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World War II and the Changing Conception of Sea Power
(See page 709, May, 1946, Proceedings)
Mr. Eugene E. Wilson, Vice-Chairman United Aircraft Corporation.— Commenting on Captain Roland Krause’s discussion of Fletcher Pratt’s article, I might point that the universally careless use of the expressions Sea Power, Air Power, etc., tends to obscure their true meanings and to confuse thinking on the subject. The Sea Power of a country is a trident comprising the Navy, Maritime Commerce, and Shipbuilding Industry. Similarly Air Power is the integrated trinity of Air Force, Air Commerce, and Aircraft Industry. This concept of Air Power, now clearly recognized in aeronautic circles, has brought about close collaboration between the elements of this trinity. Similarly we might use the expression “Land Power” to cover Ground Forces, Land Transport, and Industrial capacity.
General Eisenhower, recognizing the mutual interdependence of these three elements, has recently issued orders designed to promote their close integration in preparedness and industrial mobilization. He has also been vocal in setting forth the principle that a nation’s war-making power is the integration of the three powers: Land, Sea, and Air. I do not refer here to the legislative aspects of unification and integration, but rather to the basic principle. Secretary Forrestal has encouraged the creation of a new association of navy industrialists called the Navy Industrial Association. His support of this movement grew out of his clear convictions in the matter. We now have three organizations: The Army Ordnance Association, the Navy
Industrial Association, and the Aircraft Industries Association as the active media through which collaboration can take place.
Experience has shown that Land, Sea, and Air Power cannot be separated into watertight compartments on the basis of the kinds of weapons employed. Each has its own clear- cut mission, namely, the control of the Land, the Sea, or the Air, and each must be provided with the weapons of all kinds necessary to the execution of that mission. There has been a strong tendency to think of the airplane as a weapon. It is not a weapon, nor has it ever been one. Like a ship or a truck, the airplane is simply a vehicle capable of carrying personnel, material, and all forms of weapons, and is susceptible of utilization in certain fields for which it is suited.
The advent of the airplane as a new vehicle is one of the most revolutionary events of all times. Only twice before in history has such an important event taken place; once when the wheel gave us land transport, and again when ocean-going vessels gave us marine transport. In the field of private commerce the airplane is now a self-sustaining vehicle of transport, one that has returned to the United States Post Office Department all of the subsidies paid out in pioneering it, and that now pays the government a substantial profit.
If now we look at Land, Sea, and Air Power in the light of history we must realize that our country as the superior Sea and Air Power faces the opportunity to exercise a controlling influence in world history. Just as Britain exercised profound influence through her understanding of and application of Sea Power, so might we utilize our Sea
and Air Power to keep the peace of the world:
(1) By removing the incentive to aggressors to resort to war
(2) By removing the causes of war through facilitating world trade.
It would seem, then, that those who are responsible for the Sea Power of the United States could better discharge their responsibilities in that field if they clearly understood the difference between Sea Power and Seaborne Force, and did those things necessary to integrate the Fleet, Maritime Commerce, and Private Shipbuilding Industry in national defense. Among other things this would help remove partisan conflicts as to the utilization of weapons, and would assist in the scientific research and technological development so essential to continued leadership.
Finally, Sea Power could learn a lesson from Air Power in the matter of Policy. The Economics of Air Power contemplate that public funds expended on research and development need not be a burden on the people, tending to depress their standards of living, if applied through the private manufacturing industry in the construction of improved transports capable of expanding air commerce on sound economic grounds. Under good leadership these expenditures become self-liquidating investments through the process of creating new jobs, new wealth, and new enterprises. American Air Transport and American Aircraft Production furnish proof of the soundness of this concept.
Let us, therefore, draw a clear distinction between Land, Sea, and Air Power, and Ground, Seaborne, and Air Forces. Let us seek to understand their broad implications and direct them toward world peace.
Naval Intelligence, 1856
(Picked out of old files, we publish this interesting note written by the then Major J. D. Murray, U. S. Marine Corps.)
I have just found in an old trunk at home a copy of the Bunker Hill Aurora and Boston Mirror, of August 23, 1856, and under the caption “Naval Intelligence” appears the following:
The steam frigate Wabash will leave Philadelphia in about two weeks, for this station. She will remain here for about two weeks, and then cruise along the coast, as flag ship of the home squadron.
The Navy Department has received no report of the cruise of the frigate Independence; but it is known that she occupied some three months in the survey of the guano islands, which are represented to be on the line of the equator, in E. longitude about 111.
Commodore Lavallette assumed the command of the Washington navy yard, on Saturday last, relieving Captain Forrest, who will hoist his broad pennant on the steam frigate St. Lawrence, as the flag ship of the Brazil squadron.
The steamer Mississippi is undergoing repairs and alterations. She is to be fitted out with watertight compartments.
The machinery of the new steam frigate Niagara is being put in. Her engines are 900 horse power. She will make a trial trip in about two months.
The U.S. steamer Susquehanna, from Key West and Fayal, arrived at Gibraltar on the 23rd ult.
The steam frigate Merrimack arrived at New York on Sunday morning last. She made the passage from this port in two days.
The following is a general estimate of the sums required for the support of the office of the Secretary of the Navy and of the bureaus of the Department, for the fiscal year ending June 30,1857:
Office of the Secretary........................ $ 32,136
Bureau of Ordnance & Hydrography. 13,066
Bureau of Yards and Docks............... 17,892
Bureau of Construction, Equip. & Repairs 22,092
Bureau of Provisions and Clothing... 9,516
Bureau of Medicine and Surgery. . .. 9,966
Statement of the estimate for the Navy, for the year 1856, 1857:
Pay of the Navy Proper............. $8,142,418.00
Pay of the Marine Corps........... 851,113.31
Navy Yards..................................... $2,217,989.00
The sum required for the transportation of mails is $1,408.850.00
The sloop Cyane will sail today or Monday. She has taken on board provisions sufficient for one month. She will cruise in Martha’s Vineyard, and will then return to this station.
It is said that Commodore Joseph Lanman is to be “Captain of the Fleet,” in the steam frigate Wabash, of the Home Squadron.
Why a “Boot”
(See page 1353, November, 1945, Proceedings)
Captain K. C. McIntosh (S.C.), U. S. Navy (Retired).—In regard to Captain Hall’s discussion of the origin of the term “Boot,” I have heard it in the making. The old-time bare feet were disappearing when I entered the Navy; crews wherein young American boys slightly outnumbered the diehard “stick-and-string” hereditary mariners were usual. These youngsters came in drafts from NTS, Newport, with a full bag, including the recently established issue of rubber boots. By some strange alchemy, the following morning, the recruits were bootless, and the old-timers were outfitted. As a result, as the launch with a new draft came alongside, you could hear grinning coxswains remarking, “Here come the boots!”
“Gob,” when I first heard it, was in the original, longer form “Gobshyte,” which is Cantonese water-front slang for “sailor.” Kipling called it “Gobbie” in his tale, “Their Lawful Occasions.”
“Snipe” I have never heard.
A Post-War Naval Reserve
(See page 813, June, 1946, Proceedings)
Lieutenant Grey Burns, U. S. Naval Reserve (Inactive).—Captain Copeland’s excellent plan for “A Post-War Naval Reserve” should receive the full approval of all reserve personnel and will undoubtedly be given careful consideration by the Department.
I can think of only one thing that might be added. Why not inaugurate a plan whereby reserve personnel might, without cost to the government, voluntarily contribute to a fund to provide medical service at naval hospitals to those members of the Reserve whose homes are within areas already served by established Naval Medical facilities?
If it is worthwhile to train a man at considerable expense to the Government, it should be worthwhile to keep him in top physical condition at a minimum expense to himself.
Admiral Willson’s “Tropical Cruise” in the same issue provided the light touch that every issue could use.