Portal:Royal Navy

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The Royal Navy of the United Kingdom is the oldest of the British armed services (and is therefore the Senior Service). From the early 18th century to the middle of the 20th century, it was the largest and most powerful navy in the world, playing a key part in establishing the British Empire as the dominant power of the 19th and early 20th centuries. In WWII, the Royal Navy operated almost 600 ships. During the Cold War, it was transformed into a primarily anti-submarine force, hunting for Soviet submarines, mostly active in the North Atlantic Ocean. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, its role for the 21st century has returned to focus on global expeditionary (blue water) operations.

The Royal Navy is the second-largest navy in NATO in terms of the combined tonnage of its fleet. Its global power projection capabilities are deemed second only to the United States Navy. There are currently 91 commissioned ships in the Royal Navy, including aircraft carriers, submarines, mine counter-measures and patrol vessels. There are also the support vessels of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.

The Royal Navy is a constituent component of the Naval Service, which also comprises the Royal Marines, Royal Fleet Auxiliary and associated reserve forces under command. The Naval Service had 38,710 regular personnel as of November 2006.


Selected battle

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The naval Battle of Quiberon Bay took place on 20 November 1759 during the Seven Years' War in Quiberon Bay, off the coast of France near St. Nazaire. The British Admiral Sir Edward Hawke with 23 ships of the line caught up with a French fleet with 21 ships of the line under Marshal de Conflans, and after hard fighting, sank six and captured one, the rest of the fleet being forced to return to port. As a result, French naval activity was severely limited, and Britain retained naval supremacy for the remainder of the war. At the time, the battle was one of the most important and well-known British naval victories; it would remain so until the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.


Selected ship

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HMS Conqueror was a Churchill-class nuclear-powered submarine that served in the Royal Navy from 1971 to 1990. She was built by Cammell Laird in Birkenhead. As of 2007, she is the only nuclear-powered submarine to have engaged an enemy ship with torpedoes, sinking the cruiser ARA General Belgrano. Conqueror was the third of the class, the other two being Churchill and Courageous. The main aim of these submarines was to face the Soviet threat at sea by attacking other ships and submarines, and spying on Soviet nuclear-armed submarine movements.

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Selected picture

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Destruction of the battlecruiser HMS Queen Mary.

Image uploaded from Great War Archive.


Selected biography

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Admiral of the Fleet Andrew Browne Cunningham, 1st Viscount Cunningham of Hyndhope, KT, GCB, OM, DSO** (7 January 1883 – 12 June 1963), older brother of General Sir Alan Cunningham, was a British admiral of the Second World War. He is often referred to by his initials "ABC."

Cunningham was born in Dublin on 7 January 1883 and was schooled at several institutions before he was enrolled at a Naval Academy at the age of 10 where his association with the Navy started. After passing out of Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth in 1898 he progressed rapidly in rank. He commanded a destroyer during World War I (WW1) and through most of the interwar period. For his performance during this time he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order and Two Bars for action in the Dardanelles and in the Baltic.

In World War II, as Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Fleet Cunningham led British naval forces in several Mediterranean naval battles such as the Attack on Taranto in 1940, the first carrier based air attack in history, and the Battle of Cape Matapan in 1941. In 1943 Cunningham was promoted to First Sea Lord, a position he held until his retirement in 1946. After his retirement Cunningham enjoyed several ceremonial positions including Lord High Steward at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. He died on 12 June 1963.

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Major topics

Royal Navy
Major engagements Notable personnel Notable ships Equipment & Technology See also

War of the Grand Alliance
Battles of Barfleur and La Hogue

War of the Spanish Succession
Battle of Vigo Bay

War of the Austrian Succession
First Battle of Cape Finisterre
Second battle of Cape Finisterre
Battle of Havana

Seven Years War
Battle of Quiberon Bay
Battle of Lagos
Battle of Restigouche

American war of Independence
Battle of the Chesapeake
Battle of St. Kitts
Battle of the Saintes
First Ushant
Battle of Cape St. Vincent (1780)
Battle of Dogger Bank (1781)
Second Ushant
Battle of Cape Spartel

French Revolutionry War
Glorious First of June
Battle of Genoa
Battle of Groix
Battle of Cape St Vincent
Battle of Camperdown
Battle of the Nile
Battle of Tory Island

War of the Second Coalition
First Battle of Copenhagen
Battle of Algeciras Bay

Napoleonic Wars
Battle of Cape Santa Maria
Battle of Cape Finisterre
Battle of Trafalgar
Battle of Cape Ortegal
Battle of San Domingo
Battle of Zealand Point
Battle of Lissa

Barbary Wars
Bombardment of Algiers

Greek War of Independence
Battle of Navarino

World War I
Battle of Heligoland Bight
Battle of the Falkland Islands
Battle of Dogger Bank
Battle of Coronel
Battle of Jutland

World War II
Battle of the Atlantic
Battle of the Mediterranean
Battle of the Malacca Strait
Battle of Normandy

1945-Present
Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation
Battle of Goose Green
Operation Telic
Not all battles included

Seven Years War
Edward Hawke
Edward Boscawen

American war of Independence
George Rodney
Samuel Hood
Richard Howe
Thomas Graves

French Revolutionry War
Adam Duncan
John Jervis

Napoleonic Wars
Horatio Nelson
Cuthbert Collingwood
James Saumarez
Thomas Cochrane
Robert Calder
Edward Codrington
Edward Pellew

World War I
David Beatty
John Jellicoe
Jackie Fisher
Roger Keyes
Doveton Sturdee

World War II
James Fownes Somerville
Andrew Cunningham
Bruce Fraser

pre - 1800
Mary Rose
HMS Golden Hind
HMS Revenge
HMS Victory

1800-1900
HMS Beagle
HMS Warrior

1900 - 1945
HMS Dreadnought
HMS Hood
HMS Royal Oak

1945 -
HMS Conqueror
HMS Daring

Customs and traditions of the Royal Navy
List of famous ships and sailors of the Royal Navy
Rating system of the Royal Navy
Naval tactics in the Age of Sail


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