Amphibious assault essay from history sea warfare

Generally the author has to savagely pound a square peg into a round hole, with regrettable results. The classic horrible example is deep space fighter aircraft. Most pulp falls for the old Space Is An Ocean fallacy along with the related misconceptions. Many pulp writers figured they were the first to have the bright idea of transplating the colorful legend of the dreaded Sargasso Sea into science fiction.

Amphibious assault essay from history sea warfare

While that decree had an unintended political impact—the tacit recognition of the Confederacy as a belligerent—it was nevertheless an essential action on his part. The European nations had already determined that they would not recognize or honor a Union declaration that the Southern ports were closed to trade.

In order to ensure the de facto closing of the ports, the Union had to assert control over the various waterways and coastlines of the Confederacy.

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Scott believed that, given the temperament of the Southern people and their deep love for the Union, in time they would realize the error of their ways and return to the fold.

His theory required a strategy that did not rest on battles and invasions but on the ability of the Union to slowly strangle the South into submission. To efficiently administer the blockade, he divided it into four regions: In addition, a 60,man army supported by gunboats would be sent down the Mississippi River to New Orleans in order to split the Confederacy in half and cut off the shipment of resources from the west to the east.

In the end, he believed, the rebellion would be choked to death by internal and external economic strangulation. Navy, but was ridiculed by many who called for a quick battlefield victory to end the war.

As vessels of various kinds were pressed into service on blockade duty, a new issue presented itself. For a flotilla to remain on station, coaling stations and maintenance facilities would be needed.

Amphibious assault essay from history sea warfare

Those bases, however, were far from the primary Confederate ports of Charleston, S. Blockading ships thus spent as much time getting to their operational stations from the bases as they did on duty. In addition, the coasts of the Carolinas and Georgia were filled with dozens of minor inlets and natural harbors that could provide safe haven to blockade runners.

The Union naval force, therefore, would have to be exceptionally large to watch over the long stretch of coastline, thereby requiring even more extensive base facilities.

To have any chance for success, the Union needed a new strategic approach. Ultimately, the Federal strategy along the Confederate coast was based upon the findings and reports of an ad hoc strategy board convened by Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles and consisting of Captain Samuel Francis Du Pont, superintendent of the U.

Coast Survey, Major J. Garnard of the U. Engineers and Commander Charles H. Davis of the U. Among its many duties, the Blockade Strategy Board was charged with finding suitable coaling stations along the Southern coast. At its first meeting, however, the members determined that such depots might be used for other purposes as well, including storing provisions and serving as refuges or headquarters for the forces along that part of the coast.

The board also looked at the development of the depots as support bases for inland military expeditions. Consequently, Du Pont and his colleagues issued six primary and four supplemental reports detailing the Confederate coast and the significant rivers, harbors and inlets along it.

Their report formed the basis for future strategic naval actions and amphibious operations against the Confederates. The first Northern success resulting from the recommendations of the board was the assault and capture of Cape Hatteras, N.

Seven warships, under the command of Flag Officer Silas H.

Amphibious assault essay from history sea warfare

Stringham, shelled the two forts protecting Hatteras Inlet into submission. That action was followed two weeks later by the U.

The force thus organized, after being, by frequent embarkations and disembarkations, used as a means of threat, and thus perfectly drilled to its intended service, might at last be permitted to strike its blow.

Whether at New Orleans, or Mobile, or Pensacola, or Savannah, or Port Royal, or that focus of rebellion—the scene of the great indignity offered our flag—Charleston, might be decided at the last moment.

An impressive and aloof year-old veteran of the Mexican War, Du Pont had previously participated in long, drawn-out blockade actions off the California coast during that conflict and knew from personal experience how difficult they were to manage, coordinate and maintain.

He was also well versed in the rigors of independent command.Daily updates of everything that you need know about what is going on in the military community and abroad including military gear and equipment, breaking news, international news and more.

As Union warships steamed past the Confederate defenses near Port Royal, Flag Officer Samuel Du Pont proudly noted that army officers aboard his ship looked on 'with wonder and admiration.' A revolution in naval tactics had begun.

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Assault from the Sea: Essays on the History of Amphibious Warfare by Merrill L. Bartlett