American Sea Power in the Old World

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Published:February 15, 2018
By William N. Still Jr. (Author)

This classic study examines the deployment of U.S. naval vessels in European and Near Eastern waters from the end of the Civil War until the United States declared war in April 1917. Initially these ships were employed to visit various ports from the Baltic Sea to the eastern Mediterranean and Constantinople (today Istanbul), for the primary purpose of showing the flag. From the 1890s on, most of the need for the presence of the American warships occurred in the eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. Unrest in the Ottoman Empire and particularly the Muslim hostility and threats to Armenians led to calls for protection. This would continue into the years of World War I. In 1905, the Navy Department ended the permanent stationing of a squadron in European waters.

From then until the U.S. declaration of war in 1917, individual ships, detached units, and special squadrons were at times deployed in European waters. In 1908, the converted yacht Scorpion was sent as station ship (stationnaire) to Constantinople where she would remain, operating in the eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea until 1928. Upon the outbreak of World War I, President Woodrow Wilson ordered cruisers to northern European waters and the Mediterranean to protect American interests. These warships, however, did more than protect American interests. They would evacuate thousands of refugees, American tourists, Armenians, Jews, and Italians after Italy entered the conflict on the side of the Allies.

List Price: $24.95
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Product Details
  • Subject: World War I
  • Paperback : 304 pages
  • ISBN-10: 1591146186
  • ISBN-13: 9781591146186
  • Product Dimensions: 0 X 0 in
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 oz
  • "This is an important book. Although first published in 1980, it considers many of the same places where the U.S. Navy is still patrolling, and maintaining a presence..." —The NAVY Magazine
  • “This book is a paperback reissue of the original edition published in 1980, which has not only withstood the test of time, but has become one of the benchmarks against which all historical studies of the U.S. Navy from the period 1865-1914 are judged. The author provides a comprehensive overview of the U.S. Navy as an instrument U.S. government policy of power projection in the Mediterranean Basin…. The book is well written and nicely illustrated. Overall, the book is a great addition to the historical story of the U.S. Navy in the era between the American Civil War and World War I.” —Naval Historical Foundation
  • “William Still’s study is a chronological narrative of naval operations. The book is well written and spiced with entertaining anecdotes and carefully selected quotations. The personalities of important figures are well portrayed and add much to the story…. [T]he book is a useful addition to naval history.” —Naval War College
  • American Sea Power in the Old World [is] a highly competent, well-regarded survey of US naval cruising in an important region of the world at the dawn of the so-called American Century. It remains, over thirty-five years on, among the best broader histories of the peacetime deployment of US naval vessels in the long nineteenth century.” —Michigan War Studies Review
  • “Scholarly, attentive to detail, yet thoroughly accessible to readers of all backgrounds, American Sea Power in the Old World is highly recommended and a welcome contribution to public and college library collections.” —Midwest Book Review

William N. Still Jr. is an American maritime historian who was the first director of the program in maritime history at East Carolina University and a noted author of works on U.S. Civil War history and U.S. naval history.

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