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.
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--
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.
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.
Providing a unique assessment of naval strategy and historic outcomes across centuries of warfare, Understanding Victory: Naval Operations from Trafalgar to the Falklands presents four case studies that examine each ship-based battle narrative to expose and analyze the factors that contributed to each side's success or defeat. The work opens with an overview of the general causes of success and failure in naval operations. Each case study starts with a detailed narrative of the battle and then reviews the conflict from the key perspectives identified in the introduction. These classic examples of naval warfare underscore how the outcome of naval operations is often predetermined by the clarity and quality of the mission aim, and point out striking constants in naval warfare despite the obvious differences in military technologies over a long span of time.
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.