Articles tagged with: Navy

Friday Facts – The Resolute Desk

The Resolute Desk sits in the Oval Office and has been used by many presidents. It is constructed of wood taken from the hull of the HMS Resolute, a Royal Navy vessel rescued by the United States Navy.

“Neutralize and Destroy:” The USS Texas and Normandy

Alfred Thayer Mahan

Alfred Thayer Mahan

Pearl Harbor marked a change in the employment of battleships in American warfare. Prior to the Japanese surprise attack, large fleet-versus-fleet engagements characterized American war planning in the decades after Alfred Mahan published The Influence of Sea Power Upon History. Early incarnations of War Plan Orange – the battle plan for war against the Japanese Empire – reflected this doctrine and envisioned a decisive naval battle led by battleships. Deprived of the offensive force represented by battleships after the Japanese attack, however, American war planners were forced to focus on the offensive power of aircraft carriers to carry retribution across the Pacific.

Salvage of the USS Oklahoma

USS OklahomaIn response to the Imperial Japanese Navy’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto is storied to have stated that “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant.” Regardless of whether the admiral actual spoke or wrote these words, an industrial sleeping giant was indeed awoken as the American military machine began constructing weapons of war at an unprecedented pace.

New production only tells one side of the sleeping giant awoken by the attack on Pearl Harbor, however. A unique aspect of the American war effort was ability to repair damaged equipment and return the refurbished weapons to the battlefield. Even though it never again sailed as a warship, the USS Oklahoma illustrates the impressive recovery efforts that characterized the United States’ involvement in World War Two.

The United States Navy and the Civil War Enrollment Act

"The Conscript Bill! How to Avoid it!!" 07037_2003_001On March 3, 1863, the United States Congress passed the Enrollment Act. Instituting a revised military draft to fill the Union’s increasing manpower needs, the Act called on all males aged twenty to forty-five years old to potentially serve in the United States Army for not longer than three years. The text of the Enrollment Act can be read here.

The Act had numerous exemptions from military service. Section Two of the Act allowed various federal officials, certain sons of dependent widows and infirm parents, and others to escape compulsory service. It was also possible for drafted men to pay a fee to be relieved of their duty to serve or offer a substitute.

U.S. Navy Ends ALLCAP Messages – A Look at Historical Messages

Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that the United States Navy will be abandoning the requirement that official naval messages be sent in ALLCAPS. This announcement ended a tradition dating back to the 19th century that was required because early machinery only had ALLCAPS keyboards.

Since the dawn of radio communications, countless naval communications have utilized this standard. From the famous transmission to Admiral Bull Halsey asking “WHERE IS REPEAT WHERE IS TASK FORCE 34? THE WORLD WONDERS” to the actual directive ending the ALLCAPS requirement, United States naval history is full of notable examples of a now defunct standard.


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