Navy Power A View From The Air

Seventy-five years ago a powered kite landed on a cruiser. From that stunt grew the weaponry that has defined modern naval supremacy.

For hundreds of years ships of war were of wood, moved by the wind. Their long-range weapons were simple cannon, while at short ranges, with ships locked alongside one another in deadly embrace, the sailors used cutlasses, sabers, pikes, and small arms. The strategy of sea power consisted of maneuvering, out of sight and beyond knowledge, into position where the power of the guns and their trained crews could become decisive.

The Penobscot Fiasco

It hardly seemed possible that a British garrison of seven hundred men could withstand a siege by the greatest American armada of the Revolution. But luck was not with the Americans that summer

“When the British came I was at Fox Island, with my uncle—where we went fishing in an open boat. We had news of their coming, and when the fleet came in sight, uncle said, ‘there comes the devils.’ We started for home and when the fleet followed us up we knew it was them.” Read more »