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10 - US naval strategy and Japan

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2014

Williamson Murray
Affiliation:
Ohio State University
Williamson Murray
Affiliation:
Ohio State University
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Summary

Innovation and surprise tested the plan’s validity throughout the war. Certain changes had been anticipated by the planners, in outline if not in detail, and did not materially alter its relevance. Most of the unexpected developments were easily co-opted within the plan’s framework, a tribute to its flexibility and broad aims. Only a few surprises compelled wartime leaders to depart from it. None compromised its fundamental principles.

The US Navy during the period between 1919 and 1939 has received considerable attention from historians and political scientists, much of that interest driven by Andrew Marshall of the Office of Net Assessment. The author of this essay, in fact, was a willing and self-inflicted victim of one of those efforts in the early 1980s, when he and Allan Millett directed the “military effectiveness studies, recently reissued by Cambridge University Press.” At the time, the author, as with many other students of European military history, found himself intrigued with the German innovations in combined-arms tactics during the twenties and thirties. Yet, nearly 30 years later, he finds himself far more impressed with the performance of America’s military institutions in innovating during the interwar period than with the Germans.

Type
Chapter
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Successful Strategies
Triumphing in War and Peace from Antiquity to the Present
, pp. 280 - 313
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2014

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