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The Royal Navy and the German Threat, 1901-1914Admiralty Plans to Protect British Trade in a War Against Germany$
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Matthew S. Seligmann

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199574032

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199574032.001.0001

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A ‘Fighting Cruiser’ to Hunt ‘the German Greyhounds’

A ‘Fighting Cruiser’ to Hunt ‘the German Greyhounds’

The Origins of HMS Invincible Revisited

(p.65) 4 A ‘Fighting Cruiser’ to Hunt ‘the German Greyhounds’
The Royal Navy and the German Threat, 1901-1914

Matthew S. Seligmann

Oxford University Press

Following the Cunard agreement, a feeling emerged in the Admiralty that countering fast German liners with even faster British ones might not be an effective policy. Liners were very vulnerable vessels. Having no armour, they could be easily damaged in a fight. Yet, were either the Lusitania or Mauretania to be lost in this way, an investment of over £1 million would be wasted. Thus, a consensus emerged that it would be preferable to build warships to hunt the German liners. In the past, cruisers had not possessed sufficient speed, endurance, reliability or sea-keeping qualities to do this, but new technologies and improved designs seemed likely to remedy such deficiencies. In particular, it appeared that a large, fast turbine-powered armoured cruiser might be the best means of hunting German liners. These vessels, built at the behest of Admiral Fisher, were ultimately called battle cruisers.

Keywords:   battle cruisers, Admiral Fisher, Cunard, turbines

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