Everybody focused on the detection range changes in patch 0.6.3, but I was excited about the range buff for low tier battleships. As you can see, that worked out pretty well for me.
First, each of them was steeped in technology, to the point that Raymond Spruance and Arleigh Burke had to fight the naval engineering community to get to the Pacific War. Their technological background and prowess were value adds in different ways because technology and tactics are two sides of a single coin. The second oddity is that none came from a coast nor grew up in a seagoing family. You may take that for what it is worth, but in my own case, growing up in Illinois I was caught up in the romance of the sea and dreamed of winning battles. Perhaps fortunately, I was only shot at twice, once by friendly forces.
Only a whisker separates the rankings of my dream team, but I present them in order of my love for each. I start with Spruance.
Spruance is an obvious choice. I'm curious to see who the other three will be.
Here’s a fun little video showing the Indian Navy’s Tupolev Tu-142M Bear-F in operation. India has operated the Maritime Patrol version of the famous Tu-95 for almost 30 years, and is now retiring them in favor of the Boeing P-8I Poseidon.
So, the World of Warships is abuzz with the news that the British battlecruiser HMS Hood will soon be released into the game.
And one of the first things virtually the entire community noticed was the AA guns. 178mm rocket launchers? Really?
In the years before World War II, the Royal Navy recognized the ever growing threat to surface ships that airplanes posed. A good deal of effort was put into improving the long and short range air defenses of the ships of the fleet. Usually this consisted of high angle secondary batteries of 4” guns, and a host of 40mm guns.
But one interesting approach was what became known as the 7” Unrotated Projectile.
A small, lightweight mount could be bolted on to just about any flat surface on a warship (and deck space is always at a premium), with an array of 20 tubes designed to fire a short range 7” fin stabilized rocked. That fin stabilization gave rise to the odd name, in that unlike many rockets, these were not spin stabilized.
A salvo of 10 rockets would be fired in the path of an incoming enemy aircraft. Here’s where things got weird. Rather than simply exploding, the bursting charge released a small explosive charge supported by three parachutes on 400 foot long lines. The thought was this would effectively form an aerial minefield. As a plane ran into one of the suspension lines, the charge would be drawn to the plane, and destroyed.
Alas, it didn’t really work.
Further, the wind could easily cause the charges to drift back to the launching ship, or its escorts. While the charge was too small to do serious direct damage, it’s still less than optimal.
HMS Hood did actually still have it’s UP launchers aboard when she was sunk by the Bismarck.
The RN however, by that time, had realized the launchers were essentially worthless, and they were soon removed from those ships that still had them.
A while back, there was a quick video of Keanu Reeves training for the role of John Wick, shooting a three gun match scenario. And he was damn good.
But what about normal people? Can they be trained to perform as well? What about in one day?
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy announced Monday that effective immediately, Sailors will no longer be required to log onto Navy Knowledge Online, Navy eLearning or My Navy Portal to complete General Military Training (GMT) for any topic except Cybersecurity as outlined in NAVADMIN 072/17.
Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. Robert Burke said that during Fleet visits he often hears Sailors say online training is ineffective and impersonal. This effort, he said, is aimed at improving leader engagement opportunity, reducing administrative distractions and addressing Sailor's frustration with current online training products.
"I want Sailors to know we've heard them," Burke said. "This is about restoring an important leader engagement opportunity - an opportunity to talk about integrity, accountability and character, something today's online products are missing. There is no doubt this approach will yield an even greater competitive edge for the Navy."
Holy cow, a bit of sanity breaks out.
Maybe they can also look at trimming the numbers of GMT topics.
A while back, I mentioned the fire that broke out aboard USS Enterprise while undergoing an operational readiness exercise prior to her deployment to Vietnam.
One of the commenters mentioned he was aboard, and thought you, dear reader, would be interested in his recollections of that tragic day.
Without futher ado, JW Russell’s story.
I guess the best place to begin is at the beginning. Liberty for the “Enterprise Crew,” ended 0800 the morning of the 13th Jan 1969. I was assigned to aircraft loading crew in Attack Squadron VA. 145. under the command of, Commander, J Holland. We were headed out for our “ORE.” (Operational Readiness Inspection,) before we take off for “Yankee Station,” the Vietnam Operating Area. I had spent the proceeding day with my cousin who was stationed in Pearl Harbor. My work day started at 2000, the evening of the 13th.
The first part of the inspection was a “Alpha Strike,” the morning of the 14th. Our A-6's were equipped and with five MERs each “Multiple Ejector Bomb racks.” Each MER would carry 6 low drag 500lb bombs That is a total of 18000 lbs of ordnance per bird. We finished up about 0630. Just about the time They called the crew to “Flight Quarters.”
We briefed the on coming crew on the load up. The we headed to our bunks. Some of the night crew decide to stay and watch the first launch. I was not that eager, so I headed forward on O2 level to my compartment and my bunk.
It felt like just hit the pillow and closed my eyes, the next thing I knew I was on the deck. When my head cleared enough for me to understand what I was going one I heard over the 1MC “ships speaker system,” “General Quarters, General Quarters, Fire On the Flight Deck. This is No Drill! This is No Drill!” Then came a Thump that shook the whole ship. When you are that close to a explosion you don't really hear it, you feel it. The lights in the compartment were still on; thank god. The klaxon sounded again and the call, “This is No Drill, General Quarters, General Quarters, Fire on the flight deck. All Hands Man Your Battle Station.”
The closest door to me was the Port Side. But as I headed for the exit two more explosions knocked me off my feet. They came from the direction I was headed. I turned around and headed for the starboard side door. When I got into the Starboard Side Passageway, it was jammed solid, no one could move. From a passage way just aft of me a officer in his flight suite yelled at us, “You People are Sailors act like it. Clear this Passageway.” And just that quickly the passageway cleared and we started making our way forward. As I moved along, I decided to head for the Flight Deck. I turned down a side passageway I met a Yellow Shirt coming down from the Flight Deck. As he secured the Water Tight Door, He said “you can't go this way the whole Starboard side Aft is on fire; head for the Hangar Deck.”
I turned and headed forward down the passage way with the Yellow Shirt close behind. Just as I reached a ladder leading down there was another explosion and I was slammed up against the forward Bulkhead. When my head cleared enough to think straight, I looked for the Yellow Shirt, but he was nowhere to be seen. To this day I don't know what happened to him. He may have ducked into another compartment or down another ladder. All I know is I don,t remember seeing him again.
When I got to the Hangar Bay I was greeted with a sight that had to be seen to be believed. A waterfall of fire was pouring down from the Flight Deck into the hanger bay. The Fire crews were standing right at the base of the fire fall, using their hoses to push the flames over the side. The fire just kept pouring down. If the crew had stopped even for a moment the fire would have flooded the aft hangar bay. They never gave an inch. Later I heard that the aft fuel pumps were pumping JP5 into the fire. I was never able to confirm that story but something was feeding the fire.
As I stood there not knowing what to do a Damage Control crewman grabbed me by my jersey and said,”Come with me.” Like I had a choice. He dragged me further aft where there we about a dozen men opening OBA canisters. The DC guy handed me an OBA and said, “Put this on.” As I was putting the OBA on and he dragged me to a line of men wearing OB A's. A group of DC crew men were handing out canvas bags full of canisters. The DC guy handed me a canvas sack and said, “Take this bag and follow that line over there, aft to the fire crew on the fantail.
With my hand on the line I started aft. I hadn't gone a dozen feet when all the light in the world was swallowed up by the black smoke billowing out of the fantail passageway. It took all my willpower not to drop the bag and take off running. But I kept walking. What I didn't know was the worst was yet to come. It happened when I met some one coming the other way. I had to turn loose of the line to get by. The panic that ran through me when my hand lost the security of that line. Remembering It still makes my knees weak. At last I was standing on the fantail. I handed off my sack and started my trip return trip to the hangar bay. I think I made two more trips to the fantail. I could have been more but I don't think it was less. When the DC Chief called for men to man a man a fire hose on the flight deck. They didn't have to call twice. Anything had to be better than stumbling in that black pit. I have heard Airedales harass HT's and the other black shoe rates but I'll bet you that when a sailor dies there will be an HT guiding his lost souls to heaven. When the smoke blinds you and the water is poring in it takes real guts to stay in the compartment and plug that hole and the fight fire.
Well by the time I made it to the flight deck most of the explosions were over but there was still plenty 20mm cooking off and whizzing through the air. They put me on a hose crew that was spraying water on a melted F-4. Yes the Plane was literally melted to puddle the ammo that had been in it's can's were sticking up all over the place like dandy lions sprouting in a field. If that wasn't enough to give you the willies' there were pieces of “HE” scattered all over the deck like party favors at a kids birthday. As I was looking around I saw a destroyer aft on the starboard side so close to our fantail that I could have jumped on to her bridge. I learned later She was the USS Rogers. She threw herself right into the fire with the bombs still exploding. I lift a glass to her every Jan 14th.
I stood there a couple of hours spraying water on a puddle of an airplane. In any other story with the fire out and no more explosions you would say that is the end. But I want to include something else. The FOD walk down; it occurred after they secured most of the fire parties. The 5MC called all Ordnance Personnel to the Island. Once we were all assembled. The flight deck crew handed us two plastic bags one red and one yellow. We were instructed to put the “HE,” in the red bag and “Remains,” in the Yellow bag. So there we were lined up from Port to Starboard, catwalks included, walking aft picking up the unexploded explosive and the remains of our fellow crew men. It was a sobering experience.
Well the walk down was complete and the fire watches had been set. We pulled into Pearl Harbor. This reception was a lot different than the last time we pulled in ambulances had taken the place of the Hula girls.
As any of you who have been through a disaster know, we weren't done yet. We were called to muster; every single crewman had to be accounted for. My Squadrons Ordnance crew had lost our shop and our berthing compartment. Both had been obliterated. And to add a little sugar to the cake I was informed I was in the duty section and That I would stand the mid. to four, Fire Watch. By the time my day ended I had been up thirty hours. When I started this I was worried that I wouldn't remember enough, now I am surprised by how much I retained.
JW Russell AO1 USN. RET. (1967 to 1987)