Woodrow Wilson put forward the “14 point principle” for defeating Germany in March 1918.
Soon, the US Army wiped out the main force of the German army in the second battle of the man river in July 1918 and the battle of St.
Myer in September 1918, ending the first World War.
At this time, the United States became a great power in the world, and Wilson seemed to be the Savior.
In such a victorious atmosphere, President Wilson personally led a delegation to participate in the peace treaty negotiations held in Versailles.
When Wilson returned to the United States with the Versailles peace treaty, the peace treaty lost its light.
The reason is that the Americans do not buy his account.
His delegation has neither representatives of the Senate nor Republicans, and the peace treaty has lost the support of the public.
This incident had a great impact on the U.S. military policy at that time.
Wilson had to retreat the 14 point plan and the derived idealistic views into three goals: to protect his homeland and its overseas territories from foreign aggression.
Prevent Europe from intervening in global affairs.
Maintain China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Of course, there is another reason for this decision, that is, Wilson’s research and analysis of the current situation.
After the end of the first World War, after investigating the fragmented political situation, the decision-makers of the Joint Commission of the army and Navy believed that the first World War had laid a curse for the second larger global conflict.
They also predicted that for the United States, involvement in World War II was inevitable, just as it could not escape World War I.
Although Germany no longer exists as a powerful country, Russia after the revolution can only carry out domestic war at best.
The British Empire, France and Italy are unable to expand their sphere of influence and can only keep their precarious existing overseas territories.
However, these powers have not been completely defeated.
At least Russia, Britain, France and Italy still have the ability to threaten.
At the same time, the growing international ambitions and strategic power of the Japanese Empire are also potential threats.
It joined the treaty in 1915, expanding its military power not only to the Asian continent, but also to the central Pacific.
During the first World War, Japan has emerged as the dominant power in the Pacific region, and its power has expanded eastward to the international date line.
It occupied the territory of Germany in the Pacific Ocean and put itself in a very favorable position.
It can travel to and from the Asian continent at will without any restrictions from the United States and Europe.
Japan has established bases in the central Pacific and the South Pacific outside of the American territory of Guam, making it difficult for the US Navy to rush to support the US strategic base, Philippines, and it is also difficult to prevent Japan from invading China again or attacking the rich East India islands, the French Indochina and the British Malaysia, which are very weak in colonial rule.
With regard to this situation, the Admiral’s Committee believes that Japan does not pose a real threat to the mainland of the United States and the Western Hemisphere, but it is in a very favorable position to close the “open door” and deal a fatal blow to the British and French colonial system in Asia, which plays a vital role in the economic recovery of Britain and France, The United States should not take it lightly.
This is one of them.
Second, the focus of US foreign policy has returned to the traditional position of isolationism and non intervention in European affairs.
After refusing to join the League of nations, the US government committed itself to carrying out its foreign trade policy and recovered the war loans of European countries.
Such policies are becoming increasingly protectionist.
The Commission of inquiry found that the desire of the United States, Britain and France to seek to maintain the balance of power in Europe has become more difficult.
Third, because the Soviet Union was involved in the European war, its ability to contain Japan would be greatly lost, and the United States lost its helper against Japan.
Moreover, this analysis also made Wilson and American policymakers understand that the world war did not make the world safe.
With the collapse of the desire for peace after World War I, it is imperative for the United States to expand and improve its military strength to adapt to the post-war world strategic challenges.
Although the public is not interested in “foreign wars” and the increase of military spending in peacetime, the government is determined to rapidly develop military capabilities and rely on military capabilities to ensure national security.
Therefore, from 1919 to 1922, the U.S. government made great efforts to sort out various practical and expected experiences and lessons in the first World War, and formulated military policies and laws to adapt military policies to its domestic and foreign policy views.
And grasp armaments according to the priorities of the situation.
Wilson called the Navy the cornerstone – or backbone – of defense policy.
Claimed that there was no reason to abandon the Navy act 1916.
It is required to establish a “first-class navy” in accordance with the bill to deal with maritime threats from Britain and Japan.
Wilson was determined but slow.
The reason is that Congress is facing the task of repaying the country’s war debt and reducing government spending in order to control inflation and end the post-war depression.
By 1920, although the Senate justified the 1916 ship building plan after investigating the operational effectiveness of naval forces in World War I, Congress was unable to allocate funds to continue the plan.
In addition, there were several reasons why Wilson’s naval policy was almost unproductive: Admiral William Sims accused the navy of imperfect organization and backward technology, and Congress used this as an excuse to stop the construction plan of battleships.
The action of reducing naval military expenditure has received support from many aspects.
Domestic foreign aid groups, such as labor organizations and reform groups, as well as advocates of international agreements to control military expenditure, have revived the peace movement.
Within the Navy, reformist officers are worried that with submarines with great potential damage, battleships have become obsolete.
And aircraft will also affect the surface fleet.
In order to overcome this difficulty, Wilson organized and planned the International Conference on arms limitation during his term of office to promote and drive the development of the Navy.
The conference was held in the winter of 1921-1922.
The US delegation, headed by Secretary of state Charles Evans Hughes, included civilian and naval advisers.
After careful discussion, they put forward a comprehensive agreement on the number and performance of capital ships of the United States, Britain, Japan, France and Italy.
General provisions are made on the gross tonnage ratio of battleships and battlecruisers, including 500000 tons in the United States and Britain, 300000 tons in Japan and 175000 tons in France and Italy.
Except gross tonnageIn addition to the ceiling, the participating countries also reached an agreement stipulating that the tonnage of each battleship shall not exceed 35000 tons and the caliber of the main gun shall not exceed 16 inches.
The shipbuilding industry of the signatory countries will have a “holiday” for 10 years, and new ships can be replaced only after 10 years.
After the meeting, the United States can build eight ships according to the treaty.
Because the total number of battleships of the US Navy will be 18, while the existing 10 are built after 1906, and the other 8 can be newly built.
In comparison, the Royal Navy has a slightly larger number of battleships, 20, but its degree of modernization is not high, while the Japanese Navy has only 10 battleships.
In this way, the United States succeeded in enabling the navies of various countries to continue their established policies.
In 1919, the US Navy split the battleship fleet into two and sent modern battleships to the newly-built Pacific Fleet.
Despite the hype of American critics, the United States demolished 15 capital ships and suspended the construction of another 11.
But in fact, the old battleships with questionable utility were demolished, and the suspended battleships and battlecruisers were exactly what Congress had been reluctant to build.
In addition, the treaty also allows the hull of two battlecruisers to be converted into aircraft carriers, namely Lexington and Saratoga.
When the two 33000 ton aircraft carriers were incorporated into the fleet, they became the fastest ships of their class in the world.
Although this policy helped the US Navy, there was a clause in the treaty at that time, which stipulated that signatory countries should not increase base facilities and fortifications in the Western Pacific.
This clause frustrated the US Navy because it could not build any base west of the Hawaiian islands into a large base that could support ship operations.
Japan has long promised not to establish bases on its trust islands, and now promises to expand the scope to Formosa ().
However, once the war breaks out, Japan’s favorable timing and location will give it an advantage.
After the war, the U.S. Navy promulgated the New World War I military policy.
The law imitates the creation of “first-class navy” and proposes to create “first-class U.S. Army”.
It is stipulated that the army is composed of many components, and regular soldiers and temporary soldiers can be mobilized and expanded in wartime.
In this regard, Congress has two difficult problems: first, it ignores the military plan put forward by those who advocate military training in peacetime and refuses to implement the compulsory military service system.
Second, reject any significant increase in the standing force.
Nevertheless, in 1919, the General Staff Department of the army presented a plan to Congress, requiring the establishment of a regular army of 500000 people, and proposed a plan to popularize military training, which should be implemented by the regular army.
By the time of war, it could provide 500000 trained reserve forces for the regular army, and integrate these well-trained reserve forces into the active forces at any time.
Theoretically, if the preparation of strategic materials is at the same level, this system will be the fastest way to obtain combat benefits in an emergency.
However, in the eyes of Congress, the plan is German, militaristic and too expensive.
One congressman called it “lawlessness”.
Another said that people had “lost their appetite for this damn army”.
In order to find an alternative system, Congress introduced the idea of Colonel John Macaulay Palmer, a historian, experienced staff member and writer.
He advocated running the army according to the Swiss model.
He believes that it is in line with the tradition of the United States and the consistent practice of civilian military management to summon civilian soldiers to form a large army by means of coercion.
Congress accepted Palmer’s view that the United States does not need a large regular army, but also rejected his proposed alternative – a civilian reserve force established through universal military training.
Although Congress opposed it, under the compromise condition, the United States established a multi-layer military structure system based on volunteers and various reserve forces in accordance with the National Defense Act of 1920.
(1) the US regular army is composed of 280000 officers and soldiers.
Its main task is to provide ground tactical forces for overseas defense, expeditionary forces and border protection, and to train relevant civilian organizations.
(2) the National Guard out of court group and the guard are the first federal reserve force.
According to the interests of civilians and federal financial resources, the maximum number of National Guard in peacetime can reach 435000.
(3) organizing reserve forces, a federal force composed of officers and soldiers who participated in World War I.
they retain command organs at all levels up to the tactical units at the division level.
These framing divisions will absorb and train wartime candidates.
Other Federal Reserve members from the reserve of officers and the reserve of soldiers will join the active service in wartime.
The total number can reach 2.
(4) in order to facilitate training in peacetime and the management of military expansion in wartime, the army will form nine military administrative regions, each of which includes one regular army division, two National Guard divisions and three reserve divisions.
For army building, Wilson’s new policy also has a remarkable political achievement – the institutionalization of the appointment of reserve officers.
Therefore, the United States decided that the appointment of lieutenant officers was mainly carried out through the reserve officer training regiment of the University, and the personnel participating in the training regiment were implemented through the summer military training system.
When the war is mobilized, the Army Department can call 80000 reserve officers into active service.
While strengthening the construction of the army and Navy, Wilson’s new military policy also solved the problem of the status and development future of the most difficult military aircraft in the history of the United States.
The situation at that time was: aircraft challenged the traditional definitions and functions of the army and Navy, and led to the complex relationship of cooperation and contradiction between the services.
Because the development of aircraft needs to consume valuable manpower and funds that could have been used for ground forces and surface fleets, it has caused a fierce internal power struggle within various services.
Airplanes make the techno visionaries fantasize.
They imagined that air war would contain or quickly adjudicate all future conflicts between industrial countries.
The aircraft is also connected with a new important political group that can influence policy-making, including military pilots, scientists and engineers, private aircraft manufacturers, and people who see the potential of the aircraft for commercial passenger and cargo transportation.
Many of these problems have had a far-reaching impact on the policies of the two wars.
Although the potential of the aircraft for the first timeThe world war has not been fully played out, but enthusiastic aircraft fans continue to spread the “Gospel” of air power to the government and the public.
Under the influence of public opinion, by 1926, the army and Navy had taken great steps in establishing military aviation system, and formed the basic concept of wartime aircraft use.
In particular, a publicity campaign launched by Brigadier General William Mitchell, assistant commander of the army aviation force.
This movement has become a milestone in the development of American aviation.
He put forward an important “air power thought” that “air power” is related to national security, prosperity and development.
The appearance of aviation changed the appearance of war.
Having the advantage of air power and seizing air supremacy are the prerequisites for winning the war.
The task of the air force is to attack rather than defend.
Advocate attacking the enemy’s heart area.
In terms of the use of air force, it emphasizes the concentration of troops and the annihilation of enemy aircraft in the air.
It is proposed to divide the aviation team into two categories: tactical and strategic.
Introducing the idea of air supremacy into the field of naval warfare.
The world is entering a new era of aviation.
William Mitchell was born in nice, France on December 28, 1879.
He joined the army in the Spanish American war in 1898 and participated in flight tests for many years with rich experience.
He was promoted to brigadier general in October 1918 and assistant commander of the army aviation force in March 1919.
His thought of “empty power” has a great influence.
Not only the army, but also the generals of the Navy firmly believe that national defense requires the creative use of aircraft and can even cover other combat methods.
After the introduction of Mitchell’s thought, it has aroused great academic debate.
In 1919, the Joint Aviation Committee, a branch of the joint army and Navy Committee, published its first academic report on air combat.
In the following two years, the debate played a positive role in the cause of military aviation.
It emphasizes the importance of air combat to ground and sea battles, but also refutes the radical view that air power can determine the outcome of war.
In this regard, Mitchell insisted that in the future, the army will develop various air forces dedicated to supporting the needs of all aspects of ground war.
He defined the mission of the flying force as: destroy the enemy’s air forces and seize the air control over the battlefield.
Destroy ground targets far away from the battlefield.
Destroy enemy forces on the battlefield, as well as fire guidance and intelligence collection.
The Navy will also develop flight forces based on aircraft carriers or land stations that are essential for the implementation of maritime operations.
The debate between the joint army navy Committee and Mitchell lasted almost two years.
Naval aviation analysts also believe that the battle of the future fleet must obtain air supremacy.
They also recognized that the army, navy and air force would be crucial for transportation, reconnaissance and attacking enemy naval bases in naval warfare.
But it is the shared responsibility of coastal defense that is in dispute.
The joint land and sea Commission believes that both army and Navy aircraft should participate in the attack on the invading fleet, although it seems very far away to launch a maritime invasion against the United States.
The Joint Commission’s argument is that the possibility of Japan’s maritime attack on the Philippines, Alaska, Hawaii and the canal area is not nonsense.
Mitchell used his position as the commander of the army in private and in public after the war.
Mitchell has the support of sincere supporters in the army and civilians.
He became the leader of Americans who loved aviation.
He succeeded in three things: first, he claimed that aircraft would replace the battle fleet as the basic weapon of defense.
Without scruples, he asked the government to replace the “sea power theory” with the “air power theory” as the basic policy of national security.
In this way of thinking, his countermeasures are: to establish an independent air force and an air force department within the Ministry of national defense, so as to implement unified management of all military aircraft.
It is hoped that the United States will retain those land air stations that train personnel for aircraft carriers.
After a hard debate, the military aviation policy was not ignored by the authorities.
Later, when the army was reorganized, the aviation corps rose to an equal position with other combat arms of the army.
The Department of the Navy then established the aviation administration.
Second, it prompted the navy to speed up the test of the destructive effect of bombs on warships, which began in 1920.
Mitchell challenged the navy to allow army aviation to participate in their experiments.
The Navy approved a special army bomber team to participate in the test in 1921.
Mitchell seized the opportunity and concluded that this could at least prove his inference that land-based bombers could destroy “unsinkable” battleships, thus expanding the air role of the army in coastal defense.
As a result, the bombing test in Chesapeake Bay in 1921 made Mitchell famous.
In this test, the official opinions still strongly conflict with Mitchell’s own leadership and radical reform, but Mitchell’s pilots ignored the Navy’s leadership over the test and dropped 11 1000 pound and 2000 pound bombs on and around the former German Navy’s battleship “Auster Friesland” and sank it to the bottom of the sea.
Although the naval aviation corps’ response to Mitchell’s air show was mixed, they agreed to advocate and publicize the aviation industry – the fleet aviation corps deserves more attention.
Third, it has promoted the US Navy to show in the arms limitation negotiations that the development of naval aviation should not be limited by international agreements.
In 1922, Congress approved the Navy’s position, approved a five-year plan to modernize the naval aviation force and increase its modern aircraft to 1000, and allocated funds for the completion of the construction of Lexington and Saratoga.
Mitchell’s influence is growing.
But in the War Department, Mitchell was called a rebel.
The Army Department, which was badly battered, hired another expert and appointed major general Mason Patrick to replace him.
Patrick restrained Mitchell when he worked with him in the American Expeditionary Force.
After taking office, Patrick immediately began to learn to fly despite his age of 60, and smashed Mitchell’s small group in Washington.
But Mitchell’s reform movement for the independence of the air force has not disappeared as the army believes.
Later, even Patrick and other moderates in the air force strongly demanded to accelerate the development of the army air force.
By the time Warren Harding became president, an expert report of the general staff on strengthening air power was recognized, which recognized the importance of aviation.
The following year, a special member of CongressThe Commission of inquiry on aviation policy has reviewed it and reached the same conclusion.
As Patrick and other officials refused to establish an independent air force separated from the control of the ground army, the move was not implemented, but Patrick has accepted the view that air forces should serve ground operations.
After the government refused to establish an independent air force, Mitchell became a sinner.
He was assigned to the field force, which meant that Mitchell lost the qualification of brigadier general at the same time.
But Mitchell continued to accuse the government of its indifference to aviation soldiers of almost “Treason”.
By 1925, Calvin Coolidge, the 30th president of the United States, once again ordered white morrow to review the establishment of an independent air force.
The morrow Commission finally rejected the independence of the air force, but concluded that more attention should be paid to aviation development.
The Commission’s findings coincide with the military court’s conviction of Mitchell’s disobedience to his superiors and secretly inciting some members of the public to advocate the independence of the aviation force.
Mitchell was disgusted by this.
He did not want to be suspended, so he left the army in 1926.
Although Mitchell was hit, his view of establishing an independent air force has been deeply rooted in the hearts of the people.
After his resignation, Americans’ love for aviation has blossomed.
The construction of the army and Navy Aviation forces began to embark on the track of steady development.
In the year Mitchell left the army, Congress passed the air force act.
According to this law, the army air force was changed into the army air force, giving it the same status of being responsible to the chief of staff.
The law also stipulates that the army air force is composed of 1514 officers, 16000 soldiers and 1800 aircraft.
At the same time, a five-year development plan has been formulated to modernize these aircraft.
The Army Department will add an Assistant Secretary for aviation affairs, and the Navy Department will also establish a corresponding position.
Within the Navy, as the resistance to the development of aviation gradually dissipated, the Navy adopted the policy of treating naval aviation as the main force of the navy in 1925 and 1926.
The Ministry of the army and the Ministry of the Navy also jointly stipulate that: first, graduates of the Naval Academy shall receive compulsory flight training after completing the initial navigation training mission.
Second, in the army and Navy, personnel performing flight missions will receive mandatory flight training.
Third, in the army and Navy, the personnel performing the task of aircraft transformation and maintenance are no longer inferior.
Fourth, agree to give pilots a chance to verify their air combat theories.
So far, the first stage of the development of military aviation after the war has come to an end.
At this stage, the development and strategic role of the army aviation force seems to be inferior to that of the Navy aviation force.
However, in the 10 years after the promulgation of the air force act in 1926, the Army Air Force has made great progress.
Since the promulgation of the air force law, the air force has won an important and nearly independent position in the army’s strategic plan and organizational system.
The personnel of the air force accounted for about 110 of the total army, while the funds accounted for 15 of the military appropriation.
On the eve of World War II, the air force finally replaced the battle fleet and became the unique first-line defense force of the United States.
Of course, the development of the air force depends on the complex relationship between strategic thought, military plan, aviation technology, tactical theory and political structure.
When Mitchell and his followers insisted that strategic bombing by aircraft alone could win future wars, his view seemed vague.
However, Mitchell at least proved that independent air operations will be crucial for the next war.
After the rapid development of the army air force, the Air Force Tactical School was established.
Based on practice, the tactical military academy has constantly put forward new ideas and viewpoints, which have been widely recognized by the planners of the air force: Bombing enemy industrial targets is the primary task.
Bombing attacks on enemy air forces.
Concentrate on attacking enemy military production bases.
Destroy enemy military materials.
Bomb urban settlements with high explosives and incendiary bombs to combat enemy morale.
In this way, the aviation force has an independent combat mission for the first time.
According to this task, before 1930, the army and Navy shared the coastal air defense, but it is very difficult to clearly divide their coastal defense tasks.
Later, the general and Admiral William Pratt, the Secretary of naval operations, reached an agreement in 1931 that the task of using land-based aircraft to attack the invading enemy ship fleet was the responsibility of the army aviation team.
Two years later, MacArthur instructed the air force to establish long-range patrol and bombing teams in the Philippines, Hawaii and the canal area.
According to the above tasks, the aviation force of the Ministry of the army is composed of 13 bomber squadrons, 21 destroyer squadrons, 4 attack aircraft squadrons and 23 reconnaissance aircraft squadrons.
In 1934, the composition of the force was changed to 27 bomber squadrons, 17 destroyer squadrons, 11 attack aircraft squadrons and 20 reconnaissance aircraft squadrons.
After the implementation of the task and staffing system, the air force took the coastal defense task very seriously and conducted bombing exercises for many times.
They have proved with practical actions that bomber formations can fly farther, higher and faster than the destroyers sent to intercept them.
Bombers with protective armor can break through the enemy’s defense line and reach the predetermined target with low loss by flying in a formation covering each other.
The air force believes that using high-altitude flight and bombing attack when the level is close, it can hit fixed targets and moving ships quite accurately.
These theories make the aviation force even more icing on the cake after having an independent mission and establishment.
Firstly, the research on long-range navigation equipment and precision bombing sight was started.
By 1933, the air force had a Norden sight.
Second, the development of large-scale aircraft.
The power of aircraft engine is increased, and the dead weight of aircraft is reduced accordingly.
Engineers also focused on solving the problem of the ratio of payload to lift and made amazing achievements.
Engineers used light structural metals such as aluminum to make all metal monoplane aircraft.
By 1936, the United States had been able to build bombers with a speed of 230 miles per hour and a range of 8000 miles.
To demonstrate the feasibility of such a process, the aviation team first produced two aircraft – the twin engine Boeing B-9 and Martin B-10, which excited enthusiasts of bombers.
By 1934, another bomber with a range of 2000 miles was developed.
Although at this time, the staff will provide air costs and future air support for field forces.