Mines (captioned photo)

In recent years, the US Navy has been pursuing multiple types of new mines, including two air-dropped versions of the Quickstrike family of mines that offer game-changing capabilities such as the ability to be dropped from any altitude and be launched from up to 40 miles away. With their precision guidance, highly intricate minefields can be laid, even up rivers, from standoff ranges.

The Navy is also developing another air-dropped mine called Hammerhead to replace the Mk 60 Encapsulated Torpedo which is intended to lie in wait for months at a time after being deployed. The Clandestine Delivered Mine (CDM), a shadowy system believed to be in the prototype phase and intended for deployment aboard large unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs), reportedly finished testing last year.


Well Disciplined – but Ready for War?

They are Chinese if you please. They are Chinese if you don’t please.

Modern militaries are largely untested in battle, possessing the training but lacking frontline, logistical, and field experience. It is important to remember, as everyone becomes a nationalist when talking about the armed forces.

The US has been continually at war for the past 21 years. You can say what you want about the wisdom of doing that, but the NCOs are blooded and they know what works and what does not. The Brits have sent their soldiers to fight in America’s wars for that very reason. You only know what you can after you’ve done it.


Tuo Chiang

I started out making this a mystery ship. Yes, there are Chinese characters on the hull, but would you have guessed, “Tuo Chiang Class Corvette”?  Maybe you would have. It’s a weird-looking beast that Taiwan (ROC) has come up with. It’s designed to operate in rough seas around Taiwan and remain a stable firing platform.

In December 2020 the first of the improved Tuo Chiang-class corvettes, PGG-619 Ta Chiang, was launched in Yilan. 6 more improved models are to be delivered by 2023. 

In 2021 Ta Chiang completed the testing and evaluation of the TC-2N missile. This class of ship is designed to counter the threat posed by the PRC surface fleet.


Blast to the Past – IJN Carriers in WW2

In the years leading up to World War II, the aircraft carrier was an unproven concept; hence, there was a lot of experimentation with each ship or pair of ships built. The Japanese were unique among the nations that built aircraft carriers in that they did not always put the island on the starboard side of the ship.

For their first two fleet carriers (IJN Akagi and IJN Kaga), the Japanese didn’t have an island, and they even experimented with having the boilers vented out the side of the ship, rather than from above the highest deck. Furthermore, the bridge was below the flight deck. Here is the Akagi in 1934:

Note the absence of any island on the deck.

When developing their concept of an aircraft carrier, the Imperial Japanese Navy settled on a battle doctrine that called for their aircraft carriers to operate in pairs. Since they were operating in pairs, it was decided that the bridges of the two vessels should face each other to facilitate signaling between the two ships. Consequently, when Akagi and Kaga were built, one carrier had its bridge on the starboard side (Kaga) and the other had its bridge on the port side (Akagi). After completion, it was discovered that any signaling between the ships would be largely obscured by the smoke from the boilers, making the idea unworkable with the bridge below the flight deck:

This is Akagi during its sea trials in 1927. You can clearly see how the smoke from the boilers might be a problem.

In the late 1930s, the Japanese added a “proto-island” to Akagi and Kaga inasmuch as the island was much smaller than the islands on other nation’s aircraft carriers. This is largely due to the ship’s stacks remaining below the flight deck. Here is Akagi in April 1942, from before the bow—note the small island on the port side that was added.

The next pair of fleet carriers built were the IJN Soryu and the IJN Hiryu. Again, the two ships were built as mirror images with the ships’ respective islands on opposites sides. Here is the Hiryu with her island on her port side:

And here is a picture of her sister ship, the Soryu, with her island on the starboard side taken just before she sortied for the Pearl Harbor attack:

The Japanese aircraft carriers were excellent offensive weapons, but they shipped a lot of combustibles and lacked damage control capabilities, as they found out at Midway.


Contempt for Biden

Yes, sadly, you could.


  1. I never knew those facts about the IJN carriers. I think the IJN in general lacked the kind of training, equipment, and experience we had with damage control. WWII taught a lot of things about how to manage damage control, and it was a Charlei Foxtrot at the beginning from what I’ve read. One of the things I learned a bit about damage control on the Iowa was that they had storage spaces **everywhere** on the ship as designated “Damage Control Lockers”. Firefighting gear was also all over the ship, from water lines to hoses to special nozzles for the hoses. It was very different from the fire fighting equipment I’d seen on the ships I worked on, but it was also from a different era.

    • In the US Navy – EVERYONE goes through firefighting school, irrespective of what you do. SAVE THE SHIP. Many other nations are far more lax.

      • The USN grew up with a tradition of always being the underdog, always being outnumbered, outgunned and fighting far above the level they should have.

        Thus, damage control became nigh unto a religion in the USN.

        Which is the total curse of the LCS classes. Not enough crew to affect proper damage control. Not enough equipment to do damage control.

    • They could use 600. But they’d need a place to berth them where they wouldn’t be sabotaged, and crews that were not suborned by the PRC.

  2. “The Japanese aircraft carriers were excellent offensive weapons, but they shipped a lot of combustibles and lacked damage control capabilities, as they found out at Midway.”

    Reading about Midway and the Japanese mistakes it is clear damage control training and doctrine was almost an afterthought. Did that change after Midway?

    Not knowing anything about carrier operations, the business of repurposing the aircraft for a second strike while not securing munitions for the aborted strike seems a foolish move.

        • Lacquered wood in a warship? I had a man working for me who served on a ship. He said they has “purtty floors” of asphalt backed linoleum. Said a dropped cigarette set one passageway afire.

          The Army was as bad. In Germany our ammo dumps and alert rally point was on a flat, treeless 50 hectare sandy area with two class A roads and a railroad alongside. Wonder were Ivan planned to make a paratroop drop?

        • They learned a hard lesson from WWII. Now? Damage control and fire control taken almost to excess. Which is good in an ally.

    • They didn’t have a lot of time left after Midway to start a damage control program from scratch, or near as much equipment left to protect, either.

      When our subs really got going with the business of destroying their merchant fleet, I suppose having a great damage control program didn’t matter much.

  3. I would think that having the islands on opposite sides would increase construction difficulty and complexity more than a little. Lacquered wood interiors, wow, bet they looked pretty when the ship was all shiny and new.

Comments are closed.