Dewey at Manila Bay: Lessons in Operational Art and Operational Leadership from America's First Fleet Admiral
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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The decisive U.S. Asiatic Squadron victory over the Spanish South Pacific Fleet at the Battle of Manila Bay in 1898 illustrates the brilliance of Admiral George Dewey as an operational leader and his keen sense of operational art. Due to the U.S. Navys virtually unchallenged supremacy since the conclusion of World War II, students of naval history have few modern examples of the use of operational art in a maritime context. Admiral Deweys exploits have largely been forgotten to time, even if the final results of the Battle of Manila Bay are somewhat familiar Deweys Asiatic Squadron destroyed or captured the entire Spanish South Pacific Fleet in a mere seven hours without the loss of a single American life. What is not so well known is how Deweys operational leadership and practice of operational art set the stage for this earth-changing and relatively bloodless victory. Deweys detailed planning and preparation for a battle more than 7,000 miles away from his nearest base highlight the very nature of operational leadership and operational art. In overcoming considerable challenges associated with the operational factors of space, time and force, Dewey, in one decisive action, established the United States as a world power and ushered in what is widely considered the beginning of modern naval warfare. The importance of this watershed event warrants an investigation into Deweys practice of operational art leading to the United States rise to superpower status, and more importantly, its relevance to students of modern naval warfare.
- Humanities and History
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics