The Royal Navy: Science and Technology


Figure 1.--

The Royal Navy for much of its history has been on the cutting edge of military technology. As many areas of technology have both civilan and military ramifications, the Royal Navy also made important contributions in many different areas. The Royal Navy chartered sea lanes around the world. Other European countries were aldo charing the seas, a tradition began by Italian mariners and Prince Henry the Navigator of Portugal. What made the Royal Navy different was not only the dimensions of the enterprise, but the fact that the British in the interest of trade and commerce published the Royal Navy charts. Captain Cook's voyages in the Pacific was one of countless expeditions in this enterprise. They were thus not only available to British merchant seamen, but foreign seamen and navies as well. Up until this, naval charts were held as closely guarded state secrets. The reach of the Royal Navy is truly amazing. There are few ports and sea coasts that have not been touched in some way by the Royal Navy. Some such as Hong Kong were essentially created by the Royal Navy. As part of the process of charting the seas was a great scientific endeavor. The Royal Navy commissioned a scientific enterprise to develop a method to determine longitude which neceitated the development of accurate clocks that could keep time at sea. There were other scientific projects involving natural history. Of course Charles Darwin's voyage on HMS Beagle woulkd leave to his ground-breaking book The Origin of the Species and the concept of evolution.

Naval Engineering


Seamanship


Gunnery

The Royal Navy pioneered the use of heavy guns. Upuntill the time of the Spanish Armada, naval battle involved the boarding of opposing ships, rather infantry assaults conducted at sea. The English pioneered the devestating broadside as a tactic. One of the deciding elements in the defeat of the Armada was superiot English gunnery.

Charting the Seas

The Royal Navy chartered sea lanes around the world. Other European countries were aldo charing the seas, a tradition began by Italian mariners and Prince Henry the Navigator of Portugal. What made the Royal Navy different was not only the dimensions of the enterprise, but the fact that the British in the interest of trade and commerce published the Royal Navy charts. Captain Cook's voyages in the Pacific was one of countless expeditions in this enterprise. They were thus not only available to British merchant seamen, but foreign seamen and navies as well. Up until this, naval charts were held as closely guarded state secrets.

Royal Navy's Reach

The reach of the Royal Navy is truly amazing. There are few ports and sea coasts that have not been touched in some way by the Royal Navy. Some such as Hong Kong were essentially created by the Royal Navy.

Longitude

As part of the process of charting the seas was a great scientific endeavor. The Royal Navy commissioned a scientific enterprise to develop a method to determine longitude which neceitated the development of accurate clocks that could keep time at sea.

Natural History

There were other scientific projects involving natural history. The most famous naturalist to work with the Royal Navy was of course Charles Darwin. His voyage on HMS Beagle woulkd lead to his ground-breaking book The Origin of the Species and the concept of evolution.

Medicine

A major achievement of the Royal Navy wasdetermining the cause of survy. This had been a disease which for centuries had affected and limited seamanship.

Sources

Herman, Arthue. To Rule the Waves: How the British Navy Shaped the Modern World.






HBC








Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing Web Site:
[Return to Main military force page]
[Return to Main military style page]
[Introduction] [Activities] [Biographies] [Chronology] [Clothing styles] [Countries]
[Bibliographies] [Contributions] [FAQs] [Glossaries] [Satellite sites] [Tools]
[Boys' Clothing Home]




Created: 6:47 PM 1/2/2005
Last updated: 7:26 AM 5/1/2010