05 August 2014
Naval fortresses were once a major feature of naval warfare. That era passed with the start of the Cold War, when coastal installations were eclipsed by a combination of nuclear weapons and U.S. naval hegemony.
Historically naval fortresses played a critical role in several wars, such as the Port Arthur fortress in the Japan-Russia War and the Singapore Fortress in the Malayan Campaign of the Second World War. With the development of nuclear weapons for tactical applications during the Cold War, fortresses became obsolete because of their vulnerability to nuclear warheads. The mature anti-ship missiles of the 1960s presented a reasonable alternative to coastal defense as mobile deployment increased survivability. Additionally, U.S. naval hegemony and power projection through a global military presence have slashed the strategic value of fortresses, especially in the face of new U.S. technology, such as the GBU-28 Bunker-Buster.
… Shang-su Wu is a research fellow in the Military Studies Programme, a constitute unit of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
IDSS / RSIS / Online
Last updated on 07/08/2014