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Alfred Thayer Mahan's Theory on Naval Strategy and Change of the U.S. Naval Strategy in the Early 20th Century

Kim, Dong-eun 1

1해군작전사령부

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Mahan's Maritime Military Thought, based on geopolitical threat perception, greatly influenced America's maritime imperialization in the early 20th century. Through his maritime strategy, the 20th century could be a true "The century of America," and the U.S.,which became a global superpower after World War II, maintains the maritime-centered grand strategy that Mahan had insisted on. Therefore, in this study, I believe that the strategic origin of the U.S. Navy as of the 21st century was Mahan's thought, and we will first consider what his thought on naval strategy was. Then we will look at how Mahan's thought on naval strategy was implemented throughout each administration during the late 19th and early 20th centuries when the United States emerged as a super power. The goal of Mahan's thought on naval strategy was not limited to simply building high-quality large ships to build naval forces, and, as many people often misunderstand, he did not pursue unlimited decisive fleet battles. Mahan defined naval strategy as a key means of foreign policy. In the end, Mahan saw that the goal of the naval strategy was to play in a role in a "big stick" to carry out national foreign policies and protect and promote national interests. He judged that an offensive combat fleet centered on the capital ship was necessary to achieve the goal of this naval strategy, and sought to achieve "maritime superiority" through the concentration of the fleet. He also mentioned the importance of "securing forward naval bases" to help combat fleets operate smoothly overseas. The administrations of McKinley, Teddy Roosevelt, Taft, and Wilson in the early 20th century, which were directly and indirectly influenced by Mahan's thought on naval strategy, established naval strategies in a similar context to the naval strategy that Mahan advocated.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.