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USS Tuscaloosa

Admiral Harold R. Stark

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Admiral Harold R. Stark

8th Chief of Naval Operations: 1 August 1939 – 26 March 1942


A month after Admiral Stark embarked on his tour as CNO, Germany invaded Poland, and France and Great Britain declared war in return.  No major military operations took place in the next few months, but as the United States officially remained neutral, it pursued a policy that became known as “short of war.”  Admiral Stark met with the President and expressed his support of a strategy which became known as “Germany First.”  While Japan seemed the more imminent threat to the United States, Germany was the more dominant member of the Axis powers, and therefore of greater concern.