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The Complexity of Strategy : "Jackie" Fisher and the Trouble with Submarines

Martin, Chris


Dr Chris Martin
Senior Lecturer and Head of Subject Group (Politics)


By utilising original memoranda, letters, and notes, this article illustrates the destabilising effect that new technology can have on naval strategic thinking. Correspondence between Admiral Sir "Jackie" Fisher, the Unionist Prime Minister A. J. Balfour, the naval historian and strategist Julian Corbett, and others before the First World War (1914-18) demonstrates the confusion and uncertainty that the submarine's development brought to the British naval establishment. It follows a year-long debate concerning the submarine's impact on Britain and its traditional naval strategy. It shows what motivated the participants, why they held divergent views, and why "consensus" was reached by relying on established paradigms.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2011-04
Journal Journal Of Military History
Print ISSN 0899-3718
Publisher Society for Military History
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 75
Issue 2
Pages 441-470
Institution Citation Martin, C. (2011). The Complexity of Strategy : "Jackie" Fisher and the Trouble with Submarines. Journal of Military History, 75(2), 441-470
Publisher URL