The Fleet was Ready

When Winston Churchill became First Lord of the Admiralty in 1911, he oversaw major revisions to the Admiralty’s basic strategic concept for European war, and in the suite of war plans associated with this concept. A shift in the probable enemy of a future war—to Germany from France, for instance—necessitated these changes and, hence, necessitated a change in the strategic naval front, from the South to the East Coast, and from the Channel to the North Sea.  

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Churchill and the World Crisis

Churchill believes that, in trying retrospectively to untangle the complex knot of causation, it is critical to appreciate one primary, dynamic element – the deeply engrained Franco-German antagonism, a polarity that forced other nations, out of fear, opportunism, or both, to choose sides.  Britain was the last and most reluctant great European power to do so, and even at the last moment it was not clear, to outsiders at least, whether her choice would hold. 

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