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THE HISTORY OF THE ROYAL NAVY begins with King Henry VIII’s first fleet, moves on to the exploits of Sir Francis Drake, the showdown with Spain’s “invincible” Armada in 1588, Nelson’s success at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, the Dreadnought in 1906, the sinking of the Bismark in WWII, and the Falklands War in 1982.
|S01E01||The King's Ships 1500 - 1599||31/12/2002||The King's Ships 1500 - 1599 In an exciting miniseries exploring the dramatic rise and decline of English naval power, host Prince Andrew, Duke of York, examines Britannia's rule of the seas in 16th century. The story begins with the creation of a Royal Navy under orders of the powerful King Henry VIII with ships such as GREAT HARRY and the MARY ROSE.|
|S01E02||Wooden Walls 1600 - 1805||31/12/2002||Wooden Walls 1600 - 1805 During the 17th century, the Royal Navy's war efforts were aided immeasurably by Samuel Pepys' visionary reforms of the Admiralty and the codification of naval tactics in The Fighting Instructions which transformed naval battles from uncontrollable melees into linear chess games on water. Led by Admirals Robert Blake, George Monck and others the Royal Navy's MIGHTY WOODEN WALLS confronted the great Dutch Admirals, such as Maarten Tromp, in decisive battles that sustained Britain's naval might. However, reforms initiated by France's brilliant Minister of Marine, Jean-Baptiste Colbert, begin to bear fruit. The French built better designed, faster ships and trained their sailors more effectively than the British.|
|S01E03||Steam, Steel and Dreadnoughts 1806 - 1918||31/12/2002||Steam, Steel and Dreadnoughts 1806 - 1918 With the exception of the surprising setbacks inflicted by America's fledgling navy during the War of 1812, the 19th century was a time of unchallenged mastery for the Royal Navy. Nevertheless, technical innovations developed at an unprecedented rate and forever changed the face of the navy. Muzzle-loading cannon fired in broadsides were replaced by powerful breech-loaders mounted in revolving armoured turrets. Mighty Wooden Walls were shattered and replaced by iron and steel as sail gave way to steam power.|
|S01E04||The Sun Never Sets 1919 - Present||31/12/2002||The Sun Never Sets 1919 -Present, The beginning of WWII found Winston Churchill standing alone and paying the price of the Naval Treaty limitations which allowed Germany and Japan to secretly build larger and more powerful ships. The loss of England's superiority was devastatingly clear with the quick and deadly sinking of HMS HOOD and other powerful ships by Germany's mighty monster, the BISMARCK, and deadly raider, the GRAF SPEE.|
|S01E05||HMS Victory||31/12/2002||HMS Victory It was at the centre of one of the most famous naval conflicts of all time, the battle of Trafalgar. From its decks, Admiral Nelson oversaw the destruction of the combined Spanish and French fleets - even as he met his own death. ENGLAND'S ROYAL WARSHIPS takes us aboard the legendary ship. From this unrivalled historical backdrop, we paint a picture of what it was like to serve on one of these Wooden Worlds 200 years ago.|
|S01E06||HMS Dasher||31/12/2002||HMS Dasher, It came without any warning. On Saturday, March 27th, 1943, the HMS Dasher, a British aircraft carrier, had completed two days of take off and landing exercises and was steaming to port just an hour and a half away.Suddenly, there was a terrific explosion, shaking the ship and propelling the two-ton landing crane 60 feet into the air. Within minutes, the Dasher was sinking rapidly at the stern and the crew of 528 men were struggling to survive. The fate of the carrier has been shrouded in secrecy for over half a century and, even today, many of the families of the 379 men who perished do not know what happened. What is clear is that the survivors, floating in the cold water awaiting rescue from the many ships steaming toward them, were engulfed in flames as the sea, coated in diesel and aviation fuel, caught fire, killing most men and complicating the rescue. Drawing on the memories of survivors and evidence from the wreck, DISASTER AT SEA challenges the official reports and exposes schemes of secrecy|
|S01E07||History of the Royal Navy 1900 - 1943||31/12/2002||In 1900, the role of the Royal Navy was to defend the Empire which spanned the globe. It had the largest and most powerful navy in the world and her fleet of 36 Battleships was more than all her potential enemies put together. The development and launch of the super-ship named the Dreadnought in 1906, made all other battleships obsolete. Her superior speed and armament was unprecedented and, under the first Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill, sparked a naval arms race with Germany culminating with the gigantic showdown at Jutland during WWI. The early part of the century also saw the development of the craft carrier and the introduction of naval aviation. Germany chose to ignore its potential but, by 1939, the carrier was an essential arm to the Royal Navy's fleet. Hitler's bombarded of Danzig in 1939 was the start of six years of Naval conflict. The scuttling of the Sraff Spee off Montivideo was a dramatic coo for the Allies and, at the Norway Campaign in 1940, many lessons were learnt about the need for specialist landing vehicles. The miraculous evacuation of the British Expeditionary at Dunkirk in1940 was a carefully planned operation where the Navy turned a tactical defeat into a strategic victory. By the end of the operation a staggering 338,000 men were rescued. When the battlecruiser, HMS Hood, was sunk in May 1941, Churchill's subsequent order was to "Sink the Bismarck". After a relentless pursuit by the Royal Navy lasting three days, Germany's flagship was sunk. It was a great victory to the Royal Navy.|
|S01E08||History of the Royal Navy 1943 - 2000||31/12/2002||History of the Royal Navy 1943 - 2000 After the fiasco of The Dieppe Raid in 1942, where 1,000 men were killed, the lessons learnt in amphibious warfare were put to good use on D-Day in June 1944.The Naval operation was called Neptune|