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2010 | 65 | 2 | 65-90

Article title

Założenia i konsekwencje programu reform admirała Johna Fishera



Title variants

The principles and consequences of admiral John Fisher's reform programme

Languages of publication


Admiral of the Fleet sir John Fisher, 1stbaron Fisher of Kilverstone, often cited as a "second after Nelson" when it comes to his role in the history of the Royal Navy, is known today mainly as a mastermind behind an extensive program of thorough modernization of the Navy up to the standards of then beginning 20thcentury. Unfortunately enough, only one aspect of this program is widely known today, i.e. introduction of the new classes of the fighting vessels, such as the dreadnought battleships and the battlecruisers (with all subsequent geopolitical consequences of this move). The others, such as new organization of the fleet reserve (including cost efficient nucleus crew system), scrapping more than hundred obsolete (yet much expensive in maintaining) men-of-war, redistribution of the who le fleet, with an aim of concentrating as much strength as possible on home waters, and - last but not least - entirely new naval education scheme, are seldom mentioned now. Especially the last one, however, seems to have had the biggest impact on posteriority of them all, by getting rid of, if not at once, an aristocratic nature of the Royal Navy Officer Corps.It can be argued to what extent various First Sea Lord's accomplishments were to be positively verified by the course of events, nevertheless one could risk to say that without most of them, situation of the British Empire in the outbreak of the global conflict would be far more severe that it was in fact. Without sustained British dominance on the seas of the world, the lines of communication between the heart of the Empire and its provinces could be easily broken off by the enemy, effectively cutting the England off all previously available oversea resources. Thus quite early and pertinent recognition of the German Reich as a main potential United Kingdom's enemy, has lead to the concentration of most of the available warships on the North Sea (with subsequentde factohandover of the control on the Mediterranean to the French Navy), and to prepare the entirely new strategic concepts, more adequate to the new geopolitical reality. On the other hand, the new scheme of naval education and training paved the way (at least in theory) to the highest ranks for every outstanding individual, regardless of his social class. That, together with improved conditions of service for the ordinary seamen, certainly had a big positive impact on their morale, as it was to be proven through the course of the Great War.



  • Lublin


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Publication order reference


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