The advent of steam powered warships in the early nineteenth century promised to revolutionise sea travel. Britain however, the pioneers of steam power, tried to halt the development of this technology. Why was this?

Answer: British leaders were worried that steam power would undermine Britain’s naval superiority. Britain had the world’s most advanced shipbuilding industry, sailing expertise and cannon construction, but all would be made obsolete if traditional wooden, sail driven warships were replaced.

Source: 50 Weapons That Changed Warfare by William Weir

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