Sea Power & Maritime Affairs
Lesson 9
NAVY IN WORLD WAR I
1914-1918
Admin
 Anything you want to include
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Last Class
1898-1914
 Spanish-American War
 Navy leading up to WWI
– American expansionism
– Roosevelt Corollary
Today
Navy in WWI
 Causes
 Naval war
 US involvement
8 Key Themes
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
Navy as an instrument of foreign policy
Interaction between Congress and Navy
Interservice relations
Technology
Leadership
Strategy & Tactics
Evolution of US Naval Doctrine
Future missions of Navy and USMC
World War I
1914 – 1918
Gruesome War
70 million fight
9 million killed
What you should know
1. Largely a land war
2. Sea strategies
-
Germany: Survival
British: Pitt-style plan
3. Battle of Jutland (1916)
-
Lure GB into trap
Only major fleet
engagement
Last major battleshipbattleship naval battle
4. German Desperation as
war progresses
- Unrestricted Sub Warfare
5. Why America entered
war
–
–
Unrestricted Sub Warfare
Lusitania, Zimmerman
Telegram, etc.
6. American naval
strategy
-
Naval convoys over
battleships
7. American naval
contributions
-
Supply to Allied Powers
Marines in Europe
Videos
WWI Video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjlGoe
1mnw0&feature=related
Overall Message
 World powers all poised for war. All
have developed diverse and robust
fleets that will fight in the most costly
and universally advanced war in history.
Expectations of Naval Battles
 Alfred Thayer Mahan
• Big fleet v. Big fleet
• Battleship v. Battleship
• Long guns v. Long guns
 Torpedo attacks
– Torpedo boats, Destroyers & submarines
– Subservient to battleships
 Aviation as scout & possible torpedo
boat
Actual Naval Battles
 One major fleet engagement
– Battle of Jutland (1916)
 Naval war fought by
– Submarines (Germans)
– Supply Convoy Escorts (Allies)
Domino Effect to War
1. Assassination of Arch Duke
Ferdinand
2. Austro-Hungarian empire declares
war on Serbia
3. Russia declares war on AustroHungarian Empire
4. German declares war on Russia
5. France declares war on Germany
6. UK declares war on Germany
7. Japan declares war on Germany
Where is US?
Initial World Powers Involved
Central Powers / Triple Alliance
–
–
–
–
Germany
Austria-Hungary
Ottoman-Turks
Italy
Triple Entente (Allies)
– UK
– France
– Russia
Central Powers Army Strategy
“Von Schliefen Plan”
Objective: Minimize two-front war
1. Immediate invasion of France
2. Turn attention to Russia
Allied Army Strategy
1. Block German Invasion in France
2. Invade Germany/Austria-Hungary/Italy
from two fronts
Initial Land Actions
1. Germany invasion of France is halted
by French and British
2. Land battle becomes stalemate
-
Costly trench warfare
Machine guns, artillery, mustard gas, shell
shock.
Germany realizes stalemate will lead to
defeat
-
Begins unrestricted sub warfare against US
merchants and passenger liners to stop allied
supply.
Central Powers Naval Strategy
Conventional Warfare
1. Avoid superior British Fleet
• Lure into sub ambushes
2. Destroy Allied Supply
3. Maintain own Freedom of
Movement & Supply
Allied Naval Strategy
Return to “William Pitt” Style Warfare
1. Blockade German Navy in ports
-German Fleet & Supply
2. Costal Raids
3. Maintain troop/supply transport
corridor to continent
4. Maintain control of seas
- Warships patrol sea lanes
Initial Land Actions
1. Germany launches invasion of France
2. France slows it
3. Britain urgently sends troops to help
France repel invasion. Reinforcements
are successful stopping German advance.
4. Land battle reaches stalemate
-
Costly trench warfare
No major movement on either side
Germany realizes stalemate will lead to defeat
and begins Unrestricted Sub Warfare against
merchants and passenger liners
Initial Naval Actions
British begin blockade
a. Declare North Sea as “War Zone”
- Assert right to inspect and destroy ships carrying German
war contraband
b. Lay mine field in north sea
c. Blockade German warships
German Guerre de Course
a. Surface ships at first
b. Submarines afterwards
Many built
Initial Tactic: surface & inspect
Engage in “Unrestricted Submarine Warfare” against any
ship suspected of carrying contraband
Sink over 5,234 Allied Ships before war’s end
Almost defeat the allies with this alone
Initial Naval Actions
German v. British Fleets (1914-1916)
a. Bigger British fleet keeps German navy in port.
b. Limited success luring Brits into sub torpedo traps
c. British get upper-hand is surface-to-surface engagements
d. Germans get upper-hand in sub engagements
e. Only major fleet engagement: Battle of Jutland (May 1916)
- Indecisive battle
- Last major battleship v. battleship battle. All subsequent
major naval battles will be fought with air power.
May 31, 1916
Battle of Jutland
Why did the US Get Involved?
 War good for US so far
1. Booming economy
2. No fighting
3. Time to prepare for war
•
Naval Act of 1916
– Largest naval appropriations in history ($500 mil)
– 60 capital ships by 1925
– 146 other vessels
4. Bargaining chip at end
Why get involved?
Why did the US get involved?
1. Unrestricted submarine warfare
2. Sinking of the Lusitania (1915)
– 1,200 of 2,000 die
3. Zimmerman Telegram (1917)
– Germany tries to recruit Mexico as ally
4. Make the world “safe for democracy”
– Woodrow Wilson wanted negotiating power
when war ended
US Contribution
At Sea
– Supply, supply, supply
• Submarine hunters
• Convoy escorts
• Merchant fleet
– North sea mine barrage
On land
– Army and USMC tipped infantry scales in France
– Army, Navy, USMC Aviation units
What was the naval threat?
Unrestricted submarine warfare
 Start of war, suspended, resumed in 1917
 Germany initiated it against:
– Any enemy merchant ship
– Any ship suspected of carrying contraband
– Nearly 5,000 merchant ships sunk
 What stopped it:
–
–
–
–
Cruiser-destroyers
Aircraft
Submarine killer-hunters
Mine fields
Important People
Asst. SECNAV Franklin Roosevelt
SECNAV Josephus Daniels
Important People
ADM William Benson
(1st Chief of Naval Operations)
RADM William Sims
(Naval Rep to Admiralty in London)
“London Flagship”
 RADM William S. Sims
– US Naval Rep to Admiralty
– Learns UK is starving.
Cannot survive much
longer.
 Advocates for
– Destroyers (not battleships)
– Convoy system
1918
Atlantic Convoys
Allied Shipping Losses
US Enters War
1918
North Sea Mine Barrage
1918
Marines in Europe
70,000 Marines in France
Belleau Wood / Teufel Hunden- “Devil Dog”
What wins the war?
(Not Russia)
1. Germany starving
– Losing battle of attrition (supplies and men)
2. American entry tips scales
– On sea and land
What ends it?
1. Germans try one last offensive
2. Allies stop it and take offensive
3. Germany sues for peace before the terms will
get worse
End to War
 Armistice (Nov 11, 1918)
– (11th min, 11th hour, 11th day in 1918)
– Germany asked for it
 Treaty of Versailles (1919)
– Army laid down weapons
– Navy: Scapa Flow
What did we learn from WWI?
 Technology?
 Strategy or tactics?
 Balance of Sea power?
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Other Info
Inter-War Navy (1918-1939)