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Cruisers - how are they different from battleships?

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  • operation wigwam - four simultanious 3/14/1955 underwater tests, naval weapons effects controlled from the coldwar command cruiser Mt McKinley - while focused on ASW, it had surface ship studies included too (detailed @17:00 min into film). The test submarines were built at LBNSY, they are mentioned in Rusty's Yellow Book.

    They had a fleet tug tow the 30,000ft weapon and target array - the longest towed array in USN history. The effects were up to 2.5x more than expected, and some shock damage to the supporting fleet occured.
    Last edited by USSWisconsin; 23 Jan 13,, 04:18.
    sigpic"If your plan is for one year, plant rice. If your plan is for ten years, plant trees.
    If your plan is for one hundred years, educate children."

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    • Getting back into the WWII cruiser development - and then moving off again to the subject of armored carriers, These early fleet carriers were allowed 8" guns, so both the US and the Japanese mounted them. They also had cruiser type protection, some could even resist 8" fire. The protection was limited to machinery, magazines, steering gear and sometimes a conning tower. The armored deck was usually below the hanger.

      Here is the Akagi and Kaga - showing their belt and deck protection and TDS. The USN Lexington class was similar in protection and had 8" armament when built.





      Scans from Warship Vol VI. This book is long out of print and very hard to find a reasonable price - I just saw a copy of Warshp 2008 offered for 1500$ Its sad when 50$ books get so expensive used. Its not unusual to find these out of print volumes for 400-500$ and < 100$ is a reasonable price these days (the new 2013 volune is priced at 34$ for pre-order, it comes out in the late spring).
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      Last edited by USSWisconsin; 11 Feb 13,, 03:14.
      sigpic"If your plan is for one year, plant rice. If your plan is for ten years, plant trees.
      If your plan is for one hundred years, educate children."

      Comment


      • Interesting thread. I kind of spot read it all the way through. My father was a Boatswain's Mate and Gun Captain in one of the 8" turrets aboard USS Augusta (CA 31) in Shanghai in 1937. She later became President Roosevelt's flag ship. She weighed in at less than 10,000 tons, and therein lies the problem when trying type a particular class of ship as "cruiser" or "battlecruiser" or "Panzerschiffe" or "pocket battleship" or "battleship," etc. When a navy makes a decision to start morphing things, they invite disaster. Battlecruisers are the classic example. Had they been used in the same role as cruisers, which was the original intent, then all would have been well. However, people start looking at 15" or 16" guns and start thinking "battleship," and before you know it, they end up in the battle line. In that parlance of a lot of us old Surface Warfare types who've seen the elephant, they couldn't flee, f*** or fight, and had no business in the battle line at Jutland or going toe-to-toe with Bismarck as in the case of HMS Hood. They clearly didn't belong; and a lot of good men died because of that lack of understanding of their inadequacies.

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        • Originally posted by desertswo View Post
          Interesting thread. I kind of spot read it all the way through. My father was a Boatswain's Mate and Gun Captain in one of the 8" turrets aboard USS Augusta (CA 31) in Shanghai in 1937. She later became President Roosevelt's flag ship. She weighed in at less than 10,000 tons, and therein lies the problem when trying type a particular class of ship as "cruiser" or "battlecruiser" or "Panzerschiffe" or "pocket battleship" or "battleship," etc. When a navy makes a decision to start morphing things, they invite disaster. Battlecruisers are the classic example. Had they been used in the same role as cruisers, which was the original intent, then all would have been well. However, people start looking at 15" or 16" guns and start thinking "battleship," and before you know it, they end up in the battle line. In that parlance of a lot of us old Surface Warfare types who've seen the elephant, they couldn't flee, f*** or fight, and had no business in the battle line at Jutland or going toe-to-toe with Bismarck as in the case of HMS Hood. They clearly didn't belong; and a lot of good men died because of that lack of understanding of their inadequacies.
          Too bad "USS Wisconsin" recently passed away. I'm sure he would have enjoyed your imput.

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          • Originally posted by Ytlas View Post
            Too bad "USS Wisconsin" recently passed away. I'm sure he would have enjoyed your imput.
            I'm sorry to hear of his passing. I hadn't realized you had lost one of your (I guess "our" now that I've joined) company. This is a problem in more ways than I can count. As a practicing historian/consultant these days, I come to rely a lot on those who have gone before for their "unofficial" insights. The unofficial story is often more valuable than what is found in documents.

            On a personal level, it's also a reminder of my own mortality. I'm 57 years old, and grew up in a suburb of San Diego called National City. For those unfamiliar with the area, it is a working class neighborhood, one of the main streets of which (8th Street) dumps you into one of the main gates of Naval Station San Diego (aka "32nd Street"). It is, or at least once was, an area with a large population of current and former Navy members. I grew up on a street in which literally every dad was either a retired CPO, or still on active duty. My father retired in 1954 as a CWO4 Boatswain. That was two years before I was even born. Even though he spent far more time (13 out of 20 years) as a commissioned officer, he always said he felt most comfortable in the CPO Mess. In any event, growing up in that environment I learned to cherish the abilities, and the memories, of those men who lived next door or across the street. Their adult leadership alone, in a neighborhood full of kids including not a few teenagers, was invaluable. One always felt "safe" because these were all good, if occasionally salty;), men. If my own father wasn't home, I always knew where I could find some good advice on a whole range of subjects; and my father returned the favor more than once, especially if one of the men still on active duty was at sea or deployed. Regardless, we are losing those insights at an alarming rate these days and with them, a lot of common sense. Something sorely lacking in the current political paradigm.

            For purposes of this discussion, growing up as I did, being a dependent of a retired officer, I sort of came of age on the various Navy and Marine Corps bases and facilities in San Diego County. Both 32nd Street and Naval Air Station North Island were sort of regular stomping grounds. Even as a teenager after I got my driver's license, I was a regular at the beach at North Island. Why? Because it had the best surf in the county and was about as uncrowded as a beach in Southern California is likely to be. A little short on quality eye candy maybe, but the waves made up for some of that. The thing is though, I grew up seeing a lot of the ships being discussed in these various threads in the flesh. USS St. Paul, seen below steaming in line abreast with Wisconsin and USS Buck off of Korea, was a regular visitor at North Island. When the atmospheric conditions were right, she could often be heard shooting at San Clemente Island, roughly 70 miles away.



            I toured USS New Jersey as an 11-year old with my Scout troop when she was recommissioned in 1967 or 1968, whenever. Later when I was a young officer, I had friends aboard USS Chicago (CG 11; laid down as CG 136) and often walked down the pier from my own ship, Constellation (CV 64) to visit them. As a LCDR and a member of the CINCPACFLT Propulsion Examining Board (a unit which no longer exists, although its nuclear sister still does) I inspected the engineering plants in both New Jersey and Missouri in May of 1990. Anyway, I came to appreciate the complexity and both the inherent strengths and weaknesses of all of these big "real" cruisers (as opposed to the glorified destroyer in which I was Engineer, USS Gridley CG 21) and battleships. In many ways, they were as much works of art as they were wonders of the technology of the eras in which they were designed and built.
            Attached Files
            Last edited by desertswo; 14 Jun 13,, 19:45.

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            • Originally posted by desertswo View Post
              For purposes of this discussion, growing up as I did, being a dependent of a retired officer, I sort of came of age on the various Navy and Marine Corps bases and facilities in San Diego County. Both 32nd Street and Naval Air Station North Island were sort of regular stomping grounds. Even as a teenager after I got my driver's license, I was a regular at the beach at North Island.

              Remember the quonset hut commissary on North Island in the early to mid 60's? Instead of paper bags, they had cardboard "baskets" to put the groceries in.
              Last edited by Ytlas; 14 Jun 13,, 06:31.

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              • Originally posted by Ytlas View Post
                Remember the quonset hut commissary on North Island in the early to mid 60's? Instead of paper bags, they had cardboard "baskets" to put the groceries in.
                What do you mean in the mid-60s? I can't remember for sure, but I'm pretty confident that if it wasn't still a quonset hut when I first reported to Constellation, it wasn't much sexier. It's a beautiful, modern complex now, but man, in those days, all of the money went to the upkeep of the big, gray things. Quality of life stuff like nice commissaries, base exchanges, and family housing was in a very distant second place.

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                • Originally posted by desertswo View Post
                  What do you mean in the mid-60s? I can't remember for sure, but I'm pretty confident that if it wasn't still a quonset hut when I first reported to Constellation, it wasn't much sexier. It's a beautiful, modern complex now, but man, in those days, all of the money went to the upkeep of the big, gray things. Quality of life stuff like nice commissaries, base exchanges, and family housing was in a very distant second place.
                  The quonset hut commissary was right next to the water, just a tad south where the carriers are tied up. I was out of the area by 1965. There must have been another one on 32nd street back then, because we only went to the one on Coronado a few times. Last time I was at the new commissary on 32nd street was 1995 and it was nice. Spent a few nights at the Naval Lodge while my Dad was at the U.S. Navy Medical Center.

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                  • Originally posted by Ytlas View Post
                    The quonset hut commissary was right next to the water, just a tad south where the carriers are tied up. I was out of the area by 1965. There must have been another one on 32nd street back then, because we only went to the one on Coronado a few times. Last time I was at the new commissary on 32nd street was 1995 and it was nice. Spent a few nights at the Naval Lodge while my Dad was at the U.S. Navy Medical Center.
                    Which Navy Lodge? The one on the beach at North Island would rival a lot of five star resorts. Literally right on the beach I mentioned earlier. You can't beat the location . . . so long as you don't mind airplanes doing touch and goes about 200 yards away all day and night.

                    Yes, there was indeed a commissary and exchange at 32nd Street. I often had to sit in the car outside because for some weird reason back in those days they didn't want kids under the age of ten in the commissary, so you'd look around the parking lot and just about every other car had one or more kids under ten sitting in them board to tears. The other great thing at 32nd was the movie theater. When I first started going there, it was $0.10 to get in; then it went all the way up to $0.25!! My mom was an RN and worked the swing shift from 1500 to 2330, so it was just me (my sisters were all away at college or married by then) and him, and we'd go to the movies on the base almost every night. Didn't matter what. Just good bonding. The theater was also at the foot of Pier One on the base. He would often walk me down to Pier One or over to Pier Two to look at the ships. He'd describe the equipment that was visible and the mission of each ship. Occasionally some officer walking by would overhear what he was doing and say, "Want to go on board?" Well . . . yeah!!! So we did, and the guy would give us a tour.

                    The other thing we did a lot was go fishing in the Bay. We either fished off the pier at the Admiral Kidd Club at the ASW School, which is abreast Shelter Island, or rent a 13 foot Boston Whaler with a 25-horse Evinrude from Special Services at the Naval Training Center. Using live anchovies we used to nail a lot of halibut and bass in the Bay. Also, USS Perch (SS 313) was made fast to the pier at the Admiral Kidd Club for use as a reserve training platform. Reservists would show up on weekends and they'd do "fast cruises" (pretend they were underway without actually moving). The rest of the time there was a Petty Officer on board as a sounding and security watch. If the fishing wasn't any good, my dad would ask the kid in charge if I could go on board and look around. They had no problem so long as I didn't touch anything . . . and I didn't. But I learned a lot about old Fleet Type submarines. They'd removed her torpedo tubes and I never knew why, and because I didn't like bugging the guy on watch, I never asked. It wasn't until years later when I was on the Joint Staff and I bought Blind Man's Bluff at the Pentagon Book Store that I learned old Perch had been a special ops boat and had done a significant amount of really dangerous intelligence gathering on the Soviet Union. It was a pretty stunning revelation for a guy who basically knew the boat like the back of his hand. Anyway, when we rented the boat (I think it cost a whole $5.00) we'd go out to the bait barge that was just east and south of the submarine base at Ballast Point near the tip of Pt. Loma. Good fishing out there too, with the added advantage of being able to see a lot of fast attack boats tied up, or even getting underway or making landings there. Also saw a lot of other ships leaving or entering port and got tossed around by their wakes. It was a lot of fun and again, I learned a lot just listening to my dad. He had finished his career as a Navy Harbor Master and was master of an ocean going tug in Guam. Basically, everything I knew about ship handling I learned from him. The stuff I was taught at Surface Warfare Officer School was old news by the time I got there. People used to say, "You're a natural." Nonsense . . . I just had the good sense to pay attention when my father was talking.:)

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                    • [hijack]

                      Captain,

                      Taking a risk to sound weird...

                      That avatar photo is awesome.

                      You look like just like John Cleese in USN uniform.

                      If you knew how big of a fan I am of Monty Python, you'd realize how big is the compliment.

                      All,

                      Sorry for the interruption. Had to say it.

                      [/hijack]
                      No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

                      To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

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                      • Originally posted by Doktor View Post
                        [hijack]

                        Captain,

                        Taking a risk to sound weird...

                        That avatar photo is awesome.

                        You look like just like John Cleese in USN uniform.

                        If you knew how big of a fan I am of Monty Python, you'd realize how big is the compliment.

                        All,

                        Sorry for the interruption. Had to say it.

                        [/hijack]
                        No worries. Usually people say I looked like Cliff Claven on Cheers. John Cleese is a step up. Although when I really get going in a lecture on a topic that excites me, I have been compared to the history professor found at 2:03 of this classic.



                        Someday I'll share what my mentor Sergei Khrushchev told me about the Soviet Union and SPAM.;)

                        Here are the wife and I in much earlier days:



                        And me conning Constellation alongside an oiler:



                        Now days, I look like this:



                        My hair is long enough now to wear in a pony tail, which I in fact do. Why? Because I can! :Dancing-Banana:
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                        • Originally posted by Ytlas View Post
                          Remember the quonset hut commissary on North Island in the early to mid 60's? Instead of paper bags, they had cardboard "baskets" to put the groceries in.
                          Just conferred with She Who Must Be Obeyed (SWMBO) and it was indeed the quonset hut that was still in service when I was a young En-swine. I thought so but while I do most of the shopping now days, she had the duty back then so remembers better than I. That was 1979. I don't remember when they built the new store but it was sometime in the 80s, I think.

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                          • Originally posted by desertswo View Post
                            Just conferred with She Who Must Be Obeyed (SWMBO) and it was indeed the quonset hut that was still in service when I was a young En-swine. I thought so but while I do most of the shopping now days, she had the duty back then so remembers better than I. That was 1979. I don't remember when they built the new store but it was sometime in the 80s, I think.
                            I didn't set foot on Coronado from 1965-1983. The last time I was there was a one day job on this big gray thing, the Constellation. It was January 1986 or 1988. Had to go and tear some asbestos off piping in the island. We were going to put the bags of the asbestos in the asbestos-marked dumpster on the flight deck, but some Filipino Chief told us we couldn't use that one and pointed to one about half mile down the pier. In hindsight we should have taken the red asbestos-marked bags through the mess decks on our path out to the pier. At least the Ship Supt Commander was happy with our work because we got a Kudos on the next Morning Report.

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                            • Originally posted by Ytlas View Post
                              I didn't set foot on Coronado from 1965-1983. The last time I was there was a one day job on this big gray thing, the Constellation. It was January 1986 or 1988. Had to go and tear some asbestos off piping in the island. We were going to put the bags of the asbestos in the asbestos-marked dumpster on the flight deck, but some Filipino Chief told us we couldn't use that one and pointed to one about half mile down the pier. In hindsight we should have taken the red asbestos-marked bags through the mess decks on our path out to the pier. At least the Ship Supt Commander was happy with our work because we got a Kudos on the next Morning Report.
                              So it's you I have to thank for being on the Asbestos Watch List! Nah, seriously, I am on the list but it's because of all the boiler refractory I inspected over the years. It's sort of the one use aboard ship they couldn't find a suitable substitute for it in the fire brick. It is what it is. I do have respiratory issues, but I don't blame asbestos for them. I personally believe it was all the second hand smoke I used to eat.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by desertswo View Post
                                So it's you I have to thank for being on the Asbestos Watch List! Nah, seriously, I am on the list but it's because of all the boiler refractory I inspected over the years. It's sort of the one use aboard ship they couldn't find a suitable substitute for it in the fire brick. It is what it is. I do have respiratory issues, but I don't blame asbestos for them. I personally believe it was all the second hand smoke I used to eat.
                                I never even heard of an Asbestos Watch List. Is that for Naval Personnel? I remember making the rounds on the USS Leahy early in an overhaul and in the crew's head, first deck around frame 32, where three sailors tearing insulation off the pipes. It was asbestos so I shut the space down. They sent these sailors to the dispensary and subjected them to every test they could think of. I think they were more interested in covering the butt of the guy who ordered them to do the job.

                                My lungs are clean as far as I know. I can remember working in the lower level of the fireroom while Fraser Boiler personnel were chipping out old boiler bricks. Some people just have a natural resistance to asbestos damage to their lungs. We used to get form letter from UC Irvine asking us to take part in their studies on why some people can be around asbestos all their lives and still have clean lungs.
                                Last edited by Ytlas; 15 Jun 13,, 03:04.

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