The Dynamite Cruiser Was Nearly as Dangerous to Her Crew as She Was to the Enemy
On June 13, 1898, the cruiser USS Vesuvius crept within one mile of the Cuban coastline and began launching explosives from her monstrous compressed-air cannons — quietly, as far as the Spanish soldiers ashore in their fort knew until the shells landed. The nighttime shore bombardment targeting Santiago was... Read more
The Russian Military Wants Students to Design Its New Underwater Drone
In recent years, Russian Federation borrowed one great idea from the United States — creating a federally funded center for breakthrough and innovating technologies. The Foundation of Advanced Studies — basically the Russian DARPA — launched in 2013. The FAS stays busy these days with a variety of projects... Read more
The French Cruiser ‘Emile Bertin’ Escaped Halifax With a Belly Full of Gold
In June 1940, the 581-foot-long French light cruiser Émile Bertin sat docked in Halifax, when back in Europe, French officers gathered in the late Ferdinand Foch’s railway car at Compiègne to sign the humiliating armistice with Nazi Germany — sealing continental France’s subordination to German hegemony for a following... Read more
China’s Three ‘Navies’ Each Have the World’s Most Ships
As a friend’s five-year-old puts it, “China has three navies: the regular navy, the police navy and the sneaky navy.” Each of these three sea forces is the world’s largest of its type by number of ships — at least by some measures. China is truly a maritime power in its... Read more
The Submarines of the Future Will Be Robotic
Imagine a future in which nuclear attack submarines — SSNs — can deploy undersea drones (UUVs) to hunt, and possibly kill, enemy subs. The U.S. Navy, at least, is taking steps to make this a reality. What impact could this have? On the one hand, UUVs could shake modern... Read more
No, China Doesn’t Want Confrontation in the South China Sea
It’s been said that groupthink is a bad thing, that creative tension is a good thing and that appointing a “devil’s advocate” represents the best way to counteract the former while generating the latter. With any luck the give-and-take of debate yields better insights into ambient circumstances and how to manage them. To assure there is some... Read more
How Defensible Are China’s Island Bases?
China has built some islands in the South China Sea. Can it protect them? During World War II Japan found that control of islands offered some strategic advantages, but not enough to force the United States to reduce each island individually. Moreover, over time the islands became a strategic... Read more
The U.S. Navy’s Persian Gulf Patrol Boats Just Got Laser-Guided Missiles
The U.S. Navy is completing a host of sweeping modernization upgrades to its fleet of 14 Patrol Coastal boats by integrating new laser-guided weapons, communications technology, drone sensors and navigation systems to enable the ships to respond to newly-emerging coastal threats. “This modernization consists of numerous upgrades that support... Read more
The U.S. Navy’s Second Stealth ‘Zumwalt’-Class Destroyer Is Almost Ready for Action
The U.S. Navy’s second Zumwalt-class destroyer successfully completed acceptance trials late last week on Feb. 1, according to the Naval Sea Systems Command. With acceptance trials completed, the massive nearly 15,000-ton future USS Michael Monsoor is set to be delivered to the Navy in March. “DDG 1001 performed exceedingly well during acceptance... Read more
Finland Is Bolstering Its Navy With American Missiles
Finland’s tiny navy will face a crisis in the mid-2020s as half its surface combat fleet — four of eight missile boats in total — retires. To prevent this crisis, the navy is upgrading is planning to build four corvettes which are larger than anything currently in the fleet,... Read more
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