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View Diary: Dead Sailors and Law and Order Part 3 The Last Big Gunship Battle (35 comments)

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  •  Ammo was the cause of the Iowa explosion (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CA148 NEWS, Eric Stratton, Tonga 23

    in 1989, that and using an obsolete weapons system.

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 12:32:16 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  The handling of the charge bags.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      subtropolis, Cartoon Peril

      very hazardous, lots can go wrong. The 'bullets' ( as we called them ) are safe in comparison. One would really have to screw up to cause a problem with those...... Most big ship explosions -- be it the Iowa or even HMS Hood -- can be traced back to an error, or shortcut that led to error, in the handling process. That stuff burns hot and fast ( we would have to dispose of any extra charge bags before moving the battery in the field. ( peacetime range regulations )  They were considered too dangerous to transport so we would burn them. Didn't take long -- you could feel the heat from a distance -- and would turn a dirt road into glass.  ( if one is cruising the roads around where an artillery training area has been, or is, and wonder why there are chunks of molten glass lying around, that's why. Left a lot of lying around, I did. And that's just me! )

       ( and we never skived any loose grans to burn as 'party favors'. Oh no. We never did that...... )

      it tastes like burning...

      by eastvan on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 02:08:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  how is it transported in the first place? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cartoon Peril, eastvan

        Do the powder bags come in a container in which it can't be put back for safe transport once opened?

        Or did you mix the powder onsite and bag it?

        All things in the sky are pure to those who have no telescopes. – Charles Fort

        by subtropolis on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 05:06:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Anything larger than the 8" guns on the (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cartoon Peril

          Des Moines class cruisers had powder bags.  This class of ships had the largest brass powders made.  They were transported in big round cases banded together on pallets which were broken down on deck and stored below in the magazines at the bottom of the turrets.  

          You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.- Jeannette Rankin

          by CA148 NEWS on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 05:33:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The battleships used powder in bags, which had (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            CA148 NEWS, RhodeIslandAspie

            to be specially designed to burn right.  The powder was really pellets, and did not exactly explode, but burned very rapidly.  

            A very precise loading procedure had to be followed to load these bags safely into the gun breach (using a hydraulic rammer), and what appears to have happened on Iowa was there was a overramming error by an insufficiently trained operator which caused the bags to catch fire while the breach was still open.

            None of that need have occurred except for the Reagan obsession with reactivating the battleships, even though they had no mission and they were hard to man.

            You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

            by Cartoon Peril on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 05:56:29 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Our rounds would come in a tube - shell (0+ / 0-)

          in one end, casing holding the bags in the other. The bags were ( are ) numbered incrementillay, attached by string. Unneeded ones - eg 'charge 5' would require the 6 & 7 bags to be removed by the gun detachment commander when the round is loaded, hence extra. They can't be put back into a now hot casing, thus too volatile to transport, being open, and  so destroyed on site.

          it tastes like burning...

          by eastvan on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 12:40:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  And the hangfire and cookoff (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cartoon Peril

      on the Turner Joy, of the Tonkin Gulf incident notoriety.
      The Turner Joy is now a floating museum at the Bremerton naval shipyard.  Up in the officers mess is a bullethole in the hull which is somewhat ambiguously marked as simulated.

      "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1. Keep the faith.

      by Tonga 23 on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 07:28:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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