September 29, 2023

Open Thread 140

It's time once again for our regular Open Thread. Talk about whatever you want, so long as it isn't Culture War, or join the Discord (link in sidebar) where there's usually something going on.

As an update, I've had one person offer me a guest post during the hiatus. So if you're interested, I'd love to hear from you. If I don't get anything, I will try to have something up every Sunday, although it will probably be rather minimal. Pictures, a review of something, or maybe an answer to a reader question. So if you have something you'd like me to look into that I can cover quickly, post it here.

Overhauls are Auxiliaries Part 3, The Arleigh Burke Class, and for 2022, Evan's review of Turner Joy and the Coast Guard.


  1. September 30, 2023Commodore Perry said...

    In RTW3, post-WW2 era ship design is primarily constrained by topside load--- weight high up on the ship.

    Is this an accurate model of real world ship design constraints? If it is, why can't it be worked around by generous use of keel level ballast?

  2. September 30, 2023bean said...

    It's reasonably accurate, although it was often space as much as topweight that constrained ship designs. As for why you can't work around it with generous ballasting, you can, but you generally want the CG to be pretty low in the ship, so you'd need several tons of ballast for each ton of extra topweight, which tends to take you bad places pretty quickly. Also, ballast doesn't get you more space/volume.

  3. October 04, 2023bean said...

    Just saw the reports that the Chinese have lost a submarine, or something like that. I am extremely skeptical. First, it appears to rest on a single report by the Daily Mail, which no other major source has republished. So at the least, they're dubious on confirmation. Second, a lot of the details don't add up. If the people died within 6 hours, it definitely wasn't hypoxia. Even leaving aside emergency systems, you have a day or so at least (that was pretty common back in diesel boat days, and they had more crew per volume than we do now). The article also mentions poison a couple times, but seems confused over the difference between that and running out of air (or being killed by CO2 buildup, which is also a concern, but again probably not within 6 hours). Two failures in quick succession can't be ruled out, but it definitely argues against plausibility. Will update as I learn more.

  4. October 04, 2023Alexander said...

    Perhaps of interest:

  5. October 06, 2023redRover said...

    So if you have something you’d like me to look into that I can cover quickly, post it here.

    You had mentioned before that the Soviets had a very different theory of SSBN operation than the Western allies - I would be very interested to hear more about that.

    Also, the late 'slow attack' submarines as the original Polaris boats were retired.

    Finally, more speculatively - the future of amphibious warfare - is there actually a use case for it, or are contested large scale landings like Incheon and Normandy a thing of the past because the losses of an opposed landing against a peer are likely too high.

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