Heritage Chair History

This Sub-Page is provided as a permanent record of our efforts in support of the Chair of Naval Heritage at the Academy. It should be known that the Class honors the Chair-holder on his/her departure with a commemorative Chair engraved with inscriptions as below.

I. Williamson (Wick) Murray 2007-2008

The first occupant of the Chair was Professor Williamson (Wick) Murray whose biography is presented in the paragraphs below.

Dr. Williamson Murray (Wick Murray) is Professor Emeritus (History) at Ohio State University (Retired) and Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA). He also served on the U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century / Hart-Rudman Commission as a Study Group Member.

• B.A. Yale University, (1963)
• M.A. Yale University, (1971)
• Ph.D. Yale University, (1975)

• Charles Lindbergh Professor, Air and Space Museum, 1997-1998
• Horner Professor of Military Theory, Marine Corps University, 1995-1997
• Centennial Visiting Professor, London School of Economics, 1994-1995
• Professor Emeritus, Ohio State University, 1995
• Secretary of the Navy Fellow, Naval War College, 1991-1992
• Professor of History, Ohio State University, 1977-1995
• Maintenance Officer, 314th TAL Wing, South East Asia, 1968-1969
• Long Committee on Professional Military Education, 1989-1990
• Second Andrew D. White Prize in European History, Yale University, 1963

From the Naval War College Review, Spring 2001 ( "Dr. Murray received his Ph.D. (after service in the U.S. Air Force) in military-diplomatic history at Yale University. He has taught at Yale, at the Air, Army, and Naval War Colleges, the U.S. Military Academy, Marine Corps University, the London School of Economics, the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, and Ohio State University, of which he is a professor emeritus. He is currently a consultant at the Institute for Defense Analyses in Arlington, Virginia. His numerous books include
Air War, 1914-1945 (1999) and a number of works in collaboration with Allan Millett, including, most recently, A War to Be Won: Fighting World War II (1999)."
Williamson Murray was credited on a game in 1991. His/Her career probably spans more years than those displayed since these dates are based on the credits documented in MobyGames (which are incomplete). Williamson Murray has been credited with the roles Box & Content. Williamson Murray has been credited on games developed by the following companies: LucasArts. This does not imply employment by these companies.

Games Credited
Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe (1991)


Whereas: The United States Naval Academy Class of 1957 has funded the “Class of 1957 Chair in Naval Heritage” as its 50th anniversary gift to the Academy, and

Whereas: The Class presented the Superintendent of the Naval Academy with a suitably engraved Naval Academy “Captain’s Chair” to symbolize this gift, and

Whereas: After an extensive search to find the most highly qualified history professional professor, Dr. Williamson “Wick” Murray was selected from among a distinguished group, and

Whereas: Dr. Murray began teaching at the Academy in the winter semester of 2006, and

Whereas: During his four semesters of teaching he has inspired his midshipmen students and contributed to their understanding of the importance of naval heritage through a number of unique and innovative means including –

• Instituting a “History Club” – an informal gathering in the evenings for any midshipmen or faculty interested in discussing matters of historical interest,
• Bringing a series of renowned persons to the academy to address not only his classes, but any members of the Brigade and faculty on topics of historical and current significance,
• Leading tours of nearby battlefield locations to instill in midshipmen and invited members of the Class of 1957 a better appreciation of the importance of leadership in combat.

Now therefore: Be it resolved that the class presents the inaugural Chair in Naval Heritage “Captain’s Chair” to Professor Williamson “Wick” Murray as an expression of our gratitude to him for his outstanding performance as first incumbent of the “Class of 1957 Chair in Naval Heritage,” to recognize the significant positive impact he has had on the Naval Academy, and the honor he has brought to the class through his work.

Given under our hands this 7th Day of May 2008 at Annapolis, Maryland

David S. Cooper

William H. Peerenboom
Vice President

Paul O. Behrends

Thomas M. Sims

II. Gilbert Andrew Hugh Gordon 2008-2009

The second occupant was Doctor Gilbert Andrew Hugh Gordon. His biography is presented in the below paragraphs.

Name in Full: Gilbert Andrew Hugh GORDON
Department & Address: Defence Studies Department, Joint Services Command & Staff College (JSCSC), Faringdon Road, Watchfield, Swindon, Wilts SN6 8TS, U.K.
Title of Present Post: Reader in Defence Studies, King’s College London.
Date of Birth: 23 July 1951


King's College London, Ph D. War Studies, 1983
University of Wales, Aberystwyth, BScEcon (Hons), International Politics (2:1), 1977.


Desk Officer for Employment & Industrial Relations, Conservative Research Department, Conservative Central Office. January 1983 - July ‘84
Research Consultant, Cabinet Office Historical Section, July 1984 - October ’96.
Honorary Fellow at Exeter University, pursuing own research, November ’96 - August ‘97 .
Senior Lecturer (Civil Service ranking), JSCSC, Bracknell, August 1997 – August ‘00.
Lecturer (KCL), JSCSC, August 2000 – September ’01.


Since joining the Defence Studies Department ten years ago, I have taught, and continue to teach, across the spectrum of courses, the three main levels of which are explained below:

The JSCSC is structured around three mainstream levels of Command & Staff Courses:

1. The ‘Intermediate’ single-service level, with students at the slightly unequal ranks of Lieutenant RN, junior Major, and Flight Lieutenant.
2. The joint ‘Advanced’ level, for Lt Commanders, Majors and Squadron Leaders.
3. The joint ‘Higher’ level, for RN Captains/Commodores and their equivalents.

At the Intermediate level, I lecture to all three Services’ Courses, but routinely teach the eight-week Intermediate Command & Staff Course (Maritime). The ICSC(M)'s purpose is "To equip officers with the background knowledge skills and attitudes required for the full range of junior staff and command appointments and to evaluate their potential for further staff training." Roughly half the course is academic-led education. A key feature is an Elective sub-course on subjects of the tutors' own devising. My Elective, which I teach two or three times a year, is a study of British Seapower during the half-century following the Naval Defence Act of 1889.

The core of JSCSC business is the tri-service Advanced Command & Staff Course (ACSC). This is an intensive eleven-month course, with around 360 students, a quarter of them foreign, covering the whole gamut of 'defence studies' subjects. Its mission is "to prepare selected officers for high-grade appointments, up to and including the rank of Captain RN, Colonel and Group Captain, by developing their command, analytical and communications skills, and by providing a broad understanding and knowledge of joint, single-service and combined operations, and of defence as a whole." Aside from teaching, I am the ACSC's Subject Matter Expert on Command & Leadership.

The jewel in the JSCSC's crown is the Higher Command & Staff Course. This is an annual three-month course for officers of great experience, typically in their mid-40s, and destined for high rank. Its desired end-state is "to have developed a mind that is able to analyze complex issues of a joint and combined nature from first principles in order to make timely decisions at the higher level of influence and command." There are just three internal (Defence Studies Dept) historians assigned to the HCSC (one for each element): I am both the original Maritime Historian and the Academic Lead, and have thus been closely involved in this Course and its development since 1998. The most demanding part of the HCSC is the intensive ten-day ‘Staff Ride’, which is a battlefield tour in which we historians set the scene at each ‘stand’ and then students lead the ‘modern pull through’ discussions, based on supervised research papers. This has to be stage-managed into coherent packages without curbing the students’ own conclusions.


My first book,
British Seapower & Procurement: A Reappraisal of Rearmament, illustrates the broad base of the pyramid: ostensibly about procurement, it explores the full web of contextual factors within which the Admiralty’s procurement policies were set and within which the Navy’s leaders should be judged. I sought to demystify Britain’s preparations for war in the 1930s, and, in particular, to dispose of (then) enduring mythologies about the constraints on rearmament.

My second book,
The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command explores the underlying influences behind the Grand Fleet’s performance in 1916. It won the inaugural Duke of Westminster’s Medal for Military Literature (1996), and the Longman History Today Book-of-the-Year Prize (1997). Paperback editions came out in 2000 and 2005. I stopped collecting reviews after a while, but one may be cited here: “Already the book is being read, and praised, by the Admirals at whom it is in part directed. It remains to be seen if the senior officers of that much larger and more institutional service, the US Navy, will be willing to take it to heart. It may be an uncomfortable read for them and perhaps also for some historians. This is not quite the way we have been brought up to do it; academics steam in company, and think of their promotion prospects before they haul out of line without orders.” (Professor Nicholas Rodger, International Journal of Maritime History, Vol.IX, No.2, Dec 1997). The book has a unique paragraph in the bibliography of British Maritime Doctrine, and is recommended reading at the US Naval War College, Rhode Island. The Royal Australian Navy’s published Reading List (March 2006) rates it as “essential reading and highly recommended.”

My Contributions to recent publications include:

• Chapter: ‘Operational Command at Sea’ in J.Reeve & D.Stevens (eds.) The Face of Naval Battle (2003) (A&U, 2003)
• Chapter: ‘The Largest Armada the World has Ever Seen’ in J.Penrose (ed.), The D Day Companion (Osprey 2004)
• Chapter: ‘The Transition to War: the Hunt for Goeben & Breslau, 1914’, in I.Speller (ed.), The Royal Navy and Maritime Power in the Twentieth Century (Frank Cass, 2005)
• Chapter: ‘Military Transformation in Long Periods of Peace’, in W.Murray & R.Sinnreich, The Past as Prologue: the importance of history to the military profession. (CUP, 2006)
• Chapter: ‘1914-1918, the Proof of the Pudding’, in G.Till (ed.) The Development of British Naval Thinking: Essays in Memory of Bryan Ranft (Routledge, 2006)
• Article: ‘Nelson is Not Sufficient’, commissioned by the RN’s professional journal, the Naval Review (published in November 2005 issue (Vol.93, Number 4)):
• Tripartite articles: October 2006: RUSI Journal & RUSI website: an air/sea/land record-straightener (in association with Dr Christina Goulter and Prof Gary Sheffield) regarding the recent media spat over the respective air and naval roles in the deterrence of Operation SEALION. My 2,600-word article on RUSI website will be printed in the February 2007 issue of the Naval Review.

Main Work in Progress:

Master of the Narrow Seas: a major biography of Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay, naval commander of both the Dunkirk evacuation in 1940 and the Normandy landings in 1944. Ramsay fits my academic interests on several other levels of research-led teaching. His position by, say, 1944, at the centre of a web of senior Allied commanders is directly relevant both to my ACSC ‘subject matter expertise’ in Command & Leadership, and to my evolving work on the HCSC Staff Ride, which studies both Dunkirk and Normandy. He is a vital link in understanding how the ‘Allied Command Club’ in the European Theatre worked.

Further Work Projected:

The Whale and the Elephant (working title): Britain’s war against (mainly) Germany in the global seascape of maritime strategy.


I have given recent conference papers, as follows:

At the Society of Military History (SMH) Conference hosted by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, on 1-4 May 2003: a paper on ‘Operational Art in the Mediterranean, 1940-43’.
At the ‘Past Futures’ twin Conferences, hosted in the UK (3-4 July 2003) at Sandhurst by the Strategic & Combat Studies Institute and in the US (9-10 September) at Quantico by the Marine Corps University, a paper on ‘Military Transformations in Long Periods of Peace: the Victorian Royal Navy’.
At the SMH Conference hosted by the University of Maryland, Bethesda, 20-23 May 2004, I gave a paper on ‘History Theory, Doctrine and Naval Command’.
At the Annapolis Naval History Symposium on ‘Expeditionary Warfare’ on 7-8 April 2005, I gave a paper on the Victorians’ experience of maritime power projection.
I was invited by German Armed Forces’ Militärgeschichliche Forschungsamt and the Otto-von-Bismarck-Foundation to give a keynote paper at their Battle of Jutland 90th Anniversary Conference at the end of May 2006, but was unable to attend due to teaching commitments.
Six events, formal and informal, deserve mention as indicators of esteem:

1. & 2. I was guest of honour of The Royal Navy Club of 1765 & 1785, at its Queen’s Birthday Dinners in 1998 and 2004. One of the most exclusive military clubs in the world, this comprises RN officers qualified for major warship command (a shrinking group).
3. In August 2002 Com.UK Task Group flew me out to Bahrain as his guest, and thence out to USS George Washington in the Indian Ocean. I was onboard for two days and gave a historical talk to the Battle Group flag-officer, RAdm Joe Sestak, and his staff (inc. Capt. Gerry Roncolato).
4. In October 2005 I was guest of honour of the Royal College of Defence Studies for their 200th anniversary Trafalgar Night Dinner on the gundeck of HMS Victory.
5. In 2001 I was the Royal Australian Navy’s ‘Synnot’ Visiting Lecturer for 2001. This scheme is in memory of Admiral Sir Anthony Synnot, RAN, and is extended to an overseas academic each year. In July 2001 I spent two weeks in Canberra and Sydney, gave a keynote paper at the King-Hall Naval History Conference and delivered six other scheduled and unscheduled addresses/lectures. I was invited to give a paper at their 2006 Sea Power Conference – ‘Challenges Old and New’ – in early February. My Conference paper was entitled ‘The Best Laid Staff Plans…’
6. I took part in a panel (‘Back to the Future: Sir John Fisher’s Naval Revolution and the Future of the US Fleet’) at the US Naval Institute’s 2006 Joint Warfare Conference, 5th October 2006, in Virginia Beach. There was talk of repeating the panel in April 2007 in Annapolis.

I regularly lecture on ‘Crisis Escalation and Command Dilemmas’ to the CO Desigs Course at the RN’s Maritime Warfare Centre. I have been visiting speaker on many occasions, often onboard ship, sometimes at sea – including a week in Illustrious, for her visit to Malta in 2005, to ensure that the ship’s company understood the strong historical links between the island and the ship. I was in the select loop for the recent redrafts both of Fighting Instructions and of British Maritime Doctrine (BR 1806).

I am a former Lieutenant Commander, Royal Naval Reserve.

Andrew Gordon
3rd January 2007

III. Ronald Spector 2009-2010

The third occupant was Professor Ronald Spector. He completed his appointment in the Summer of 2010. His biography, somewhat more concise than the earlier occupants, is contained in the paragraphs below.

RONALD SPECTOR (Ph.D, Yale) has been Professor of History and International Relations in the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University since 1990. He previously taught at the University of Alabama and at LSU. Besides his recent book, In the Ruins of Empire, he is the author of three other works. His best known books are Eagle Against the Sun: The American War With Japan, which was a main selection of the Book of the Month Club and winner of the Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt Prize in Naval History and After Tet: The Bloodiest Year in Vietnam. His book, At War at Sea: Sailors and Naval Combat in the Twentieth Century received the 2002 Distinguished Book Award of the Society for Military History. Spector has been a Fulbright Lecturer in India, Israel and Singapore and Visiting Professor at The National War College, the Army War College, Keio University in Tokyo and Princeton.

Spector entered the U.S. Marine Corps as an enlisted man in 1967 and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Marine Corps Reserve. He served in Vietnam during 1968-69 and in various active duty assignments during the Grenada/Lebanon incidents in 1983-84. He also served on the adjunct faculty of The Marine Corps Command and Staff College. His other government experience includes service as a historian with the U.S. Army Center of Military History and the Naval Historical Center where he was the first civilian to serve as Director of Naval History and Curator for the Navy Department.

IV. John H. Schroeder 2010-2011

Navy Professor Schroeder assumed the Chair in the Fall of 2010 as the fourth occupant. His biography, while a bit terse, perhaps, is presented below.

UW System University Professor


B.A., Lewis and Clark College, Portland, Oregon, 1965
M.A. and Ph.D., University of Virginia, 1967 & 1971.

Research Interests:
19th Century U.S. History – Political, Diplomatic, Maritime & Naval.

Teaching Areas:
19th century U.S. History – Political, Diplomatic, Maritime & Naval.

Courses Offered:
U.S. History Survey; Early American Republic; Era of Civil War and Reconstruction; U.S. Maritime History; History of the American Presidency.

Other Activities:
Former UWM Chancellor; Current Member, Board of Curators, Wisconsin Historical Society.

Selected Publications:

Mr. Polk’s War: American Opposition and Dissent, 1846-1848. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1973.
Shaping a Maritime Empire: The Commercial and Diplomatic Role of the American Navy, 1829-1861. Westport, CO.: Greenwood Press, 1985.
Matthew Calbraith Perry: Antebellum Sailor and Diplomat. Annapolis: U.S. Naval Institute Press, 2001. (Winner of the Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt Prize for Naval History, 2002.
Commodore John Rodgers: Paragon of the Early American Navy. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2006.

University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee
P.O. Box 413, 2200 E. Kenwood Blvd.
Milwaukee, WI 53201-0413
(414) 229-1122

Department of History
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
P.O. Box 413, Milwaukee, WI 53201
Tel (414) 229-4361 | Fax (414) 229-2435

Valedictory Remarks May 2011

I will be heading down the road this weekend and returning to Wisconsin. It has been a wonderful year for me and I want to thank the Class of 1957 for making this opportunity possible. I have enjoyed immensely teaching the midshipmen. They are a challenging and stimulating group. Having gotten to know some of them, I return to Wisconsin feeling very good about the future of the Navy's leadership. I also made very good use of the Nimitz Library. I was able to finish the research (and another rough draft) of my book on the U.S. Navy in the Pacific between 1815 and 1890.

I also want to thank you and your fellow Class of 1957 members for the way that I was welcomed and treated during the year. On various occasions, I was invited to games, ceremonies, dinners and golf games. I appreciated those invitations because they allowed me to get to know some members of the class. I return to Wisconsin impressed by the generousity the class has shown to the History Department and the Academy over many years.

Take care . . . and BEAT ARMY!

John Schroeder

V. Craig L. Symonds 2011-2012

Our Chair was occupied for the 2011-12 academic year by Craig L. Symonds. Professor Symonds is a Professor Emeritus of American History at the Academy where he taught for 30 years and served as History Department Chair. The first person to win both the Academy's Excellence in Teaching Award and its Excellence in Research Award, he is the author of 12 books, including prize-winning biographies of Joseph E. Johnston, Patrick Cleburne, and Franklin Buchanan as well as The American Heritage History of the Battle of Gettysburg. Besides the Civil War at Sea, his two most recent books are Decision at Sea: Five Naval Battles That Shaped American History, which won the Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt Prize in 2006, and Lincoln and his Admirals: Abraham Lincoln, The U. S. Navy, and the Civil War, which won the Barondess Prize, the Laney Prize, the John Lyman Book Award and the Lincoln Prize for 2009.

Any who are familiar with Dr. Symonds’s books or have heard him speak will appreciate how fortunate we are to have secured his services. If the invitation should come to sit in on one of his lectures you’ll want to accept.

VI. James Bradford 2012-2013

Our Chair was occupied for the 2012-2013 academic year by James C. Bradford. His resume is posted below.


Michigan State University, B.A., 1967; M.A., 1968 University of Virginia, Ph.D., 1976

FIELDS OF SPECIALIZATION: Naval & Maritime History; American Revolution and
Early National Eras

1981-Present Texas A&M University, Associate Professor: Teach Maritime History and Sea Power, American Sea Power, Age of Jefferson, Colonial America, World War II, and U.S. to 1877

1995-1997 Air War College, Visiting Professor: Taught Strategy, Doctrine and Air Power, World War II, and U.S. Naval History

1973-1981 United States Naval Academy, Assistant Professor: Taught Naval History: Ancient to the Modern World, Colonial America, U.S. 1763-1840, Western Civilization.


John Paul Jones: A Biography



A Companion to American Military History, ed. Blackwell, forthcoming, 2009.

International Encyclopedia of Military History, 2 vols., ed. Routledge, 2006.

Atlas of American Military History, ed. Oxford University Press, 2003.

Quarterdeck and Bridge: Two Centuries of American Naval Leaders, ed.

Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1997.

Conflict Between Cultures: The Military Dimension, ed. Texas A&M University

Press, 1997.

Crucible of Empire: The Spanish-American War & Its Aftermath, ed .Naval

Institute Press, 1993.

Admirals of the New Steel Navy: Makers of the American Naval Tradition,

1880-1930, ed. Naval Institute Press, 1990. Chinese language ed., 1998.

Captains of the Old Steam Navy: Makers of the American Naval Tradition,

1840-1880, ed. Naval Institute Press, 1986.

Professor Bradford's Report on 2012-2013 Activities

This has been a most enjoyable and beneficial experience for me and I believe for many of the midshipmen with whom I worked. Highlights of the year include:

Courses Taught:
Fall 2012: HH 104: American Naval History
HH 386C: World War II
Spring 2013: HH 104: American Naval History
HH 486B: The War of 1812

History Department Participation:
Attendance at HH104 “Charm School” (and leading two sessions) during which instructors discuss strategies for teaching the course, potential assignments, themes to be developed, etc. confirmed my belief that there exists a need for a textbook designed specifically for the course. I have subsequently outlined the concept for “America, Sea Power, and the World,” design a table of contents with “sidebars” on naval officers and technological developments for each of the twenty two chapters, engage authors (drawn from department instructors and Class of 1957 Chairholders), and submit a proposal to the Naval Institute Press.
Other activities include attending department “Works in Progress” sessions, reading book manuscripts for two colleagues, consulting with the Naval History Symposium Committee concerning session chairs, and discussing a variety of topics within the profession with colleagues.
One of the manuscripts that I read was by Jon Hendrickson, the Class of 1957 Fellow. It was his dissertation on naval power in the Mediterranean in the decades before World War I. I advised him to make some revisions to prepare it for submission to a publisher then asked him to submit it for publication in a series that I co-edit for the Naval Institute Press. Hendrickson did so, I wrote a formal evaluation for the press, suggested outside reviewers, and Hendrickson has been issued a contract for publication. Based on my assessment of his manuscript and conversations concerning history and teaching, I have written several letters of recommendation to support his job applications.

Naval Academy Service:
Member of the program committee for the “From Enemies to Allies: An International Conference on the War of 1812 and its Aftermath” hosted by the Academy, 12-15 June 2013 under the sponsorship of the Naval Academy, the Naval History and Heritage Command, and the Star Spangled 200 Commission of the State of Maryland. Gene Smith, my successor as the Class of 1957 Chair in Naval Heritage; Andrew Gordon, who held the chair, 2009-2011; and I each chaired a panel at the conference, plus each of them presented a paper.
Member of the group planning an interdisciplinary course on the War of 1812 for academic year 2013-2014.

Public Speaking:
“The War of 1812 in the Pacific” to the Guides and Staff at the Naval Academy Museum
“The War of 1812 at Sea” to the Ashby Ponds History Club
“Guadalcanal and the Solomon Islands: Turning Point in the Pacific War” Garfield Association

Miscellaneous Professional Activities:
Reviewed three books for scholarly journals in which I was identified as a Naval Academy faculty member; evaluated manuscripts for two academic publishers, and chaired the Endowment Committee of the North American Society for Oceanic History which presented recommenda- tions that were adopted at the organization’s annual meeting-conference in May 2013.
Continued working with graduate students at Texas A&M University, my home institution, including administering PhD qualifying examinations to four students, evaluating one M.A. thesis and two PhD dissertations including an oral defense of each, and conducting dissertation proposal defense conferences with two PhD candidates.

VI(a) 2012-2013 Academic Year Fellowship in Naval History - Mr. Jon Hendrickson

Jon Hendrickson earned his BA in History with Honors from Williams College in 2004 and his MA in History from Ohio State University in 2007; he is scheduled to receive the PhD in Military History and Modern Europe from Ohio State in June 2012. His dissertation, “‘We Are Now a Mediterranean Power’: Austria-Hungary, Italy, France, Great Britain, and the Race for Mediterranean Dominance, 1904-1914,” deals with the rivalry among the regional maritime powers following the Royal Navy’s decision to deploy all Dreadnought-class battleships to Scapa Flow. By focusing on the almost wholly overlooked naval relationship between Austria-Hungary and Italy, Hendrickson argues that the outbreak of World War I in 1914 was a product neither of entangling alliances, arms races, nor rigid war plans, but rather a truly singular, unpredictable event that upset and reversed
recent international trends.

Highly recommended as a uniquely promising scholar, Jon intends to use the Class of 57 Fellowship to further his research and transform his dissertation into a manuscript for publication.

Mr. Hendrickson submitted the below report on his year as our Research Fellow in Naval History to our Class Prez. It is published here in order that all might have a better idea as to what our Class Gift is producing.

Class of 1957 Postdoctoral Fellow In Naval History
Jon Hendrickson, 2012-13

My year as the Class of 1957 Postdoctoral Fellow was a great success on many levels. In the area of research, I prepared my dissertation, "'We are Now a Mediterranean Power': Naval Competition and Great Power Competition in the Mediterranean, 1905-1914," for publication, and it has just been accepted by the Naval Institute. They plan to publish it in the Spring of 2014, bringing that project to a close a hundred years after the events it described came to an end. The contacts I've made at the Naval Academy, in particular, the Class of 1957 Chair, James Bradford, have been instrumental in the success of this project. I have also conducted research on a pair of events that I encountered while writing my dissertation. The first, the court martial of Admiral Ernest Troubridge, forms the focal point of an article that I am currently in the process of rewriting. The basis of this rewrite came after the terrifically constructive criticism I received from the Department's Works in Progress forum. The help I received there set me on a very productive path. I also used the time granted by the fellowship to get my ducks in a row on another article -- that is, reviewing documents, looking into secondary literature, and other work -- on the role the Mediterranean played in the policies laid down by Theophile Delcasse, a French statesman that served as both the Foreign Minister and Naval Minister in the early 20th Century. And, most recently, James Bradford asked me to contribute a chapter to "America, Sea Power and the World," detailing how the US Navy reacted to the European naval races of the early 20th Century.
I also had the opportunity to teach two new classes. In the fall, I taught a group of fresh plebes the History of the US Navy, which was a terrific experience. In addition to the challenge of teaching a new class, which is always a challenge I enjoy, I got to watch a class of young people adapting to their new environment and learn how to fit themselves into the world of the Academy. It was an entertaining class, and I hope the plebes learned as much as I did. In the spring, I taught an upper division class on the First World War, which focused mostly on military history. In this class, I had the opportunity to, for the first time, teach history majors. This was another great experience for me, especially when one considers that the majority of my students were First Class Midshipmen, wrapping up their time at the Academy and preparing to enter the Fleet or the Marines. I was surprised by the lack of "senioritis," the disease that usually affects people in the last term of their college career. The class was pretty lively and interested in the subject, and any slowness was a result of my inexperience. I took the opportunity to try a new method of teaching a course, turning over a great deal of the class to students and allowing them and their research to drive the class, rather than writing a series of lectures. I learned a great deal from the class, and, if I have the opportunity to teach it again, those students will benefit from the hard work and lessons I learned from the Mids in that class.
Overall, my experience here at the Academy this year is not one I would trade for any other. Professionally, my research and teaching have improved dramatically since my arrival. Personally, I had a great time and made new friends in the faculty, and I look forward to seeing how the careers of the Mids I taught unfold. I had the opportunity to take in several sporting events -- particularly football games, but some boxing and basketball, too -- and see a little of life outside the classroom and Bancroft for Midshipmen. While only time will tell if I'll do the Class of 1957 proud by being the first Class Fellow in Naval History, I can safely say that I'll never forget the time their support gave me here in Annapolis.

VII. 2013-2014 Professor Gene Allen Smith

Born and raised in North Alabama, Gene grew up on a small farm that raised cattle, and grew corn and soybeans. With such a background it was no surprise that he wanted to be a veterinarian. Fortunately a college course in chemistry put him on the path to becoming a historian. Gene completed both his undergraduate (BA 1984) and graduate training (MA 1987, PhD 1991) in history at Auburn University (WAAAAR EAGLE!!! Inserted by WebMeister!!) in Auburn, Alabama. Studying early American history, he wrote a dissertation on the politics of the Jeffersonian gunboat program and then spent three years teaching at Montana State University-Billings. Since arriving at TCU during the fall of 1994, Gene has been teaching U.S. survey history and undergraduate and graduate level courses on early American history. He is currently serving as the Director of the Center for Texas Studies, and holds a joint appointment with the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History as the Curator of History.

Gene's major publications include the following books: The Slaves’ Gamble: Choosing Sides in the War of 1812 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013); Nexus of Empire: Negotiating Loyalty and Identity in the Revolutionary Borderlands, 1760s-1820s (University Press of Florida, 2010); A British Eyewitness at the Battle of New Orleans: The Memoir of Royal Navy Admiral Robert Aitchison, 1808-1827 (Historic New Orleans Collection, 2004); Thomas ap Catesby Jones: Commodore of Manifest Destiny (Naval Institute Press, 2000); a revised and updated edition of Arsène Lacarrière Latour's, Historical Memoir of the War in West Florida and Louisiana, 1814-15: With an Atlas (The Historic New Orleans Collection and the University Press of Florida, 1999); Filibusters and Expansionists: Jeffersonian Manifest Destiny, 1800-1821, with Frank L. Owsley, Jr., (University of Alabama Press, 1997); Iron and Heavy Guns: Duel Between the "Monitor" and "Merrimac", (McWhiney Foundation Press, 1996); and, "For the Purpose of Defense": The Politics of the Jeffersonian Gunboat Program (University of Delaware Press, 1995). He is presently working on a study of the Battle of New Orleans, as well as an American military history textbook. Additionally, Gene has received internal research awards from Montana State University-Billings and TCU, as well as fellowships from the Henry E. Huntington Library, the Virginia Historical Society, the U.S. Department of the Navy, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Gene is an active member of several organizations, most notably the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic-currently acting as the organization's Treasurer-and the North American Society for Oceanic History. He is also the co-editor of the Naval Institute Press’s book series “New Perspective on Maritime History and Nautical Archaeology,” and editor of the University Press of Florida book series “Contested Boundaries.” Married to Tracy, they have one son and two dogs (Mini & Archie); Gene's hobbies include watching sports (since I am no longer able to participate), cooking (as I still like to eat), traveling, and gardening.

Professor Smith’s Report on 2013-2014 Activities

This academic year has been enjoyable and I truly benefitted from the experience, despite the hardships I encountered. The Class of 1957 was truly welcoming and made this an incredible experience for me. My frustration stems from the Department of Defense budget restrictions, the government shut down in October 2013, and a winter that resulted in too many canceled classes. Neither the Class of 1957 nor the History Department could do anything about these situations. Despite these setbacks, my highlights of the year include:

Courses Taught:

Fall 2013:
HH 104: American Naval History (18 Students)
HH 346: The American Revolution and the Early Republic, 1760-1820 (18 Students)

Spring 2014:
HH 104: American Naval History (18 students)
HH 462B: The War of 1812 (12 students)

Midshipmen as Students
I have spent the last twenty years teaching at an exclusive private university in Texas (TCU) where we have generally affluent and moderately bright students. In this environment, I can expect students to work hard to succeed, and push them with additional assignments when I find them slacking or not reading. I found that was not an option here at USNA; a midshipman suggested to me that once I provided them with the syllabus, they allocated their time and schedule based on the assignments for all of their classes. When I made an additional assignment, they were frustrated and the quality of their work lapsed. I also learned that I had to reduce the number of pages for the weekly reading assignments.

I did assign several out-of-class writing projects, e.g., term paper, short essays based on reading, etc., which has also become required in all history classes. I found that their writing, while technically sound, did lack creativity and did not have the base of research that I generally expect. Students too frequently think they can do all of their research online, even when I arranged a library/archives tour to show them the base of materials at their fingertips. If my students at TCU do not do the primary research necessary in a paper, their grade will be adversely affected; had I done the same here at USNA, many of the students most likely would have failed the course. Additionally, I gave essay exams, providing them a list of essay prompts before the test and again they did not provide quality answers. From what one midshipman mentioned to me, they balance their effort across classes and as a result sometimes put less effort into an individual class so they can improve in another class.

It is somewhat difficult to compare midshipmen with students at Texas Christian University. TCU is about 60% female, and my classes often have 60-70% women. Here at USNA, I had only four female students the entire year—three in my fall HH104, and one in my fall HH346. I am convinced that having women in class creates an environment of civility and usually drives male students to perform better. My Naval History was a plebe class taught to sections of 18 at the Academy, while my freshman survey American History classes at TCU often have as many as 40. The enrollments in my upper division courses were 18 during the fall and 12 during the spring, and included students from disciplines across the yard; my upper level TCU classes are approximately the same size. In these classes, the midshipmen performed a bit lower on exams, but did better on out-of-class writing assignments. Although they do not conduct deep research, they know how to write papers because they have done more research papers than TCU students. I also believe USNA history students received more feedback from their professors on those papers than TCU students receive. This attention is a result of the dedication of Academy faculty to working closely with every student while at TCU contact between undergraduate students and faculty members depends more on the student seeking out the instructor to discuss research materials and comments on papers returned.

One of the most revealing things, USNA history majors do not take as many advanced history courses as TCU history majors. Students who enroll in my TCU American Revolution class may have also taken classes in British, French, Spanish or Latin American history of the period. This breadth, created by the numbers of hours required by the major, give TCU students a stronger background in the subject field than midshipmen.

In conclusion, I find that the midshipmen are bright but are often weak in history, geography, and current events. They are willing to work, but often no harder than necessary given their other assignments. They also appreciate special attention, support, and encouragement. Finally, they will rise to new levels of expectation when presented with the challenge.

History Department Participation:
Attendance at HH104 “Charm School” (and leading one session) during which instructors discuss strategies for teaching the course, potential assignments, themes to be developed, etc. This proved beneficial to me and to the other rotational officers. Based on my wide reading in American history, I was often able to provide broader context for Naval History.

Other activities include attending department “Works in Progress” sessions, reading article manuscripts for two colleagues, serving on the student prize committee, and on the committee to select the 2014-15 Class of 1957 Distinguished Chair in Naval Heritage.


One of the great advantages of this position is that because it does not involve any serious administrative or committee duties, the Chair holder can work on their scholarship, and present a number of public addresses where I was introduced as the Class of 1957 chair holder. Among these public addresses were the following:
1. McMullen Keynote Address on Naval History: “Brown Water, Blue Water: The Naval Battle for New Orleans.” McMullen Naval History Symposium, United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, September 19-21, 2013.

2. Presentation, “The Slaves’ Gamble: Choosing Sides in the War of 1812” to the Capital Historical Society, Washington, D.C., May 21, 2014.

3. Presentation, “The Slaves’ Gamble: Choosing Sides in the War of 1812” to the Friends of the Maryland State Archives, Annapolis, Maryland, May 12, 2014.

4. Presentation, “The Slaves’ Gamble: Choosing Sides in the War of 1812” for the First Saturday Program at Andersonville National Historic Site, Andersonville, Georgia, May 3, 2014.

5. Presentation, “British Destruction in the Chesapeake: The War of 1812,” to the Historical Society of Kent County, Chestertown, Maryland, April 25, 2014.

6. Presentation, “The Slaves’ Gamble: Choosing Sides in the War of 1812” to the Historical Society of Kent County, Georgetown, Maryland, April 24, 2014.

7. VADM Ralph L. and Frances Shifley Lecture at the U.S. Naval Academy Museum: “The Slaves’ Gamble: Choosing Sides in the War of 1812.” Annapolis, Maryland, April 23, 2014.

8. Presentation, “The Slaves’ Gamble: Choosing Sides in the War of 1812” at Sotterley Plantation, Solomon’s Island, Maryland, April 13, 2014.

9. Presentation, “The Slaves’ Gamble: Choosing Sides in the War of 1812” at the University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio, April 8, 2014.

10. Presentation, “The Slaves’ Gamble: Choosing Sides in the War of 1812” at Youngstown State University, Youngstown, Ohio, April 7, 2014.

11. Keynote Address, “The Slaves’ Gamble: Choosing Sides in the War of 1812” at the FSU History Graduate Student Conference, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, March 29, 2014.

12. Presentation, “The Slaves’ Gamble: Choosing Sides in the War of 1812” at Valdosta State University, Valdosta, Georgia, March 27, 2014.

13. Presentation, “The Slaves’ Gamble: Choosing Sides in the War of 1812” at Gunston Hall, Mason Neck, Virginia, March 9, 2014.

14. Presentation, “The Slaves’ Gamble: Choosing Sides in the War of 1812” at Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, February 18, 2014.

15. Presentation, “The Slaves’ Gamble: Choosing Sides During the War of 1812” to the Department of History, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, November 25, 2013.

16. Chiles Florida History Lecture: “The Slaves’ Gamble” Choosing Sides During the War of 1812,” at Florida Southern College, Lakeland, Florida, November 21, 2013.

17. Presentation, “The Slaves’ Gamble: Choosing Sides During the War of 1812” to the Alexandria Historical Society, Alexandria, Virginia, October 23, 2013.

18. Presentation, “First Great American Victory: New Orleans, the Gulf Coast, and a New United States” to the Michigan War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission’s “Remember the Forgotten Conflict: Reflections of the War of 1812” Conference, Detroit, Michigan, October 14, 2013.

19. Presentation, “The Slaves’ Gamble: Choosing Sides During the War of 1812” to the 17th National War of 1812 Symposium, Baltimore, Maryland, October 5, 2013.

20. Banner Lecture: “The Slaves’ Gamble: Choosing Sides During the War of 1812” at the Virginia Historical Society, Richmond, Virginia, September 4, 2013.

21. Presentation, “The Slaves’ Gamble: Choosing Sides During the War of 1812” to the St. Michaels Maritime Museum, St. Michaels, Maryland, August 24, 2013.

22. Presentation, “The Slaves’ Gamble: Choosing Sides During the War of 1812” to the Niagara Historical Society, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada, August 15, 2013.

23. Presentation, “The Slaves’ Gamble: Choosing Sides During the War of 1812” to the USS Constitution and the War of 1812 National Endowment for the Humanities, Landmarks of American History and Culture Teacher Education Workshop, Boston, Massachusetts, August 7, 2013.

24. Presentation, The Slaves’ Gamble: Choosing Sides in the War of 1812 to the Southern Maryland School District Social Studies Teachers, Solomon’s Island, Maryland, August 5, 2013.

25. Presentation, The Slaves’ Gamble: The British attack against St. Michaels, Maryland at the Chesapeake Maritime Museum, St. Michaels, Maryland, July 27, 2013.

In addition to these many public presentations, I secured a contract for my co-authored U.S. military history textbook with Oxford University Press, which will have a naval dimension unlike many military textbooks. In my proposal I included an acknowledgement to the Class of 1957 and to my position as Chairholder; I will repeat this claim when the book is published, most likely during the fall of 2016. I also completed several book chapters and a magazine article on the September 1814 British naval attack against Fort Bowyer on Mobile Bay.

I truly enjoyed working with those colleagues in the History Department whom I only knew by their reputation. I am very impressed with the scholarship and commitment of this group. The USNA History Department is a high-energy, dedicated, professional group of scholars and teachers who take their work seriously without taking themselves seriously. With remarkably few exceptions, there is a genuine sense of a shared mission within this department that is too often absent in departments elsewhere. I am honored to have been part of this academic family for the last ten months.

In addition, I enjoyed meeting and getting to know several members of the Class of 1957. I was able to attend two class luncheons, and attended a class tailgates during football season. Unfortunately, no class members were able to visit my classes during the year.

Miscellaneous Professional Activities:
Reviewed seven books for scholarly journals, published four on-line articles for the National Park Service, and evaluated three manuscripts for academic publishers. Additionally, I served as Vice President of the North American Society for Oceanic History and as Treasure of the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic.

I continued working with graduate students at TCU, my home institution, including administering PhD qualifying examinations to one student, serving on the examination committee of one student, and reading dissertation chapters for one of my advisees and another student. Graduate students seem to find you wherever you go.

Finally, I want to thank the Class of 1957 for its generosity. The creation and funding of this Chair, and of the Post-doctorate Fellowship, have made, and will continue to make, a meaningful and substantial contribution to the Naval Academy’s academic excellence.
Humbly yours,

Gene Allen Smith

VIII. 2014-2015 Professor William F. Trimble

Doctor William F. Trimble of Auburn University was the holder of our Chair of Naval Heritage for the Academic Year 2014-2015. He submitted the below to our Prez and is published here so that the Class might be aware of the events of the past year.

AY 2014-2015 Final Report (June 2, 2015)

I want to emphasize up front what a pleasure it’s been for me to have the opportunity to work at the Academy and with the service about which I’ve been researching and writing for more than 30 years. On another level, my wife and I have thoroughly enjoyed living in Annapolis. We’ve visited here often over the last couple of decades, so we already knew and liked the place, but staying here for a year has been a special experience that we will always treasure. We’re going to miss the place.

During the year I taught two sections of HH104, History of the U.S. Navy and two sections of HH386F, History of Naval Aviation. All of the sections were full, with 25 students each. I find the interaction with students, especially freshmen, invigorating. The classroom keeps me on my toes and in touch with new generations of students. Naval Academy plebes are across the board better students than freshmen at Auburn, but the best students at the Academy are not better than the best students at Auburn. They’ve just been more self-selected and screened than they are at a major university in the Deep South. I’m also much impressed with the midshipmen’s dedication and commitment to the Navy and the country. To see that among young people makes me confident about the future. There may be the same feelings at Auburn, but they’re much less evident.

I’ve always tried to make history courses broad-brushed exercises in critical thinking, using past events as case studies in problem solving. I hope I accomplished that in my courses at the Academy. I used a discussion approach, which demanded that students read in advance and come to class prepared to participate. It’s always a challenge, and some classes work better than others, but I vastly prefer discussions to lectures, despite what sometimes winds up being uneven coverage of the material. The students also had to do a good deal of writing in both courses—both in class with essay exams and out of class with term papers on specific topics I assigned. I tailored the term paper assignments so that Naval Aviation students, for instance, had to meet higher standards that did the plebes in Naval History. Both courses, but especially HH104, made me think about new ways of approaching my teaching at Auburn. I’ll take back with me ideas about American naval history that I can use in my freshman Technology and Civilization and upper-division World Naval History courses.

I did not have as much time as I would have preferred to work on my book project—a professional biography of Adm. John S. McCain Sr. But I did find time to draft a chapter, and to continue research at the National Archives, Library of Congress, the Nimitz Library, and the Navy History and Heritage Command. I also wrote a chapter for James Bradford’s edited American naval history textbook, which will be adopted by some teaching HH104 next academic year. And I wrote a series of introductions to a Naval Institute history of naval aviation app for Apple I-pads. Last, to keep up with things at home, I helped two Auburn graduate students through their dissertations and the completion of their PhDs.

I found the Academy’s history department and its faculty to be particularly collegial. They welcomed me into the culture of the Academy, freely shared with me their ideas about naval and naval aviation history, critiqued my draft McCain chapter in one of their Works in Progress, and generally made me feel at home both professionally and personally. It was especially satisfying to work closely with Jason Smith, the Class of 1957 postdoc and an exceptionally bright and enthusiastic young scholar.

Finally, let me express my gratitude and thanks to the Class of 1957 for their generosity in making this appointment possible. It has been a truly rewarding professional and personal experience.

Professor Trimble’s most recent book is Hero of the Air: Glenn Curtiss and the Birth of Naval Aviation (Naval Institute Press, 2010). His book Jerome C. Hunsaker and the Rise of American Aeronautics was the winner of the 2003 Gardner-Lasser Award presented by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics for the best book in the history of aeronautics over a five-year period. He is also the author of High Frontier: A History of Aeronautics in Pennsylvania, Wings for the Navy: A History of the Naval Aircraft Factory, Admiral William A. Moffett: Architect of Naval Aviation, and Attack from the Sea: A History of the U.S. Navy's Seaplane Striking Force, among other books and articles. In 2011, he won the Admiral Arthur W. Radford Award for Excellence in Naval Aviation History and Literature from the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. He is currently completing a book manuscript on World War II carrier task force commander Adm. John S. McCain, Sr. He served as the History Department chair for two successive terms from 2000 to 2006.

• 1974 PhD, University of Colorado, Boulder
• 1970 MA, University of Colorado, Boulder
• 1969 BA, University of Colorado, Boulder

Recent Publications

• Hero of the Air: Glenn Curtiss and the Birth of Naval Aviation (Naval Institute Press, 2010)
• Attack from the Sea: A History of the U.S. Navy's Seaplane Striking Force (Naval Institute Press, 2005)
Jerome C. Hunsaker and the Rise of American Aeronautics (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 2002)

Course Syllabuses (Syllabi, perhaps if you're much more erudite than the great group of us!)

American Naval History
HH104 Sec 1201
Spring 2015

Kenneth J. Hagan,
This People’s Navy: The Making of American Sea Power
Craig Symonds, Decision at Sea: Five Naval Battles that Shaped American History
Craig Symonds, Naval Institute Historical Atlas of the United States Navy

Description: This course will survey U.S. naval history from its origins in the 18th century to the present. The course examines the antecedents, origins, and development of the United States Navy and Marine Corps, focusing on the evolution of strategy, tactics, and technology, geographical factors, the intersection of navies and foreign policy, the emergence of the concept of “sea power,” social changes, the emergence of the United States as a global power, and key people who shaped naval history. Much of the course will cover developments during “interwar” years, on the assumption that these periods saw most of the thinking and material needed to fight the next war. Coverage for each period of peace begins with an analysis of American interests as understood at the time, perceived challenges to those interests, defense policy developed to protect those interests, and the role of the Navy within that policy. Similarly, the study of each war begins with an analysis of objectives and an assessment of the strategy developed to pursue those aims. Emphasis is then placed on the Navy’s role in that strategy and an evaluation of its success or failures to reach its objectives.

Objective of the Course: By studying the major events, personalities, and trends in American Naval History the student should:   (1) understand the causes, conduct and consequences of the major wars fought by the United States; (2) understand, summarize, and explain factors contributing to America's growth to world power status, as well as analyze America’s growth as a global power and the Navy’s and Marine Corps’ role in that development; (3) identify major historical trends and developments, and describe them by explaining their major features and effects; (4) gain an understanding of how the past helps to shape the present and the future; (5) develop skills in reading comprehension as well as in being able to express ideas in writing clearly, precisely, and in an organized fashion; (6) Describe, explain, and apply to historical examples basic concepts inherent to the profession of arms, such tactics, doctrine, strategy, technology, logistics, and civil-military relations. Identify factors that shape change over time; to explain historical narratives; and to analyze historical evidence as well as apply it to historical questions. It is important for students taking this course to understand that it has strong discussion and writing components, Students will have to make sure that they have done the reading before each class and they must be prepared to discuss various issues and questions raised by the material they have read.

History of Naval Aviation
Mr. Trimble
HH386F Sec. 3401
Spring 2015

Richard C. Knott,
A Heritage of Wings: An Illustrated History of Navy Aviation ISBN
Mark R. Peattie,
Sunburst: The Rise of Japanese Naval Air Power, 1909-1941 (Paper) 3
David Wragg,
A Century of British Naval Aviation

Description: This course will explore the development of naval aviation from its beginnings in the early 20th century to the present day. The course will be international in scope, focusing on key technological developments, organizational changes, interservice problems, major individuals, and the emergence of carrier doctrine. Although the course will deal with the contribution of naval aviation to various conflicts, notably the two world wars, much of the concentration will be on peacetime developments, policy decisions, and the political ramifications of naval aviation.

Objective of the Course: By studying the major events and trends in naval aviation history students will: (1) identify key historical trends and developments, and describe them by explaining their major features and effects; (2) understand how the past helps to shape the present and the future; (3) develop skills in reading comprehension as well as in verbal and written expressions of knowledge; (4) understand such concepts as doctrine, strategy, operational art, technology, civil-military relations, and politics.
In addition, as one of the electives in the USNA History Department, this course aims to assist midshipmen to: (1) develop proficiency with historical methods, including primary source research and analysis and historiographical analysis, and become adept at marshaling diverse evidence to support arguments; (2) think and write historically, including understanding and analyzing context, cause and effect relationships, and change over time; (3) comprehend the trends, forces, and individuals that shaped the past as well as the historical roots of contemporary affairs; (4) understand and appreciate the diversity of the human experience across time and place; and (5) understand the importance of historical study to the profession of arms.
It is important for students taking this course to understand that it has strong discussion and writing components, Students will have to make sure that they have done the reading before each class and they must be prepared to discuss various issues and questions raised by the material they have read. If you've read this far, you must remind me of that fact when next we meet and then say the Magic Phrase which is "Rumpelskin - You owe me a drink!" and I'll buy you and your wife, Girlfriend, Lady of the Night a drink, maybe even two. Beat Army!!

VIII A 2014-2016 Dr. Jason Wirth Smith - Post Doctoral Research Fellow

No CV available at present. His syllabus below. Exam follows syllabus.

HH104-1204: American Naval History
United States Naval Academy
T/TH 0755-0910, Sampson 118
Spring 2016

Dr. Jason W. Smith Email:
Office Hours: by appointment Office: Sampson 337B

The United States possesses the largest, most powerful navy in the world. Today, despite numerous threats, it is unmatched in its ability to project military power over the world’s oceans. But it has not always been that way. In fact, for much of its history, the Navy has been a comparatively small force. An officer in the 1812 era would hardly have recognized his own service in 1900 to say nothing of today’s large, technologically-complex force made up of women and men from diverse places, socio-economic statuses, races, and ethnicities. How do we explain this vast change over time? This is the broad question around which this course is organized. The answer, as the naval historian Kenneth Hagan has written, lies in the tensions over naval strategy and policy that have shaped the American navy from its founding to the present day. How large of a navy should the United States have and how should it be used? The debate over these fundamental questions is the theme of this course and the nexus around which all other aspects of American naval affairs revolve.

The course will introduce you to the broad themes of American naval history from the colonial era to the present day, while putting naval affairs, during both peace and wartime, in military, political, economic, and cultural context. Throughout, we will cover naval tactics, strategy, and doctrine, civil-military relations, command leadership, science and exploration, the professionalization of the officer corps, technological change, and social reform in explaining the rise of the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps. The goal is to introduce you to these issues, to build your analytical and oral and written communication skills, and, finally, to give you a greater sense of the professional identity and tradition of which you are now a part.

Core Objectives:
1. Historical competence. Identify factors that shape change over time; to explain historical narratives; and to analyze historical evidence as well as apply it to historical questions (verbatim from the common History Core Student Learning Outcome A– common to all three core courses).
2. Communications competence. Express their ideas in writing clearly, precisely, and in an organized fashion (verbatim from common History Core Student Learning Outcome B – common to all three core courses).
3. Describe, explain, and apply to historical examples basic concepts inherent to the profession of arms, such tactics, doctrine, strategy, technology, logistics, and civil-military relations.
4. Summarize and explain factors contributing to America's growth to world power status.
5. Analyze and explain the causes, conduct, and consequences of major wars the United States Navy has fought.

Hagan, Kenneth J. This People’s Navy: The Making of American Sea Power
Symonds, Craig L. Decision at Sea: Five Naval Battles that Shaped American History

Class Participation 140 Points
Weekly In-Class Primary Source Responses 120 Points
Individual Research Paper 130 Points
Group Paper/Meeting 100 Points
Weekly Journal Entries 130 Points
Midterm Exam 90 Points
Final Exam 90 Points =800 Total Points

Class Participation
Class participation is the most important part of your grade. Collectively, it is worth more points than any other aspect of evaluation. I am most interested in the quality and consistency of your participation in primary source discussions, exam reviews, and in asking thoughtful questions about class material. Each week, I will award ten points for satisfactory class participation, by which I mean active engagement with me and with other students. Please note that sleeping in class will not be permitted. If it becomes a problem, you will lose class participation points. If you are feeling particularly tired, you may stand at the back of the room. Please also note that computer use for any activity other than class-related material will not be permitted. Failure to be awake and focused on class activities will result in a loss of the day’s class participation grade.

Weekly In-Class Primary Source Responses
Each class will begin with a primary source discussion related to the day’s subject. A primary source is anything produced in the past, which historians use to make sense of it. Primary sources include correspondence, official reports, speeches, memoirs, charts and maps, newspapers, cartoons, songs, images, etc., that are contemporary to a given time period. At the beginning of class, I will display a primary source along with two or three questions to consider. Each Tuesday, I will have you write a short, one-page response to those questions in class. In these primary source responses, you should answer the questions to the best of your ability by analyzing the source and drawing on specific evidence from it to support your points. I will collect them each Tuesday and return them to you the following Thursday. They are worth 10 points each, breaking down as follows: 5 points for answering the questions directly and thoughtfully; 3 points for using evidence from the source to support your answers; 2 points for attention to structure, grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc. There will be a total of 12 primary source responses. Note that there will be no primary source responses in weeks 1, 2, 7, and 16. 10 Points x 12 Responses = 120 Points.

Research Paper
Students will be assigned groups to edit and revise a section of the entry on the “Battle of Santiago de Cuba,” fought between the United States and Spanish navies on July 3, 1898 based on research in secondary and primary sources. This is designed to be a semester-long project with the aim of contributing to the writing of naval history in an anonymous, but peer-reviewed forum that will reach a wider public audience while advancing the course’s core objectives. By accepting the terms of this project, students agree that their research and writing will be published anonymously on with no credit or compensation given to them other than the satisfaction of contributing to the writing of American naval history. The assignment will proceed in several phases with each group submitting 1. an annotated bibliography to include at least three secondary sources and one primary source; 2. a rough draft of individual paper; 3. a five-page final draft of the individual paper 4. a three-page final draft of the group’s entry based on the group’s collaborative work. Each entry should be framed by the broad questions of Who? What? When? Where? And Why is this Historically Important? An annotated bibliography will be due in class on February 18. A complete rough draft will be due on March 24. Final drafts of the individual paper will be due on April 14. Group papers are due on the last class meeting, May 3. The individual assignment is worth 130 Points, breaking down as follows: 10 Points for the bibliography and appropriate use of sources in the paper; 25 Points for the rough draft submitted on time and in complete fashion; 15 Points each for answering the five questions outlined above; 20 Points for spelling, punctuation, grammar, style, and structure; the group paper is worth 95 points according to the same criteria as the individual paper above plus 5 points for attending a group meeting outside of class to discuss your group’s progress. Individual research papers must be submitted by hard copy, group papers must be submitted digitally. You will be assigned a subject from the list below:

Preliminary Context
American Forces
Spanish Forces
Sampson-Schley Controversy

Weekly Journal Entries
For this ongoing assignment, you must purchase a bound notebook of your choosing (you will also use this same notebook for primary source responses). In it, you will record your thoughts on the week’s assigned reading. I encourage you to read critically and curiously. You might ask yourself questions like: What issues seem most important to the author and why? What evidence does he use to support his argument and is it convincing? What are the book’s strengths and weaknesses? What left you confused and why? What intrigued you and why? What bored you and why? You might reflect on the command decisions of naval officers. What is the author’s estimation of them? Do you agree or disagree? You might consider more general questions too, such as: Why is history important? Why is it important for midshipmen? Why is it important for naval officers? How is it used at the Academy, both in and outside the classroom? You are embarking on an intense, unique experience, and one in which you are indoctrinated—literally surrounded—by history, heritage, and tradition. Record your experiences and your thoughts on these issues in the pages of this journal, particularly as they relate to your study of naval history. I will collect, comment on, and grade your journal entries every Tuesday along with your primary source responses, and return them to you the following Thursday. Each journal entry is worth 10 points. Evaluation is based on whether and to what degree you reflect on the assigned readings and your experiences in and outside the classroom. 10 points x 13 journal submissions = 130 points

You will have two exams, consisting of 10 short answer IDs and one essay. One week prior to each exam, I will give you a study guide on which you will find a list of terms and essay topics to consider in preparing for the exam. On each exam, I will give you 15 terms, from which you may choose 10 to identify. Each ID is worth 3 points. I award 2 points for answering Who/What/When/Where and 1 point for discussing the term’s historical significance—by which I mean, why is it important? You may choose one of two essays on which to write. IDs are worth 30 points total. The essay is worth 60 points. The exams are not cumulative. Thus, the first exam will be on material covered from weeks 1-6, the second exam will cover material from weeks 7-15.

Late Work
I discourage submitting work late, but I will accept it. For late research paper drafts, I will deduct 4 points; for late final papers, I will deduct 10 points; for late annotated bibliographies, I will deduct 5 points. The weekly primary source writing response and journal entries can be made-up as well. The penalty for turning in a response late is 2 points. Unless you are very sick or already have some pre-approved absence (sports, for example), I expect that you will attend each class meeting and submit assignments on time.

Academic Honesty, Cheating, and Plagiarism
These are serious offenses. Any time you use someone else’s ideas or words without crediting them, you are plagiarizing. Issues of academic honesty, cheating, and plagiarism on assignments and exams will result in failure for the assignment or exam, which may result in failure for the class. Since these issues are also honor violations, you will be referred to an honor board for disciplinary action. Please see the Nimitz Library’s website for further information on plagiarism, its definition, and its consequences:

Syllabus as Contract:
By taking this class, you agree to all the assignments and policies outlined here. Aside from the occasional sickness or weather event, which may cause a class cancellation, you can expect that I will follow the course schedule listed below and expect nothing more from you beyond that which is outlined here.

Week Date Discussion and Lecture Topic Reading Assigned Important Dates
1 1/14 Introduction: The Uses of Naval History
2 1/19 Give Me a Fast Ship:
The American Revolution at Sea Hagan, xi-xiii, 1-20 Submit Journal
1/21 The Coast of High Barbary:
The Birth of the US Navy in the Mediterranean Hagan, 21-53
3 1/26 From Keel to Quarterdeck:
Life Aboard a Man-of-War in the Age of Sail
Primary Source Response #1 Symonds, 1-19 Submit Journal
1/28 Free Trade and Sailors’ Rights:
Neutrality, Impressment, and Honor in the Early Republic Symonds, 23-79
4 2/2 Commerce and Conquest:
The Navy and the American Maritime World in the Antebellum Era
Primary Source #2 Hagan, 54-90 Submit Journal
2/4 Introduction to Historical Research Hagan, 91-124 Meet at Nimitz Library Lobby
5 2/9 The Common Highway:
Exploration and Naval Science in the Antebellum Era
Primary Source #3 Hagan, 125-160 Submit Journal
2/11 A Society of Gentlemen:
Social Reform and Professionalization in the Antebellum Era Hagan, 161-192
6 2/16 War on the Waters:
The Union and Confederate Navies
Primary Source #4 Symonds, 83-137 Submit Journal
2/18 Exam 1 Review Review for Exam Annotated Bibliography Due

7 2/23 Exam 1 Review for Exam Exam 1
2/25 From Sail to Steam:
The Navy in Transition Hagan, 193-227
8 3/1 Research Paper Prep Work on Rough Draft Submit Journal
3/3 Controlling the Great Common:
Mahan, Sea Power, and the New Navy Work on Rough Draft
9 3/8 Remember the Maine, to Hell with Spain:
American Empire and the War with Spain
Primary Source #5 Symonds, 141-195 Submit Journal
3/10 A Feast, a Frolic, or a Fight:
The Navy and Marine Corps in the Caribbean and Pacific Work on Rough Draft
3/15 No Class: Spring Break
3/17 No Class: Spring Break
10 3/22 Sacred Vessels:
Guerre d’Escadre and the Cult of the Battleship
Primary Source #6 Hagan, 228-258 Submit Journal
3/24 The Enemy Below, Part I:
The Great War at Sea and the Forging of an Anglo-American Alliance Work on Rough Draft Rough Draft Due
11 3/29 Innovation and Interregnum:
Technology and Doctrine in the Interwar Navy and Marine Corps
Primary Source #7 Hagan, 259-280 Submit Journal
3/31 The Gathering Storm:
War Plan Orange and the Pearl Harbor Attack Hagan, 281-304
12 4/5 The Enemy Below, Part II:
The Battle of the Atlantic
Primary Source #8 Work on Final Paper Submit Journal
4/7 Two-Block Fox:
The Pacific War and the Rise of the Aircraft Carrier Symonds, 199-262
13 4/12 War Without Mercy:
The Marine Corps and Amphibious Warfare in the Pacific
Primary Source #9 Hagan, 305-332 Submit Journal
4/14 Revolt of the Admirals:
Defense Policy and Inter-Service Rivalry in the Atomic Age Work on Final Paper Individual Research Paper Due
14 4/19 Shield of the Republic:
The Navy in the Cold War
Primary Source #10 Hagan, 333-361 Submit Journal
4/21 Tanker Wars:
Operation Praying Mantis and the Navy in the Middle East Symonds, 265-320
15 4/26 Field Trip: Navy Museum, Monuments
Primary Source #11 Hagan, 362-387 Meet at Navy Museum
Submit Journal
4/28 In Search of a Mission:
The Navy in a Postmodern World
Primary Source #12 Hagan, 389-390;
Symonds, 321-341
16 5/3 Final Exam Review Group Research Paper Due
Exam 2
5/5-5/12 Exam 2 – TBA

Exam 2

I will assign 2 points for identifying the Who/What/When/Where and 1 point for telling my why the ID is historically significant. Each ID is worth 3 points. Altogether, IDs are worth 30 points. Choose 10 of the following 15 IDs:

USS Wampanoag
ABCD Ships
Alfred Thayer Mahan
Battle of Manila Bay
Roosevelt Corollary
Banana Wars
Unrestricted Submarine Warfare
Naval Act of 1916
Washington Naval Conference
War Plan Orange
Battle of Leyte Gulf
USS United States
600-Ship Navy
Operation Earnest Will
Paula Coughlin

The essay is worth 60 points. I will award 25 points for answering the question directly. I will award 25 points for the evidence you use to support your answer. I will award 10 points for attention to structure, style, clarity, spelling, grammar, etc. Choose 1 of the following 2 essay questions:

1. Historians have argued that American naval history turns on the questions of how large a navy to have and how it should be used. Citing at least four specific examples, how did the Navy’s wartime strategy change from the Civil War to Operation Praying Mantis and in what ways did naval strategy remain the same?

2. The twentieth century saw extraordinary leaps in naval technology. Citing at least four specific examples, what were the most important changes in naval technology, why were they important, and what factors influenced those changes in the century approximately from the Civil War to the Vietnam War?

Is this Exam not a real Ball-Buster??

I never laid a hand or anything else on Paula Coughlin, Dammit!!

If you've read this far, you must remind me of that fact when next we meet and then say the Second Magic Phrase which is "Rumpelskin - You owe me two drinks!" and I'll buy you and your Wife, Girlfriend, and/or Lady of the Night two drinks, maybe even a bottle of cheap red wine. Beat Army!!