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By A. T. (Alfred Thayer) Mahan

Alfred Thayer Mahan (1840-1914) used to be a usa army officer, geostrategist, and educator. His rules at the value of sea strength encouraged navies around the globe, and helped instructed naval buildups prior to global battle I. regardless of his good fortune within the army, his talents in real command of a boat weren't exemplary, and a few vessels lower than his command have been occupied with collisions. however, the books he wrote ashore made him arguably the main influential naval historian. In 1885, he used to be appointed lecturer in naval background and strategies and the Naval conflict university. sooner than coming into on his tasks, Mahan was once pointed to jot down his destiny reviews and lectures at the impression of sea energy. He geared up his lectures into his such a lot influential books, The impression of Sea strength upon historical past, 1660-1783 (1890). To a contemporary reader his emphasis on sea-borne trade could seem common, however the thought was once even more radical in Mahan?€™s time. His different works contain: The curiosity of the United States in Sea strength, current and destiny (1897) and kinds of Naval officials (1902).

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Extra info for From Sail to Steam: Recollections of Naval Life

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As late as 1868 we were station-mates with one such, the Rodney, of 21 From Sail to Steam: Recollections of Naval Life 90 guns, then the flag-ship of the British China squadron; and we had already met, another, the Princess Royal, at the Cape of Good Hope, homeward bound. She, however, had been built as a steamer. She was a singularly handsome vessel, of her majestic type; and, as she lay close by us, I remember commenting on her appearance to one of my messmates, poor Stewart, who afterwards went down in the Oneida.

Both were revolutionary in character, and prophetic of further changes quite beyond the foresight of contemporaries. From this point of view, the period in question has the character of an epoch, initiated, made possible, by the invention of the screw-propeller; which, in addition 26 From Sail to Steam: Recollections of Naval Life to the better nautical qualities associated with it, permitted the defence of the machinery by submersion, and of the sides of the ship by the application of armor. In this lay the germ of the race between the armor and the gun, involving almost directly the attempt to reach the parts which armor cannot protect, the underwater body, by means of the torpedo.

In March, 1861, when Lincoln was inaugurated, the available ships-ofwar at sea, or in the yards, numbered sixty-one. Of these thirty-four were sailing vessels, substantially worthless; although, as the commerce of the world was still chiefly carried on by sailing ships, they could be of some slight service against these attempting to pass a blockade. For the most part, however, they were but scarecrows, if even respected as such. Of the twenty-seven steamers, only six dated from before 1850; the remainder were being built when I entered the Naval Academy in September, 1856.

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