN as catalyst or that institution itself becoming the bulwark for commercial activity. In fact, if one surveys shipbuilding as the barometer for the period in question one should note the wide divergence in output between commercial bottoms and capital ships. The history of Belfast between 1850 and 1910 suffices as an example. Heck, I myself would assert that it was the merchant adventurer that dictated to the RN in the 19th century much as his historical ancestor did the same in the 16th.
 


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Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: Captain Vancouver
Date Posted: 27 Aug 2011 at 13:29
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

I have followed with some interest this discussion, which is heavy on the military but entirely ignores the more central issue with respect to "naval power", the Merchant Marine. Granted, given contemporary realities and the "flags of convenience" that characterize today's commerce on the seas, this facile preoccupation with expensive "white elephants" has more or less driven into the background why capital ships evolved to begin with and hence ignores the principal economic centrality that demands the inclusion of mercantile activity in any discussion of tonnage and "power". Or has everyone forgotten Mahan's dictum: A navy could justify its existence only by the protection of merchant shipping. Here is an interesting article that discusses this facet on assessing sea power:
 
http://www.navyleague.org/seapower/us_flag_merchant_marine_a_century_in_review.htm" rel="nofollow - http://www.navyleague.org/seapower/us_flag_merchant_marine_a_century_in_review.htm
When we look at the application of seapower since WW2, it has been about intervention in tumultuous regions of the world, and presenting a deterrance to nuclear war. Protection of merchant shipping has been the least of it. These interventions have also been limited in most cases by the threat of a wider conflict. In the case of the Vietnam War, Soviet frieghters delivered war material to their clients, unescorted, and unmolested. Seapower was limited in ways that didn't exist in the 19th century.
 
In a future conflict, merchant shipping would be either on or off- safe to sail, or not. Having lots of tonnage would be of little value. This was of course a different situation up to WW2.


Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 27 Aug 2011 at 16:01
CVs phrasing of  certain assertion caught my eye, he wrote:
 
When we look at the application of seapower since WW2, it has been about intervention in tumultuous regions of the world, and presenting a deterrance to nuclear war. Protection of merchant shipping has been the least of it.
 
Only a politician keen on padding an unjustified budgetary appropriation would assert such. If WW2 is a watershed, it should stand as the decline of naval power as an offensive weapon and its rise more as an arm of logistic support (let us say "platforms") for supply and other offensive weaponry. Certainly the role of the US Navy in the Persian Gulf is a classic example of such and if you believe the presence there is not, essentially, a "shield" for mercantile tonnage with respect to oil then you must believe that an imminent naval assault on Iran is in the works. Naturally, the US Marine Corps might register an objection, but then they are actully an anachronism with respect to "feet on the ground".
 
Now before we go into talk about navies as an "immediate strike force" and "forward projections of power" such could be seen as simple exercises in sophistry in the age of ballistic weaponry, where there is reluctance to actually employ the "technologically" appropriate. OK so I am opening myself to the charge that the "doc" has gone Strangelove, when in fact he is simply being realistic. To be honest there is an old maxim at work here from the Civil War era--"gettin' dere the fustest with the mostest"-- and surface transport via the seas has not made much sense militarily for quite some time.
 
Bring out the red pencils it is time for a cost/efficiency analysis!


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Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 28 Aug 2011 at 01:14
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Gcle wrote:
With some trepidation I disagree with Mahan with regard to the latter half of the 19th century (and actually I'd suggest that Mahan is here proferring a rather American point of view). With the establishment of the British Empire the justification of the Royal Navy rested to a large extent in the spreading and protection of the dominions and colonies.
 
Well, Mahan did perforce blissfully ignore the army in terms of global territorial acquisition so as to assert maritime power, but in contradicting him with reference to the 1850s and thereafter, the positing of the Royal Navy as the incubus of empire commits the identical error. Now if the assertion merely reflects the political justification of the Naval Budget by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, such a declaration is true but one would be hard put to identify any significant acquisition of territory with the RN as catalyst or that institution itself becoming the bulwark for commercial activity.
I already quoted Egypt as an example. Roughly at the same time, the Ottoman Empire de facto ceded and de jure leased Cyprus to Britain, essentially in order to get the protection of the British fleet after the Russo-Turkish war at the end of the 1870s. In fact, at that period the Navy made he Mediterraean littoral efectively a British-dominated preserve.
 
Mention of Cyprus and Turkey reminds me that an essential role for the Nay (in Britain's case) not only in the latter 19th century was the protection of the country itself, let alone its trade.
 
Diogenes would, I accept, have assumed boosting the role of the Navy in Empire-building would be an excellent vote-getter, but it was generally cancelled out since both sides made use of it.
 
How else could one in singing "We don't want to fight, but by Jingo if we do, We've got the ships, we've got the men, We've got the money too" put the ships first?
Quote
In fact, if one surveys shipbuilding as the barometer for the period in question one should note the wide divergence in output between commercial bottoms and capital ships. The history of Belfast between 1850 and 1910 suffices as an example. Heck, I myself would assert that it was the merchant adventurer that dictated to the RN in the 19th century much as his historical ancestor did the same in the 16th.
I don't really see the relevance of that. At the time I'm talking about Britain was shipbuilder to the world (including warships). Most American cargo even was carried under the Red Ensign. The Royal Navy had enough ships for its role, the miscellany of private shipowners that made up the Merchant Navy, as well as foreign flags, built as many as they wanted, though at the time I'm writing about there was I thnk a bit of a slump going on.


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Citizen of Ankh-Morpork.

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.



Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 28 Aug 2011 at 01:31
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

CVs phrasing of  certain assertion caught my eye, he wrote:
 
When we look at the application of seapower since WW2, it has been about intervention in tumultuous regions of the world, and presenting a deterrance to nuclear war. Protection of merchant shipping has been the least of it.
It occurs to me that harassing enemy shipping is as important a goal for navies (in general) as protecting one's own. That particularly applies to England's 'proto-navy' in the 16th century and to Germany's in the 20th - especially its submarine fleet.
 
Nuclear submarines provide a deterrence to nuclear war, but as I've mentioned before, it worries me that battle fleets like the US has present almost an invitation to nuclear war, since attacking them at sea would be a 'clean' use of nukes.
Quote  
Only a politician keen on padding an unjustified budgetary appropriation would assert such. If WW2 is a watershed, it should stand as the decline of naval power as an offensive weapon and its rise more as an arm of logistic support (let us say "platforms") for supply and other offensive weaponry.
That navies have lost a great deal of their importance is one of the points I've been making about the relative power of the 19th century Royal Navy and today's US Navy. Th RN only had to defeat oher navies: the USN has to confront a whole range of other weaponry, including asymmetrical ones, and deal with a much more complex international political situation. It was easy for the RN to 'send a gunboat' when a gunboat and a threat were all that were necessary. It's not so easy for the USN.


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Citizen of Ankh-Morpork.

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.



Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 28 Aug 2011 at 02:32
Gcle wrote:
 
"I already quoted Egypt as an example. Roughly at the same time, the Ottoman Empire de facto ceded and de jure leased Cyprus to Britain, essentially in order to get the protection of the British fleet after the Russo-Turkish war at the end of the 1870s. In fact, at that period the Navy made [t]he Mediterraean littoral efectively a British-dominated preserve."
 
Would such have taken place had not De Lesseps built the Suez Canal? The redirection of the trade route from the Cape to the Mediterranean is a factor that can not be ignored even in Balance of Power politics with respect to the European continent.


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Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 28 Aug 2011 at 02:34
I don't understand the test. It is just historical that the British dominated the world from the end of the 16th century to WWI, and afterwars the U.S. have been the main global superpower. In both cases they have had the largest navies.

Why to make a poll for some events that are historical? That's is like asking if people believe that Napoleon win or lose Waterloo. Big smile


Posted By: Captain Vancouver
Date Posted: 28 Aug 2011 at 05:14
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

CVs phrasing of  certain assertion caught my eye, he wrote:
 
When we look at the application of seapower since WW2, it has been about intervention in tumultuous regions of the world, and presenting a deterrance to nuclear war. Protection of merchant shipping has been the least of it.
It occurs to me that harassing enemy shipping is as important a goal for navies (in general) as protecting one's own. That particularly applies to England's 'proto-navy' in the 16th century and to Germany's in the 20th - especially its submarine fleet.
 
Nuclear submarines provide a deterrence to nuclear war, but as I've mentioned before, it worries me that battle fleets like the US has present almost an invitation to nuclear war, since attacking them at sea would be a 'clean' use of nukes.
Quote  
Only a politician keen on padding an unjustified budgetary appropriation would assert such. If WW2 is a watershed, it should stand as the decline of naval power as an offensive weapon and its rise more as an arm of logistic support (let us say "platforms") for supply and other offensive weaponry.
That navies have lost a great deal of their importance is one of the points I've been making about the relative power of the 19th century Royal Navy and today's US Navy. Th RN only had to defeat oher navies: the USN has to confront a whole range of other weaponry, including asymmetrical ones, and deal with a much more complex international political situation. It was easy for the RN to 'send a gunboat' when a gunboat and a threat were all that were necessary. It's not so easy for the USN.
 
Yes, I think this is pretty much the story. In the case of even a modest nuclear exchange, trade will be the least of anyone's worries.
 
Where naval forces have been most effective in recent years has been in asymmetrical conflicts, with one side not having the technology to effectively resist the other. Anything close to parity (Britain/Argentina for example) has shown the destructiveness of modern devices, and how rapidly naval power can be neutralized.
 
The effect of British naval power was immense, from curbing the slave trade to preventing German invasion in WW's 1&2. Today this sort of influence is sharply limited.


Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 28 Aug 2011 at 05:14
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Gcle wrote:
 
"I already quoted Egypt as an example. Roughly at the same time, the Ottoman Empire de facto ceded and de jure leased Cyprus to Britain, essentially in order to get the protection of the British fleet after the Russo-Turkish war at the end of the 1870s. In fact, at that period the Navy made [t]he Mediterraean littoral efectively a British-dominated preserve."
 
Would such have taken place had not De Lesseps built the Suez Canal?
One can never tell. However the Turco-Briotish alliance which resulted in the leasing of Cyprus predated building the canal (though the leasing was later), and was primarily the outcome of both countries' need to contain Russia. 
 
I'd need convincing that Britain actually had to attack and occupy Egypt just to protect their shipping. After all the French would have had the same motive, and they didn't join in the attack (though they had a fleet nearby). I don't know if Rhodes was already dreaming of the Cape to Cairo line as early at 1880, but it wouldn't be long before he was.
 
Quote
The redirection of the trade route from the Cape to the Mediterranean is a factor that can not be ignored even in Balance of Power politics with respect to the European continent.
It's worth noting that the British government opposed the building of the canal, and when Disraeli changed tack and bought the shares he had to borrow the money from the Rothschilds. Before that the canal project had been seen more as a threat to British interests than an advantage. Also incidentally it would be some while before steamships going through the canal could beat clipper ships going round the Cape from the Far East to London.


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Citizen of Ankh-Morpork.

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.



Posted By: Kevinmeath
Date Posted: 23 Jan 2014 at 08:35
The Royal Navy during the Revolution and then Napoleonic Wars and for most if not all of the next century was the most powerful.

What Navy could stand against the RN in the Napoleonic wars?


Posted By: Gonads
Date Posted: 30 Jun 2014 at 05:43
I would say the British dominated the seas for the longest time. They were pretty much the Kings of the hill for the 17th, 18th, and 19th century.
 
For raw power probably the current U.S. Navy.
 
For the category of "Making a Naval Power" there is no comparison to the building of the U.S. Navy in WWll. After devastating losses at Pearl Harbor and the early days of the war in 4 years they built the biggest and most powerful to date Navy ever. After the war they moth-balled more ships than any other Navy had
 
For utilizing the navy to compensate for lack of other power you would have to hand it to the British and the Dutch. Portugal did well for awhile.
 
Spain gets the award for worst use of a large navy. Close second Russia 1090-1905


Posted By: Captain Vancouver
Date Posted: 30 Jun 2014 at 06:18
Welcome to the forum, CVA16!


Posted By: Gonads
Date Posted: 30 Jun 2014 at 13:38
The original question was vague, nebulous and without a contextual nexus; other than ''Most powerful Martime power of the last 500 years''.

The key being than from a generalist viewpoint; the ''last 500 years''.

THE ANSWER THEN IS OBVIOUS: the United States Navy-Marine Corps-US Naval Reserve and the United states Coast Guard and US Merchant Marine.

Any other is ludicrous.



Posted By: toyomotor
Date Posted: 30 Jun 2014 at 14:42
While some members are dwelling in the past greatness of the English Navy, the wording of the OP Heading immediately disqualifies the British.
 
The most powerful maritime power of the last 500 years must undoubtedly be the navy of the USA.
 
One US Carrier Group consisting of the carrier itself, its escorts and submarines would be more than capable of destroying the navies of Britain, France, Span and Portugal, plus any other who poked their heads up.
 
Hell, one modern day carrier with its aircraft would be more than enough.
 
And with modern technology, not a shot would land on the US ships.
 
And that's only talking about their Naval power. The Merchant Marine again, could outdo the many European contenders, hands down.
 
If you want to confine the topic to particular times, then the British were, in their day, the most powerful maritime nation in the world.
 
 


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From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.(Chief Joseph)


Posted By: toyomotor
Date Posted: 30 Jun 2014 at 14:58
Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:

Originally posted by Styrbiorn Styrbiorn wrote:


Belgium I presume is a joke.


Why would i joke about something like Belgium's navy? Wink

 
Why did you omit Switzerland?
 
Probably the same reason.LOL


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From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.(Chief Joseph)


Posted By: Captain Vancouver
Date Posted: 30 Jun 2014 at 15:30
All have had their time in the sun. At one point fear was sweeping the land at the thought of a powerful Spanish fleet invading England. Since WW2, there's no doubt the US has had the strongest sea going force. This is partly due to the frantic ship building efforts of the war, and later the much diminished resources of the former major powers in comparison to the favored US position after the war. I suspect though that we are entering a new cycle today, one in which technology will render the ocean environment far more dangerous than it ever has been. China is developing sub-orbital ballistic missiles that will be able to target surface ships anywhere, and descend on them at 20,000 mph. Cheap, highly survivable cruise missiles are also being produced, that would be  able to overwhelm any surface force within 1,000 miles or more of land, by shear weight of numbers, if nothing else. These sort of things are quantum leaps in sea warfare, and I suspect will change tactics- and the foreign policy- of the US and other countries. The days of a carrier group arriving off the shore of some developing country, and altering  political developments due to the military potential, are probably drawing to a close.


Posted By: toyomotor
Date Posted: 30 Jun 2014 at 15:42
Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:

All have had their time in the sun. At one point fear was sweeping the land at the thought of a powerful Spanish fleet invading England. Since WW2, there's no doubt the US has had the strongest sea going force. This is partly due to the frantic ship building efforts of the war, and later the much diminished resources of the former major powers in comparison to the favored US position after the war. I suspect though that we are entering a new cycle today, one in which technology will render the ocean environment far more dangerous than it ever has been. China is developing sub-orbital ballistic missiles that will be able to target surface ships anywhere, and descend on them at 20,000 mph. Cheap, highly survivable cruise missiles are also being produced, that would be  able to overwhelm any surface force within 1,000 miles or more of land, by shear weight of numbers, if nothing else. These sort of things are quantum leaps in sea warfare, and I suspect will change tactics- and the foreign policy- of the US and other countries. The days of a carrier group arriving off the shore of some developing country, and altering  political developments due to the military potential, are probably drawing to a close.
 
Captain: Don't overlook the might of the Merchant Marine, which is every bit as important, or more important in real terms than military might.
 
Personally, I don't know which country would have the most powerful merchant sea going capability.
 
Although I suspect that it could be the US, I'm not overlooking Japan and China either.
 
Do you know the answer to this?
 
 


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From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.(Chief Joseph)


Posted By: Gonads
Date Posted: 30 Jun 2014 at 15:57
Originally posted by Arlington Arlington wrote:

The original question was vague, nebulous and without a contextual nexus; other than ''Most powerful Martime power of the last 500 years''.


Quite right. It was meant to be to provoke a discussion. Just another part of my evil nincompoop plan. Wink


Posted By: Gonads
Date Posted: 30 Jun 2014 at 16:01
Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:

Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:

Originally posted by Styrbiorn Styrbiorn wrote:


Belgium I presume is a joke.


Why would i joke about something like Belgium's navy? Wink

 
Why did you omit Switzerland?
 
Probably the same reason.LOL


I forgot Switzerland!? I'll fix that right after i add the Navies of the The Czech Republic, Slovakia,  Afghanistan and Mongolia.


Posted By: Gonads
Date Posted: 30 Jun 2014 at 16:03
Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:

Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:

All have had their time in the sun. At one point fear was sweeping the land at the thought of a powerful Spanish fleet invading England. Since WW2, there's no doubt the US has had the strongest sea going force. This is partly due to the frantic ship building efforts of the war, and later the much diminished resources of the former major powers in comparison to the favored US position after the war. I suspect though that we are entering a new cycle today, one in which technology will render the ocean environment far more dangerous than it ever has been. China is developing sub-orbital ballistic missiles that will be able to target surface ships anywhere, and descend on them at 20,000 mph. Cheap, highly survivable cruise missiles are also being produced, that would be  able to overwhelm any surface force within 1,000 miles or more of land, by shear weight of numbers, if nothing else. These sort of things are quantum leaps in sea warfare, and I suspect will change tactics- and the foreign policy- of the US and other countries. The days of a carrier group arriving off the shore of some developing country, and altering  political developments due to the military potential, are probably drawing to a close.
 
Captain: Don't overlook the might of the Merchant Marine, which is every bit as important, or more important in real terms than military might.
 
Personally, I don't know which country would have the most powerful merchant sea going capability.
 
Although I suspect that it could be the US, I'm not overlooking Japan and China either.
 
Do you know the answer to this?
 


Don't hold me to it, but i've heard that China allegedly has the largest merchant marine.


Posted By: toyomotor
Date Posted: 30 Jun 2014 at 16:17
Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:

Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:

Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:

All have had their time in the sun. At one point fear was sweeping the land at the thought of a powerful Spanish fleet invading England. Since WW2, there's no doubt the US has had the strongest sea going force. This is partly due to the frantic ship building efforts of the war, and later the much diminished resources of the former major powers in comparison to the favored US position after the war. I suspect though that we are entering a new cycle today, one in which technology will render the ocean environment far more dangerous than it ever has been. China is developing sub-orbital ballistic missiles that will be able to target surface ships anywhere, and descend on them at 20,000 mph. Cheap, highly survivable cruise missiles are also being produced, that would be  able to overwhelm any surface force within 1,000 miles or more of land, by shear weight of numbers, if nothing else. These sort of things are quantum leaps in sea warfare, and I suspect will change tactics- and the foreign policy- of the US and other countries. The days of a carrier group arriving off the shore of some developing country, and altering  political developments due to the military potential, are probably drawing to a close.
 
Captain: Don't overlook the might of the Merchant Marine, which is every bit as important, or more important in real terms than military might.
 
Personally, I don't know which country would have the most powerful merchant sea going capability.
 
Although I suspect that it could be the US, I'm not overlooking Japan and China either.
 
Do you know the answer to this?
 


Don't hold me to it, but i've heard that China allegedly has the largest merchant marine.
 
Makes sense to me. China is the elephant in the room, imho, as far as international trade is concerned. Militarily they're already a power, we all know that.
 
 


-------------
From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.(Chief Joseph)


Posted By: Eetion
Date Posted: 30 Jun 2014 at 16:19
This is not a clear topic. 500 years is too long. During the this time Spanish, Ottomans, British and US became Super Martime Power.

It is really hard to understand by the people vote for US. US was not a country nearly half of time and after a 100 years there was a great civil war so they have alread lost 350 years.

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Posted By: Gonads
Date Posted: 30 Jun 2014 at 16:23
Originally posted by Eetion Eetion wrote:



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Hi Eetion. Was this supposed to be a picture that didn't transfer?


Posted By: toyomotor
Date Posted: 30 Jun 2014 at 16:32
Originally posted by Eetion Eetion wrote:

This is not a clear topic. 500 years is too long. During the this time Spanish, Ottomans, British and US became Super Martime Power.

It is really hard to understand by the people vote for US. US was not a country nearly half of time and after a 100 years there was a great civil war so they have alread lost 350 years.
 
Can't agree with you on this.
 
Yes, all of those you mention may have been regional Maritime powers at various stages, BUT, the most powerful, taking into account militarily and mercantile, has been the US.
 
Accepting what Panther, wrote, I'd suggest that China is probably second.
 
As I, and others have pointed out, the might of one US Navy Aircraft Carrier, with or without its escort group, would be sufficient to wipe out the collective navies of Europe, and Asia. Whose left?
 
(For a moment, leave out the carrier, one US Boomer would do the job-imagine, for example, a combined French/Spanish fleet exploding and sinking without an enemy warship in sight. The rest of the worlds navies would be $$itting thmselves.)
 
It makes common sense, given modern technology and materiel, just about any modern navy could have wiped out the European navies of the 15th to 19th Centuries.
 
 


-------------
From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.(Chief Joseph)


Posted By: Kevinmeath
Date Posted: 30 Jun 2014 at 20:30
The RN and its merchant marine was what allowed Britain to develop and Empire, what other navy did that?


Posted By: Gonads
Date Posted: 01 Jul 2014 at 02:22
That question has already been answered.


Posted By: Eetion
Date Posted: 01 Jul 2014 at 02:38
Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:


Hi Eetion. Was this supposed to be a picture that didn't transfer?


I have no idea and it is still continuing
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Posted By: Eetion
Date Posted: 01 Jul 2014 at 02:56
Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:


Can't agree with you on this.
 
Yes, all of those you mention may have been regional Maritime powers at various stages, BUT, the most powerful, taking into account militarily and mercantile, has been the US.


My brain and yours really work differently, it seems that we won't escape to be in different polars Big smile

US navy could be the most powerful one in todays, but I don't think that they were the biggest  before WW1

and I don't think that people who voted for British navy, don't mean that current British navy powerful then US. They are also looking history as me

As I told before, sorry but this is unclear question that's why majority of people vote for two answers. Both of them are true. It depends on your perspective.

 


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Posted By: Captain Vancouver
Date Posted: 01 Jul 2014 at 09:21
Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:

Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:

All have had their time in the sun. At one point fear was sweeping the land at the thought of a powerful Spanish fleet invading England. Since WW2, there's no doubt the US has had the strongest sea going force. This is partly due to the frantic ship building efforts of the war, and later the much diminished resources of the former major powers in comparison to the favored US position after the war. I suspect though that we are entering a new cycle today, one in which technology will render the ocean environment far more dangerous than it ever has been. China is developing sub-orbital ballistic missiles that will be able to target surface ships anywhere, and descend on them at 20,000 mph. Cheap, highly survivable cruise missiles are also being produced, that would be  able to overwhelm any surface force within 1,000 miles or more of land, by shear weight of numbers, if nothing else. These sort of things are quantum leaps in sea warfare, and I suspect will change tactics- and the foreign policy- of the US and other countries. The days of a carrier group arriving off the shore of some developing country, and altering  political developments due to the military potential, are probably drawing to a close.
 
Captain: Don't overlook the might of the Merchant Marine, which is every bit as important, or more important in real terms than military might.
 
Personally, I don't know which country would have the most powerful merchant sea going capability.
 
Although I suspect that it could be the US, I'm not overlooking Japan and China either.
 
Do you know the answer to this?
 
 

The merchant marine industry is probably the most globalized there is. It's common for a ship to be owned by investors in one country, registered in  a "flag of convenience" third world country, captained by someone from neither, and have an international crew from completely different states.

It's more or less irrelevant anyway, as in a modern sea conflict, all commerce would be stopped.


Posted By: Captain Vancouver
Date Posted: 01 Jul 2014 at 09:35
Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:

Originally posted by Eetion Eetion wrote:

This is not a clear topic. 500 years is too long. During the this time Spanish, Ottomans, British and US became Super Martime Power.

It is really hard to understand by the people vote for US. US was not a country nearly half of time and after a 100 years there was a great civil war so they have alread lost 350 years.
 
Can't agree with you on this.
 
Yes, all of those you mention may have been regional Maritime powers at various stages, BUT, the most powerful, taking into account militarily and mercantile, has been the US.
 
Accepting what Panther, wrote, I'd suggest that China is probably second.
 
As I, and others have pointed out, the might of one US Navy Aircraft Carrier, with or without its escort group, would be sufficient to wipe out the collective navies of Europe, and Asia. Whose left?

Aircraft carriers have actually never been tested in a sea battle since 1945. At that time, their opponent would have been another carrier, so a more or less equal match. Since WW2, carriers have been used almost solely to intervene in third world locations, where there was little to no opposition. Clearly, they were a handy tool for that. But in the last 70 years, there has been massive development of highly accurate, cheap guided missile systems that would pose a huge threat to a carrier facing a modern navy. It's quite asymmetrical, as today it takes almost nothing to acquire very lethal weapons. Hezbollah, in a recent conflict with Israel, almost took out an Israeli warship with an anti-shipping missile. This is hardly an organization known for its long history of sea warfare. Compare this with the countless billions put into the carrier program.

 
Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:

(For a moment, leave out the carrier, one US Boomer would do the job-imagine, for example, a combined French/Spanish fleet exploding and sinking without an enemy warship in sight. The rest of the worlds navies would be $$itting thmselves.)
 
It makes common sense, given modern technology and materiel, just about any modern navy could have wiped out the European navies of the 15th to 19th Centuries.
 
 

Boomers serve as the nuclear deterrent of final choice, and their missiles are targeted on strategic land locations. Their job is to get lost and stay that way. They could not, and would not, play any part in a tactical sea battle.


Posted By: toyomotor
Date Posted: 01 Jul 2014 at 14:51
Captain: We're all theorising here, and I don't mean to claim that Boomers would be used, merely their capability. Perhaps they would be overkill in this type of scenario.
 
As for the Merchant Marine, in the type of conflict we're theorising about, I think it would go on unhindered.
 
Anyway, battles between modern day ships against those of any period pre WW2 has a predictable outcome.
 
I still vote for the US, recognising that, historically, other nations had more powerful maritime assets at various times in history.
 
 


-------------
From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.(Chief Joseph)


Posted By: doskinas
Date Posted: 09 May 2019 at 19:04
I would say UK for a better chunk of late 500 years it was the only dominant Naval power in the world that no combined or single power could compete with them. There are no single naval power now or before the British that could single handily conquer the world. The Royal Navy played a key part in establishing the British Empire as the unmatched empire during the 19th and first part of the 20th centuries.

-------------
Historia - worlds 1st consensus-based historical record storage blockchain. http://bit.ly/historiawebsite" rel="nofollow - Historia Website


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 10 May 2019 at 12:40
There is a great world, thalassocracy from thalassa, meaning sea, and cratos, to rule.  I would say that the USA is the current thalassocracy, with its dozen or so Supercarriers.  However, all that might depends on an effective screen, and missile technology is getting better all the time.  US naval dominance feeds into economic dominance.  But, say, what would have happened if the Japanese had launched a second wave on Pearl Harbor, like they had planned, and taken out the oil fuel farm.  Or what if they had got the tankers?  American eventual superiority rested firmly on its industry, which out paced Japanese industry.  But first the Allies had to defeat the Germans, and that took building the merchant marine, and destroyers.
Is Midway a greater naval battle than Salamis (480)?  Without Salamis, we would have never gotten to Midway.  But, then again no war is battle if someone is shooting at you.

But, yes I am in awe of the British who could reload quicker than the French or Spanish.  However, from what I understand American frigates were so heavily built with old growth trees, that the British cannonballs often just bounced off.



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