A successful coastal defence operation: an impossibility?

This dissertation project aims to study what factors contribute to a more successful coastal defence operation.

Coastal defence of a coastal state, with its waterways, lowlands and ports, has proven to be both a military and a security policy challenge throughout history. Likewise, in favour of an aggressor for civilian shipping, does the sea provide one of the few opportunities to transport cargo and equipment. In addition, the sea occasionally gives military units the only opportunity for offensive manoeuvres. The defence against a seaborne (amphibious) opponent is still a dilemma. Coastal defence operations seem to have an inherent complexity not infrequently embodied in general terms.

Coastal defence operations arouse a moderate interest in the major naval states, where the impression of a threat diverges, relatively minor and defensive coastal states. Further, a theory-building approach seems to be most suitable considering the deficiency of current theories capacity to express a uniform view of contributing factors.

Regarding research design and methodological considerations, the intention is to use case studies with theoretical propositions to explore the contributing factors from a broader perspective.

The added value to war science is that existing theories are generally held, which leads to an opportunity to develop and deepen them.

Responsible Department

Department of War Studies



The Swedish Defence University




Published 2023-05-31 Updated 2023-05-31