Decisive Victory, Decisive Defeat: Alfred Thayer Mahan and World War II’s Pacific Theater

  • 2012

Decisive Victory, Decisive Defeat: Alfred Thayer Mahan and World War II’s Pacific Theater

Author:
Dan Kemp
Abstract:

This paper takes a second look at WWII in the Pacific and Alfred Thayer Mahan's influence upon it. Both sides studied his works thoroughly, and the Japanese followed that inspiration to victory in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05. This set a pattern for Japanese naval doctrine in World War II. But rather than following the idea that the Imperial Japanese Navy was built for a decisive fleet action it never fought, instead Kemp argues that the IJN had their decisive battle and lost at Midway in 1942.