Innovating Victory: Naval Technology in Three Wars studies how the world’s navies incorporated new technologies into their ships, their practices, and their doctrine. It does this by examining six core technologies fundamental to twentieth-century naval warfare including new platforms (submarines and aircraft), new weapons (torpedoes and mines), and new tools (radar and radio). Each chapter considers the state of a subject technology when it was first used in war and what navies expected of it. It then looks at the way navies discovered and developed the technology’s best use, in many cases overcoming disappointed expectations. It considers how a new technology threatened its opponents, not to mention its users, and how those threats were managed.
Innovating Victory shows that the use of technology is more than introducing and mastering a new weapon or system. Differences in national resources, force mixtures, priorities, perceptions, and missions forced nations to approach the problems presented by new technologies in different ways. Navies that specialized in specific technologies often held advantages over enemies in some areas but found themselves disadvantaged in others. Vincent P. O'Hara and Leonard R. Heinz present new perspectives and explore the process of technological introduction and innovation in a way that is relevant to today’s navies, which face challenges and questions even greater than those of 1904, 1914, and 1939.