The most influential naval publicist of the Ironclad Age, and probably of all time, Alfred Thayer Mahan made his name with The Influence of Sea Power upon History (1890) and followed with other impressive historical analysis. He believed in the necessity of eliminating an opposing fleet in decisive battle so that sea power could subsequently be exercised. Commissioned as a Lieutenant in 1861, Mahan served the Union in the American Civil War as an officer on USS Worcester, Congress, Pocahontas, and James Adger, and as an instructor at the Naval Academy.
Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, intellects were stirring. The foundation of the US Naval War College under Captain (subsequently Admiral) Stephen B. Luce in the mid-1880s was, in retrospect, a seminal event. The United States had had twenty years to recover from its civil war, years when it had been preoccupied not only with reconciliation and reconstitution of the Union ...read more