As Europe was poised on the cusp of the Great War (1914-1918), issues of national defence were of paramount concern. Despite the importance to German security of concentrating its resources on continental defence within Europe, the preceding years had been steeped in the cult of the navy. Germany's daunting pursuit of Weltpolitik had raised a serious challenge to traditional British naval hegemony. At issue were the future course of international relations, economic development and, crucially, the balance of power on both regional and global scales. Published in early 1914, some papers in this volume reviewed historic contributions of the British navy, offering a timely opportunity to formulate a better understanding of how the navy might be expected to perform in the future. The contents are evenly divided between essays on naval and military history, with the value of such historical analyses to contemporary officers being an explicit theme throughout.