Mahan's Historical Theovantage

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MAHANS NAVAL THEORIES AND HOW THEY CHANGED NAVAL WARFARE

Introduction

Overview

In the 19th century nations began to become more conscious about the role that sea power plays when establishing a nation as a global power. Though most countries realized this, many remained in an atmosphere of complacency. This atmosphere changed in 1890 when Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan published his book “The Influence of Sea Power upon History.” In this book Mahan shares his theories about the future of warfare. Three of the main ideas that Mahan Stresses are the creation of fleets, the importance of unconventional naval warfare, and the procurement of naval bases. This book revolutionized naval warfare and set the world into a naval arms race, with the U.S
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An advantage could only really be obtained by superior fire power and a ships craftmanship instead of strategy. This, for a long time, kept British at the forefront of naval warfare in the centuries leading up to the 20th century because not only did they have better cannons, but they also had much better ships then every other nation at that time.

Mahan believed that U.S naval power was the only way to gain world power. To do this the U.S would need a bigger navy, this is where fleets came into play. President Theodore Roosevelt clearly believed in Mahar’s ideas and this is seen when Naval Heritage and History writes about The Great White fleet saying, “Roosevelt felt that a successful cruise of this magnitude would provide the American people with an example of US naval preparedness,

strength and range. Such an impression, he hoped, would help him get the desired appropriations for four more battleships.” (Cruise of the Great White Fleet, PDF.) This showed how America was pursuing the creation of a giant navy and the new flagship at this time was the battleship.

Unconventional
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The U.S needed to project their fleet around the world and use their new battleships efficiently. The only way to achieve this sea power was to have bases around the world that their fleets could restock and refuel at and get back out on operations without having to travel far off course. This acquirement of sea bases came when America began to build naval bases in the pacific during the

early 20th century. After concerns of a growing Japanese navy the U.S began establishing naval bases such in places such as the Philippines and Hawaii. This would allow their fleets and battleships to move and combat the potential Japanese threat without having to return home. These bases also stage as buffer points the Japanese would have to take before they could mount a full attack on the continental United States while also providing a waypoint for U.S vessels on the
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