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About CAPT_Rob

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    Master Chief Petty Officer
  • Birthday 07/04/1916
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    Hampton Roads, VA
  • Interests
    Naval History, wargaming and writing fiction and science fiction.

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  1. CAPT_Rob

    The First Six Frigates as "Battlecruisers"?

    Very true. In 1917 USS Constitution and the Civil War Era Sloop of War USS Constellation (in commission at the time) were renamed to free those names for Lexington class battle cruisers though I don't think the Navy went so far as to paint the new names on the hulls. The names were reverted back after cancellation of those two new ships, the re-renaming happened in 1926. Constitution continues in commission, Constellation was decommissioned for the final time in 1955 and donated to the city of Baltimore MD.
  2. CAPT_Rob

    Ships and lines.

    No such thing as an "idiot proof" anything, but my recommendation as a good T3 cruiser would be the USN St Louis, it isn't fast but it has a butt load of guns and can take or dishout damage like nobody's business.
  3. Quite true, with the exception of nods to modern regulations like navigation lighting, radar, electric or diesel pumps and such and the convenience of the auxiliary diesels they are in essence ships that Christian, Bligh and Nelson would be familiar with and could sail without a problem ... and those seamen would probably appreciate the convenience of having those auxiliary diesels to get them in and out of port without lots of backing and filling and 'warping' or kedging or avoiding being becalmed for days or weeks at a time. I've seen photos of Surprise out of the water, she's a twin screw frigate. Even I could drive that.
  4. One replica that's made it into movies was 'HMS Bounty' built for the Brando version of Mutiny on the Bounty. It had been intended that this ship be burned as part of the movie as the original had been by the mutineers. Brando wouldn't allow it and the ship survived until she ran afoul of 'Super Storm Sandy' a few years ago. She went down taking her Captain with her and ironically a decendant of Fletcher Christian was killed during evacuation of the ship. Another is the former replica 'HMS Rose' which served the Royal Navy as a 24 or 28 gun frigate. She was taken in hand and modified to represent the 28 gun HMS Surprise in the movie Master and Commander. Both ships had diesels for auxiliary power but were intended from the outset to sail. The photo below of Surprise is not a photoshop. That's USS Ronald Reagan in the background.
  5. Well put Murotsu, but one little 'nit' to pick. In the USN the officer next senior to the Captain is called the Executive Officer or XO. You find First Officers in the merchant marine (and Federation Starships) though some merchant marine companies refer to the second in command of their ships as Executive Officer also. The USN also has a position called 'First Lieutenant.' This individual is usually the officer in charge of the Deck Force or First Division. This officer can be (and in destroyers or smaller often is) an Ensign (O-1) or Lieutenant Junior Grade (O-2.) I realize you probably already know much if not all of this but a lot of our readers have even less knowledge of naval service than my wife's cat. Wife knows nearly as much as I do, she's former USN also. Also, aboard ship the Captain is the only ship's officer with two cabins. The Captain's In Port Cabin is actually a stateroom, usually with it's own head (toilet and shower) and often separate sleeping and office areas. The Captain's Sea Cabin is usually located right next to the Bridge so that if the Officer of the Deck hollars for help or advice at night the Skipper has to walk only a few paces and he's right there. That cabin usually only has room for a fold down bunk, a desk and a head with shower. Depending upon the size and class of the ship the XO's stateroom usually also has its own head with shower and a combined sleeping cabin with a desk. In larger ships the XO's stateroom can have separate sleeping and office areas. The Executive Officer, as you wrote is President of the Wardroom Mess. When the Captain dines there it is as a guest of the Wardroom even if he does not have his own mess facilities. Flag Officers (One Star or higher Admiral or Marine General) embarked in larger warships equipped with Flag Quarters usually have facilities similar to the Captain with both Sea and Inport Cabins. Flag Officers usually also rate having their own Mess facilities. For the record I retired from the USN 25 years ago as a Petty Officer First Class (E-6.)
  6. Very true about the Condor bomb load. Condor was an excellent long range aircraft that started life as a commercial passenger design and was pressed into service as a long range maritime recon aircraft for which it proved quite valuable, sighting and tracking TransAtlantic and Murmansk run convoys for the U-boat fleet.
  7. No worries, I caught on to your being in subs by the "ss" following your rate. I was a surface sailor, first went to sea in a Spruance class DD, earned my ESWS pin in USS Caron (DD 970.) UNREP for fuel was an every other day thing while at sea on deployment. I've seen SSNs loading stores and torps from Tenders, it's even more difficult than we had it on the DD. The Tarawa class LHA I finished my career in, taking stores alongside the pier was easy. We had vehicle ramps to the pier and a couple of nice heavy diesel forklifts and the heavy "B and A" crane just aft of the island on the flight deck, elevators to move stores to the holds and magazines and vehicle ramps that ran everywhere from the landing craft well deck up to the flight deck. The same general layout was applied to the Wasp class LHD and new America class LHA. The Spruance DD, Perry class FFG and Burke class DDG were all designed in a "modular" layout. The Spruance LOOKS like it's underarmed (or at least did when first launched) at one end of the spectrum, with lots of room for added goodies, toys and whistles ... much of it almost "plug and play" even in the weapons and electronic fitout. The Ticonderoga CG lays at the opposite end of that spectrum, but it's nothing more than a Spruance with all those added toys and whistles, much of which is inside that expanded superstructure. At it's core the Tico class IS a Spruance class, same below deck layout, very similar engineering plant, same drive systems, gear box, shaft and CRP (Controllable Reversable Propellers.) The engineering plant was so good that the Spruance system was modified only slightly and applied to the Arleigh Burke DDG class. The Spruances were modified extensively over their lifetimes, the biggest VISIBLE change was removal of the ASROC "Pepperbox" launcher forward of the superstructure and the 61 cell MK-41 VLS plugged into its place. Even though I retired in 1993 I try to stay abreast of Naval affairs.
  8. CAPT_Rob

    How small can the USN go?

    For general purpose patrol and light combat we might want to look back in time a bit and design a decendant of the Gearing class DD, maybe call it a Frigate or such. 2500 to 2700 tons, single 5"/62 mount forward, small VLS system forward for either SM2 or Improved SeaSparrow for SAM, 20mm Phalanx (1 per side) and RAM launcher (1 per side or 1 aft. Smaller 20 & 40mm mounts amidships. "Old fashioned" rotating surface and air search radars plus 1 or 2 "illuminator" or missile guidance radars to make the missile suite useful and a MK-86 control system for Mount 51. Diesel power rather than gas turbine. This ship shouldn't need to scream around the ocean at warp speed, diesel should still allow up to 28 knots if coupled with 2 variable pitch propellers, 4+ meter diameter. Diesel also would allow extended cruising time / range. If it's determined the class NEEDS to be able to keep up with the carrier groups then use gas turbines rather than diesel and accept the fuel use penalties and change the armament / electronics fit as appropriate before the ship is laid down for building.
  9. I think the question about the Harpoon has already been answered, if the missile fails to launch you can dispose of the entire launch tube. It's a self-contained throwaway just like the launch tubes of a lot of Army anti-tank rockets. Use it and then toss the tube. To me an excellent piracy patrol ship would be something like the USN Cyclone class patrol ship, all gun armament. .50 cal up through 40mm, you don't need missiles to swat pirate motorboats. If you think you need SAM capability then it isn't run of the mill 3rd world pirates you're hunting. I'm a touch on the conservative side, I'd stow a dozen or so Stinger SAMs in a magazine. My ideal would be about the size of a Perry class FF or old Fletcher class DD at about 2500 tons displacement, diesel powered with two 76mm single mounts (1 forward, 1 aft,) 4 - 20 or 25mm autocannon (2 port, 2 starboard) and several twin .50 cal M-2 mounts. Probably overkill when dealing with Somali or Indonesian pirates, but nothing says you care like overkill. As that great strategist W.C. Fields once said, "Never give a sucker an even break."
  10. One disadvantage of the MK-41 VLS is the difficulty in reloading the cells. When it was first introduced there was a retractable highline derrick included as part of the nest of cells to facilitate reloading at sea, the derrick took up as much room as 4 cells, but I THINK this derrick has been deleted and all reloading is now done pierside. I may be wrong however, my last sea experience in a tincan was around 1990. Yeah, I'm an old phart.
  11. True, the arm launchers provide several points of failure per launcher that can take that entire launcher and magazine of 20 or more birds out of the fight where VLS does not. On your other point about a "load of kumquats" bashing either an arm launcher or cell doors on a VLS, if you look closely you will probably note that the highline UNREP stations on surface combatants are positioned clear of any weapon station whether it be a gun mount or missile system precisely for the reason you talk about. The destroyer I was stationed in rigged the dry stores transfer station amidships either port or starboard and thus well clear. Fueling stations, 2 per side are also well clear of any major weapon mount. In the 1st photo below you can see the starboard forward fueling station of the Burke class USS Dewey taking fuel from the oiler alongside. No hookup anywhere near Mount 51 or the forward MK-41 or forward CIWS / SeaSparrow VLS. The painted squard in the bows forward of Mount 51 is the VertRep landing spot for pallets of dry stores or ammo, the greater hazard is actually from mishap during VertRep IF the helo pilot looses control of his load and cuts it loose over the ship (very rare, but it happens.) In that case Mount 51 or the VLS could be at risk. In the Burke class the aft fueling stations are also clear of any weapons and the aft VertRep station is on the stern helo deck. The Highline Unrep station derrick is on the midships port and starboard quarterdeck, the only weapons that could be at risk in an accident would be smaller self defense autocannon or machine gun stations added after construction. In the 2nd photo you can clearly see the Highline Derricks (port and starboard) on the midships quarterdeck of USS Stockdale, between the forward and aft superstructures and uptakes (stacks.) The midships stations haven't been rigged so Stockdale is preparing to only take fuel from the carrier she's running with. Fueling at sea is normally done every other day or every third day when on deployment even though the ship's tanks can sustain her for anywhere from 1 to 4 weeks without refueling depending upon fuel use due to speed, double the speed required, quadruple the fuel demand. The simple reason for fueling so often is "you never know" what the future will demand of you and 4 LM-2500 main turbine engines and 3 gas turbine electric generators at full power are mighty thirsty critters. The ship can cruise at 17 knots on one main engine and one generator, flank speed of 32+ knots (real top end is classified) requires all four mains and if you add in the requirements of being at General Quarters you also bring up all 3 main generators even though your girl can operate radars and everything else just fine on two. I earned my ESWS in an earlier generation Spruance class DD with a very similar deck and engineering plant layout.
  12. CAPT_Rob

    USS Wisconsin

    My wife would be one of the first to correct you. Aboard ship this is called "the galley." The enlisted dining area just outside of it is commonly referred to even today as "the messdeck." I'm not the only former sailor in my family. She married one and so did I 40 years ago. The wife and I really need to visit this lady again soon, we haven't been aboard in a couple of years ... shortly before they began opening interior spaces to visitors.
  13. I understand, no worries. It's just that the layout of this one nudged my curiosity and grabbed my interest. Sixteen main rifles, even 13.5" makes for a fearsome broadside if you can get all of them to bear. If the shot patterns could be tightened up she'd be dangerous to higher tier BBs, as it is she chews most cruisers up fairly quickly. BTW, I still like your avatar. I hope it's indicative of your personality young lady.
  14. I don't know if you plan to do a review of the French Tier VII Lyon (Lion), but to me she seems to be an odd boat. Sixteen 340mm (13.6") rifles in four quad turrets is enough to put her in that category IMHO. In her tier they seem ill suited to handle the T-VII, VIII and IX ships armed with 14, 15 and 16 inch rifles she's likely to be tossed to like a bone for a hungry dog though she seems to (for me at least) enjoy munching on cruisers, especially those unfortunate enough (or dumb enough) to give her their broadside. The shear number of main battery rounds she's capable of throwing somewhat makes up for RNG spread at range. The secondary battery of 130mm guns in 2 twin and 2 quad mounts per side seems to get the job done against DDs and CLs. Max speed is about 1 knot faster the T-VI Japanese Fuso, and even faster than the T-VII Colorado but she needs the speed flag hoist, several of the T-VII ships she'll be matched against are even faster. Rudder shift at 19.8 sec strikes me as S-L-O-W though once you get the helm over she turns fairly tight. I should have taken the Rudder Shift module instead of mounting the DC mod 2 that I already had in inventory. I can always change that though if I really feel I need to and want to spend the 1 mil credits. The hull isn't as long or fine as many so it makes sense that with her twin rudders she turns tighter. I've only taken Lyon into a couple of random engagements where she really didn't fair well against higher tier BBs though she seems to do well in the Scenario actions, both Hermes and Ultimate Frontier. In Frontier she is unable to cope with the North Carolina and Alabama bots by herself. Fortunately in both scenarios the majority of the opposition is cruisers. Like many other players when I drive battlewagons I tend to keep AP loaded so I'm going to try loading HE as my default AND try to team up with more conventional BBs when I'm facing other battleships of T-VII and higher. This one is a challenge to learn to fight well but doesn't strike me as a lost cause. I like challenges and I do "odd." I have two other French ships in my "fleet," at Tier V Bretagne and Tier VI cruiser De Grasse.
  15. Ah, so. I was just curious, I don't play often or long enough to grind out that many Experience though I should be able to afford the Iowa before too much longer. Frankly though I'm having more fun playing my lower tier ships at the moment, but I'll start back up with the NC before too much longer, at least until the US cruiser split happens. Have fun kiddo. I enjoy the reviews you write, but don't let the writing kill the fun for you.