For those who have not already read it, I heartily recommend Dreadnought, by Robert K. Massie. A truly magnificent account of Jackie Fisher and the building of HMS Dreadnought in the face of fierce opposition from most of the higher echelons of the Royal Navy. (The equally magnificent sequel, Castles Of Steel, takes the dreadnoughts through WW1 and the clash with Germany.) The pre-dreadnought Royal Navy had some 68 battleships, some three times the number of her nearest competitor, and Dreadnought made all 68 obsolete, removing Royal Navy superiority and taking everyone down to zero. But Fisher saw that if he didn’t build a heavily armored all big gun battleship, someone else, probably Germany, would. In the United States, Teddy Roosevelt had just built The Great White Fleet, and overnight it too was obsolete, leading the US Navy to join Great Britain and Germany and embark on a dreadnought building program of its own in a departure from a long national policy of isolation that has held to this day. So the building of HMS Dreadnought had consequences far beyond being the first next generation battleship.

All big guns and speed to boot
Her 15” big guns could shoot
At ships hull down, near out of sight
To obsolete foes overnight
Remarkably, a Donald tweet
Like Dreadnought, makes quite obsolete
The politics that went before
And drove a dagger to the core
Of politics that wowed the crowd
By doing something not allowed
He’s keeping promises he’s made
The dagger deep, the twisted blade
Undoing the Obama mess
We pray that God the Trump man bless

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