This study compares, contrasts, and evaluates both British and American naval power as well as the politics that led to the development of each prior to the Second World War.
U.S. and British naval power developed in quite different ways in the early 20th century before the Second World War. This study compares, contrasts, and evaluates both British and American naval power as well as the politics that led to the development of each. Naval power was the single greatest manifestation of national power for both countries. Their armies were small and their air forces only existed for part of the period covered. For Great Britain, naval power was vital to her very existence, and for the U.S., naval power was far and away the most effective tool the country could use to exercise armed influence around the world. Therefore, the decisions made about the relative strengths of the two navies were in many ways the most important strategic choices the British and American governments ever made. An important book for military historians and those interested in the exercise and the extension of power.
Abbreviations Introduction Before the War Naval Policy in Great Britain and the United States British Naval Power from the Two Power Standard to 1908 Theodore Roosevelt and American Naval Power The 1909 Naval Estimates Crisis From Taft to Wilson The Inter-War Years Anglo-American Rivalry and the Paris Peace Conference The Washington Conference and the Question of Naval Parity The Geneva Conference: A Crisis in Anglo-American Relations The Highpoint and Collapse of the Naval Arms Control Process Conclusion Appendix 1 Appendix 2 Bibliography Index
Reviews The comparative focus makes this a valuable contribution to the historiography of both navies and to understanding defense policy during the first half of the 20th century.—Choice
O'Brien's rejection of rivalry over naval supremacy as the focal point of Anglo-US naval relations during the first half of the twentieth century is valid and a useful corrective to recent literature. His analysis of the shortcomings of Winston Churchill's naval chauvinism during the 1920s is persuasive.—The International History Review
...O'Briens work is valuable on several counts. It succinctly adumbrates the differences between the two nations' political and popular perceptions of their respective navies and cogently summarizes Britain's streamlined and relatively efficient naval administration with the chaotic, factionalized, and uncoordinated U.S. Navy Department.—The Historian