Monday, January 11, 2010

Comments on The Belmont Club
"The Last U-boat"


Utopia Parkway,
The entire story, not just the MASINT, reads like it inspired The Hunt for Red October, right down to seeking refuge in New Hampshire.

[last lines]
Captain Ramius: "... and the sea will grant each man new hope, as sleep brings dreams of home." Christopher Columbus.
Jack Ryan: Welcome to the New World, Captain.


There are wheels within wheels in the world of unintended consequences. In conventionally powered naval operations;
weight equals fuel consumed,
fuel consumed equals operational range,
operational range equals combat effectiveness (1), also
fuel consumed equals ordnance storage capacity lost
lost ordnance storage equals lost combat capacity (2).

The pressure to reduce the weight and expense in ship design is intense. In this it probably resembles the engineering pressures felt in the automotive design industry. One way to reduce a ship's weight is to replace the steel superstructure with one made of aluminum. Reducing the weight of the topside mass has the added advantage of lowering the ship's center of gravity and making it a more stable platform. There is of course a problem. By placing two different metals next to each other in the presence of salt while moving through the water you have created an enormous battery. The ship literally generates electricity as it moves. In fact the transfer of electrons between the two metals creates a corrosion problem as the ship literally eats itself. Unfortunately this does not produce energy to perform useful work. The energy is emitted as radio signals telling God and the world "Here I am." Grounding straps and sealants can reduce the problem.

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Thank you all for a fascinating thread both on and off topic.

Subotai Bahadur,
I had not heard of the RF radiation. Is there anything open source on this?

At first you had me worried that I was due for a knock on the door but a search on “electromagnetic emission by naval ships due to galvanic corrosion” came up with http://www.earth2.net/parts/basics/milstd1310g.pdf on preventing EMI in naval construction.

Staff fretting about the troops shooting to many bullets is a good reason to issue them rifles and send them up the line for 30 days in a two year cycle.

Trent Telenko,
I have generally gone with the report that Harry Truman believed that operations Olympic and Coronet would result in 1 million American dead and 10 million Japanese killed.

Habu,
Concur on the Civil War. In order to fight the war the South had to become what they had started the conflict to avoid. They were in a no win situation from the beginning. If they had welded into a unified state with a rational industrial economy based on free labor then what would they have gained?

History is full of “what ifs.” It might have been rational for the South to try to draw out the War for a negotiated settlement prior to the fall of Vicksburg but they had every reason to terminate the conflict as fast as possible after the loss of the Mississippi and the retreat from Gettysburg. Their biggest problem was starting the conflict at the behest of the fire breathers of South Carolina. Governor Brown of Georgia was a pain in the south forty but nobody could feel good about bleeding for the pretensions of the oligarchs of Columbia.

My assumption is that Obama’s boorish behavior towards the English is not due to cluelessness but shows a pattern of deliberate adolescent offense. When they get a chance to tell him to piss off they will do so with a thousand years of skill. Unfortunately, in this as in everything, he is writing cheques for the rest of us to cash.

Mongo BL Santamaria,
Wasn’t the Great Dane the enemy alien that Jack Kennedy was dating until his family got him shipped out to the relative safety of the South Pacific? Also I believe that David Niven had a torrid encounter with a similar Nordic security threat, in his case complete with a need to explain what the “secret weapon” was that he was bringing to her.

michaelhoskins,
Pattern recognition is everything. Being an inspecting officer is easy, you just look for what stands out as not fitting the pattern.

Smelligence can be defeated. In Vietnam the VC could track westerners by our distinctive odor. When we tried to track human movements on the trails with sensors they could hang a bucket of urine on a tree and watch the 50 million dollar airplane drop the 10 thousand dollar bomb on the 2 dollar bucket. Giving off distinctive emissions can be a good thing. The South Koreans had established a strong enough reputation in Binh Dinh Province that they would patrol with their transistor radios turned up. Where they patrolled there was peace. They managed to fight a war without any support from the lawyers.

Jan 11, 2010 - 5:12 pm

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