By Clark G Reynolds
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Extra info for Command of the Sea: The History and Strategy of Maritime Empires
These peoples developed coastal urban centers, palaces and ruling classes, but were much looser and freer in their political, social, economic and defensive arrangements than their continental counterparts along the rivers. Such seafaring peoples tended to act as catalysts of thought, innovation and material growth among non-maritime peoples with whom they came in contact, thanks to their physical mastery of the sea, the invention and use of writing for trade and their general cosmopolitan habits.
Blockade the enemy coast. An offensive requirement of the fleet, the seas around the enemy coast must be denied the enemy for the use of his merchant marine, for neutral vessels trading with him and for his own vessels of war. As long as the enemy fleet survives, the blockade is generally naval; after the enemy fleet is destroyed or otherwise neutralized, the blockade is primarily commercial, aimed at stopping enemy trade. In either case, it may be a direct blockade, with the fleet actually remaining on station off the enemy ports, or it may be indirect, the fleet observing and thwarting enemy ship movements from a considerable distance away.
In all such amphibious landings, the fleet provides tactical bombardment to cover the assault, then logistical support of the beachhead. In such sealift and support operations, the navy cooperates with the ground forces (which in recent times have included landbased air forces) by keeping open their lines of communications, by policing coastal and inland waters, and by commanding the sea (and the air, in recent times). 6. Provide strategic bombardment. The ultimate expression of naval superiority comes when naval power can be projected inland against the vitals of the enemy homeland.