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Sea Power and Maritime Affairs Lesson 13: The Navy in the Early Cold War, 1945-1953.

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Presentation on theme: "Sea Power and Maritime Affairs Lesson 13: The Navy in the Early Cold War, 1945-1953."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sea Power and Maritime Affairs Lesson 13: The Navy in the Early Cold War, 1945-1953

2 Learning Objectives Know the reasons for the post World War II decline of the U.S. Navy. Comprehend the impact of the defense reorganizations in 1947 and 1949 on the role of the U.S. naval service. Know the impact of the balanced force strategy on the role of U.S. naval service. Know the factors which provided the impetus for change in national military strategy in 1950. Know the major contributions of the Navy and Marine Corps during the Korean War.

3 Yalta Conference February 1945

4 The Cold War

5 The Cold War 1947-1989 Constant global confrontation between the Soviet Union and United States. Avoidance of direct armed conflict between the two “Superpowers”.

6 End of World War II United Nations established MacArthur commands U.S. army of occupation in Japan Germany divided into zones of occupation – Federal Republic of (West) Germany - 1949 U.S. initially enjoys atomic bomb monopoly – Neglect of conventional military forces begins Communist control of Eastern Europe. – “Puppet” states dominated by the Soviet Union.


8 U.S. Naval Forces after WW II Rapid demobilization begins. Postwar tasking: – Return troops, POWs, and refugees to the U.S. – Minesweeping. Must make do with still-new World War II equipment. Drastic reduction in size of force - 1945 to 1950: – Personnel: 4 million to less than 500,000 – Ships: 1,200 to less than 250 Small numbers of ships stationed in the Far East and Mediterranean.

9 Truman inspects Navy Ship, 1945

10 Reduction in Force: Navy and Marine Corps Personnel: Navy Personnel: Marines Major Combatants Aircraft 19451950 3,400,0005,000 475,00075,000 1,200237 40,0004,300

11 Search for New Roles Austerity – No weapons systems except nuke – Navy makes do with WWII equipment Instability – Pacific U.S. ambivalence toward China Role of 7 th Fleet and Naval forces Far east – Europe Instability in Turkey, Greece, Italy and France Gradual withdrawal of Brits Groundwork for U.S. role in Med.

12 National Security Act of 1947 Created DOD as cabinet-level agency – SECDEF with SECNAV underneath Added Air Force to Armed Forces Created Joint-Chiefs-of-Staff Created Unified Geographic Commands Created CIA

13 Effects for Navy and USMC Preserves naval aviation and the Marine Corps Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal becomes Secretary of Defense Defense Reorganization Act - 1949: Department of Defense – Strengthens Secretary of Defense: Johnson replaces Forrestal.

14 Unified Commands

15 The Air Force “Massive Retaliation” Strategy Deterrence Air Force strategic bombing: – New first line of defense to replace Navy – No need for naval air (carriers) or Marines Massive reduction of the Department of the Navy proposed B-36 introduced – Air Force long-range atomic bomber.

16 Revolt of the Admirals - 1949 SECDEF Louis Johnson cancels construction of USS United States. – First “Super Carrier” of the fleet. – Secretary of the Navy John Sullivan resigns in protest. Marine Corps squadrons cut CNO Admiral Louis Denfeld relieved of duties by Truman. Balanced forces strategy eventually accepted. – Soviets detonate atomic bomb - 1950.

17 Containment of Communism “I believe that it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or outside pressure.” - Harry S Truman evincing the Truman Doctrine

18 Geographic Concerns Pacific – China - Civil War between Communists and Nationalists. Leaders: Mao Tse Tung and Chiang Kai Shek. – Japanese Constitution adopted - relies on U.S. for defense. Europe – Communist threat to Turkey and Greece – Economic and Military aid to Greece and Turkey. Non-communist governments secured.

19 Containment Scorecard 1947-49 Marshall Plan - June 1947 – U.S. economic aid to rebuild western Europe Berlin Airlift: June 1948 - May 1949 Communist Coup in Czechosolovakia - February 1948 1949 - Chinese Nationalists evacuate to Formosa. – Communist People’s Republic established on mainland China under Mao – Pact signed with Soviet Union – U.S. supports Chiang’s Nationalist government on Formosa (Taiwan) as legitimate government of China


21 NATO Established in 1949. – Military Alliance between U.S., Canada, and western Europe with a formal command structure. – Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (Brussels, Belguim) U.S. Commander in Chief, European Command – Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic (Norfolk, Virginia) U.S. Commander in Chief, Atlantic Command – Warsaw Pact established by the Soviet Union to counter NATO in 1955 - includes eastern European communist states.

22 The Korean War The Korean War

23 The Korean War 25 June 1950 -- North Korea invades South Korea – Truman orders U.S. troops from Japan to defend S. Korea United Nations Security Council Resolution - 27 June – Called upon member nations to “render such assistance to the Republic of Korea as may be necessary to repel the armed attack and to restore international peace and security to the area.” – No veto - Soviet Union boycotts Security Council meeting General Douglas MacArthur – Commander in Chief - United Nations Command. Includes ships of the U.S. Seventh Fleet.


25 Course of the War - 1950 Fall of Seoul to North Korean Army. – U.S. conventional forces inadequate to stop advance. Truman orders U.S./U.N. military response – 2-3 July 1950 Navy first on the scene USS Juneau USS Valley Forge and HMS Triumph Establishes control of SLOC Watched Taiwan/PRC straits General Douglas MacArthur is United Nations Commander – Conceives of Inchon landing

26 Pusan Harbor July 1950 U.S. Navy - Establishes control of sea lines of communication.

27 Inchon Landing 15 September 1950 North Korea surprised Kimpo Airfield and Seoul within 10 days North Koreans forces cut off in south, forced to fight their way back MacArthur’s forces follow North Koreans north of 38th parallel

28 Inchon



31 Inchon

32 “Frozen” Chosin First Marine Division Advances to the Chosin Reservoir – Attacked by seven Communist Chinese divisions – Soviet supplied mines sunk naval vessels/delayed 7 th fleet Legendary retreat to Hungnam. – General O.P. Smith “Gentlemen, we are not retreating. We are merely advancing in another direction.” Chesty Puller, ”We have the Chinese right where we want them. They’re all around us. Makes it easier for us to get them and kill them.” – 100,000 troops and equipment evacuated by Seventh Fleet ships. Chinese intervention = fear of Nuke War!!!





37 Course of the War -- 1951-53 Truman Refuses to use nukes. – Are nukes practical in limited wars? MacArthur relieved of duty by Truman - 11 April 1951. – Threatened bombing of China. Policy contradicted instructions from Truman. – General Matthew Ridgway replaces MacArthur. Peace talks begin at Panmunjom. 1953 Armistice yields permanent division of Korea. – Death of Stalin – Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) established near 38th parallel. Marines lost 4,267 dead and 23,744 wounded. 42 receive Medal of Honor.

38 Korea Divided Republic of Korea (South Korea) U.S. Ally - Large military presence maintained. People’s Democratic Republic of Korea (North Korea) Closed society under communist dictatorship. Soviet and Chinese aid.



41 Public Law 416 1952 – Define Marine Corps as separate service within DON. – Sized it as min. 3 divisions and 3 air wings – Awarded Marine Corps primacy in Amphibious warfare

42 Impact of Korean War on the Navy MacArthur: “The Navy and Marines have never shone more brightly than this morning.” (Invasion of Inchon) – Personnel – Research and development – Groundwork for post 1953 modernized navy – Procurement

43 Forrestal-class Attack Carrier (CVA) USS Forrestal (CVA 59)

44 USS Nautilus (SSN 571) Commissioned September 1954. First nuclear-powered submarine. First submarine to cruise under the North Pole.



47 Discussion Next time: US Navy in the Strategy of Containment, 1953-1963

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