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Sea Power and Maritime Affairs Lesson 11: The U.S. Navy and the World at War, 1914-1918.

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Presentation on theme: "Sea Power and Maritime Affairs Lesson 11: The U.S. Navy and the World at War, 1914-1918."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sea Power and Maritime Affairs Lesson 11: The U.S. Navy and the World at War, 1914-1918

2 Learning Objectives Know the events leading to the entry of the United States into World War I. Comprehend U.S. strategy and diplomacy in World War I. Comprehend the effect of the events of World War I on Mahanian theory.

3 Major Allied Powers US (beginning in 1917) Great Britain Russia France Italy (for the most part) Japan (Pacific)

4 Major Central Powers Germany Austria-Hungary Turkey

5 So what happened? The Beginning of World War I

6 “Entangling Alliances”: Triple Entente (Allied Powers): Great Britain, Russian Empire, France Plus: Italy (1915-16) U.S. (1917) Japan (Pacific) Triple Alliance (Central Powers): German, Austro-Hungarian, and Ottoman (Turk) Empires Plus:Bulgaria Archduke Franz Ferdinand assassinated: June 1914. Bosnia part of Austro-Hungarian Empire. Serbia - Russia Defense Pact.

7 Naval Confrontation British Royal Navy Home Fleet Grand Fleet German Imperial Navy High Seas Fleet

8 BritishRoyal Navy: First Lord of the Admiralty Similar to U.S. Secretary of the Navy. Winston Churchill First Sea Lord Similar to today’s U.S. Chief of Naval Operations. Admiral Sir John Fisher Grand Fleet Admiral Sir John Jellicoe

9 Strategic Goals of Grand Fleet: Sea-lift of British Army to France. “Distant” blockade of Germany. Avoid German mines and torpedo boats near the coast. Scapa Flow - Main Grand Fleet base in the Orkney Islands. Goal: Destroy High Seas Fleet in a large engagement.

10 Winston Churchill First Lord of the Admiralty 1914-1915

11 German Imperial Navy: High Seas Fleet Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz Numerically inferior to the British Grand Fleet. North Sea defenses: Mines. U-boats (unterseeboots) - submarines. Not used for commerce raiding early in war. Goal: Defeat portions of the Grand Fleet in small engagements. “Fleet in Being” Threatens Allied operations by its presence in port. Ineffective commerce raiding by German cruisers.

12 Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz Father of the German High Seas Fleet

13 Major Naval and Maritime Events: February 1915- Germany announces unrestricted submarine warfare May 1915- Sinking of Lusitania 1915- ANZAC landing at Gallipoli March 1916 Sussex pledge Battle of Jutland

14 Three important Actions Dardanelles/Gallipoli Dogger Bank Jutland

15 Gallipoli Campaign – 1915: German-led Ottoman Turk Fleet Closes Dardanelles - Entrance to the Black Sea. Allied line of communication with Russia is cut. Winston Churchill: Advocate of amphibious assault on Gallipoli Peninsula. Objective: Constantinople. Admiral Sir John Fisher First Sea Lord resigns in protest. Dardanelles Mines in sea lanes. Guns emplaced on shore covering the straits manned by the Ottoman Turk Army.

16 Gallipoli Campaign 1915 Winston Churchill proposes opening supply route to Russia through the Black Sea.

17 Gallipoli:

18 18 March 1915 Naval Action

19 Allied Landings 25 April 1915

20 Landings at Gallipoli

21 Gallipoli

22 Allied Retreat from Gallipoli November-December 1915

23 Failure of Allied Assault: ANZAC Army Corps Mustafa Kemal commands Turk counter-attack. Lessons learned in defeat: Unity of command. Control of local waters. Element of surprise. Rehearsal. Beach reconnaissance. Shore bombardment. Specialized landing craft. Ship-to-shore movement. Aggressive exploitation of the beachhead. Commitment of reserves. Winston Churchill resigns in failure.

24 Battle of Dogger Bank- 1915:


26 Battle of Jutland

27 Battle of Jutland: Greatest naval battle to date Minor strategic importance Tactical lesson Speed and long-range gunfire outstripped the commander’s means of observation and control of own forces

28 Battle of Jutland: Only fleet action of war Seemed to fit Mahanian prescription British unhappy not Nelsonian “Annihilation” Admiral Nimitz says it was the battle most studied by NWC in interwar years (1919- 1939)

29 Admiral Sir John Jellicoe Battle of Jutland

30 Vice Admiral Vice Admiral Reinhard Scheer Franz von Hipper

31 Vice Admiral Admiral David Beatty Sir John Jellicoe

32 Battle of Jutland 31 May - 1 June 1916 High Seas Fleet sorties to attack merchant shipping to Norway. Jellicoe intercepts in the North Sea with Grand Fleet. Battle cruisers used for scouting. Jellicoe’s Grand Fleet “Crosses the T” of the High Seas Fleet. High Seas Fleet maneuvers back to port at night.

33 Battle of Jutland 31 May - 1 June 1916 Largest naval battle to date ends in a tactical draw. Only large fleet action of the war. Last great battle between battleship fleets. Jellicoe fails to win a victory. Afraid of stern chase over mines/submarines. Turned away from torpedoes. Would not risk fighting at night. Minor strategic importance to the outcome of the war. Tactical lesson: Speed and long-range gunfire outstripped the commander's means of observation and control of forces.

34 Battle of Jutland:


36 Battle Cruiser Action at Jutland:

37 Crossing or Capping the T: Fleet B Fleet A Fleet A has the advantage: –All gun turrets can be used simultaneously. –Able to deliver raking fire (from bow to stern) against enemy ships - higher probability of damage. Fleet B is at a disadvantage: –Aft turrets are masked by ships’ superstructures. –Vision obstructed by smoke from engine exhaust and friendly gunfire and fires caused by enemy gunfire.

38 HMS Invincible British Battle Cruiser sunk at Jutland

39 HMS Indefatigable British Battle Cruiser sunk at Jutland

40 HMS Queen Mary British Battle Cruiser sunk at the Battle of Jutland

41 Course of the War – 1916: Ground war in France = continued stalemate. German U-boats continue commerce raiding. Very effective, especially in Mediterranean Sea. February 1916 - Resume Unrestricted Submarine Warfare. Sussex sunk March 1916 - Wilson protests again. Tirpitz relieved of duty. Kaiser Wilhelm imposes restrictions on U-boat attacks again. British raids on German coast. New German High Seas Fleet commander: Vice Admiral Reinhard Scheer Commences raids on British coast.

42 Unterseeboots


44 Commerce Raiding German U-boats threaten to cut off all maritime supply of Great Britain.

45 Unrestricted Submarine Warfare

46 U.S. Enters World War I: Germany announces Unrestricted Submarine Warfare. (February 1915) Lusitania (May 1915) Sussex (March 1916) Germany resumes Unrestricted Submarine Warfare. (January 1917) Calculated risk: U.S. unable to affect war for at least one year. Need to cut off British food supplies. U.S. declares war. (April 1917) U.S. Navy - First rate power, BUT: Unprepared for anti-submarine warfare. Planned for fleet engagement in Caribbean Sea.

47 Backing Up: US Naval strategy in World War I– period of Neutrality (August 1914-1917) Woodrow Wilson: The United States will remain: “neutral in thought and deed.” Favorable balance of payments for U.S. with Europe. Desire to trade with Allied and Central Powers.

48 President Woodrow Wilson

49 U.S. in World War I: Naval matters enter American consciousness. Wilson converts to pro-Navy viewpoint. Forty-eight capital ships planned for U.S. Navy by 1920. Naval Construction act of 1916 Impact of Jutland Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin Delano Roosevelt Experiences will influence World War II policies Causes for U.S. entrance on side of Allies. Shift in European balance of power. Unrestricted Submarine Warfare. Cultural and economic ties to Allied nations. Wilson sees chance for peace in outcome

50 …A word on Bureaucracy Naval leadership wants Naval General Staff Rear Admiral Bradley Fiske, Captain William S. Sims SECNAV Josephs Daniels “Fiske-Hobson” measure, Act of Congress 3 March 1915 creates CNO Captain William S. Benson

51 Course of the War – 1917: U.S. Navy Plans Atlantic (defeat the submarine) Troop Transport Reduce Emphasis on battle ships Submarine chasers Merchant Ships Mine laying Integrated into convoy system. 20-25 merchants and 6-8 destroyers. Change from “hunt-and-kill” patrols to a convoy system. Rear Admiral William Sowden Sims, USN - convoy proponent. Admiral Sir John Jellicoe Appointed First Sea Lord, Chief of Naval Staff. Convoys proved to be more effective in countering U- boats.

52 (Then) Commander William S. Sims Aide to President Roosevelt Reviewing return of the Great White Fleet - February 1909

53 Allied Convoys in the Atlantic

54 Effects of Allied Convoys in the Atlantic

55 End of the War: Bolshevik Revolution in Russia - October 1917 Peace with Germany causes Eastern Front to disappear. French Field Marshal Ferdinand Foch Supreme Allied Commander (including U.S. forces). German offensive repulsed at Second Battle of the Marne. Major General John A. Lejeune, USMC assumes command of the Second U.S. Army Division - 1918. First time a Marine officer commands an Army Division.. German Army defeated - morale becomes very low. German sailors become mutinous. 11 November 1918 - war ends on “Armistice Day”. Now celebrated as Veterans’ Day in the U.S.

56 Battle of Belleau Wood June 1918 “Teufelhunde” -- Devil Dogs “Retreat, hell. We just got here.” Captain Lloyd Williams, USMC


58 USS Belleau Wood (LHA 3)

59 New Weapons of Naval Warfare: Submarines Germany lost 187 U-boats, however: Sank 5,234 merchant ships. Sank 10 battleships, 20 destroyers, and 9 submarines. Allied & Neutral Ships Lost: 1914-18 19141915191619171918 3 396 964 2,439 1,035 Aviation Anti-submarine warfare. Early attempts at power projection: Strikes on German naval bases. Did not practice anti-surface warfare.

60 Effect of World War I on Mahanian Theory: Support in two areas: Commercial antagonism and rivalry cause war. Faith in the battle fleet for command of the sea. Unrestricted Submarine Warfare's implications ignored. Commerce raiding can affect the course of the war. Importance of convoy system to protect against submarine attacks.

61 Learning Objectives: Know the events leading to the entry of the United States into World War I. Comprehend U.S. strategy and diplomacy in World War I. Comprehend the effect of the events of World War I on Mahanian theory.

62 Questions & Discussion Next time: Naval Strategy and National Policy, 1919-1941

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