Friday, July 05, 2013

Me aboard the USS New Jersey: peace through superior firepower

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A museum on the Camden waterfront for about 12 years. A lookalike of the USS Missouri, of the Iowa class, the second biggest battleships ever, second only to the Japanese Yamato class. The airplane and aircraft carrier made ship-to-ship gun battles obsolete (our carrier planes sank the Yamato and Musashi) so these ships never served their original purpose.

The Big J was Admiral Halsey’s Third Fleet flagship in the Battle of Leyte Gulf (MacArthur returning to the Philippines) and the typhoon of ’44.

Interestingly our Navy hasn’t fought another navy since THE war.

3 comments:

  1. Libertarians are fond of quoting George Washington's admonition against entangling alliances. But we would do well also to recall his other rule of policy. "The most certain means of avoiding war is to be prepared at all times to fight one." Any nation that forgets that is in trouble. History is littered with the wreckage of states that ignored their defenses and depended on the goodwill of their global neighbors.

    Allies are nice. But there is something reassuring about knowing that if someone decides to take a shot at us, we can blow them off the face of the Earth, without having to ask for help or consulting with other governments.

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  2. "Interestingly our Navy hasn’t fought another navy since THE war."

    It probably wouldn't survive very long if it did. Read about "Millennium Challenge 2002". The short version: in a "free-play" simulation, while playing as an impoverished Persian Gulf tin-pot dictatorship, a crotchety retired Marine Corps general sank most of the U.S. Gulf fleet, using not much more than an array of fishing boats, cropduster airplanes, and cheap cruise missiles. In real life, it would have meant about 20,000 casualties.

    Vessels like aircraft carriers are big money, though (and they are also useful for launching air strikes against pathetic little countries too weak and dysfunctional to even shoot back), so the fact that they are basically giant floating coffins in any war against a serious enemy is not an important consideration in Washington.

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    1. Depends if the US Navy is ready for the threat, or not. If it's ready, guarantee you that your scenario won't happen. If it's like the USS Stark was, it would happen easily. (PS, when in the Persian Gulf or other waters like that, were ready)

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