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.
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.
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.
This new volume provides a comprehensive analysis of both the theory and practice of operational warfare at sea.
The book is unique in using diverse sources and examples to present a comprehensive topical description and analysis of the key components of operational warfare at sea today. It opens with a survey of the emergence of operational warfare at sea since the end of the Napoleonic Wars, going on describe and analyze the objectives of naval warfare at the operational level and methods of employment of naval forces for accomplishing these objectives. The book explains the specifics of operational functions in a maritime theatre, discusses the personality traits and professional education required for successful naval operational commanders, and explores naval operational command and control in both peacetime and war, closing with predictions for the future of operational warfare at sea.
This book serves as a primer of how to plan, prepare and execute major naval operations and campaigns for naval commanders and their staffs, but will also be of interest to advanced students of naval history, strategic studies and military history in general.
Landing on a hostile beach is one of the most ancient forms and still most difficult forms of warfare. It requires unparalleled levels of planning, organisation, coordination and cooperation between the services. After the disasters of Gallipoli and Zeebrugge in the World War I, amphibious operations reached their maturity in World War II, and were essential in the defeat of Japan, while the D-Day landings signaled the beginning of the end for Hitler. Since 1945, a myriad of expeditionary naval forces have set off for a wide range of destinations, including Korea, Vietnam, the Falkland Islands, Grenada, the Balkans and Iraq in 2003. In the post-Cold War era, amphibious warfare has reached new heights of importance in its ability to intervene rapidly in crisis situations.
Rather than following a narrative history, Amphibious Warfare takes the unique approach of building up the different stages of an amphibious campaign chapter by chapter, illustrating each with case studies. From planning and preparation to reaching landing zones, from beachhead consolidation to securing a target, Amphibious Warfare offers the complete picture of the people, strategy and tactics, ships and landing craft, tanks and aircraft, as well as the assaults involved.
Illustrated with more than 150 photographs and including a colour plate section of more than 40 artworks, Amphibious Warfare is the complete guide to a form of conflict of increasing relevance to the modern world.