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

Map of the Battle of Jutland, 1916.svg

The Battle of Jutland (German: Skagerrakschlacht (Battle of the Skagerrak); Danish: Søslaget ved Jylland / Søslaget om Skagerrak) was the largest naval battle of World War I, and the only full-scale clash of battleships in that war. It was fought on May 31–June 1, 1916, in the North Sea near Jutland, the mainland of Denmark. The combatants were the Kaiserliche Marine’s High Seas Fleet commanded by Vice Admiral Reinhard Scheer and the Royal Navy’s Grand Fleet commanded by Admiral Sir John Jellicoe. The intention of the German fleet was to lure out, trap and destroy a section of the Grand fleet, part of their larger strategy of breaking the British naval blockade of the North Sea and allowing German mercantile shipping to operate again. The Royal Navy, on the other hand, was seeking to engage and cripple the High Seas Fleet with a single engagement.

On the afternoon of 31 May, Beatty and Hipper encountered each other, and in a running battle to the south Hipper drew the British into the path of the High Seas Fleet. Beatty turned and fled towards the Grand Fleet and from 18:30 until nightfall at about 20:30 the two huge fleets — totaling 250 ships between them — were heavily engaged. Fourteen British and eleven German ships were sunk with great loss of life. Jellicoe tried to cut the Germans off from their base in the hope of continuing the battle in the morning, but under cover of darkness Scheer crossed the wake of the British fleet and returned to port.

Both sides claimed victory. The British had lost more ships and many more sailors, and the British press criticized the Royal Fleet's actions, but Scheer’s plan of destroying Beatty’s squadrons had failed. The Germans continued to pose a threat that required the British to keep their battleships concentrated in the North Sea, but they never again contested control of the seas. Instead, the German Navy turned its efforts and resources to unrestricted submarine warfare.


Selected ship

HMSBulwarkL15.jpg

The ninth and current HMS Albion is a Landing Platform Dock (LPD) ship of the Royal Navy built in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, England, UK. Albion is one of the newest ships of the Navy and provides an amphibious assault capability. She is the nameship of the Albion class landing platform dock, which also includes HMS Bulwark. The ship also carries a permanently-embarked Marines landing Craft unit, 6 Assault Squadron Royal Marines. She was launched on 9 March 2001 and was commissioned on 19 June 2003 by her sponsor The Princess Royal. In early 2004 the ship deployed on a multinational exercise for the first time, taking part in Exercise Joint Winter 04 off Norway, following which she was declared fully operational. Her next deployment was the Aurora exercises on the eastern seaboard of the United States. On 11 November 2004 the ship was directed towards Côte d'Ivoire to support Operation Phillis. Albion underwent a refit in early 2006. The refit included the installation of a new command, control and communications suite.

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A UGM-27 Polaris submarine-launched ballistic missile is launched from the British submarine HMS Revenge (S27).

Original photograph is a public domain image produced by a US military or Department of Defense employee.


Selected biography

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Captain James Cook FRS RN (27 October 1728 (O.S.) – 14 February 1779) was an English explorer, navigator and cartographer. Ultimately rising to the rank of Captain in the Royal Navy, Cook was the first to map Newfoundland prior to making three voyages to the Pacific Ocean during which he achieved the first European contact with the eastern coastline of Australia and the Hawaiian Islands as well as the first recorded circumnavigation of New Zealand.

Cook joined the British merchant navy as a teenager, and joined the Royal Navy in 1755. He saw action in the Seven Years' War, and subsequently surveyed and mapped much of the entrance to the Saint Lawrence River during the siege of Quebec. This allowed General Wolfe to make his famous stealth attack on the Plains of Abraham, and helped to bring Cook to the attention of the Admiralty and Royal Society. This notice came at a crucial moment both in his personal career and in the direction of British overseas exploration, and led to his commission in 1766 as commander of HM Bark Endeavour for the first of three Pacific voyages. Cook died in Hawaii in a fight with Hawaiians during his third exploratory voyage in the Pacific in 1779.

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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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