HMS ‘Dreadnought’ Changed Naval Warfare Forever
State-of-the-art battleship armament in the late 19th century involved a mix of large- and small-caliber weapons. Naval architects believed that most engagements would take place within the range of the smaller guns, and that a variety of guns would combine penetrating power with volume. Indeed, some argued that large armored... Read more
Everything That Could Have Gone Wrong Had Japan Built Its Own Atomic Bomb
During the Cold War, the United States supported selective nuclear proliferation as a means of deterring a Soviet invasion of Europe. The Russians might not believe that the United States would trade Berlin for New York, but they might find a British or French threat more credible. Washington did... Read more
America’s Super Battleships That Never Were
In the early 1940s, the U.S. Navy still expected to need huge, first rate battleships to fight the best that Japan and Germany had to offer. The North Carolina, South Dakota, and Iowa-class battleships all involved design compromises. The Montanas, the last battleships designed by the U.S. Navy, would... Read more
The Russo-Japanese War Brought Rapid-Fire Weapons to the World
The Russo-Japanese War commenced 112 years ago this February, lasting 18 months before a U.S.-brokered truce mercifully put it to rest. The war killed upwards of 125,000 people, and sharply limited Russian influence in Northeast Asia. Japan gained control of Korea and a long-term foothold for influencing events in Manchuria and... Read more
The Long Shadow of the Falklands War
The Falklands War ended with a decisive British victory over 30 years ago. Nevertheless, the war remains alive in the imagination of analysts and historians. Although the conflict happened outside of the normal “zones of crisis,” it has long held the attention of students of warfare. The war, which involved a conflict... Read more
America’s Secret War Plan to Invade Canada
The end of a war only rarely settles the central questions that started the conflict. Indeed, many wars do not “end” in the traditional sense. World War II, for example, stretched on for years in parts of Eastern Europe and the Asia-Pacific. Even as the guns fell silent along... Read more
History’s Most Innovative Warships
Earlier this month the Zumwalt began sea trials. The first of a probable three ships, Zumwalt once represented the future of U.S. naval surface warfare. Budget shortfalls, changed priorities and predictable cost overruns cut the projected purchase from a fleet-sustaining 32 units to an experimental trio of ships. Still, Zumwalt represents... Read more
What If America Had ‘Eliminated’ Saddam Hussein?
In the early days of the air campaign of the 1991 Gulf War, the United States undertook a concerted effort to track and strike Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. The effort was predicated on the belief that eliminating Saddam Hussein would have two effects — it would throw the Iraqi... Read more
The Most Horrific War of All Time — Russia Versus Germany
The war between Germany and the Soviet Union officially began in late June 1941, although the threat of conflict had loomed since the early 1930s. Germany and the USSR launched a joint war against Poland in September of 1939, which the Soviets followed up with invasions of Finland, Romania... Read more
Yes, America’s Military Supremacy Is Fading
Last week, U.S. Air Force Gen. Frank Gorenc argued that the air power advantage the United States has enjoyed over Russia and China is shrinking. This warning comes as part of a deluge of commentary on the waning international position of the United States. The U.S. military, it would seem,... Read more