November 25, 2022

Open Thread 118

Hope all of my American readers had a good Thanksgiving. It's time once again for our regular open thread. Talk about whatever you want, so long as it isn't culture war.

This is still in the very early planning stages, and I ask to gauge interest. I am considering doing something more like the DSL meetups for the next Naval Gazing meetup in LA to make it more friendly to people from out of town. The idea is to rent an AirBnB or something and have that as a meetup space when not at the ship. Schedule would probably be Friday morning through some time Sunday. I certainly can't promise to match the food at the recent DC meetup, but it should still be fun. Anyone interested?

Overhauls this time are Mine Warfare Part 1, Glide Bombs and Naval Bases from Space - San Diego. 2021 overhauls are Museum Review - The Smithsonian and the 6th Battle Squadron Part 1.


  1. November 25, 2022John Schilling said...

    I'd definitely be interested in an LA-area meetup.

  2. November 26, 2022Evan Þ said...

    I might be interested in an LA meetup too, depending on when it is and what's going on in my life then.

  3. November 28, 2022Johan Larson said...

    Perun's latest video is about the Polish defence modernization plan. They have ordered nearly a thousand main battle tanks from South Korea.

  4. November 28, 2022Ancient Oak said...

    Perun posted also earlier video about Poland and its role in Russia-Ukraine war, with bits about history.

    As Pole I strongly recommend it.

  5. November 28, 2022Ancient Oak said...

    Latest Perun video seems to miss some factors

    • rational dislike of German armed industry and attached industry and how it works
    • some rational tit-for-tat response to EU
    • some rapid irrational hate-on toward Germany and France by Kaczyński and other important politicians
    • desire to have some hardware presentable as soon as possible - before elections that are getting close
  6. November 28, 2022Ancient Oak said...

    sorry, "industry and attached industry" was supposed to be "industry and attached diplomacy"

  7. November 28, 2022Johan Larson said...

    @Ancient Oak That makes sense. Perun is a military analyst, not a political analyst, so it figures he would drill down on the military/industrial issues while neglecting the political side.

  8. November 30, 2022cassander said...

    @bean If you want to do an LA DSL meetup, you should shill for that in the relevant thread:,8208.0.html

  9. December 01, 2022Johan Larson said...

    From The Economist:

    On November 30th the Royal United Services Institute (rusi), a think-tank in London, published a detailed report on the lessons from the first five months of the war, a period when Ukraine was largely on the defensive. The authors—including Mykhaylo Zabrodsky, a Ukrainian lieutenant-general, and a pair of rusi analysts—enjoyed extensive access to Ukrainian military data and decision-making. Their findings paint a more complex picture than the popular notion of a Russian horde coming unstuck in the face of nimble Ukrainians.

    Some lessons: - Anything that isn't mobile is going to get hit early in the fight. - Artillery still matters, and consumes really staggering amounts of ammunition. - Units with their own drones can have really quick find-it-hit-it loops. - In a peer or near-peer fight, drones get shot down a lot and should be considered semi-expendable.

  10. December 01, 2022Anonymous said...

    None of which is really much of a shock to anyone.

  11. December 02, 2022Neal said...

    A few months ago Bean wrote up his visit to Carderock. Yesterday I noticed that Dr. Derrick Muller of Veritasium posted an enjoyable video of the different waves produced there.

    While the first two minutes are dispensible, the remainder was very worthwhile. Quite an impressive facility.

  12. December 03, 2022bean said...

    I actually saw that, and plan to feature it in the next OT. Of course, that's only one of the three major facilities there, and I wonder if he's going to do something about the towing tank. (The rotating arm would be hard to do a video about.)

  13. December 06, 2022quanticle said...

    I know this is Army stuff, and therefore somewhat off topic for Naval Gazing, but the Army just chose the Bell V-280 for its Future Long Range Assault Aircraft program. This program is supposed to replace the Blackhawk and the Apache, and the V-280 is designed to fit within the footprint of a Blackhawk, despite its tilt-rotor design.

    I found it interesting that they chose a single aircraft for both roles, given the Soviet experience with the Mi-24 "Hind", where they found that trying to do both transport and attack with a single platform resulted in a transport helicopter that was too small to transport a substantial number of troops and an attack helicopter that was too ungainly to dodge ground fire.

  14. December 06, 2022bean said...

    First, the OT rules quite clearly say that this is acceptable, so no need to apologize.

    Second, so I see the Army has found its budgetary vampire.

    Re the choice of a single platform, it's down to development costs. If they want to be able to afford these (which they can't, but that's a different issue) then there's no way they can pay for two development programs. Even paying for one is likely to be far too expensive, but that's the Army's problem.

  15. December 06, 2022Philistine said...


    We do have the development of the AH-1 from the UH-1 as a fairly successful example of "the same aircraft" being used for both transport and attack roles, for a rather loose definition of "the same aircraft." And in fairness to the Army, that appears to be closer to what they want. The Marines, OTOH...


    Oh, the Army is absolutely hoping to pay for a second concurrent aircraft development program - the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft is supposed to start replacing OH-58s in 2030, the same time the FLRAA is supposed to start replacing UH-60s and AH-64s.

  16. December 08, 2022quanticle said...

    Today I learned about the most adorable ship in the US Navy, the 19BB Barrier Boat. It is apparently used to move security booms guarding the entrances to naval yards.

  17. December 09, 2022Bernd said...

    Bean, have you got anything planned about the Dunkerque & Deutschland whatever-they-should-be-calleds? I've always been curious about them, but you've rarely mentioned them more than parenthetically.

  18. December 09, 2022bean said...

    The Dunkerques are covered fairly well in the book I'm working on. Short version is that they were built when nobody was quite sure what the future of battleships would be, and so ended up small. But they were definitely battleships. Deutschlands were weird heavy cruisers, and so usually fall out of scope here. But I might write about them, given that they aren't really in the book.

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