Dissertation Assistance

If you feel this is in the wrong section please move it to somewhere more fitting.

I am currently a Maritime Studies student in my final year at John Moores University in Liverpool, as part of this year I have to complete a dissertation on the maritime subject of our choice.
I have chosen the Royal Navy as it is a subject I have had a great interest in since I was very young.

Therefore as part of my primary research I would like to know your opinions on a few matters.

First of all, is the Royal Navy suitably funded and equipped to carry out its assigned roles?

Second, could a medium/large scale operation to retake the Falkland Islands be possible today?
For this question I am assuming that sufficient ground forces are available.

I request that in your answers you be careful when it comes to abbreviations. Some I am familiar with but I know from browsing this forum that there are many that are a mystery to me.
I am aware that both question are quite large and open ended but the more detail you can provide me with the better.

Thank you in advance. Your assistance is very much appreciated.
Perhaps you can describe how you're going to use the information collected. Bearing in mind that you have no idea how informed the various responses might be, given the very open nature of the questions, how are you intending on mitigating for the lack of knowledge?

I'd suggest a good trawl through the various discussions about funding and delivery management, then form some more specific questions. You'll also need to factor in how the RN is funded in relation to the other services and how the various costs, operational and programme, are apportioned.


War Hero
I suggest as one source of reference be Lewis Page's book. It is rather anting and partisan, but should give you prima facae source material.

What is your thesis? Is it scale or funding based? Does it concern the consequences of a major maritime operation or the consequences of the present governmental (mis)management?


War Hero
As Karma and Oslo have pointed out before me, your questions are a little vague, the subjectiveness of funding is probably not best addressed here the answer you will get is obvious.

There are some very good threads in current affairs and you will get a fair idea who is well informed and reliable from there, just to start you off this was a god one although a little "theoretical"

The Royal Navy, what's needed for the Future?
Ok, very well.

Karma. Point taken. I am very aware they are wide ranging and non specific. I'm not after detailed views that would be more suitable for an official report. I'm simply after some opinions from people who these issues effect. I'm not quite sure if I have written that very well, I'm not after anything to complicated if that makes any sense.

Oslo. Thank you for pointing me towards the book. I will certainly try and pick up a copy tomorrow.

Chieftiff. I have seen some of these other threads, they do make interesting reading. I am aware of the very likely answer regarding funding. However please answer anyway, no matter how much I think I know I cant answer that in my dissertation, I need you to tell me what I am already aware of so I can put it in my dissertation.

I will therefore review and revert, however if anyone does want to reply to these questions then please do, it will be most useful.


Lantern Swinger
Might be worth asking RUSI, Richard Scott of Jane's (fantastic bloke with a naval brain the size of a planet), or perhaps Iain Ballantyne down at Warships IFR.

Within the service, you could try writing to the First Sea Lord, or perhaps Assistant Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Adm Cooling. Not sure what response you'll get :)
Rather than promote the f8ckwittery of Lewis Page - who claims to know what is wrong with defence procurement and how to fix it (despite having never been allowed anywhere near it!), try this lot..


They are pollies, but usually come out with some sensible (if not unexpected) conclusions.

As mentioned above the RUSI would be another good place to try as is Rand Europe who have done quite a bit of work for MoD (led by the ludicrously-named Hans Pung), much of which is available on their website. Not always correct IMHO, but worth a look, particularly for industrial base issues.

Be very careful about using the Falklands as an example. I would start by looking up the original Strategic Defence Review documents from 97/98 and the New Chapter published in 2002. That tells you what HMG requires the armed forces to be capable of. I'm reasonably sure it doesn't explicitly specify being able to retake a archipelago 8000 miles away against a dug-in force. Probably because we have MPA and Mare Harbour there now and the "threat" is relatively less capable than in 82.

A "could we retake the FI?" question will (rightly) bring out a whole raft of opinions quoting how big the fleet was back then, how many ships were hit, damaged or lost, how we don't have the Sea Harrier anymore - all of which are valid points. However, currently we're not tasked with providing umpteen escort groups for trans-atlantic re-re shipping if Ivan comes west against a huge fleet of subs and heavy bombers. Nor is the oppo really capable of taking out MPA without some form of warning. If they did, we would be in trouble, although mainly from the lack of SHAR, (offset to a degree by ASaC) and lack of tankers / store ships. Amphibious lift is also much improved compared to 82.

That's not to say everything is rosy in the garden - it's not by a long chalk. The issue is more a question of whether the fleet could be made ready for that type of campaign in sufficient time, given current funding and facilities. Lack of depth in critical skills and personnel strength, reduction in large-scale training exercises, op tempo for all RN/RM in sandy places at the minute all contribute to a sensible answer. Problem is they are difficult to measure and present, as opposed to comparisons of hull numbers, but more indicative of the problems we face.

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