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Now for a moment of Zen.

After you contemplate the beauty of self-propelled artillery, go take a read of John Kerry's consistent, coherent stance regarding Iraq.

4 Comments

Battleships are simply magnificent. Look at the shock waves on the water in that pic. Wow. I know they're obsolete but the darn things are just beautiful even sitting still. There's one (Iowa class I believe) set up as a museum in Mobile and as you travel through on the freeway you end up with a straight-on bow view of the thing. Gah its a beautiful sight. We have one of the WWI era battleships set up as a museum here in the Houston area, the Texas, and I've toured it several times - although it in no way measures up to an Iowa class. There's just something special about a battleship. For me anyway.
 
The Alabama is a South Dakota class ship, the class that preceded the Iowa's. I'm not so sure they are obsolete as much as they cost too much to operate for what they gave back. Most modern non-nuclear anti-ship weapons would just scrape the paint on the Iowas and South Dakotas, unlike the made-from-aluminum modern surface combatants, like the USS Cole.
 
Well, I guess the "they are obsolete" thinking for my part comes from my thinking amphibious landings are a thing of the past, and thinking of them as "gunships" for amphib support. I don't think we'll be doing that anymore with the type of mobility we have now. I was thrilled when Reagan re-commisioned them in the 80's. I don't care if they are obsolete they are so majestic I'd be willing to pay the premium to operate them just as *ahem* diplomatic tools if nothing else. Thanks for the link to the Alabama. The picture on that site just doesn't do it justice though. It really has to be seen and experienced in person IMO. It just takes your breath away. ;) Oh, since I'm not running out the door taking Katy to school, here's a site with better pics, and I like this set of pics because it shows her in camo. Pretty cool.
 
Amazing stuff. I read somewhere long ago that a full simultaneous broadside move the whole ship over 30 inches! Pretty incredible when you consider her displacement and that it is being resisted by seve hundred odd feet of metal-water interface. Kinda like pushing a dam 30 inches down river. I can remember being parked next to the Wisconsin in Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, VA. It was HUGE. And the number of smaller guns it carried was impressive too, around 20 five inch guns, over 30 forty millimeter Borfors, and more 20 millimeter and .50 caliber mounts than your average public high school freshman can count. I always though that with todays fire control and automation it could make a devestating amphibious support vessel. And amphibious landings are far from a thing of the past, we have conducted quite a few just in the last 15 years. Granted, not as big as we did in WWII or Korea, but impressive none-the-less.