Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Related Content
Topic
  • Aircraft--Fixed Wing
  • Boats-Ships--Aircraft Carriers
  • Operations
  • Planning and Strategy
  • Cruises, Deployments, and Exercises
  • Theater of Operations--Pacific
Document Type
  • Publication
Wars & Conflicts
  • World War II 1939-1945
File Formats
  • Image (gif, jpg, tiff)
Location of Archival Materials
  • NHHC

Winning a Future War: War Gaming and Victory in the Pacific War 

by Norman Friedman, 2018, ISBN 978-1-943604-24-1


Front jacket of the NHHC publication Winning a Future War

Available for free in the following formats: 508-compliant PDF (4.3 MB); ePub (3.3 MB); MOBI (7.5 MB)

Between 1919 and 1941, the U.S. Navy transformed itself from a powerful if unsophisticated force into the fleet that would win a two-ocean war, from a fleet in which the battleship dominated to one based on carrier strike groups. The great puzzle of U.S. naval history is how this was accomplished. Well-known naval analyst Norman Friedman trenchantly argues that war gaming at the U.S. Naval War College made an enormous, and perhaps decisive, contribution. For much of the inter-war period, the Naval War College was the Navy’s primary think tank. War gaming was the means the college used to test alternative strategies, tactics, evolving naval aviation, and warship types in a way that the Navy’s full-scale exercises could not. The think tank perspective taken by this book is a new way of looking at the inter-war Naval War College and the war games that formed the core of its curriculum. Although the influence of both the Naval War College’s gaming and of the college itself declined after 1933, most of the key decisions shaping the wartime U.S. Navy had already been taken. The two most important ones were on the role of naval aviation and the form the U.S. war plan against Japan ultimately assumed. As shown here, U.S. naval commanders successfully applied the lessons learned from war gaming to victorious operations in World War II.

Download a free digital edition or order a hardcover copy from the Government Publishing Office bookstore

Published: Tue Jun 04 10:34:01 EDT 2019