Foreign News: Sunset

When Britannia imperiously ruled the waves, the Admiralty had a settled policy: maintain as many battlewagons as the world's other top two powers combined. In 1918, before the sun commenced to set on British seapower, the Royal Navy boasted 50 battleships. Last week, without ceremony, the navy sailed the last of Her Majesty's battleships, the 44,500 ton Vanguard, from Portsmouth up to the Clyde to be broken up for scrap.

Commissioned in 1946, Vanguard never fired a shot in anger, and her last commander agreed unabashedly that "battleships are out of date." But for Britain's old salts it was a mournful moment;...

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