Thursday, October 23, 2014

Slugging It Out, Toe-to-Toe

This is a test of a replica 17th Century naval gun against the hull of a warship.

First off, that's the smoke from just one long gun. The Vasa carried 48 24-pound cannon. While broadsides were not a common tactic in the early 17th Century, the line-of-battle tactics soon evolved and you might have had a ship pounding another with broadsides of 30 guns or more.

Second, note the damage wreaked by that iron cannonball. Besides the ball itself, the splinters thrown from the inside of the hull would have caused fearful damage to the gun crews of the ship so hit.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Yesterday, Plus Sixty Years

The USS Nautilus joined the Fleet. She was commissioned on September 30th, 1954.

Nautilus was an experiment from start to finish. As an operational boat, about all that she could do was stay submerged for long periods of time.  She was noisy and her passive sonar was noise-limited to speeds that could be easily surpassed by submerged diesel boats.  But she was a success at her main task:  Giving the Navy experience in operating nuclear power plats at sea.

After Nautilus, the Navy kept tweaking sub design with class sizes of between one and six boats until the construction of the Thresher/Permit class, which was the first SSN class of more than ten boats.