December 27, 2017

Two Months - Upcoming Topics

Today marks two months of regular Naval Gazing here. I bring this up because it seemed an appropriate point to ask again for thoughts on upcoming topics. I asked in early November, and got some good feedback, but it's been a while and my direction is taking more shape. So here is my existing topic list. Vote for what you want, or suggest things that aren't on it:

  • Updates/expansion on the basic technical posts (weapons/engineering/etc.)
  • More on design history1
  • More early battleship battles
  • More on WWI2
  • More on WWII, either battleships or other matters
  • Leyte Gulf
  • Amphibious Warfare
  • More on Net-centric warafare
  • So you want to build a battleship - design, construction, finance, operations, disposal
  • Torpedoes
  • More on fire control and gunnery
  • The USS Missouri on Thimble Shoal
  • Mothballing
  • Jackie Fisher
  • The Falklands (War, or the Battle of the Falklands, I guess)
  • Naval auxiliaries
  • I have permission from Iowa's tour lead to repost some of his sea stories that he wrote up for the tour guides
  • Ship control
  • Merchant sailors in WWII/Operation Pedestal
  • Never-realized design concepts of various powers
  • More on modern naval warfare3
  • Histories of specific battleships. I expect to start with the other Iowas, but would then move on to other ships with interesting/well-documented histories.
  • Repairing a warship
  • Analysis of ideal battleship armor schemes4
  • Anti-submarine warfare
  • Dry docks
  • Battleship tactics

Again, even if you don't normally comment, or think the idea you have is probably stupid, please post it. I've gotten some really good ideas from people who almost never comment. I can only promise I'll do my best to get around to things voted for some day, but I do take it into account when deciding what to do.

Also, does anyone have ideas for how to make good maps relatively easily? I do want to revise the Jutland series, but the mapping is going to be a pain.

1 I have Pre-dreadnoughts and Dreadnought written up.

2 A Jutland repost is going to have to wait for me to find a good way of doing maps.

3 The Why the Carriers Aren't Doomed series has been revised, and will be published over the next few weeks.

4 This is here because this is also my list of ideas for the future. It's not something I'm going to do any time soon, because I expect it will take a couple weeks of research, and right now I don't feel like counting holes from every battleship action since 1910.


  1. December 27, 2017David W said...

    I would be interested in a post about why you want to build battleships. Sounds like their design was entirely focused on fighting other battleships...and in practice this basically never happened. Only Jutland seemed to be a use of battleships as designed. What did they do the rest of the time? What concrete benefit could you get from having a battleship when your opponent does not? What would happen if someone invested the same budget into some other class of ship? I'm thinking of pre aircraft carrier era, where battleships were King but I don't quite understand why.

    Aside from that I like your whole list but my preference would be for the engineering and logistics posts.

  2. December 27, 2017Tony Zbaraschuk said...

    My vote goes for:

    Fire control & gunnery. So you want to build a battleship. Modern naval warfare. Sea stories.

  3. December 27, 2017ADifferentAnonymous said...

    How about one on warship repair? I realize that in all the battle/campaign overviews I've read I've just taken for granted that any ship that isn't sunk can get patched up and haven't thought to ask for the details on how that happens, what constraints are on it, etc.

  4. December 27, 2017ADifferentAnonymous said...

    @David W

    (Fellow amateur here, don't treat this as authoritative) 'Being designed for things that will basically never happen' seems to be a common theme with navies. It's not as dumb as it sounds.

  5. December 27, 2017bean said...

    @David W

    ADifferentAnonymous has part of it. Another is that big naval battles tend to be pretty rare. The entire French Revolutionary/Napoleonic Wars had about 5 naval battles that were of the "Clash of Fleets" level. I think our perspective on naval battles is rather skewed by the Pacific in WWII, when reasonably large naval battles were common. This should be the first part(s) of "So you want to build a battleship?", which is creeping up my list.


    You don't want much, do you? (It's fine, that's just a fairly big list.)


    That's a good one. Added.

  6. December 27, 2017Andrew Hunter said...

    I like a lot of these. I guess my priorities would be

    • more on modern warfare (Falklands and as an awesome but difficult followup, what the falklands engagements would be like today?)

    • Sea stories

    • So you want to build a battleship

    • More WW2 info

    • repair

    But they all sound great.

  7. December 30, 2017bean said...

    The definite winner of all this appears to be "So you want to build a battleship". I've started working on the first few parts, although it may be a while before they go up. It's also going to be an irregular series, because the research involved is considerable and varied.

  8. December 31, 2017bean said...

    an awesome but difficult followup, what the falklands engagements would be like today?)

    That is a hard one. Would the Argentinian fleet sink before or after it gets out of harbor?

  9. January 01, 2018Johan Larson said...

    I'd like to see an assessment of the Royal Norwegian Navy. For a small country, they have some nifty stuff: heavy frigates, submarines, speedy corvette missile-boats, and a special ops force.

  10. January 01, 2018bean said...

    That one, I can definitely say isn't going to happen soon. It sounds interesting, but one of my rules is that I'm not trying to complete with Jane's.

  11. January 13, 2018sam said...

    +1 on the Falklands, as the most recent naval engagement between (approximately) equal, modern forces.

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