In 1898, when the United States fought with Spain, it was already the richest and most powerful country in industry in the world.

With the advent of the 20th century, the United States entered a golden period of development.

Not to mention the two world-famous financial empires, the Morgan family and group, just mention mobil oil company, American sugar company, American tobacco company, American steel company, international merchant shipping company, International Harvester company, general electric company, first National Bank of New York, Citibank, big insurance company of New York The National Bank of Hanover and other famous names are unmatched by any country or enterprise in the world.

In 1899, the total assets of all financial institutions in the United States were only $9 billion, which increased to $20 billion in just a few years.

At the same time, with the rapid development of American industrial products and capital exports, the day when the United States occupies a dominant position in the world economy has come.

Such huge wealth and so substantial national strength naturally add a lot of self-respect to the American ruling class.

On March 4, 1905, In his official inaugural address, President Theodore stressed: “The fact that we have become a great nation forces us to act in proportion to a nation with such responsibilities when dealing with other countries in the world.

While we are extremely careful to avoid hurting others, we must also ensure that we are not hurt.

We want peace, but we want just peace, justice and peace Flat.

” As a former undersecretary of the Navy, Roosevelt also brought his love for the Navy and the sea to the White House.

For international affairs, he also has higher enthusiasm and activity ability than any previous president.

Together, these two conditions doomed him to improve the strength and international prestige of the United States by building a navy.

Colonel Mahan, who is respected by the Chinese people, has always been Roosevelt’s good friend and strategic adviser.

His endless theoretical achievements are enough to convince the president that since the United States has impressive wealth and power, it should play a corresponding role and influence on the international stage.

That is to say, the United States must pursue an expansion policy, increase its trade with the Far East, and adhere to the open door policy towards China.

For the sake of the transportation between the two oceans in the new empire of the United States, a canal must be dug in Central America.

As the cornerstone of all the above, it is necessary to have a strong navy that can exert its influence in the above vast waters.

Therefore, in his first state of the Union address to Congress after taking office, Roosevelt asked the people to pay attention to the need for a strong navy in the United States.

He believes that no single policy is “more important to the future honor and material welfare of the United States”.

“There are two options for the United States, either to establish and maintain a fully powerful navy, or to fall behind and be in a secondary position.

Not only in politics and trade, but also in international affairs as a whole,” he said After that, he talked to almost every person and meeting, and talked about the truth and importance of developing the Navy.

Moreover, as long as it was a naval matter, big or small, he was eager to participate.

Even trivial matters such as the funeral held by the Naval School for John Jones were personally involved and grasped to the end.

Roosevelt’s pains and efforts soon paid off.

During his administration, Congress approved the construction of at least one battleship every year, including three in 1903.

By 1907, the United States Navy had 20 battleships.

According to Mahan’s suggestion, these warships will no longer be scattered around the world, but will be assembled into two fleets: one is the Atlantic Fleet, which is mainly composed of eight battleships.

The other is the Pacific Fleet, which is mainly composed of three battleships.

Three years later, the original European and South Atlantic sub fleet was abolished and its ships were incorporated into the newly established Atlantic Fleet.

The Asian sub fleet is still retained, but the number is decreasing year by year.

Only a few cruisers and a small number of shallow water gunships are left to carry out missions in China’s inland rivers.

The above measures mark a great change in the strategic thinking of the US Navy.

Over the past century, the concept of only focusing on coastal defense and relying on trade plunder to fight guerrilla warfare at sea has been replaced by brand-new theories such as “large formation” and “large navy”.

In terms of strength, the US Navy ranks third in the world after the Royal Navy and the German high seas fleet.

With new ships and equipment, the quality of personnel is highlighted.

Because of the increasingly complex modern equipment, the selection of sailors is no longer as strong as in the past, but depends on their intelligence and intelligence.

As one admiral said, “a sailor should know more now than a captain officer should have known 40 years ago.

” However, for a long time, the meager salary and hard living conditions of the U.S. Navy have little attraction to skilled sailors with real talent and learning.

Of course, Roosevelt saw this in his eyes and worried about it.

The quality of the navy is no less important than that of any country in the world He repeatedly stressed that “the only way to achieve this is to train officers and soldiers with high standards and strict requirements.

” Therefore, Roosevelt was determined to improve the treatment first and improve the public image of the Navy at one stroke.

Under his request and supervision, the life of the sailors gradually became comfortable and comfortable.

Fresh meat, vegetables, milk, fruit and eggs replace traditional foods such as bacon and hard biscuits.

Soldiers have more freedom in their daily life and more entertainment opportunities.

In order to attract more young people to join the Navy, recruitment stations have been set up everywhere, and the recruitment advertisement of “join the Navy and see the world” has been loudly displayed.

As for the salary level of the army, it is even higher, which is different from the past.

In order to further solve the problem of talent shortage, Roosevelt instructed to expand the enrollment of naval schools.

At the same time, it relentlessly ordered a large number of elderly officers to retire to make room for young officers, and stressed that the standard of promotion was to hire the best, not to rank according to seniority.

Roosevelt also attached great importance to the indispensable technicians of the modern navy.

In the past, the status of officers in the marine engineering department had been a long-standing and difficult issue debated by the naval community.

In Roosevelt’s hands, this was a difficult issueRear admiral Evans, the commander of the team, said loudly, “have you seen such a fleet and thought of such an exciting day!” Evans replied excitedly, “it’s beautiful! What a grand festival!” That’s true.

The unprecedented round the world voyage of the “Great White Fleet” not only greatly enriched the Roosevelt administration, but also reached the peak in the history of the construction and development of the U.S. Navy. The impressive record of sailing for 14 months, 46000 nautical miles and crossing the two oceans, on the one hand, enabled countries around the world to appreciate and recognize the power of the United States, on the other hand, proved that the U.S. fleet was able to sail long distances without serious difficulties, which greatly deterred the previously unconvinced Japanese.

When it visited Yokohama, a famous Japanese military port, almost all Japanese were amazed by the magnificent lineup of the US Navy.

Soon, the Japanese government changed its arrogant attitude in the past, agreed to maintain the status quo in the Pacific and respected the “open door” policy of the United States.

To this end, Roosevelt proudly declared that this round the world voyage, as a “big stick policy” in diplomacy, was his “major contribution to the cause of peace”.

As the saying goes, “prosperity leads to decline” and “happiness leads to sorrow”.

Just as the “Great White Fleet” returned triumphantly with honor, a report sent by the Naval Intelligence Department was put on the president’s desk.

Roosevelt lost his smile, straightened his eyes, put his hands on his cheeks and fell into meditation.

Originally, the report described the fact with accurate figures and heavy style: just as the “Great White Fleet” traveled around the world, one of the latest “fearless” warships of the Royal Navy has been quietly incorporated into active service.

The warship has revolutionized its design.

It adopts the most advanced technology in the world.

It has a displacement of 18000 tons and an armor thickness of 11 inches.

Moreover, using oil as fuel and driven by steam turbine, the speed can reach 21.

6 knots, which makes the performance of the ship superior to any existing warship.

Even better is its firepower configuration.

The ship fully embodies the design principle of “all large caliber guns”.

It is equipped with five 10 12 inch double mounted cannons, three six of which are arranged in the middle line (five on the front, middle and rear decks respectively), two four of which are installed on the port and starboard respectively, plus several 12 pound guns to deal with torpedo boats, and the three main guns in the middle line can rotate left and right.

This configuration can be twice as powerful as the firepower of ordinary battleships, and it is easier to operate, command and transport ammunition.

Finally, the report points out that due to the advent of the well-equipped and technologically advanced “fearless” warship, all other warships in the world have fallen behind in an instant.

This means that no warship of the US Navy is its opponent.

What is more noteworthy is that the German and Japanese navies are trying to catch up with it as a model of new warships in the future, and a new round of naval competition has begun.

Looking ahead, the US Navy is definitely not optimistic! Then, the criticism of the “Great White Fleet” from the Navy made Roosevelt more upset and on pins and needles.

These opinions include: the ship’s side is too low to fight in strong winds and waves.

The ammunition elevator between the ammunition depot and the turret is not covered, so it is easy to fall sparks during shooting, resulting in accidents.

Some of the holes are so large that the turret can hardly protect the artillery and Gunners.

In addition, the armor of some warships is too thin, but the thickened part is below the waterline, and so on.

It is clear and reasonable, as if overnight, the “big white fleet” has become a pile of outdated scrap metal.

What should I do? Should we face up to the reality and catch up, or should we be complacent and cling to the imperfections? Undoubtedly, this will be another great challenge related to the survival of the US Navy.

Just as on the eve of every technological revolution in human history, emerging things will always be ruthlessly suppressed and obstructed by conservative forces.

This time, while the “large caliber artillery” operation theory was all the rage, and the navies of all countries followed the lead of the British warship “fearless”, a great figure in the US Navy not only did not agree with this theory, but did his best to satirize and make a big reversal of history.

He is the inventor of the “sea power theory” and Colonel Mahan, who once dominated and became famous in the naval circles all over the world.

As the theoretical standard bearer and pioneer of revitalizing the U.S. Navy in the last decade of the 19th century, why did Mahan degenerate into a rigid conservative representative at this time? In addition to entering his twilight years and sharpening his edges and corners, what is the reason why he can’t keep up with the pace of the times? In his 40 years of naval career, Mahan focused on the study of naval history.

The only relatively modern warship he commanded was the armored cruiser Chicago, which was incorporated into active service in 1883.

The ship has a displacement of only 4500 tons and a speed of 16 knots.

It is only equipped with four 8-inch, eight 6-inch and two 5-inch guns.

Compared with the new ships developed by the world’s excellent shipbuilding engineers in the early 20th century, this warship, which the navy was proud of in the 1880s, became a big toy.

Although the ship “Chicago” was not big, Mahan felt that its structure and machinery were too complex.

It was difficult to command like a “behemoth”.

He even had a sense of fear.

From this point of view, Mahan belongs to what is commonly called “a giant in theory and a dwarf in action”.

Especially in the early 20th century, when science and technology developed rapidly, his theories on maritime operations, ship operation and related battle tactics seemed to be more suitable for old-fashioned ships such as the “wozhusett”.

During the Spanish American War and the Russo Japanese War, Mahan always adhered to the view that the ideal Navy should be composed of battleships, cruisers and destroyers.

Ships equipped with mixed gun groups of different caliber guns have greater firepower advantages than ships equipped with only a small number of single large caliber guns.

Based on the above view, as early as 1895, he asserted that “the American battleship gun should not exceed 24 inches.

” In November 1898, he arbitrarily declared that the scale of 10000 to 12000 ton battleships was completely sufficient, and believed that “increasing the scale of ships to accommodate the steam power devices necessary for accelerating speed will be endless.

Because the battleships of 1898 are almost complete weapons, as proved in the battle in Santiago.

“He asked, “why continue to increase the tonnage of ships like a person increasing the debt on the bill?” In 1900, when discussing the future ship construction scale of the Navy, Mahan clearly opposed the shipbuilding Committee’s plan to build 14000 ton ships.

He argued confidently: the reason is very simple, because such ships “are larger than the actual needs.

If we blindly increase the tonnage of ships, it will reduce the total number of ships”.

He would rather use the annual tonnage of naval ships approved by Congress to build a balanced maritime strike force that includes small and medium-sized artillery groups equipped with various calibres and can perform various combat tasks.

At the same time, he also put on a face of veteran Navy authority from time to time and severely criticized the “ignorant and selfish” officers in various departments of the navy who had different views from him.

Therefore, when the British “fearless” was launched and the navies of all countries around the world gathered to follow suit, Mahan rose to the occasion.

Among the naval officers, in the Naval Academy, Mahan strongly disagreed on all public occasions.

In February 1909, He wrote in a letter to an important person in the Navy: “In my opinion, the worst thing in the future of the navy is to increase the tonnage of ships indefinitely.

The problem is not that increasing the size of ships, but that doing so will lead to a waste of a lot of money.

Abandoning those ships with smaller tonnage will affect the combat capability of the Navy.

I am surprised that if large tonnage ships can prevent war, it will count.

” Yes, but it won’t stop the war.

War requires ships of various tonnage and functions.

” In order to make his opinion more theoretical, Mahan spent a lot of energy on the recent war between Japan and Russia against the Malaysian Strait at that time, and concluded that ships equipped with large caliber artillery alone are not strategic weapons to determine the victory of naval warfare.

The current international competition to build large caliber gunships is an “endless and irresponsible disaster”.

because “All large caliber gunships cannot escape the fate of being sunk.

Because the speed of a mixed fleet is the speed of its slower sister ships, more Dreadnought warships must be built to replace the slower ships in order to improve the speed of the whole fleet.

But before long, the Dreadnought warships will fall behind and become a burden to the fleet, and new and higher warships must be built Speed ships to replace it.

This is obviously not cost-effective.

” Mahan’s above proposition obviously ran counter to the trend of the times and disappointed President Roosevelt.

Although he himself has great respect for the world-renowned naval historian, his views and their influence can not be underestimated, enough to cause unpredictable resistance to his Navy expansion plan.

Let it go, obviously not.

Let’s refute it openly.

Roosevelt was in a dilemma because of his feelings.

Suddenly, Roosevelt came up with a good idea of having the best of both worlds: “yes.

Let this man be my gunman for once!” His name is William Sims, a major of the Navy.

He is an outstanding Naval Ordnance expert and the main advocate of the theory of large caliber gunboat.

On August 30, 1906, Roosevelt summoned Simms at the White House and asked him to write an article refuting Mahan’s views, trying to defeat Mahan in theory.

Sims, who is just in his early 30s, has a spirit of “newborn calves are not afraid of tigers”.

This time, the president is behind it.

The views of the article are naturally very spicy, sharp and extraordinary.

The article was released on September 24 and published in the Journal of the navy in December, which immediately caused a sensation in the whole US Army.

This carefully crafted paper, entitled “the inherent tactical characteristics of battleships armed with single large caliber artillery”, clearly accused Mahan of not keeping pace with the latest technological development of naval guns and heavy artillery, and that “there are varying degrees of errors in most of the data on which he made his conclusions”.

After counting Mahan’s outdated views and biases in Naval Ordnance technology, Sims pointed out that due to the invention of new artillery, the latest development of semi-automatic collimator and fire control technology, and the fact that 12 inch artillery has faster firing speed and higher accuracy than 6-inch artillery, “In modern naval warfare, a fleet equipped with large calibre artillery has the same firepower as one in name.

For a fleet composed of a mixture of various calibre artillery, it will actually be able to launch more shells and fire more times.

This has been fully proved by the Malaysian naval battle.”. The article finally pointed out: “we must keep up with the upgrading of the world’s evolving battleships.

Otherwise we cannot expect to win future naval battles.

If we do expect the United States to become a world maritime power, we have no better choice.

” As soon as this article came out, it not only completely refuted all kinds of outdated ideas that Mahan had painstakingly studied for a period of time, but also strengthened Roosevelt’s confidence in accelerating the construction of large caliber gun ships.

With his efforts, the US Congress finally approved the construction of the new “Florida” and “Utah” in 1908.

The displacement of the two ships was 22000 tons and equipped with 10 12 inch guns.

In 1909, the construction of Wyoming and Arkansas was approved, with a displacement of 26000 tons each and equipped with 12 12 inch guns.

By 1910, the US Navy had acquired the battleships “New York”, “Nevada”, “Pennsylvania” and “California” with a tonnage of 27000 to 32000 and a speed of 21 knots, all equipped with 10 to 12 14 inch guns.

These warships, no matter which one, are comparable to the intrepid, and in some aspects, they catch up from behind, green is better than blue.

The huge “Pennsylvania” warship is 608 feet long.

Compared with the “Chicago” of that year, it can almost put the latter on the deck of the former.

The astonishing development speed of the US Navy can be seen from this.

In this regard, Mahan was angry and annoyed.

At the beginning, he continued to argue on the basis of literature and reason.

Later, seeing that the wood is done and the matter is a foregone conclusion, he reluctantly gave up the argument and remained silent from then on.

Previously unknown Sims became famous and gained both fame and wealth.

With this article, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1907.

Soon, Roosevelt appointed him as the president’s naval assistant, who was in charge of the liaison and coordination between the White House and the Navy,.

He once declared triumphantly, “now everyone knows that Mahan is wrongThe Dreadnought has become the standard warship in the world.

” Of course, the article “convincing Roosevelt” published by SIMS not only brought him good luck and power, but also the great influence of the article itself, which brought a large number of young officers who spoke freely and recklessly around Sims.

This group force, known as the “young urchin”, is young and energetic, advanced in thought, like-minded, echoing all directions.

At the same time, all of them have real talents and practical knowledge.

They know the technology and equipment and development trend of the world Navy like the back of their hands, and have insight into the evolution and disadvantages of the US Navy.

Therefore, it was not long before they showed their skills in their respective posts, Become a group of remarkable naval stars.

Sims, the backbone of the “young urchin”, had been promoted by Roosevelt to captain of the Minnesota.

With his intelligence and ability, within 18 months, his Gunners exceeded the standards of British Gunners in shooting accuracy and speed.

Its experience and methods were ordered by the president to popularize the whole army.

Another young officer who has made outstanding contributions to the improvement of artillery control and artillery training is Bradley Fisk.

His series of suggestions on invention and reform made his bosses who were stereotyped and unimaginative a headache.

As early as 1891, he invented a telescope sight, as well as a lot of new instruments such as optical rangefinder and distance gauge for measuring distance.

It was with these treasures that the effective range of the naval naval gun was suddenly increased from about 6000 yards to 20000 yards.

Later, he and his companions found out the “guided firing method”.

The specific method is that an officer stands on the console high on the foremast and transmits the aiming data to each gun position through a circuit.

When the target, muzzle and sight form a line at three points, the officer on the console presses the button and each gun fires at the same time, which makes the shells form a dense dispersion surface and greatly improves the hit rate.

This technology pioneered gun automation.

At the same time, the “urchin” has played an important role in lobbying and influencing the overall decision-making of the “urchin” members of the Navy.

In 1909, the Secretary of the Navy, George Meyer, created a “naval assistant” group with many members of “young urchins” to promote the modernization of the fleet, provide operational advice and evaluate combat readiness.

This group has put forward reform opinions in all aspects on major issues such as the naval system, organizational structure, operational planning and construction planning, naval bases, shipyards and the power of wartime front-line commanders.

Many of their ideas are widely known and highly praised because they are targeted and hit the spot.

Later, the famous and powerful post of secretary of naval operations of the United States evolved directly from the responsibilities of this group.

The exuberant energy and outstanding performance of the “young urchins” members, like the surging spring tide, greatly attracted, influenced and infected the equally enterprising President Roosevelt, making him pay close attention to the latest trend of Naval Technology as always.

It was with his strong support and personal arrangements that submarines and manned aircraft were able to enter the US Navy Fleet one after another, so that the overall combat capability of the US Navy was once again in the forefront of the world.

In contrast, the Germans did not use submarines until 1906.

By 1914, they still had fewer submarines in active service than the United States.

As for the power of submarines, no one is more authoritative and realistic than admiral George Dewey, the hero of the Spanish American war.

He said: “if the Spaniards had such two submarines in Manila, I would not have won a complete victory.

” On March 4, 1908, the old Mahan wrote in a very sad letter to his friends: since we served on the old sailboat together, the navy has made amazing development.

But now I have nothing to do with the New Navy – today’s navy.

I have witnessed the changes from sailboats to steam engine driven ships.

My last time was as a marine ship commander on the “Chicago”.

Although it was nearly 1895, I was still in the Old Navy era.

Years passed, almost close to the end of my life described in the psalm.

I recently celebrated my 67th birthday.

It is not known whether Mahan’s lament has a reason, but in this paragraph, he tells an indisputable fact with the habitual thinking of his naval historian – from the Old Navy to the new navy, which is the full significance of the construction of the U.S. Navy at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century.