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John Arbuthnot Fisher, 1st Baron Fisher by Sir Hubert von Herkomer

Portrait of First Sea Lord Fisher, 1911

Born John Arbuthnot Fisher in British Ceylon in 1841, Captain Fisher began his Navy career when he signed onto the HMS Victory at the age of thirteen. Having held various posts during his career, Captain Fisher first came to the attention of the Royal Family when he was convalescing in England after the Anglo-Egyptian war in 1882. Fisher's idea of armouring a locomotive with steel plate and cannon caught the fancy of the public. During his convalescence he became good friends with His Royal Highness Prince Edward VII and his wife Alexandra. Shortly thereafter he was made a Companion of the Order of Bath, and received a visit from Her Majesty Queen Victoria.

The genesis for his tremendous influence on the rise of leviathans can be traced to his time as commander of the HMS Excellent, where he first gathered a following of such important patronages as Percy Scott and John Jellicoe. These men all shared a common concern regarding the lack of offensive capabilities of the British fleet, with Scott proposing several new ideas to improve naval gunnery. But at the moment all three men were minor players within the Greater Admiralty. Fisher's appointment as Director of Ordnance, responsible for developing new weapons for the Admiralty, was a step in the right dirction for these mens' ambitions.

Upon his appointment as Her Majesty Queen Victoria's Aide de Camp in 1887, Fisher was well placed to take advantage of the opportunity before him. The so-called "aether flyers" provided a platform on which to test his ideas and those of his counterparts.

Fisher is now Britain's First Sea Lord.

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