Battlecruisers in the United States and the United Kingdom
1902-1922

By Ryan Peeks, Ph.D. Candidate, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
February 26, 2013

The chronology below details the history of the battlecruiser in both the Royal Navy and the United States Navy from their inception to the Washington Naval Conference, which severely curtailed naval construction in both countries, including six battlecruisers under construction in the United States. Of especial interest here are the intellectual underpinnings of battlecruiser policy in both countries. Although the United Kingdom originated the type, British thought on the vessels remained confused, and the Royal Navy never developed a coherent doctrine on the ships, their design, or their employment in battle. On the other hand, the initial attitude in the United States was one of confusion and rejection in favor of orthodox battleships. As the years went on, though, theorists inside the U.S. Navy began to see battlecruisers as scouts par excellence, creating the intellectual space for battlecruisers in the American fleet.

1902

February. Admiral John Fisher, RN, later to become First Sea Lord, writes memorandum on the importance of “powerful fast armoured cruisers,” armed with large guns, to modern warfare.1

March. Lieutenant Matthew Signor proposes a new type of ship, combining the attributes of armored cruisers and battleships in Proceedings of the United States Naval Institute.2

1903

July. Lieutenant Commander W.I. Chambers creates preliminary design of uniform battery battleship for use during Naval War College tactical games, claiming that a contemporary battleship “carries so many medium and light guns that the distraction...must count against accuracy and control.”3 Most gunnery experts at the time argued that an “all-big-gun” ship would have superior accuracy at long ranges, allowing them to destroy other battleships beyond the range of their secondary battery.

1904

26 January. General Board asks Bureau of Construction and Repair to prepare drawings of an all-big-gun battleship, although the letter allows for a mix of 10” and 12” guns.4

1 Feb. Captain O.S. Sperry, President of the Naval War College, sends General Board details of Chambers’ battleship design.5

18 February. Beginning of Russo-Japanese War.

May. Admiral Fisher tapped as the next First Sea Lord writes “Naval Necessities,” his plan for reform of naval administration and the fleet. Along with the design that would eventually become HMS Dreadnought, Fisher sketched out “HMS Unapproachable,” a cruiser with a uniform battery of long-range guns, the basis of the first battlecruiser designs.

October. Commander William L. Rodgers writes up the conclusion of a conference on ship design at the Naval War College. Rodgers, a future Naval War College President is convinced that the all-big-gun battleship is the wave of the future, and also sketches out a design for a fast armored cruiser with four battleship-sized guns, with the savings in weight going to increased armor protection. Coming from the same impulse as Fisher’s HMS Unapproachable,” Rodgers’s design highlights key theoretical differences between the American and British navies, especially the relative importance placed on speed.6

20 October. Fisher installed as First Sea Lord.

1905

January. Fisher appoints reform-friendly “Committee on Designs” to consider the new ships proposed in “Naval Necessities.”7

18 January. Committee approves preliminary designs for the ships to become HMS Dreadnought and HMS Invincible, the first battlecruiser.8

27-8 May. Battle of Tsushima, the major naval engagement of the Russo-Japanese War.

20 July. Admiralty Committee on Navy Estimates meets to discuss future construction, and concludes that Invincible is more than a match for all extant battleships, and suggests the possibility of merging the battleship and battlecruiser types into a single hybrid capital ship.9

1 September. Lieutenant Commander William Sims, the U.S. Navy’s Inspector of Target Practice and naval aide to the President, writes President Theodore Roosevelt on the subject of armored cruisers, and advocates building uniform battery armored cruisers with 9-10 inch guns and 23 knot speed, suggesting that Sims may have seen a copy of Fisher’s “Naval Necessities,” or met Fisher while on a fact-finding trip to Britain over the summer.10

30 September. General Board recommends construction of uniform battery battleships.11

October. Ernest H. Rigg, in the Navy League Journal, recommends construction of “Battle-ship Cruisers,” based on the Regina Elena-class battleships then under construction in Italy. The article does not refer to the then-secret British battlecruiser designs suggesting that Rigg’s advocacy was made independently.12

December. Captain Richard Wainwright writes first account of Tsushima in Proceedings, argues that battle suggests the importance of uniform battery in capital ships.13

1906

15 February. British Admiralty produces a secret memorandum on future construction plans. Among other things, the memorandum is a defense of the dreadnought and battlecruiser concepts against internal criticism, and the authors utilize both the U.S. General Board’s call for uniform-battery battleships and Wainwright’s Proceedings article as proof that sound naval opinion is on the side of the new ships.14

March. Captain Seaton Schroeder, USN publishes “Gleanings from the Sea of Japan” in Proceedings, uses the results of Tsushima to claim that “the armored cruiser has failed to justify its existence.”15

4 April. Royal Navy lays down HMS Invincible, the first battlecruiser.16

June. Alfred Thayer Mahan publishes “Reflections, Historic and Other, Suggested by the Battle of the Japan Sea,” argues against Dreadnought design and large armored cruisers.

August. Ernest Rigg again argues in favor of the U.S. Navy constructing “Battle-ship Cruisers” in The Navy League Journal.18

Summer, 1906. USN removes battleships from Pacific to consolidate battleship strength in the Atlantic. The battleships are replaced with armored cruisers, seen as surplus to requirements in the main fleet.

24 September. Sims writes memo for President Roosevelt on the subject of Mahan’s article, disagreeing with Mahan’s main points, especially those concerning battleship design. The memo is later printed in Proceedings and released as a standalone pamphlet.

24 October. A letter from Admiral George Dewey to Secretary of the Navy Charles Joseph Bonaparte relates that the General Board considers “the three armored ships of the 17250 ton INVINCIBLE class building for the British Navy . . . battleships . . . designed to form a part of the battle line.”19

December 1906. Sims’s memorandum republished as an article in Proceedings.

1907

January. Editorial in The Navy (the successor to the Navy League Journal) congratulates the General Board on their refusal to request new armored cruiser construction, and suggests that in lieu of armored cruisers the Navy should build “the big-gun, swift battleship” like HMS Invincible to provide a fast, heavy, scouting capability. 20

3 January. Lieutenant Commander F.H. Schofield presents a design for a fast, heavily armored, “torpedo battleship” to the General Board. Schofield suggests that such a ship could serve as a speedy adjunct to the battle line in lieu of armored cruisers.21

29 January. General Board formally requests “battleships of large displacements . . . provided with a battery of one caliber heavy guns” from Secretary Victor Metcalf.22

19 March. The General Board forwards Schofield’s idea to the Naval War College where Commander H.M. Dombaugh, an instructor at the War College, reports back that Schofield’s idea mirrors, and is inferior to, “the ‘Inflexible’ type of armored cruiser.”23

8 May. Admiral Lord Charles Beresford, Commander in Chief of the British Channel Fleet, begins a dispute with the Admiralty Board over the wartime plans for his fleet. Eventually it will lead to an inquiry and Fisher’s forced retirement.24

24 August. A committee is formed at the Naval War College to take another look at Schofield’s torpedo battleship, and determine that while Schofield’s ship would be useful, the heavily-armored design proposed by Rodgers in 1904 would be even more useful.25

1908

March. Ensign R.R. Riggs publishes “The Question of Speed in Battleships” in Proceedings. This article can be seen as the culmination of the attacks on speed published in 1907, specifically attacking battlecruisers instead of the abstract concept of speed. Proceedings would not publish a pro-battlecruiser article until 1915.

20 March. HMS Invincible commissioned.26

June. Unsigned editorial in The Navy claims that the Invincible-class ships are “in effect Dreadnoughts if not so in name. They are nothing less than powerful single-caliber battleships.”27

August. Another The Navy editorial argues that the British battlecruisers provide speed “without serious sacrifice of armor or armament necessary for adequate offensive and defensive power.”28

30 November. In his annual letter to Congress, Secretary Metcalf asserts that Invincible is, in reality, a new type of battleship and not a refinement of the armored cruiser type.29

1909

11 August. At the 1909 Imperial Conference Fisher tries to convince the governments of Australia, New Zealand, and Canada to build “fleet units,” organized around battlecruisers to ensure command of the sea for the British Empire in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Most historians concur that this represented the apotheosis of Fisher’s strategic plan for battlecruisers. In the end, only Australia and New Zealand agreed to fund the construction of namesake battlecruisers, with the understanding that they would be stationed in Asian or Australasian waters.30

12 August. One of the questions at the Naval War College’s Summer Conference concerns battlecruiser design (Should a “fast battleship” have a “powerful battery with limited protection” or “a moderate battery with heavy protection”?), a committee composed of Commanders J.W. Oman and C.S. Williams and Lieutenant L.A. Cotton argue that the moderate battery is superior, assuming it is a battery of battleship-grade guns. Williams’s minority report argues in favor of the lighter ship with more firepower, assuming it is kept away from battleships in action.31

29 November. Royal Navy lays down HMS Lion, a dramatic improvement on earlier classes of British dreadnoughts. Observers in the United States are especially impressed by Lion’s marriage of 28-knot speed with the then-new 13.5” main battery.

1910

January. Fisher forced out of the Admiralty and replaced by Admiral of the Fleet Arthur Wilson.

Summer. Naval Constructor, D.W. Taylor, USN writes paper on contemporary design, and argues that the design of British battlecruisers provides them with dangerously thin armor.32

18 August. Chief Constructor W.L. Capps of the Bureau of Construction and Repair forwards six preliminary battlecruiser designs to the Secretary of the Navy, George von Lengerke Meyer. All six designs are somewhat slower than contemporary British ships, with armor approaching that of the contemporary Wyoming-class.33

28 September. In the General Board’s annual report on new construction argues that battlecruisers are unnecessary for the United States. While the Board, for the first time, acknowledges that battlecruisers are cruisers and not battleships, they argue that, given sufficient battleship strength, battlecruisers are unnecessary. As a result, they advocate focusing attention on strengthening the battleship fleet.34

1911

17 January. The first Japanese battlecruiser, Kongo, is laid down at a British shipyard.

28 January. In their committee report on the Naval Appropriation Bill, the House Naval Affairs Committee calls battlecruisers “practically in the battleship class,” echoing the understanding reached by the General Board.35

7 March. Sydney Ballou, the president of the Honolulu Naval League suggests in a speech at a Navy League convention in Los Angeles, later reprinted in The Navy, that the United States build a squadron of battlecruisers for Pacific service while keeping the battle fleet in the Atlantic. The battlecruisers would, he argues, be able to keep the Japanese Navy off balance long enough for the Atlantic Fleet to make its way to the war zone, and serve as a counter to Kongo and her three sister ships.36

25 May. General Board asks Secretary Meyer to consider the possibility of adding “one or moral large armored vessels of high speed” in next year’s naval estimates, assuming that it can be added without sacrificing a battleship.37

Summer. Participants at the 1911 Summer Conference at the Naval War College come to the conclusion that battlecruisers, “the cavalry of the fleet” are a “necessity” for modern warfare.38

20 September. Naval War College commissions another committee to investigate Schofield’s torpedo battleship, with an eye towards its inclusion in the 1912 building program. Again, they determine that its utility is not commensurate with its cost.39

2 November. In a letter to First Sea Lord Henry B. Jackson, Sims relates the conclusions he reached from his study at the Naval War College, suggesting that “battleship cruisers of the Lion type” are essential for modern warfare and expresses a hope that the U.S. will build them in the near future.

10 November-6 December 1911. Admiral Fisher and Winston Churchill, the new First Lord of the Admiralty, send a series of letters to each other concerning Fisher’s suggestion for a 30 knot battlecruiser with eight 15” guns and minimal armor. Although the plans never go beyond these letters, Churchill’s Admiralty produces the Queen Elizabeth-class of 25-knot “fast battleships” armed with eight 15” guns and the concepts detailed in these letters bear a striking resemblance to the Fisher-inspired battlecruisers built after his return to the Admiralty in 1914.40

1 December. Secretary Meyer proposes adding a single battlecruiser to the 1912 building program, with an eventual goal of 8.41

12 December. Captain W.L. Rodgers, President of the Naval War College, tells General Board and Secretary that recent war games at the college conducted by Captain Sims, and the Atlantic Fleet’s most recent exercises suggest “the desirability of the LION type of ship.”42

1912

9 January. First Lord Churchill writes to Louis Harcourt in the Foreign Office to gauge whether or not Australia and New Zealand could be convinced to send their namesake battleships to European waters. This represents a repudiation of Fisher’s plan of using battlecruisers stationed overseas to maintain British command of the sea. Instead, Churchill and his Admiralty were primarily concerned with the balance of power in the North Sea.43

10 March. Rear Admiral Hugo Osterhaus, Commander of the Atlantic Fleet devises exercises for his fleet which assign 4 imaginary battlecruisers44 to the Blue (“American”) side in the maneuvers. A sign that a growing number of American officers are considering how the U.S. fleet could utilize battlecruisers.45

12 May. Over the objections of Fisher, the Admiralty Board declines to increase the speed of new battleships to 23 knots instead of 21, highlighting both Fisher’s increasing isolation on the Board and his continued focus on speed for capital ships.

15 June. Churchill informs the Cabinet that the Navy can no longer maintain a fleet of 6 battleships in the Mediterranean in light of the size of the German Navy in the North Sea. Instead, he proposes recalling the battleships to Home Waters and sending two older battlecruisers, Invincible and Indomitable in their place to the Mediterranean. While it is a lessening of British force, Churchill contends that “no one really knows [the] full value of” battlecruisers and that “[i]n the Mediterranean they could operate with great effect.”46

17 September. Fisher proposes a new battlecruiser, HMS “Incomparable” to be armed with “ten or 8 16-inch guns,” with 26 knot speed and 16 inch belt and citadel armor. Design is sent into the Admiralty, who decline to respond. 47

25 September. General Board proposes a 5 year program for the years 1913-17, including 21 new battleships and 8 battlecruisers, the latter of which “we must have...to hope for successful conflict.” For the year 1913, the plan recommends construction of 4 battleships and 2 battlecruisers.48

25 November. Admiralty’s draft war plans show the uncertain place of battlecruisers in British doctrine. While the roles for other types of vessels are clearly delineated, battlecruisers are to be placed at the disposal of the admiral on the scene to be used “singly or in squadrons in company with the Battle Fleet, or as supports o the armoured cruisers [or]...to pursue and fight enemy’s ships of similar classes.”49

26 December. In response to the General Board’s proposals, Commander William V. Pratt, an instructor at the Naval War College writes to the President of the War College that battlecruisers were unnecessary. Not only, he argued, had the British committed to dropping the type in future plans, but in the two possible war situations faced by the U.S. Navy (Germany or Japan), the extra speed of battlecruisers would make no appreciable difference to an American fleet operating on interior lines. Pratt’s memorandum is later forwarded to the General Board.50

1913

January. Admiralty releases their plans for the 1913-14 Navy Estimates. In the report attached to the plan, it is argued that battlecruisers have grown too expensive, and that as “the mostly costly vessel should also be the most powerful,” future battlecruiser construction would be discontinued in favor of the Queen Elizabeth-class “fast battleships.”51

2 January. Captain Rodgers submits memorandum to the General Board arguing that battlecruisers are “naval luxuries...for secondary strategic objectives,” and concludes that the United States Navy is not yet at a point to afford luxuries.52

5 April. Upon taking command of the 1st Battle Cruiser Squadron, Rear-Admiral David Beatty issues a memo to the squadron, detailing the 5 missions of a battlecruiser: supporting reconnaissance, supporting blockades, supporting cruiser squadrons, shadowing enemy battleships, and joining the battle line in fleet actions. Beatty’s memo highlights that even after several years with operational battlecruisers, the Royal Navy still had no coherent sense of the battlecruiser’s primary mission.53

August. Admiral William H. May, RN, Umpire-in-Chief of the 1913 Manoeuvers issues his report on the exercises. Of especial interest is the way in which the “Blue” (British) side use their battlecruisers to attack Red (German) battleships unsupported.54

August. Admiral George Callaghan, Commander in Chief, Home Fleet, reassess North Sea strategy in the wake of the 1913 exercises. He determines that armored and light cruisers are powerless in the face of battlecruisers, and, given the necessity for the Royal Navy to observe the German coast, the primary mission of British battlecruisers would be to find and contain their German counterparts.55

1914

April. Editorial in the Navy argues that the purpose of battlecruisers is “to fight in the line with other Dreadnoughts.”56

28 July. Start of the First World War

30 October. Fisher is recalled to the Admiralty after the First Sea Lord, Admiral Louis Battenberg is forced out.

8 December. Battle of the Falkland Islands. Fisher sends HMS Invincible and HMS Inflexible to the south Atlantic to destroy a German fleet of armored and light cruisers under Admiral Graf Maximillian von Spee. This use of detached battlecruisers to destroy commerce raiders abroad is the closest battlecruisers come to fulfilling Fisher’s original conception of the type.

19 December. Admiral Fisher gives Director of Naval Construction Eustace Tennyson d’Eyncourt the specifications of a new battlecruiser, to have 32 knot speed and six 15” guns, with the same light armor as the original class of battlecruisers. Fisher’s design priorities were increasingly at odds with those of the Grand Fleet’s officer corps and when the resultant ships, Renown and Repulse reached the fleet special steaming formations were devised for them to keep them out of harm’s way.57

1915

24 January. The battlecruiser formations of the British and German navies fight an inconclusive battle near Dogger Bank in the North Sea. One German cruiser is sunk and the British flagship, HMS Lion is heavily damaged.

25 January. Fisher proposes the construction of 3 “large light cruisers” with four 15” guns, 32 knots’ speed, and 3-inch armored belts. When these ships, Courageous, Glorious, and Furious were completed, they were viewed as almost entirely useless to the fleet and were eventually converted to aircraft carriers.58

16 March. Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin Roosevelt attends General Board meeting on the upcoming Atlantic Fleet exercises. Roosevelt suggests, and the Board approves, a plan to make the exercises “serve an object lesson to the country.”59 Specifically, the exercises would be crafted to build public support for a larger navy and battlecruisers.

26 May. Rear Admiral Austin M. Knight, NWC President releases his official report on the 1915 Atlantic Fleet Exercises. As expected, his analysis highlights the great danger posed to the U.S. Navy by its lack of battlecruisers, focusing especially on the impossibility of maintaining a credible cruiser screen in front of the main fleet.60 Knight’s analysis is echoed by the popular press

June. The Navy, in discussing the Atlantic Fleet’s summer exercises, argues that the results prove that the Navy “is lacking in battle cruisers.”61

July. Secretary Josephus Daniels asks General Board for possible 1916 building plan, Board responds by suggesting 4 battlecruisers and 4 dreadnought battleships.62

17 October. General Board agrees on preliminary specifications for battlecruiser construction. Of particular interest are the indicated speed of 35 knots, the armament of ten 14” guns, and the remarkably light main belt armor of 5”.63

November. Assistant Naval Constructor B.S. Bullard publishes “A plea for the Battle-Cruiser” in November-December issue of Proceedings.64 In the same issue Cmdr. Yates Stirling, USN claims that “[t]he dreadnought battleship has passed away...The battle-cruiser is the mistress of the sea.”65

November. Secretary Daniels asks General Board for five-year, $100 million building plan, and Board recommends 10 battleships and 6 battlecruisers.

1 December. Secretary Daniels, in his annual report claims that “the need for battle cruisers seems imperative.” 66

1916

31 May-1 June. The British Grand Fleet and the German High Seas Fleet contest the Battle of Jutland, the largest naval engagement of the First World War. The performance and protection of British battlecruisers are heavily scrutinized after three battlecruiser are sunk.

18 June. In the aftermath of Jutland, Beatty creates a committee on battlecruiser design from the officers of the Battle Cruiser Fleet, which comes to the conclusion that “British battle cruisers...are unequal to the duties assigned to them,” due to “deficiency of protection,” and urges that the Admiralty discontinue battlecruiser construction in favor of “fast battleships” like Queen Elizabeth.67>

30 June. Preliminary Senate version of 1916 Naval Act calls for immediate construction of 6 battlecruisers.

29 August. Final version of bill passed with appropriation for 6 battlecruisers and 10 battleships to be constructed over the next five years.

1 September. Royal Navy begins construction of HMS Hood a battleship-battlecruiser hybrid intended to integrate the lessons of Jutland concerning protection whilst maintaining battlecruiser speed and heavy armament.

1917

31 January. Bureau of Ordnance suggests that the American battlecruisers be built with 16” guns rather than 14” ones to mirror British trends towards larger capital ship guns.68

19 February. Admiral Charles Badger writes to Secretary Daniels about the intended role of battlecruisers in the fleet, claiming that they “are not intended to form part of the fighting line [or]...a fast wing, but...to offensively screen the fleet,” laying out the basic American consensus on battlecruiser doctrine.69

Late 1917. General Board, Secretary, and Bureau of Construction and Repair agree to redesign battlecruisers with eight 16” guns instead of ten 14”.

1919

19 June. Bureau of Construction and Repair completes redesign of the American battlecruisers, adding heavier armor to the main belt, turrets, and conning tower.

1920

27 March. Admiralty publishes the final report of their Post War Questions Committee. On the subject of battlecruisers, the Committee criticizes extant British battlecruisers as sacrificing survivability in favor of speed, and determines that battlecruisers are necessary only if other powers possess them, and suggests much heavier armor in new classes, only a 10-20% reduction on battleship armor protection.70

11 June. British Admiralty planning construction of a new class of battlecruiser to match the American Lexingtons, with nine 18” guns.71

9 December. Memorandum from the Director of Naval Intelligence’s office at the Admiralty lays out British capital ship policy, specifically the idea, uniquely British, that the role of capital ships is to leave the seas free for the cruisers and destroyers that actually exercise effective command of the sea.72

1921

27 July. Secretary Edwin Denby asks General Board to come up with arms limitation proposals for the upcoming Washington Conference.

Late September-Early October. The General Board lays out their first plan, which would allow the U.S., Britain, and Japan to carry their existing building programs to completion, while scrapping older vessels.73

14 October. After being told that their plan did not save sufficient money, General Board recommends scrapping two battleships and two battlecruisers currently under construction.74

21 October. Under protest, the General Board agrees to the scrapping of four more battlecruisers above and beyond their 14 October plan.75

1922

6 February. Five-Power Treaty between U.S., U.K., Japan, France, and Italy signed, forcing the United States to scrap four of their under-construction battlecruisers and the conversion of two, Lexington and Saratoga, into aircraft carriers, while the United Kingdom scrapped most of their battlecruisers, but were allowed to complete and commission HMS Hood. Although the Treaty did not specifically ban battlecruisers, neither the U.S. nor the U.K. chose to devote part of their capital ship quota to new battlecruiser construction.


Footnotes

1 Admiral John Fisher, “Notes on the imperative necessity of possessing powerful fast armoured cruisers and their specifications,” February 1902, FISR 5/9, Churchill College Archives Centre, Cambridge, UK.

2 Lt. Matthew Signor, “A New Type of Battleship,” Proceedings of the United States Naval Institute, March 1902 (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press).

3 Cpt. O.S. Sperry, “Letter to the General Board,” February 1, 1904, Record Group 80, Entry 281: General Board Subject Files 1900-47. Subject File 420-6, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.

4 “General Board Memorandum: All Big-Gun Ship.” January 26, 1904, RG 80, E 281, File 420-6.

5 Sperry, “Letter to the General Board.”

6 Cmdr. William L. Rodgers, Memorandum in regard to New Types of Battle-ships and Armored Cruisers,” October, 1904, Box 112: XTYA, Folder 8, Naval Historical Collection (NHC), Naval War College, Newport, RI.

7 Admiralty, “Report of the Committee on Designs” (His Majesty’s Stationary Office, 1905). RIC/4/2/1, Admiral Sir Herbert Richmond Papers, National Maritime Museum, London.

8 “Report of the Committee on Designs,” 50.

9 Admiralty Committee on Naval Estimates, “Memorandum of First meeting of Committee on Navy Estimates, 1906-7,” July 20, 1905, ADM 116/1658, The National Archives (TNA), Kew, UK.

10 Lt.Cmdr. William S. Sims, “Letter to the President,” September 1, 1905, William Sowden Sims Papers, Manuscript Room, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

11 “General Board to Secretary,” September 30, 1905.

12 Ernest H. Rigg, “Modern Warships,” The Navy League Journal, October, 1905 (New York: The League Publication Company, 1905), 220.

13 Cpt. Richard Wainwright, “The Battle of the Sea of Japan,” USNI Proceedings, December 1905.

14 “The Building Programme of the British Navy,” Admiralty Memorandum, February 15, 1906, ADM 116/886B: Naval Staff Memoranda, TNA.

15 Cpt. Seaton Schroeder, “Gleanings from the Sea of Japan,” USNI Proceedings, March 1906, 91-2.

16 Siegfried Breyer, Battleships and Battle Cruisers 1905-1970, trans. Alfred Kurti (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1973), 115.

17 Alfred Thayer Mahan, “Reflections, Historic and Other, Suggested by the Battle of the Japan Sea,” USNI Proceedings, June 1906, 471.

18 Ernest H. Rigg, “Battle-ship Cruisers,” The Navy League Journal, August 1906, 153.

19 Admiral George Dewey, “Letter to the Secretary,” October 24, 1906, Record Group 80, Entry 281: General Board Subject Files, 1900-47, File 420-2, NARA Washington.

20 “Armored Cruisers Passing,” unsigned editorial, The Navy, January 1907 (Washington, D.C.: The Navy Publishing Company, 1907), 6.

21 Lt.Cmdr. F.H. Schofield, “Letter to the General Board,” January 3, 1907, RG 80 E281, File 420-6.

22 Proceedings and Hearings of the General Board of the U.S. Navy 1900-1950, Roll 2 November 26, 1906-December 31, 1912 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives Microfilm Publications, 1987), 40.

23 Cmdr. H.M. Dombaugh, “Letter to the President of the Naval War College,” March 19, 1907, RG 80 E281, File 420-6.

24 Admiral Lord Charles Beresford, “War Plans, “May 8, 1907, ADM 116/1037, TNA.

25 Cpt. W. McCarty Little, Cmdr. H.M. Dombaugh, Cmdr. H.S. Knapp, et al., Report of a Special Committee on the type of Torpedo Battleship proposed by Lieutenant commander F.H. Schofield,” August 24, 1907, Box 112: XTYA, Folder 9, NWC.

26 Breyer, Battleships and Battlecruisers, 115.

27 “The First All-Dreadnought Fleet,” unsigned editorial, The Navy, June 1908, 7.

28 “The Speed of the Indomitable,” unsigned editorial, The Navy, August 1908, 9.

29 Vincent Metcalf, “Annual Report of the Secretary of the Navy,” November 30, 1908, 8.

30 “Notes of Proceedings of Conference at the Admiralty,” August 11, 1909. ADM 116/1100B, TNA.

31 Cmdr. J.W Oman, Cmdr. C.S. Williams, and Lt. L.A. Cotton, “Report of Reconciling Committee on Question 20,” August 12, 1909. William Sowden Sims Papers, Manuscript Room, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

32 D.W. Taylor, “Reflections upon Contemporary Battleship Design,” Summer, 1910, Box 112, Folder 9, NHC.

33 W.L. Capps, “Memorandum for the Secretary,” August 18, 1910, Box 113, Folder 5, NHC.

34 General Board, “Report on Building Program,” September 28, 1910, RG 80, E281, File 420-2.

35 “Committee Report on Naval Appropriation Bill,” in Hearings Before Committee on Naval Affairs of the House of Representatives on Estimates Submitted By the Secretary of the Navy, 1911. (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1911), 22-3.

36 Sydney Ballou, “Naval Defense of the Pacific,” The Navy, March 1911, 34-35.

37 “General Board Report on Building Program,” May 25, 1911, RG 80, E 281, File 420-2.

38 “Tactical Question #2: the Use of Armored Cruisers in an Action, Summer 1911, Box 106: XTAG, Naval Historical Collection (NHC), Naval War College, Newport, RI.

39 Naval War College Tactical Committee, Report on the advisability of including Torpedo battleship in the building program for 1912,” September 20, 1911, Box 113, Folder 2, NHC.

40 Fisher, “Letters to Churchill,” November 10-December 6 1911, CHAR 13/2, Churchill College Archives Centre.

41 “Annual Report of the Secretary of the Navy for the Fiscal Year 1911” (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1911), 35.

42 Cpt. W.L. Rodgers, “Letter to the Secretary of the Navy,” December 1, 1911. Document 9469-48, Record Group 80, Records of the Navy Department; General Correspondence, 1897-1915; NARA Washington.

43 Winston Churchill, “Letter to Louis Harcourt,” January 9, 1912, CHAR 13/8, Churchill College Archives Centre.

44 Admiralty Board Minutes #43, May 12, 1909, ADM 167, TNA.

45 R.Adm. H. Osterhaus, “Tactical Exercise of Fleet during passage from Guantanamo to Hampton Roads,” Record Group 80, Entry 281: General Board Subject Files 1900-47. Subject GB 434.

46 Winston Churchill, “Naval Situation in the Mediterranean,” June 15, 1912, ADM 116/1294b, TNA.

47 Fisher, “H.M.S. ‘Incomparable’,” September 17, 1912, FISR 5/17, Churchill College Archives Centre.

48 “Memorandum from General Board. Building Program, 1913-1917,” September 25, 1912, RG 80, E281, File 420-2.

49 “Proposed War Plans,” November 25, 1912, ADM 116/3412, TNA.

50 Cmdr. W.V. Pratt, “Letter to the President of the Naval War College,” December 26, 1912, RG 80 E281, File 420-6.

51 “Summary of Draft Navy Estimates, 1913-14,” January 1913, ADM 116/3151, TNA.

52 Cpt. W.L. Rodgers, “Notes Upon the Memorandum of the Third Committee [of the General Board] Regarding Characteristics of Battle Cruisers of 1914 Programme,” January 2, 1913, RG 80 E281, File 420-6.

53 R.Adm. David Beatty, “Functions of a Battle Cruiser Squadron,” April 5, 1913, BTY/2/4/3, NMM.

54 Adm. William H. May,” Naval Manoeuvres, 1913: Report by Umpire-in-Chief,” August 1913, ADM 116/1169, TNA, U.K.

55 Adm. George Callaghan, “Naval Manoeuvres, 1913: Remarks on North Sea Strategy,” August[?] 1913, ADM 116/3130, TNA.

56 "What Constitutes Battle Strength: An Answer to the Erroneous Statements made in Minority Report on the House Naval Bill,” The Navy, April 1914, 156.

57 Adm. Fisher, “Memorandum for d’Eyncourt,” December 19, 1914, DEY/16, Caird Library, National Maritime Museum (NMM), London.

58 Adm. Fisher, “Memorandum for the First Lord,” January 25, 1915, DEY/29, NMM.

59 Proceedings of the General Board, Roll 3 January 3, 1913-December 29, 1916, 76.

60 R.Adm. Austin M. Knight, “Report on the Outcome of the Exercises,” May 26, 1915, Record Group 80, Entry 281: General Board Subject Files 1900-47. Subject GB 434.

61 “The Naval War Game,” The Navy, June 1915, 142-3.

62 Admiral Charles J. Badger (ret.), “Testimony to the House Committee on Naval Affairs, 2/22/16.”

63 General Board, “Battle Cruisers, 1917: Characteristics, October 17, 1915, RG 80, E281, File 420-6.

64 Asst. Naval Constructor B.S. Bullard, “A Plea for the Battle-Cruiser,” USNI Proceedings, November-December 1916.

65 Cmdr. Yates Stirling, “The Arrival of the Battle-Cruiser,” USNI Proceedings, November-December 1916.

66 Josephus Daniels, “Report of the Secretary of the Navy” for Fiscal Year 1915, December 1 1915.

67 Committee on Construction of Battle Cruisers, “Memorandum for Beatty,” June 18, 1916, ADM 137/2134, TNA.

68 U.S. Navy Bureau of Ordnance “Memorandum for Chief of Naval Operations,” January 31, 1917, Record Group 19, Entry 105, 22-C1-6-1, NARA Washington.

69 Adm. Charles Badger, “Letter to Secretary Daniels,” February 19, 1917, RG 19, E 105, 22-C1-6-1.

70 “Final Report of the Post War Questions Committee,” March 27, 1920, ADM 1/8586/70, TNA.

71 "Preliminary Statement by Assistant Chief of Naval Staff as to the Main Requirements of Design,” June 11, 1920, DEY/2, NMM.

72 Assistant Director of Naval Intelligence, “Notes on Capital Ship Policy,” December 9, 1920, ADM 114/3442, TNA.

73 General Board, “Memorandum for the Secretary,” October 3, 1921, Box 99, NHC.

74 General Board, “Memorandum for the Secretary,” October 14, 1921, Box 99, NHC.

75 General Board, “Memorandum for the Secretary,” October 22, 1921, Box 99, NHC.