Learning War

The Evolution of Fighting Doctrine in the U.S. Navy, 1898–1945
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Published:June 15, 2018

Learning War examines the U.S. Navy’s doctrinal development from 1898–1945 and explains why the Navy in that era was so successful as an organization at fostering innovation. A revolutionary study of one of history’s greatest success stories, this book draws profoundly important conclusions that give new insight, not only into how the Navy succeeded in becoming the best naval force in the world, but also into how modern organizations can exploit today’s rapid technological and social changes in their pursuit of success.

Trent Hone argues that the Navy created a sophisticated learning system in the early years of the twentieth century that led to repeated innovations in the development of surface warfare tactics and doctrine. The conditions that allowed these innovations to emerge are analyzed through a consideration of the Navy as a complex adaptive system. Learning War is the first major work to apply this complex learning approach to military history. This approach permits a richer understanding of the mechanisms that enable human organizations to evolve, innovate, and learn, and it offers new insights into the history of the United States Navy.

List Price: $34.95
Member Price: $20.97
Product Details
  • Subject: U.S. Navy
  • Hardback : 432 pages
  • ISBN-10: 1682472930
  • ISBN-13: 9781682472934
  • Product Dimensions: 6 X 9 in
  • Shipping Weight: 28.96 oz
  • "In Learning War: The Evolution of Fighting Doctrine in the U.S. Navy, 1898-1945, Trent Hone’s primary focus is surface warfare, the way the navy’s battleships, cruisers and destroyers fought the Pacific War. Yet he also offers a sophisticated, multi-level analysis of just how the modern navy functioned as an institution and how its leaders learned to think, innovate and command. Highly recommended." —John B. Lundstrom, author of Black Shoe Carrier Admiral
  • “I loved this book! Hone brings a unique perspective to the study of the U.S. Navy’s triumph in WWII, exploring how sound decisions taken decades beforehand allowed the Navy to ferociously adapt itself to the crucible of mortal combat. This is a thorough, illuminating, yet engagingly written work—an impressive addition to the scholarship on the Pacific War.” —Jonathan Parshall, co-author, Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway

Trent Hone is an authority on the U.S. Navy of the early twentieth century and a leader in the application of complexity science to organizational design. He studied religion and archaeology at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. He works as a consultant in Arlington, Virginia, helping a variety of organizations improve their processes and techniques. Mr. Hone writes and speaks about tactical doctrine, organizational learning, and complexity.

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