Saturday, July 09, 2011

The General Board, on Midrats

If the front porch doesn't show up in force for tomorrow's Midrats - I don't know what subject will.

If you look to the performance of the US Navy in World War II - those ships came in the shipbuilding programs of the 1920s and 1930s. At a time with no computers or modern communication equipment - and working through the naval treaty limitations as well as the Great Depression - we saw incredible innovation and steadily improving ship designs. Why?

A lot of the credit is given to something the Navy had then, but does not have now; The General Board.

What was The General Board, what did it do, and is the Navy today suffering for the lack of one.

Join and EagleOne and me this Sunday, 10 JUL at 5-6pm EST to discuss the issue and more for the full hour with CDR John T. Kuehn, USN (Ret.) PhD.

Dr Kuehn is a former naval aviator who has completed cruises aboard four different aircraft carriers. He flew reconnaissance missions during the last decade of the Cold War, the First Gulf War and the Balkans. CDR Kuehn has served on the faculty of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College since July 2000, retiring from the naval service in 2004. He earned a Ph.D. in History from Kansas State University in 2007. He is the author of the Agents of Innovation and Eyewitness Pacific Theater with Dennis Giangreco.

He is currently an associate professor of military history at the US Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Join us live if you can and join in with the usual suspects in the chat room where you can contribute your thoughts and observation - and suggest to us questions for our guests.

If you miss the show you can always listen to the archive at blogtalkradio - but the best way to get the show and download the archive to your audio player is to get a free account and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

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Salty Gator said...

outstanding subject matter.  Bringing back the General Board, along with the Warfare Barons and Navy Materiel Command would probably be among the best things that we could do to make righteous our shipbuilding programs.

Step 2: ridding ourselves of acquisition professionals and hiring mor engineers... 

The Usual Suspect said...

<span>Agents of Innovation is a great book.  It shows the ingenuity, vision, and engineering skills of those who prepared for WWII.  Some thinking of their caliber would be welcomed today.  Not to drag LCS into this but, it isn't even close to anything the General Board would have considered due to its cost and impractical nature.  With so little armament it would be and still is a waste of dollars and tonnage.

sid said...

<span>Time is nigh for organizational change in the USN...  
Hopefully I will be back from cluttering up the littorals to listen in...</span>

UltimaRatioRegis said...

At Newport for a Korea exercise, but you can be damned sure I will be listening on Monday!!!!

sid said...

Never made the connection between the Revolt of the Admirals and the General Board...


Anyway. What I said in 2004...

So its the budget driving mission requirements. Spangenburg's oral
describes how the post war budget process turned a once
orderly-if not fair-aircraft procurement system driven by mission
requirements into a muddled, expensive mess. Same thing is true for
Bring back the General Board!!

OK fine. So now you have a single mission FFG replacement that will be
regarded as a major warship. That doesn't sound like progress, and it
doesn't sound like the ship needed for the Littoral fight as
envisioned here:

Sounds like speed was considered as part of the survivability by
NAWCD. Making it slower and bigger is means there will be a real
reluctance to put them up near the beach...Unless they morph into
fairly robust multi-mission platforms. But wait, isn't that the same
as DD(X)?

The NAWCD document, in polite terms, infers the LCS force will
overcome inevitable losses with numbers. It was a long time ago, but
the lessons of Samar should be studied by some Pentagonian
PowerPointers. If what you are saying is correct, yet another class of
ships will be built that will be badly mismatched for the shallow
water role.

Mahanwasright said...

Sid,  this deserves a lengthier respone than I am ready to post right now (ie. the General Board and the Revolt of the Admirals). Suffice it to say that you cannot have a revolt of the Admirals without the General Board involved in some sense, after all, they had led the revolt against the London Treaty in 1930.

Anonymous said...

Just curious Mahanwasright...Did you perchance click into the "time is nigh" link that I put up below (I can understand that it for all the world has a cyber version look of a scrufty guy with a cardboard sign saying the "End Is Near")?

Its more legit than I made it appear...Especially given this historical context of "Naval Insurgency". 

Also, one can clearly trace how we've gotten to where we are requirements wise by reading Friedman's books (along with that linked oral history from Spangenberg).

sid said...

that was me