Portal:Royal Navy

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The Royal Navy Portal

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 World War II, 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 Her Majesty's 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.

White Ensign defaced by "The Royal Navy Portal"

Selected battle


The Battle of Cape Matapan was a World War II naval battle fought off the Peloponnesian coast of Greece from March 27 to March 29, 1941. A combined force of British Royal Navy and Royal Australian Navy ships under the command of the British Admiral Andrew Cunningham intercepted and sank or severely damaged those of the Italian Regia Marina, under Admiral Angelo Iachino. As a result, Italian naval activity in the eastern Mediterranean was halted, and activity elsewhere was severely limited.

The battle, or at least its opening actions, is also known as the Battle of Gaudo in Italy.

Selected ship

RMAS Colonel Templer (A229).jpg

RMAS Colonel Templer is an acoustic research vessel of the Royal Maritime Auxiliary Service department of the Royal Navy, since November 2000 operated under contract by Serco Denholm, based at HMNB Clyde, Great Harbour, Greenock. Twelve scientists can be carried, and the ship is used in support of trials as well supporting RN diving training.

Built by Hall Russell in 1966 as a stern trawler then converted in 1980 for use by the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency, her displacement is 1,300 tonnes and dimensions 56 m by 11 m by 5.6 m. Her complement is 14 and speed 12 knots. After a serious fire gutted the ship in 1990 it had a major rebuild, and it was converted in 2001 to support diving training.



Selected picture

Selected biography


Skipper Thomas Crisp VC, DSC, RNR (April 28, 1876 – August 15, 1917) was a posthumous English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British military service personnel. He earned his award during the defence of his vessel, the armed naval smack HMS Nelson, in the North Sea against an attack by the German submarine Unterseeboot C-41 in 1917.

Thomas Crisp's self–sacrifice in the face of this "unequal struggle" was used by the government to bolster morale during some of the toughest days of the First World War for Britain, the summer and autumn of 1917, during which Britain was the most active Allied participant and was suffering consequent losses. His exploit was read aloud by David Lloyd George in the Houses of Parliament and made headline news for nearly a week.


Did you know...?

  • ...that Bill Boaks, a retired Royal Navy Lieutenant Commander, won only 5 votes (a record low in a British Parliamentary election) in a 1982 by-election?

Major topics

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

War of the Grand Alliance

War of the Spanish Succession

War of the Austrian Succession

Seven Years' War

American War of Independence

French Revolutionary War

War of the Second Coalition

Napoleonic Wars

Barbary Wars

Greek War of Independence

World War I

World War II


Not all battles included

Seven Years' War

American War of Independence

French Revolutionary War

Napoleonic Wars

World War I

World War II





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