Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week:

As a clever reader might deduce from the name, the site provides information on Naval Weapons, mostly from the classical 20th Century age of battleship warfare, but with an objective to cover the period from 1880-present.

Extensive technical information resides here: not only on naval guns from AA popguns to ship-shredding 18-inchers, but also on torpedoes, mines, depth charges, rockets and hybrid weapons.

While a lot of sites discuss the main armament of American, British and Japanese capital ships, few go deep into the secondary and tertiary armament of these vessels, and fewer still review the armaments of smaller combatant vessels, or any vessel of secondary seafaring nations, such as Russia, Italy or Austria-Hungary. This site doesn’t get every single gun on every single vessel… yet. But it does seem like that’s their ambition.

Looking at the rise and fall of great guns through history, it’s interesting to see how gun caliber, range, throw weight, and power rose from the dawn of the Dreadnought Era to peak in the great battleships of World War II … and has declined ever since. US Navy ships now have nothing greater than 155mm (approx. 6″) on the Zumwalt class, and 5″ guns on most cruisers and destroyers. (And the ammunition for the 155 is not being procured; the Navy instead wants to convert the Zumwalts to fire the ground forces’ 155mm guided Excalibur rounds, but their first cut at the costs for doing that is $250 million for the engineering, before buying the first bullet — and, of course, before the Pentagon’s usual cost overruns.

The “big gun” on the all-but-defenseless LCS class is a 57mm (~2.3″), also selected for Coast Guard cutters. So if the Navy that Ray Mabus built gets in a war with the Coast Guard, they’ll be at technological parity, at least.

But that was a long and bitter digression, and this post is really about Along with the already-mentioned weapons information, there are some excellent historical articles on some aspect of naval warfare: for example, this one on German radar development.

20 thoughts on “Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week:

  1. Loren

    “if the Navy that Ray Mabus built gets in a war”
    Well at least we have diversity.
    I’m guessing the 250 mil engineering will go to figuring out how to replace the whole damn gun/mount/feed/magazine/software, etc. Might be cheaper for the Z to tow one of the mothballed cruisers and use her guns.

    1. Clarence Chen

      The USS New Jersey is still in operable condition. Although she may be over 70 years old, and broadsides are a bit outdated, my lord are the guns on a Iowa-class ship impressive.

  2. Ray

    The big BB’s were obsolete 70 years ago according to the “brass hats” at the fumble factory. The LCS is worthless and was chosen BECAUSE it is worthless, by an administration that WANTED the US military to fail in every way that it could be made to fail. You have a government that WANTS the US to lose wars. It is equipped and trained to lose wars. Or did you think that getting rid of any effective weapon , weapons system or training, and replacing them with worthless crap wasn’t part of a long term plan by men who don’t hit the can without gaming it first.

    1. Boat Guy

      I’d like to think that we “…HAD a government that WANTS the US to lose wars.” Though we apparently have a significant number of apparatchiks who are still carrying on the lightbringers vision. Such must be rooted out.

    2. Hognose Post author

      I think the LCS debacle began under Bush, to be fair. Its proponents thought it was a good adjunct to destroyers and frigates. Then it became a replacement.

      1. Boat Guy

        LCS began as “Streetfighter” IIRC which as a concept was significantly different from what was produced; not that LCS is the only example of such…

    3. Scipio Americanus

      The (relatively) big helicopter pad and hangar are very worthwhile. If not for the ludicrous speed requirement that forced so many stupid design decisions and compromises they might have been nice little frigates, a good spot-supplement for MCM, ASW, and anti-piracy operations. Oh well, that’s the Pentagon/DC procurement labyrinth for you.

  3. joshua

    The advantage of the 57 to the Coast Guard is in accuracy. You don’t want warning shots to hit steel; you don’t want disabling fire to cause more damage than necessary. A 57mm isn’t what you’d order for NGFS or to sink a ship, but for a law enforcement-esque mission, it might be the right choice.

    1. Scipio Americanus

      It’s a decent anti-FAC/PC gun for knife-fighting type situations. Thanks to the high rate of fire it puts about as much explosive on target as a 76 mm would, and the smaller shell is fine if you’re shooting at small, unprotected craft. This is probably why it’s on the LCS.

  4. Bill T

    We have a new Sheriff in town with new deputies. It takes years to make a noticeable change in attitude in any military especially the Navy (remember the todo over rating names-“Yo-persons”). It seems like it takes a “generation” of officers to make a big change of direction. It’s the order of command, nobody wants to listen to the ideas of a subordinate. They have to move up enough in rank to have any influence.
    My $0.02
    Seems as if I drifted further into the bitter digression. It still bugs me. I like the Idea of towing the big cruisers into battle. It makes about as much sense as some of the ideas coming out of The Puzzle Palace.

  5. Boat Guy

    Neat site (now that I’ve been through it a bit). Only thing I noted was on the Ma Deuce page the author says they are “produced in right- and left-hand models”. Unless things have changed hugely since I was a lad there’s only one “model” which can be converted from left to right-hand feed. When I was a LT I won a bet from one of my GMG’s on this matter…
    Purty good accounts of the 5″/54 Mk 42’s and the 5″/38’s. Wish I’d had that information when the Navy DIDN’T send me to ANY gunnery schools (I did have two-whole days of ammo admin).

  6. Keith

    Had that site saved to favorites for years now. There is a wealth of info there if you have any interest in modern ships defined as 1880 forwards.

    The Progressive/Cosmo/Tranzi is against any county having a strong military as part of there disdane for countries period and since the prior administration were fellow travelers from top to bottom I wasn’t surprised at anything that happened. Obama after all did campaign on ‘change’ and you have to admit that did happen. Of course Hitler in a speech in 1938 say that in 10 years you would not recognize Germany and he was right.

    Be careful what you ask for you just might get it.

    Keep your powder dry and your faith in God.

  7. Air

    Where would we be without the “Knee Deep Navy” to be the punchline of every joke?
    Toastie, I fixed it for you. ;-)

Comments are closed.