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THE LESSON THAT NEVER STAYS LEARNED

In April, 1950, Admiral Forrest P. Sherman, Chief of Naval Operations, approved a report from his planners which described mine countermeasures as "...the only countermeasures which seems to offer the possibility of being cheap enough to make peacetime readiness practical."  The report went on to warn that "...the great danger is that if mine countermeasures continues to be neglected, large wartime appropriations for countermeasures will be almost useless because the fundamental development will still have to be done first."

In October of that year, after suffering seven ship casualties and having a 250 ship invasion fleet with 50,000 Marines held up for seven days past D-Day off Wonsan, Korea, all due to mines, Admiral Sherman accepted another report.  This report, from Rear Admiral Alan E. (Hoke) Smith, Commander of the Amphibious Force, contained the often quoted statement, "We have lost control of the seas to a nation without a Navy, using pre-World War I weapons, laid by vessels that were utilized at the time of the Birth of Christ."

The above was taken from a briefing to senior Navy officials by Dr. Tamara Moser Melia on May 6, 1991 - three months after the Marines had been denied the invasion beaches of Kuwait by mines. 

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THE MINE WARFARE ASSOCIATION

Mr. Lee Hunt
7715 Lookout Ct
Alexandria, VA
HuntLah@aol.com
Ms. Suzanne Wyatt
MINWARA Management Executive
c/o DMC Companies
824 Munras Ave., Suite C
Monterey CA 93940
Tele: (831)373-0508
Fax: (831)373-0460
Suzanne@DMCcompanies.com


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Last modified: 01/07/2003

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