Download Decision at Sea: Five Naval Battles That Shaped American by Craig L. Symonds PDF

By Craig L. Symonds

From thunderous broadsides traded among wood crusing ships on Lake Erie, to the provider battles of global struggle II, to the devastating high-tech motion within the Persian Gulf, here's a gripping background of 5 key battles that outlined the evolution of naval warfare--and the process the yankee country.

Acclaimed army historian Craig Symonds bargains spellbinding narratives of the most important engagements, exhibiting how every one conflict unearths the transformation of expertise and weaponry from one warfare to the following; how those in flip reworked naval wrestle; and the way each one occasion marked a milestone in American heritage.

• Oliver danger Perry's heroic victory at Lake Erie, one of many final nice battles of the Age of Sail, which secured the Northwestern frontier for the U.S.
• The brutal Civil battle duel among the ironclads video display and Virginia, which sounded the dying knell for wooden-hulled warships and doomed the Confederacy's wish of besting the Union military
• Commodore Dewey's gorgeous triumph at Manila Bay in 1898, the place the U.S. displayed its "new navy" of steel-hulled ships firing explosive shells and wrested an empire from a fading ecu strength
• The hairsbreadth American victory at halfway, the place airplane vendors introduced planes opposed to enemies 2 hundred miles away--and the place the tide of global conflict II became within the area of some livid mins
• Operation Praying Mantis within the Persian Gulf, the place pcs, ship-fired missiles, and "smart bombs" not just replaced the character of battle at sea, but additionally marked a brand new period, and a brand new accountability, for the U.S..

Symonds files those encounters intimately so shiny that readers can listen the wind within the rigging and think the pounding of the weapons. but he areas each conflict in a large standpoint, revealing their value to America's improvement because it grew from a brand new Republic at the fringe of a threatening frontier to a world superpower.

Decision at Sea is a strong and illuminating examine pivotal moments within the historical past of the army and of the U.S.. it's also a compelling research of the unchanging calls for of management at sea, the place commanders needs to make swift judgements within the warmth of conflict with lives--and the destiny of nations--hanging within the stability.

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Sun Tzu may be criticised for promoting advice which indirectly implies that warfare and information are more controllable than they really are. However, the Clausewitzian model may not be as useful with regard to the value of information and knowledge. In this sense, Sun Tzu’s emphasis on the value of knowledge is more practical. This latter point does not invalidate Clausewitz’s focus on uncertainty. Rather, it is to say that alongside the character of the commander, which Clausewitz viewed as the means to deal with uncertainty, we should also value information as a means to help diminish the fog of war, and value knowledge to help shed light upon our foe’s intentions.

It may have been decided that subjugation to enemy rule entails fewer or more acceptable costs than those associated with armed resistance. Even when the decision to fight has been taken, and all a state’s resources are committed, rational calculations may still be in play. Any war of The nature of war in the information age 22 existence, even a seemingly suicidal large-scale nuclear war, can involve rational calculations concerning interest. After all, ‘better dead than red’ is a statement that implies choice.

Howard notes that the engine of change in battle is the infliction of human suffering through violence. 94 On the issue of violence and destruction Sun Tzu lies at the other end of the spectrum. In complete contrast to the principle of destruction, he advocates the value of taking things intact. Again, this attitude may be a reflection of the period in which Sun Tzu wrote. 95 Samuel Griffith contends that for Sun Tzu war is not about bloodshed or indeed destruction; rather it is essentially a battle of the wills.

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