Official Programme of the Great Naval Review, Spithead,[ebook]


Official Programme of the Great Naval Review, Spithead, July 1912, Gale and Polden Ltd. Booklet, 9.75”x 7.75”, pp.40, plus coloured cover. Nine coloured plates, 26 B&W photographs, seven cross section and plan drawings of ships and Portsmouth defences.


For our 100th upload we have chosen this rather special item – a splendid reminder of the days when the Royal Navy had more ships than Flag-Officers! This Naval Review was different from previous ones held as part of the celebrations of Royal Coronations or Jubilees. It was much more of an overt propaganda exercise to demonstrate the strength of the fleet in home waters. The target audiences were obviously Germany (and France, in case of any shifty intentions regarding the entente cordiale) but almost as important, members of both Houses of Parliament so that they could see where the eye-watering amounts of money voted for the Navy in recent years had been spent. It was also no doubt a convivial day out for all concerned!

As well as Dreadnoughts and Battle Cruisers, for the first time submarines, aeroplanes and sea planes were taking part in an event of this kind. The Zeppelin threat was dismissed because drigibles were too slow moving and presented too big a target for guns.

One wonders what would have passed through the minds of those present, if they had known that in only two years-time all of this array would be put to the test?

This is a very appropriate souvenir, now that we a commemorating 100 years since the Great War.



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