After the remaining troops came back with a great shame from the Cadiz expedition of the XVII century, John Elliot pronounced extremely critical speeches against the king. According to him, king Charles I was incapable of commanding both the fleet and the country. Elliot ended up being imprisoned in the Tower. But new MPs who heard his call to action were ready to continue John Elliot’s campaign. The revolution was imminent.
The link between the Parliament and the king were broken up. Charles I fled from London in 1642. It provoked a civil was outbreak. After the new republic was proclaimed, Charles I was beheaded in 1649. The new Parliament took control over the fleet in which the newly appointed senior officers were entirely loyal to the current authorities.
Robert Blake, an MP, was appointed Naval General. He had been a hero of the Civil War; his protestant mentality was very radical. The new Naval General had never served in the fleet before, which made it doubtful for him to efficiently protect the marine borders of England. On the other hand, he was a perfect expert in human nature and war tactics. At the same time, Blake still had to encounter disobedience among subordinate officers.
The new Naval General was determined to address the existing subordination problem. For that purpose, he wrote the so-called “Articles of War”, which were guidelines for the commanders of the fleet subdivisions. The “Articles of War” further underlay the naval discipline and became a prototype for future military manuals.
The commanders were empowered by the Articles of War stating 39 types of military offences, including theft, cowardice, sleeping during sentry hours etc. For most of the offences, capital punishment was specified. Blake even dismissed his brother from the fleet for a breach of discipline.
The Government realized that the fleet had needed such commander as Blake for a long time. Only under such strong and severe leadership a military organism was able to become continuously invincible, with a very low probability of a defeat.