The Royal Navy has been decimated, but Iran's insolence shows why Britain must still rule the waves | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

The Royal Navy has been decimated, but Iran's insolence shows why Britain must still rule the waves

Our best-known patriotic song is based on the idea that “Britannia rules the waves”. Not the world; the waves. Until quite recently, it was axiomatic that Britain’s greatness was sea-borne. The Army mattered greatly, but only sometimes. The Royal Navy mattered all the time.

Since the 1990s, attitudes have changed, and now we are paying for it. Then, we had 45 destroyers and frigates; today we have 19. As seven former First Sea Lords pointed out in a letter in yesterday’s Sunday Telegraph, Iran has been able to capture and detain the British-flagged Stena Impero because there simply wasn’t a British frigate available to prevent it.

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