Skip to content

All SAP systems will be unavailable on Saturday 10th December 2022 from 0800-1800 UK Time.

If you can’t place an order, please contact Customer Services to complete your order.

UK/ROW +44 (0) 1223 326050 | US 1 800 872 7423 or 1 212 337 5000 | Australia/New Zealand 61 3 86711400 or 1800 005 210, New Zealand 0800 023 520

Register Sign in Wishlist

Morale and Discipline in the Royal Navy during the First World War

$33.99 (C)

Part of Studies in the Social and Cultural History of Modern Warfare

  • Date Published: October 2020
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108409421

$ 33.99 (C)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an examination copy?

This title is not currently available for examination. However, if you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • In contrast to the voluminous literature on trench warfare, few scholarly works have been written on how the First World War was experienced at sea. The conditions of war challenged the Royal Navy's position within British national identity and its own service ethos. This challenge took the form of a dialogue, fuelled by fear of civil unrest, between the discourses of paternalism from above and democratism from below. Laura Rowe explores issues of morale and discipline, using the contemporary language of discipline to shed light on key questions of how the service was able to absorb indiscipline with marked success through a subtle web of loyalties, history, ethos, traditions and customs, which were rooted in older notions of service but moulded by the new conditions of total war. In so doing, she provides not only a new methodological framework for understanding morale, but also military discipline and leadership.

    • The issues of morale and discipline are considered within a naval context, rather than the typical trench warfare one
    • Military and civilian naval history are looked at in tandem to give a more overarching historical reading of the period
    • Uses both qualitative and quantitative methodologies to lessen the limitations of taking only one approach
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    ‘Laura Rowe's book fills major gaps in the multidisciplinary study of military endurance and in the historiography of the First World War. A meticulously researched examination of the Royal Navy's resilience during the hard war years, this is among the first modern in-depth analyses of morale in maritime conflict. Essential reading.' Alexander Watson, author of Enduring the Great War. Combat, Morale and Collapse in the German and British Armies, 1914–1918

    ‘Laura Rowe's book makes us rethink the relationship between British society and the Royal Navy during the First World War. An important contribution to the ‘new naval history'.' Jan Rüger, author of Heligoland: Britain, Germany, and the Struggle for the North Sea

    ‘This careful, eloquent study of morale and discipline shows how, and why, the Royal Navy had its own, effective ways of handling the stress of war in 1914–18. At last, we have a study that places British sailors where they belong – at the heart of the Great War.' John Horne, Emeritus Fellow, Trinity College Dublin

    ‘Morale and Discipline in the Royal Navy is an impressive, and in many ways, a seminal work … [it] is a thoroughly well researched and argued social history that presents a fresh view on the First World War and a new framework for examining concepts of morale.’ Alexander Maavara, Canadian Military History

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2020
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108409421
    • length: 278 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 151 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.421kg
    • contains: 8 b/w illus. 16 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Ethos on the eve of war: the foundations of paternalism and democratism
    2. The structure of discipline and the spectre of indiscipline
    3. 'Addressing' pay and conditions
    4. Lower-deck societies, trade unions, and representation
    5. Counting unrest

  • Author

    Laura Rowe, University of Exeter
    Laura Rowe is Senior Lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Exeter.

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.