13. January 2006 · Comments Off on From The Sublime To The Ridiculous · Categories: Military, That's Entertainment!

I’m currently watching something on the Military Channel called “Top Ten Fighting Ships.” No. Ten was the British Hood Class, and No. Nine is the German Deutschland class “pocket battleship.”

Well, this is but a continuation of a series, but it has gotten absurd. The most formidable “Fighting Ship” in history, by leaps and bounds, is the Ohio-class submarine. A distant, but strong, second is the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier.

Well, they agreed with me on #2. But #1 is the Iowa-Class battleship – Eeek!

What do we say here? With the possible exception of the Richelieu, the Iowas were the greatest Dreadnoughts ever produced. But they were, from their very inception, “magnificent anachronisms.”

Do we need to talk about the ignominious swan song, as the world’s most expensive missile cruiser, in Desert Storm?

Ok, they never really distinguished themselves in battle.

But, when an Ohio “distinguishes Itself,” we all might best dive from the fourteenth floor.

Here’s the whole list. The show’s “experts” obviously like battleships. Even given that, based on the selection criteria: protection, fire power, fear factor, innovation and service length, the choices are puzzling:

10. Hood class battlecruiser
9. Deutschland class pocket battleship
8. Essex class aircraft carrier
7. Bismarck class battleship
6. North Carolina class battleship
5. Fletcher class destroyer
4. Ticonderoga class guided missile Aegis cruiser
3. Queen Elizabeth class battleship
2. Nimitz class nuclear aircraft carrier
1. Iowa class battleship

Note not one submarine. You would think they might at least include the WWII Balao class.

The modern fighting ship, as far as ship-on-ship warfare goes, is the submarine. Taking the lessons of WWII, the US Navy has been built around carriers, missile crusiers, and submarines.

This all goes to my central thesis: is that we are in an absolutely unprecedented epoch in history, wherein the United States has absolute hegemony over all the world’s oceans. The carrier guys like to brag about “five acres of sovereign US territory.” But that hardly states it: Anywhere a US carrier Battle Group goes is, effectively, a 200 mile perimeter of “sovereign US territory.”

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