Civil War littoral combat operations.

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

major bill

Colonel
Forum Host
Joined
Aug 25, 2012
Messages
16,249
For the United States Navy during the Civil War, littoral combat operations were in its infancy. The United States Marines were expected to be able to conduct land operations but doctrine for amphibious operations and littoral operations was not well developed. During the Civil War there were some riverine type operations and some landing of troops, but should we consider these true amphibious operations? There was limited naval support for amphibious operation. The Navy was not equipped to engage in littoral operations but probably performed them on a limited basis.
 

Lubliner

First Sergeant
Joined
Nov 27, 2018
Messages
1,716
Location
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Thank you @major bill for teaching me a new phrase. As an opinion on your statement, I think back on the South Carolina Islands near Beaufort (Paris Island), and have read of numerous detailed reconnaissance through all the waterways north and south. The use of mines and unmanned torpedoes being in their infancy were sought for in ways of invention. The tidal records, the types of soil; the transition between land and water were certainly scrutinized; including depth. Amphibious assault forces could be dated back to the war with Mexico, and Nags Head is one point for consideration in this war. Again, the usage of 'Littoral Operations' was totally new to me, and I hope others will take note of that fact. (Very Interesting) Thanks,
Lubliner.
 

leftyhunter

Colonel
Joined
May 27, 2011
Messages
17,045
Location
los angeles ca
For the United States Navy during the Civil War, littoral combat operations were in its infancy. The United States Marines were expected to be able to conduct land operations but doctrine for amphibious operations and littoral operations was not well developed. During the Civil War there were some riverine type operations and some landing of troops, but should we consider these true amphibious operations? There was limited naval support for amphibious operation. The Navy was not equipped to engage in littoral operations but probably performed them on a limited basis.
Yet the Union Navy and army did reasonably well in amphibious assault such has New Orleans,Brownsville,New Berne,Port Royal,Mobile Bay and of course Ft.Fisher.
There may if been a few failures as well. On the other hand the Confederacy did seem to excel on amphibious assault.
Leftyhunter
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

leftyhunter

Colonel
Joined
May 27, 2011
Messages
17,045
Location
los angeles ca
For the United States Navy during the Civil War, littoral combat operations were in its infancy. The United States Marines were expected to be able to conduct land operations but doctrine for amphibious operations and littoral operations was not well developed. During the Civil War there were some riverine type operations and some landing of troops, but should we consider these true amphibious operations? There was limited naval support for amphibious operation. The Navy was not equipped to engage in littoral operations but probably performed them on a limited basis.
Keeping in mind the state of military technology ow could the US military done a better job in amphibious assault? Did the British do so much better during the Crimean War?
Leftyhunter
 

DaveBrt

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 6, 2010
Messages
2,533
Location
Charlotte, NC
Amphibious operations have been around since the Greeks and Romans. Every nation that projects military power over a major body of water (ie larger than a river) uses amphibious operations. We have no written doctrine from any of the nations that used such until the British developed Combined Operations during the Napoleonic Wars. But with or without a formal doctrine, such operations have been used effectively for at least 2,200 years.

The US in the CW used raids (one of the 5 types of amphibious operations) an untold number of times. @leftyhunter listed above some of the well known major operations. I have long contended that the Lincoln administration failed to make effective use of the naval and army power they had to cut the eastern North Carolina railroads toward Richmond, but not because of the lack of doctrine or equipment -- just a lack of vision.

Remember that amphibious operations are conducted in pursuit of national objectives -- almost never for the sake of the Navy, but to meet higher requirements. For example, Gallipoli was assaulted to ensure the flow of supplies to Russia. Inchon was assaulted to cut the supply line of the North Korean army in the south. Fort Fisher was assaulted to cut off the overseas resupply of the Confederate war machine. The island hopping in the WW2 Pacific was to acquire bases to cover the advance to assault Japan itself. It all depends on the vision of the national government, executed by the armed forces. Limited vision yields limited results.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

leftyhunter

Colonel
Joined
May 27, 2011
Messages
17,045
Location
los angeles ca
Amphibious operations have been around since the Greeks and Romans. Every nation that projects military power over a major body of water (ie larger than a river) uses amphibious operations. We have no written doctrine from any of the nations that used such until the British developed Combined Operations during the Napoleonic Wars. But with or without a formal doctrine, such operations have been used effectively for at least 2,200 years.

The US in the CW used raids (one of the 5 types of amphibious operations) an untold number of times. @leftyhunter listed above some of the well known major operations. I have long contended that the Lincoln administration failed to make effective use of the naval and army power they had to cut the eastern North Carolina railroads toward Richmond, but not because of the lack of doctrine or equipment -- just a lack of vision.

Remember that amphibious operations are conducted in pursuit of national objectives -- almost never for the sake of the Navy, but to meet higher requirements. For example, Gallipoli was assaulted to ensure the flow of supplies to Russia. Inchon was assaulted to cut the supply line of the North Korean army in the south. Fort Fisher was assaulted to cut off the overseas resupply of the Confederate war machine. The island hopping in the WW2 Pacific was to acquire bases to cover the advance to assault Japan itself. It all depends on the vision of the national government, executed by the armed forces. Limited vision yields limited results.
Just to add to your excellent post Major General Burnside absolutely wanted to mount an offensive from New Berne to Goldsboro NC ti cut of the RR lines but Lincoln ordered the bulk of his troops to reinforce General McCellen during the Peninsula Campaign. General Grant did promise attacking Virginia via North Carolina but was rebuffed by Lincoln who wanted to keep the AoP between Washington DC and the AnV. So yes poor result in poor results.
Leftyhunter
 

USS ALASKA

1st Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
Mar 16, 2016
Messages
4,537
A current day evaluation of ACW amphibious operations by a USMC member...

Collection; Master of Military Art and Science Theses
Title; Forty-sixth Indiana regiment: a tactical analysis of amphibious operations and major combat engagements during the American Civil War.
Author; Beames, Michael S.
Branch/Country; United States Marine Corps

Abstract; This thesis is an historical analysis of the amphibious operations of the 46th Indiana. The primary research question is whether the amphibious operations of the 46th Indiana were effective towards the Union's success in the Mississippi River valley. Using Marine Corps Doctrinal Publication 1-3, Tactics, this thesis will compare the 46th Indiana's employment of tactics to the Marine Corps' current use of tactics according to doctrine. Tactical concepts that achieve success on the battlefield are achieving a decision, gaining an advantage, being faster, adapting, cooperating, and exploiting success. These six concepts form the foundation of the analysis of the 46th Indiana's operations and tactics during the Civil War. Secondary research areas to determine the effectiveness of the 46th Indiana's amphibious operations are training, command and control, casualty statistics, unit cohesion and morale.

Series; Command and General Staff College (CGSC) MMAS thesis
Focus Program; Military History
Publisher; Fort Leavenworth, KS : US Army Command and General Staff College,
Date, Original; 2013-06-14
Date, Digital; 2013-06-14
Release statement; Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. The opinions and conclusions expressed herein are those of the student-authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College or any other governmental agency. (References to these studies should include the foregoing statement.)
Repository; Combined Arms Research Library
Library; Combined Arms Research Library Digital Library
Date created; 2013-09-19
105

Cheers,
USS ALASKA
 

Attachments

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Top