The Advantage Of Naval Warfare During The American Civil War

Superior Essays
When the American Civil War is brought up, most will recall land battles like at Gettysburg and Antietam; you will be hard-pressed to find the average person evoking Mobile Bay or Charleston Harbor. Most famous is the Civil War that occurred on land; yet, the Civil War that occurred on the sea and in the rivers was a decisive factor to the Union victory and Confederate loss. The American Civil War is known as the “first modern war”, namely because the Industrial Revolution was occurring at the same time. With the Industrial Revolution came new technologies, including the advent of steam power, which resulted in adjustments of the strategy and tactics in naval warfare. Because of this, one of the major factors contributing to who “wins” and …show more content…
That is, of course, until the Industrial Revolution. With advances in the accuracy, range, and quality of weapons systems and artillery, the advantage swung almost entirely to the defensive. Neither side realized this, however, until the war was already over and both sides suffered the many casualties that resulted in that. What gave the Union the upper hand, besides the more advanced Navy and greater numbers, was their better understanding and implementation of new technologies. With the invention of steam power, it became much easier to navigate rivers and go upstream and against currents. The North recognized this and applied it to their overarching strategy, which culminated in the Anaconda Plan. The Anaconda Plan essentially involved creating a four-front war for the Confederacy by blockading its coasts and flanking its Western front by the …show more content…
This involved using steam-powered boats to be able to navigate the rivers and create a fourth front to the war for the Confederacy. On this front includes some of the best interservice cooperation and the first combined operations for the United States in history. Without the help of the Union Army in fighting through the twisted channels and shallow waters, a fourth front may not have been possible, as there were times when the army had to literally dig naval vessels out of the mud, as in the Siege of Vicksburg (Brodie). As the Confederate forces were too disorganized and thinly spread across four different fronts, any counteractive combined operations were not a possibility. Interservice cooperation is one of the eight principles of war and is one of the pillars necessary for victory in the majority of cases

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