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Military History 2004

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#21 Banapis

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 04:08 AM

Delvo, on Aug 16 2004, 08:05 PM, said:

Now this is getting weird. When I was reading a book on the voyage of the Bismarck, the Hood was consistently referred to as a battle cruiser, not a battleship, but was also said to be among the biggest sluggers around, always equated with other battleships, not cruisers. What was the deal there?
Hood is a special case when it comes to battlecruisers. The reason she was generally equated with battleships stemmed from her design history.  When the designers began working on the "Admiral" class battlecruisers, their instructions were to design a Queen Elizabeth class battleship (generally regarded as the best WWI battleship design) capable of a much higher turn of speed.  Thus, when Hood was commissioned in 1920, her armor scheme was state of the art and comparable to that of a QE battleship.  Her unrivalled combination of firepower, speed, and armor instantly led Hood to be regarded as the most powerful ship in the world from the moment she left the shipyard.  The fact she was an incredibly handsome warship didn’t hurt either. ;)

The term "fast battleship" wasn't coined until many years later, and many people now argue today that Hood was the world's first "fast battleship." Also, if you look at the history of Vanguard, now referred to as Britain's last "battleship," you will see the design was initially called a "fully armoured battlecruiser." As a general rule though, the higher speed of a battlecruiser was attained in part by reducing the armor from the level of that of a comparable battleship, and that's why “less armor” is usually thrown into the definition of a battlecruiser... it's true in almost all cases.

A final characteristic of battlecruisers is that they are significantly larger than similarly armed battleships in order to accommodate the machinery of their tremendous powerplants. As a consequence, battlecruisers like Lion, Repulse, and Hood each held the title of largest warship in the world when they were commissioned.

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#22 Ilphi

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 04:12 AM

I always have a soft spot for the Hood. She deserved so much better than the end she recieved...
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#23 Nonny

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 10:33 AM

Hambil, on Aug 17 2004, 07:14 AM, said:

In all the movies they do these chants when they march: "I don't know but I've been told..." etc. Do they really do that? If they do, Is it in all the services? And what it the purpose and origin? Finally, can you provide the text of a few?
Yes, yes we do.  Even the Air Force.  In basic, we used to snicker as the guys switched to naughty versions of Yellow Ribbon as soon as they spotted marching WAF, then we'd respond.  Since TIs choose the cadence, the male and female TIs were basically throwing out challenges to each other by cadence.  Good times!  Our basic training was only six weeks and a whole lot easier than every other branch's, and the Air Force was the newest branch, so we didn't have the range of cadences the others had, so I was surprised to pick up a cadence CD (yes, you can purchase CDs of actual troops doing actual cadence!) and find quite the variety of good stuff.  

Anybody else interested in military jargon and slang?  Do you know the term 'zoomie' and if so, who do you apply it to?  

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#24 emsparks

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 10:51 AM

Ilphi, on Aug 17 2004, 05:10 AM, said:

I always have a soft spot for the Hood. She deserved so much better than the end she recieved...
There was a great deal of British national pride tied up in the Hood, which made getting the Bismarck all that much more important. There was almost as much German national pride invested in the Bismarck, a name that is not taken lightly in the history of Germany.

There where two great lessons learn from that battle, one being the importance of deck armor, and the second being airpower. Where and out moded carrier launched biplane called by her crews the string bag, severely damaged Bismarck’s steering gear allowing the British to catch up to, and kill her. An out moded wood and fabric biplane was instrumental in sinking the pride of the German fleet. A lucky shot, a golden bee-bee maybe, but still the Bismarck was state of the art for her day with impressive fire control, radar, and antiaircraft batteries.  

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#25 emsparks

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 10:57 AM

Nonny, on Aug 17 2004, 11:31 AM, said:

...
Anybody else interested in military jargon and slang?  Do you know the term 'zoomie' and if so, who do you apply it to?  
Nonny
The only 'zoomie', I know of was a type a air launched rocket with a bad reputation. So I imagine that the term would be applied to a lose cannon, a real nut case. But then again I’m just guessing.

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#26 Nonny

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 11:10 AM

emsparks, on Aug 17 2004, 03:55 PM, said:

Nonny, on Aug 17 2004, 11:31 AM, said:

...
Anybody else interested in military jargon and slang?  Do you know the term 'zoomie' and if so, who do you apply it to? 
Nonny
The only 'zoomie', I know of was a type a air launched rocket with a bad reputation. So I imagine that the term would be applied to a lose cannon, a real nut case. But then again I’m just guessing.

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Wow!  That's quite different from my 'zoomie'!  What branch/country would that be from?!  

USAF: I was an avionics mechanic on F 4s and I called the fighter jocks who flew my birds zoomies.  My ex, a C 130 navigator, called all Academy grad pilots zoomies.  Fighter pilots called certain sierra hotel types zoomies.  

US Army: my brother, an MP, called ME a zoomie!  

So when I think 'zoomie,' I think Wild Blue Yonder, not loose cannon.   :hehe:

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#27 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 02:17 PM

Quote

G:I was a Con with a couple of folks who talked about the fact that with the new body armors and lack of stopping power of 5.56mm that a heavier bulliet is going to needed.
The next US assault rifle the XM-8 maintain the 5.56 mm cartridge of the M16 and M4.  Now this sounds like another M16 waiting to happen but I have some hope for the XM8.  The rifle is designed to fire far more rounds than the M4 or M16 without needing the frequent cleaning that the M16 series requires.  Now the main feature that perks my ears about the XM8 is that the rifle is designed to be easily converted between various uses.  You can reduce the length of the rifle from a full length rifle to a carbine with the quick swap barrels the weapon has.  Now the main thing that catches my eye is one of the conversions switches the rifle from 5.56 mm to 7.62 mm ammunition.

The idea is that US troops will often be operating in areas where AK-47 ammunition is highly prolific so why not make their rifles so they can use it.  So the M8 will have a quick convert kit that allows it to jump over to 7.62 mm rounds.  My bet is considering the rush on M14s and the variants of them and the use of AK-47s by US troops is that the conversion kit will be highly popular.  You’ll be mating the accuracy of a US rifle with the power of a 7.62 round.  My prediction is that if these kits get out in any real numbers you’ll see a informal changeover by US troops to 7.62 mm.

Quote

G: Also do you think caseless cartiages are a dead dog?

This one I’m not really to knowledgeable in.  I know H&K has been trying to perfect caseless cartridges since the 1960s with less then promising success most of the time.  

Quote

Delvo: And yet I've also heard battleships referred to as ships of the line, a term which should be defunct and inapplicable to modern ships if it indicates that older type... unless it really can include both modern and 19th-century big gun ships... in which case it's redundant to "capital ship" so one of the terms is pointless... :p :wacko:
Well battleships fought in a battleline in a similar manner to the earlier ships of the line except battleships were free to maneuver without relying on the wind.  This is really a case where terms have been slowly meshed together over the years until you end up with several terms that mean the same thing but originally meant different things.    

Quote

Delvo: So a battle cruiser isn't exactly a species of cruiser but a hybrid between battleship and cruiser? I guess the name does look constructed that way, but I had always thought "cruiser" was just short for "battle cruiser" until now, and "heavy cruiser" and "light cruiser" were just size subgroups within the category of battle cruiser, short for "heavy battle cruiser" and "light battle cruiser". And then it wouldn't make sense for the same class to include some ships that were equivalent to battleships and some others that you just said were smaller than an AB destroyer. But if the battle cruiser is a separate thing from (and bigger than) ordinary cruisers, more like battleships modified to be somewhat cruiser-like, now it all makes sense.
The battlecruiser was typically in the same size range as a battleship and often displaced nearly as much as a battleship.  The US intended to build Lexington class battlecruisers, that were later converted to the carriers Saratoga and Lexington, these ships would have displaced 44,600 tons at 874 ft with 4 dual turrets with 16"/50cal guns.  The Iowa Class Battleship that came along in the 1940s displaced 48,000 tons at 887 ft with an armament of three triple turreted 16”/50 cal guns.  As you can see the Lexington class carried one less main gun compared to an Iowa and was just a little shorter and had a slightly lighter displacement.  The main difference is the Iowa had a much heavier armored belt and better protection than the Lexington class would have had.  

Now your typical World War II heavy cruiser like the Baltimore Class displaced 17,000 tons with an armament of three triple turrets with 8”/50 guns.  The Cleveland class light cruiser displaced 13,800 tons and were armed with 4 triple turrets with 6”/47 cal guns.  Then you get the case of the Alaska Class Command Cruisers that were launched in 1945.  These ships displaced 34,000 tons, were 808 ft long, and were armed with three triple turrets with  12”/50 cal guns.  They were designed to be a large cruiser meant to hunt down and destroy the large 8” heavy cruisers of other navies.  In a sense they were similar to Germany’s pocketbattleships but had lighter armor and were clearly of a cruiser lineage.  Whereas pocketbattleships or battlecruisers have more in common with a battleship in terms of design.                

Quote

Delvo: I'm not talking about those below-deck vertical missile launchers. I'm talking about that giant huge box that pretty much is the whole ship and stands out stories above the deck, like an architecturally unoriginal office building floating in the middle of a big tray. Both modern destroyers and modern cruisers are dominated by this single big block shape, since they don't have much gunnery anymore. Is that really just like a building, containing just housing and work stations?
Oh that would be the superstructure of the vessel.  That would be all of the space of the ship that is located above the deck and contains radio antennas, the arrays for the radars in the case of the Aegis system, and the bridge among other things.
In this picture below you can see an Iowa class battleships steaming alongside several different modern warships.  You can see how the superstructure evolved over time into the box shape of the Arleigh Burke located aft of the Iowa.  

http://www.ussiowa.c...aInAction09.JPG

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Banapis: The term "fast battleship" wasn't coined until many years later, and many people now argue today that Hood was the world's first "fast battleship."
I don’t know…  It is a dicey proposition to claim that she was and it is a dicey one to say she wasn’t.  You could really argue either for Hood.    

Quote

Nonny: Anybody else interested in military jargon and slang? Do you know the term 'zoomie' and if so, who do you apply it to?
I think it was first used as jargon for USAF pilots and then went on to mean any USAF Personnel but still can mean a pilot.  

Quote

Sparky: A lucky shot, a golden bee-bee maybe, but still the Bismarck was state of the art for her day with impressive fire control, radar, and antiaircraft batteries.
For all the hype and few impressive qualities of the Bismarck she was a badly flawed design and far worse off than Hood.  Bismarck suffered from weak deck armor, mediocre guns that were less than steller at plunging fire, and a fatal flaw that ran the turret communications above the armored deck that made them extremely vulnerable to being cutoff from fire control.  On top of this her screws and rudders were setup in such a manner that once the rudder was jammed the ship was impossible to steer with the screws alone.  Bismarck was a great ship for fighting at close range in the foggy North Sea with her being stable gun platform that at short ranges had guns that could punch through side armor while having her own heavy side armor.  In open seas against an Iowa, North Caroline, or South Dakota the Bismarck would be in big trouble.
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#28 emsparks

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 03:55 PM

CJ AEGIS, on Aug 17 2004, 03:15 PM, said:

...
For all the hype and few impressive qualities of the Bismarck she was a badly flawed design and far worse off than Hood.  Bismarck suffered from weak deck armor, mediocre guns that were less than steller at plunging fire, and a fatal flaw that ran the turret communications above the armored deck that made them extremely vulnerable to being cutoff from fire control.  On top of this her screws and rudders were setup in such a manner that once the rudder was jammed the ship was impossible to steer with the screws alone.  Bismarck was a great ship for fighting at close range in the foggy North Sea with her being stable gun platform that at short ranges had guns that could punch through side armor while having her own heavy side armor.  In open seas against an Iowa, North Caroline, or South Dakota the Bismarck would be in big trouble.
Dear CJ:
I am not offering a critique of the Bismarck vis-à-vis the other battleships of her day. All I am saying is that a 1930’s era slow biplane should not have gotten pass the Bismarck’s air defense batteries. But then, in a world of battle, the average person would be surprised how often, just plane dumb-luck plays a decisive hand.

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#29 Ilphi

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 04:03 PM

It was only dumb-luck that the shell would score such a perfect shot on the Hood and explode the magazine. And let's not forget the dumb-luck of the British Bi-planes mis-interpreting a battleship and attacking a British warship - whose name temporarily mistakes me - only to find the magnetic charges explode on impact with the water, a mistake they were able to correct for the later attack on the Bismark...
Yea, ere my hot youth pass, I speak to my people and say:
Ye shall be foolish as I; ye shall scatter, not save;
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Ye shall call for a miracle, taking Christ at His word.
And for this I will answer, O people, answer here and hereafter,
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#30 tennyson

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 04:10 PM

Delvo's comments echo an interesting story from the 1970s involving some of the same issues about the public perception of modern warship design. At the time the Soviet Union was making a push for a real open ocean "blue water" navy and thier ship design emphasized having a lot of weapons simply overflowing across the decks  in numerous different types vs. the American design philosphy that had the magzines and other weapons cleanly built into the hull. This caused some less than informed Congressional representaives to question the capability of the ships that were entering service because they simply didn't look they they were as armed as they actually were to them.
A vertical launch system may not look like much but it requires less maintenance, has a faster response time and can carry more munitions per unit volume than the old rail type launchers and magazines, going from 40 missiles for the old Mk 13 or Mk 26 launch rails to 61 missiles per VLS cell that could also be of more varied types.

I think CJ has managed to handle most of the rest of the questions rather well and I can't think of anything in particular to add, although I will try to clarify my comments. I thought the maximum full load displacement of the Yamato class battleships was around 84,000 tons. I may have been mistaken but I thought that was it when I wrote the post and now that I've looked it up I see I was mistaken, it was only 69,000+tons full load displacement.
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#31 Delvo

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 05:30 PM

Ilphi, on Aug 17 2004, 03:01 PM, said:

It was only dumb-luck that the shell would score such a perfect shot on the Hood and explode the magazine. And let's not forget the dumb-luck of the British Bi-planes mis-interpreting a battleship and attacking a British warship - whose name temporarily mistakes me - only to find the magnetic charges explode on impact with the water, a mistake they were able to correct for the later attack on the Bismark...
That was the Sheffield.

The Bismarck's story had so many odd little twists like that that if it had been written as fiction people would have criticized it as too burdened with such plotline gimmickery.

#32 tennyson

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 05:57 PM

Also, I'd like to clarify an earlier comment of mine calling the early 1980s era Soviet Kirov class ships "battlecruisers". This was the term dusted off by US intelligence higher ups to classify these masive cruisers that displace over 26,000 tons full load displacement and were armed and armoured like no other warship of its type had ever been. Utilizing a combined diesel-nuclear propulsion system these ships were armed with 20 SS-N-19 Shipwreck Surface to surface missiles, 12 SA-N-6 SAM launchers with 96 missiles, 16 SA-N-9 SAM launchers with 128 missiles, 6 CIWS mounts(either 30mm guns or CADS-1 gun/missile launchers with 2 30mm guns and 8 SA-N-11 missiles each), 2 130mm guns, 10 21inch Antisubmarine torpedo tubes, 1 RPK-5 ASW rocket launcher , 2 RBU-1000 AS mortors and 3 Kamov targeting and antisubmarine warfare helicopters.
These ships so bothered Western naval planners and most especially American naval planners that the old Iowa class battleships were reactivated and moderinzed with Harpoon and Tomohawk missiles replacing some of its secondary armement and modern Phalanx CIWS guns replacing its old antiaircraft armament and the refitting of the old sea plane area in the back to handle modern helicopters.
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#33 Delvo

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 07:03 PM

OK, what smaller classes of warship/gunboat are there than destroyers? I know of one kind that's been in the news a lot lately...

#34 tennyson

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 07:11 PM

Below destroyers are Frigates or destroyer escourts as they were in known in World War II, then you have corvettes. Then below that it begins to get complicated as you are moving into the territory of auxiliary ships like minewarfare craft and things hat have a whole host of different names in different nations.
You have fast attack craft that are fast missile armed boats with displacements generally under 500 tons that are armed with some type of antiship missile and maybe a gun or two for close antisurface and antiaircraft work,
there are still some torpedo boats, thier are fast attack hydrofoils, and various patrol ships, patrol craft and so forth.
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#35 EvilTree

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 07:51 PM

Re: 5.56 vs 7.62 debate

Keep in mind that currently NATO uses 5.56x45 round while standard Russian round is 7.62x38. So really, 5.56 NATO round has more power than 7.62 Soviet round. (More gunpowder in 45mm casing vs 38mm casing)

*shrug*
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#36 G1223

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 08:58 PM

IT still lacks the penatration  against hard vests. Also the problem will still be that a 7.62 is going to lacking. Going smaller is not the answer.


I see a need to move to something in the 10 mm range of slug. That is why I was asking about the caseless question. that would be a godsend for such a rifle as the reduction in ammo weight could only be for the better.
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#37 emsparks

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 09:12 PM

^^ With the ceramic plates and all, to get a knock down they’re going to have to go to a more kinetic round. Don’t try to penetrate the vest, rather hit it with a sludge hammer and let the concussion take the target out. Or go to a hybrid, a Teflon coated kinetic round.

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#38 Lord Ravensburg

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Posted 18 August 2004 - 04:41 AM

A few additional notes on the M16 vs. AK-47 argument.

M16 pros:

It's lighter.

It's also far more accurate.  It can easily hit targets at several hundred yards.  Some versions can achieve hits at 1000 yards.

Recoil is negligible, further increasing accuracy.

It is capable of accepting a wide variety of add-ons and accessories.

It's relatively quiet.  

While it needs frequent cleaning, it's not hard to do so.

M16 cons:

It needs frequent cleaning.

It feels like it would break if you tried to bash someone with it (never tested that theory).

Not everyone likes the 5.56mm ammunition (although I feel that it is adequate).

The safety is inconveniently placed.

AK-47 pros:

Excellent hitting power with a high rate of fire.

It's cheap and very simple to operate and repair.

It's rock-solid reliable under difficult conditions.

AK-47 cons:

It's very noisy and heavier.

It's not very accurate.  Hitting anything beyond 100 yards is problematic.

It can't accept many add-ons without modification.  


Admittedly, I myself have never fired an AK-47.  However I will go on record by saying that I like the M16.  Its accuracy wins me over every time, especially at the longer ranges.  And if a shot does miss, you can be virtually guaranteed that it's not through any fault of the weapon.  

The .223 round may be less lethal than the AK's 7.62mm round, but one-shot-one-kill isn't necessarily the round's purpose.  A dead soldier is simply a casualty.  A wounded soldier may require a dozen or more of his comrades to get him off the battlefield, move him to the rear areas, and treat his injuries.  Meanwhile none of those dozen or more soldiers are fighting.  Theoretically, such a logistical backlog would hinder the enemy far more than if the soldier had been killed immediately.

#39 G1223

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Posted 18 August 2004 - 04:55 AM

The improvments in body armor are getting towards the point where a hit any place covered means that the 5.56 or 7.62mm are not going to kill let alone injure seriously a soldier in the field.

It is the reason I am saying we need to start working towards the next generation of rilfes. Rate of Fire is great in some cases as are smart grenades but what is to if the bulliets or grenades do not kill the enemy.
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#40 emsparks

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Posted 18 August 2004 - 06:19 AM

^^
That’s why the new variant of the AK sends two rounds down range on a single trigger pull. Since this weapon is both gas and recoil operated the hit grouping is very tight, and it appears to have fired only one round. I’m sorry I don’t remember the name. But it is in production, if limited.

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