This html article is produced from an uncorrected text file through optical character recognition. Prior to 1940 articles all text has been corrected, but from 1940 to the present most still remain uncorrected. Artifacts of the scans are misspellings, out-of-context footnotes and sidebars, and other inconsistencies. Adjacent to each text file is a PDF of the article, which accurately and fully conveys the content as it appeared in the issue. The uncorrected text files have been included to enhance the searchability of our content, on our site and in search engines, for our membership, the research community and media organizations. We are working now to provide clean text files for the entire collection.
"Cargo Ship Design”
(See pages 73-81, April 1967 Proceedings)
Eric Rath, FDLS Project, Litton Industries—The author does not heed his own advice, that is, to keep pace with improved cargo-handling technology. He has not mentioned the FDLS Program at all. The FDLS (Fast Deployment Logistic Ship) type cargo vessel presents a breakthrough in cargohandling technique today. From a transportation man’s point of view, the FDL ship incorporates three features never before lumped together into one floating craft:
(1) Significant to military transportation is the in-transit storage of ready-to-roll vehicles, lighters, and helicopters. This principle is a refinement of the floating forward depots that could maintain equipment on board for extended periods of time under dehumidification. The FDLS in addition allows servicing and testing in place, refueling on board and the discharge of an entire deployment force for air-transported manpower within far less than a day.
(2) Designed to discharge under nonassault conditions in almost any port and over almost any beach makes the FDLS an entirely new type of self-contained marine transporter. The application of this principle has been known during the assault operations of the Navy for a generation. But the FDLS applies this knowledge to a supply vessel and one with exceptionally good, deep-sea qualifications. It is a ship of almost the size of the SS United States, with a sustained sea speed around 25 knots. It is capable of handling
[Editor’s note: Litton Industries was recently awarded a contract for the design and construction of the FDL; see pages 142-143, Notebook.] itself in bays and harbors without the requirement of tug boats. It wastes no space for dual cargo-handling such as proposed in the barge ships.
(3) The roll-on/roll-off principle of cargohandling has been completely overlooked by the author. In effect for over 12 years, the roll-on/roll-off principle has been declared useless by many critics. Far from being dead, there are today almost twice as many of these ships serving the merchant marines of the world as there are container ships.
The FDL ship can accommodate all commerce, vehicles, liquid cargoes, large and small containers, and over 1,000 tons of palletized cargo. The design concept handles all these with equal ease, either in the roll-on method or by flying same off the large helicopter deck.
It has been said of the merchant marine-
Salient features of the Fast Deployment Logistics Ship are depicted in this artist’s conception of the Litton Industries’ design, which has been selected as the proposal upon which to base further developmental effort in the FDL program.
Navy relationship by many authors that a reserve fleet requirement in readiness is the only way to secure fast deployment by surface craft in time of emergency. Even here the FDLS design is an exceptionally valid cargo ship development. The FDLS as designed for the Navy could serve very well as a combination carrier.
Congress and the Maritime Administration have made a wise statement requesting the Navy to make the results of the FDLS study availabe to the merchant marine. It is remembered that it was the military require- Hient, not commercial interests, that brought about the completion of the trans-continental railroads of the United States. It could be quite likely that the American Merchant ■Marine will be indebted to the U. S. Navy as author of the first roll-on-container combination ship, the FDLS.
Early Command—Who Wants It?
Lieutenant Commander T. B. Shemanski, U. S. Navy—The statisticians at the Bureau of Naval Personnel have reported that only 17 per cent of the line lieutenant commanders will command ships while they hold that rank. Even a smaller proportion of lieutenants and lieutenants junior grade will have such an opportunity. At the same time, feedback from the Bureau indicates that there is a shortage of qualified officers to fill the relatively few junior commanding officer billets available.
Several of the author’s contemporaries have been told that although due for relief, they will be over-toured, and that they stand far down on a long list of junior commanding officers waiting for relief. Command-qualified lieutenant commanders, they were told, are simply not available and a number sufficient to take care of waiting mine sweepers and
destroyer escorts are not in the pipeline. This may come as a shock to the many lieutenant commanders in their 11th, 12th and 13 th year of service, who would give their eyeteeth for a ship of their own.
It is time to examine some of the reasons why this situation exists. At the very least, those officers who would like to wear a command star should examine their past officer preference cards to discover if they have ever told their detailers that they think they are ready for the responsibilities of command. They might also review conversations with their past commanding officers to discover if they have ever indicated a preference for early command which could have been put into a fitness report. I think the story in most cases would be that no such preference was ever indicated.
It is apparently a fact that most officers do not indicate a preference for command until they are full commanders. This is apparently not so of officers with previous enlisted service; they do request and are assigned to early commands in numbers disproportionate to their share of numbers in the Navy. They at least know what they want and have the courage to ask for it.
Why in the world do competent junior officers with diversified backgrounds, with drive and ambition, and with aspirations to command wait to ask for the most rewarding of all duty assignments? Fiction: Fitness reports written by senior officers have more weight than those written by juniors. Fact: Most selection boards are more interested in the demanding nature of duties performed than in the rank of the reporting senior, and it is likely that an excellent fitness report written by a commander observing a lieutenant commander C.O. will carry more weight than the same kind of fitness report written by an admiral. Fiction: Relatively junior unit
ENTER THE FORUM
Regular and Associate Members are invited to write brief comments on material published in the Proceedings and also to write brief discussions on any topic of naval or maritime interest for possible publication on these pages. A primary purpose of the Proceedings is to provide a place where ideas of importance to the Navy can be exchanged.
commanders write poor fitness reports because they feel that the performance of their subordinate units reflects intimately on them. It is risky to be a commanding officer until your unit commander is senior enough to be safe and secure himself. Fact: You are as likely to get an honest and objective evaluation from a junior unit commander as you are from a senior; the junior is more likely to understand the magnitude of your problems and make allowances for them, since it is likely that he was quite recently in the same boat that you are in. Fiction: It isn’t safe to command a ship as a junior officer because you won’t have any competent help; your inexperienced junior officers will foul up and the Navy will hold you responsible. Fact: Command entails some risk to a career, but at least in a small ship you can know your men, exercise personal leadership and control, and train your inexperienced subordinates to your own standards of excellence. Fiction: The best enlisted men are inevitably assigned to new construction and nuclear submarines, so that a junior commanding officer will have to command a crew made up of the dregs. Fact: Some of the best enlisted men in the Navy are assigned to or gravitate to smaller ships by choice. They are the type who accept responsibility and authority and exercise both with courtesy and ease. Fiction: As a junior commanding officer, you would be over-supervised and would not be allowed to exercise initiative, judgment, or command. Fact: Practically the only ships ever allowed to go their own way without a senior monitoring their every movement, action, and engagement are the small ships.
The author saw his unit commander only twice in seven months of Market Time Patrol in Vietnam. His operational commander was over a hundred miles away in Saigon. Such decisions as whether to board or search or not, whether to shoot at the enemy on the beach or not, whether to enter dangerous waters or not, whether to fire support missions for beleagured friendly forces or not, were left to the discretion of the commanding officer.
Until you have filed your own movement report and headed out alone across several thousand miles of trackless seas, arranged your own logistic support, approved your own work requests, inspected your own gun crews and led your individual ship in action at the peril of your own life and that of every man on board, you haven’t really lived the life you S1gned up for when you accepted your first commission. If you don’t experience it in a small ship, the odds against your doing it while in a larger one become progressively greater.
The author holds no brief against “mustang” officers who receive so many assignments to junior command. Their maturity, their five rows of campaign ribbons and their obvious willingness to assume responsibility must recommend them both to the detailer and to their prospective unit commander. The fact remains that most of them are nearing the end of the trail.
The pattern of always being a follower, instead of a leader, prevails. The undemanding billet where one can spend more time with one s family becomes more attractive; tigers turn into pussycats, and the whole great organization suffers from a plethora of undistinguished performance, of limited horizons, and eventual disillusionment.
While the author was teaching at the U. S. Naval Academy, he asked his classes for a show of hands as to who was striking eventually for the job of Chief of Naval Operations. No midshipman ever put up his hand voluntarily, because to do so would be “greasy,” and yet he who would have the job should have started with the goal in mind as soon as he was able to recognize the strains of “Navy Rhie and Gold.”
In place of the truisms discussed above, I offer some substitutes which may have more validity:
(1) No matter what your career pattern is, that time spent in command is never wasted.
(2) A successful commanding officer has a distinct advantage over contemporaries who have not had command when a selection board meets to evaluate them.
(3) The ability to command is a quality which must be demonstrated; it will not be assumed to be present by evaluating seniors.
(4) Early command is, by every meaningful criterion, a desirable thing for an unrestricted fine officer to have.
(5) Command of a garbage barge is more Personally satisfying than being somebody’s executive officer.
"Hitler’s Flattop—The End of the Beginning”
(See pages 41-49, January 1967; and pages 126-127, May 1967 Proceedings.)
R. Eric Nielsen—I completely disagree with Mr. Reynold’s thesis that the Graf Zeppelin was an “absurd attempt to imitate a naval weapon peculiar to great naval nations.” Actually, if the carrier had been completed in 1940, she would have imposed a tremendous threat to Allied sea power, whether she was used operationally or not. This fact alone rules out the possibility that Germany’s attempt was “absurd.”
What in fact the Graf Zeppelin does symbolize is the vacillation on the part of the German High Command as to the use which should be made of aviation in naval warfare. The numerous halts, then corresponding resumptions, on the construction of the carrier attest to this fact. The ship also symbolizes the extent to which the lack of integration on the part of the High Command—as exemplified by the power struggle between Raeder and Goring for the control of naval aviation—can injure the military power and policies of a nation.
Mr. Reynolds fails to deal with the historical aspects of German naval aviation. It must be remembered that during World War I, Germany had no need for carriers because her extensive naval Zeppelin service fulfilled most of the functions of naval aviation. The combination of the obsolescence of the Zeppelin as an instrument of war and the restrictions on military aviation at the Treaty of Versailles left Germany in a dilemma as to the future development of a naval air service. The development of an aircraft carrier was further complicated by the fact that only three German vessels—the raider Wolf (one small seaplane), the converted cruiser Seyd- litz, and the converted merchant ship Santa Fe (which acted as a seaplane tender) carried aircraft during World War I.
In fact, a number of aircraft were converted or built for service on the Graf Zeppelin and only awaited her completion. Some 50 Bf-109Ts and quantities of Ju-87 dive-bombers were finished and assigned to Marine Trager Gruppe 186, the unit designated for service on the Graf Zeppelin. When work on the Graf ZepPe^n was terminated, these aircraft were assigned to other units.
Hindering completion of the Graf Zeppelin, after it was decided to resume work on her later in the war, was the fact that much of her machinery had been sent to Italy to be installed on Italy’s aircraft carrier Aquila, also under construction. At one time during the war, Hitler even considered fitting her with additional fuel tanks and using her as a blockade runner to Japan!
"Alliance Diplomacy in Limited Wars”
(See pages 52-57, April 1967 Proceedings)
Vice Admiral B. B. Schofield, Royal Navy (Retired)—G. F. Eliot states: “It is by no means impossible that a Soviet purpose may be crystallizing to use the nuclear submarine as a means of restricting the oceanic freedom of action of the sea powers; not so much by overt acts as by the existence of a means by which—for one example—forcible resistance might be offered to the establishment of blockades in the absence of a declared war.”
I find some difficulty in visualizing the kind of situation he has in mind. How is it possible to restrict freedom of action without the use of force? The shot across the bows was a warning. The submarine, whether nuclear- powered or conventional, is at a great disadvantage in attempting to enforce action upon a surface ship, as their operation in both World Wars has shown. She cannot fire a warning torpedo, and if she surfaces or approaches too close to a surface ship, she endangers herself.
Russia is expressing mounting opposition to American action in Vietnam, but is it not her uncertainty regarding American response to action, such as Eliot suggests, that has so far restrained her from taking it? It must surely be a belief that it might call down the full weight of U. S. retaliatory power that has prevented her from interfering with the oceanic freedom of the Western powers. Once, however, the idea gains credence that nuclear war is impossible except in reply to a direct threat to the U. S. homeland, then Eliot’s theory and those of Admiral Peter Gretton become much more probable.
The matter is of particular interest at this time, because there is a major conflict of opinion in Europe today between those who believe that the U. S. deterrent power is still effective in preventing direct participation by
Russia in disputes such as that in Vietnam, and those, who like the French, consider that it has lost much of its potency in this respect.
When the late President John F. Kennedy substituted a policy of flexible response for that of massive retaliation, he effectively blurred the dividing line between nuclear and conventional war, which up to then had appeared clear cut, and, as a result the size of conventional forces, became once again a matter of prime importance.
It is the reluctance to face this change which fully justifies Eliot’s anxiety about the reduction taking place in British capabilities and lodgements in the Indian Ocean area. Since it appears that nothing short of a major international crisis is likely to halt this trend, his suggestion for a tripartite conference between Britain, France, and the United States to decide how best to defend our interests in the area with the available forces, is most welcome.
★ ★ ★
Sub-Lieutenant John Howard Oxley, Royal Canadian Naval Reserve (Retired)—G. F. Eliot truly sees the value of the Royal Navy as an important element in planning Far Eastern policy. How credible this naval strength is, is another question, for it is strength on the decline, with aging ships which will not be replaced, and a home government policy which assists this decline.
The present Labour Government in Britain is quite clear on this point: there is to be a reduction in military strength, and a withdrawal from foreign bases. This is not merely a financial matter, but also a matter of popular will. The prevailing mood in England is one of withdrawal from global affairs and an attempt at European communality.
Focusing upon the Southeast Asian situation, Eliot rightly eschews any direct British aid in Vietnam. Looking at recent history, the British situation in Southeast Asia has been one of gradual withdrawal. Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King, in World War II, advocated that the British take the Southeast Asia flank in the final drive against Japan. The British decided to give direct aid in the Central Pacific Theater instead. Since that time, the British in reality have only fought a rear-guard action in Southeast Asia as the Empire has been dissolved. The momentum of with-
drawal evident in recent British governmental policy will be hard to reverse, especially as far as the British public is concerned.
If some form of the old “special relationship” is t0 be resumed, it must be made clear °f what service this will be to British interests. The sad experiences which Britain has Previously had in the last decade of her alliance with the United States (when truly shocking blunders were made) has, to some degree, jaundiced the general British views on this subject. When one considers the difficulties which Britain must face with the Commonwealth over Rhodesia; with the adverse balance of trade and its consequences; and With the general tenor of life, where Carnaby Street seems to have replaced 10 Downing as the center of national consciousness; the success of a proposal like Eliot’s seems less likely, unless immediate action is taken. That it is a most appealing proposal, both in general and specific aspects, cannot be denied. One thing ls sure, Britain’s problems (and those of any other possible European ally which the United States might seek in a limited war) are going to become more severe, and more selfabsorbing, as time goes on.
Ship Manning: How Far Should We Go in Cutting?”
(See page 116, March 1967 Proceedings)
John J. Clark—One does not have to be an experienced seaman or a college professor to recognize some economic facts of life relative to the merchant marine. Specifically:
(1) The central problem of the U. S. ^lerchant Marine is not the high cost of tabor per se, but the failure to match labor costs with comparable advances in productivity. Unfortunately, the American Merchant Marine (management and labor) has n°t seriously and aggressively moved to raise Productivity. In this connection, the subsidy system provides small incentive to the more efficient operator.
(2) The fact that “the [maritime] unions do not look with favor upon the reduction of manning scales ...” does not invalidate
rofessor Benford’s proposals in the Marine Engineering/Log.
(3) Captain E. B. Perry notes that before costs can be reduced on U. S. merchant ships, we must have “enough ships to provide reasonable job opportunities for those men who elect to make seafaring their career.” The argument puts the cart before the horse. We will never have enough ships and job opportunities unless we succeed in reducing costs. The product has to be made competitive before it will sell.
(4) Apropos of the last point, Captain Perry’s criterion of size for the merchant marine is a large order and would set an unusual precedent in the field of industry-government relationships. The limits to the size of any industry lie in its economic worth or relative contribution to national income, not in the personal preferences of those who may seek a career in the industry.
One of the most discouraging aspects of the present debate on the future of the American Merchant Marine is that proposals for change (work rationalization, automation, standardization in shipbuilding, etc.) so often emanate from outside the industry. The FDL program with its implications for the modernization of U. S. shipbuilding techniques illustrates the point. The parties in interest, on the other hand, seem always to content themselves with demonstrating why this or that proposal will never work. They offer few positive suggestions and these mostly involve extending the subsidy system. The consequence is a slow- moving, hidebound, and high cost industry which has failed to keep pace with the balance of the nation’s economy.
"Master Mariner to Master Submariner”
(See pages 40-51, April 1967; page 106, August 1967 Proceedings)
Captain R. J- Dzikowski, U. S. Navy, Project Officer, Deep Submergence Vehicles Program—The determination by the Coast Guard that the U. S. Code Title One, Section 3, defining “vessel,” is applicable to submersi- bles is questionable. This section specifies that a watercraft that is used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on water is defined as a vessel. The key word is “on.” Assuredly, a submersible will be on the surface a portion of the time while entering or leaving port, while being launched or retrieved by a support ship, or during replenishment at sea.
While surfaced, the present rules, applicable to_ vessels as defined, do govern. Upon submergence however, either in or outside continental waters, whether carrying passengers or cargo, if operating shallow (less than 40 feet below the surface) or deep, the rules are not very specific. The intent of these rules traditionally is for surface vessels.
Private submersibles are designed for both surface and submerged operations. The review of Title One and Title 46 reveals that they refer to safety on the surface of vessels that carry cargo and passengers; no reference is made to safety of vessels submerged. The Load Line Acts do not even make an exception to submersibles, where a “load line” would have to be defined in a different context.
The present rules, by which the Coast Guard has authority, evolved over the years and have been codified. Similarly, there is evolving a new set of rules for submersibles which must be codified, if the Coast Guard is to have authority over their certification similar to surface vessels. Assuming that legislation will be enacted which cover inspection and operation of submersibles, classification and marine technology societies can provide a valuable service by promulgating standards which can be adopted by the Coast Guard within its regulations. Presently, the American Bureau of Shipping is actively engaged in
A possible use of the Navy’s deep submergence search vehicle (DSSV), the retrieval of lost spacecraft, is suggested in this artist’s drawing. Award of the construction contract for the DSSV, which is designed to operate at a depth of 20,000 feet, is planned for mid-1968.
establishing rules for classification of submersibles.
Certification of submersibles should not be limited to any tonnage or length restrictions. If the object is to protect lives at sea, then laws should be enacted that cover all submersibles—cargo, passenger, research, and pleasure. Surely rescue operations will be undertaken for all in peril and, therefore, assurance must be had that the submersibles are constructed, outfitted, operated, and maintained to provide reasonable safety to embarked personnel and other craft, both surfaced and submerged.
Rules of the Road will require revision to account for operation and navigation of submerged vehicles in coastal and international waters. It may be necessary for appendages that aid navigation, location, rescue, and salvage to be specified.
Legislation is required immediately that will adequately cover classification of all submersibles, before an accident occurs, with possible loss of lives. Interpretation of existing rules will make compliance difficult and may not encompass all submersibles. As the author so aptly stated, “in order for any submersible to be inspected and certified by the Coast Guard, the plans must be approved and submersible constructed under the supervision of Coast Guard marine inspectors.” This implies possible non-certification if any submersible is constructed prior to passage of enabling legislation. The Navy recognized the need for certification and established a certification procedure that can be used as a guide by the classification societies and the Coast Guard.
★ ★ ★
A. Neilson, American Bureau of Shipping —The article requires considerable clarification and updating, since it appears that the information in the article was gathered in mid-1966, though it appeared in April 1967.
A key statement in the article must be corrected. “The role that a classification society might have in the future in the construction of commercial submersibles is not known.” The American Bureau of Shipping, a leading international ship classification society, has been formally involved in developing standards for commercial submarines since 3 November 1966. At that time, the ABS Special Committee on Submersible Vehicles held its first meeting. It was formed at the suggestion of the U- S. Navy to develop standards for the certification of commercial deep submergence vessels.
Its membership encompasses every discipline required to construct, inspect, sustain life, and maintain a craft beneath the sea. Included are oceanographers, naval architects, marine engineers, designers, builders, and operators experienced in this specialized field, as well as representatives of the U. S. Navy, U. S. Coast Guard, and the Marine Technology Society.
Under the direction and assistance of this Committee, the Bureau is preparing a guide for the construction and maintenance of submersible vehicles which will include: design criteria for the pressure hull; view ports; superstructures and appendages; buoyancy and stability considerations; mechanical equipment; electrical and other power source systems; materials, welding, and fabrication requirements; control systems; life support systems; emergency systems, and survey requirements.
The first submarine to be certified by a ship classification society is under construction in Switzerland. The 130-ton PX-15, being built for the Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation, will be certified by the American Bureau of Shipping after submergence tests this autumn.
Despite the author’s assumption that a submersible must carry cargo to be considered ‘commercial,” the 48.6-foot PX-15 will be a commercial submarine in every sense of the Word. Though the vessel’s first task will be in the realm of research, it will be modified for a variety of commercial tasks, such as salvage work, protecting cables and pipelines, chart- lng, undersea construction, and drilling on the sea floor.
Currently, the Bureau’s role includes de- flgn approval by the Bureau Technical Staff m New York. The surveyors in the field witness tests of every plate of the special high strength steel going into a submersible. In nddition, Bureau surveyors will witness ultrasonic and X-ray tests of the hull and oversee the vessel’s fabrication. Before a certificate can be issued, a Bureau surveyor will participate in the required series of test dives.
"Postgraduate Education and Promotion: A Significant Relationship?”
(See pages 56-61, January 1967, and pages 107-108, June 1967 Proceedings)
Theodore Ropp, Professor, Duke University—My own graduate teaching experience suggests that the proposed master’s degree two years after commissioning might be more useful in the exact sciences, where it is more important that the student not have lost his undergraduate skills, than in graduate work in the social sciences or the humanities.
Our tools are our attitudes toward our materials and some niceties of footnoting. Forgotten facts are more easily recoverable. An officer assigned to a graduate school 10 years after he has left one of the service academies is not at any real disadvantage, and may even be better qualified for a civilian graduate school than one coming directly from schools which train professional soldiers, not preprofessors. The hyperconfident, entering graduate students, with whom he must compete, have a few more facts and all the latest jargon. But much of this garbage spoils easily, and professorial jargon varies from professor to professor, even in a given department. The exact sciences have to have an agreed language. A humanities or social science department which has a “party line” on anything except certain standards of intellectual honesty, professional courtesy, and housekeeping is to be avoided.
The officer and his family must make the usual readjustments to student and civilian life, but this is quite easy. They must learn to cope with local, student, and professorial idiosyncracies (the root word is not that for idiot, but for one’s own personal mix). I would personally recommend that they start in a summer term, where the circus aspects of campus life are less evident and can be taken in smaller doses. This also means that the officer can finish any local language or statistics requirement, get a good start on a more carefully-tailored thesis project, and finish a master’s degree in a calendar year.
In short, I would strongly urge that the services not try to standardize graduate work, except perhaps in the exact sciences, and that they send people in the social sciences and humanities to civilian graduate schools. In such schools an officer ought to have three
advantages over the average civilian beginner: greater maturity, greater ability to express himself verbally, and a bent for logical organization of his materials. The passage of time is a great aid to maturity. Languages and statistics also happen to be subjects which can be kept up or studied in one’s spare time in some active duty billets. If he wants to add to his stock of information and ideas, at least in preparation for work in history, I would also advise an officer to read in the social sciences rather than to try to keep up with the latest viewpoints on particular historical issues.
"The Mine as a Tool of Limited War”
(See pages 50-62, February 1967; pages 103-105 June 1967; and page 107, July 1967 Proceedings)
Captain J. S. Cowie, G.B.E., Royal Navy (Retired)—Regarding the matter of the “moral stigma,” Commander Meacham questions whether there is any true historical basis for the adoption of this attitude, and he is altogether correct in so doing. My own research, into the background of earlier charges that the mine was an “ungentlemanly weapon” to the use of which no self-respecting nation would stoop, tends to show that the people who subscribed to this view simply
were not interested in mines at all, and had
never made any sort of attempt to evaluate their potentialities.
This was, in fact, the thinking of the members of the so-called “blue-water school,” who considered it to be a perfectly gentlemanly performance to batter the topsides of a ship to smithereens, and to consign a high proportion of her crew to perdition, but who considered it to be the work of uneducated thugs to create a hole in her hull below the waterline. In other words, those who propounded the “stigma” theory regarded it as a reason for taking the line which they did, whereas it was in fact little more than an excuse.
In general, the mine is one of the less inhumane types of weapon, in that it is capable of sinking a ship, or of putting her out of action for a significant length of time without directly causing any loss of human life.
Another allegation is that the mine is an “anonymous” weapon, incapable of distinguishing between friend and foe, and that its use may thus give rise to grave problems of a political nature. I doubt whether very many people are, in this day and age, even aware of the existence of the Convention Relative to the Laying of Automatic Submarine Contact Mines, signed at The Hague in 1907. In any event, this was an unsatisfactory document from the practical point of view. Nonetheless, the principles which it attempted to embody were perfectly sound ones. There seems little reason why those principles should not be adopted by any power seeking to integrate the use of mines into its over-all strategy. Put shortly, the Convention could have been reduced to one simple sentence, i.e., “No Power shall lay mines without taking adequate steps to ensure the safety of neutral shipping.” The operative word here is “adequate,” and experience has shown that this can be done.
It is, of course, of equal importance that the laying of mines should assist and not embarrass the operations of one’s own forces, or those of an ally, but, both the political and the operational problems associated with the employment of mines do no more than call for “good management;” they cannot be regarded as being valid arguments against such employment.
"The Escort Ship”—Challenge to the Ship-
(See pages 130-134, March 1967; page 107, August
Captain G. C. Leslie, O.B.E., Royal Navy—I have commanded a British frigate of the Blackwood class for nearly two years. The
Blackwood class is very similar to the USS Dealey class except that the Blackwoods have a single large rudder in line with the screw. They are also slightly smaller and have correspondingly less power (1,500 tons displacement, 15,000 s.h.p.).
While agreeing broadly with all that Commander Denton has to say, I was surprised that he did not make more mention of the anchor as an aid to shiphandling. Where tugs are not available, the anchor becomes most valuable.
An anchor can often be of the greatest help both coming alongside and leaving a jetty, and it is a good practice to start with the idea of using an anchor. It is important that enough cable is laid out to prevent the anchor from “coming home.” A minimum of 75 fathoms of cable would be normal.
All possible combinations of wind and tide should be visualized. Usually, when leaving a berth, it will be an advantage to have an anchor down, but there are occasions when this is not so. There are places, particularly in naval ports, where anchors cannot be used and the normal type of alongside approach is then appropriate.
When approaching a pier with a medium to strong wind (or tidal stream) anywhere between right ahead and the beam, the procedure is as follows: bring the ship into a position abreast the jetty and about a ship’s length off. Drop the outboard anchor and sail the ship across the wind (or tide), laying out the cable carefully. The heading of the ship can be adjusted by using the engine slow or half ahead and astern with appropriate use of the rudder. Just before the bow arrives at the Jetty, the cable is snubbed and the ship is under perfect control. Although this method pf going alongside is not spectacular, the feel- tng of control and time in hand is, and it does save repair bills.
When approaching under normal conditions, an approach is made to the jetty and the outboard anchor is dropped about a ship’s length before arrival in the berth. rhe ship can be stopped by a combination of braking the cable and going astern on the engine. The reduction in astern power required means that the stern does not kick so strongly to port. When berthing starboard S1de to, the braking of the port cable tends to swing the stern into the jetty, particlarly if a swing to port has already been imparted by the rudder. Once the headrope is on, the ship ts under perfect control, using the cable as a backspring.
This method is also applicable when berthing with a strong wind on the outboard quarter. The anchor can be used as a spring and a short burst of half ahead with the rudder hard over will prevent the stern from swinging in too fast.
Celestial Navigation Is Basic
Captain P. V. H. Weems, U. S. Navy (Retired)—With billions being spent on modern navigation systems, we must not forget that the Earth itself is a more accurate gyro than man can build, and that astronomers have determined the geographic star positions to within about 20 feet. Also, a skilled navigator with a marine sextant and a timepiece should know his position continuously within a mile, provided one almanac body and a clear 24- hour horizon are visible.
If these statements are correct, our efforts go to provide positions for times when a celestial body may not be observed on the horizon. Whether using celestial navigation or any other method, we are governed by physical laws. With the near-miraculous performance of the electrically suspended gyro (ESG or “Star in a Bottle”) and other modern navigation aids, research programs should encompass celestial, inertial, ESG, and other systems. By proper trade-offs, we might supply elements which would reduce cost, weight, and complexity for our required self-contained systems.
Since celestial methods are basic, and manmade aids merely extend, speed up, automate, and display inputs of time (given by rate of earth’s rotation), and positions (determined by star observations), why not decrease accuracy-cost-weight demands on modern aids by increased time-availability, improved equipment, and better trained observers for celestial navigation? Are we not demanding
too much from man-made aids and too little
from man himself? Have we not reached the condition where more effort is required to produce the aid than to accomplish the mission without the aid? After all, we have not been able to reproduce the capability of the human eye-brain, or if we approached such a performance, the aid would cover the earth.
Once we know star positions and movements with sufficient accuracy, we can use the best available aids to extend this basic information to human needs. Therefore, nearmiraculous modern aids do not displace, but supplement celestial navigation. Here is a wide open field for research to seek a means to increase time-availability for making celestial observations. The obviously needed physical improvements are in observing equipment, application of the calculus as suggested by E. J. Willis, and new horizon references suggested independently by Commander Mike J. Trens, Staff, CinCPac, and by Philip R. Burton of Australia. The report of the USS Vancouver test of the Burton concept, while not conclusive, recommended further tests.
FAHEY'S EIGHTH EDITION
U S. FLEET
Compiled and Edited by James C. Fahey
An up-to-date listing by name and type of over 2,000 ships and 120 aircraft and missiles. Over 400 illustrations. 64 pages. Paperbound. List Price $3.50 Member's Price $2.80 A U. S. Naval Institute Publication
The writer, aided by the crew of the SS Atlantic, tested the Burton device, and submitted the results to the U. S. Naval Institute, recommending further research.* In the writer’s opinion, the principle of the Burton invention appears to be correct, while the accuracy depends on the skill of the observer.
One fact is obvious—more skilled navigators are urgently needed at sea, in the air, in space, and, most urgently, in inner space. *(See pages 162-164, April 1966 Proceedings.) "Not Enough Good Men”
(See pages 88-96, May 1967 Proceedings)
Lieutenant Robert Carney Powers, U. S. Navy—It is ironic that a navy should have a uniform and pay system that places its surface ship forces at a disadvantage; a disadvantage in prestige, group identity, esprit de corps, and all of the other must items which appear in a leadership text. The surface community has somehow been beaten into submission and convinced that they really are of secondary importance, and, therefore, not deserving of pay or prestige belonging to their under or aboveseas comrades. There are officers who are primarily interested in surface ships, and the glory of going to sea is known only to surface sailors. It is also a fact that the majority of the Navy still floats. The officers and men that man these ships cannot be treated as poor cousins.
The intent of the Surface Combatant Officer School is good, but its implementation is loaded with traps. Group identity is the goal, to be obtained by requiring completion of some qualification program. The Retention Task Force also expected some sort of surface line insignia to evolve from this qualification program.
Administratively, the following procedure would be convenient and expedient: Send all new ensigns to Surface Combatant Officer School and upon completion give them a surface combatant insignia and designator. If the surface line officers of today permit such a procedure, they will have lost their chance for increased prestige and identity.
The Surface Combatant Officer School is misnamed. It should be called the Division Officer School. It would instruct prospective division officers. Qualification as a surface combatant officer must have more meaning. Some general goals for this qualification are: it must be equally applicable to all surface ship types; it should be attained at a time calculated to influence positively a Navy career decision; qualification should be noted by an increase in prestige, brought about by insignia, increased pay, or both; qualification should be administratively simple.
A possible set of requirements for qualification as a Surface Combatant Officer is: serve on board a commissioned, Navy surface ship for a continuous period of not less than 18 months; serve successfully as a line department head for a period of not less than six months, (for destroyer types or larger, the commanding officer may qualify division officers who have successfully served for a period of not less than 36 months); qualify as an officer of the deck on the ship type assigned, being capable of performing all shiphandling and operational evolutions normally required of the type. The commanding officer is the one who will determine when an officer has met the qualifications.
» If the surface line officer is to have a dis
tinguishing insignia, it should meet the following criteria: it should be in keeping with the traditional simplicity of the naval uniform; it should be representative of all types of surface ships.
Commander Smith points to pay as a subject that cannot be ignored in seeking to ret tain good men. Compare the salaries received
by surface officers and aviators. Aviator and submariner lieutenants make more per year than their surface contemporaries. And, as a result of airline hiring, there is talk of even more financial incentive for the pilot. A young officer sees that he must either fly, submerge, or suffer a financial penalty.
Captains Sheppard and Slaff (see pages 7688, March 1967 Proceedings) discuss the Retention Task Force proposal for sea pay in their article. In its proposed form, it would Pay more to seagoing personnel, though it still would not shrink the large salary gap between surface officers and aviation or submarine officers. However, the sea pay proposal is having a tough time. It has been rewritten mto the old family separation pay form again. This misses the point. Men accept family separation as a part of Navy life. Sea pay should be reward earned by the long hours, dangerous jobs, and special skills required by life on the sea.
"Destroyers at the Crossroads”
(See pages 110-112, February 1967; pages 107-108, August 1967 Proceedings)
Commander C. D. Allen, Jr., U. S. Navy, Point Defense Surface Missile System Project—Recent contributors have questioned the ability of the modern destroyer to survive by effective air defense against the contemporary high-performance air threat while performing the escort, fire support, search and rescue, and multitudinous other missions characteristically assigned to the workhorse of the Fleet. The answer may soon be available in the form of the Point Defense Surface ^fissile System (PDSMS), or Sea Sparrow sys- f. tem, and in a few years in more advanced
form. PDSMS capitalizes on the unique characteristics of the self-defense or close-range defense mission to derive from modern weapon technology an enormously effective, yet small and low cost, surface-to-air missile
system compatible with the majority of classes of ships in today’s Navy.
Originally configured to replace twin, 3- inch, 50-caliber mounts and their associated fire control systems, PDSMS has remained within sufficiently low weight, cost, and personnel support constraints to suit it particularly well to installation in destroyer types.
A comprehensive shipboard test program of the basic Sea Sparrow system has provided very impressive results, exceeding the specified operational requirements and completely validating the concept of an economical and effective point defense missile system. Extensive operational testing of this system in the new escort USS Bradley (DE-1041) will continue through 1967, followed by Fleet deployment in a variety of ship classes.
"The People Factor” .
(See pages 76-88, March 1967; page 107, July 1967, and pages 105-106, August 1967 Proceedings)
Captain T. L. Neilson, U. S. Navy, USS Chukawan (AO-100)—'The authors can be congratulated on this report but it can be termed little more! The restrictive length of the article for publication, the sensitivity of VIP’s still in control of policy and purse strings, and the attempt of professional journals to report only new facts and not repeat news type items leaves the reader feeling left out of the mainstream issues.
This writer believes a balance could have been better struck in this article by some examples of issues and how they were resolved. Decisions made from the seat of power generally reflect the leaders’ desires in great part. Would the study not have been more meaningful conducted from a point closer to the Fleet?
This article ends with a list of corrective actions now being implemented. It is interesting that they reflect mostly education and household items. The trumpet is sounded to give more to everyone except the officer who is ultimately responsible for everything in his ship, and very often at his expense. What exactly was the Fleet influence on this study?
Commanding officers are “encouraged” to place their ships on a six-section watch basis and “report to higher command the reasons, if any, why this cannot be done.” Command
By Vice Admiral G. C. Dyer, USN (Ret.)
A basic text in logistics written for the naval officer seeking knowledge in this critical field. Emphasizes applied logistics within the Navy, describes joint, national, and international logistics planning. List Price $7.50 Member’s Price $6.00
attention is in question (by implication) if this cannot be done. Such a directive literally tells the commanding officer to do it, but gives everyone but him an “out” if a severe casualty results. Does higher authority admit that the Fleet is not ready for sea and that it could, in fact, not go to sea with only a duty section on board? Do they release the commanding officer of this responsibility and requirement officially in writing?
Listen to the sailors discuss readiness and liberty; see how their pride and confidence diminishes in their own ship when readiness is downgraded for liberty. Also, is it any wonder more and more officers want formal education, staff jobs, and the Navy to educate them better for jobs outside the Navy? Did the Task Force consider what quality men were being trained and retained? Surely, this was done in depth, but this article leaves this area void.
A commanding officer trying to keep old ships, old power plants, and tired machinery operational on a limited budget wonders also if much of the Navy community is not often geared to liberty instead of an honest day’s labor. One also wonders how many men our ships would need if everyone worked even an honest 40-hour week while in port.
The Task Force has done a remarkable job. Most of the recommendations are overdue. We must improve habitability and personal services, but let us not forget that we only have a Navy to administer and legislate for because we have ships at sea. The quantum effort should be in this direction and every action should be toward improving this fighting capability.
"The Soviet Maritime Threat”
(See pages 40-48, May 1967, and pages 108-109, August 1967 Proceedings)
Robert L. Nichols, Far Eastern and Russian Institute, Seattle, Washington—Major Carlson is correct in stressing the rapid growth of the Soviet Merchant Marine. It is a phenomenon that has not been adequately accounted for. While it is true that until recently Soviet maritime expansion has been scarcely noted in the West, it is only recently (for the most part during the last 10 years) that there has been anything to note. Probably the pioneer work in this connection was John D. Harbron’s book, Communist Ships and Shipping, published in London in 1962.
Many of the statements in Major Carlson’s article, however, need a sharper focus. Shipping and maritime activities in general do not fall neatly into the categories “Russian shipping” and “Western shipping.” Japan is expanding her merchant fleet every bit as rapidly as the Russians (last year Japan’s merchant fleet grew by 2,752,000 gross registered tons). This presents a new aspect to the contrast between Russian growth and the “present decline in Western shipping.” The term “Western shipping,” by the way, needs clarification. Does this include Liberia, which added 3,064,000 gross tons to its fleet last year? Does it include Norway, which constructed 780,000 tons for its own merchant fleet?
The Russian expansion is formidable and should not be minimized. Some caution and balance is needed, however, when evaluating Soviet planning. It does not add to our understanding when Stalin is referred to as the architect of current Soviet maritime planning.
Shipbuilding on any scale at all began only after Stalin’s death in 1953 and reached what some economists like to call the “take-off period” only around 1958. All the evidence would point to the opposite conclusion, that maritime expansion was a new policy adopted after Stalin’s death.
Finally, I would like to strike a note of caution concerning Soviet oil exports. While it is true that the Russians did “dump” some oil ln the Western market in 1961, there is no evidence that this is to be a consistent policy in the future. In a recent article in World Petroleum, an opposite trend is suggested. Growing domestic needs, according to this article, will absorb oil previously available for export.
A Treasury of Early Submarines (1775-1903)”
(See pages 97-114 May 1967 Proceedings)
Hugh C. Lane, Charleston, S. C.—The Hunley Museum, a branch of the Charleston Museum, Charleston, South Carolina, was opened to the public in July. The main exhibit is a reproduction of the Confederate Submarine Hunley, built by the students of the herkeley-Charleston Dorchester Technical Education Center. The Hunley made history m Charleston harbor on 17 February 1864, when it was the first submarine to sink a ship in combat.
Naval Gunfire Today and Tomorrow”
(See pages 52-59, September 1966; pages 132-133, December 1966, and pages 106-107, July 1967 ProCEEDINGs)
Lieutenant Commander William G. Prince, S. Naval Reserve-R—If the advantages °f a battleship warrant her employment, two or more ships will eventually be needed simPly to allow for some rotation of personnel and equipment maintenance. The 20-mile strip along the Vietnam coast, said to represent the potential coverage of the battleship Suns, might also be thought of as a 20-mile semicircle for any point in time along a several-hundred-mile-long coastline. If the 5-inch guns of destroyers are as effective against Viet Gong targets as the press releases indicate, there is a strong case for placing enough of a erew in the battleship to make her 20 5-inch guns available.
There may be some question as to how accurate the big guns need to be to destroy point targets at the 20-mile range and how accurate the systems are likely to be with old guns, old powder, old projectiles, and old fire control systems. Or is it easy enough to bring back the retirees to the ordnance plants who know how to rework this material? The Navy has encountered some manufacturing problems already in its efforts to eliminate what has been called the “gun gap.”
One might also question how many of the gunner’s mates the Navy has retrained for missile launchers are still available to operate and maintain the big guns safely. Operating personnel must be an important consideration, because, as I recall from reading ordnance safety precautions, mistakes and material failures in a turret tend to be deadly.
Still another question concerns the vulnerability of such a prestigious target as a battleship, if she should be employed off North Vietnam where land-based artillery is not as readily available as in the south. How many escorts will be needed for the bombardment task group centered on the battleship? Is surface attack or air attack the major threat? Should all-gun general purpose destroyers be used, or does the air threat require missile ships? If missile ships are needed, the cost escalation potential of battleships is increased by the possible suggestion that missiles be added in place of some 5-inch guns. Ship designs have been known to escalate.
(See pages 32-44, July 1967 Proceedings)
John W. Stephan, Jr.—V. P. Petrov states: “Thus, there exists an efficient inner waterway system, which permits the rapid transit of small naval vessels from one sea to another, since all the new and reconstructed navigable canals have a uniform depth of 3.65 meters (slightly over 12 feet). This allows
5.0- ton vessels to cruise freely. . . .”
The foregoing implies that naval vessels of that size can navigate these canals, thereby giving Russia the capability of moving significant units of her fleet from ocean to ocean while keeping them entirely within her own borders. Perhaps Dr. Petrov referred to
5.0- ton. barge type vessels. His wording 4 implies more than that.