The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783

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Little, Brown, 1890 - Europe - 557 pages
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Influential classic of naval history and tactics still used as text in war colleges. Read by Kaiser Wilhelm, both Roosevelts, other leaders. First paperback edition. 4 maps. 24 battle plans.

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User Review  - nandadevi - LibraryThing

Well sometimes a classic is book that is good to own, but not to read. Innovative as it might have been in it's day, it's more significant on reflection for creating history (arguably being an ... Read full review

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User Review  - dcornwall - LibraryThing

Such a hard long slog, but useful points were made. Especially about the roots of sea power and how sometimes the best way to seize land is to hold the seas. Some of the book has been overtaken by ... Read full review


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Page 110 - have the entire direction of his line, to make the attack upon the enemy, and to follow up the blow until they are captured or destroyed." The size and cost of the individual iron-clad of the present day makes it unlikely that fleets will be so numerous as to require subdivision ; but whether they are or not
Page 285 - been proposed in war." l The justice of this conclusion depends upon the view that is taken of the true end of naval war. If it is merely to assure one or more positions ashore, the navy becomes simply a branch of the army for a particular occasion, and subordinates its action accord1 Ramatuelle: Tactique
Page 396 - How easy would it be to retort the enemy's own game upon them, if it could be made to comport with the general plan of the war to keep a superior fleet always in these seas, and France would put us in condition to be active by advancing us money." Ships and money are the burden of his cry. May
Page 285 - considered the support of the land attack on Mahon paramount to any destruction of the English fleet, if he thereby exposed his own. " The French navy has always preferred the glory of assuring or preserving a conquest to that more brilliant perhaps, but actually less real, of taking some ships, and therein has approached more nearly the true end that
Page 396 - naval weakness, and the political dissolution of a large part of our army, put it out of our power to counteract them at the southward, or to take advantage of them here." A month later, January 15, 1781, in a memorandum letter to Colonel
Page 273 - unless some very unforeseen event interpose in their favor. The superiority of our squadron and the plenty of money and supplies of all kinds which our friends on that coast will be furnished with from this province
Page 276 - Never, perhaps, did any war, after so many great events, and so large a loss of blood and treasure, end in replacing the nations engaged in it so nearly in the same situation as they held at first.
Page 557 - book should be read by all who are interested in the development of the navy, and who believe in the importance of the navy as the principal factor of defence. The Critic. An altogether exceptional work ; there is nothing like it in the whole range of naval literature.
Page 474 - Rodrigo must be stormed this evening,' he knew well that it would be nobly understood" (Napier's Peninsular War). "Judging that the honour of his Majesty's arms, and the circumstances of the war in these seas, required a considerable degree of enterprise, I felt myself justified in departing from the regular system
Page 31 - same amount of effort expended in another field. Furthermore, it has at the present time a very marked analogy in many respects to the Caribbean Sea, — an analogy which will be still closer if a Panama canal-route ever be completed. A study of the strategic conditions of the Mediterranean, which have received ample illustration, will

About the author (1890)

Alfred Thayer Mahan was born on September 27, 1840 at West Point, New York, where his father was a professor of Civil and Military Engineering at the U.S. Military Academy. He graduated from the Naval Academy in 1859 and embarked on a nearly 40-year naval career seeing duty in the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico against the Confederacy. He taught briefly at Annapolis, but spent most of his academic career at the newly founded Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, where he eventually served as president. He wrote twenty books during his lifetime including The Influence of Sea Power upon History, 1660-1783; The Influence of Sea Power upon the French Revolution and Empire, 1793-1812; The Interest of America in Sea Power, Present and Future; The Life of Nelson; and The Major Operations of the Navies in the War of American Independence. He died on December 1, 1914.

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