Naval warfare in a typical narrow sea such as the Baltic Sea or the Arabian Gulf includes peculiarities not found in war on the open ocean. Because of the proximity of the landmass, the employment of naval forces and aircraft is far more complex than in war on the open ocean. The outcome of war in a typical narrow sea depends - to a larger degree than on the open ocean - on the course of events on land and in the air. The threat of land-based aircraft, submarines, coastal anti-ship missiles and mines makes the operations of blue-water navies such as the US Navy both more complicated and riskier than on the open ocean. Typically, naval warfare in a narrow sea is highly intense, with swift and drastic changes in a sea or air situation. Combat actions are conducted almost continuously over the entire sea area and in the air and are fought at high intensity from the outset, with sudden shifts from offensive to defensive. Sea or air actions often take place during the night or in bad visibility, making themovement, deployment and redeployment of one's own and friendly forces very difficult. The key aspects of conducting naval strategy and operations in narrow seas are covered here. Professor Vego contends that blue-water navies have not given it serious consideration, and it is necessary to revise the view that a fleet capable of defeating an adversary on the open ocean will automatically do the same in narrow seas.
"This is an important and thought-provoking book. Vego's book is a substantial contribution...one that can be recommended."
-James Goldrick, Australian Defense Force Academy, "International Journal of Maritime History