Sea Power and Maritime Affairs Lesson 10: US Naval Strategy and National Policy, 1919-1941
Learning Objectives • Comprehend the principal points of controversy among the great powers at Versailles and the main shortcomings of the treaty finally produced. • Know the reasons for the U.S. not joining the League of Nations and the reasons for the League’s ultimate failure to keep the peace. • Comprehend the treaties resulting from the Washington Naval Conference and the subsequent changes in naval technology and strategy. • Comprehend the relationship between international affairs and national defense goals in the context of sea power. • Comprehend the ways in which changes in American society affected foreign policy and the development and employment of the U.S. Navy during this period.
German High Seas Fleet • Armistice of 11 November 1918: • High Seas Fleet undefeated in battle. • Germany must surrender most of its ships to Allies. • High Seas Fleet interned at Scapa Flow. • Fleet scuttled by German naval officers on 21 June 1919 due to fear of resumption of war. • During negotiations of Treaty of Versailles. • Great Britain and France require Germany to relinquish control of the rest of its Navy.
German Battleship BayernScuttled at Scapa Flow - 21 June 1919
Treaty of Versailles -- 1919 • U.S. President Woodrow Wilson • Attempts to use U.S. power to ensure peace in Europe. • Germany • Forced to follow military limitations and pay reparations. • Wilson's “Fourteen Points” • Second Point • Freedom of the seas and illegality of blockades. • British opposition. • Self-Determination for European peoples. • League of Nations: Republican U.S. Senate rejects due to isolationist sentiments.
The British Royal Navy • Several desires for the Royal Navy: • Maintain naval predominance in the face of the challenge from the U.S. Navy. • Avoid a naval construction race with the U.S. Navy. • Destruction of the German High Seas Fleet. • Opposed Wilson's principle of freedom of the seas. • Advantage of dominant fleet would be relinquished. • Attempted to deter the U.S. from adopting a large building program.
The Japanese Imperial Navy • Seized German Pacific possessions early in WW I. • Island groups in central Pacific. • Chinese port facilities. • Engaged in a major naval building program. • Designed to give Japan naval dominance in the western Pacific to protect expansion. • Cannot afford an arms race with U.S. • Insufficient resources and capabilities.
The U.S. Navy • Woodrow Wilson • Opposes British rejection of Second of the Fourteen Points. • Major naval building program begins - 1919. • Naval Act of 1916 continued and expanded. • Emphasis back on capital ships. • Need for a large fleet to protect both coasts. • Construction planned to rival and eclipse the Royal Navy. • American people seek a “Return to Normalcy”. • Do not support a Navy “second to none”. • Republican Congress supports disarmament. • Republican President Warren G. Harding elected in 1920. • Wilson’s building program disapproved.
Washington Naval Conference -- 1921-22 • Issues for U.S. • Security of possessions in the Pacific. • Dislike of Anglo-Japanese Alliance of 1902. (Potential threat to U.S. interests in the Far East) • End to the naval arms race. • Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes • Dramatic proposal for disarmament: • Immediate 10-year “Holiday” on construction of new capital ships. • Scrapping of ships already commissioned. • Designed for appeasement of Congress. (Determined to cut military spending after WW I)
Five Power Naval Limitation Treaty • U.S., Britain, Japan, France, Italy • Capital ship tonnage ratio of 5-5-3-1.7-1.7 • Limits on displacement and caliber of guns on capital ships. • No limit to cruisers, destroyers, submarines • Non-fortification of Pacific possessions.
Other Treaties • Four-Power Pact • U.S., Great Britain, Japan, and France. • Terminates the Anglo-Japanese Alliance of 1902. • Respect Far Eastern possessions of other countries. • Mutual consultation in crisis. • Nine-Power Treaty • U.S., Great Britain, Japan, France, Italy, China, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Portugal. • Guarantees “Open Door” in China. • Freedom of trade for all countries.
Treaty Implications to U.S. • Negative • Japanese angered by limits on their expansion. • Smaller classes of ships not included. • Did not recognize that U.S. and Great Britain were no longer rivals. • Positive • Ensure “Open Door” in China. • Naval limitations realistically accepted congressional budget limitations. • U.S. Navy able to develop new technology.
Technological Improvements • Battleship Backbone of the Fleet- very Mahanian! • Conversion from coal to oil fuel source for engines: • Underway replenishment much easier to accomplish. • Aircraft carriers: Attack and fighter aircraft developed. • Slow integration into the fleet. • Army General Billy Mitchell: Navies are obsolete. • Carriers still seen as support for battleships. • Lexington and Saratoga - Converted battle cruisers. • Ranger - 1934 - First carrier built from the keel up. • Modern radio communications. • Submarines - Ability to fire torpedoes submerged. • Aluminum and plastic reduce weight and increase speed.
USS Langley (CV 1) - First U.S. Navy aircraft carrier.
General John A. Lejeune Commandant of the Marine Corps 1920-1929
U.S. Amphibious Doctrine • Focus on Japanese-controlled island groups in the Pacific. • Major Earl H. “Pete” Ellis, USMC: • Assigned by General Lejeune to develop plans for Marine operations in support of War Plan Orange. • “Advanced Base Operations in Micronesia” approved 1921. • Necessary to seize and defend advanced naval bases. • Need the ability to perform opposed amphibious assaults. • Special landing craft and heavy weapons needed. • Incorporated lessons from Gallipoli on proper planning. • Ellis is killed on Palau in 1923 while studying islands. • General Lejeune: • Marine Corps exists to perform missions with the fleet.
Geneva Conference of 1927 • U.S. hopes to extend 5-5-3 ratio to cruisers. • Different types of ships: • U.S. -- fewer, bigger cruisers. • Britain -- more, smaller cruisers. • Britain, France and Japan oppose limits. • No agreement is reached.
London Conference of 1930 • Cruisers reclassified: • Heavy > 6.1” guns. • Light < 6.1” guns. • U.S., Britain, Japan, France, and Italy. • Results: • U.S.-British parity in all types of vessels. • Increased Japanese ratio in cruisers and destroyers to 10:10:7. • Japanese parity in submarines. • France and Italy do not participate. • Ban on new capital ships extended until 1936.
Fascismin Europe • Mussolini - “Il Duce”: 1922 • Invasion of Ethiopia - 1935 • Hitler - “Fuhrer”: Chancellor of Germany - 1933 • Nazi Third Reich replaces Weimar Republic. • Promise of German economic recovery. • Beginnings of the Holocaust. • German rearmament begins. • Spanish Civil War - 1930’s • Generalissimo Francisco Franco supported by fascists. • Agreement permits Germany to rebuild Navy - 1935. • Remilitarization of the Rhineland - 1936 • German rejection of the Treaty of Versailles.
Fascism • General traits: • Rejection of individualism. • Rejection of representative government. • Idealization of war. • Disallowance of the class struggle (anti-communist). • Unity and indivisibility of the nation. • Military build-up. • Territorial expansion. • Rome-Berlin Axis - 1936 • Tripartite Pact: Germany, Italy, Japan - 1940 • Mutual support if one party is attacked by a power not already involved -- Soviet Union.
“Il Duce” Benito Mussolini
Adolf Hitler “Fuhrer”
Japanese Imperialism • Expansion - Natural Resources • Formosa (Taiwan) - Annexed: 1895 • Korea- Protectorate: 1905, Annexed: 1910 • Invasion of Manchuria – 1931 • Non-recognition” doctrine-President Hoover • Beginning of Japanese expansion into China, leading to WWII
Hirohito Emperor of Japan World War II
Other Conferences • Geneva Conference of 1932 • Complete failure. • Japan resists. • Invasion of Manchuria. • France resists. • Hitler and Nazi party emerging in Germany. • Second London Naval Conference of 1936 • Britain already allows Germany 35% of tonnage and parity in submarines - 1935 agreement. • Mild limitations on size of naval craft proposed. • Italy and Japan do not sign. • Effective end of naval limitations.
Depression and the U.S. Navy • Strong support of isolationism in U.S. public and Congress. • Neutrality Acts 1935-37 • Renounce U.S. neutral rights: (1812, 1917) • 1935: Sale or transport of munitions prohibited. • 1936: Loans prohibited. • 1937: “Cash and carry”policy enforce. • 1939: Embargo lifted, but President can prohibit American ships from entering “danger zones”. • 1936 U.S. budget cuts - Reductions in naval spending. • Japanese Imperial Navy -- Large build-up begins in 1936. • Stress on importance of aircraft carriers to the fleet.
War Plan Orange – Rainbow Plans • Scenario: U.S. and Japan at war in the Pacific. • Attempt to hold Philippines. • Build up naval forces in Hawaii. • Offensive across the Pacific. • Amphibious operations to seize advanced naval bases. • Defeat Japanese Navy in a fleet engagement. • Recapture Philippines. • Threaten Japanese “Home Islands” with naval forces. • Open Door -- Maintain territorial integrity of China. • Guam and Philippines -- remain relatively unfortified. • 1922 Five Power Naval Limitation Treaty • Japanese Islands: Marshalls, Marianas, and Carolines.
U.S. Fleet • Majority of U.S. Fleet based in the Pacific. • Pacific Fleet moves to Pearl Harbor - 1940 • Battleships - Capital ships of the fleet. • Aircraft Carriers - Fleet Exercises demonstrate potential. • USS Lexington (CV 2) • USS Saratoga (CV 3) • USS Ranger (CV 4) • USS Yorktown (CV 5) • USS Enterprise (CV 6) • USS Wasp (CV 7) • USS Hornet (CV 8) • Submarines
Japanese Imperialism in Asia • Undeclared War with China - 1937 • “Shanghai Incident” • USS Panay sunk on Yangtze River. • Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Tse-tung. • Occupation of French Indochina - 1940 • Oil embargo; other natural resources - July 1941. • U.S., Great Britain, and the Netherlands. • General Tojo: Military government installed - October 1941.
USS Panay Incident • Yangtze River Patrol, China • Sunk by Japanese naval aircraft on 12 December 1937.
U.S. Options • Military intervention • Economic sanctions • Joint military and economic moves with Britain • Indirect response
U.S. Response • FDR’s quarantine speech called for “positive endeavors to preserve peace.” • Not effective: lack of popular support • Did not impose Neutrality Act • Hurt China more than Japan • No joint action with Britain: disagreements • Indirect response: • 1938 Naval Expansion Act-ships not avail until 40-41 • Lesson: A COUNTRY CANNOT EXERT FORCE WITHOUT THE MILITARY FORCE TO BACK IT UP!
Force Level of U.S. Fleet 1937 • Manning • Navy officers and enlisted: 113,617 • Marine officers and enlisted: 18, 223 • Fleet • Battleships: 15 • Aircraft Carriers: 3 • Heavy cruisers: 17 • Light cruisers 10 • Destroyers: 196 (162 overage) • Subs: 81 (50 overage)
Force Level of U.S. Fleet 1937 • Strategic disposition • Pacific Coast: Main U.S. battle fleet at Pearl • Atlantic: Training squadron • Asia: Asiatic fleet 2-CAs, 13-DDs, 6-SS, 10 gunboats • Panama: Service squadron 1-DD, 2 gunboats, 6-SS • Europe: 1-CA, 2-DD • Most probable enemy: Japan • strategy, War Plan Orange
Retreat Toward Hemispheric Defense • Impracticality of War Plan Orange • Lack of forward bases • Crisis in far east over shadowed • Army-Navy conflicts • European Commitments • U.S. fleet divided between Atlantic and Pacific • Revisions to strategic planning • The Rainbow War Plans
Navy’s Ability to Carry out Plans • Enough capital ships • Insufficient aircraft carriers • Barely sufficient cruisers • Submarines 40% below war strength • Aircraft • Landing Craft • Manpower • Bases • Marine Corps • Conclusion: Not fully prepared!!!
Europe’s Events • German annexation of Austria (Anschluss)- March 1938. • Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact - August 1939 • Non-aggression treaty between Soviet Union and Germany. • Munich Crisis - September 1938. • Czechoslovakia’s German-speaking Sudetenland. • Appeasement of Hitler by Western leaders. • British Prime Minister Chamberlain: “Peace in our time.” • German occupation of Czechoslovakia - March 1939. • Italian occupation of Albania - April 1939. • Guarantee of protection of Poland: Britain and France. • March 1939 (Also Holland and Belgium.)
JosefStalin Secretary General of the Communist Party Union of Soviet Socialist Republics World War II
War in Europe • Invasion of Poland: Blitzkrieg - September 1939 • Tanks and Stuka dive bombers. • Soviet occupation of eastern Poland. • Denmark and Norway - April 1940. • May 1940 - Invasion of Netherlands, Belgium, and France. • Maginot Line proves ineffective to maneuver warfare. • Battle of Britain - Summer 1940. • Operation Sea Lion - planned German invasion of England. • Soviet annexation of Baltic States: June 1940. • Soviet invasion of Finland - November 1940. • German invasion of Soviet Union - June 1941. • Operation Barbarossa
WinstonChurchill Prime Minister of Great Britain World War II
“ We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender” Winston Churchill - June 4, 1940