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Brown-, Green-, and Blue-water Fleets: The Influence of Geography on Naval Warfare, 1861 to the Present
From riverine operations in the American Civil War and China in the 1860s to the major fleet engagements of the World Wars, plus more recent naval actions in the Falklands/Malvenas War and Gulf War, Lindberg and Todd methodically show how geography has shaped the strategy, tactics, and tools of naval warfare. Alfred T. Mahan was perhaps the first naval professional to recognize and acknowledge fully the influence of geography on navies and naval warfare. Many of his principles of seapower were inherently geographical and influenced both what kind of naval force a state would possess and how it would be utilized. In the time that has passed since Mahan made his observations, naval warfare and navies have experienced major technological changes, yet geographical factors continue to exert their influence on how navies fight, how they are structured, and the design of the ships that they deploy.
After providing a comprehensive review of geostrategic theory and its application to naval warfare, the book is organized by major operational environments in which such warfare occurs--the high seas, littoral regions, and inland waterways. Lindberg and Todd illustrate how such geographical factors as distance, location, surface, and subsurface conditions influence naval operations, including fleet-to-fleet engagements, amphibious assault, coastal defense, logistical support, and riverine actions. A separate chapter takes an in-depth look at the ways in which geography influences navies themselves with issues such as primary mission type, force structure development, and ship design. Through the use of historical case studies, this volume applies long held geographical concepts to fundamental naval theories and practices to illustrate just how pervasive geography's influence has been during the past 140 years.
U.S. and British naval power developed in quite different ways in the early 20th century before the Second World War. This study compares, contrasts, and evaluates both British and American naval power as well as the politics that led to the development of each. Naval power was the single greatest manifestation of national power for both countries. Their armies were small and their air forces only existed for part of the period covered. For Great Britain, naval power was vital to her very existence, and for the U.S., naval power was far and away the most effective tool the country could use to exercise armed influence around the world. Therefore, the decisions made about the relative strengths of the two navies were in many ways the most important strategic choices the British and American governments ever made. An important book for military historians and those interested in the exercise and the extension of power.
Challenging the stereotype of premodern China as an agricultural nation, this book examines the development of the maritime sector, maritime institutions, and sea power in the premodern era. Initially discussing topics related to China's exports, such as ship design and construction, goods produced solely for export, capital accumulation and investment in the maritime sector, and trade networking, the volume goes on to consider the impact of maritime institutions, governmental trade and non-trade policies, and Confucian attitudes toward maritime activities.
Finally, the book shows how China obtained technological, economic, and naval supremacy in Asian waters until the 18th century and goes on to discuss the reasons for the decline of the maritime sector in the 19th century.
When the United States entered World War I in April 1917, the clamoring in the press for a strong army largely overshadowed the need for considerable naval contributions to the war effort. Although it was small at the time, the U.S. Navy transported thousands of doughboys to France, all the while battling the predatory German U-Boats. Henry Ford tried to put his mass-production techniques to work to produce hundreds of submarine chasers to patrol American coastlines. The fledgling Naval Air Service was assigned the daunting task of dealing with enemy aircraft over France and in the Adriatic Sea. This is the personal account of men who served on the sea and in the air, as well as the captains of industry who made victory possible.
Industrial innovations contributed greatly to the Allied cause. George Eastman's Kodak Company developed ship and aircraft camouflage, and the General Electric Company perfected the hydrophone, a precursor to modern sonar. While many are aware of the exploits of Eddie Rickenbacker, the U.S. Army's ace, few know that the Navy also had an ace. After more than 80 years, these forgotten naval heroes receive the recognition that they well deserve in an account that attempts to give the war a human face through personal diaries, letters, and photographs.
Naval forces have not yet received the attention they are due for their role in Operation Desert Shield. This chronological account offers a unique, and as yet, unseen level of detail regarding the Navy's contribution throughout the operation. Relying on primary sources whenever possible, this book discusses naval decisions in terms of information available to decision-makers at the time and presents the pros and cons for alternative courses of action, as argued at the time of the original decision. It details the Navy's role in planning for successful operations, its constant vigil against surprise attack, and its daily contribution to the maritime interception effort to enforce U.N. economic sanctions against Iraq.
Naval forces upheld the sanctions at sea in such a way as to avoid disabling a civilian ship and provided the glue that helped create and maintain the multi-national coalition. The complexity of the situation required the naval forces to adapt their command and control to a highly centralized operation which placed unprecedented demands on the Navy's communications systems. This study provides an insider view of the various plans, even those that were not carried out, and valuable insights into the personalities of the leading officials. Sources include first-hand observations of the events at ComUSNavCent, where the author had access to nearly all events and decisions; hundreds of thousands of messages and other briefing materials; the post-war analysis done by the Center for Naval Analyses; and interviews with almost all of the key players.
The aircraft carrier USS Forrestal was preparing to launch attacks into North Vietnam when one of its jets accidentally fired a rocket into an aircraft occupied by pilot John McCain. A huge fire ensued, and McCain barely escaped before a 1,000-pound bomb on his plane exploded, causing a chain reaction with other bombs on surrounding planes. The crew struggled for days to extinguish the fires, but, in the end, the tragedy took the lives of 134 men. For thirty-five years, the terrible loss of life has been blamed on the sailors themselves, but this meticulously documented history shows that they were truly the victims and heroes.
In 1706, war still rages in Europe, and the tobacco planters of the Virginia colony's tidewater struggle against shrinking markets and pirates lurking off the coast. But American seafarers have found a new source of wealth: the Indian Ocean and ships carrying fabulous treasure to the great Mogul of India.
Faced with ruin, former pirate Thomas Marlowe is determined to find a way to the riches of the East. Carrying his crop of tobacco in his privateer, Elizabeth Galley, he secretly plans to continue on to the Indian Ocean to hunt the Mogul's ships. But Marlowe does not know that he is sailing into a triangle of hatred and vengeance -- a rendezvous with two bitter enemies from his past. Ultimately, none will emerge unscathed from the blood and thunder, the treachery and danger, of sailing the Pirate Round.
At the center of the conflict were two men: the hotheaded young adventurer Charles W. Read, who resigned his commission as a Union midshipman to become a lieutenant in the Confederate Navy; and Secretary of the United States Navy Gideon Welles, a well-connected politician who ably oversaw the explosive growth of the fleet -- including the revolutionary ironclads -- during the war despite his lack of maritime experience. Serving aboard CSS Florida off the coast of Brazil, Read hatched a daring plan to sail a captured brig directly into the Union's home waters and wreak havoc on their shipping lanes. Burning or capturing more than twenty merchant vessels in less than three weeks, and switching ships several times to elude capture, Read's rampage caused widespread panic in Northern cities, made headlines in the major daily newspapers, and brought enormous pressure on Welles to "stop the rebel pirate." At one point there were nearly forty Union ships sent to hunt down Read in a cat-and-mouse game that finally led to his dramatic capture off the coast of Maine.
Sea Wolf of the Confederacy brings to light this fascinating yet little known episode of the war, combining Shaw's flair for powerful storytelling with extensive research culled from contemporary newspapers, journals, and official war records. Taking readers to the heart of the action on the decks of the burning ships, Shaw offers a compelling portrait of the complex Read and an insightful new perspective on the divisions splitting North and South during this dark time in American history.