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The Sea and the Second World WarMaritime Aspects of a Global Conflict$
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Marcus Faulkner and Alessio Patalano

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781949668049

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9781949668049.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM KENTUCKY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.kentucky.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The University Press of Kentucky, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in KSO for personal use.date: 23 September 2021

The Army-Navy Contest for Control of Land-Based Antisubmarine Aviation and the Military Unification Debate, 1942–1948

The Army-Navy Contest for Control of Land-Based Antisubmarine Aviation and the Military Unification Debate, 1942–1948

Chapter:
(p.270) 10 The Army-Navy Contest for Control of Land-Based Antisubmarine Aviation and the Military Unification Debate, 1942–1948
Source:
The Sea and the Second World War
Author(s):

George H. Monahan

Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
DOI:10.5810/kentucky/9781949668049.003.0011

In this chapter, George H. Monahan discusses the success of the German U-boat offensive in the Western Atlantic after the U.S. entry into World War II, which led the War Department leadership to believe that the U.S. Navy was not employing adequate antisubmarine tactics. In the application of airpower to combat the submarine threat, the War Department and Army leadership believed that aggressive "hunter-killer" tactics would prove more effective than the Navy's preferred defensive tactic of conducting aerial patrols in the vicinity of convoys. Navy leaders, meanwhile, contended that its defensive tactics were the best method of protecting shipping. A bitter interservice conflict ensued as the War Department sought to initiate an Army Air Forces antisubmarine offensive over the Bay of Biscay. Claiming jurisdiction over all air operations at sea, the Navy leadership firmly opposed the War Department's initiative and insisted that Army Air Forces antisubmarine units operate according to the Navy's defensive doctrine. Secretary of War Henry Stimson's frustration over Admiral Ernest King's refusal to accede to the War Department antisubmarine initiative led the former to support a post-war reorganization of the military command apparatus, thereby ensuring Navy subordination to civilian leadership under an overarching Secretary of Defense.

Keywords:   antisubmarine warfare, Battle of the Atlantic, Convoys, mid-Atlantic air gap, RAF Coastal Command, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy

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