Power at Sea, Volume 2
The Breaking Storm, 1919-1945
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After 1921, the clouds of suspicion and resentment left by the Great War gradually obscured the strenuous efforts of negotiating statesmen and led to ever greater appetites for power at sea. By the midthirties, worried admiralties around the world were bracing themselves for a new and deadlier round of global violence. In this monumental study, Lisle A. Rose revisits the strategies, battles, ships, planes, weapons, and people of the most destructive war in history to show the decisive influence of sea power upon its outcome.
During the years preceding World War II, Britain’s once dominant Royal Navy, beset by national economic decline and steadily eroding morale within the fleet, pleaded for the appeasement of dictators in Europe and the Far East in an attempt to avoid a three-front maritime war that would surely doom the British Empire. Desperately hoping for time to build a formidable fleet, Hitler’s admirals feverishly tried to rebuild German naval weaponry upon a technological foundation not much improved since 1918. In the end, it was Japan and the United States, facing each other across the broad Pacific, that moved naval history into a new phase by fashioning ultramodern navies based on the integration of sea, air, and amphibious forces.
Rose relates how the strengths and weaknesses of seafaring nations came into play within the crucible of a six-year war during which naval encounters were every bit as critical and frequent as land-based fighting. He recounts the well-known naval battles and operations of World War II from a novel perspective, placing them in the context of daring gambles open to both the Axis and the Allies that were either seized upon or ignored. Once Britain’s survival was assured, and the Allies held on in the North Atlantic and the Pacific, however, the superior industrial culture of the United States doomed the Axis. After 1943, America threw into the deadly battles against the German U-boats and the Japanese fleet more and better ships, more and better citizen sailors, better intelligence, and better strategies than did its antagonists or allies.
Two years later, the United States had not only defeated the Axis, it had also won control of the world’s oceans from its exhausted British ally. In the process, it had begun a revolutionary transition in which power at
sea became power from
the sea. Whether recounting the heart-stopping action of naval encounters or analyzing the technologies that made victory possible, Rose traces in vigorous, memorable prose the dramatic emergence of a new naval power that would leave all others in its wake.
Praise For Power at Sea, Volume 2: The Breaking Storm, 1919-1945…
"The undeniable but little understood impact of sea power on the modern history of the world is the essence of Lisle Rose's masterful Power at Sea; thought-provoking and a good read."—Edward J. Marolda, Senior Historian, Naval Historical Center
“Lisle Rose writes with a verve that few historians possess. Here are three books on a magisterial subject, each done with the éclat it deserves. No other writer about sea power in the machine age has managed such an achievement.”—Robert H. Ferrell
University of Missouri, 9780826217028, 536pp.
Publication Date: December 30, 2006
About the Author
Lisle A. Rose holds a Ph.D. in American history from the University of California, Berkeley, and is the author of fourteen books, including Explorer: The Life of Richard E. Byrd and the Power at Sea trilogy, all published by the University of Missouri Press. Over the course of his life, he has been a sailor, a professor, a diplomat, and a court-appointed special advocate for at-risk children. He lives in Edmonds, Washington, with his wife, historian Harriet Dashiell Schwar.Full bio:
Lisle A. Rose (b. October 23, 1936) is a retired U.S. State Department official, former university teacher and author of 14 books. Following three plus years in the United States Navy as a polar sailor, Rose received his B.A. degree from the University of Illinois in 1961 and his Ph.D in American history from the University of California Berkeley in 1966. Following several teaching positions, he joined the State Department’s Historical Office in 1972 where he spent the next five years editing various compilations in the ongoing series, Foreign Relations of the United States. In 1978, Dr. Rose transferred to the Department’s Bureau of Oceans, International Scientific and Environmental Affairs where he served first as Polar Affairs Officer and then as Advanced Technology Affairs Specialist. During these years, he was a member of the U.S. Delegation to the Third United Nations Conference On the Law of the Sea, and drafted policy initiatives on the Arctic and earth remote sensing. He also lectured on these topics abroad. Rose retired in 1989, relocating to the Seattle area where he has engaged in an active writing and publishing career.