Friday, May 12, 2006

Fullbore Friday

Indulge me. My favorite ship....and it is German. The Graf Spee. She had a short but glorious history, an epic wartime cruise, and fought a classic battle against an enemy as honorable as she was, and to this day calls people to her grave.

She still calls to some; well at least me. Look again at her stats.
Range: 8,900 nautical miles at 20 knots (16,500 km at 37 km/h), or 19,000 nautical miles at 10 knots (35,000 km at 18.5 km/h).

Plant: Eight 9-cylinder double-acting two-stroke MAN diesels two screws, 52,050 hp (40 MW). Yes, you read that right. A diesel-electric Pocket Battleship. Seven decades ahead of her time....

Guns: Six 11 inch (280 mm) guns in two triple turrets,
eight 5.9 inch (150 mm) guns,
six 150 mm guns
eight 37 mm anti-aircraft guns
ten 20 mm anti-aircraft guns
eight 21 inch (530 mm) torpedo tubes in 2 quadruple mounts

All this in a ship 186 m long. Yep, you know where I am going with this. Imagine, using modern (not PPT or "in development") technologies to build a modern Pocket Battleship. Just think about it. Even if you don't want to spend what it takes to put titanium firemains in the LPD-17 to re-create the plant to build the 11" guns, I will give you 4 MK-71s instead. Thrown in a few MK-41 VLS cells....and you know where I am going. Ask the Marines. Ask the folks in SWOS what they think. Now think about the LCS and soon to be CANX DDG-1000.

Two great sites for info are here and here. There is some news as of late WRT her; the Graf Spee Project, and folks taking bits of her up one piece at a time. The one I want is already gone. The stern eagle.
Here she is now, here is what she she looked like when attached. Bronze rulz.

Here she is in the ideal, the actual (like the false bow wave camo), and her final cruise to meet her end.

To round out the story, you should review her Skipper, Kapitän zur See Hans Wilhelm Langsdorff. IMAO, an honorable, conflicted man - who in the end - loved his Sailors more than anything else. There are worse things that can be said about a man. As is my habit, I ask the question; "What would you do?"

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