Naval Power and Expeditionary Wars: Peripheral Campaigns and New Theatres of Naval Warfare, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Naval Power and Expeditionary Wars

Peripheral Campaigns and New Theatres of Naval Warfare, 1st Edition

Edited by Bruce A. Elleman, S.C.M. Paine


242 pages

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This book examines the nature and character of naval expeditionary warfare, in particular in peripheral campaigns, and the contribution of such campaigns to the achievement of strategic victory.

Naval powers, which can lack the massive ground forces to win in the main theatre, often choose a secondary theatre accessible to them by sea and difficult for their enemies to reach by land, giving the sea power and its expeditionary forces the advantage. The technical term for these theatres is ‘peripheral operations.’ The subject of peripheral campaigns in naval expeditionary warfare is central to the British, the US, and the Australian way of war in the past and in the future. All three are reluctant to engage large land forces because of the high human and economic costs. Instead, they rely as much as possible on sea and air power, and the latter is most often in the form of carrier-based aviation. In order to exert pressure on their enemies, they have often opened additional theaters in on-going, regional, and civil wars.

This book contains thirteen case studies by some of the foremost naval historians from the United States, Great Britain, and Australia whose collected case studies examine the most important peripheral operations of the last two centuries.

This book will be of much interest to students of naval warfare, military history, strategic studies and security studies.


"Unsurprisingly, the essays are of a high overall quality; most of them are of a fairly modest length, but they are thought provoking and well written. Overall, Naval Power and Expeditionary Warfare is a very strong work - and, giventhe recent NATO war against Libya, an especially timely one. It should be of much intereste to readers interested in the history of peripheral campaigns and those considering how U.S. military power should be used in future." - C. Dale Walton, Comparative Strategy

"While general students of naval history will find much here of interest, Naval Power and Expeditionary Wars holds special appeal for those professionals in strategic and security studies" - Spencer C. Tucker, International Journal of Maritime History, Vol. XXIII, No. 2, Dec 2011

Table of Contents

Foreword John B. Hattendorf 1. Introduction Bruce A. Elleman and S.C.M. Paine 2. Legal Issues in Expeditionary Campaigns Eric T. Jensen 3. Festering the Spanish Ulcer: The Royal Navy and the Peninsular War, 1808-1814 Michael Duffy 4. The Royal Navy’s White Sea Campaign of 1854 Andrew D. Lambert 5. Gallipoli as a Combined and Joint Operation Robin Prior 6. The British Mesopotamia Campaign, 1914-1918 Paul G. Halpern 7. Pearl Harbor and Beyond: Japan’s Peripheral Strategy to Defeat China S.C.M. Paine 8. A Pivotal Campaign in a Peripheral Theatre: Guadalcanal and World War II in the Pacific Bradford A. Lee 9. The New Guinea Campaign during World War II David Stevens 10. Amphibious Assault as Decisive Maneuver in Korea Donald Chisholm 11. Naval Operations in Peripheral Conflicts: The Malayan Emergency (1948-60) and Confrontation (1962-66) Jeffrey Grey 12. China’s 1974 Naval Expedition to the Paracel Islands Bruce A. Elleman 13. Always Expect the Unexpected: The Falklands/Malvinas Maritime Conflict 1982 Eric Grove 14. The Maritime Campaign in Iraq Peter Jones 15. U.S. Naval Operations and Contemporary Geopolitics: The War on Terror and the New Great Game in the Early 21st Century John Reeve 16. Conclusions: Naval Expeditionary Warfare and the Future of Seapower Bruce A. Elleman and S.C.M. Paine

About the Editors

Bruce A. Elleman is Research Professor in the Maritime History Department at the U.S. Naval War College.

S.C.M. Paine is a Professor in the Strategy and Policy Department at the U.S. Naval War College.

About the Series

Cass Series: Naval Policy and History

This series consists primarily of original manuscripts by research scholars in the general area of naval policy and history, without national or chronological limitations. 

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Military / General
HISTORY / Military / Strategy
HISTORY / Military / Naval
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / International Security