Wednesday, July 20, 2011
This is coolbert:
Mahan - - the book!
That "single most influential book in naval strategy", "The Influence of Sea Power upon History" as authored by Mahan, in a very indirect manner, not anticipated, helping to establish a climate, an arms race of major importance, World War One [WW1] the result?
"The Influence of Sea Power Upon History: 1660-1783 is a history of naval warfare written in 1890 by Alfred Thayer Mahan. It details the role of sea power throughout history and discusses the various factors needed to support and achieve sea power, with emphasis on having the largest and most powerful fleet. Scholars consider it the single most influential book in naval strategy"
NOT HOWEVER, MERELY A HISTORY BOOK. MUCH MORE THAN A HISTORY BOOK!
"Mahan began the book with an examination of what factors lead to a supremacy of the seas, especially how Britain was able to rise to its near dominance. He identifies such features as geography, population, and government, and expands the definition of sea power as comprising a strong navy and commercial fleet."
"The book then goes on to describe a series of European and American wars and how naval power was used in each."
[download and keep for free your own copy of "The Influence of Sea Power upon History"]
The Kaiser wanting Imperial Germany to be imperial, in the sense of not merely a player of continental [Europe] dimensions, but "acting out" a role on the world stage of major proportions.
German power projection to all points of the world being accomplished by a robust and strong fleet, backed up by an equally robust and strong merchant marine. Germany in 1914 possessing the second largest navy and merchant marine BOTH!
Imperial Germany prior to 1914 having a smattering of overseas colonies and concessions, the Kaiser greatly desirous to increase his "holdings", those lands already under German dominion to include:
* German Togoland.
* German Cameroon.
* German Southwest Africa.
* German East Africa.
* German Samoa.
* Various other Pacific islands.
* German New Guinea.
* Chinese concessions [Tsingtao, etc.]
That naval arms race of the pre-Dreadnought and Dreadnought era great alarming the English Worrisome to a degree that Germany, previously always a major European LAND power had become a major naval power as well. A continental power [Germany] seeking expansion and domination perhaps of first Europe and then the world! Der Tag!
The English in response to this naval arms build-up seeking and entering into treaties and alliances with France and Russia - - counters to German might! Those treaties and alliances almost GUARANTEEING that regional conflict would become a general European war and subsequently a global conflagration!
ALL THIS FROM ONE BOOK?
"Germany's insistence on building a fleet that could challenge Britain's naval domination underscored German bellicosity and pushed Britain toward alignment with France and Russia."
"the Imperial German Navy was built up at an impressive rate once the state's coffers were opened wide in 1898. This reflected the personal interest of Kaiser Wilhelm II, who became besotted with battleships after reading Alfred Thayer Mahan's best-selling treatise, The Influence of Sea Power On History in the early 1890s."
The German navy by 1914 both quantitatively and qualitatively [?] inferior to the British, but NOT SO MARKEDLY SO! Asymmetric weapons such as the submarine combined with aggressive and well-thought-out offensive action allowing for a "possible". One immense and climactic sea battle the result of which would be English defeat, a negotiated peace and settlement favorable to the German, Der Tag ensuing from naval victory and control of the seas, in the manner as understood and advocated by Mahan.