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Encyclopedia > Alfred Thayer Mahan
Alfred Thayer Mahan
September 27, 1840December 1, 1914

Place of birth West Point, New York
Allegiance United States of America
Rank Captain

Rear Admiral (post retirement) is the 270th day of the year (271st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1840 is a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... is the 335th day of the year (336th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1914 (MCMXIV) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Wednesday of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Alfred Thayer Mahan (pre-1914 photograph) This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired in the United States and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 70 years or less. ... West Point painting West Point is a federal military base (and a census-designated place) located in the Town of Highlands in Orange County, New York. ... Captain is a rank or title with various meanings. ... The term Rear Admiral originated from the days of Naval Sailing Squadrons, and can trace its origins to the British Royal Navy. ...

Commands USS Chicago

Rear Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan (September 27, 1840December 1, 1914) was a United States Navy officer, geostrategist, and educator. His ideas on the importance of sea power influenced navies around the world, and helped prompt naval buildups before World War I. Several ships were named USS Mahan, including the lead vessel of a class of destroyers. His research into naval History led to his most important work, The Influence of Seapower Upon History,1660-1783, published in 1890. The first USS Chicago (later CA-14) was a protected cruiser of the United States Navy, the largest of the original three authorized by Congress for the New Navy. She was launched 5 December 1885 by John Roach and Sons, Chester, Pennsylvania, sponsored by Edith Cleborne (daughter of Navy Medical... The term Rear Admiral originated from the days of Naval Sailing Squadrons, and can trace its origins to the British Royal Navy. ... is the 270th day of the year (271st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1840 is a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... is the 335th day of the year (336th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1914 (MCMXIV) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Wednesday of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... USN redirects here. ... Geostrategy is a subfield of geopolitics. ... “The Great War ” redirects here. ... Categories: Stub ... The Mahan class of destroyers were built by various shipyards between 1935 and 1937. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

Contents

Early life and service

Born at West Point, New York to Dennis Hart Mahan (a professor at the United States Military Academy) and Mary Helena Mahan, he attended Columbia for two years where he was a member of the Philolexian Society debating club and then, against his parents' wishes, transferred to the Naval Academy, where he graduated second in his class in 1859. West Point painting West Point is a federal military base (and a census-designated place) located in the Town of Highlands in Orange County, New York. ... Dennis Hart Mahan (April 2, 1802 - September 16, 1871) was a noted American military theorist and professor at the United States Military Academy at West Point. ... USMA redirects here. ... The Philolexian Society of Columbia University is one of the oldest collegiate literary societies in the United States, and the oldest student group at Columbia. ... The United States Naval Academy (USNA) is an institution for the undergraduate education of officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps and is in Annapolis, Maryland . ... Year 1859 (MDCCCLIX) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ...


Commissioned as a Lieutenant in 1861, Mahan served the Union in the American Civil War as an officer on Congress, Pocahontas, and James Adger, and as an instructor at the Naval Academy. In 1865 he was promoted to Lieutenant Commander, and then to Commander (1872), and Captain (1885). Lieutenant is a military, naval, paramilitary, fire service or police officer rank. ... In this map:  Union states prohibiting slavery  Union territories  Border states on the Union side which allowed slavery  Kansas, which entered and fought with the Union as a free state after the Bleeding Kansas crisis  The Confederacy  Confederate claimed and sometimes held territories During the American Civil War, the Union... Combatants United States of America (Union) Confederate States of America (Confederacy) Commanders Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee Strength 2,200,000 1,064,000 Casualties 110,000 killed in action, 360,000 total dead, 275,200 wounded 93,000 killed in action, 258,000 total... The fourth USS Congress of the United States Navy was a sailing frigate like her predecessor, surviving into the American Civil War, where she was destroyed by the ironclad CSS Virginia. ...    This article is a stub. ... USS James Adger was a sidewheel steamer in the United States Navy during the American Civil War. ... 1865 (MDCCCLXV) is a common year starting on Sunday. ... In the Royal Navy, United States Navy and United States Coast Guard, a lieutenant commander (lieutenant-commander or Lt Cdr in the RN) is a commissioned officer superior to a lieutenant and inferior to a commander. ... Commander is a military rank which is also sometimes used as a military title depending on the individual customs of a given military service. ... Year 1872 (MDCCCLXXII) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar (or a leap year starting on Saturday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... Captain is a rank or title with various meanings. ... 1885 (MDCCCLXXXV) is a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Saturday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ...


Despite his success in the Navy, his skills in actual command of a ship were not exemplary, and a number of vessels under his command were involved in collisions, with both moving and stationary objects. Despite his affection for old square-rigged vessels, he did not like smoky, noisy steamships of his times and he tried to avoid active sea duty.[1] On the other hand, the books he wrote ashore made him arguably the most influential naval historian. U.S. Navy submarine USS Greeneville in dry dock following collision with a fishing boat. ...


Naval War College and writings

In 1885, he was appointed lecturer in naval history and tactics at the Naval War College. Before entering on his duties, College President Rear Admiral Stephen B. Luce pointed Mahan in the direction of writing his future studies on the influence of sea power. For his first year on the faculty, he remained at his home in New York City researching and writing his lectures. Upon completion of this research period, he was to succeed Luce as president of the Naval War College from June 22, 1886 to January 12, 1889 and again from July 22, 1892 to May 10, 1893 [1]. Whilst there in 1887 he met and befriended a young visiting lecturer named Theodore Roosevelt, who would later become president of the United States. During this period Mahan organized his Naval War College lectures into his most influential books, The Influence of Sea Power upon History, 1660–1783, and The Influence of Sea Power upon the French Revolution and Empire, 1793–1812, published 1890 and 1892, respectively. Stephen Bleecker Luce (25 March 1827 - 28 July 1917) was a U.S. Navy admiral. ... The Naval War College. ... is the 173rd day of the year (174th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1886 (MDCCCLXXXVI) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Wednesday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... is the 12th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1889 (MDCCCLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Sunday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... is the 203rd day of the year (204th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1892 (MDCCCXCII) was a leap year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar (or a leap year starting on Wednesday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... is the 130th day of the year (131st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1893 (MDCCCXCIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... 1887 (MDCCCLXXXVII) is a common year starting on Saturday (click on link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar. ... Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  US Government Portal      For other uses, see President of the United States (disambiguation). ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Year 1890 (MDCCCXC) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar). ... Year 1892 (MDCCCXCII) was a leap year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar (or a leap year starting on Wednesday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ...


Upon being published, Mahan struck up a friendship with pioneering British naval historian Sir John Knox Laughton, the pair maintaining this relationship through correspondence and visits when Mahan was in London. Mahan was later described as a 'disciple' of Laughton, although the two men were always at pains to distinguish between each other's line of work, Laughton seeing Mahan as a theorist while Mahan called Laughton 'the historian'.[2] Professor Sir John Knox Laughton KCB (b. ...


Strategic views and influence

Mahan believed that control of seaborne commerce was critical to domination in war. If one combatant could manage to deny the use of the sea to the other, the others' economy would inevitably collapse, leading to victory. Ironically, however, a Mahanian fleet was not made up mostly of commerce raiders. This was because commerce raiders could not establish command of the sea, while a fleet of battleships and other heavily armed warships could. The Mahanian objective was to build a fleet capable of destroying the enemy's main force in a single decisive battle. After this victory was won, it would be easy to enforce a blockade against enemy merchants and hunt down their remaining lighter vessels, since with their heavy assets gone, the enemy would be incapable of rebuilding. For the weaker combatant, meanwhile, the goal was to delay such a climactic battle for as long as possible. While their fleet still posed any threat, the enemy could not risk splitting their forces to close off trade routes. This led to the strategy of a fleet in being, a naval force kept deliberately in port to threaten rather than act. Sea denial is a military term describing attempts to deny an enemys ability to use the sea but at the same time makes no attempt to control the sea itself. ... Commerce raiding or guerre de course is a naval strategy of attacking an opponents commercial shipping rather than contending for control of the seas with its naval forces. ... Command of the sea is a technical term of naval warfare, which indicates a definite strategical condition. ... For other uses, see Battleship (disambiguation). ... A blockade is any effort to prevent supplies, troops, information or aid from reaching an opposing force. ... In naval warfare, a fleet in being is a naval force that extends a controlling influence without ever leaving port. ...


Mahan's views were shaped by the contests between France and England in the 18th century, where British naval superiority had eventually won out over France, consistently preventing a French invasion or a successful blockade (see Napoleonic war, especially Battle of Trafalgar and Continental System). To a modern reader his emphasis on sea-borne commerce may seem commonplace, but the notion was much more radical in Mahan's time, especially in a nation entirely obsessed with landward expansion to the west. On the other hand, Mahan's focus on sea power as the crucial factor behind the rise of Britain neglected the well-documented role of other means (diplomacy and land armies) and Mahan's theories could not explain success of non-maritime empires, such as Bismarck's Germany.[3] For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ... (17th century - 18th century - 19th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 18th century refers to the century that lasted from 1701 through 1800. ... The Napoleonic Wars lasted from 1804 until 1815. ... Combatants United Kingdom First French Empire Kingdom of Spain Commanders Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson † Pierre Charles Silvestre de Villeneuve Strength 27 ships of the line and 6 others. ... The Continental System was a foreign-policy cornerstone of Napoleon I of France in his struggle against the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland during the Napoleonic Wars. ... 20XX redirects here. ... This article is about the history and influence of the concept. ...


After the Civil War, the United States Navy initially opposed replacing its sailing vessels with more advanced steam-powered engines for ideological reasons. However, Mahan argued that only a fleet of armored battleships may be decisive in a modern war. According to his idea of one decisive battle, he also opposed any attempts to divide a fleet. Mahan's work encouraged a technological upgrade by convincing those opposed that naval knowledge and tactics remained as necessary as ever, but that domination of the seas dictated that the speed and predictability of steam-powered engines could not be sacrificed. Traditional wooden cutter under sail. ... For other uses, see Steamboat (disambiguation). ... // The term steam engine may also refer to an entire railroad steam locomotive. ... Naval tactics is the collective name for methods of engaging and defeating an enemyship or fleet in battle at sea, the naval equivalent of military tactics on land. ...


His books were received with great acclaim, and closely studied in Britain and Germany, influencing their buildup of forces in the years prior to World War I. Mahan's influence sowed the seeds for events such as the naval portion of the Spanish-American War and the battles of Tsushima, Jutland and the Atlantic. His work also influenced the doctrines of every major navy in the interwar period. Mahan was translated and extensively read in Japan,[4] and the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) used Influence as a textbook. This strongly affected IJN conduct in the Pacific War, with emphasis on "decisive battle", even at the expense of trade protection. Ironically, Mahan's premise that a reserve force being incapable to recover after initial overwhelming defeat was refuted by the US Navy's own recovery after Pearl Harbor. The IJN pursuit of the "decisive battle" was carried out to such an extent that it contributed to Japan's defeat in 1945.[5][6] And Mahanian doctrine of a decisive battle fought between fleets of battleships became obsolete by the development of submarines and air carriers.[7] “The Great War ” redirects here. ... Combatants United States Republic of Cuba Philippine Republic Spain Commanders Nelson A. Miles William R. Shafter George Dewey Máximo Gómez Emilio Aguinaldo Patricio Montojo Pascual Cervera Arsenio Linares Ramón Blanco Casualties 3,289 U.S. dead (432 from combat); considerably higher although undetermined Cuban and Filipino casualties... Combatants Empire of Japan Russian Empire Commanders Heihachiro Togo Zinovi Rozhdestvenski # Nikolai Nebogatov Strength 4 battleships 27 cruisers destroyers and auxiliary vessels 8 battleships 3 coastal battleships 8 cruisers Casualties 117 dead 583 injured 3 torpedo boats sunk 4,380 dead 5,917 captured 21 ships sunk 7 captured 6... Combatants Grand Fleet of the Royal Navy High Seas Fleet of the Kaiserliche Marine Commanders Sir John Jellicoe Sir David Beatty Reinhard Scheer Franz von Hipper Strength 28 battleships 9 battlecruisers 8 heavy cruisers 26 light cruisers 78 destroyers 1 minelayer 1 seaplane carrier 16 battleships 5 battlecruisers 6 pre... Battle of the Atlantic can refer to either of two naval campaigns, depending on context: World War I - First Battle of the Atlantic World War II - Second Battle of the Atlantic A Third Battle of the Atlantic was envisioned to be be part of any Third World War that arose... The Interwar period was the time between World War I and World War II, ergo the 1920s and 1930s. ... For Combined Fleet, please see that article. ... For other uses, see Pacific War (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Convoy (disambiguation). ... This article is about the harbor in Hawaii. ... The Japanese representatives, Mamoru Shigemitsu and Yoshijiro Umezu, on board USS Missouri during the surrender ceremonies on 2 September 1945. ... For other uses, see Submarine (disambiguation). ... An airline is an organization providing aviation services to passengers and/or cargo. ...


Nevertheless, Mahan's concept of sea power went beyond sheer naval superiority. He argued that states should benefit from periods of peace to build their production and shipping capacities and they should acquire overseas possessions, either in the form of colonies or privileged access to foreign markets.[8] However, he also stressed that the number of coaling stations and strategic naval bases should be small enough not to drain too many resources from the mother country.[9] Naval warfare is combat in and on seas and oceans. ... Coal Coal is a fossil fuel extracted from the ground by mining. ...


Later career

Between 1889 and 1892 Mahan was engaged in special service for the Bureau of Navigation, and in 1893 he was appointed to command the powerful new protected cruiser Chicago on a visit to Europe, where he was received and feted. He returned to lecture at the War College and then, in 1896, he retired from active service, returning briefly to duty in 1898 to consult on naval strategy for the Spanish-American War. The U.S. Navys Bureau of Navigation was established in 1862 as part of the reorganization of the Navy Department. ... A schematic section of a protected cruiser illustrating the protection scheme. ... The first USS Chicago (later CA-14) was a protected cruiser of the United States Navy, the largest of the original three authorized by Congress for the New Navy. She was launched 5 December 1885 by John Roach and Sons, Chester, Pennsylvania, sponsored by Edith Cleborne (daughter of Navy Medical... For other uses, see Europe (disambiguation). ... Year 1896 (MDCCCXCVI) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display calendar). ... Year 1898 (MDCCCXCVIII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Combatants United States Republic of Cuba Philippine Republic Spain Commanders Nelson A. Miles William R. Shafter George Dewey Máximo Gómez Emilio Aguinaldo Patricio Montojo Pascual Cervera Arsenio Linares Ramón Blanco Casualties 3,289 U.S. dead (432 from combat); considerably higher although undetermined Cuban and Filipino casualties...


Mahan continued to write voluminously and received honorary degrees from Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Dartmouth, and McGill. The University of Oxford, located in the city of Oxford in England, is the oldest university in the English-speaking world. ... The University of Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world, with one of the most selective sets of entry requirements in the United Kingdom. ... Harvard redirects here. ... Yale redirects here. ... Dartmouth College is a private, coeducational university located in Hanover, New Hampshire, USA. Incorporated as Trustees of Dartmouth College,[6][7] it is a member of the Ivy League and one of the nine colonial colleges founded before the American Revolution. ... McGill University. ...


In 1902 Mahan invented the term "Middle East", which he used in the article "The Persian Gulf and International Relations", published in September in the National Review.[10] A map showing countries commonly considered to be part of the Middle East The Middle East is a region comprising the lands around the southern and eastern parts of the Mediterranean Sea, a territory that extends from the eastern Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf. ... Not to be confused with the present-day American publication of the same name, National Review was launched in 1883 as a platform for the British Conservative Party. ...


He became Rear Admiral in 1906 by an act of Congress promoting all retired captains who had served in the Civil War. At the outbreak of World War I, he initially engaged in the cause of Great Britain, but an order of President Woodrow Wilson prohibited all active and retired officers to publish comments on the war. Mahan died of heart failure on December 1, 1914. 1906 (MCMVI) was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... Combatants United States of America (Union) Confederate States of America (Confederacy) Commanders Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee Strength 2,200,000 1,064,000 Casualties 110,000 killed in action, 360,000 total dead, 275,200 wounded 93,000 killed in action, 258,000 total... “The Great War ” redirects here. ... Thomas Woodrow Wilson (December 28, 1856–February 3, 1924), was the twenty-eighth President of the United States. ...


The United States Naval Academy has Mahan Hall named in his honor. The United States Naval Academy (USNA) is an institution for the undergraduate education of officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps and is in Annapolis, Maryland . ...


Works

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph of a portrait in oils by an unidentified artist, from the Navy Art Collection, Washington, DC. Image from | http://www. ...

Notes

  1. ^ Paret, Peter (1986). Makers of Modern Strategy from Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 445. 
  2. ^ Knight, Roger (2000) The Foundations of Naval History: John Knox Laughton, the Royal Navy and the Historical Profession, Review of book by Professor Andrew Lambert in the Institute for Historical Research's Reviews in History series. (London: Institute for Historical Research) http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/paper/knight.html - URL last accessed 3 April 2007
  3. ^ Paret, Peter (1986). Makers of Modern Strategy from Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 453-455. 
  4. ^ Mark Peattie & David Evans, Kaigun (U.S. Naval Institute Press, 1997)
  5. ^ Donald Goldstein and Katherine Dillon, The Pearl Harbor Papers (Brassey's, 1993)
  6. ^ Marc Parillo, The Japanese Merchant Marine in WW2 (U.S. Naval Institute Press, 1993)
  7. ^ Paret, Peter (1986). Makers of Modern Strategy from Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 475-477. 
  8. ^ Paret, Peter (1986). Makers of Modern Strategy from Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 451. 
  9. ^ Paret, Peter (1986). Makers of Modern Strategy from Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 460. 
  10. ^ Adelson, Roger. London and the Invention of the Middle East: Money, Power, and War, 1902-1922. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995. ISBN 0-300-06094-7 p. 22-23

References

  • Charles Carlisle Taylor, The Life of Admiral Mahan, 1920, London.
  • William E. Livezey, Mahan on Sea Power (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, reprinted 1981)
  • W. D. Puleston, Mahan: The Life and Work of Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1939)
  • Robert Seager, Alfred Thayer Mahan: The Man and His Letters (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1977)
  • John B. Hattendorf and Lynn C. Hattendorf, comps. Bibliography of the Weritings of Alfred Thayer Mahan (1986)
  • Philip A. Crowl, "Alfred Thayer Mahan: The Naval Historian" in Makers of Modern Strategy from Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age, ed. Peter Paret (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986)
  • John B. Hattendorf, Mahan on Naval Strategy: selections from the writings of Rear Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan (1991)
  • Benjamin Apt, "Mahan's Forebears: The Debate over Maritime Strategy, 1868-1883." Naval War College Review (Summer 1997). Online. Naval War College. 24 September 2004.
  • Jon Tetsuro Sumida, Inventing grand strategy and teaching command: the classic works of Alfred Thayer Mahan reconsidered (1997)
  • Biographical article
  • Works by Alfred Thayer Mahan at Project Gutenberg

The United States Naval Institute is a non-profit, professional organization in the United States related to the Navy. ... John Brewster Hattendorf (b. ... Peter Paret (April 13, 1924-) is American military and art history historian with a particular interest in the German history. ... John Brewster Hattendorf (b. ... is the 267th day of the year (268th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Project Gutenberg, abbreviated as PG, is a volunteer effort to digitize, archive and distribute cultural works. ...

External links

  • Past Presidents of the Naval War College - from the Naval War College website

 
 

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