Weapons that changed the world

Re: Weapons that changed the world

Postby Thorin » Wed Jul 13, 2011 9:27 pm

Deepcrush wrote:With regards to Thorin, its pretty clear he's only in here to spam the thread so may be best to just ignore him. Works for kids in the time out corner and if we're lucky it will work here.


Kids in the time out corner! Ahh Brilliant. You are a true genius.
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Re: Weapons that changed the world

Postby Reliant121 » Wed Jul 13, 2011 9:34 pm

McAvoy wrote:
Reliant121 wrote:@McAvoy: On the above note of nuclear/non nuclear submarines, I know for a fact that they must be used for different purposes. A navy that goes on long deployments naturally uses a nuclear submarine because of its insane strategic range and its increased power while underwater; Thats why the USN/RN etc. use them. But for smaller coastal work or for defensive purposes diesel electric are ideal. They are much much MUCH quieter: Nuclear power requires an awful lot of pumping which of course produces the vibrations. Not only that but travelling at any form of speed underwater is pointless because of cavitation of the screws. A diesel electric is virtually silent beneath the waves, much more so than a nuclear ship.

in short: Nuclear = Long range, fast and easy to fuel

Diesel-electric: MUCH quieter and therefore more combat effective. Just can't get very far.

Having met a very old helmsman of subs who was the helmsman of one of the RN's last diesel electrics before taking on one of the earlier nuclear subs, he would definitely take the diesel-electric. As would a lot of submariners. Yeah, they can't get that far but they do a far better job of keeping the crew alive.


Interesting. Thanks. To be honest my area of interest has only been 1960's and before that. Mainly cruisers and carriers, so my knowledge of subs are sketchy at best.



I learnt it all from my old man who was on a ship designed specifically to chase the little blighters. The HMS Campbeltown, being a type-22, spent most of its time practicing hunting either Norwegian, German, RN or American subs when not playing chicken with Libyan missile boats in the 1st gulf war (the American subs being easiest to find, so I've heard, with the RN ones being very close second).

The diesel electric sonar boys were creepy. Nuclear ships always have a teensy bit of interference on the sonar from their own pumps systems; only very very VERY slight but its there. The diesel electric ones get picture perfect noises. They were very quick to remind crewmen on the Campbeltown that anyone in the ocean knows where she is; one of the turbines is ever so slightly out of alignment and so it fires slightly out of time with the other making a very distinctive ba-dum ba-dum on sonar vibrations. It's quite scary, from what I understand, everyone knowing who you are.
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Re: Weapons that changed the world

Postby Deepcrush » Wed Jul 13, 2011 9:42 pm

Reliant, you need to be a special type of person to serve on a sub and fight their kinds of battles. Sitting in a tub and waiting to see if you get the first shot or die isn't really something I'd ever volunteer for. Bonus respect for you father for time on those boats.
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Re: Weapons that changed the world

Postby Reliant121 » Wed Jul 13, 2011 9:47 pm

Ah, dad couldn't stay on them. He wanted to because submarines have a unique sense of family that no surface ship can ever have; the navy was his way out of his own family so it would have suited him. But we both have a genetic problem with sinuses. The sub he was on to see if he could get on with it did a dive test and almost immediately had to come back up since his sinuses virtually exploded in his head due to the pressure change.

Yes, you do. It takes a special kind of person to fight any war.
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Re: Weapons that changed the world

Postby Deepcrush » Wed Jul 13, 2011 10:02 pm

I don't mind war, I don't mind people trying to kill me... I mind being in something that reminds me of a coffin before I even get to the battlefield.
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Re: Weapons that changed the world

Postby Lighthawk » Thu Jul 14, 2011 1:49 am

Thorin, sorry to kick the crutch of your argument out from under you, but you're taking the thread title too literally. It's just a title, it's allowed a bit of hyperbole. If you read the OP, you'll see that the actual topic of discussion is the top ten weapons/weapon systems/vehicles that had the greatest impact on warfare and the related politics.

So yeah, Ak-47, great gun, made a huge impact. Everything else you dismissed though, stealth and nuclear power ships and such, actually are relevant to the discussion as they well qualify as military innovations that changed the way people and nations conducted war.
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Re: Weapons that changed the world

Postby Reliant121 » Thu Jul 14, 2011 8:13 am

Even with the likes of nuclear powered ships and stealth technology, they may well not have revolutionized the combat zone (although, on both I'd beg to differ) but they have certainly caused a monumental shift in international politics. Before the advent of stealth planes, smaller nations technology could at least hope to stand up to the USAF's fighters; combat over Korea for example. When the stealth technology waltzed onto the scene, it created a massive gap in capability between the US aircraft and the myriad of Russian derivative fighters that everyone and their mum's were using. F-117's and B-2's aren't flawless; and certainly not 100% undetectable, but in a political sense they give America not only a massive great big ego boost but an enormous amount of political leverage; what good is tinpot dictator if he can't fight the evil oppressors? Even better if he can barely even touch the enemy he is fighting.

Similarly, Nuclear technology is one of the main things that allows a modern power such as the US to field such vast carrier fleets and submarine forces all across the planet. Only the USSR ever really rivalled the states on that front, but other stuff at home removed that. One of the key parts to this is the enormous range that a nuclear reactor gives. Sure, a conventionally powered sub fleet or Carrier fleet can do the job but it sure as hell can't do it anywhere NEAR as quickly OR as far. Nuclear power has allowed the US to project forces all across the globe (when it sticks its nose into everything). Nuclear power has allowed the US military might to be a political entity unto itself; even if it is merely an evolution of naval technology, it is a revolution in political force projection.
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Re: Weapons that changed the world

Postby Mikey » Thu Jul 14, 2011 12:45 pm

I think Reliant has mentioned what a number of people have argued but nobody actually said - the list in question is "weapons that changed the world," not "weapons that changed combat." The addition of nuclear power to carriers, for example, didn't change the way that carriers operate locally - but it did most certainly change the way that carriers impact the globe.
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Re: Weapons that changed the world

Postby Deepcrush » Thu Jul 14, 2011 4:43 pm

No one said it because until now there wasn't a need. The OP states rather clearly the purpose of the thread.
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Re: Weapons that changed the world

Postby BigJKU316 » Mon Jul 18, 2011 2:25 am

McAvoy wrote:
BigJKU316 wrote:
McAvoy wrote:When I meant low level, I didn't mean hugging the ground. It was more like 200 or 300 feet off of the ground. Also those high level bombing doesn't work that well with semi-bad weather. I don't know how many times our pilots came back when they had the target but couldn't drop the bombs because of clouds.


I know you were not saying hugging the ground. What I am saying is no one bombs that way anymore. It is not really a useful capability and no one even did that much of it (except for A-10's) during the 1st Gulf War.


Why do you say that?

I already told you that the current method of bombing a target by a Hornet has a tendenancy to be blocked by clouds. Moderate cloud cover causes many bombing runs to be cancelled. Not saying that the low angle and lower altitude bombing that the Tomcats perferred (which by the way they did the Hornet way as well) is foolproof. It has it's own dangers and weather can play a part in cancelled bombing run as well.


You are missing what I am saying. I am saying that low altitude bombing just is not done anymore except in the most dire of circumstances and because of that it is irrelevant as to if the F-18 or the F-14 is a better delivery platform for unguided munitions. PGM use has risen from 7% during the 1st Gulf War to 70% in the second. Those generally are not dropped from low level at all as that reduces their accuracy rather than improve it. The proliferation of laser designators and GPS among ground troops has drastically reduced the circumstances where something like bombing methods matter all that much. The ingress and egress to the target is important but the exact method of bombing is not all that important anymore.
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