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The Fashoda Crisis And The Development Of A Modern Navy

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Chapter Summary

The jeune école’s return to power was aided by shifting alignments in international politics. Competing imperial projects in Africa caused a dramatic crisis between France and Great Britain. The very determined naval Minister of Marine, J.-L. de Lanessan, did manage to convince most of the admirals in the aftermath of the Fashoda crisis that the French Navy needed a thorough reform of its strategy, doctrines, material, organisation and the composition of the fleet, and that the Royal Navy should be the standard against which it should measure itself. Lanessan, aided by Admiral Fournier, designed a programme for modernising the French Navy that was inspired by the jeune école’s ideas of how to fight a superior enemy, but at the same time retained many of the traditional elements of naval policy. Lanessan’s programme thus resembled many of the ideas put forward by the predecessor of the jeune école, Richild Grivel.

Keywords: Fashoda crisis; French Navy; Great Britain; J.-L. de Lanessan; jeune école



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