Colomb, Philip Howard

Colomb, Philip Howard


Born May 29, 1831, in Galloway, Scotland; died Oct. 13, 1899, in Botley, Hampshire, England. British naval theorist and historian, vice admiral (1896).

Colomb entered the navy in 1846, fought in colonial wars and in the Crimean War of 1853–56, and retired in 1886. In 1891 he published the book Naval Warfare (Russian translations, 1894 and 1940). Drawing on military history, Colomb developed the theory of “naval supremacy,” which he proposed as a basis for British imperialist policy. Colomb asserted that the only way to attain victory on the sea is to create an overwhelming superiority of naval forces and destroy the enemy navy in a single general engagement. In the US Navy, A. Mahan advanced the similar theory of “sea power.” The Mahan-Colomb theory was completely refuted by the experience of the two world wars, but its influence can still be observed in some naval conceptions of bourgeois theoreticians.


Istoriia voenno-morskogo iskusstva, vol. 3. Moscow, 1953.


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