Interesting read from a 2014 thesis written by LCDR Jeremy Schaub for his Masters in Military Arts and Science at the Army Command and General Staff School U.S. Navy Shipboard Damage Control: Innovation and Implementation During the Interwar Period
The United States Navy adopted the fundamentals of modern shipboard damage control from the Germans at the end of World War I. The tremendous survivability of German warships as seen at Dogger Bank and Jutland led the U.S. Navy to study the German model of damage control and ultimately implement changes in ship design, crew training, and shipboard organization to closely mimic the German model. These changes remain largely intact today.
With so much of the Navy’s heritage rooted in British tradition and influence, it is remarkable that such an effective force multiplier for survival at sea was learned from the German Navy. This was a time in U.S. military history in which emulation of a former enemy could lead to such widespread and enduring results. The most recent shipboard disasters, those of USS George Washington, USS Cole, USS Samuel B. Roberts and USS Stark were all met with herculean efforts of men and women organized, trained, and equipped based on a system of damage control copied from the enemy and implemented nearly a century ago.
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