Historical Monograph Series

The historical monographs in this series are book-length studies of the history of naval warfare, edited historical documents, conference proceedings, and biographies based wholly or in part on source materials in the Historical Collection of the Naval War College. They are managed by the Maritime History Department in collaboration with the Naval War College Press.

Image from page 41 of "New England, old and new; a brief review of some historical and industrial incidents in the Puritan "New English Canaan," still the Land of promise" (1920)
Image from page 41 of "New England, old and new; a brief review of some historical and industrial incidents in the Puritan "New English Canaan," still the Land of promise" (1920)

Blue versus Purple cover image

Historical Monograph Series, No. 24

Blue versus Purple: The U.S. Naval War College, the Soviet Union, and the New Enemy in the Pacific, 1946 , by Hal M. Friedman, analyzes wargaming at the Naval War College during the fall semester of 1946 as the College shifted from viewing Japan as the Navy’s primary hypothetical enemy to viewing the Soviet Union as such, marking the transition from the Pacific War to the Cold War in the Pacific. Blue versus Purple asserts that this shift in the Naval War College’s focus can be traced in student wargaming. It provides Friedman’s detailed assessment of selected exercises and operations problems, and offers a nuanced view of how lessons of the Pacific War were brought forward—not only from the final victorious months but from the wartime experience as a whole—and tentatively applied them to the new hypothetical enemy.

Blue versus Purple is the final volume in Friedman’s Historical Monograph trilogy that covers the immediate-postwar Naval War College. The earlier works, Digesting History: The U.S. Naval War College, the Lessons of World War Two, and Future Naval Warfare, 1945–1947 and Blue versus Orange: The U.S. Naval War College, Japan, and the Old Enemy in the Pacific, 1945–1946 , focused very generally on how the College viewed future naval warfare in the 1945–47 period, and then on the wargames of the 1945–46 academic year.

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Blue versus Purple and additional selected Press publications can be purchased through the Government Publishing Office.