November 13, 2020

Open Thread 65

It's time once again for our Open Thread. Talk about whatever you want that isn't Culture War.

The USNI Christmas Sale has begun! It's slated to run through December 31st, so you have plenty of time. Everything is 50% off, and has free shipping, so there's no better time to build up your naval library. I have a lot of shelves that are filled entirely with books from the Naval Institute Press. Hopefully, they do a better job than last year of filling orders, and my experience so far this year has been positive.

Books I'd suggest taking a look at include the various volumes of Friedman's illustrated design history series (including the spectacular US Battleships and the long-awaited reprint of US Cruisers). If you want to know what's going on today, try the 2021 Seaforth World Naval Review. They don't seem to be doing the usual Morison bundle, but you can still get the 14 volumes individually at a very good price. Other good choices are Freidman's World Naval Weapon Systems and Network-Centric Warfare and Brian Lavery's superb Nelson's Navy. There's a lot of other great stuff available, and I'd encourage you to take a look, particularly through the Clear the Decks discount collection, many of which are in the $5 range.

Also, this is the one time a year when I mention that Naval Gazing takes donations through PayPal, if anyone wants to donate and doesn't think I have enough books already. I have a good job and really don't need the money, but the option is open and all proceeds will go to expanding the library.

2017 overhauls are Iowa parts two, three and four, Fire Control Part 2, Ballistics, US Battleships in WWII and the Battleships of Pearl Harbor parts one and two. For 2018, I overhauled Russian Battleships Part 4, Operations Research in the Atlantic, my review of the 45th Infantry Division Museum, Armistice and museum ship lists for Europe and the rest of the world. Lastly, 2019 overhauls are Early Guided Weapons parts one and two, Natick Labs and Glide Bombs.


  1. November 13, 2020Directrix Gazer said...

    Thanks for the heads-up, Bean. I picked up Friedman's US Cruisers, Fighter Combat: Tactics and Maneuvering, and a few miscellaneous items.

  2. November 13, 2020Chuck said...


    So recently you gave some defense to Admiral Haslsey's actions at Leyte Gulf. I was skeptical, but recently while looking up some information about the battle I was struck by one thing: How close Surigao strait is to the area Taffy 3 was engaged in. This led to a question, what was Kinkade doing that whole time? It seems like the battle at Surigao was over (at least for the battleships) by the time the center force was spotted. I understand that the older ships were painfully slow, but it seems like they would be in a much better position to get to the battle than Halsey's ships already far north, and yet nothing seems to be said about them trying to join. Did Kinkade actually try and respond with his own battleships or did he just call for Halsey to come bail him out?

  3. November 13, 2020Alsadius said...

    For anyone who has Monday, December 7th free, the "World War Two" Youtube channel will be doing a livestream of the Pearl Harbor attacks, in real time, for five hours. These are the guys who have done all of WW1 in real time (one video a week, under the name "The Great War"), and are currently doing WW2 the same way.

    Sounds like it'll be an impressive show, too - they have their usual host, but they're also pairing with Wargaming to get a video game engine to generate footage of the attack(for moments where real archival footage isn't available). I'm very much looking forward to it.

  4. November 13, 2020bean said...


    Not that close. According to Morison, by 0800, Oldendorf was 65 miles (3 hours) from gun range of the Japanese. And there were still Japanese forces to the south of Suriago Strait, so he couldn't just send them charging after Kurita.


    I would be very interested in that if it wasn't Indy Neidell doing it. I don't trust him. Every video of his that I've seen on stuff I'm familiar with has not gone well. There was the Sabaton History video on Bismarck, which I partially deconstructed in an old OT. And I recently tried to watch the one on Back In Control, which wasn't better. I think my favorite gaffe was when he said that the Argentinians were clustered around the capital and the airfield. There was a map, and two points were highlighted. One was Stanley, the other wasn't a place where I remembered anything happening. I looked more closely, and it turned out to be Mount Pleasant.

  5. November 13, 2020Alsadius said...

    Their work isn't perfect, but I find it's usually fairly good. Looking at your commentary (, I think the one really egregious sin (calling Bismarck the largest battleship ever) was intended to mean "the largest ever built up to that point", and watching it in the context of that video( it's...arguable. He's discussing how they thought at the time, and in that context it was true.

    The wording he uses is bad in some cases - as you say, "recoil" instead of "blast" is totally wrong. Likewise, using "munitions chamber" instead of "magazine" is just weird. But he usually covers the actual events fairly well, even if he'll bother the sensibilities of people who know it in true detail.

    I guess my basic mindset is that it's nearly impossible to get something that's both popular enough to have a usefully large budget, and historically accurate enough to never bother me. So I accept a bit of inaccuracy in the name of entertainment. Even if the inaccuracy doesn't make it any more entertaining, those poor non-geeks will always screw it up, and I want to be able to enjoy their stuff even so. It's like listening to songs with radical politics - I'll tolerate Rage Against The Machine being commies, because they're commies who make good songs.

  6. November 13, 2020bean said...

    I'm familiar with the challenges of balancing accuracy with readability in history popularization. I run into it fairly often, and it even comes up in the comments occasionally, usually with me answering "yeah, I knew about that, but glossed over it for readability". And I can definitely see it in other works, and usually go "I can see why you made that trade, even if I disagree with it". Those don't generate rants. What generates rants is when someone is sloppy, and I can't think of another term for putting RAF Mount Pleasant on a map when it hadn't been built yet, or using a French super-destroyer picture when you're talking about battleships.

  7. November 13, 2020David W said...

    Have you seen the Operations Room youtube channel, and if so, any remarks? I found the video on the Black Buck One Falklands raid especially interesting - even though you described it yourself, it really drives home how long that was when you see the tankers continually turning back one after another.

  8. November 14, 2020Neal said...

    Speaking of the Falklands... The Spectator (the original British one) had an interesting podcast this past week in which its literary editor Sam Leith, interviews Rowland White about his book Harrier 809. Tim Gedge, the commanding officer of 809 Squadron also joins the chat.

    While Sam is not a defence expert, he knows how to conduct a book interview and I enjoyed how he teased out Gedge's description of how he stood up the squadron and led it into combat.

    Obviously just a slice of the overall effort, but is serves as a nice adjunct to Bean's well researched and presented series on the war.

    The older I get the more impressed I am with the sheer logistics of such operations. Sure the fly fast, drop bombs, and sail ships into harms way is interesting, but getting everything there was something that never fails to impress.

    You can have a listen here:

  9. November 14, 2020bean said...

    @David W

    This is my first encounter with them, and it looks pretty decent. Their framing is very different from mine, and that does leave me with a bit of an urge to nitpick, but it's of the "I can see why you did that" variety.


    There's a great book to be written about the logistics of getting the force to the Falklands. Unfortunately, it hasn't been written yet. There's a book about logistics in the Falklands, but it's mostly about the land campaign. It's definitely a subject I intend to return to.

  10. November 15, 2020Doctorpat said...

    If the old saying is true: Beginners talk tactics, advanced talk strategy, professionals talk logistics Then I imagine that various militaries, the British in particular, would already have a consolidated analysis of the British logistics campaign for the Falklands.

    I imagine the French and the Japanese would also regard it as particularly relevant to any similar campaign they might find themselves involved in (similar scale of resources, could also find themselves dealing with something at the other end of a major ocean). Maybe also Russia, and even Australia.

    The USA would find it less relevant because they have a completely different logistical resource base.

  11. November 15, 2020bean said...

    I'm sure that there's an official staff history somewhere. I'm thinking more of something a bit less dry. Actually, there's probably a bunch, all scattered and covering different facets.

  12. November 15, 2020Doctorpat said...


    Yes, I was thinking of such a professional analysis as being a starting point for a general audience production, not the final word.

  13. November 16, 2020Neal said...

    Speaking of books and the British...

    To change the lineup a bit from the redoubtable Desert Island Discs into a Desert Island Books, what war/defense/weaponry/etc. books would you take to a deserted isle? The original BBC lineup used to be 8 records, one book, and something else of value. So let's say 8 books on the topics that Bean and his readership discuss or would enjoy reading.

    I would offer up the following:

    1.Lee Sandlin's The Pity of War. I found it to be the best essay I have read about WW2 and the momentum that precluded anything but total Axis surrender. My favorite of all time. About 10,000 words if I remember.

    1. Sebastian Haffner's The Meaning of Hitler. Trained as a lawyer at the time of Hitler's rise to power, Haffner looks at both the detailed economic factors in the 1930's as well as the question of when defeat was inevitable--his tipping point was earlier than I thought. He is a first-class writer and has written a number of other accessible works of German history. This is DEFINITELY not your usual pulp mill pap and pablum about WW2 and Hitler. This is serious insight and context.

    2. Adam Zamoyski's 1812: Napoleon's Fatal March on Moscow. Short version: The French made a colossal error and froze to death. Longer version. The how and why of the mistake.

    3. Commander Edward Young's One of Our Submarines. A British look at sub warfare in both the Atlantic and Pacific from a sub skipper who actually survived a sinking and free assent. A more realistic view than I find in the "golly isn't this swell fellows" American memoirs of those like Gene Fluckey.

    4. Sun Zu's Art of War. This has gotten a bad rap in recent years as it has been appropriated by the likes of the business/sports/life coaching press. Shame, as it is as pertinent today as it was 3500 years ago (or however long it has been). The perfect foundation then reading Jomini's and Clausewitz's views.

    I will have to scour the shelves to decide on the other three. It is an embarrassment of choices to be sure, but these five I would have no problem returning to again and again. I am tempted to put Hannah Arendt in there but that is not strictly under the criteria I put forth at the beginning.

  14. November 17, 2020quanticle said...

    An Aegis cruiser equipped with the new SM3 Block II-A missile just conducted a successful mid-course intercept of an ICBM.

  15. November 17, 2020bean said...

    Good. Not too surprising to those of us who have been paying attention, but hopefully it will remind those who aren't that missile defense is actually a thing we can do.

  16. November 17, 2020Doctorpat said...


    Sebastian Haffner’s The Meaning of Hitler. Trained as a lawyer at the time of Hitler’s rise to power, Haffner looks at both the detailed economic factors in the 1930′s as well as the question of when defeat was inevitable--his tipping point was earlier than I thought.

    Sounds rather like The Wages of Destruction by Adam Tooze

    Filled with tables of things like coal output per year and current account balances for each country, it's fairly clear about a couple of points:

    • Germany was spending way beyond their means from the early 1930s. This is how they had their "economic recovery" and it meant that they were forced to take increasingly drastic steps at each stage to stop internal collapse, or admit they were broke which would throw the Nazis out of power.

    • Some of the apparently insane things made sense in this context. Stealing all the wealth of the jewish population wasn't just a side effect of the death camps, it kept the entire german war machine from running out of cash for another year or two. Starving millions to death meant that they could confiscate all the food to make up for how they were cut off from the world agriculture markets.

    • And Tooze also argued that the Germans had clearly lost once they were unable to conquer Britain or roll over the top of the USSR. As long as they couldn't import enough oil or fertilizer they could not sustain their armed forces and keep them fueled and fed.

    • He also argued that Allied strategic bombing was misdirected. That aiming at the German cities did less damage to the war making ability than some earlier raids on the Ruhr coal and iron centres, which were also closer to England and would have been safer targets. But the damage took the form of collapses in coal and iron stocks, so wasn't apparent to people looking at maps back in London.

  17. November 18, 2020Philistine said...

    I started watching a 2015 series on Prime earlier today titled "War in the Pacific - Eagle Against the Sun." They were doing okay until near the end of the first episoide, when they uncritically repeated the myth that Billy Mitchell proved all surface ships were obsolete; I'm now a bit more than halfway through the second episode, and they're merrily regurgitating Fuchida's fantasies about a supposed plan for a third wave of attacks at Pearl Harbor, targeting the infrastructure. I don't do hatewatching, so I think I'm done.

  18. November 18, 2020bean said...

    Amazon seems to be the home for shovelware military documentaries. At some point, I should try the one about the Battle of the Atlantic which uses a picture of Iowa and Halyburton from one of the NATO exercises in the 80s. (I ran across the photo while illustrating for one of next week’s posts.)

  19. November 18, 2020bean said...

    First, thanks to Said Achmiz for getting me an IP blocking option within a couple of hours of me asking for it. Hopefully, the spam goes back to normal.

    Second, I tried that documentary, and it was worse than I thought. The narration seems deliberately old-timey, which is fine, but they started by saying banal stuff about the British fleet, and I was thinking "the ships in this footage don't look British, they might look Japanese. But that can't be right." Then I got an eyeful of pagoda masts. Then it switched to Italian battleship footage. All within the first minute. This is like something someone made as a joke.

  20. November 18, 2020Neal said...


    Thank you for the mention of Adam Tooze's work. I will put it on the stack as it sounds as if it is a worthy adjunct to Haffner's efforts. This aligns with our above discussions of logistics and I am sure I speak for the readership here in saying that I find these examinations to be true meat and mead for the hungry and thirsty and curious...or at least those who want history to be done right.

    Clive Ponting, a former defence under-secretary in Margaret Thatcher's administration, penned an unfortunately poorly titled book called Armageddon in which he, among other topics, also examines the bombing strategy and how the target list was often not the best. Bad title but great book. Lots of counterfactuals without straying from what scholarship can definitively reveal.

    @Bean I can imagine that tucking into one of those "documentaries" must be doubly disappointing for you. I am somewhat oblivious to the details of the ships they are showing, but have found that all too many of these "docus" are word fat and information thin. In other words, they are prolix in saying the same thing fifty times over but information barren in that what they are saying is just fluff: "the battle was fierce," "more struggles lay ahead." Gee, that's informative...not!

    Yet another reason that with age I more and more prefer a well-written and scholarship based book than the inane and vacuous repetition of these programs.

  21. November 18, 2020bean said...

    I wasn't disappointed. I was watching because I was curious how long it would take for them to make another fatal error. I was surprised how quickly that happened, but it was amusing.

    I haven't read much of Tooze, but I've never heard bad things about it. Armageddon sounds interesting.

  22. November 18, 2020Doctorpat said...

    I'd heard Tooze recommended for a couple of years so earlier this year I finally got around to reading his book.

    It's very persuasive, though it does suffer from the (surprisingly common) affliction of discussing WW2 as though it was an entirely German centred conflict, with supporting Italy, and ignoring Japan.

    I can see that there is a lot of scope for concentrating on the European front. One writer, and particularly one work, can't cover everything. But surely you have to acknowledge that the other half of the conflict existed?

    And does anyone know an equivalent work on the Pacific war?

  23. November 18, 2020bean said...

    Tooze wrote on the German war economy, so not talking about the Pacific isn't really a flaw. Unfortuantely, I don't know of that sort of economic history being written of either the US or Japan. I've heard good things about Britain's War Machine, but haven't gotten ahold of a copy myself yet.

  24. November 18, 2020Blackshoe said...

    Clearing out his inbox before he leaves and needing to fix a major flaw in US Navy organization, SECNAV Braithwaite decides 1st Fleet needs to exist.

  25. November 19, 2020Anonymous said...

    Japan and Germany were really too far away from them to be able to seriously support each other so from the Axis point of view it's more like there were two separate wars.

  26. November 19, 2020quanticle said...

    We didn't have a 1st fleet already? To be honest, the only numbered fleets I know of are 5th Fleet, because of its involvement in the Middle East, and 7th Fleet, because of its involvement in the Indo-Pacific. I figured all the other numbers in between existed, and were just more obscure postings.

  27. November 19, 2020bean said...

    Nope. The current fleet numbering is the 2nd Fleet in the Atlantic, the 3rd in the eastern Pacific, the 4th in support of SOUTHCOM, the 5th in the Middle East (CENTCOM), the 6th in the Med, the 7th in the western Pacific and the 10th sailing on the oceans of cyberspace. 1st Fleet wasn’t active during WWII for reasons I’m unsure of, my best guess being politics around the name First designating some sort of preeminence. (Note that in WWII, even-numbered fleets were in the Atlantic, odds in the Pacific, and the pattern more or less remains today, with the Fifth as a slight oddity.) A First Fleet was stood up in 1948 and had the Eastpac job until 1973, when it got renamed to 3rd Fleet, probably for historical reasons. At this point, the history behind each of the other names is rather tortuous, and I don’t fully understand all of it. My biggest confusion is the 6th Fleet, which doesn’t appear to have shown up until after WWII, even though the Atlantic otherwise got up to the 12th Fleet.


    It appears that both 1st and 2nd Fleets were bypassed during WWII. My best guess at this point is that the task force numbers that would have been allocated to those fleets were given to subordinate units in the various oceans that didn't fall under other fleets. For instance, TF16 was the designation for the covering force for the Attu landings. The best explanation I can find for the absence of a Sixth Fleet is that the TF 6X numbers were in use in the South Pacific in 1942 (the fleets were set up in early 1943) but I can't be sure that they weren't used for the Atlantic coastal defense groups or something. My current method of search involves using Google Books on Morison, and so I don't know how good my coverage is on the rear areas.

  28. November 19, 2020bean said...

    Ack. The rabbit hole keeps sucking me deeper. This gives a TOE for the Pacific Fleet in 1945 that includes both a 1st Fleet directly under Nimitz and a 9th Fleet that seems to cover all of the subsidiary duties like Sea Frontiers. It was also under Nimitz, but left no trace that I saw before. I strongly suspect that this is what happened to 6th Fleet in WWII as well, but the only organization chart I can find for the Atlantic Fleet is from 1942, before the reorganization. I’m somewhat confused as to how the name ended up in the Med/Europe around 1950. If going via strict numbering sequence, I’d have expected that to be 4th Fleet, although it’s possible that 4th Fleet (previously South Atlantic) was still active in 1950. If going via heritage, then the obvious choice was 8th or 12th.


    No, that’s not it. The equivalent of 9th Fleet in the Atlantic got 0-numbered TFs, based on this message establishing the numbered fleets. It looks like 6th Fleet was “for assignment by CINCLANT as desired for Central and Northern Atlantic”. Similar language is used for 5th Fleet in the Pacific, but I’d guess that it just never happened in the Atlantic.

    Edit 2:

    Jackpot. When South Dakota and Alabama were sent to reinforce Home Fleet in 1943, they were designated TF 61. So it looks like the TF numbers were used, at least on occasion, but there was never a reason to set up a Sixth Fleet proper with its own headquarters and such.

  29. November 19, 2020ec429 said...

    @Neal: I'm not sure I'm taking your 8 books challenge in the spirit it's intended, but here's eight history books I'd want on a desert island — six I've read and two I haven't but plan to get.

    1. The Nuremberg Raid (Middlebrook). When you commit your entire force to battle twice a week for five years, the level of perfect-storm disaster you can expect to hit is pretty high, and this book tells in detail the story of Bomber Command's worst night, with plenty of (often very moving) first-hand accounts. Also, devotes a whole chapter to yelling at Anthony Cave Brown.
    2. The Stirling Bomber (Bowyer). How the design process for a new aircraft went wrong, and what it was like for the men who had to fly it anyway.
    3. Enemy Coast Ahead (Gibson). Not for the dambusting bit (everyone knows that story already, and Paul Brickhill tells it better), but for the tales of the early years, gallantly flying Hampdens into Germany and achieving not much.
    4. Most Secret War (Jones). As both a history of Scientific Intelligence and the memoirs of a merry prankster, this is eminently readable, though the author does occasionally make it sound like he won the war single-handedly.
    5. R101 The Airship Disaster (HMSO). Not technically military history, but an in-depth account of one of the biggest procurement screw-ups in aerospace. (You thought Nimrod was bad...)
    6. Berlin Diary (Shirer). Unlike the better-known Rise and Fall... this does not try to build any grand theories of history, just reports on life inside Nazi Germany in peace and war.
    7. Bomber Offensive (Harris). The commander's-eye view of the bombing of Germany shares space on the page with his war against the real enemy — the Admiralty!
    8. Instruments of Darkness (Price). Classic account of Electronic Warfare in the skies over Europe.

    And if I get 8 books then logically I must get one record, so how about Walton's Spitfire Prelude and Fugue?

  30. November 19, 2020bean said...

    Finally got the Falklands episodes of The Crown, and I have to say I'm rather disappointed. First, I really hate the show's portrayal of Thatcher, particularly around the Falklands. There's the bit where the runnup to the war didn't start for two months after Mark Thatcher was rescued, and the strong suggestion that diplomacy could have averted it. And then there's the bit where we saw very little of the war itself. Also, Andrew was flying Sea Kings, and they used a Wessex in the show. Seriously, if you're focusing on Elizabeth, consider talking about how she HAD A SON FIGHTING IN THE WAR!

    On the whole, Season 4 is by far my least favorite. Of course, that's 50% Thatcher and 50% Diana (who I've never understood the obsession with).

  31. November 19, 2020Blackshoe said...

    Spambots be Zerg-rushing this place all of the sudden

  32. November 20, 2020bean said...

    Yes, and I'm not sure why. But the blocklist is growing rapidly, so hopefully they'll turn their attention elsewhere soon.

  33. November 20, 2020bean said...

    The commander’s-eye view of the bombing of Germany shares space on the page with his war against the real enemy — the Admiralty!

    I'm slightly confused. I assumed, based on Harris's behavior, that his real enemies were the men of Bomber Command. The Admiralty (and the traitors of Coastal Command) were secondary, with Germany third.

  34. November 20, 2020ec429 said...

    @bean I can hardly let that pass. I think it comes under the heading of 'an ugly job but someone had to do it', and I think Harris showed as much concern for the lives of his men as an operational commander in wartime practically can. Let me quote from Middlebrook's The Nuremberg Raid (p.287) which makes the argument better than I can:

    [H]indsight does not give us the right to be over-critical. An admiral might fight one major battle in his lifetime. A general might fight three such battles. Harris committed the whole of his front line force to combat approximately ten times in each month for three and a quarter years. Many raids that were subsequently successful would never have taken place if Harris had waited for perfect conditions. On this occasion, he took one chance too many. Those who knew him say that he would later grieve over the losses as deeply as anyone.

    I suspect that, just as distaste for the bombing of civilian targets prevented the aircrews from getting the recognition and remembrance they deserved, so it has led many historians to a subconscious prejudice against their commander, and a consensus among many schools that does not give him a fair hearing. Middlebrook again (pp.313-314):

    British military leaders are often accused by historians of being hidebound by tradition but these historians later gave short shrift to those who had attempted this new, unconventional approach.

    On a lighter(?) note,

  35. November 20, 2020Anonymous said...

    I think Harris hated Coastal Command a bit more than the Admiralty (who at least didn't try to get bombers off him).

  36. November 20, 2020bean said...

    It's not that I think the entire idea of strategic bombing was immoral. It's that Harris in particular was heavily wedded to certain concepts that didn't actually work to the detriment of his force and the Allied war effort in general. The best example is the mining of the Danube. Huge impact on Germany's transportation effort, but Harris was opposed to it, on the grounds that it wasn't actually bombing cities. There's also the bit where he was trying to burn down cities, which didn't actually do anything to aid the war effort. In partial fairness to him, that was probably more Cherwell's fault than his.

  37. November 20, 2020Neal said...


    From your description I am eager to read Middlebrook's work on the Nuremberg raid. Interested to see why he discusses Anthony Cave Brown. I only remember him from his well-recieved book Treason in the Blood in which he discusses, per et fils, the Philby spies.

    I just finished Sinclair McKay's book on the bombing of Dresden. Left unsatisfied. Comments on Harris were insightful regarding this raid, but wanted more operational description. Even though it was at the end of the war, it was still a long reach into Germany and that merited more detail.

  38. November 21, 2020John Schilling said...

    Clearing out his inbox before he leaves and needing to fix a major flaw in US Navy organization, SECNAV Braithwaite decides 1st Fleet needs to exist.

    The 1st Fleet needs to exist, but for reasons of historical precedence needs to consist of six frigates tasked for antipiracy work wherever they are needed. Oh, and any undeclared naval wars we happen to fight with France.

  39. November 21, 2020Anonymous said...

    John Schilling: So FREMM v. FREMM then?

  40. November 22, 2020Doctorpat said...

    @Schilling, France per se?

    Or any major European power, previously an empire, who then had a revolution and became a democratic ally, but now seems to be reverting to a monarchy along with unwanted foreign adventures... (Turkey)

  41. November 22, 2020ec429 said...

    There’s also the bit where he was trying to burn down cities, which didn’t actually do anything to aid the war effort.

    Early on it did, because German industry was concentrated. The battles of the Ruhr and Hamburg in 1943 forced them to disperse, which put extra pressure on their transport network and made the later attacks on communications far more disruptive. (Speer wrote in his memoirs that if Gomorrah had been systematically followed up by similar attacks on other key cities, Germany might have been unable to fight on.) Yes, Harris stuck with cities for too long, which turned out to be his main strategic error. But it's hard in general to know when a target system has been destroyed — after all, some argue that the Germans switched to London and lost the Battle of Britain because they mistakenly believed they'd bombed enough airfields to suppress Fighter Command.

    I'm not saying Harris was perfect; far from it. But as British wartime commanders go, I'd say he was above average. (Some would say that's damning with faint praise ;-)

    Apart from anything else, Harris' men had faith in him, which is more than can be said for most of his predecessors in the rôle. (Sure, they called him "the Butcher", but that's just Service humour, which is darker than vantablack.)

  42. November 23, 2020quanticle said...

    The US Navy has announced that it will begin outfitting its submarines with hypersonic weapons starting in 2025. Seems like this program, unlike most new weapons, is actually coming along ahead of schedule. Of course, by saying that, I've jinxed it, haven't I?

  43. November 23, 2020Chuck said...

    It is somewhat ironic that the first power projection of the nascent United States was in part a strike against slavery.

  44. November 24, 2020Blackshoe said...

    @John Schilling: assuming C1F ends up being based at Singapore, the odds of them taking control of the LCS are basically 1, and there are probably some pirates they can find in the region, so you might end up getting your wish.

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