Current trends in leadership training often overlook historic examples of effective leadership – the developmental processes and the results of the professional background of leaders in an operational environment. The development of the submarine influenced the outcome of both the First and Second World War, but it was the leadership of the American submarine skippers in the latter conflict which provided examples of legendary and effective leadership. This thesis will address the question of how the interwar period influenced the doctrine and formal professional education of submarine skippers. Most importantly, however, will be the discussion of the contributing factors which combined to force a rapid evolution in leadership and employment of these submarines: technology, enemy, and internal bureaucratic resistance, to name a few factors. Continue reading “Influences of Interwar Doctrine and Training on the Successes of U.S. Submarines in the Pacific Theater of Operations During the Second World War”
I was having a conversation with a friend the other day and we were discussing creative outlets. He’s a poet at heart and was a mariner by trade, and our conversations have ranged a wide variety of topics – from the evolution of leadership during the Second World War, to the source of inspiration, and finally – why we write.
A recent academic conversation centered around the topic of finding ways to better inspire students as they embark upon the path towards a history degree, and the following question was posed by the professor:
On January 17, 1966 – at the height of the Cold War – a B-52 and KC-135 tanker collided while conducting aerial refueling over the air above Palomares, Spain. Of the eleven total crewmembers of both planes, seven were found dead near the Palomares cemetery, and over the next three months, eighteen vessels and over 3,800 men would undertake a search and recovery mission which cost over $84 million. Missing was one of four Mark 28 hydrogen bombs lost in the accident, and the man who led American rescue efforts was a 46-year-old fisherman – Francisco Simo Orts.Continue reading “Simo Orts and the Missing American [Redacted]”
One of my more interesting “thought experiment” assignments during an Oceanography discussion last May centered around the unlikely idea that the Gulf Stream suddenly, and without reason, stopped. Writing from the perspective of an Operations Manager for an unnamed shipping company reacting to this crisis, I looked at the immediate impact and offered several possible “contingency plans.” Continue reading “Golf Sierra Event”
In the early morning light of the 30th of April, 1943, the HMS Seraph surfaced near the Spanish town of Huelva and crewmen retrieved the canister which had been stowed on the torpedo racks since leaving England two weeks earlier. The men had been told that the container held a “weather buoy,” but they were ordered below before they were able to watch the officers extract, prepare, and push overboard the body of “Major Martin”. This simple act – the lynchpin of Operation Mincemeat – involved an corpse, paperwork, and a carefully crafted web of deception proved to be so successful in playing on the paranoias of Adolf Hitler, that it impacted and influenced the impending invasion of Sicily as well as disrupted chances for German reinforcements to arrive at the battle of Kursk months later.Continue reading “Deception and Death – Linking a Submarine to the Battle of Kursk”
Recent commentary once again has provided me with an opportunity to offer my opinions and perspectives about the problems associated with history – specifically Hitler. This being said, while it may appear that I am critical of the cartoon in the following response in an academic forum, I fully appreciate and admire the symbolism intended. My issue is – and always will be – with the overbearing and terrible figure Hitler was and my own perspective of quick and casual comparisons.Continue reading “Hitler, Hussein, and the Problems of Comparison”