By James Cable
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Additional resources for Britain’s Naval Future
On the other hand, German control of the Channel for the return of their warships from Brest in February 1942 merely humiliated the British without affecting the outcome of the war. This discrimination between those uses of the sea, whether by oneself or the enemy, which can be decisive and those which are not, is inadequately reflected in traditional theory. This tended to follow Mahan in regarding command of the sea as in itself a sufficient objective and one to be attained by the possession of that overbearing power on the sea which drives the enemy's flag from it, or allows it to appear only as a fugitive.
2 The Causes of our Present Discontents After the injuries of two of the severest wars that ever the Sea yet knew ... Samuel Pepys, 1675 1 No student of history should expect the patterns of the past to be selfperpetuating, but the recorded insistence of the British on the maintenance of sea-power did correspond to certain obvious needs and opportunities. These were not diminished, but actually increased, by many of the trends that developed in the first three quarters of the twentieth century.
These were not diminished, but actually increased, by many of the trends that developed in the first three quarters of the twentieth century. A potential enemy had now emerged with much the same ideological incentive to the conquest of the British Isles as that once possessed by Philip II or the leaders of Revolutionary France. Growing British dependence on imports had sharpened the weapon, wielded in different forms by Napoleon, by Imperial Germany and by Hitler, of their denial. The identity and location of the enemy had reinforced the geographical advantage of the British Isles, that unsinkable aircraft carrier athwart the exits from the Baltic and the Norwegian Seas.