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Naval Campaigns that Changed Land Campaigns

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  • Naval Campaigns that Changed Land Campaigns

    The influence of sea power on land campaigns has often been overlooked or relegated to the back-burner of history (other than as a fad during the early 20th century). Can anyone think of naval battles or campaigns that significantly altered the course of major land campaigns? Here are a couple that come to mind for me:

    * Greek fleet at Salamis (479 B.C.) - the Greek victory there was not only a rare instance of Attic-Peloponnese cooperation, but it deprived Xerxes' overwhelming army of the supplies he needed to continue the campaign. Without control of the waters, he was forced to return to Asia Minor, allowing Greek culture to reach its Golden Age.

    * Texas naval battles (Apr. 1836) - Texian interdiction of supplies from Campeche and Matamoros meant for Santa Anna's army in East Texas meant that after San Jacinto (when the Mexican Army of Operations still outnumbered Sam Houston's army by something like 2.8 or 3 to 1), the army's successor commander, Gen. Vicente Filisola, could justify a retreat that ended Mexican rule over Texas on grounds that his men were starving. This set in motion a chain of events that resulted in the US-Mexican War, and the acquisition of several new western states (and new controversies over slavery).

    Any others come to mind???
    "There are only two professions in the world in which the amateur excels the professional. One, military strategy, and, two, prostitution."
    -- Maj. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower

    (Avatar: Commodore Edwin Ward Moore, Republic of Texas Navy)

  • #2
    Yep:

    Union blockade of the Confederacy starved us half to death down here (and many folks all the way).

    Battle of the Capes prevented Brits from pulling Cornwallis's fat out of the fire.

    Lots of amphibious landings come to mind: Cortez at Veracruz, D-Day, whole South Pacific campaign WW2, etc.
    Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
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    • #3
      yep indeed not to mention the supremacy of the British fleets during the Napoleonic era and campaigns.

      best
      CV

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Centrix Vigilis View Post
        yep indeed not to mention the supremacy of the British fleets during the Napoleonic era and campaigns.

        best
        CV
        Exactly! The French had an entire army stranded in Egypt after the Naval Battle of the Nile.
        "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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        • #5
          The Battle of Yorktown during the American Revolution was decided by the defeat of the British Navy, which effectively ended the war.
          If you can't set a good example, be a glaring warning.

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          • #6
            The battleS off of Guadalcanal were the determining factor in who won the land battle.

            Vicksburg and New Orleans in the ACW also come to mind. Opening the Mississippi to Union forces and splitting the CSA
            "Ask not what your country can do for you"

            Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

            you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

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            • #7
              And let us of course not forget the legendary fight at Artemisium and the Battle of Salamis....for if Leonidas and his valiant, bought the time for it, it non the less was Themistokles, who caused the withdraw of the Persians.

              best
              CV
              Last edited by Centrix Vigilis; 14 Nov 07, 11:59.

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              • #8
                Salamis

                The Armada

                The Nile

                Trafalgar

                Jutland

                Midway

                Leyte Gulf
                "Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen." - Albert Einstein

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                • #9
                  I don't know the official name but Antony and Cleopatra's very sound defeat

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Knight's_Cross View Post
                    I don't know the official name but Antony and Cleopatra's very sound defeat
                    Battle of Actium.
                    Never Fear the Event

                    Admiral Lord Nelson

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mike brown View Post
                      Battle of Actium.
                      Thanks, I thought about that battle, too -- but couldn't remember enough of it to come up with that clue.
                      Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
                      Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2003 & 2006


                      "Never pet a burning dog."

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Janos View Post
                        Yep:

                        Union blockade of the Confederacy starved us half to death down here (and many folks all the way).

                        Battle of the Capes prevented Brits from pulling Cornwallis's fat out of the fire.

                        Lots of amphibious landings come to mind: Cortez at Veracruz, D-Day, whole South Pacific campaign WW2, etc.
                        I would have to argue that the Union blockade did not play as big of a role in the defeat of the South as is usually believed in most circles, especially at the start of hostilities. Whereas that fact the Navy remained under Union control is undisputed, at the outset of hostilities that was not nearly as much of an advantage as most Civil War buffs believe. At beginning of the Civil War the Union Navy was hardly suited to the task of enforcing a blockade. What is not appreciated by most Civil War buffs is that the U.S. Navy of 1861 only listed 90 vessels of all classes in the Navy Register. By way of contrast, the 19th Century Royal Navy listed 132 Flower class corvettes alone (History of the World's Navies, 2005). It must also be noted that of those previously mentioned 90 ships, not all were available for blockade duty; 21 were no longer sea worthy, 27 were in the yards and required lengthy repair periods to be ready for action, and some had not even been launched. The 28 remaining ships were in foreign waters carrying out the traditional Navy missions of showing the flag and protecting commerce on the high seas.

                        There were also geographical reasons why blockading the South was so difficult. One only has to give a map of the Southern United States to appreciate how crenellated the coastline is; blockading Southern ports during the Civil War must have been a daunting task. The U.S. Navy also had to actively support U.S. Army operations ashore; this forced the naval architects to conjure, practically out of thin air, whole classes of naval vessels that could operate in riverine environments; most notable of these adaptations was the U.S.S. Monitor. Nonetheless, the U.S. Navy was able to retool itself to successfully respond to every task and, by the end of the Civil War, it had virtually tripled in size. Whether on the high seas or at the mouth of Mobile Bay, the Confederacy squandered its advantages in the maritime environment.

                        Ultimately the role played by U.S. Navy’s was as crucial to the final Union victory as Lee’s defeat at Gettysburg, but I believe that you are overstaitng the effects of the blockade. The fact is that if captains of blockade runners had put more time and effort into importing war materials, and had spent less time lining their pockets by importing luxury goods, the blockade would not have been nearly as successful.
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                        • #13
                          Very good points. Texas's deepest harbor, Galveston Bay, was only 8-11 feet at the bar (the hurricane of 1900 changed that), so the heavy frigates of the US Navy could not enter. Even revenue cutters (e.g., Morris-class schooners) would run aground if not careful. So the pride of the US Navy would have been unable to enter harbors or do much outside patrol the open waters during the daytime, when blockade runners were protected.

                          Still, the blockade deprived the civilian population of a lot of the imported goods they enjoyed before the blockade (see for instance the Confederate hydrogen balloon used at Seven Days - made of dress silk because imported silk was so scarce, even in 1862).
                          "There are only two professions in the world in which the amateur excels the professional. One, military strategy, and, two, prostitution."
                          -- Maj. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower

                          (Avatar: Commodore Edwin Ward Moore, Republic of Texas Navy)

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                          • #14
                            Diu in 1509, small initial naval victory, but lasting effect that saved a Portuguese garrison when the enemy heard a rumor of an approaching Portuguese fleet at Diu in 1537.

                            Lepanto, 1571, off the coast of Greece established a western naval dominance that shaped further land incursions.
                            Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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                            • #15
                              I submit the Battle of the Golden Horn on 28 APR 1453. With the transport of war ships into the Horn, Sultan Mehmed was able to prevent the defenders of Constantinople from being resupplied by Genoese ships. This eventually led to the finally capitulation of the city.
                              For those who have to fight for it; life has a flavor the protected will never know.

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