In today’s episode I discuss Captain Wayne Hughes (USN) book Fleet Tactics and Naval Operations with Lieutenant Colonel Nathaniel Lauterbach. Fleet Tactics is the US Navy’s unofficial Bible for understanding the tactical logic of naval combat. In this episode we explore why Marine Corps officers need to think more like sailors. We discuss why many so called “principles of war” and tactical maxims invented by soldiers do not make sense in the world of the sailor, why naval warfare is inherently a process of attrition, why the offense has the stronger hand in naval conflict, and how these tactical dynamics might lead to strategic instability in a competition with China.
Lieutenant Colonel Lauterbach is a career naval aviator serving in the US Marine Corps. He has served five combat tours, piloted Huey helicopters, and served in staff positions in both acquisitions and command and control roles. He is a recent graduate of the School of Advanced Warfare (“SAW School”) and currently serves as a planning officer for the Marines’ 2nd Aviation Wing in North Carolina.
Other things mentioned:
Andrew Krepenivich, Maritime Competition in a Mature Precision-Strike Regime (2015)
Edward Miller, War Plan Orange: The U.S. Strategy to Defeat Japan, 1897-1945 (2007)
S.C.M. Paine, The Wars for Asia (2014) and The Japanese Empire: Grand Strategy from the Meiji Restoration to the Pacific War (2017)
Stormtrooper Tactics in WWI
Battle of Midway-Animated
Battle of Inchon/Operation Chromite
Desert Storm–The Air Campaign, Day I
Desert Storm–The Ground Campaign, Day 2
Operation Iraqi Freedom