René Daveluy (1863-1939)

Keith Bird (p. 25) recuerda que Raeder tradujo al alemán su obra y adoptó su idea de los grupos de combate:

One of Raeder’s few references in his memoirs to any naval strategist was the French captain René Daveluy. Raeder translated Daveluy’s Study of Naval Tactics into German during his second year at the Marine-Akademie (a remarkable achievement, considering his other studies) and maintained a correspondence with Daveluy for years. One of the leading French proponents of Mahan, Daveluy clearly reinforced Raeder’s embrace of Mahan’s principle of the primacy of the battle fleet and the “decisive battle” as the only way to achieve mastery of the sea. 35 Daveluy, however, also discussed viable alternatives for the weaker navy through the use of diversion against the weaknesses of a superior enemy. Stressing speed and endurance (range) and the rapid changing of operational areas, the weaker navy could choose the time and place of the battle and cause the enemy to disperse its forces or even withdraw forces from its main fleet, creating a more favorable opportunity to engage the enemy’s fleet. He also saw the possibility of the enemy’s numbers and create a Kräfteausgleich (equalization of forces). This form of offensive cruiser warfare involved strategic and tactical risks and considerable initiative and energy on the part of the commanders. It was to be coordinated within the overall operations plan of the navy and thereby contribute to the ultimate battle between the main fleets. 36 These ideas would play a critical role in the development of Raeder’s later strategic concepts and the building of the Kriegsmarine.

35 Raeder, ML, I, 54. Cf. Theodore Ropp, The Development of a Modern Navy: French Naval Policy, 1971–1904, 334.

36 Klaus Schröder, “Zur Entstehung der strategischen Konzeption Grossadmiral Raeders,” MOH-Nachrichten (1971): 14–18.