A major contributing factor to the tensions between the great powers that led to the outbreak of the First World War was the intense competition between them in building armaments. There are mainly 2 races; the naval race and the development of mass armies.
In 1889, the British government recognised the importance of a strong navy to an island nation with a far-flung empire, begin to modernise the Royal navy. Furthermore, Britain set down the Two Power Standard, that the Royal Navy should possess twice the amount of ships than that of the next two largest navies, France and Russia, combined together.
However, in the mid-1890s, Germany wanted to pursue its policy of world power, thus began to build up her navy. This decision began to alter the British concerns. The Architect of the new German Navy, Grand Admiral Von Tirpitz, aimed to build as much as two-third of the British navy and have them situated at the North sea in Europe. Germany hoped that its navy was strong enough to neutralize the might of the Royal Navy.
In 1990, Germany began its construction of its naval fleet. This move by Germany, who hand the strongest army in Europe, alarmed the British, who saw no justification for a powerful naval fleet. The British saw this as a threat to the security of the island. As the tension between both Britain and Germany rose, Britain tried to end the naval race twice, once in 1906 and the other in 1912. However, Germany wanted Britain to pledge neutrality in any European War. Britain did not agree, as she feared the German domination of Europe.
Britain responded by reorganise and expanded the British naval fleet. Admiral Sir John Fisher read about having big-gun battleships instead of small battleships. In October 1905, Britain began to build her new class of battleships, H.M.S Dreadnought. The Dreadnought was thefirst'all big gun' battleship.
The race for Dreadnought class battleships placed Brita