Could the United States Have Really Won the Vietnam War?
Mark Moyar, the scholar of U.S. foreign and military policy, recently had the opportunity to update an older argument on the viability of the Vietnam War. Moyar argues that the historical consensus on the war is wrong on several points, and that in fact the United States could have... Read more
Russia’s Machines Are Well-Suited for Arctic Conflict
Over the past decade, nations bordering on the Arctic have found themselves with a big new security problem. The melting of the Arctic ice has opened up shipping lanes and opportunities for the exploitation for undersea resources, but has also exposed vulnerabilities for countries that have long considered their... Read more
How to Build a World-Class Navy
Analysts and politicians throw around the term “blue-water navy” as if it has a single, fixed meaning. Broadly speaking, having a blue water navy means having the capacity to deploy a task force of ships across the open ocean, and to support them at great distance from their bases.... Read more
Busting the Myths Surrounding the Battle of Dunkirk
The 77th anniversary of the Dunkirk evacuation has already received a great deal of attention, in no doubt due to the pending release of Christopher Nolan’s new film treatment of the battle. For nearly 77 years, the battle has stirred controversy—in one view it’s an example of British courage and gallantry... Read more
‘Graf Zeppelin’ Was Nazi Germany’s Big, Dumb Aircraft Carrier
From the first days of his ascension to power, Adolf Hitler planned to rebuild the Kriegsmarine into a world-class navy. Most of the world’s other major fleets included aircraft carriers, and so German naval authorities soon determined that the Reich would also require carriers. Germany laid down its first... Read more
The Worst U.S. Special Operations Disasters
Since World War II, the U.S. military has experimented with special operations forces, small groups of warriors with the equipment and training to undertake extremely difficult missions. In effect, special forces exist to leverage human capital in unusual tactical situations. Soldiers selected for high physical and mental capabilities, then... Read more
The U.S. Military Can Learn a Lot From the Red Army
What do you do when your army is destroyed, over and over again? For Russia in the mid-20th century, the best answer was “build a new army.” Between 1918 and 1942, Russia’s army was torn down and rebuilt four times: once at the end of World War I, once... Read more
The Third Reich Squandered the Well-Armed ‘Scharnhorst’
The Treaty of Versailles drastically limited the size of the postwar Kriegsmarine, precluding Germany from owning any dreadnought battleships. The Germans could keep (and replace) pre-dreadnought vessels of 10,000 tons or less, roughly the size of a heavy cruiser in most navies. Presented with this problem, German engineers developed... Read more
The Russian Battleship ‘Imperator Aleksandr III’ Traded Hands Six Times
Imperator Aleksandr III was the third ship of the Imperatritsa Mariya class, a group of dreadnoughts built in the Black Sea and designed to fight the Ottoman Navy. The warship was initially named for Emperor Alexander III, who had succeeded to the throne of Russia upon the assassination of... Read more
‘Iron Duke’ Was the United Kingdom’s Super-Dreadnought
HMS Iron Duke was the second battleship named after the Duke of Wellington. The first, scrapped in 1906, had the distinction of ramming and sinking HMS Vanguard, another Royal Navy battleship. The second Iron Duke was the name ship of the last class of dreadnoughts to enter Royal Navy... Read more
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