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Sea Power and Maritime Affairs Lesson 7: The Dawning of the Age of Mahan, 1890-1898.

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Presentation on theme: "Sea Power and Maritime Affairs Lesson 7: The Dawning of the Age of Mahan, 1890-1898."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sea Power and Maritime Affairs Lesson 7: The Dawning of the Age of Mahan, 1890-1898

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, 1660-1783

5 Sea Power Sea – 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”

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.”

7 Tactics versus Strategy Tactics – 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

16 1889-1898 Mahan’s Decade Concept of Sea Power – Strategic conclusion – Operational conclusion Impact Nations – Britain, Germany, Japan, US Naval Developments (Review from Lesson 8) Foreign Policy Developments Samoa (1889), Hawaii (1891-1898), Venezuelan crisis (1895-1896), Cuban Revolution (1895- 1898) Spanish-American War (1898)

17 Discussion Next time: The U.S. Navy and American Imperialism, 1898-1914

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