Chinese Mine Warfare Threatens U.S. Navy

Chinese naval strategists want to push the United States Navy as far away as possible.

In the closing phases of the Pacific War, American military strategists ingeniously combined two weapons systems, the revolutionary long-range B-29 bomber and the comparatively simple parachute-retarded influence sea mine with magnetic or acoustic exploders, to wreak havoc on the Japanese economy and Japanese morale. The effort to sow Japan's waterways thoroughly with thousands of mines was named, aptly enough, Operation Starvation and this effort proved highly effective in helping to reduce Japan to its knees. Nevertheless, the U.S. Navy has also been on the “receiving end” of skillfully employed mine warfare and these cases are more recent. The classic case is from the Korean War when mines laid off North Korea prevented U.S. forces from making an efficient invasion at Wonsan. A number of allied mine warfare ships were sunk in that operational fiasco. During the Persian Gulf War, two U.S. Navy ships, the Tripoli and also the Princeton, were both seriously damaged by Iraqi mines.

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