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Post-World War II

After peace had been declared, numbers in the Royal Navy once again dropped, but as the Cold War started, the need for an effective naval service remained, which led to another review of the RNR and RNVR which ultimately led to their amalgamation in 1958, creating the model for  the modern Royal Naval Reserve. In organisational and operational terms, this was the start of sustained modernisation during the post-war period, which culminated when the reserve element of Queen Alexandra's Royal Naval Nursing Service (QARNNS) and the Women’s Royal Naval Reserve joined the rest of the RNR in 1971 and 1976 respectively.

The primary and very visible role for the RNR during the Cold War was mine warfare, and to this extent, most training centres were given a minesweeper to act as a tender to facilitate sea training for their officers and sailors, and behind the scenes, the RNR provided much support in the Headquarters and Intelligence communities.

As the Cold War ended, another review occurred following the 1994, ‘Options for Change’ paper. It removed all the minesweepers from the RNR, training centres closed or merged and by 1998, a new style RNR had been created, under the Strategic Defence Review (SDR), which almost echoed the format of the RNR at its formation, with more direct liaison and training with the Regular Fleet.