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Why leave out Japan?

Japan was not in the table I used.

Mind you, there's also the not irrelevant consideration that Austro-Hungary and Italy's naval interests were principally limited to the Adriatic, and principally driven by the threat posed by one another (despite being nominal allies) so it's not wholly surprising that they would devote a relatively small portion of the GDP to their Navy. In contrast the Royal Navy had global aspirations and Germany had aspirations to match, so would need a larger Navy. Likewise, the Russians had to worry about the Dreadnaughts (or proposed Dreadnaughts, in the case of Turkey) of three countries, German, Japan and Turkey.

Why look at the per capita number for GDP? It's not battle ships per capita either

Total GDP should be driving the ability to build battle ships. Any over- or undershooting shows a deliberate choice by the nation. I guess, e.g. Russia had more ships than she could afford, while the US had less (isolationism)

No Brazil?


Per capita GDP seemed like a good reflection of the resource available adjusting for population size but I suppose you could make the case for total GDP also.
Anon & Lorenzo:
Actually, there are more detailed tables by ship type for many countries in the second half of the Annual including both Japan and Brazil but these countries were not included in the handy summary table I used.

The French had a more "cost-effective" fleet? In what terms? A fleet is effective to the extent that it can perform its various tasks in the strategic context. Otherwise it's a waste of money. The British fleet could (ie, it kept the seas open for British commerce, enforced the blockade on Germany and so on). The German fleet could not perform its tasks - it neither posed enough of a threat to keep Britain from aiding France (Turpitz' "risikoflotte" concept), nor could it strangle Britain's or France's commerce. So it was the least effective of the fleets. How many torpedo boats one has is irrelevant. Geography also plays a part - Russia had to defend three coasts, with very limited ability ability to transfer units between them.

Naval Doctrine also matters. The French for a long time had a focus on coast defense (torpedo boats) and commerce raiding (cruisers and submarines)they did not build very many battleships.

Also numbers may be misleading the British did not have 77 dreadnought battleships and the older pre dreadnoughts were not really frontline units anymore. It was a period of rapid technological advance and ships older that 10 years or so were not nearly as effective. Note this applies to all countries not just the British. So how many of each type were modern units is a relevant question. The Russian navy would have mostly modern ships after the Russo Japanese war but they were way behind in building modern battleships.

As to the ratio no surprise that the British are high (big navy, small army, overseas empire) what is more surprising is the higher ratios for the Germans and Russians given both required large armies and Russia at least had a continental empire. Evidence maybe of the Anglo German naval arms race.

If Japan was left out of the summary table, that says something interesting about either attitudes of the author/publisher or about their expected audience. After all, the Japanese success in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-5 was the most important naval clash since the American Civil War and Japan had been the first Power the British had signed an alliance with since 1815.

I'd say the audience, the summary applies to the players in an Atlantic naval war only. Japan was an exception in that it was a Pacific power, and that didn't develop as a naval area of interest until the 1920's. At this time Pearl Harbour was still very new and rather small as an American naval base. It didn't become the base for the Pacific Fleet until 1940.

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