The Pacific War: Alfred Thayer Mahan, and War Plans of the United States Navy and Imperial Japanese Navy

  • 2016

The Pacific War: Alfred Thayer Mahan, and War Plans of the United States Navy and Imperial Japanese Navy

Author:
Ross Mobilia
Abstract:

This paper examines the history of the influence of Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan on the war planning of the United States and Imperial Japanese Navies from the early twentieth century through the end of World War II. The United States Navy soundly defeated the Imperial Japanese Navy during this war’s Pacific campaign. Deprived of the offensive combat utility of main striking arm of the U. S. Fleet Battle Force, the U. S. Pacific Fleet altered radically its operational strategy. Aggressive early employment of aircraft carriers and cruisers blunted the Japanese advance at the Battle of the Coral Sea and transformed the Japanese Pacific offensive into a defensive war at the Battle of Midway. The prewar and wartime United States and Imperial Japanese Navies were disciples of Alfred Thayer Mahan and deployed their respective fleets in consonance with his doctrine. This research paper examines the respective American and Japanese application of Mahan’s doctrine and their diametrically opposed results.