chapter  14
20 Pages

Mahan's Principles and the Battle of the Atlantic

WithR. A. Bowling

In Germany, Mahan found willing converts to his strategic concepts of sea power in the Kaiser and Grand Admiral Alfred P. von Tirpitz, father of the modern German Navy. This historical change in German national and naval policy resulted in a modern German Navy that became a formidable challenger to the overbearing power of the British Navy just in time for a trial by combat of Mahan's principles in World War I. There can be little doubt but that the renewed faith in Mahan's teachings during the interwar years accounted, in large measure, for why both sides in World War II were initially unprepared either to conduct a concerted submarine campaign against shipping or to defend against such a campaign. Such was the negative influence of Mahan on the fate of merchant shipping in World War II, in general, and in the Battle of the Atlantic, in particular.