The Relevance of the Prewar British and American Maritime Strategies to the First World War and its Aftermath, 1898–1920

  • Paul M. Kennedy
Part of the St Antony's book series


It may seem ironic, to some readers perhaps perverse, to begin an essay upon Anglo-American maritime strategies by reference to Lord Trenchard’s doctrine of air power, since the Service of which he was head claimed to have made redundant every traditional strategy, whether land-based or sea-based. None the less the story of British air power in the decades after 1920 has a moral for any military organisation which asserts that it has a single strategic vision. In the Royal Air Force’s case, there was an outspoken belief that ‘the bomber will always get through’; more specifically, that its own bombers, provided they were produced in large enough numbers, would enable the nation to carry devastation to the enemy’s heartland and, in a reasonably short time, induce it to surrender. If true, such a strategy made land-warfare appear irrelevant, and made naval warfare both indirect and marginal.1


Combine Operation German Warship American Strategy Naval Warfare Seaborne Trade 
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Copyright information

© John B. Hattendorf and Robert S. Jordan 1989

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  • Paul M. Kennedy

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