Random Thoughts

An internet acquaintance kindly sent me excerpted transcipts from an oral history relating some of the sea battles off Guadalcanal. Fascinating stuff. I don’t think they are for public dissemination (I’ll check again to see if I can share), but a couple technical points caught my eye. The 5”/38 was generally credited with a rate of fire of 15 rounds per minute. Per these transcripts, the USS Atlanta averaged about 25 rounds per minute per gun. With a broadside of 14 guns, that’s 350 rounds per minute. At 55 pounds per shell, that’s  19,250 pounds of fire every minute. Of course, the ship couldn’t sustain that rate more than a minute or two, before the rate dropped off, but that’s still pretty incredible.

Likewise, while I knew the 5”/38 fired a semi-fixed round, I mistakenly thought the 6”/47 of the Brooklyn and Cleveland class cruisers fired bagged ammo. Not so. They too used a semi-fixed ammunition, giving them a pretty fair rate of fire as well. 15rpm per tube wasn’t unheard of. With up to 15 tubes on a World War II cruiser firing  130 pound AP shells, that’s a weight of fire of 29,250 pounds. And don’t forget that the 6” cruisers guns had longer range, better armor penetration, and more destructive effect.

It wasn’t until the Des Moines class that 8” gun cruisers abandoned bagged charges and adopted semi-fixed ammo. The great weight of the 8” shell also mandated automatic loading.  The last 8” gun cruiser, the USS Newport News served up to the 1970s, and was very profitably used off the coast of Vietnam.


It’s been unusually humid here. 70% humidity may not seem too bad to you folks in the south, but for those of us accustomed to a more benign 7%, it’s a tad muggy here. Especially when the daytime high gets above 100.  How troops in Iraq could cope with the heat while wearing body armor is a mystery to me.


Found a great site with some TINS tails in the comments on the Lex FB thread. Check it out.


In between entries here, I’m watching Ghostrider. It’s bad. But not that bad. It’s not like it’s Wicker Man. Or Firebirds! Oh, how that movie sucked. Heck, I bet Outlaw 13 feels a disturbance in the force every time I so much as mention that movie.


Lots of speculation that Obama will drop Joe Biden from the ticket. But there’s word that Hillary said “thanks, but no thanks” to a shot at the VP slot. So, if she doesn’t want it, who would they pick? Don’t say Elizabeth Warren- the Dems have spent too much money on her senate race to change that out. Besides, aside from running for the Senate, she’s a political non-entity. At least Biden had a career in the Senate.


Lots of folks freaking out lately about various branches of the federal government buying lots of pistol ammo. Relax. There are a ton of armed agents in surprising spots of the federal government. And that means they need a lot of ammo for qualifications. Heck, I remember having to expend 17,000 rounds of 5.56mm in one afternoon. By myself.

Whether various nooks and crannies of the federal behemoth should have armed agents is a different question. But since they do have them, they need to be trained. Obama isn’t prepping the way to declare martial law. At least, if he is, the reports in the press aren’t the harbingers of it.


Roamy mentioned in another forum that after a two year study, the Boy Scouts of America have decided to retain their ban on openly gay scouts and scout leaders. How long before the SPLC deems the Boy Scouts a hate group? Look, you don’t like the way BSA runs its affairs? The answer isn’t to sue the BSA. It’s to start your own organization that sets the standards you want. As for me, my association with BSA, through Cub Scouts, and Sea Explorers, will always remain some of my best memories, and the standards of Scouting were a very good influence on me. Unlike Jay,I paid attention  the part of Sea Scouts where we weren’t supposed to fool around with the girls in our ship.

Also? Two years? What the heck, guys? That’s a 5 second conversation around the headquarters. “Should we change our standards??”   … “No.”  End of discussion.


4 thoughts on “Random Thoughts”

  1. In Friedman’s US Cruisers, he writes about the firepower of USN CLs, With the 15 guns on a BROOKLYN, at 12 RPG, that is 3 6″ rounds each second going downrange.

  2. I’ve lived with 95% at 95 degrees here in the south. Not much sympathy for you here.

    BSA has slowly given way to PC over the years. They allow Women as Scoutmasters now. Sooner or later, they’ll allow queers too. The main wall against that is the Mormons, which is the largest religious organization that sponsors Troops and Packs.

    A friend at my church back in the early 70s served on the Gun Line on the Newport News. He was originally assigned to the gun that went up, but had been transferred to a different turret the day before. Turret two was useless after that. When I saw here in Norfolk, she had a plate where the middle gun used to be. She was the last of the big gun cruisers. Albany became 2nd fleet flagship, but she had been converted to a missile cruiser by then.

  3. Brad, if you so much as said the title of the movie that will remain nameless in my old unit, it would result in a “bar fine” the total of which can not be imagined by mere mortals.

  4. Yes xbrad, what you say is true. I did bend the rules on fraternization. OK, broke them. A lot. Whatever. But hey, the last one made me honest, at least. Together 22 years, married 18 next month. And in my defense, she chased after me.

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