By Cmdr. Carla M. McCarthy, U.S. Naval War College Public Affairs
Oct. 30, 2013
NEWPORT, R.I. – The U.S. Naval War College Press announced the latest book in the Historical Monograph Series on Oct. 29. The work closely analyzes a year of war gaming at the U.S. Naval War College (NWC) in the mid-1940s.
“Blue versus Orange: The U.S. Naval War College, Japan, and the Old Enemy in the Pacific, 1945–1946,” by Hal M. Friedman reflects on the U.S. Navy’s doctrinal and strategic responses to the experience of World War II.
“With this volume, Dr. Friedman has made a significant contribution both to the history of the Naval War College and to the history of naval war gaming,” wrote Dr. John B. Hattendorf, Ernest J. King Professor of Maritime History and chair of the Maritime History Department, in the foreword. “His book evokes for the reader the laborious and detailed process of war gaming in this era and helps us to understand why an automated approach was attractive to officers engaged in this activity in the 1950s.”
With 60 years of development up to 1945, the art of war gaming was a signature research and teaching tool at NWC to help understand human reactions and decision making. Games during the 1945-1946 academic year continued to consider Japan, or “Orange,” the primary enemy, but with the onset of the Cold War, war gaming was soon to shift focus onto the Soviet Union.
Friedman selected war games, or “Operations Problems,” during this year to create a chronological narrative that allows readers to come to their own conclusions about what the games represented and the ideas and doctrine participants generated about the future of naval warfare.
“It is particularly interesting to see the character of naval thinking in 1945-46, when the U.S. Navy was in the midst of transition from total war to peace,” Hattendorf explained. “At the same time, one can begin to find traces of preparation for the beginning of the tensions that would emerge in the Cold War era.”
Friedman, a history professor at Henry Ford Community College, credits historians and staff at both NWC and the Naval History and Heritage Command in Washington, D.C., for the research access and assistance that helped make the book possible.
This book, available through the Government Printing Office at http://bookstore.gpo.gov/agency/621
, is a companion to the author’s “Digesting History: The U.S. Naval War College, the Lessons of World War Two, and Future Naval Warfare, 1945-1947,” also published by the Naval War College Press.
“Blue versus Orange: The U.S. Naval War College, Japan, and the Old Enemy in the Pacific, 1945–1946” is the twenty-first publication in the Naval War College Historical Monograph Series, managed by the Maritime History Department in collaboration with the NWC Press and Naval Historical Collection. Book-length studies of the history of naval warfare, edited historical documents, conference proceedings, and bibliographies are based wholly or in part on source materials in the NWC Naval Historical Collection.