Mahan on Naval Warfare: Selections from the Writing of Bear Admiral Alfred T. Mahan

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Little, Brown, 1918 - Naval art and science - 372 pages

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Page 205 - The second in command will in all possible things direct the movements of his line by keeping them as compact as the nature of the circumstances will admit. Captains are to look to their particular line as their rallying point. But, in case signals can neither be seen or perfectly understood, no captain can do 'very wrong if he places his ship alongside that of an enemy.
Page 6 - ... changes in tactics have to overcome the inertia of a conservative class ; but it is a great evil. It can be remedied only by a candid recognition of each change...
Page 16 - ... a wide common, over which men may pass in all directions, but on which some well-worn paths show that controlling reasons have led them to choose certain lines of travel rather than others.
Page 4 - Therefore the history of sea power, while embracing in its broad sweep all that tends to make a people great upon the sea or by the sea, is largely a military history ; and it is in this aspect that it will be mainly, though not exclusively, regarded in the following pages.
Page 200 - The reception I met with on joining the fleet caused the sweetest sensation of my life. The officers who came on board to welcome my return, forgot my rank as commander-in-chief in the enthusiasm with which they greeted me.
Page 204 - Twenty Sail of the Line or to pursue them should they endeavour to make off. If the Van of the Enemy tacks, the captured Ships must run to Leeward of the British Fleet, if the Enemy wears, the British must place themselves between the Enemy and the captured and disabled British Ships and should the enemy close I have no fear as to the result.
Page 5 - It is then particularly in the field of naval strategy that the teachings of the past have a value which is in no degree lessened. They are there useful not only as illustrative of principles, but also as precedents, owing to the comparative permanence of the conditions. This is less obviously true as to tactics, when the fleets come into collision at the point to which strategic considerations have brought them. The unresting progress of mankind causes continual change in the weapons ; and with...
Page 98 - It is not the tajting of individual ships or convoys, be they few or many, that strikes down the money power of a nation; it is the possession of that overbearing power on the sea which drives the enemy's flag from it, or allows it to appear only as a fugitive...
Page 201 - Nelson touch? it was like an electric shock. Some shed tears, all approved — ' It was new — it was singular — it was simple ! ' and, from admirals downwards, it was repeated — ' It must succeed, if ever they will allow us to get at them!
Page 205 - The divisions of the British fleet will be brought nearly within gunshot of the enemy's centre. The signal will most probably then be made for the lee line to bear up together, to set all their sails, even steering sails, in order to get as quickly as possible to the enemy's line, and to cut through, beginning from the twelfth ship from the enemy's rear.

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