Anglo-American Naval Co-operation in the Second World War, 1939–45

  • Marc Milner
Part of the St Antony's book series


The outbreak of war in 1939 was looked upon by many at the time as a logical continuation, and culmination, of the earlier ‘German’ war. Not surprisingly then the initial operations and strategy of the Allies harkened back to the First World War. Much as had been the case in 1914, the Royal and French Navies blockaded Germany, swept her trade from the seas, kept a wary eye on the Italians, safeguarded the movement of men and material to the Western Front and checked the Germans’ campaign against Allied shipping. Outside Europe, it is true, the strategic situation was different. It was the Japanese who complicated planning in 1939, and it was their hostility which represented such a marked difference from the situation in 1914–18. Japan was now openly hostile and expansionist, although for the time being she was preoccupied with a debilitating and costly war in China and her sea power was held in check by the Americans. Britain was committed to a strategy of containment and continental war alongside the French, trusting in the Italians to remain neutral and hoping that the Japanese could be put off or appeased. Otherwise, in the European scene the naval strategy and pattern of operations in 1939 were a logical continuation of 1918.1


Pearl Harbor Merchant Shipping Public Record Office Battle Line Fast Carrier 
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Copyright information

© John B. Hattendorf and Robert S. Jordan 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marc Milner

There are no affiliations available

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