The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions." --American Statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Some of the Ships used in Tom Clancy's "Red Storm Rising"

I am a huge fan of Tom Clancy and his book "Red Storm Rising", is one of my favorite books.  The first time I read this book, was in 1986 and we were at a border camp near "Hof" Germany and our job was to patrol the border and be basically a trip wire if GSFG crossed the border and unified Germany and Western Europe under the Soviet umbrella. man talk about scaring the crap out of me...
We  patroled in a "Jeep" or a truck, utility 1/4 ton 4x4. M151A2

Border Jeep, Note the bumper ID, Mine was "BDR2"   
I though that was ironic finding this pic on "google"
We had a foot locker full of laws rockets, extra ammo, grenades, and claymores.  We were expected to "die in place" to give the USAREUR units in the rear time to get in the field to stop the Soviets before the Rhine.  We called ourselves "Speedbumps for GSFG".  The duty was sobering but I wouldn't trade the experience for anything.  The things I learned there held me in good stead when I got deployed to the Gulf in 1990.

   I will focus on some of the ships on this post and will continue to add more post to the series :)

  Right now I will focus on a couple of the ships used in the book, they were HMS Battleaxe and USS Reuban James.

HMS Battleaxe was a Type 22 frigate of the Royal Navy.

The length of the first four Type 22s was dictated by the dimensions of the undercover Frigate Refit Complex at Devonport Dockyard. The ships would be powered by a combination of Olympus and Tyne gas turbines in a COGOG (COmbined Gas turbine Or Gas turbine) arrangement. Machinery spaces were sited as far aft as possible to minimise shaft lengths. The after configuration was dictated by the requirement for a large hangar and a full-width flight deck.
Weapons fit was determined by the primary ASW role combined with a perceived need for a general purpose capability. The principal ASW weapons systems were the ship's Lynx helicopter and triple torpedo tubes (STWS), with 2087 towed array sonar a key part of the sensors fit. Air defence was provided in the form of two 'six-pack' launchers for the Seawolf (GWS 25) point-defence missile system. Surface warfare requirements were met by the provision of four Exocet SSM launchers, the standard RN fit at that time. A pair of L/60 Bofors were fitted in the first batch for patrol and junk busting on summer Indian Ocean deployments, but proved expedient in the Falkland were T22 captains considered they interfered with concentrating on Seawolf setup.
The Broadsword design was unique to the Royal Navy in lacking a main gun armament. Although some of the Leander class frigates had lost their main gun armament during upgrades, Broadsword was the first to be designed from the beginning without a large calibre gun turret. This changed with the introduction of the Batch III ships.
Ordering of Type 22s proceeded slowly, in part because of the comparatively high unit cost of the ships. The unit cost of the last Type 12Ms had been about £10m; Type 21s cost around £20m each; when the first Type 22s were ordered, unit costs were estimated at £30m though, by the time that the first ship (HMS Broadsword) commissioned in 1979, inflation had driven this figure up to £68m, which was far higher than the cost of the contemporary Type 42s (HMS Glasgow, also commissioned in 1979, cost £40m).
 The ships top speed was 30 knots and displacement was 4400 tons.  I figured that was fully "kitted" out with fuel, ammo and crew.
4 x single MM38 Exocet SSM
2 x sextuple GWS25 Seawolf SAM
2 x twin Oerlikon 30mm/75
2 x single Oerlikon/BMARC 20mm GAM-B01
2 x triple STWS Mk.2 torpedo tubes

 131 metres (430 ft) (length)
14.8 metres (49 ft) (beam)
6.1 metres (20 ft) (draught)

2 x Rolls-Royce Olympus TM3B
2 x Rolls-Royce Tyne RM1C

USS Reuben James (FFG-57), an Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided missile frigate, was the third ship of the U.S. Navy named for Reuben James, a boatswain's mate who distinguished himself fighting the Barbary pirates. Her crew totaled 201 enlisted, 18 chief petty officers, and 26 officers.

Displacement: 4,100 long tons (4,200 t), full load
Length: 453 feet (138 m), overall
Beam: 45 feet (14 m)
Draft: 22 feet (6.7 m)
Speed: over 29 knots (54 km/h)
Range: 5,000 nautical miles at 18 knots (9,300 km at 33 km/h)
Complement: 15 officers and 190 enlisted, plus SH-60 LAMPS detachment of roughly six officer pilots and 15 enlisted maintainers

Sensors and
processing systems:
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
Aircraft carried: 2 × SH-60B LAMPS Mk III helicopters
Aviation facilities:

 In the book Commander Edward Morris and Capt Doug Perrin RN make a good team as they prosecute submarines attacking the convoys crossing the Atlantic that are resupplying NATO as they try to show down the Soviet Army near Hannover and other locations.  They make good use of a Seahawk "F" variant commanded by Jerry O'Malley, USN – helicopter pilot, USS Reuben James. Past master sub-hunter and anti-submarine warfare tactician. Goes by the code name "Hammer" when he is flying. Incredibly skilled with the dipping sonar of his Seahawk helicopter.

After the SH-60B entered service, the Navy began development of the SH-60F to replace the SH-3 Sea King. Development of this variant began with the award of a contract to Sikorsky in March 1985. An early-model SH-60B (Bu. No. 161170) was modified to serve as a SH-60F prototype. The company was contracted to produce seven SH-60Fs in January 1986 and the first example flew on 19 March 1987.
The SH-60F primarily serves as the carrier battle group's primary antisubmarine warfare (ASW) aircraft. The helicopter hunts submarines with its AQS-13F dipping sonar, and carries a 6-tube sonobuoy launcher. The SH-60F is unofficially named "Oceanhawk". The SH-60F can carry Mk 46, Mk 50, or Mk 54 torpedoes for its offensive weapons, and it has a choice of fuselage-mounted machine guns, including the M60D, M240D, and GAU-16 (.50 caliber) for self-defense. The standard aircrew consists of one pilot, one co-pilot, one tactical sensor operator (TSO), and one acoustic sensor operator (ASO).

Data from Brassey's World Aircraft & Systems Directory, Navy fact file, and Sikorsky S-70B
General characteristics
  • Crew: 3–4
  • Capacity: 5 passengers in cabin, slung load of 6,000 lb (2,700 kg) or internal load of 4,100 lb (1,900 kg) for B, F and H models; and 11 passengers or slung load of 9,000 lb (4,100 kg) for S-model
  • Length: 64 ft 8 in (19.75 m)
  • Rotor diameter: 53 ft 8 in (16.35 m)
  • Height: 17 ft 2 in (5.2 m)
  • Disc area: 2,262 ft² (210 m²)
  • Empty weight: 15,200 lb (6,895 kg)
  • Useful load: 6,684 lb (3,031 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 17,758 lb (8,055 kg) ; for ASW mission
  • Max. takeoff weight: 21,884 lb (9,927 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 × General Electric T700-GE-401C turboshaft, 1,890 shp (1,410 kW) take-off power each


Monday, March 20, 2017

Monday Music "whip it" by DEVO

I remember when this group exploded on MTV, you know the station that used to play music..well those people.  Anyway I remember when this song and video came out, it caused a bit of scandal with the subject matter that was shown.  I liked the song because it was corny and a bit edgy, totally different than what was playing on the radio during that time.  DEVO to me prestaged the New Wave invasion.

Freedom of Choice is the third studio album by the American new wave band Devo. It was originally released in May 1980 on the label Warner Bros. The album saw the band moving in more of an overt synth-pop direction, even though guitars still played a prominent role and contained their biggest hit to date, "Whip It."
"Whip It" is built on a motorik beat, similar to tracks by Neu!. The lead instrument is a Minimoog synthesizer. The bass is performed with a custom six oscillator synthesizer, custom made by Moog Music for Devo. The whip sound was made with an EML ElectroComp 500 synthesizer, Neumann KM 84 and U 87 condenser mics.On an episode of the VH1 show TrueSpin, Gerald Casale revealed that the lead guitar riff from "Whip It" is based on the riff from "Oh, Pretty Woman" by Roy Orbison with the beat moved to the back.
Gerald Casale states that the lyrics were written by him "as an imitation of Thomas Pynchon's parodies in his book Gravity's Rainbow." The lyrics evoke a working class desire to pull oneself up and to overcome adversity. The song has violent undertones, and Devo has often described it as about then-U.S. President Jimmy Carter, as Mothersbaugh describes in an interview on To the Best of Our Knowledge. According to MusicNotes.com, "Whip It" is composed in the key of E major.

Devo funded the music video for "Whip It" with $15,000 USD of their own money. The main visual of the video, Mark Mothersbaugh whipping the clothes off a woman, was inspired by an article in a 1962 issue of Dude magazine. In an interview for Songfacts, Casale explains "There was a feature article on a guy who had been an actor and fell on hard times, he wasn't getting parts anymore. He moved with his wife to Arizona, opened a dude ranch and charged people money to come hang out at the ranch. Every day at noon in the corral, for entertainment, he'd whip his wife's clothes off with a 12-foot bullwhip. She sewed the costumes and put them together with Velcro. The story was in the magazine about how good he was and how he never hurt her. We had such a big laugh about it, we said, 'OK, that's the basis for the video. We'll have these cowboys drinking beer and cheering Mark on as he's in the barnyard whipping this pioneer woman's clothes off while the band plays in the corral.'"
In the video, Devo wear black, sleeveless turtlenecks, and their famous energy dome headgear. When the video begins, all the members, except for Mark Mothersbaugh, wear the turtlenecks pulled over their faces. During the performance, each member lowers the turtleneck. Bob Mothersbaugh ("Bob 1") plays a Gibson Les Paul with an inverted horn, Bob Casale ("Bob 2") plays a red Rheem Kee Bass, and Alan Myers plays a set of Synare 3 drum synthesizers.
Not surprisingly, the S&M overtones of the video caused controversy. Devo was cut from a January 30, 1981, appearance on the television show The Midnight Special hosted by Lily Tomlin. After viewing the video Tomlin deemed it offensive to women, and according to Gerald Casale, "She promptly cancelled us off the special, she said she wouldn't go on if Devo was on her show."Despite this, "Whip It" received heavy rotation on MTV after its introduction in 1981

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Stalingrad in Color 1942-1943

I was surfing around and ran across this video of Stalingrad in Color

I have blogged about Stalingrad or Volgograd as the city is called now.  It is on my bucket list to go to Volgograd and check out the city, as I understand it, they have a real good museum  there that has artifacts from the battle including VASSILI ZAITSEV rifle, think "Enemy at the Gate". 
And many other things at the museum from rifles, pictures and many tanks.  One thing that I admire about the Russians, they have a keen sense of history, something that many people here don't pay attention to or are clueless where they came from and what it took for them to have the Iphones and the system that encouraged such innovations.  

In 1961, Nikita Khrushchev's administration changed the name of the city to Volgograd ("Volga City") as part of his programme of de-Stalinization following Stalin's death, as he was trying to reduce the "cult of personality". This action was and remains somewhat controversial, given Stalingrad's importance as a symbol of resistance during the war. During Konstantin Chernenko's brief administration in 1984, proposals were floated to revive its historic name. There remains a strong degree of local support for a reversion but intermittent proposals have yet to be accepted by the Russian government.
On May 21, 2007, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation obtained an important success in the Volgograd mayoral election. Communist candidate Roman Grebennikov was elected as mayor with 32.47% of the vote. Grebennikov is Russia's youngest mayor of a federal subject administrative center.
In 2010, Russian monarchists and leaders of the Orthodox organizations demanded that the city should return to its original name Tsaritsyn, but the authorities rejected their proposal.
On January 30, 2013, the Volgograd City Council passed a measure to use the title "Hero City Stalingrad" in city statements on nine specific dates annually. On the following dates the title "Hero City Stalingrad" can officially be used in celebrations: February 2 (end of the Battle of Stalingrad), February 23 (Defender of the Fatherland Day), May 8, May 9 (Victory Day), June 22 (start of Operation Barbarossa), August 23 (start of the Battle of Stalingrad), September 2 (Victory over Japan Day), November 19 (start of Operation Uranus), and December 9. In addition, 50,000 people signed a petition to Vladimir Putin, asking that the city's name be permanently changed to Stalingrad. President Putin has replied that such a move should be preceded by a local referendum and that the Russian authorities will look into how to bring about such a referendum.

The actual Museum is several blocks that haven't changed, the Russians left it as it was as a reminder.

It is one my bucket list to go there and check it out, but with the turmoil going on, I am not sure if it is wise for me to go right now.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

How Imperial Japan could have won the war against the Allies

I cribbed this on the internet and added some pictures and some of my comments to the article.  This is a "What If" kinda thing.

There was no possible way for Japan to compete against the US in WWII. As long as the US didn’t lose their will to fight and pushed their leaders to push to victory, Washington would claim a mandate that authorized them to use the industry available in the US to turn out a nearly limitless supply of ships, tanks, planes and weapons. Japan simply had no way to keep up with their economy about one-tenth of the US economy.

But that doesn’t mean that Japan could not have won the war. Sometimes the weaker party wins the fight. The legendary strategist Carl von Clausewitz notes that it can make sense for the weaker party to initiate the fight. If they believe that their chances of winning are only going to decrease over time then why not take action?

Von Clausewitz tells of three ways to win a war. First, you can destroy the enemy’s forces and enforce your will upon them. Second, you can make the cost of winning more than your enemy is willing to pay. In other words, figure out how many lives, weapons, and how much money the other side finds acceptable in order to defeat you and then make it cost more than that by taking action that raises the cost or dragging the conflict out until he no longer can afford to stay in. Third, you can convince him that he will never accomplish his goal and make him lose heart.
If you can dishearten him or make the war too expensive for him, he is likely to cut you a deal just to get out of it.
Since Tokyo had no chance at the first option, they needed to aim for one of the next two possibilities. If they had managed their resources better, they could have narrowed the gap between the two sides. Failing that, they could have inflicted such heavy damage that the Americans would lose their appetite for the fight. Or, they could have opted to not confront the US directly and possibly kept them from joining the fight at all.
It’s probably true to say that that there was no single course of action that was going to lead to a Japanese victory. Their military leaders needed to act more strategically and less tactically.
What follows are five possible ways Japan could have won World War II. They are not exclusive. Actually, Japan’s best chances lay in adopting all five strategies. True, some of them are a lot more obvious in hindsight than they would have been to Japan’s leaders at the time, but we can debate their plausibility later.

Wage One War At A Time

It is important for small countries to avoid taking on every other country at once. But Japan’s government was not established in such a way to allow civilian oversight over the military. Patterned after the German Imperial government, the power was entirely between the Japanese Army and Navy.

Without a strong emperor, the military branches were unmoderated in their jostling for power, constantly one-upping each other. The army was focused on conquering Manchuria in mainland China. The Navy was pushing to grab resources in Southeast Asia. By attempting both contradictory goals, Japan managed to surround itself with enemies. The Japanese government should have had set priorities. Then, it may have been able to achieve at least some of its goals.

Listen To Yamamoto

Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto is alleged to have warned his superiors that Japan had to win quickly and decisively to avoid waking the “sleeping giant” in America. He predicted that the Navy had six months to a year to impose its will before the Americans achieved full power in the Pacific. In that span, Japan needed to force the US into a compromise peace agreement that partitioned off the Pacific, giving Japan time to improve its defenses around their territories in the Pacific. If they failed, the US industry would crank out weapons in massive amounts while new ships would begin arriving in the Pacific. Yamamoto knew the American ability to behave against expectations and warned his superiors not to assume they knew how the US would act.

Don’t Listen To Yamamoto

While Yamamoto was proven correct in his strategic advice, he wasn’t as wise on the operational level. The way he saw to approach the problem of the superior US industry was to hit them in the core of their power – their naval fleet. The Japanese military leaders had long pictured themselves using “interceptive operations” to slow the US fleet as it headed to the Pacific, most likely to the aid of the Philippines.

Using planes and submarines, the Japanese Navy would reduce the size of the US operational fleet and the Japanese fleet would then engage in the ultimate battle. Yamamoto, however, convinced them to change the plans and strike a sudden blow at Pearl Harbor. His miscalculation was that the core power of the US fleet was not at Pearl Harbor but in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. All that Yamamoto’s actions could do, then, was delay the US entry into the war until 1943. The original plan appears to have had a better chance at success.

Concentrate Resources Instead Of Dispersing Them

Similar to the way the Japanese could not seem to be content with fighting one war at a time, they couldn’t seem to stop themselves from multiplying their active operations and combat theaters. In 1942 alone, the Navy attacked the British Eastern Fleet off Ceylon in the Indian Ocean. They assaulted the Aleutian Islands. They opened a new theater in the Solomon Islands, which required defending a vast amount of ocean. Japan raised the cost of the war for itself when it had the fewer resources available, The National Interest reported.

Wage Unrestricted Submarine Warfare

For some reason, the Japanese navy did not instruct their submarines to attack any enemy vessel on the open seas between the US and the South Pacific. They should have realized that the US fleet had to protect an enormous amount of water just to reach the South Pacific. Japanese submarines were every bit as good as the Americans’.
They could have used them to make the Pacific shipping lanes impassable to US transports. It was the most direct way the Japanese could have exacted the heavy toll necessary to make the US consider withdrawing from the war.

 The United States Navy did wage unrestricted warfare against the Japanese merchant fleet and this was done to starve the many garrisons that the Japanese had spread out in the pacific as part of the "whither on the vine".  The Japanese had won tactical victories like at Pearl Harbor, but they were strategic failures.  The Japanese were at the beginning of the war, far better trained and than we were, but that pendulum swung the other way the longer the war lasted.  At the end of the war, the Japanese were sending barely trained pilots and crew against the battle hardened and experienced American Navy and Army.  

Friday, March 17, 2017

The Diffusion of Responsibility...in the Trump Era

Before I get started,....Plumbing problems suck...and whatever you do,...don't have the hot water heater in the attic...just saying....the plumber is coming out again......sheesh

  I did this post a few years ago, with the latest explosion of "snowflake stupidity", especially after the election of Donald Trump to the Presidency.  It seems that everything is a "trigger" for the left,
I saw where students had the scales removed because it "triggered" students, and there were groups of students that are calling "cultural appropriations" involving "hoop" earrings...really?   There are groups of students that are attacking people with opposing or different points of view and they are proud of the fact that they suppressed "evil speech by Nazi's" and it is "ok" to attack people that you disagree with because they are "Nazi's and they deserve everything that they get.

I made this post back in 2014, I remembered writing it and decided to look it up, and it was relevant to the present situation.

The Difusion of Responsibility....in the modern era...

Before I get started, I will be camping with the Boy Scouts, and internet will be sporadic.  I will post stuff in the scheduler and hope things pop up as it is supposed to.

           I had saved this cartoon from a while back, it was drawn when the Boko Haram a Nigerian Islamist kidnapped 276 girls mostly Christian girls from a boarding school.   Everybody can remember Michelle Obama Standing holding a sign

“My husband and I are outraged and heartbroken,” said First Lady Michelle Obama, subbing for the president in his weekly radio address May 10. “In these girls, Barack and I see our own daughters.”
     I am going to touch on 2 different subjects on this post.....Yay go Touretts!!  Well anyway,
     The cartoon touched upon the "hashtag activism" that the left and liberals seem to favor, and is based upon a real event that happened in March 13 1964 where Kitty Genovese was raped and stabbed to death and the investigations had uncovered that 38 people heard her cries(that number has changed to less and more since then but I will go with the official police report of the time.)  People outside the urban areas were amazed that all those people did nothing to stop the attack.  The effect is called "The diffusion of responsibility", the more people that know or hear something, the less people will step forward and do or say nothing.   The people in the city call it "the golden rule"  You mind your own business or they will come and do the same to you.  The incident in New York had already shown the effects of large groups of people living together.  there have been several case studies involving Mice and the resulting breakdown of society due to overcrowding. you can read of it here.  
      Two weeks later, a newspaper article reported the circumstances of Genovese's murder and the lack of reaction from numerous neighbors. The common portrayal of her neighbors as being fully aware of what was transpiring but completely unresponsive has since been criticized as inaccurate. Nonetheless, that portrayal prompted investigation into the social psychological phenomenon that has become known as the bystander effect or "Genovese syndrome", especially diffusion of responsibility.
Diffusion of responsibility can manifest itself:
  • In a group of people who, through action or inaction, allow events to occur which they would never allow if they were alone. This is referred to as groupthink and groupshift.
  • In a group of people working on a task who lose motivation, feel less responsibility for achievement of group goals, and hide their lack of effort in the group (social loafing).
  • In hierarchical organizations, when subordinates claim to simply be following orders and supervisors claim that they merely issue directives and do not perform the actions under question. The difficulty of identifying the culpable party is often seen in trials regarding crimes against humanity
Diffusion of responsibility is also called " more people see, the less will get done, many people will stand in the background and will see who will step up and then act.  It is pack dynamics, people are afraid to step outside the shelter and anonymity of the group and be noticed, especially if there is pressure or adverse reaction if you step forward.   I liken it to the military term " Don't volunteer"   this was endemic in basic training because the one that stepped forward usually got extra punishment.  I saw it and did my best to hide in the background and avoid notice from the Drill Sergeants.
     I will then touch on my second topic and will then try to link them together,

    The liberals and others from the left love to use hashtag to denote what pet causes they are interested in,  You have seen it on many things from #can't breath, #Ferguson#,#don't shoot#, #meat is murder# and many other social causes.  I disparage hashtag activism, for it does nothing, it is immediate, then fades away.  Like the attention span of the average liberal.  All it does is show how pious you are in embracing the latest social cause to your liberal friends, it shows that you have embraced the latest group think that is prevalent at the time and does nothing.
       Left leaning People don't know how to use independent reasoning and logic in their decision process. The average liberal runs on pure emotions, they are the followers in group activities, they provide the "foot soldiers" for the latest cause.  The ones that use logic and reasoning and do what they do anyway, are the leaders, they know logic and reasoning but decide to continue anyway for the sake of power, they tell the followers what to do.  Those are the dangerous ones....those are the ones that do this for pure personal power and self gratification.
     How this ties together are 2 fold, when people get in groups, they submerge their individuality for the group dynamics, even if something is wrong, they will not step up.  Also it ties in with the immediate gratification, if they don't do anything, the problem goes away.  If they get involved, then the problem stays with them and people in groups don't want that.  The average liberal believes in immediate gratification, "do something now" and "if it feels good".  Doing hashtags feels good, but does nothing, because unless you are in a western based society, where social media is very strong, the effect is lost everywhere else but to a liberal, being "active on emotion" is better than actually doing something...because if they focus on one cause too long and it falls out of favor because the next cause has arrived, then they are no longer on the forefront of "social Justice" and they lose standings with their friends and peer groups.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Battleship or Battlecruiser...?

I shamelessly cribbed this from the internet.   I do have a fascination with Battleships, I have posted about this kind of stuff a lot.  Kinda funny for an Army guy I suppose.  I still believe that the Navy would be smart to recommission the North Carolina Class Battleships, the total hours on the hulls are a lot lower than most of the ships in the fleet now.   I added some pics to the article and a blurp about the "Montana Class Battleships" at the bottom of the article.

On the surface, history can appear a rigid, unmoving thing. That once something is historically established, it remains that way forever. However, the truth of the matter is that history is largely pliable. The more blurry facts can be easily be bent to support a particular view. A small, but popular opinion is that the Iowa class battleships of the US Navy could be considered battlecruisers. What are battlecruisers and why would anybody think the Iowa class is like them? I will look at the rationale for this opinion and refine the lines that separate battleship from battlecruiser. With a bit of digging, we will find out whether we need to refer to these dreadnaughts as the Iowa class battlecruisers from now on.

Iowa Class

Why would the Iowa class be considered Battlecruisers?


1) Their armor was unable to withstand the firepower of their own guns.
2) They sacrificed armor to achieve higher speeds.
It is true that these ships were exceedingly fast and that armor wise they were a departure from traditional practice. However, is this enough to brand them as battlecruisers? To compare, let us examine the concept behind battlecruisers and see what made them different from battleships.

What Are Battlecruisers?

HMS Hood
HMS Hood, the largest battlecruiser ever built. Her weak protection became her undoing in her famous fight against the battleship Bismarck.
Battlecruisers were a short-lived vessel only used during the first half of the 20th century. They were conceived on the idea that faster capital ships would be both more effective and more flexible than the slower battleships in combat. Battlecruisers were designed to fulfill the following criteria:

  • Use their superior speed to chase down slower vessels.
  • Outgun weaker vessels while being able to outrun more powerful ones.
  • Harass enemy shipping lines and disrupt trade.
  • Support the main fleet by defending against cruisers.
To achieve these objectives, battlecruisers were designed for maximum speed. They achieved this speed by sacrificing armor, firepower, or a combination of the two. For the most part, battlecruisers were designed for speeds greater than 25 knots while the slower battleships were only capable of 21 knots.
At first, battlecruisers were fairly effective when deployed in the manner in which they were intended. The Battles of Heligoland Bight and the Falkland Islands were instances of battlecruisers fulfilling their roles and destroying enemy cruisers. However, as the war progressed, battlecruisers became increasingly less useful. Coordinated actions by large fleets ensured that they were only as fast as he slowest vessels involved. In latter engagements like the battle of Jutland, they fared poorly when forced to directly engage the more heavily armored battleships.

To rectify these weaknesses, cruisers became increasingly armored to the point that they were almost battleships. On the other hand, battleships were becoming faster, to the point that newer designs were as fast as battlecruisers. These advances caused the line between battleship and battlecruiser to blur.

Are the Iowa Class actually Battlecruisers?

At first glance the Iowa class vessels were very similar to battlecruisers. They were directly designed to hunt down and destroy weaker ships such as the Kongo Class battleships. They were lightly armored compared to their displacement, especially compared to previous US battleships. However, they also were very different in several important areas. First, lets take a look at some of the arguments listed above.

Their armor was unable to withstand the firepower of their own guns

A Forward Salvo from the Main cannons.
On the subject of a vessel being armored to withstand the firepower of its own guns, this was never a method of classifying battlecruisers.  No ship is armored enough to be completely impervious to its own guns. Even the mighty Yamato was vulnerable to its own guns at certain ranges, but that does not make it a battlecruiser. Most ships are designed to be immune to large caliber shells at certain ranges, normally those that combat is expected to take place. This is what’s known as an immunity zone.

While the Iowa class did have an immunity zone against its own guns, it was smaller than US designers would have preferred. This was largely due to advances in technology. The Iowa class was originally designed to withstand the US Mark 5 2240lb AP shell. The designers were able to create  reasonable zone of immunity from this shell. However, after the designs were largely finished, the Mark 8 2700 “Super Heavy” shell was introduced. This shell offered much greater capability and was thus harder to protect against. When combined with the 16″/50 cannon, the Iowa class had what could be the best naval gun put into service. At long ranges, the cannon was almost equal to the Yamato’s larger 18″ guns. Armoring against this shell would have required a much greater displacement than what the Iowa class offered.
As to the idea that battleships must be armored to resist their own guns, As best as I could tell, this myth arose from the practices of naval designers when creating armor schemes for their warships. Not having access to foreign weapons, they used their own weapons. Thus, they designed their own ships to resist their own guns. It was simply a matter of convenience.

They sacrificed armor to achieve higher speeds

Conning Tower Photo – The heavy 17″ armor used to protect the conning tower of the Iowa class.
This myth is untrue, though it does unveil some rather interesting details.  While the designers never sacrificed armor when creating the Iowa class, they also didn’t go out of their way to add more armor. As stated above, they did work to ensure that the class was armored to withstand its initial shells. However, the preceding South Dakota was sufficiently armored as well. In fact, the armor scheme of the Iowa class was directly based on the South Dakotas with some minor improvements.
While the Iowa class might not have been armored as much as US designers would have preferred, it was still very much a protected battleship. It was designed to engage battleships in direct combat, survive whatever shells came their way, and emerge the victor. This is a stark contrast to the types of combat that typical battlecruisers were to engage in. At the very least, one could make the argument that the Iowa class was a faster model of a preceding battleship.

Conclusions: Battleship or Battlecruiser

Based on design and the intentions of designers, the Iowa class were battleships. They were designed like battleships, they were armored like battleships, and they could certainly fight other battleships. However, I would go so far as to argue that their design was unique. Perhaps a blend of ideas behind both battleships and battlecruisers to a degree.

As battlecruisers gained armor and battleships gained speed, the line separating the vessels blurred. The Iowa class exists in that blurry area. It was a battleship that incorporated some of the doctrine that inspired battlecruisers. Unlike battlecruisers that were designed to chase down and destroy enemy cruisers, the Iowa class was designed with bigger prey in mind. They were designed to hunt down enemy battleships and other large vessels. Unlike battleships, that got faster through the advancement of engine technology, the Iowa class was designed to be fast. They were the only class of battleship that could be considered true fast battleships in that speed was a main goal in their design.
In many ways, the Iowa class took the best features of both battleships and battlecruisers to create a specialized class. The real question is what the Iowa class would have inspired had the age of dreadnaughts not ended when it did. How fast would have subsequent battleships become? Unfortunately, we will never know.  Although the proposed Montana Class Battleships would have given some ideas...


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Monday Music "Atomic" by Blondie

I know, this is another Tuesday rendition of "Monday Music", well it does happen.  I had a busy weekend, I went through my Vigil ordeal for the "Order of the Arrow" where we stayed up all night and contemplated life, the Universe...and everything and the answer is 42 from "Hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy".  Well in my case, I tended a fire, it was cold btw and read "Red Storm Rising" on my tablet.  Yes I have read the book many times and yes I will read it again.  But I digress, I went through my Vigil ceremony and was given my "Indian" name which is Machelemuwi Topalowilenno or "Honorable Warrior".
 I was truly humbled by the honor and the name.
    I was recovering from the looong weekend so I couldn't get a Monday Music up on Monday like I wanted.
      I heard this song playing on my Sirius/XM on the way to work and I decided to use it.   I remember Blondie hitting the music scene real hard in the late 70's and early 80's, then they kinda vanished for a long time, but as I understand it, they are back and touring again.  This song is a staple on my computer game "Grand Theft Auto, Vice City".  Blondie is better known for "Rapture" the first "rap" song to go to #1 in 1980 and "Call me".
"Atomic" is a hit song by the American new wave band Blondie, written by Debbie Harry and Jimmy Destri and produced by Mike Chapman. It was released as the third single from the band's Platinum-selling 1979 album Eat to the Beat

Atomic was composed by Jimmy Destri and Debbie Harry, who (in the book "1000 UK #1 Hits" by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh) stated "He was trying to do something like "Heart of Glass", and then somehow or another we gave it the spaghetti western treatment. Before that it was just lying there like a lox. The lyrics, well, a lot of the time I would write while the band were just playing the song and trying to figure it out. I would just be scatting along with them and I would just start going, 'Ooooooh, your hair is beautiful.'"The word atomic in the song carries no fixed meaning and functions as a signifier of power and futurism.The bridge to, and the break in the melody before "Atomic" is spoken, is heavily influenced by the bridge in the song "I'm on my way" by Dean Parish.
The song was produced as a mixture of new wave, rock and disco which had proven to be so successful in their No.1 hit from earlier in 1979, "Heart of Glass". It is written in E natural minor ("Call Me" is written in E♭ natural minor).

European edition of the "Atomic" single with the famous picture of Debbie Harry wearing her "Andy Warhol's BAD" T-shirt, in 1981 used for the free fold-out poster that came with the hits compilation The Best of Blondie

The 1980 single version of "Atomic" was a remix. The original 4:35 version as featured on the albums Eat to the Beat and 1981's The Best of Blondie opens with an intro inspired by the nursery rhyme "Three Blind Mice" and includes an instrumental break with a bass guitar solo. The 7" version mixed by Mike Chapman omits the "Three Blind Mice" intro and replaces the instrumental break with a repeat of the verse.

The music video depicts the band performing on stage at what looks like a post-apocalyptic nightclub in which Debbie Harry is wearing a garbage bag as a punkish futuristic costume. The audience at the club are also dressed in suitably futuristic costumes, and footage of a horseman and an atomic explosion are also intercut. Model Gia Carangi (a strong supporter of the band) made a guest appearance in the music video and can be seen in various shots

The song became the band's third number one in the UK Singles Chart, where it held the top spot for two weeks. It reached the Top 40 in the US in Spring 1980.
The B-side was "Die Young, Stay Pretty", also from the album Eat to the Beat, a reggae-influenced track, a style the band would perform again in their global chart-topper "The Tide Is High". The UK 12" single contained a live cover version of Bowie's "Heroes" featuring Robert Fripp on guitar recorded at London's Hammersmith Odeon just a month before. The track was included on 1993's rarities compilation Blonde and Beyond.
"Atomic" was remixed and re-released in the UK in September 1994 where it peaked at #19 on the UK Top 40 singles chart.The subsequent April 1995 US release reached #1 on the Billboard Dance/Club Play Charts. The 1994 remix was included on the compilations The Platinum Collection, Beautiful - The Remix Album and Remixed Remade Remodeled - The Remix Project. The track was remixed again four years later for the UK compilation Atomic - The Very Best of Blondie and the '98 Xenomania mix was later included on the first Queer as Folk soundtrack album.