When I was undergoing the staff course at Wellington one of the topics of study was the decline of the Royal Navy. It is a known fact that the Royal navy literally ruled the waves and the sun never set on the British Empire. This was in great measure due to the Royal Navy that operated in all the oceans of the world. A fact overlooked is that much of the budget of this massive armada of the Royal navy was financed from spoils of the colonies and overseas British territories.
In 1914 the Royal Navy was the most powerful
But at the end of the Second World War and the freedom movement in India slackened British power and over the last 60 years the royal navy from a global force has become a local force. The present fleet strength is just 79 ships with 1 aircraft carrier. Not a strength that can allow the Royal navy to sustain any operation on its own outside its vicinity of the British isles.
We had one naval officer from the Royal Navy under training with us and he admitted that the UK now reduced to a puny size without its colonies and an economy that can not sustain a large force has perforce to downsize. This is a bitter pill for the British who had long prided in their navy. The Royal navy is till an extremely professional force but its ability to face and launch a global operation is zero. This is far cry when the British warships operated from Zanzibar to China. The wheel has now turned full circle and the sooner the British realize that their great power days are over, the better it is. I understand that even these 79 ships are to be further pruned by 2020, as the British economy cannot sustain even this small force