I was one of Captain Wayne Hughes’ first operations research thesis students in 1989–90. Since that time, I have thought a lot about the application of his theory to the development and practice of naval tactics, and I have concluded that a deep understanding of his book Fleet Tactics is invaluable to naval officers.
What does it mean to “attack effectively first”? Why is doctrine “the glue of tactics”? What is the goal of “antiscouting”? Why do “men matter most”? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, you haven’t read one of the three editions of Fleet Tactics. If you are a seagoing line naval officer who has not, you have deprived yourself of an important resource.
1. CAPT Wayne P. Hughes Jr., USN (Ret.), Fleet Tactics: Theory and Practice (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1986), 63–65.
2. Hughes, Fleet Tactics, 16–39.
3. F. W. Lanchester, Aircraft in Warfare, the Dawn of the Fourth Arm (London, Constable and Co., 1916), 41–53.