Thomas Hone has a good article in the new issue of Naval War College Review on how aircraft carriers replaced battleships in World War II. "Today's officers do not really know where the Navy they command came from," he states.
His answer: "What took place during the war was not a simple substitution of carriers for battleships but the creation of a modern, combined-arms fleet, one that included submarines and land-based aviation."
He also makes an interesting observation that has application far beyond the Navy. The newly designed Navy approach during World War II, he writes, "did what doctrine should do, which is give a force tactical cohesion so that it has energy to spare for dealing with the inevitable unexpected challenges," such as the kamikaze.
Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008.