Archive for the 'Battleships' Category

Jan 31

World War II’s 13-Year-Old “Baby Veteran”

Friday, January 31, 2020 1:31 PM

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On the night of 14-15 November 1942, sailors aboard the USS South Dakota (BB-57) found themselves in the midst of one of World War II’s most legendary naval battles: The Naval Battle of Guadalcanal. The South Dakota was no stranger to enemy action. Her gun crews had already earned themselves a reputation of being “wild-eyed and quick to shoot” (Smithsonian), and her captain, Captain Thomas L. Gatch, already had his jugular severed and arms permanently damaged in a prior attack less than a month before. (Yes, he did in fact return to his ship that quickly). By the time the… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Oct 3

Whatever Happened to the Battleship Oregon?

Thursday, October 3, 2019 12:01 AM

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USS Oregon returning to the U.S. from Cuba, following the Spanish-American War, 1898

The battleship Oregon fought in three wars–though only in two of them as a battleship. An emblem of the New Steel Navy during the Spanish American War, a special flagship during World War I, and finally a symbol of American resourcefulness during World War II, the old Oregon’s storied history was well-captured by John D. Alden in a 1968 Proceedings article, excerpted here.

 
Sep 5

Japanese Surrender of WWII

Thursday, September 5, 2019 12:01 AM

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A head shot of Captain Roland William Faulk, USN (Ret.)

  In the late 1930s, as World War II approached, Captain Roland William Faulk was serving at the Cavite Navy Yard in the Philippines on board the battleship Idaho (BB-42). He would go on to serve in the battleship Missouri (BB-63) at the end of the war and the immediate postwar period; as chaplain at the Recruit Training Center, Bainbridge, Maryland; as fleet chaplain for the Pacific Fleet; and at the Eleventh Naval District. Faulk’s recollections of service during World War II are important because of his observations concerning Rear Admiral Robert Workman, wartime Chief of Chaplains, and because of Faulk’s… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jun 28

The Iowa-Class Battlecarrier: A Design that Never “Took Off”

Friday, June 28, 2019 9:07 AM

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Concept model of the USS Missouri (BB-63) fitted as a VSTOL-capable interdiction/assault ship (Courtesy Martin

The history of naval architecture is replete with designs that, however innovative, never made it out of the concept phase. Some, like the Large Surface Effect Ship, seemed promising but could not deliver their designed performance even as smaller prototypes; others, like the Sea Control Ship escort concept, were cancelled because of budget cuts; still others, however mercifully, never made it off of paper. Such was the Iowa-class interdiction/assault ship, a late-1970s proposal which would have transformed the four battleships into “battlecarriers”–one-ship power-projection forces with a landing deck for short take-off vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft operations.

 
Dec 4

Innovation In Difficult Times

Tuesday, December 4, 2018 12:01 AM

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In 1868, the Meiji Restoration in Japan began a fundamental shift in Japan’s conception of its place in the world.[i] This shift was catalyzed by the “gunboat diplomacy” of Commodore Matthew C. Perry, who demonstrated the power of the U.S. Navy to secure expanded trading rights between the United States and Japan.[ii] The Meiji Restoration was characterized by an effort to modernize and globalize Japan economically and militarily in order to ensure that Japan would not be subjugated by a foreign power.[iii] Shimazu Nariakira, a powerful feudal lord during the period, stated that “if we take the initiative, we can… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jun 8

Frankenships: HMS Zubian and USS Wisconsin

Friday, June 8, 2018 9:14 AM

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When the Royal Navy commissioned the thirteenth Tribal-class destroyer in on 7 June 1917, it unleashed a floating Frankenstein’s monster. HMS Zubian was actually stitched together from the best parts of the class’s tenth and twelfth destroyers after both had suffered heavy damage while serving as part of the Dover Patrol to prevent German vessels from entering the English Channel. HMS Nubian was torpedoed during the Battle of Dover Straight in October 1916 but had remained mostly intact and suffered no casualties. As she was being towed back to port, heavy winds caused her to breakaway and run aground on… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Nov 15

The “Wide Wide World” of War

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 8:47 AM

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Viewers tuning in to NBC’s acclaimed 90-minute documentary series “Wide Wide World” on their luxurious 21-inch television screens on Sunday, 13 May 1956, were bound to be fascinated by that week’s program. The synopsis in the TV Guide promised audiences a first in the history of television — a live demonstrations of American firepower: The story of America’s “Power for Peace” will be told explosively by “Wide Wide World” with such items as the detonation of two simulated atomic bombs, the shooting down of a B-17 bomber and the firing of guided missiles. The atomic bomb simulations will be stage by the Army at Fort… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Sep 16

An Immersive Battleship Experience

Friday, September 16, 2016 4:33 PM

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In 1916 the U.S. Navy had visions of commanding the world’s greatest fleet—and a big naval appropriations bill that promised the construction of ten battleships armed with 16-inch guns. But the 1922 Washington Naval Treaty ended those dreams for the foreseeable future; only three of the battlewagons were completed. After a building hiatus of more than a dozen years, the keels were laid for a pair of modern 16-inch battleships, the North Carolina (BB-55), namesake of the two-ship class, and the Washington (BB-56). The ships were commissioned within five weeks of each other in the spring of 1941 and went… Read the rest of this entry »

 
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