Naval Innovation: From Coal to Oil
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC INST FOR NATIONAL STRATEGIC STUDIES
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Technology is often cited as a key aspect of the revolution in military affairs and a decisive factor in military operations today. A study of the transition by the Royal Navy from coal to oil, stimulated by First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill and Admiral Sir John Jacky Fisher, reveals a more complex story. Although technological change was a great success--every navy soon switched to oil--it did not constitute a strategic advance for Britain. It was an achievement that represented a grave risk to a nation which possessed large coal reserves but no oil. This example suggests how technological innovations alone do not spark a revolution in military affairs.
- Humanities and History
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics