U. S. Navy at War, 1941-1945: Official Reports to the Secretary of the Navy


For more than two years, the United States has been engaged in world-wide war. Our geographical position, our wealth, resources and industrial development, combined with an unfaltering will to victory have established and enhanced our position as one of the dominant powers among the United Nations. As such we have been closely and deeply involved with our Allies in all the political, economic and military problems and undertakings which constitute modern war. Historically, the conduct of war by allies has rarely been effective or harmonious. The record of the United Nations in this regard, during the past two years, has been unprecedented, not only in the extent of its success but in the smooth working and effective cooperation by which it has been accomplished. As one of the United Nations, the United States has reason to be proud of the inter-Allied aspects of its conduct of the war, during the past two years.

As a national effort, the war has shown the complete dependence of all military undertakings on the full support of the nation in the fields of organization, production, finance, and morale. Our military services have had that support in a full degree.

The Navy has also had full support from the nation with respect to manpower. Personnel of our regular Navy, who, in time of peace, serve as a nucleus for expansion in time of war, now represent a small portion of the total number of officers and men. About ninety per cent of our commissioned personnel and about eighty per cent of our enlisted personnel are Naval Reserves, who have successfully adapted themselves to active service in a comparatively short time. Thanks to their hard work, their training, and their will to become assets their performance of duty has been uniformly as excellent as it has been indispensable to our success.

As to the purely military side of the war, there is one lesson which stands out above all others. This is that modern warfare can be effectively conducted only by the close and effective integration of the three military arms, which make their primary contribution to the military power of the Nation on the ground, at sea, and from the air. This report deals primarily with the Navy's part in the war, but it would be an unwarranted, though an unintended, distortion of perspective, did not the Navy record here its full appreciation of the efficient, whole-hearted and gallant support of the Navy's efforts by the ground, air and service forces of the Army, without which much of this story of the Navy's accomplishments would never have been written.

During the period of this report, the Navy, like the full military power of the Nation, has been a team of mutually supporting elements. The Fleet, the shore establishment, the Marine Corps, the Coast Guard, the WAVES, the Seabees, have all nobly done their parts. Each has earned an individual "well done"--but hereafter are all included in the term, "The Navy. . . ."

Additional information

Includes content by:
  • Admiral Ernest J. King
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Washington, DC
Publication year:
  • 1946


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