NAVAL HISTORY EXAM
According to one of your readings, “strategy is defined as the
plan or method for attaining broad political, economic, and
military goals in peacetime and war.” Analyze American naval
strategy during FOUR of the following conflicts: the
Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Civil War, the Spanish
American War, World War I, World War II, and Vietnam. What are
the most common elements of American naval strategy during these
wars? What are the most important differences, and what are the
origins of those differences? Naval strategy should include the
activities of the Marine Corps, a naval service.
From “Navies in History” reading----- The makers of strategy have often been civilian officials; their
regular problem has been how to use the navy day to day in peacetime and in small, distant skirmishes.
When planning for war they have worked closely with the army. Invariably, domestic priorities and
partisan politics entangle military and naval logic. Why? Because navies are expensive. They take time to
build and train. And once built, they last a long time. The fleet cruising on a distant station has been
wrestled into place by a struggle among many participants, each favoring a different strategic calculus,
few of them ship captains, fewer likely to have foreseen the contingency at hand.
to go to war has usually found the army devising ways for the navy to transport and support land forces
while naval officers instinctively incline to blue water schemes to defeat the enemy's navy and interdict
American Naval Strategy (DEFENSIVE)
Naval strategy: defensive and commerce raiding and coastal protection
Useless Navy-Esek Hopkins
French Navy essentially did everything
Privateering-Esek Hopkins, privateers captured 15,000 prisoners vs. the 16,000 prisoners
captured by the Army. Paid, so they had good incentive.
Downfall was that they were selfish
and not so patriotic
JPJ-in the sense of values, founder of Navy.
Meritorious, most famous, but not ranked as
high due to politics. Hurts British merchant system, which helps win the war. Rise insurance
Naval strategy: protect coast, divert attention, prevent harassment
Battle of Lake Erie- one of the most important battles of the war, prevented advance to
Detroit, forced british to give up invasion of ohio, allowed gen harrison’s army to assume the
offensive, perry transported harrisons army to intercept british forcesand Americans won a
tactical battle at Thames