Tuesday, June 29, 2010
The Influence Of Seapower upon History
The battleships of about 1888 to 1905 are known as Pre-Dreadnoughts because they were the classes that immediately preceded HMS Dreadnought. They were the most powerful ships yet seen, dominating waters worldwide, and being the centerpiece of the arms races that had been going on for centuries, the most obvious of these being between Britain and France. But a bit before the era even started, a manuscript was published by a little-known US naval officer, Captain A.T. Mahan, that would change the world balance dramatically, eventually resulting in the passing of the torch from the old world to the new. In many countries, but especially Germany, this booklet was taken very seriously. In that country, battleships started to be built that would eventually start to pose a threat to Britain, switching its opponents from France and Russia to Germany, although there were some perceived threats from those two countries. But then there was a conflict that would change world history and decimate the proud fleet of the Russian Empire: the sun was rising in the far east and shining on Japan.