Brown-, Green-, and Blue-Water Fleets: The Influence of Geography on Naval Warfare, 1861 to the Present

By Michael Lindberg; Daniel Todd | Go to book overview

8
The Influence of
Geography on Navies

As we have shown thus far, geography’s influence upon naval warfare is pervasive. Naval strategy and tactics are directly impacted by a multitude of geographical factors. Therefore, it is logical to assume that since naval forces are the instrument of naval power employed in naval warfare, geography also must influence those forces. Exactly how this influence manifests itself is the substance of this chapter. Apart from how geographical factors direct the use of naval forces (both collectively and individually) in war, they also exert an influence on the types of navies that states deploy, the force structure composition of those navies, and the design of their ships. We deal briefly with the first two areas and spend the bulk of our time here on the third since in this area that geographical factors wield the most influence. It is imperative for the reader to note from the outset, however, that in no way do we mean to imply that geography is the only or even primary determining factor in any of these three areas. Rather, it is one of an often long list of factors that civilian and military planners and policymakers must consider when creating, developing, and maintaining naval forces. In fact, it is frequently not unusual for other factors such as politics (both domestic and international), economics or cultural-social concerns to supersede sound decision making in these matters based upon the often more obvious dictates of geographical reality.


GEOGRAPHICAL INFLUENCE ON NAVAL CLASSIFICATION

The type of navy that a state possesses is dependent upon many different factors including economics, threat perceptions, alliance affiliation, tradition, politics, and geography. We are interested in the last factor. Mahan’s principles as laid out in

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Brown-, Green-, and Blue-Water Fleets: The Influence of Geography on Naval Warfare, 1861 to the Present
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Contents iii
  • Acknowledgments v
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - Prelude- Land versus Sea Warfare 13
  • 3 - Theoretical Background- Classicaland Modern Geostrategy 23
  • 4 - The Naval Warfare Environment 59
  • 5 - Naval Warfare on the High Seas 71
  • 6 - Naval Warfare in the Littorals 145
  • 7 - Riverine Warfare 169
  • 8 - The Influence Ofgeography on Navies 195
  • 9 - Conclusion 223
  • Selected Bibliography 229
  • Index 237
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