Ever since the 1946 Bikini A-bomb tests demonstrated what an atomic bomb could do to an old-style naval task force, U.S. admirals have been contemplating their naval strategy in an attempt to define the Navy's place in modern atomic war. Oddly enough, the hydrogen bomb gave them an unexpected assist: even land-based airmen recognized that a Russian H-bomb attack could be devastating to U.S. airfields, saw virtue in a mobile, seagoing air power capable of delivering atomic attack from unexpected directions.

In a recent speech Assistant Navy Secretary for Air James H. Smith Jr. described the Navy's role in a future...

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