Although we cannot compare the country's present financial plight with that imposed upon us because of our involvement in a world war, we do know that when the crisis is over, we have to pay the bill !

There are thousands of British service persons and hundreds of thousands of ex British service persons, who have witnessed first hand the proverbial DEFENCE CUTS which the successive Governments have made since the end of WW2..  That which is yet to come post 2010 General Election is unknown, but a little bit of imagination coupled with the knowledge that whoever forms the new Government will 'milk' the agony, telling us that it was the last Government who we should blame, whilst cutting back on spending in just about every Whitehall Department including, yet again, DEFENCE.

My story is of a different time, where frugality and War Memorials pre-occupied our every waking moment, and our dead transcended everything.  It is a story of "STRIKING CUTS" across the the whole nation, where every budget was assessed and 'slashed to the bone'.  No department escaped this imposition made necessary because the United Kingdom was broke; bankrupted to the level requiring us to sell the family silver, which was to be repeated after WW2 only more profoundly, if that were possible.

As you will recall, the Royal Navy started and finished WW1 as the most powerful navy in the world.  At the end of that war, the admirals wanted to maintain that position and made plans, produced detailed estimates and argued that the United Kingdom and its Island status needed a navy more powerful than any other navy.  They were soon to learn that the Navy had to forego its plans and aspirations and had to model its future on its share of the national coffer.  As a guide line,  the admirals were told to plan "as though there would be no major war for at least the next ten years" and the date of that guide line was 1921 - they were not far off because come 1933 things were once more turning ugly !

As you can imagine, a document addressing every departmental budget amounts to a major file {in excess of 40MB} most unsuited to display on a webpage. I have therefore used the introduction and thereafter the pages relevant to the Royal Navy only.  Even that amounts to approximately 10 MB and below you will see that I have split that into three separate files for ease of download and read.

It is not only a national historical document, but for us naval types, it is an object lesson on how a group of five august and influential men manoeuvred a group of very senior admirals, all with recent war experience, into a position where their plans were called into question, even suggesting that some of the ratings titles were archaic and should be abolished.  There is too much to give you a preface and I make no attempt to summarise the paper. The admirals had to re-think the overall plan and as a result, there were many operational and administrative changes, cut backs in personnel and materiel, and many careers were destroyed when implementing the 'new' navy for the third decade of the twentieth. century.   

Before I leave you, can you imagine some of the questions the 'budget executioners' will ask of the admirals in the months ahead ? What about.......and why do you need two new carriers and these expensive fixed wing aircraft, when you have successfully operated in the last few years without them ?.....the Scots [SNP] do not want a nuclear base in Scotland and now that you have accepted that the Devonport submarine presence is no longer required, there is no where in England that we can use, which helps us to decide that we don't need a replacement for the Trident Weapon, so what do you say to that ? And I could go on.  Enjoy this document. 

STRIKING NAVAL REDUCTIONS PART 1.pdf STRIKING NAVAL REDUCTIONS PART 2.pdf STRIKING NAVAL REDUCTIONS PART 3.pdf