An engrossing compendium of high-seas military disasters
From the days of the Spanish Armada to the modern age of aircraft carriers, battles have been bungled just as badly on water as they have been on land. Some blunders were the result of insufficient planning, overinflated egos, espionage, or miscalculations; others were caused by ideas that didn't hold water in the first place. In glorious detail, here are thirty-three of history's worst maritime mishaps, including:The British Royal Navy's misguided attempts to play it safe during the American Revolution The short life and death of the Imperial Japanese Navy The scuttling of the Graf Spee by a far inferior force The sinking of the Nazi megaship Bismarck "Remember the Maine!"—the lies that started the Spanish-American War Admiral Nelson losing track of Napoleon but redeeming himself at the Nile The ANZAC disaster at Gallipoli Germany's failed WWII campaign in the North Atlantic Kennedy's quarantine of Cuba
Chock-full of amazing facts and hilarious trivia, How to Lose a War at Sea is the most complete volume of nautical failures ever assembled.
Now Bobby C. Blair and John Peter DeCioccio tell the story of this campaign through the eyes of the 81st Infantry to offer a revised assessment. Previous accounts of the battle have focused on the 1st Marines, all but ignoring the 81st Infantry Division's contributions. Victory at Peleliu demonstrates that without the army's help the marines could not have succeeded on Peleliu.
Blair and DeCioccio have mined the 81st Division's unit records and interviewed scores of veteran participants. The new data they offer challenge the orthodox view that the 81st Infantry merely mopped up an already broken enemy. Allowing their interviewees to tell much of the story, the authors also give a human face to a brutal battle.
Although American efforts in the Palau Islands proved largely unnecessary to ultimately defeating the Japanese, the lessons learned on Peleliu were crucial in subsequent fighting on Iwo Jima and Okinawa. The 81st Infantry's contributions are now part of that larger story.
In June 1944 the attention of the nation was riveted on events unfolding in France. But in the Pacific, the Battle of Saipan was of extreme strategic importance. This is a gripping account of one of the most dramatic engagements of World War II. The conquest of Saipan and the neighboring island of Tinian was a turning point in the war in the Pacific as it made the American victory against Japan inevitable. Until this battle, the Japanese continued to believe that success in the war remained possible. While Japan had suffered serious setbacks as early as the Battle of Midway in 1942, Saipan was part of her inner defense line, so victory was essential. The American victory at Saipan forced Japan to begin considering the reality of defeat. For the Americans, the capture of Saipan meant secure air bases for the new B-29s that were now within striking distance of all Japanese cities, including Tokyo.
This book uses history in two ways: as the source of ideas about strategy and as examples to illustrate the elements by showing their application to specific campaigns and their utility in understanding the role of strategy in military operations. The focus is on American military campaigns from the American Indian Wars to the War in the Gulf. Those case studies are used to illustrate the strategy behind land, sea, and air campaigns. Over a fifth of the book examines the U.S. war against Japan because it furnishes such fine examples of independent and interdependent operations on land, on the sea, and in the air. The cases studied are not only intended to illustrate strategic ideas but also to show the utility of the author's distinctive approach to organizing military strategy. The book will appeal to military professionals, students of military science, and enthusiasts.
This book examines the nature and character of naval expeditionary warfare, in particular in peripheral campaigns, and the contribution of such campaigns to the achievement of strategic victory.
Hughes recreates famous battles to show how tactics have changed through the ages and the ways in which they have remained unchanged. He covers tactical interaction between land and sea, the sensory revolution of WWII, secret weapons and maritime surprise, the role in battle of leadership and morale, and the importance of surface warships in today's U.S. fleet. He suggests that naval tactics, unlike ground combat, are dominated by the offense and concludes that the great tactical maxim must be attack effectively first.
A new chapter traces the evolution of missile tactics at sea and includes details of attacks on ships. Many changes emphasize joint operations and coastal combat. The already extensive appraisal of command and control and information warfare is further expanded to cover modern naval operations and the character of modern salvo warfare. In the tradition of Mahan and Clauswitz, this classic text incorporates literature, politics, and a knowledge of human nature. Indispensable reading for all those interested in naval tactics, it is also a valuable reference for wargamers
Why did the Allies embark on an attack with so many disadvantages? Making extensive use of primary sources, Adrian Lewis traces the development of the doctrine behind the plan for the invasion of Normandy to explain why the battles for the beaches were fought as they were.
Although blame for the Omaha Beach disaster has traditionally been placed on tactical leaders at the battle site, Lewis argues that the real responsibility lay at the higher levels of operations and strategy planning. Ignoring lessons learned in the Mediterranean and Pacific theaters, British and American military leaders employed a hybrid doctrine of amphibious warfare at Normandy, one that failed to maximize the advantages of either British or U.S. doctrine. Had Allied forces at the other landing sites faced German forces of the quality and quantity of those at Omaha Beach, Lewis says, they too would have suffered heavy casualties and faced the prospect of defeat.
!--copy for pb reprint:BR"The fullest study of the planning for the cross-channel invasion we have. . . . No future student of Omaha Beach . . . will be able to ignore this book."--iNaval History/iBRBR"This clearly written, carefully argued and well-researched account offers a still-valid lesson in the importance of communication up and down the chain of command, and on bravery."--iPublishers Weekly/iBRBR"A major contribution to our understanding of the assault on Omaha Beach."--iJournal of Military History/iBRBRTracing the development of the doctrine behind the plan for the invasion of Normandy, Adrian Lewis reveals why the battles for the beaches were fought as they were. He examines the decisions made at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels as well as the personalities of and relationships between key decision makers to explain how the plan for swift victory at Omaha Beach went terribly wrong and turned into the bloodiest of the Allied invasions.BR--
This new textbook offers the reader an accessible introduction to the study of modern naval warfare, providing a thorough grounding in the vocabulary, concepts, issues, debates and relevant history.
Navies operate in an environment that most people do not understand and that many avoid. They are equipped with a bewildering range of ships, craft and other vessels and types of equipment whose purpose is often unclear. Writings on naval warfare are usually replete with references to obscure concepts explained in arcane language that can serve as an effective barrier to understanding. It is the objective of this book to cut through the obscure and the arcane to offer a clear, coherent and accessible guide to the key features of naval warfare that will equip the reader with the knowledge and understanding necessary for a sophisticated engagement with the subject.
Understanding Naval Warfareis divided into two key parts. The first focuses on concepts of naval warfare and introduces readers to the key concepts and ideas associated with the theory and practice of naval operations. The second part focuses on the conduct of war at sea, and also on peacetime roles for contemporary navies. This section concludes with a chapter that looks ahead to the likely future of naval warfare, assessing whether navies are likely to be more or less useful than in the past.
This textbook will be essential reading for students of naval warfare, seapower and maritime security, and highly recommended for students of military history, strategic studies and security studies in general.