An exercise of sea control, 5 September 1781: a French fleet under the comte de Grasse drives a British force under Sir Thomas Graves from the mouth of Chesapeake Bay long enough to allow transports carrying supplies and French and Continental reinforcements to reach General George Washington’s besieging troops at Yorktown, Virginia. The subsequent surrender there of the British troops under Lord Cornwallis led to the peace treaty that ended the war and established the independence of the United States. Our lead article, by Robert C. Rubel, analyzes the potential modern usage of such terms as “command of the sea” and “sea control.”
Battle of the Virginia Capes, by V. Zveg, oil on canvas, 1969, by permission of the Navy Art Collection, Washington, D.C. (accession number 69-581-A). The Navy Art Collection, within the Naval History and Heritage Command, includes around twenty thousand paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures depicting naval history from the sixteenth century to the present.
Design by Kelly Forst, Naval War College Visual Communications Department.