Motto: "The constitution of fleets appears, indeed, to be one of the most important factors of war…The figure fixing the number of the units that ought to compose this elementary naval force evidently cannot be an arbitrary one; it ought necessarily to flow from the principles of war and from experience…The choice must be made by weighing all the considerations, strategical and tactical, which permit combining the maximum maneuvering facility of the adopted grouping with the minimum division of command."—DARRIEUS.
GENERAL SURVEY OF CONDITIONS.
In times of peace the service of our navy afloat may be grouped under three general heads:
(1) Preparation of the fleets in commission for war.
(2) Protection of American interests in different parts of the world.
(3) Miscellaneous work not coming directly under (1) or (2).