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Sea power rivalry: The influence of Admiral Gorshkov on American Naval Thought, 1963-1985

Huckabey, Jessica Montgomery (2018) Sea power rivalry: The influence of Admiral Gorshkov on American Naval Thought, 1963-1985. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

The US-Soviet sea power rivalry was an extraordinary example of how Americans thought about navies, argued about them, and responded to them. These debates played out in policy channels and public forums for decades. This dissertation examines the competing understandings of the Soviet Navy in the US during the later Cold War. The Soviet naval threat posed an intellectual challenge as well as a national security threat. The Soviet Navy’s transformation under its long-time commander-in-chief, Admiral Sergei Gorshkov, into a blue water navy caused great alarm in the US political and military establishments. Americans based their threat perceptions on what the Soviets wrote, what they built, and how they deployed and exercised their naval forces. This work traces the contributions of those who shaped American naval thought through analysing Gorshkov’s writings on sea power and by monitoring Soviet naval developments. This dissertation examines the influence of Admiral Gorshkov on the leaders of American naval thought as they responded to his ambitions to counter American maritime supremacy beginning in the mid-1960s. It argues that the two schools – those who viewed the Soviet Navy as basically defensive in nature and those who saw it in primarily offensive terms – could both ultimately claim vindication. Experts who pointed to the Soviet Navy’s strategically defensive nature, based on a withholding strategy of its nuclear ballistic missile submarines in bastions, saw their viewpoint validated by the Maritime Strategy in the 1980s. Those who maintained that the Red Fleet was a significant offensive threat to national security and world peace implemented plans under President Reagan for a 600-ship navy to counter the Soviet Union’s rising naval power.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: US Navy, Soviet Navy, Gorshkov, admiral, Soviet naval threat, naval thought, Zumwalt, Turner, Maritime Strategy, SSBN, sea power, naval rivalry, Cold War, 600-ship navy, threat perception, CIA, Naval War College, Office of Naval Intelligence, US Naval Institute, Center for Naval Analyses, submarine, aircraft carrier, anti-submarine warfare, chief of naval operations, Carter, Reagan, Nixon, naval history, Lehman
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of History (Leeds)
Depositing User: Ms Jessica M. Huckabey
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2018 10:35
Last Modified: 04 Dec 2018 10:35
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/22191

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