Friday, October 20, 2006

The BIG Bang Theory [link]

Interesting reading over at The American Thinker (see the link above). J.R. Dunn writes that, according to columnist Bob Novak, there are members of congress who are trying to encourage the US Navy to recommission the last two battleships (the Iowa and the Wisconsin).

One suspects that much of the passion comes from people unwilling to see an era die. It’s easy to be sympathetic with that position. For a large portion of the 20th century, the battlewagons were the Kings of the Seas, unmatched for firepower, armor, and sheer elegance. Certain individual battleships – the Bismarck, the Yamato, the Arizona, and the Missouri – have entered into legend in a way that ships of no other class can match. Truly, something has vanished now that the battleship sails no more.

But the weight of the argument lies with the other side. Iowa-class battleships, requiring crews of over 1,500 sailors, are extremely hard to man. They utilize obsolete technology that is difficult, and often impossible, to replace or repair (not to mention problems in training info-age sailors to operate it), and they are expensive, even by modern standards.

The single unanswerable contention lies in those big 16-inch guns, unequaled by any weapon in any fleet on any ocean. (The naval standard these days is the puny 5-inch gun). The Mk. 7 gun is capable of firing a 1,900 lb. round over 25 miles – a hammer that would make any anvil ring. That’s a hard argument to beat – it’s a shame that we can’t take the guns and leave the old hulls, with all their associated problems, to their honored rest.

Yeah, this really excites me! Those big guns are impressive...most impressive. And Mr. Dunn points out that we can keep the guns and lose the warships:
And that may well be possible, through a revival of a nearly forgotten naval configuration – the big-gun monitor.

* * * *

So there’s our answer. Remove the guns from the Iowa and Wisconsin, and place them on new hulls, configured as monitors for the mission of infantry support. The old ships can go on to become museum pieces, while their offspring, perhaps given related names, carry on the tradition.
That would actually work quite well...provided you have a hull that can support the massive turrets and give adequate stability.

It would be great fun to see how Muslim militants cope with 1,900 pound shells raining down on their heads! Send them on an express elevator to hell...GOING DOWN!


For another type of "big bang" you should take a look a this article in the Wikipedia. Sometimes those scientists with the pocket protectors and the coke bottle bottom glasses make the tiniest little error and then...oops!


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