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Its other objective was to have the Blue Fleet execute carrier-based air strikes against "enemy" formations and emplacements along NATO's northern flank in Norway. As the largest peacetime naval operation up to that time, military analyst Hanson W. Operation Strikeback and the other concurrent NATO exercises held during the fall of would be the most ambitious military undertaking for the alliance to date, involving more than , men, ships, and 1, aircraft operating from Norway to Turkey. Faced with the overwhelming numerical superiority of Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact military forces, NATO embraced the concept of the nuclear umbrella to protect Western Europe from a Soviet ground invasion.

We have In doing so, the concentrating force would be extremely vulnerable to losses from atomic weapon attacks We can now use atomic weapons against an aggressor, delivered not only by long-range aircraft, but also by the use of shorter range planes, and by mm. This air-ground team constitutes a very effective shield, and it would fight very well in case of attack. This strategic concept reflected the American strategy of massive retaliation of the Eisenhower administration as set forth by Secretary of State John Foster Dulles :. We need allies and collective security.

Our purpose is to make these relations more effective, less costly. This can be done by placing more reliance on deterrent power and less dependence on local defensive power Local defense will always be important.

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But there is no local defense which alone will contain the mighty landpower of the Communist world. Local defenses must be reinforced by the further deterrent of massive retaliatory power. A potential aggressor must know that he cannot always prescribe battle conditions that suit him. As part of the response to a theoretical Soviet attack against NATO on all fronts, Operation Strikeback would test the capabilities of Allied naval forces Blue Fleet by tasking them to destroy the enemy navy Orange Fleet and its huge submarine fleet, protect transatlantic shipping, and undertake sustained carrier-based air strikes against the enemy positions.

Beginning on 3 September , American and Canadian naval forces got underway to join British, French, Dutch, and Norwegian naval forces in eastern Atlantic and northern European waters under the overall command of Vice Admiral Robert B. Operation Strikeback itself began on 19 September , involving over warships, aircraft, and 65, personnel. To provide a more realistic simulation of protecting transatlantic shipping, over merchant marine vessels, including the ocean liners Queen Mary and Ile de France , also participated as duly-flagged target ships for the exercise.

Operating above the Arctic Circle in the Norwegian Sea , the Blue Fleet, which included the new aircraft carriers Saratoga and Forrestal , launched carried-based air strikes against enemy positions in Norway.

Time magazine provided the following contemporary coverage of Operation Strikeback:. From somewhere southeast of Greenland came the crackle of an urgent radio message: "Being fired on by Orange surface raider. Inchcliffe Castle. Out to punish the "aggressors," a six-nation Blue fleet totaling nearly fighting ships began steaming toward Norway. In the Iceland-Faeroes gap, 36 Orange submarines, including the atom-powered Nautilus , lay in wait. The U. Ware was "sunk"; a "torpedo" slowed down the carrier U. Intrepid , [ clarification needed ] and H. Ark Royal had a hot time beating off the assaults of Britain-based Valiant jet bombers.

But by early afternoon, Blue carrier planes got through to make dummy atom attacks on Norway's ports, bridges and airfields. Into the midst of this earnest make-believe strayed a Russian trawler - a real one. The Russian, being overtaken, had the right of way and held it, passing diagonally through the entire NATO fleet as the big ships refueled and moved beyond her.

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Following the conclusion of Operation Strikeback, U. I am not in a position to criticize political decisions, but I say this as a professional man with over 40 years' experience — I cannot carry out my task as given to me at the moment without more forces. In recent years the submarine has, without any doubt at all, gone a very long way ahead of the devices with which we are presently equipped to sound and destroy it. Particularly significant was the performance of nuclear-powered submarines with the U. According to naval analyst-historian Norman Friedman , Nautilus "presented a greater threat than all 21 snorkel submarines combined" during Operation Strikeback, making 16 successful attacks against various naval formations while maintaining effective on-station tactical and high-speed pursuit capabilities.

Recognizing the need to meet this Anti-submarine warfare ASW challenge, the following actions were taken:. Operation Strikeback was the final deployment for the battleships Iowa and Wisconsin until their re-activation in the s by the Reagan Administration. The following is a partial listing of naval forces known to have participated in Operation Strikeback.

Both squadrons flew Avro Shackleton patrol bombers:. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The New York Times. Alfred under command by John Paul Jones continued to raid British commerce while the rest of the squadron awaited repairs or more crewmen. Most of the sailors and Marines were riddled by diseases, desertion, and resignation of officers. The Continental Congress struggled to find more crews to man the Navy's ships; the Marine detachments were moved from vessel to vessel and were temporarily reinforced by the Continental Army and militia.

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Also, Congress approved the Marine Committee's request for new officers; fourteen new officer were commissioned in the Continental Marine Corps. Samuel Nicholas was promoted to Major on 25 June due to his service in the New Providence expedition. Congress however, was utterly disappointed in Commodore Esek Hopkins's disobeying of orders. Censured for disobedience of orders, Hopkins returned to the fleet. Also on the same day [25 June], Robert Mullan whose mother was the proprietor of Tun Tavern and most likely used it as his recruiting rendezvous [53] received his commission as Captain.

Mullan played an important aid in recruitment of enlistees for Marines aboard the Continental navy fleets, he became by legend, the first 'Marine Recruiter'. Captain Mullan's roster lists two black men, Issac and Orange, another historical recording of one of the first black American Marines. The next evening, the Continental Marines aboard Lexington , along with four American warships to assist the wreck Nancy. Barry devised a delayed action fuse just as a boatload of British seamen boarded Nancy, exploding the powder.


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This engagement became known as the Battle of Turtle Gut Inlet. On 4 July , the Declaration of Independence was signed. Their assignment was to bring William Bingham , who had been appointed agent from the American colonies to Martinique, in acquiring intelligence , and additional arms and supplies for George Washington's armies. By autumn of , Major Nicholas raised four new companies of Marines for four of the new frigates that were to be completed and commissioned in Philadelphia. Armed with marines by the Pennsylvania Committee of Safety, the detachments guarded both the Continental and state vessels and store while waiting for their frigates to sail.

The uniform regulations specified that standard uniform was a short green coat with white trim facings lapels, cuffs, and coat lining , [55] and a high leather collar to protect against cutlass slashes and to keep a man's head erect, leading to the nickname " leatherneck "; [32] complemented by a white waistcoat, white or buff short breeches, woolen stockings, and a short black gaiter. Marine officers wore small cocked hats, and a single epaulette ; [2] and the enlisted men sported round black hats with the brim pinned on one side.

More likely, green cloth was simply plentiful in Philadelphia, and it served to distinguish Marines from the blue of the Army and Navy or the red of the British. By 22 September, the sailors and Marines reached Canso Harbor and recaptured the small port. The following next day, they struck Isle Madame destroying fishing boats. Although surprised, the smaller American ship managed to escape in a day of expert sailing. Sometime in October, Sergeants William Hamilton and Alexander Neilson are promoted to Lieutenant , being the first recorded " mustangs " enlistees who received field commission in the Marine Corps.

En route to France, the sailors and Marines captured two brigantines. Reprisal reaches Nantes , France on 29 November, becoming the first vessel of the Continental Navy to arrive in European waters. In late November , General Washington's Continental Army positions along the Hudson River collapsed from the concurring assaults of British forces.

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In emergency response Washington requested assistance of a brigade of Philadelphia militia, a company of local seamen, and Major Nicholas's four companies of Continental Marines. George Washington wrote a staunchly letter to John Cadwalader , a brigadier general of the Pennsylvania Associators :. On 2 December , Major Samuel Nicholas and his three companies of Marines, garrisoned at the Marine barracks in Philadelphia, were tasked to reinforce Washington's retreating army from New York through Trenton to slow the progress of British troops southward through New Jersey.

Unsure what to do with the Marines, Washington requested that the Marines be attached to a brigade militiamen from the Philadelphia Associators, in which were also dressed in green uniforms alike of the Continental Marines. Thus, Nicholas and his Marines joined Cadwalader's brigade of Pennsylvania Associators, a force of 1, men.

The Marines lived side-by-side with the militia brigade in Bristol , Pennsylvania for two weeks waiting for an attack from the British. However, the British army instead went into winter quarters along the New Jersey shore of the Delaware River. Momentarily, Marine Captain Abraham Boyce leads his men and Lexington' s sailors in overtaking the small British prize crew.

Although the British frigate was better-armed, the American ship was able to out-sail their opponent and escape unharmed. The Continental Marines and sailors were able to escape to the harbor at Baltimore , Maryland. General Washington attacked the German garrison at Trenton on 26 December, though Cadwalader's brigade were unable to arrive in time to affect the battle for Trenton , due to problems crossing the ice-choked Delaware River.

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Cadwalader finally crossed the river on 27 December on his own initiative, reaching Trenton by 2 January as Washington concentrated his army. The Marines helped defend a crucial bridge against a Hessian attack. By daybreak, they launched a two-pronged attack. Mercer's brigade ran into heavy, well-disciplined musketry of two British regiments that were emplaced in front of Princeton, Mercer's brigade position soon collapsed. The second prong of attack caught the British in open flank, scattering three British regiments. It gave Washington's forces the advantage to take Princeton. After the Trenton — Princeton campaign, Nicholas's four-company battalion discontinued service; reduced by transfers, desertion, and disease of eighty Marines.

Many would also return to Philadelphia in the spring to become part of the detachments of the new Continental galley Washington [the third ship to be named as such] and the frigate Delaware. The gun frigate Randolph was put to sea in early February , joining the smaller Continental vessels from Hopkins's squadron. Although it did not totally hinder nor prevent the Royal Navy from going anywhere in American waters.


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  8. Alfred ; and Raleigh under command of Capt. The Continental frigate Delaware and her Marines were forced onto a shoal in the Delaware River as they fought with British batteries guarding the approaches to Philadelphia occupied by the British. Although Delaware was captured, many of the sailors and Marines managed to escape.