Teddy Roosevelt proclaimed to sailors and Marines that were assembled on the afterdeck of the USS Connecticut flagship of the Great White Fleet, “Others may do as you have done, but they’ll have to follow you.”
Connecticut author Mark Albertson quotes this statement and chronicles 20th century naval history in a new book, “They’ll Have to Follow You.”
Published by the Tate Publishing & Enterprises company, the book relates how the US Navy came of age as 16 coal burning battleships carried the Stars and Stripes to the far-flung ends of the globe in the most extraordinary peacetime demonstration of naval power in modern times. The story is set in the Golden Age of Imperialism, a time when the Great Powers engaged in a battleship building binge that not only set the world tottering on the brink of global catastrophe, but also foreshadowed the later contest in nuclear arms between the United States and the Soviet Union.
In the companion volume to his earlier work, “USS Connecticut: Constitution State Battleship,” Albertson captured one of the finest moments of the United States Navy. In the first major strategic initiative by the US in the 20th century, the Atlantic Fleet Battleship Force circumnavigated the globe, steaming more than 46,000 miles in the most monumental achievement in modern maritime history, a triumph that helped make the US a global power and eventually a super power.
Albertson currently resides in Norwalk, Connecticut.
©2008 Community Newspaper Group
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