The Origins of the Grand Alliance: Anglo-American Military Collaboration from the Panay Incident to Pearl Harbor

The Origins of the Grand Alliance: Anglo-American Military Collaboration from the Panay Incident to Pearl Harbor

by William T. Johnsen


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On December 12, 1937, Japanese aircraft sank the American gunboat Panay, which was anchored in the Yangtze River outside Nanjing, China. Although the Japanese apologized, the attack turned American public opinion against Japan, and President Roosevelt dispatched Captain Royal Ingersoll to London to begin conversations with the British admiralty about Japanese aggression in the Far East. While few Americans remember the Panay Incident, it established the first links in the chain of Anglo-American military collaboration that eventually triumphed in World War II.

In The Origins of the Grand Alliance, William T. Johnsen provides the first comprehensive analysis of military collaboration between the United States and Great Britain before the Second World War. He sets the stage by examining Anglo-French and Anglo-American coalition military planning from 1900 through World War I and the interwar years. Johnsen also considers the formulation of policy and grand strategy, operational planning, and the creation of the command structure and channels of communication. He addresses vitally important logistical and materiel issues, particularly the difficulties of war production.

Military conflicts in the early twenty-first century continue to underscore the increasing importance of coalition warfare for historian and soldier alike. Drawn from extensive sources and private papers held in the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States, Johnsen's exhaustively researched study refutes the idea that America was the naive junior partner in the coalition and casts new light on the US-UK "special relationship."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813168333
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
Publication date: 09/13/2016
Series: Battles and Campaigns
Pages: 438
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

William T. Johnsen is professor of military history and strategy in the Department of National Security and Strategy at the US Army War College, and he previously served as the institution's dean of academics. After graduating from West Point, he served in the infantry for twenty years.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations viii

Preface and Acknowledgments ix

Dramatis Personae xiii

List of Abbreviations xviii

Prologue xix

Introduction 1

1 Lessons Lived, Learned, Lost: Episodic Progress in U.S. and British Experiences in Coalition Warfare, 1900-1918 11

2 Neither Friend nor Foe: U.S.-Brkish Relations in the Interwar Years 33

3 Groping in the Dark: U.S.-British Coalition Encounters, 1936-1939 49

4 Ties That Bind: The Effects of Supply Negotiations on Anglo-American Cooperation, 1938-1940 65

5 The Americans Come to Listen, August-September 1940 81

6 Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: Inching toward Collaboration, Autumn 1940 105

7 Full-Dress Talks: The American-British Conversations-1 Conference, January-March 1941 131

8 Easier Said Than Done: Implementing the American-British Conversations-1 Report, April-July 1941 161

9 Muddy Waters: Reexamining the Coalition's Grand Strategy, June-October 1941 189

10 Racing an Unseen Clock: More Problems Than Solutions 217

Conclusion 235

Chronology 257

Notes 261

Selected Bibliography 343

Index 387

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