The naval arms revolution
DOI link for The naval arms revolution
The naval arms revolution book
William Armstrong's artillery piece began a military revolution of great consequence. The naval 'panics' and naval arms races were a feature of the military revolution of 1854-1914. Armstrong set out to remake British military power, but his new gun was quickly seen as also a means to remake British naval power. His new gun was first an imaginative idea to overcome engineering problems related to building a wrought-iron gun. By adapting his artillery gun for use on warships, Armstrong played his part in a long historical process. He could have sold his new weapons on the international market and it was this that the British government was anxious to avoid. He transferred his patent rights to the Secretary of State for War and the government amended the patent laws to ensure absolute secrecy. By the spring of 1859, his career had taken a dramatic shift from that of a civil engineer and businessman to a virtual national hero.