HISTORICAL SCIENCE AND ARCHAEOLOGY
S.N. Sinegubov, S.P. Shilov
“Lost Decade” (1888–1897s) of the Kaiser's Navy: a Myth or Reality?
The article analyzes the validity of the thesis of the former German naval state Secretary A. Tirpitz that the decade ( 1888-1897), prior to his joining the Ministry, was «lost» for the development of the German Navy, which resulted, in his opinion, in a serious of military, political and historical implications for navy and the German State as a whole. Based on the research of the archival material concerning the formation of the German Navy in the late 80s — the second half of 90-s of the XIX century, the authors show that the “problem” raised by A. Tirpitz is in fact artificial. For the most part it emerged due to the attempt of the author of the stated postulate to justify its policy of the intensive construction of the German naval forces and blame Vice-Admiral F. Hollmann (predecessor of A. Tirpitz as Secretary) and Kaiser Wilhelm II for its ultimate failure (loss of the German fleet as a result of the defeat in the World War I). Available sources of the scientific information prove that the so-called «lost decade» was determined by the objective economic, political and military conditions of the development of Germany and the subjective factor.
Key words: naval construction in Germany, international politics, the opposition of Germany, France, Russia and the UK
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