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Sea Power and Maritime Affairs

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1 Sea Power and Maritime Affairs
                                        Lesson 7: The Dawning of the Age of Mahan,

2 Learning Objectives Comprehend the historical background to the popularization of the doctrine of sea power in the late 19th century. Comprehend Mahan's viewpoint of sea power as a geopolitical and naval concept.

3 Learning Objectives Comprehend the distinctive British interpretation of sea power as expounded by Sir Julian Corbett. Comprehend Mahan's influence on European and American naval history between 1890 and 1898.

4 Background Commerce Raiding
Naval War College- Mahan was assigned there. The Influence of Sea Power upon History, Privateers, posture as a weaker nation, naval minimalists Jefferson, CSS Alabama = guerre de course 1. From 1865 to 1885, commerce raiding and coastal defense were the accepted strategies of the U.S. Navy. In an age of technological change, these ideas began to seem obsolete to an influential group of American naval leaders. 2. RADM Stephen B. Luce established the Naval War College in (Naval Instituted, ONI, NWC) One of the first things he does is assign Mahan there to teach class on naval strategy. 3. He followed the precepts of commerce raiding.In the course of his study of British history he changed his mind. “Fleet-centric” 4. Mahan's lecture notes become the basis for his first book, The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, , published in 1890, and the first of 20.

5 Sea Power Sea Sea Power Possession of a powerful navy Colonies
Common over which men can pass in all directions. Great medium of communication established by nature. Important to the extent that men use it. Sea Power Possession of a powerful navy Colonies Increasing Wealth Increase in Strength and Capacity. “Command of the Sea” a. The book brought Mahan fame in his lifetime and ever since. Focused on Fleets and big Navies- standing in Peace as well as war b. This had understandable appeal to industrialists, merchants interested in overseas trade, investors, nationalists, and imperialists, and peacetime America. Mahan provided a powerful argument for achieving and preserving sea power Seapower consisted of a series of interlocking factors Control the SLOC that the sea offered to man and his interests

6 Elements of “Sea Power”
Geographic Position Physical Conformation Extent of Territory Number of Population National Character Character of the Government Strategic principles "remain as though laid on a rock.” Crete, England Geog. Pos: an island power with no land frontiers to defend, easy access to major trade routes Phys. Conf: Seaboard, good ports, poor hinterland Extent of territory: proportion of population to the length of the coastline, percent that followed that followed the sea National Character: Holland, England open attitude toward commerce, creative vision of colonies Spain, Portugal: plunderer French: hoarder Character of Government: that paid careful attention to creating, equipping, and maintaining the nation’s navy and securing for it bases of operation A recipe for empire Overlooked technology

7 Tactics versus Strategy
Aspects of operations occurring after the beginning of combat. Dynamic due to changes in technology of armaments and propulsion. Strategy Should remain constant through periods of technological change. Didn’t invent the difference, but he highlighted it in an important way Delineated this very important difference between tactics and strategy, what Corbett called “major strategy” and “minor strategy” The science and art of maneuvering forces in combat. Tactics: the science and art of using a fighting force to the best advantage having regard to the immediate situation of combat Strategy: the science and art of conducting a military campaign in its large-scale and long-term aspects short-sighted example: steam-ship Invade England with a huge armada sailing vessels: weather gauge steam ship of late 19th century: torpedoes Not to say it was correct: strategic impact nuclear missiles

8 Mahan’s Strategic Questions
What is a navy’s function? Answer: Command of the seas. How should a navy be deployed? Answer: Battle fleets.

9 Mahan’s Strategic Questions
Where should the coaling stations needed to support them be established? Answer: Near geographic "choke-points”. What is the value of commerce destruction, and should this be a primary or secondary goal of naval action? Answer: It cannot win wars (CSS Alabama) -- secondary mission. Coaling Stations - US had been using combo of steam and sail - red marks in log book to use steam because inadequate coaling stations Choke Points - dependent on SLOCs In America: Hawaii - main stop in between W Coast and Far East Caribbean Islands eventually Panama when the canal is built - grand-daddy of choke points Bosporus: strait 17 miles across separating Europe from Asia Minor In Europe: Gibraltor, Bosporus and Dardanelles, Suez In Asia: Malacca Today: Straits of Hormuz These are all good test questions.

10 Mahan’s Views U.S. needs to build a battleship navy capable of defeating enemy fleets. Colonies Valuable locations for coaling stations. Vital to a steam-driven battleship navy. Panama Isthmus passage necessary for U.S. naval power. Will become a critical maritime "choke-point”. U.S. Navy must be a ”Two-Ocean" Navy - Atlantic and Pacific. Colonies vital to a battle ship navy in a way that they were not to sailing ships Remember Mahan’s view of colonies - in support of commerce and the navy, not for commerce itself. This is different than many Eur power’s colonies -- many were vital to the economy of the Eur country’s economies If a canal is built - US will have to build a fleet able to contest Eur powers for control of the sea - the Caribbean will become an extremely vital sea line of communication Panama: the trumpet call of the original Mahanian: Theodore Roosevelt

11 Mahan’s Views Need to enlarge the merchant marine.
Essence of Mahan: U.S. needs a “Great Navy”. Mark of and prerequisite for national greatness. Designed to fight an enemy in fleet engagements. In order to win command of the sea. Not designed for commerce raiding (guerre de course) or protection. Merchant Marine declines as part of Manifest Destiny, focus was inward Commerce is the reason for command of the sea and the heart of sea power Does everyone understand that The reason we want those sea lanes is for commerce; the best way to protect it is with command of the seas; command of the seas comes through battlefleets

12 Sir Julian Corbett Some Principles of Maritime Strategy (1911)
Points of agreement with Mahan: Command of the sea is of prime importance. Commerce raiding is the strategy of the weaker power. Development of naval strategy related to Clausewitz: Relationship of naval strategy to government policy. Interdependence of all elements of national power. Predecessed slightly by Mahan Many historians consider a more time-tested philosophy Focused on the nature of maritime strategy and the purposes of naval warfare instead of looking for a general theory of sea power Agreed with Mahan… Rather than Sea Power a thing unto itself Clausewitz: Prussian General and military thinker who theorized on total war in On War, war as a policy instrument Corbett sought to explain naval power in the same terms

13 Differences from Mahan:
Interdependence of land and sea forces is crucial to the success of a national military effort. Strategic thinking itself may have to be changed. A Navy's main purpose may be sea control, combined operations, or commerce war. Big on amphibious and limited war; there is no point in having a Navy if there is no army for it to support Strategic thinking may have to be changed depending on the nature of the object: a negative object (denial) required a defensive strategy, a positive object (acquisition) required an offensive strategy. Just as short-sighted in regard to technology, which everyone must have been given the unexpected pace of technology that lasts until this very second.

14 Impact of Mahan Validates naval and colonial policies of European powers, Russian Empire, and Japan. Increasing naval arms race in Europe until World War I, especially between Germany and Great Britain. Building large fleets of capital ships in late 1800’s. Writings become required reading of naval officers. Further colonization of Africa and Asia. Br - continues on colonial expansion Embracy Mahanianism Germany, Japan - join in the race for supreme sea power German Kaiser wants a copy of Mahan’s book in every wardroom, Japan makes it required reading for all of her officers

15 Mahan in the US Not as quick to accept Mahan’s teachings as other countries. President Theodore Roosevelt will use them as the foundation of his naval policy in the early 1900’s. US began rebuilding its fleet in 1880’s with the ABCD ships, starts to build a fleet of battle ships, this accelerates rapidly into the 1890’s into the McKinley Administration and with Teddy Roosevelt as Asst Sec of Navy in period leading up to Span Am War Culmination of technological changes of last century leads to modern battle fleets Embraced by the ultimate Mahanian- Theodore Roosevelt

16 1889-1898 Mahan’s Decade Concept of Sea Power Impact Nations
Strategic conclusion Operational conclusion Impact Nations Britain, Germany, Japan, US Naval Developments (Review from Lesson 8) Foreign Policy Developments Samoa (1889), Hawaii ( ), Venezuelan crisis ( ), Cuban Revolution ( ) Spanish-American War (1898) Impact is to create a bunch of nations interested in global enterprise Samoa-Spanish American War will be dealt with in next lesson 10. Important to set Mahan’s principles in this lesson and then review them as you talk about Foreign policy developments in next chapter.

17 Next time: The U.S. Navy and American Imperialism,
Discussion New Steel Cruiser, Chicago Compare/Contrast Mahan/Corbett Use technological developments to hypothesis development of strategy in next conflicts What impact would Mahan have on the different countries (concentrating on his strategic principles?) Next time: The U.S. Navy and American Imperialism,

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