The Last Century of Sea Power

The Last Century of Sea Power - Volume 2

From Washington to Tokyo, 1922–1945
H. P. Willmott
Distribution: World
Publication date: 3/3/2010
ISBN: 978-0-253-00409-3
Bookmark and Share

Available through various retailers

Other formats available:

Also available:


In this second volume of his history of naval power in the 20th century, H. P. Willmott follows the fortunes of the established seafaring nations of Europe along with two upstarts—the United States and Japan. Emerging from World War I in command of the seas, Great Britain saw its supremacy weakened through neglect and in the face of more committed rivals. Britain’s grand Coronation Review of 1937 marked the apotheosis of a sea power slipping into decline. Meanwhile, Britain’s rivals and soon-to-be enemies were embarking on significant naval building programs that would soon change the nature of war at sea in ways that neither they nor their rivals anticipated. By the end of a new world war, the United States had taken command of two oceans, having placed its industrial might behind technologies that further defined the arena of naval power above and below the waves, where stealth and the ability to strike at great distance would soon rewrite the rules of war and of peace. This splendid volume further enhances Willmott’s stature as the dean of naval historians.

Author Bio

H. P. Willmott has written extensively on warfare in general and on World War II in particular. Among his books are The Last Century of Sea Power: From Port Arthur to Chanak, 1894–1922 (IUP, 2009) and The Battle of Leyte Gulf: The Last Fleet Action (IUP, 2005), a Society of Military History prize winner.


"H. P. Willmott is the finest naval historian and among the finest historians of any discipline writing today. His latest work further strengthens that richly deserved accolade." —Bernard D. Cole, author of The Great Wall at Sea

"[T]his is an important contribution to naval history that provides a thoughtful account of the years preceding the Second World War and, at much greater length, of the war itself." —History , 2010

"The author, dean of naval historians, provides a sweeping look at, and analysis of, the transformation of naval power . . . [His] dry wit and sense of irony add spice to the impressive array of facts and analysis of the preatesst period of naval warfare. Wilmott is fearless in his judgments." —
Seapower , December 2010

Customer Reviews

There are currently no reviews
Write a review on this title.

Table of Contents

List of Chapter Appendixes
List of Maps and a Diagram
List of Tables
I. Naval Races and Wars
1. Introduction: Washington, London, and Two Very Separate Wars, 1921 - 1941
2. Washington and London
3. Ethiopia and Spain
4. Japan and Its "Special Undeclared War"
II. Introduction to the Second World War
5. Navies, Sea Power, and Two or More Wars
III. The Second World War: The European Theater
6. Britain and the Defeat of the U-boat
Guerre de Course
7. With Friends like These
8. Italy and the War in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations
9. The Lesser Allied Navies and Merchant Marines in the Second World War
IV. The Second World War: The Pacific Theatre
10. The War Across the Pacific: Introduction and Conclusion
11. The Japanese Situation — and a Japanese Dimension
12. The Japanese Situation — and an American Dimension
13. The Japanese Situation — and a Second Japanese Dimension
14. The Japanese Situation — and Another, and Final, Dimension
V. Dealing with Real Enemies
Finis: The British Home Fleet, 15 August 1945
Selected Bibliography