MAHAN'S NAVAL STRATEGY es sea power is the key to national greatness—Mahan and his contribution to the American century has been largely forgotten. This aspect of Mahan’s teaching is largely responsible for the neglect by many blue-water navies, and the U.S. Navy in particular, of so-called ―defensive‖ tasks, such as defense and protection of merchant shipping and mine warfare. The Chicago Times wrote that Mahan showed that “control of the sea has throughout history been the prime factor in deciding the leadership, the prosperity, and often the existence of nations.” The Chicago Tribune praised Mahan’s “great theme of naval strategy and tactics.” A British reviewer called Mahan “one of the highest intellects in the naval world.” 9 Mahanian theory, furthermore, became integral to the U.S. Navy as an institution. Alfred Thayer Mahan has been called America’s nineteenth-century ‘evangelist of sea power’ and the intellectual father of the modern US Navy. ThayerMahan is driving a massive paradigm shift in how maritime security is accomplished. Mahanâs treatise was that trade is the source of national power, and a strong, blue-water navy was essential to a stable trade. At his death in 1914, at the outbreak of the Great War, Mahanâs theories dominated naval thinking. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading If Mahan Ran the Great Pacific War: An Analysis of World War II Naval Strategy. Notwithstanding, more than ninety percent of the world's trade is conducted by water, and the world's waterways are and will remain the most efficient means for transporting goods. 4 But while the tactical aspects of sea warfare underwent a fundamental change after the Mahanian era, his basic doctrine of control of the sea was validated in World War II. In The Interest of America in Sea Power, Present and Future (1897), Mahan sought to arouse his fellow Americans to a realization of their maritime responsibilities. In doing so, India’s own ‘blue water’ drive is coming up against the similar ‘blue water’ drive by another rising power, the People’s Republic of China. SAGE remains majority owned by our founder and after her lifetime will become owned by a charitable trust that secures the company’s continued independence. Each was a representation of the same compelling naval strategic impulse. Naval strategy, and the related concept of maritime strategy, concerns the overall strategy for achieving victory at sea, including the planning and conduct of campaigns, the movement and disposition of naval forces by which a commander secures the advantage of fighting at a place convenient to himself, and … Recognizing that miscalculation and hubris are not beyond America's capacity, the editors wish more than anything else to debate and clarify what America faces on the world stage and how it ought to respond. Our "whiteboard-to-wet in six months" mantra inspires our team to reach new heights (and depths), to the benefit of our customers. Request Permissions. To begin with, let me compare the ideas of the two ‘blue water’ Western thinkers who are, arguably, also the best known of the lot 7— Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan and Sir Julian Corbett . Mahan was cited by many for fueling the great naval race between Germany and Great Britain, but the charge was speculative. Navy strategic leadership has waxed and waned in three long cycles since the Civil War. To the 'blue-water' school of strategy in late- Victorian and Edwardian Great Britain, to Cabot Lodge, Teddy Roosevelt, and other advocates of US expansionism into the Caribbean and the Pacific, and to Tirpitz of the unclassified The Maritime Strategy in January 1986, which was the last, published, official strat-egy for 21 years (Hattendorf 2004, 2008). World Affairs is a small journal that argues the big ideas behind U.S. foreign policy. Control of the sea, or lack thereof, determines the rise and fall of a nation. Admiral Gorshkov waited patiently for his opportunity to transform the Soviet Navy from a submarine-dominated, sea denial force with a coastal and defensive orientation into a blue water fleet – though still a sub-centric one – that had strategic strike, power projection, and global presence missions. The two-thirds of a These sea lanes, stressed Mahan, “are the most important single element in strategy, political or military.” Naval-minded Roosevelt first as Assistant Secretary of the Navy and then President, counted him as a friend and close advisor. tactically and strategically. If ideas truly do have consequences, readers of World Affairs will be well prepared. Although Mahan never used the phrase command of the sea, his description of the essence of naval warfare nonetheless describes it: Julia Dent Grant, wife of Ulysses S. Grant. The ultimate expression of naval power was Entscheidungsschlacht, or the grand battle (or its threat) as the perfect employment of fleets. If Mahan Ran the Great Pacific War: An Analysis of World War II Naval Strategy - Kindle edition by Adams, John A.. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. The book carried the grand title The Influence of Sea Power upon History 1660-1783 and its author was a shy United States naval officer-turned war college professor named Alfred Thayer Mahan. JSTOR®, the JSTOR logo, JPASS®, Artstor®, Reveal Digital™ and ITHAKA® are registered trademarks of ITHAKA. www.sagepublishing.com, This item is part of a JSTOR Collection. strong blue water navy as Admiral Mahan ﬁrst surmised for America more than. Haushofer’s closet navalism proves how ubiquitous was the sway of the American Naval War College Professor A. T. Mahan. The Maritime Strategy was largely based on Alfred T. Mahan’s notions of command of the sea. Mahan was the institution’s first lecturer on strategy, and his history-based approach informed much of the curriculum, as attested by his address at the opening of the 1888 academic year. The quarterly journal celebrates and encourages heterodoxy and open debate. 31 Generally speaking, “blue water” connotes maritime operations far from shore, while “brown water” refers to littoral operations. His The Influence of Sea Power Upon History “went viral” after 1890 and helped to persuade the leaders of almost all the great powers to join the global race for blue water navies, global markets, and colonies. a century ago. For terms and use, please refer to our Terms and Conditions Americans can be grateful that their Navy is sturdier than current naval doctrine. In the case of China, Bernard Cole defines brown water as roughly 100 miles from shore. Mahan believed that coastal Mahan was born in 1840 on the banks of the Hudson River, at the United States Military Academy at West Point, where his father was a respected instructor in military engineering and strategy. For much of the Administration's new naval strategy doesn't hold water. But Mahan did not live to observe that naval warfare would evolve from one-dimensional surface conflicts between massive dreadnoughts dueling within sight of one another, to three-dimensional war between unseen antagonists in the air, on the surface and below the sea. Mahan on Naval Strategy Central Proposition: "Naval Strategy has for its end to found, support, and increase, as well in peace as in war, the sea power of a country." Naval Institute was founded. Mahan’s treatise was that trade is the source of national power, and a strong, blue-water navy was essential to a stable trade. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit organization helping the academic community use digital technologies to preserve the scholarly record and to advance research and teaching in sustainable ways. With discussions of what insights turn-of-the-century theorists such as Alfred Thayer Mahan and Julian Corbett would have on modern maritime strategy so popular right now, ... geared for blue water conflict, is not geared to fight the actual naval combat for which we must prepare i.e. Secondly, Mahan contends that at certain times it may even be a good idea for a state to encourage its competitors to build a blue-water navy independent of a commercial fleet. Mahan credits the ancient Syracusan, Hermocrates, for being an intuitive genius of sea power—for fashioning a naval strategy that could have balked the Athenian invasion of … option. Blue Water navy is power projection which is necessary” for a “power like India.” 3. 39 Mahan, Problem of Asia, p. 135. These required safe, secure sea lanes of communication. He formalized the naval missions of forward presence, sea control and power projection. At a time of dramatic international competition and shifting balances of power, Mahan’s representation of the influence of sea power on history had precisely that effect of historical in… This is really a book about Chinese military thought at the tactical and operational level. China’s “turn to Mahan” is similar to India’s, as is Japan’s. HistoryNet.com is brought to you by Historynet LLC, the world's largest publisher of history magazines. Kaiser Wilhelm I of Germany ordered Mahanâs books to be translated and stocked on board his navyâs ships. Control of the sea, or lack thereof, determines the ... blue water navy on both coasts, and use it … supported cost effective bulk transportation of goods and resources. With a personal account, you can read up to 100 articles each month for free. Whilst some analysts have summarised8 9the individual works of these two authors, others have undertaken a ©2000-2021 ITHAKA. His theories have a timeless appeal, and Chinese analysts now routinely invoke Mahan’s writings, exhorting their nation to build a powerful navy. Mahan is missing, too, yet we know that Chinese naval strategists have invoked Mahan in promoting a “blue water” navy that can achieve “command of the sea” in certain potential theaters of war. Access supplemental materials and multimedia. World Affairs, which, in one form or another, has been published since 1837, was relaunched in January 2008 as a new and improved publication. In the forward to his book, Mahan set forth his purpose to examine ââ¦the general history of Europe and America with particular reference to the effect of sea power upon the course of that history.â The book evolved from a series of lectures to indifferent young lieutenants at the naval war college, and became the last word on naval strategy and thought for admirals, ministers and heads of state. - Sea Power: As the term appears thrroughout his work, two principle meanings emerge. HistoryNet.com contains daily features, photo galleries and over 5,000 articles originally published in our various magazines. His other major books included The Life of Nelson (1897) and The Major Operations of the Navies in the War of American Independence (1913). Central Proposition: (Pg 95) "Naval Strategy has for its end to found, support, and increase, as well in peace as in war, the sea power of a country." ... 38 Mahan, Naval Strategy, p. 111. Read your article online and download the PDF from your email or your account. Consequently, many focus on the application of that idea to so-called blue water naval strategy (i.e., fleet-versus-fleet battles on the open ocean). Alfred Thayer Mahan has been called America’s nineteenth-century ‘evangelist of sea power’ and the intellectual father of the modern US Navy. The Kaiser and his naval minister Tirpitz embraced Mahanâs thesis because it showed how a numerically inferior fleet could overcome a stronger fleet like Englandâs, even in a stronger enemyâs home waters. By the time he published his sequel in 1892, The Influence of Sea Power upon the French Revolution and Empire 1793-1812, Mahan had become an international celebrity and sought-after advisor by heads of state. Dragon’s Naval Strategy: From Mahan to Corbett. In 1890, an obscure naval officer from a third-rate naval power published a book which shaped the course of the 19th and early 20th century arms race and naval strategy. To access this article, please, Access everything in the JPASS collection, Download up to 10 article PDFs to save and keep, Download up to 120 article PDFs to save and keep. Even with its de-emphasis of a blue-water fleet, "forward presence" and "power projection" are main themes, for most 20th century battles have been no more than 200 miles inland. Such a navy will likely have the appearance of strength, but will be short-lived and financially precariousbut all the more so if the rival simultaneously seeks to dominate on land and at sea. Check out using a credit card or bank account with. Principal offices are located in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington DC and Melbourne. That he began to write at the outbreak of the Administration 's new naval Strategy es sea power as. 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