21st Century Knox
Influence, Sea Power, and History for the Modern Era
Commo. Dudley Wright Knox took a practitioner’s approach to maritime history, helping to frame a global mission for the U.S. Navy. Having graduated with the U.S. Naval Academy Class of 1897, he commanded a variety of warships and flag headquarters. He served in combat during the 1898 Spanish-American War, the Boxer Rebellion, and in the Philippines. With intelligence, Knox lead efforts to establish the “special relationship” between the Royal Navy and U.S. Navy during two world wars. Helping to realize the visions of a “navy second to none” Knox assisted President Franklin D. Roosevelt in educating Americans to understand the nexus between war and peace. Unlike armies or air forces, Knox argued that navies provided unique means, “not to make war but to preserve peace, not to be predatory but to shield the free development of commerce, not to unsettle the world but to stabilize it through the promotion of law and order.”
21st Century Knox offers a primer on the thinking of the man who exerted an enormous influence on the U.S. Navy during the first fifty years of the twentieth century. His ideas on questions of strategy, leadership, and maritime operations remain relevant to naval professionals into the twenty-first century and beyond.