Portal:Royal Navy

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The Royal Navy of the United Kingdom is the oldest of the British armed services (and is therefore the Senior Service). From the early 18th century to the middle of the 20th century, it was the largest and most powerful navy in the world, playing a key part in establishing the British Empire as the dominant power of the 19th and early 20th centuries. In World War II, the Royal Navy operated almost 600 ships. During the Cold War, it was transformed into a primarily anti-submarine force, hunting for Soviet submarines, mostly active in the North Atlantic Ocean. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, its role for the 21st century has returned to focus on global expeditionary (blue water) operations.

The Royal Navy is the second-largest navy in NATO in terms of the combined tonnage of its fleet. Its global power projection capabilities are deemed second only to the United States Navy. There are currently 91 commissioned ships in the Royal Navy, including aircraft carriers, submarines, mine counter-measures and patrol vessels. There are also the support vessels of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.

The Royal Navy is a constituent component of Her Majesty's Naval Service, which also comprises the Royal Marines, Royal Fleet Auxiliary and associated reserve forces under command. The Naval Service had 38,710 regular personnel as of November 2006.

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Selected battle

Naval Battle of Navarino by Garneray.jpg

The Battle of Navarino was a naval engagement fought on 20 October 1827, during the Greek War of Independence (1821–29) in Navarino Bay, western Greece, on the Ionian Sea. A combined Ottoman and Egyptian armada was destroyed by a combined British, French and Russian naval force, at the port of Navarino. It is notable for being the final large-scale fleet action in history between sailing ships.

As a result of the battle, the Ottomans and Egyptians were effectively unable to continue the war at sea. Ultimately, this caused the main Egyptian army returned to Egypt in the latter part of 1828, leaving only a drastically weakened Ottoman force to hold positions in the Morea.


Selected ship

HMSBulwarkL15.jpg

The ninth and current HMS Albion is a Landing Platform Dock (LPD) ship of the Royal Navy built in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, England, UK. Albion is one of the newest ships of the Navy and provides an amphibious assault capability. She is the nameship of the Albion-class landing platform dock, which also includes HMS Bulwark. The ship also carries a permanently-embarked Marines landing Craft unit, 6 Assault Squadron Royal Marines. She was launched on 9 March 2001 and was commissioned on 19 June 2003 by her sponsor The Princess Royal. In early 2004 the ship deployed on a multinational exercise for the first time, taking part in Exercise Joint Winter 04 off Norway, following which she was declared fully operational. Her next deployment was the Aurora exercises on the eastern seaboard of the United States. On 11 November 2004 the ship was directed towards Côte d'Ivoire to support Operation Phillis. Albion underwent a refit in early 2006. The refit included the installation of a new command, control and communications suite.

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Selected picture

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His Majesty's Ship Victory, Capt. E. Harvey, in the Memorable Battle of Trafalgar between two French Ships of the Line

Painting by John Constable.


Selected biography

Captain Ronald Niel Stuart, VC, DSO, RD, US Navy Cross, RNR (26 August 1886 – 8 February 1954) was a British Merchant Navy Commodore and Royal Navy Captain who was highly commended following extensive and distinguished service at sea over a period of more than thirty five years. During the First World War he received the Victoria Cross, the Distinguished Service Order, the French Croix de Guerre and the United States' Navy Cross for a series of daring operations he conducted while serving in the Royal Navy during the First Battle of the Atlantic.

Stuart's Victoria Cross was awarded following a ballot by the men under his command. This unusual method of selection was used after the Admiralty board was unable to choose which members of the crew deserved the honour after a desperate engagement between a Q-ship and a German submarine off the Irish coast. His later career included command of the liner RMS Empress of Britain and the management of the London office of a major transatlantic shipping company. Following his retirement in 1951, Stuart moved into his sister's cottage in Kent and died three years later. A sometime irascible man, he was reportedly embarrassed by any fuss surrounding his celebrity and was known to exclaim "Mush!" at any demonstration of strong emotion.

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