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The Influence of Seapower Upon History: 1660…
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The Influence of Seapower Upon History: 1660 - 1783 (1890 original; edició 1957)

de Alfred Thayer Mahan

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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.
Títol:The Influence of Seapower Upon History: 1660 - 1783
Autors:Alfred Thayer Mahan
Informació:Hill and Wang, Inc.
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Etiquetes:Maritime, Naval History, Tall Ships

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The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783 de A. T. Mahan (1890)

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The Influence of Sea Power Upon History: 1660–1783 is a history of naval warfare published in 1890 by Alfred Thayer Mahan. It details the role of sea power during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and discussed the various factors needed to support and achieve sea power, with emphasis on having the largest and most powerful fleet. Scholars considered it the single most influential book in naval strategy. Its policies were quickly adopted by most major navies,[1][2][3][4] ultimately leading to the World War I naval arms race. It is also cited as one of the contributing factors of the United States becoming a great power.
  MasseyLibrary | Jun 20, 2020 |
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 inspiration for the Japanese, German and US heavy investment in sea power in the early 1900's), than as history. At it's core it's an essentially tedious account of the projection of political power by the British navy in the days of sail and empire, and rather tediously makes a great deal of battle tactics rather than the influence of trade and communication. There is a theme here that is very relevant today - witnessing China's creation of a deep water navy - but this isn't the book that has much (any more) to say about it.
  nandadevi | Jul 22, 2015 |
This is one of the foundational works of maritime strategy and puts Mahan in a category with history's other great strategic thinkers; Sun Tzu, Clausewitz, Moltke, Giap, Mao. Like those others, Mahan's tactical doctrines, and so the examples and illustrations taken from his writings, are obsolete and mostly irrelevant in the world of modern weaponry. Like the others, also, his strategic doctrine is suspect, but his influence is so great that everyone writing on maritime strategy gives him at least a hat-tip.

The Japanese, arguably, based their entire naval strategy during WWII on Mahan's ideas, and his work is cited increasingly by Chinese strategists as they hurry to build a blue-water navy, two facts which argue for Mahan's continued relevance. The period he writes of here was during the age of sail, and descriptions of maneuver can be hard to follow, but the combat operations he details can be read through quickly without losing sight of the strategic ideas.

Spoiler: A nation's strategic power rests on it's control of the seas. Control of the seas depends on production, commerce, and colonies (which provide friendly, foreign ports), and the purpose of a navy is to ensure these dependencies through an ability to destroy the enemy fleets. ( )
  steve.clason | Nov 23, 2012 |
First published 1890, this book now belongs on every Top 10 of military strategic thought, along with the works of a Clausewitz. Within purely naval strategy, it's a barely disputed Top 1. Light reading it isn't. Drawing mainly from the Age of Sail, Mahan's substance may (or may not) be partly dated. But his repetitive style, however nourished by sharp & fresh details, hints of a bygone age.

Still, it's a masterpiece. Mahan set himself a simple but definitive task: to explain why England's Royal Navy, from mainly 1660 to 1783, became the most effective maritime force in history. His answers circle, with hypnotic iteration, around 3 main points:

1) For ambitious nations (or any state hoping to defend itself against these), a credible naval policy is such a multiplier of strength that it has become fatal if not inconceivable to neglect this dimension.

2) An armed navy never rests on a vacuum, or on a merely militarist policy, but draws its resources & power from an even healthier, flourishing commercial navy. This insight, or instinct, is the innermost "secret" of England's maritime empire.

3) Yet to undermine an enemy sea power it won't do to attack only its trade. You must specifically engage its armed fleet, in bold, decisive battles. Not its commercial vessels, colonies, or even supply posts alone. Destroy, annihilate the warships that safeguard all that. Such was England's strategy, time after time. France stubbornly insisted on the opposite doctrine, & ended up as the also-ran.

To Mahan, a flamboyant exception proving these rules was French Admiral Pierre de Suffren. Almost alone among his compatriots he understood war in English terms, conducting it even better than his enemy. Yet without support from his peers & superiors, decisive victory kept eluding him. Precisely because his success was so obviously shackled, here he represents how further afar France or any nation might reach, the moment they more consistently imitate the English way. ( )
3 vota nielspeterqm | Dec 26, 2010 |
A classic that is said to have been inspired by Theodore Roosevelt in which Mahan argues that any nation wishing to maintain its strength must possess a strong navy. The perennial relevance can be applied to the Chinese who have developed a killer weapon that specifically takes out American aircraft carriers. The Chinese are applying their offensive weapons as the Americans once took their defense and build up of a Navy seriously.

Cf. The Naval War Of 1812 by Theodore Roosevelt. Da Capo Press (1999), Paperback, 500 pages.
1 vota gmicksmith | Aug 10, 2008 |
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The first and most obvious light in which the sea presents itself from the political and social point of view is that of a great highway; or better, perhaps, of 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. These lines of travel are called trade routes; and the reasons which have determined them are to be sought in the history of the world.
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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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