LESSON THAT NEVER STAYS LEARNED
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."
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."
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