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1916: ‘Containing’ the German navy would betray Nelson’s spirit

Strategy may need to change, The Spectator conceded – but the spirt must stay the same

15 October 2016

9:00 AM

15 October 2016

9:00 AM

From ‘Decisive victory at sea’, The Spectator, 7 October 1916: The only excuse for changing our views of the magnificent rightness of the strategy of continually searching out the enemy, forcing him to action, and destroying him — the strategy on which Britain has been built up — would be that submarines and mines have so changed the conditions that we have to begin to write the rules of our strategy on a fresh page. No sane man, however, is either unaware of the different conditions introduced by submarines and mines or unwilling to make reasonable allowance for them. The question is not whether the method of the British Navy is to change, but whether its spirit is to change.

 


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