A police authority says it will have to axe the equivalent of 23 officers to pay for policing the Trafalgar 200 anniversary in Portsmouth this summer.
Nelson's flagship HMS Victory will be involved in the celebrations
Hampshire Police Authority chairman Mike Attenborough-Cox is angry over what he says is the government's "failure" to contribute enough funds.
He said the Home Office had verbally agreed £500,000 for the £1.7m operation, leaving £640,000 to be met.
But the Home Office said no official funding announcement had been made.
The Royal Navy has pledged £510,000 towards the policing costs and Portsmouth City Council £50,000.
Mr Attenborough-Cox said the £640,000 shortfall was the equivalent of 23 beat officers or a 1% increase in council tax for Hampshire residents.
He said he was not happy with the Home Office's contribution of £500,000.
"We are certainly not happy with this grant.
The shortfall is basically the cost of 23 officers on the streets of Hampshire for a year. How can our communities sustain that sort of thing?"
Mr Attenborough-Cox also criticised the Navy for reducing its original contribution of £750,000 to £510,000.
"It's a commercial event and the navy are hoping to make a profit of about £2m out of it," he said.
"To my way of thinking some of that should go towards the policing operation."
A Navy spokesman said no profit was expected to be made out of the event.
"We have created an event which we feel befits the occasion while ensuring it is a free event for the public to watch," he said.
The fleet review on 28 June will see the Queen inspect 167 ships from the Royal Navy and 35 other nations anchored in the Solent, off Portsmouth.
About 250,000 people are expected to attend.