by Nicholas A. Lambert
Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press. Pp. xviii, 410.
Append., notes, biblio., index. $49.95. ISBN:1-57003-277-7
A history of the Royal Navy from the late 1890s through the outbreak of World War I, during which Sir John Fisher was its principal professional officer. In the course of doing this, and doing it well, the author provides a very good explanation of the administrative structure of the Royal Navy (the various “Lords of the Admiralty”), the importance of many of Fisher’s reforms, such as the scrapping of the numerous older vessels, which released men and money for newer ships, Fisher’s forward-looking and obsessive concern for new technologies, and his understanding that in the future naval wars would be less likely to be decided by one or two great clashes than by steady pressure on the enemy’s economic system.