Captains & Cabinets; Anglo-American Naval Relations, 1917-1918

Captains & Cabinets; Anglo-American Naval Relations, 1917-1918

Captains & Cabinets; Anglo-American Naval Relations, 1917-1918

Captains & Cabinets; Anglo-American Naval Relations, 1917-1918

Excerpt

For many years historians of the United States participation in World War I were more interested in neutrality (1914-1917) and peacemaking (1919-1920) than in belligerency (1917- 1918). Environmental influences between the wars and during World War II drew attention principally to the questions of how the United States entered the war in 1917 and why the peace settlement of 1919 failed to accomplish its purposes.

Circumstances of late have altered considerably; events since 1945 have stimulated interest in the conduct of the war itself as against its origins and consequences. A group of historians more detached from the events of the First World War than distinguished predecessors have made important contributions to our understanding of belligerency--among them Victor Mamatey, Lawrence Gelfand, Arno Mayer, Edward Coffman, N. Gordon Levin, Jr., Daniel Beaver, Wilton Fowler, and Mark Gilderhus. All have benefited from massive archival collections not opened until recent years. The government records of the United States and Great Britain are now available; some French naval records can be examined, but the Italian government had not granted access to any of its materials when this research was in progress.

In an earlier work, The United States in the Supreme War Council (1961), I examined the connections between President Wilson's international political objectives and American military strategy during 1917-1918 in the context of the western coalition. The present study extends that enterprise in that it considers the relations between Wilsonian policy and American naval strategy in an inter-Allied context during 1917-1918. Almost no prior research has been directed specifically to this subject.

This book concentrates on Anglo-American naval-political relations, because the United States Navy operated in 1917- 1918 primarily in support of the Royal Navy. In the past much attention has been given to the general correspondence between American and British policy and strategy during World War I . . .

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