Oceans Ventured: Winning the Cold War at Sea

Oceans Ventured: Winning the Cold War at Sea

by John Lehman

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A thrilling story of the Cold War, told by a former navy secretary on the basis of recently declassified documents.

When Ronald Reagan took office in January 1981, the United States and NATO were losing the Cold War. The USSR had superiority in conventional weapons and manpower in Europe, and had embarked on a massive program to gain naval preeminence. But Reagan already had a plan to end the Cold War without armed conflict.

Reagan led a bipartisan Congress to restore American command of the seas by building the navy back to six hundred major ships and fifteen aircraft carriers. He adopted a bold new strategy to deploy the growing fleet to northern waters around the periphery of the Soviet Union and demonstrate that the NATO fleet could sink Soviet submarines, defeat Soviet bomber and missile forces, and strike aggressively deep into the Soviet homeland if the USSR attacked NATO in Central Europe. New technology in radars, sensors, and electronic warfare made ghosts of American submarines and surface fleets. The United States proved that it could effectively operate carriers and aircraft in the ice and storms of Arctic waters, which no other navy had attempted. The Soviets, suffocated by this naval strategy, were forced to bankrupt their economy trying to keep pace. Shortly thereafter the Berlin Wall fell, and the USSR disbanded.

In Oceans Ventured, John Lehman reveals for the first time the untold story of the naval operations that played a major role in winning the Cold War.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393254266
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 06/05/2018
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 576,977
File size: 61 MB
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About the Author

John Lehman, a former U.S. Navy aviator, served as United States secretary of the navy from 1981 to 1987. From 2003 to 2004, he was a member of the 9/11 Commission. He lives in New York and Pennsylvania.

Table of Contents

Author's Note xi

Preface xv

Introduction xix

1 American Naval Strategy and Operations in the Cold War 3

2 Ocean Venture '81: A Bold New Strategic Operation 65

3 Taking a New National Strategy to Sea: Sending a Message 89

4 Soviet Panic; Misreading the Message: The Mobilization of 1983 117

5 Gaining Global Velocity, 1983 1985 152

6 The Beginning of the End: Northern Wedding, 1986 176

7 The Soviets (and Others) Get the Message, 1986-1988: The Cold War Hurtles Toward Its End 202

8 The Cold War Ends, 1989: The East European Bloc Disintegrates 244

Epilogue 275

Acknowledgments 285

Notes 289

Selected Bibliography 307

Index 315

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