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Sea Power and Maritime Affairs Lesson 12: Naval Strategy and National Policy, 1919-1941.

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Presentation on theme: "Sea Power and Maritime Affairs Lesson 12: Naval Strategy and National Policy, 1919-1941."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sea Power and Maritime Affairs Lesson 12: Naval Strategy and National Policy, 1919-1941

2 So there I was…

3 Monkey Watch, Gibraltar 2003


5 Learning Objectives Comprehend the principal points of controversy among the great powers at Versailles and the main shortcomings of the treaty finally produced. Know the reasons for the U.S. not joining the League of Nations and the reasons for the League’s ultimate failure to keep the peace. Know the results of the naval treaties resulting from the Washington Naval Conference and the subsequent changes in naval technology and strategy. Comprehend the ways in which changes in American society affected foreign policy and the development and employment of the U.S. Navy during this period.

6 German High Seas Fleet Armistice of 11 November 1918: – High Seas Fleet undefeated in battle. – Germany must surrender most of its ships to Allies. High Seas Fleet interned at Scapa Flow. Fleet scuttled by German naval officers on 21 June 1919 due to fear of resumption of war. – During negotiations of Treaty of Versailles. Great Britain and France require Germany to relinquish control of the rest of its Navy.

7 German Battleship Bayern Scuttled at Scapa Flow - 21 June 1919

8 German Battle Cruiser Hindenburg Scuttled at Scapa Flow


10 Treaty of Versailles -- 1919 U.S. President Woodrow Wilson – Attempts to use U.S. power to ensure peace in Europe. Germany – Forced to follow military limitations and pay reparations. Wilson's “Fourteen Points” – Second Point Freedom of the seas and illegality of blockades. British opposition. – Self-Determination for European peoples. – League of Nations: Republican U.S. Senate rejects due to isolationist sentiments.

11 The British Royal Navy Several desires for the Royal Navy: – Maintain naval predominance in the face of the challenge from the U.S. Navy. – Avoid a naval construction race with the U.S. Navy. – Destruction of the German High Seas Fleet. Opposed Wilson's principle of freedom of the seas. – Advantage of dominant fleet would be relinquished. Attempted to deter the U.S. from adopting a large building program.

12 The Japanese Imperial Navy Seized German Pacific possessions early in WW I. – Island groups in central Pacific. – Chinese port facilities. Engaged in a major naval building program. – Designed to give Japan naval dominance in the western Pacific to protect expansion. Cannot afford an arms race with U.S. – Insufficient resources and capabilities.

13 The U.S. Navy Woodrow Wilson – Opposes British rejection of Second of the Fourteen Points. Major naval building program begins - 1919. – Naval Act of 1916 continued and expanded. – Emphasis back on capital ships. – Need for a large fleet to protect both coasts. – Construction planned to rival and eclipse the Royal Navy. American people seek a “Return to Normalcy”. – Do not support a Navy “second to none”. – Republican Congress supports disarmament. – Republican President Warren G. Harding elected in 1920. Wilson’s building program disapproved.

14 Washington Naval Conference -- 1921-22 Issues for U.S. – Security of possessions in the Pacific. Dislike of Anglo-Japanese Alliance of 1902. (Potential threat to U.S. interests in the Far East) – End to the naval arms race. Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes – Dramatic proposal for disarmament: Immediate 10-year “Holiday” on construction of new capital ships. Scrapping of ships already commissioned. – Designed for appeasement of Congress. (Determined to cut military spending after WW I)

15 Washington Naval Conference

16 Five Power Naval Limitation Treaty U.S., Britain, Japan, France, Italy Capital ship tonnage ratio of 5-5-3-1.7-1.7 Limits on displacement and caliber of guns on capital ships. No limit to cruisers, destroyers, submarines Non-fortification of Pacific possessions.

17 Effects of the Five Power Treaty


19 Other Treaties Four-Power Pact – U.S., Great Britain, Japan, and France. – Terminates the Anglo-Japanese Alliance of 1902. – Respect Far Eastern possessions of other countries. – Mutual consultation in crisis. Nine-Power Treaty – U.S., Great Britain, Japan, France, Italy, China, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Portugal. – Guarantees “Open Door” in China. Freedom of trade for all countries.

20 Treaty Implications to U.S. Negative – Japanese angered by limits on their expansion. – Smaller classes of ships not included. – Did not recognize that U.S. and Great Britain were no longer rivals. Positive – Ensure “Open Door” in China. – Naval limitations realistically accepted congressional budget limitations. – U.S. Navy able to develop new technology.

21 Technological Improvements Battleship Backbone of the Fleet- very Mahanian! Conversion from coal to oil fuel source for engines: – Underway replenishment much easier to accomplish. Aircraft carriers: Attack and fighter aircraft developed. – Slow integration into the fleet. Army General Billy Mitchell: Navies are obsolete. Carriers still seen as support for battleships. Lexington and Saratoga - Converted battle cruisers. Ranger - 1934 - First carrier built from the keel up. Modern radio communications. Submarines - Ability to fire torpedoes submerged. Aluminum and plastic reduce weight and increase speed.

22 Collier Conversion Aircraft Carrier

23 USS Langley (CV 1) - First U.S. Navy aircraft carrier.

24 General John A. Lejeune Commandant of the Marine Corps 1920-1929

25 U.S. Amphibious Doctrine Focus on Japanese-controlled island groups in the Pacific. Major Earl H. “Pete” Ellis, USMC: – Assigned by General Lejeune to develop plans for Marine operations in support of War Plan Orange. – “Advanced Base Operations in Micronesia” approved 1921. Necessary to seize and defend advanced naval bases. Need the ability to perform opposed amphibious assaults. –Special landing craft and heavy weapons needed. Incorporated lessons from Gallipoli on proper planning. – Ellis is killed on Palau in 1923 while studying islands. General Lejeune: – Marine Corps exists to perform missions with the fleet.

26 Geneva Conference of 1927 U.S. hopes to extend 5-5-3 ratio to cruisers. Different types of ships: – U.S. -- fewer, bigger cruisers. – Britain -- more, smaller cruisers. Britain, France and Japan oppose limits. No agreement is reached.

27 London Conference of 1930 Cruisers reclassified: – Heavy > 6.1” guns. – Light < 6.1” guns. U.S., Britain, Japan, France, and Italy. Results: – U.S.-British parity in all types of vessels. – Increased Japanese ratio in cruisers and destroyers to 10:10:7. – Japanese parity in submarines. – France and Italy do not participate. – Ban on new capital ships extended until 1936.

28 Fascism in Europe Mussolini - “Il Duce”: 1922 – Invasion of Ethiopia - 1935 Hitler - “Fuhrer”: Chancellor of Germany - 1933 – Nazi Third Reich replaces Weimar Republic. – Promise of German economic recovery. – Beginnings of the Holocaust. – German rearmament begins. Spanish Civil War - 1930’s – Generalissimo Francisco Franco supported by fascists. Agreement permits Germany to rebuild Navy - 1935. Remilitarization of the Rhineland - 1936 – German rejection of the Treaty of Versailles.

29 Fascism General traits: – Rejection of individualism. – Rejection of representative government. – Idealization of war. – Disallowance of the class struggle (anti-communist). – Unity and indivisibility of the nation. – Military build-up. – Territorial expansion. Rome-Berlin Axis - 1936 Tripartite Pact: Germany, Italy, Japan - 1940 – Mutual support if one party is attacked by a power not already involved -- Soviet Union.

30 “Il Duce” Benito Mussolini

31 Adolf Hitler “Fuhrer”

32 Rome Berlin Rome Berlin


34 Japanese Imperialism Expansion - Natural Resources – Formosa (Taiwan) - Annexed: 1895 – Korea- Protectorate: 1905, Annexed: 1910 – Invasion of Manchuria – 1931 Non-recognition” doctrine-President Hoover Beginning of Japanese expansion into China, leading to WWII

35 Hirohito Emperor of Japan World War II


37 Other Conferences Geneva Conference of 1932 – Complete failure. – Japan resists. Invasion of Manchuria. – France resists. Hitler and Nazi party emerging in Germany. Second London Naval Conference of 1936 – Britain already allows Germany 35% of tonnage and parity in submarines - 1935 agreement. – Mild limitations on size of naval craft proposed. – Italy and Japan do not sign. – Effective end of naval limitations.

38 Depression and the U.S. Navy Strong support of isolationism in U.S. public and Congress. Neutrality Acts 1935-37 – Renounce U.S. neutral rights: (1812, 1917) 1935: Sale or transport of munitions prohibited. 1936: Loans prohibited. 1937: “Cash and carry” policy enforce. 1939: Embargo lifted, but President can prohibit American ships from entering “danger zones”. 1936 U.S. budget cuts - Reductions in naval spending. Japanese Imperial Navy -- Large build-up begins in 1936. – Stress on importance of aircraft carriers to the fleet.

39 War Plan Orange – Rainbow Plans Scenario: U.S. and Japan at war in the Pacific. – Attempt to hold Philippines. – Build up naval forces in Hawaii. – Offensive across the Pacific. Amphibious operations to seize advanced naval bases. – Defeat Japanese Navy in a fleet engagement. Recapture Philippines. – Threaten Japanese “Home Islands” with naval forces. Open Door -- Maintain territorial integrity of China. Guam and Philippines -- remain relatively unfortified. – 1922 Five Power Naval Limitation Treaty Japanese Islands: Marshalls, Marianas, and Carolines.

40 U.S. Fleet Majority of U.S. Fleet based in the Pacific. – Pacific Fleet moves to Pearl Harbor - 1940 Battleships - Capital ships of the fleet. Aircraft Carriers - Fleet Exercises demonstrate potential. – USS Lexington (CV 2) – USS Saratoga (CV 3) – USS Ranger (CV 4) – USS Yorktown (CV 5) – USS Enterprise (CV 6) – USS Wasp (CV 7) – USS Hornet (CV 8) Submarines

41 Japanese Imperialism in Asia Undeclared War with China - 1937 – “Shanghai Incident” – USS Panay sunk on Yangtze River. – Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Tse-tung. – Occupation of French Indochina - 1940 Embargo of oil and other natural resources - July 1941. – U.S., Great Britain, and the Netherlands. General Tojo: Military government installed - October 1941.

42 USS Panay Incident Yangtze River Patrol, China Sunk by Japanese naval aircraft on 12 December 1937.

43 U.S. Options Military intervention Economic sanctions Joint military and economic moves with Britain Indirect response

44 U.S. Response FDR’s quarantine speech called for “positive endeavors to preserve peace.” – Not effective:lack of popular support – Did not impose Neutrality Act Hurt China more than Japan – No joint action with Britain: disagreements – Indirect response: 1938 Naval Expansion Act-ships not avail until 40-41 Lesson: A COUNTRY CANNOT EXERT FORCE WITHOUT THE MILITARY FORCE TO BACK IT UP!

45 Force Level of U.S. Fleet 1937 Manning – Navy officers and enlisted: 113,617 – Marine officers and enlisted: 18, 223 Fleet Battleships: 15 Aircraft Carriers: 3 Heavy cruisers: 17 Light cruisers 10 Destroyers: 196 (162 overage) Subs: 81 (50 overage)

46 Force Level of U.S. Fleet 1937 Strategic disposition Pacific Coast: Main U.S. battle fleet at Pearl Atlantic: Training squadron Asia: Asiatic fleet 2-CAs, 13-DDs, 6-SS, 10 gunboats Panama: Service squadron 1-DD, 2 gunboats, 6-SS Europe: 1-CA, 2-DD Most probable enemy: Japan – strategy, War Plan Orange

47 Retreat Toward Hemispheric Defense Impracticality of War Plan Orange Lack of forward bases Crisis in far east over shadowed Army-Navy conflicts European Commitments U.S. fleet divided between Atlantic and Pacific Revisions to strategic planning The Rainbow War Plans

48 Navy’s Ability to Carry out Plans Enough capital ships Insufficient aircraft carriers Barely sufficient cruisers Submarines 40% below war strength Aircraft Landing Craft Manpower Bases Marine Corps Conclusion: Not fully prepared!!!

49 Europe’s Events German annexation of Austria (Anschluss) - March 1938. Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact - August 1939 – Non-aggression treaty between Soviet Union and Germany. Munich Crisis - September 1938. – Czechoslovakia’s German-speaking Sudetenland. Appeasement of Hitler by Western leaders. British Prime Minister Chamberlain: “Peace in our time.” German occupation of Czechoslovakia - March 1939. Italian occupation of Albania - April 1939. Guarantee of protection of Poland: Britain and France. – March 1939 (Also Holland and Belgium.)

50 Josef Stalin Secretary General of the Communist Party Union of Soviet Socialist Republics World War II

51 War in Europe Invasion of Poland: Blitzkrieg - September 1939 – Tanks and Stuka dive bombers. – Soviet occupation of eastern Poland. Denmark and Norway - April 1940. May 1940 - Invasion of Netherlands, Belgium, and France. – Maginot Line proves ineffective to maneuver warfare. Battle of Britain - Summer 1940. – Operation Sea Lion - planned German invasion of England. Soviet annexation of Baltic States: June 1940. Soviet invasion of Finland - November 1940. German invasion of Soviet Union - June 1941. – Operation Barbarossa

52 Winston Churchill Prime Minister of Great Britain World War II

53 “we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender” Winston Churchill - June 4, 1940

54 Unterseeboote -- “U-boat”

55 German Commerce Raiding Ineffective until German invasions of Norway, Denmark, and France. – Allows German access to Atlantic ports. German “surface raiders” target Allied shipping. – Battle of the River Plate - December 1939 Admiral Graf Spee scuttled. – Bismarck sunk - May 1941. U-boats – Commanded by Admiral Karl Donitz. – HF Radio used to organize “Wolfpacks” - groups of U-boats that attack Allied convoys.

56 Naval Action 1939-1941 Royal Navy blockades Germany. German invasion of Norway - April 1940. – Avoid Royal Navy mining of lines of communication. Dunkirk (Dunkerque) - May, June 1940 – Royal Navy evacuates 337,000 Allied soldiers from France. British destroy Vichy French fleet at Oran- July 1940. U.S. Navy Neutrality Patrols become the Atlantic Fleet. – Admiral Ernest J. King in command. – Undeclared naval war in the Atlantic against U-boats. Destroyers escort convoys. Anti-submarine patrol aircraft used to locate U-boats.

57 Battle of Cape Matapan March 1941 Royal Navy escorts troop convoys to Greece. – Italian Navy attempts to intercept. – Ultra - British able to read German encrypted messages. British Mediterranean Fleet – Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham in command. – Aircraft carriers used to attack Italian fleet. Italian fleet defeated. – BUT German land-based air power forces British to retreat.

58 Battle of the Atlantic - 1941 Britain dependent on merchant shipping for food supply. – Importance of maintaining lines of communication between Great Britain and the U.S. Increased number of U-boats and ease of transit to Atlantic. – “Wolfpacks” used to attack Allied convoys. – Gap in anti-submarine aircraft coverage south of Greenland. “Happy Time” for German U-boats. – Heavy losses of Allied merchant ships 1940 - 1941. Britain acquires more escorts and better ability to break the secret “Ultra” code used by the German armed forces. – U.S. participates in convoy escort. Allied losses begin to decrease in late 1941.

59 War in Europe, Sept 1939 Effects on U.S. Neutrality Patrols Britain made facilities available: Bermuda, St. Lucia, Trinidad Four Neutrality Act (1939)- Shift from isolationism The Deceleration of Panama New opportunities for Japan The Fall of France and isolation of Britain Rearmament: Authorize 2 ocean Navy

60 War in Europe, Sept 1939 Effects on U.S. All aid to Britain short of War Destroyers for bases deal – 50 overage destroyers for 99-year leases on bases in Bahamas, Jamaica and Newfoundland Lend-Lease to Britain and Russia American Occupation of Greenland/Iceland American escort of convoy and eventual co-op in hunting down U-boats – Torpedoing of the Greer, Kearney and Reuben James

61 Franklin Delano Roosevelt President of the United States World War II

62 Preparations for war in the Pacific Rainbow II U.S. fleet kept in Pearl as deterrent to Japan U.S. refuse to send forces to Singapore Shift in Strategy from Rainbow II to “Atlantic First” – Strong offensive in Atlantic, Defensive in Pacific – Defeat Germany and Italy first, then Japan – Support Brit forces in East Indies, and defend Midway, Johnson, Palmyra, Samoa, and Guam. – Defend Philippines as long as possible

63 Political Developments Leading to the War in the Pacific: – 26 Jul 1940: embargo on aviation fuel – Sept 1040: Japan joins Axis – 13 Apr 1941: Japan signs 5 year neutrality treaty with Russia – Jun 1941: Japan forces French to turn over bases in S. Indochina – 26 Jul 1941: U.S. freezes all Jap assets and cuts of oil – Oct 1941: Tojo/War party takes political control of gov’t – Japan sends “last proposals” – 26 Nov 1941: U.S. responds with demand for Jap withdrawal of China and Indochina – 6 Dec 1941: Roosevelt personally appeals to Emp Hirohito for withdrawl. Answered 0755 next morning: Pearl Harbor

64 Learning Objectives Comprehend the principal points of controversy among the great powers at Versailles and the main shortcomings of the treaty finally produced. Know the reasons for the U.S. not joining the League of Nations and the reasons for the League’s ultimate failure to keep the peace. Know the results of the naval treaties resulting from the Washington naval Conference and the subsequent changes in naval technology and strategy. Comprehend the ways in which changes in American society affected foreign policy and the development and employment of the U.S. Navy during this period.

65 Discussion… Next time: War in the Atlantic, North Africa, and the Mediterranean, 1935-1945

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