Northampton Electronic Collection of Theses and Research

Intelligence information and the 1909 naval scare: the secret foundations of a public panic

Seligmann, M. S. (2010) Intelligence information and the 1909 naval scare: the secret foundations of a public panic. War in History. 17(1), pp. 37-59. 0968-3445.

Item Type: Article
Abstract: Many contemporary historians, echoing the views of the radical critics of the day, believe that the 1909 naval scare was a fabricated panic designed to bounce Asquith’s government into ordering extra battleships for the Royal Navy. By examining the intelligence information that lay behind the Admiralty’s claims that Germany had secretly ordered warships in advance of its programme and was covertly collecting materials for their rapid construction, this article contests this view. It demonstrates that the Admiralty really was in receipt of information on these points, that much of this information was accurate, and that the members of the Board were not, therefore, acting disingenuously when pressing the claim for a strong response. In proving this, the article also demonstrates that British intelligence-gathering activities in the era before the foundation of the Secret Service Bureau were more extensive and more successful than had previously been believed
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1909 naval scare, Admiral Fisher, Admiral Tirpitz, dreadnoughts, naval intelligence, naval race
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain > DA40 Political, military, naval, and Air Force history > DA80 Naval history
U Military Science > UB1 Military administration > UB250 Intelligence
Creators: Seligmann, Matthew S
Publisher: Sage
Faculties, Divisions and Institutes: University Faculties, Divisions and Research Centres - OLD > Faculty of Education & Humanities > History
Faculties > Faculty of Education & Humanities > History
Date: 2010
Date Type: Publication
Page Range: pp. 37-59
Journal or Publication Title: War in History
Volume: 17
Number: 1
Language: English
ISSN: 0968-3445
Status: Published / Disseminated
Refereed: Yes

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