By Milan N. Vego
First released in 1999. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa corporation.
Read Online or Download Naval Strategy and Operations in Narrow Seas (Cass Series--Naval Policy and History, 5) PDF
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Extra info for Naval Strategy and Operations in Narrow Seas (Cass Series--Naval Policy and History, 5)
Control of narrow seas was critically important to the Entente and its associated Powers and to the Central Powers. It was absolutely essential for Germany to control the central and western Baltic because it received most of the iron ore necessary for its war effort from Sweden. 26 During World War I, even the distant Persian (Arabian) Gulf emerged as an important theater of operations. The British objective in their ill-fated Mesopotamian campaign was to secure the Shatt el-Arab estuary, since the Anglo-Persian oil pipeline ran down to the river about 30 miles above its mouth.
Powers situated at some distance from the sea’s exit generally hold a weak strategic position, because their links with overseas and their naval THE FACTOR OF SPACE 19 movements to and from the particular enclosed sea are controlled by potentially hostile powers. Moreover, the powers controlling the sea’s only exit are in a strong position to carry out naval incursions into the waters of other riparian states. In contrast, Austria-Hungary and the former Yugoslavia in the Adriatic, and Iraq in the Arabian Gulf have their maritime positions greatly weakened because the sea’s only exit is controlled by other, potentially hostile states.
War in a typical narrow sea differs considerably from that on the open ocean, primarily because of the lack of physical space and the proximity 12 NAVAL STRATEGY AND OPERATIONS IN NARROW SEAS of the continental landmass. No maritime theater is more directly af f ected by the geomorphological and hydrographic (or oceanographic) features of the environment than a narrow sea. In a typical narrow sea, highly indented coasts are endowed with numerous islands and islets, which often restrict the maneuverability of surface ships, especially major surface combatants and submarines.