Admiralty Navy War Council

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Admiralty Navy War Council
United Kingdom
Council overview
Superseding agency
JurisdictionGovernment of the United Kingdom
HeadquartersAdmiralty Building
Parent departmentAdmiralty

The Admiralty Navy War Council [1] was a temporary war planning and naval strategy advising committee of the Admiralty established in October, 1909 under Admiral Fisher[2] it existed until 1911 when it was later replaced by the Admiralty War Staff.


In May 1909, the Director of Naval Intelligence, Rear-Admiral Alexander E. Bethell, submitted a written report for the creation of a "Navy War Council" following the outcome of the Beresford Inquiry and recommendations that followed; it was to be made up of the following personnel: the First Sea Lord as president; the Director of Naval Intelligence acting as vice-president; an "Assistant Director for War"; the President, and the Captain of the Royal Naval War College; the Naval Assistant to the First Sea Lord. The head of the War Division of the Naval Intelligence Department's and the Commander of the Royal Naval War College acting as Joint Secretaries. Other Admiralty department heads could be summoned, to act as members of the council as and when their expertise was required.[3] Its role acted as a precursor to the establishment of a professional naval staff function; it would initially devise on naval war plans, and also given an advisory role on naval strategy matters [4] The council held a series of six meetings between 13 October 1909 and 10 June 1911 [5] before it was abolished and replaced by the Admiralty War Staff in January 1912.

Council members[edit]

The Council had of four members, including [5]


  1. ^ Seligmann, Matthew S. (May 24, 2012). The Royal Navy and the German Threat 1901-1914: Admiralty Plans to Protect British Trade in a War Against Germany. OUP Oxford. p. 138. ISBN 9780199574032.
  2. ^ Peden, G. C. (Feb 8, 2007). Arms, Economics and British Strategy: From Dreadnoughts to Hydrogen Bombs. Cambridge University Press. p. 21. ISBN 9781139462921.
  3. ^ "Proposals by Director of Naval Intelligence for carrying out the Duties of a General Staff and Re-organisation of the Naval Intelligence Department". National Archives. 15 May 1909, ADM 1/8047.
  4. ^ Strachan, Hew (Feb 6, 2003). The First World War: Volume I: To Arms. OUP Oxford. p. 45. ISBN 9780191608346.
  5. ^ a b Archives, The National. "Navy War Council: Minutes". National Archives, 1852-1965, ADM 116/3090. Retrieved 3 March 2017.


Primary source for this article is by *Harley, Simon and Lovell, Tony (2015).Navy War Council,, Harley and Lovell.


  • Grimes, S. (2012). Probes into Admiralty War Planning, 1908–9. In Strategy and War Planning in the British Navy, 1887-1918, Boydell and Brewer, ISBN 9781843836988.
  • Harley Simon, Lovell Tony, (2017), Navy War Council,,
  • Navy War Council: Minutes." The National Archives. ADM 116/3090.
  • Proposals by Director of Naval Intelligence for carrying out the Duties of a General Staff and Re-organisation of the Naval Intelligence Department." 15 May 1909. The National Archives. ADM 1/8047.

External links[edit]