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

9
Conclusion

Generally, it is viewed as appropriate that in the concluding chapter of a book such as this, reference be given to the future of the topic at hand. We attempt to do so without engaging in excessive prognostication. Many books available today address the future of naval warfare, and their specific conclusions are as varied and numerous as are the books themselves. One point, however, upon which they all more or less agree is that naval warfare will remain an integral part of military operations. The idea that navies and the application of naval power by states is obsolete is generally not subscribed to any longer despite attempts by some authors and military professionals to resurrect the theories of Alexander DeSeversky, Billy Mitchell, and Glenn Curtis regarding the superiority of airpower (and now space power) over sea power. The basic concept that most states must and do interact with the world ocean and therefore need some type of navy also continues to hold true. The initial questions regarding the future of navies and naval warfare tend to focus on what changes will occur in their tools (ships and weapons) and doctrine (strategy and tactics). Also of interest are questions relating to the future missions and roles of navies and naval power. Of corresponding concern are questions that address the future operational environments in which naval warfare is likely to take place. We briefly consider all of these questions.

Navies have undergone significant technological, policy, strategic, tactical, and operational changes over the past 150 years. Muzzle-loading cannons have given way to guided missiles and smart bombs. Small, ironclad ships have faded into history, to be replaced by massive dreadnoughts and then sleek, nuclearpowered cruisers and carriers. The SSBNs that cruise the world ocean today with their frighteningly destructive capability hardly resemble their tiny, submersible predecessors. Likewise, the strategy and tactics of naval warfare have undergone many important changes over this same time period. Engagements of ships-of-the-line battling it out in close quarters gave way to

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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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