Is there still a place for the Battleship?

Discussion in 'The Fleet' started by Chalky, Feb 24, 2006.

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  1. Thought I'd start a new thread :)

    Given the increase in desire for force projection etc etc, is there still a place for the Battleship?

    The US still retains two battleships (USS Iowa and USS Wisconsin ), at the behest of the USMC, as they feel that no other asset can currently provide the fire support that may be necessary for amphibious assaults.

    Given that the RN is now geared towards the amphibious side of expeditionary warfare, is it time for us to look at developing assets in the vein of the 'big guns'?

    Are the current fire support assets suitable to the task?

    You decide!

  2. I believe not, why send a big ship with a big crew needing support, force protection etc when you can get aircraft or UAV's or Tlam's to do the dirty work.
    I'd think its safer for them to drop the ordnance than it is to have 'spotters' on the ground to call the fire in.
    The amphibious/expeditionary force should have its own air assets as the USMC does.

    Next please
  3. I agree, but is there anything that can offer the sustained level of fire that a battery at sea can?

    Apart from inner city Paris.

    In all fairness, I can't see a situation where we'd need one though.
  4. I remember reading somewhere recently that both ships have been taken off the reserve list and sent for disposal. Old age has set in however, and I can't remember where is saw it.
  5. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    I got it Chalky. Very good!

    I'm with function on this. Airpower and cruise missiles are more flexible. A big ship's guns can't match their range. Battlewagons are okay for supporting Royal as he goes ashore or scaring the carp out of the fuzziewuzzies but troops further inland need air support.

    The Yanks used cruise missiles from battlewagon(s) in GW1. Might as well have used a submarine. Just show methinks.
  6. Finally! I knew I'd be appreciated in my own time. My Mum said I would.
  7. I can see the point with regard to fire support, but ..........battleships?

    Where would they come from?

    Wouldn't the heavy armour plating be a bit pointless?

    What about a dedicated fire support vessel instead?
  8. That would seem more sensible. It would also be cheaper in those situation where you simply need to lay down a lot of fire. Using cruise missiles and an exciting number of other hight tech gubbins wouldn't be cost effective and doesn't, I imagine, have the same effect as shell after shell pounding into your lines.

    I believe the psychological effect of this in GW1 was remarked upon. Would a current ATG be able to deliver that? I'm not too confident.

    So, we need some kind of hull that is bristling like a porcupine, but without the 12 inches of steel at the waterline.

    Or some kind or air transportable firework factory.

    Or midgets shouting BANGBANGBAAAANG...
  9. I live in terror of the day these people are allowed into the real world.

    Some of them may even get into positions of power.

    Most of them, fortunately, will enjoy a rewarding career at Woolworths.
  10. Air power is where its at , why invest millions in fact billions on sea power,when the enemy could well be out of range inland . Just the sight of low flying jet aircraft is a major detterant aganist any would be insurgents etc etc
  11. Air power's got to get there hasn't it

    And it comes with a lot of baggage - basing, host nation support, overflight permissions, support etc

    You need a broad capability - sometimes a TLAM, sometimes a Paveway, sometimes NFS or a rifle bullet

    Note that even the T45 has a gun, even though its the venerable 4.5. There is space and weight provison for a larger calibre - or other weapon systems
  12. Plus, aircraft can be shot down with relatively inexpensive equipment.

    Sure, having aircraft screaming over your mountainous hole is scary enough, but so is the ground suddenly exploding from shells lobbed over the horizon and out of sight.

    I think there may be a case for upping the calibre of the weapons carried as an inexpensive alternative to TLAM for use within close to shore environment as many platforms have a 30km plus range thus saving cash and making one hell of a noise.

    Use your fancy-pants weaponry when required, but revert to the pure simplicity of the shell when you can.
  13. To illustrate the pure simplicity that makes guns such an asset a bit of WW1 poetry.

    'The German Guns' by Pte Baldrick

    Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom,
    Boom, Boom, Boom,
    Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom,
    Boom, Boom, Boom
  14. It seems to me that we can provide NGS from the platforms we already possess, plus do a lot of other things that a big expensive battlewagon would'nt be able to do.
  15. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    Sailbad wrote

    What about carrier based - and we are getting proper ones, aren't we? Breath not being held. Overfly rights aren't necessary. If we've just put Royal up the beach we're at war (or whatever HMG calls it when trying to sell it to voters) so be it 15 inch shells or aircraft, permission isn't an issue.

    Clanky wrote

    Platforms? Like Elton John used to wear? Like trains stop at? Like oil gets drilled for from? This is Rum Ration, not Abbey Wood, Staff College or Battle Staff HQ. Ships, vessels, war canoes.

    Platforms. Harrumf! :wink: But yes, existing ships, HE and rate of fire does the job.
  16. Completely off-topic here, but Beerbad, that thrusting Stormtrooper in your avatar? I've seen that animated gif crop up countless times all over the web, and there's always a different explanation of who it is and where it was taken. I can tell you that it's actually a mate of mine - John McGarry, a Chef from Wickham. The picture was taken at a Christmas fancy dress event two years ago in the car park at Combat South Airsoft Games near Wickham village. He won best costume prize too, funnily enough.
  17. Battleships can be sunk with relatively inexpensive weapons.

    LGBs dropped from several miles away can equally make the ground in front of you explode without very much warning.

    Shells and dumb bombs make a lot of noise and smoke but quite often don't actually hit the target, modern guided weapons do, and actually tend to cost less to deliver to the correct spot.
  18. I think some of us are missing the point here,

    Battleships are cool!

    I think it would be of some benifit to have one battleship, and a nuclear powered one at that. Not so we can have the best war ship ever but as a huge ship building exercise. I would not mind seeing a couple of billion of the public's money going on that. I think if it was done well it would be a good moral booster for the country, (gods know we need one).

    also i'm pritty sure the U.S. navy has no battleships at the moment

    The last battleship on active duty was USS Missouri (BB 63) decommissioned Mar. 31, 1992. In the 21st century, there are no battleships in the United States Navy.

    again Battleships are cool!

  19. Yes, battleships are cool but expensive in manpower and cost. Would take years to build.

    However, another option would be a missile crusier in the same vein as the US aegis ones with racks of cruise missiles ready to go.

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