July 22, 2022

Open Thread 109

It's time once again for our regular open thread. Talk about whatever you want, so long as it isn't culture war.

Two major updates. First, while I know I've been bad about virtual meetups recently, I plan to do one at the usual time (1 PM Central/GMT-6) next Saturday, July 30th. Second, the word count in the book has reached the number of this OT in thousands. Teams link.

I recently watched the documentary series Sea Power on Netflix (not the one of the same name on Amazon Prime) and have very mixed feelings on it. On one hand, they did a lot right, with the first and last episodes in particular focusing on pretty much exactly the points I would have put in my outline if I was writing something like that. And the last three episodes made extensive use of Norman Friedman, who is always good, although I would hope that his points aren't particularly novel to longtime readers here, as I ripped them off years ago. On the other hand, there were plenty of details they got wrong, and they managed to step on two of my particular sore points by talking about the Iowa reactivation as a counter to the Kirovs and bringing up the old, discredited stories about the battlecruisers at Jutland. Particularly annoying was the use of Timothy Shutt as a talking head. I have nothing against him personally, but he's a literature professor whose qualification is a series of audio lectures on great naval battles and who was the only one of the talking heads that I regularly found problems with. On the "interesting but not bad front", it's a French series, which meant that some things got emphasized which would have been unusual in a documentary made in English, but also that the pacing was a bit off.

2018 overhauls are Missouri Part 1, SYWTBAMN - Coast Guard Part 2, The QF Gun, Yalu River, DismalPseudoscience's review of Mikasa and German Battleships in WWII. 2019 overhauls are Signalling parts two, three and four, The Pepsi Fleet*, Falklands Part 16 and Pictures - Iowa Communications. 2020 overhauls are Naval Rations Parts two and three and NWAS Light Attack Parts one and two. 2021 overhauls are Norway Part 4, Zumwalt Parts one and two and Naval Radar - Introduction.


  1. July 24, 2022cursedcassander@gmail.com said...

    in case any of you are in london and thinking "maybe I'll go to the imperial war museum" I wouldn't bother. there is a very good (if very 101) WW1 exhibit, and everything else is pretty lousy, with not all that much stuff, not all that well organized, and none of it particularly interesting. the contrast between that and the WW1 section is rather stark, though, if you want to see a contrast between a good museum and bad.

  2. July 24, 2022Echo said...

    It's strange how the Duxford branch puts everything else to shame. It was absolutely worth going to (at least it was, uh, 20-mumble-mumble years ago).

    Never made it to the London one for comparison.

  3. July 25, 2022Emilio said...

    HMS Belfast is also quite good.

  4. July 29, 2022Kitplane said...

    Have you ever considered making an index of all the posts in as-best-as-can-be chronological order?

    Some series describe an extended period of time (i.e. armor) but even so it might be interesting to read the site in rough-chronological order :-)

  5. July 30, 2022bean said...


    I assume you mean real-world chronology, and not order of publication. In that case, for the battleship posts, you will be happy to know that I'm hard at work putting them in that order and revising them to flow together better, along with adding a bunch of new material. Of course, you're going to have to pay for the finished product.

  6. July 30, 2022Alexander said...

    Would you post the Teams link for the meetup? Also, because of DST, it'll be at GMT-5.

  7. July 30, 2022John Schilling said...

    For your amusement, and because zeppelins are cool: USS Los Angeles aboard USS Saratoga

    USS Los Angeles (ZR-3) landed aboard USS Saratoga (CV-3). Since the Los Angeles was the original testbed for the parasite fighter program, this makes the Saratoga the first and probably only aircraft carrier carrier.

  8. July 31, 2022quanticle said...


    Thanks for the wave-off. I had been in London a few years ago, and I didn't get to see the Imperial War Museum then. I'd been vaguely wondering if I'd been missing out on something cool. I'm glad to hear that I made the correct decision by deciding to go to the British Museum instead.

    @John Schilling

    An alternative caption: "A fire hazard aboard a fire hazard"

  9. July 31, 2022Doctorpat said...

    The British Museum and HMS Belfast both recommended.

    For that matter, just walking around London itself is effectively "visiting a museum".

  10. July 31, 2022John Schilling said...

    @Quanticle: The Los Angeles used helium rather than hydrogen, at least once it was in US service, so much less of a fire hazard than German Zeppelins.

  11. July 31, 2022Eltargrim said...

    @cassander @quanticle

    I visited the IWM before it's "refurbishment"; it was a much better museum before for those interested in the field. Very much feels like it's been dumbed-down to target a broader audience.

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