The Washington Naval Treaty

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After World War I, the Washington Naval Treaty was signed by Britain, the United States, Italy, France, and Japan and severely limited the navies of the five signing governments. Because the Washington Naval Treaty placed limitations on size, armament, and location of carriers, battleships, and cruisers, the U.S. Navy had to design and redesign new ships that were either lightweight, under 10,000 tons, or dual purposed, such as the flight deck cruiser. The fortification clause forced the U.S. Navy to face the problem of how to protect Pacific interests, such as the naval base and fleet in the Philippines and Guam while at the same time not violating the treaty. The problem was simple: too much sea area to cover, not enough ships to patrol it.…show more content…
Navy saw the limitations of the treaty as hindrances towards progress, but in reality, the limitations allowed creative ideas to take root and innovation to take place . Innovation during the interwar period, from 1918 until 1941, allowed the U.S. Navy to develop the fleet that defeated the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN), in order to emerge as the world’s premier naval service. One of the most remarkable advances that took place during that time was the development of naval aviation, a new and unlimited field. To circumvent the limitations of the treaty, the U.S. Naval fleet was redesigned and improved. The legitimized threat of the IJN and the unity of effort provided by the U.S. Navy’s General Board provided the environment for the U.S. Navy to ‘get it right’ in terms of technological advances for naval aviation and fleet…show more content…
The General Board was comprised of senior Naval Officers, both Navy and Marine Corps, and acted as a principle advisor to the Secretary of the Navy. The General Board coordinated strategic efforts, doctrine, and fleet design between the Naval War College, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, and the principle Bureaus to include the Bureau of Aeronautics headed by Admiral William Moffett (BuAer). The limitations of developing a “treaty fleet” required testing and development from a land-based mindset to a sea-based mindset. War-gaming between orange, Japan, and blue, U.S., forces was conducted by the Naval War College to prepare for future conflict and develop carrier doctrine. The Naval War College was the foundation for the Navy’s transformation and innovation efforts during the interwar

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