America's First General Staff
By the 1920s the General Board had become a permanent feature of the Navy and was regarded as the premier strategic “think tank” for advice to the Secretary of the Navy. Evolving over the course of its existence, the Board developed into a bona fide institutional component atop the service’s hierarchy. Kuehn highlights how this small body, wielding immense influence over the span of its organizational life, was an innovative, progressive, and productive force for the security of the United States in peace and for naval success in war. The service of the men comprising the Board is little known, but their collaborative ethos should serve as a model for their modern counterparts. Kuehn’s organizational history of the General Board provides context on the complexities and turbulence involved in building the modern Navy that transitioned over time from coal and sail to nuclear-powered warships. America’s First General Staff offers the first single-volume history of the General Board of the Navy, as well as an analysis of the U.S. Navy during periods of great change in both peace and war.