I’d like to try an experiment. One of the problems with a blog is that readers come on board at various times and the newer readers have missed the preceding discussions. This leads to re-addressing concepts in the comments that have been previously covered but are unknown to the newer reader. Of course, it is the responsibility of the reader to be familiar with the archives but …
So, my thought is to occasionally present a compendium and summary of links to previous posts on a single topic as a sort of historical guide and one-stop ‘catch up’ assembly of knowledge. I’ll try to present the links in some sort of logical order to guide the reader through a logical progression of the posts.
The first topic will be ship’s armor – always an interesting and [inexplicably] controversial subject.
Let’s start by describing the ‘problem’ which is the Navy’s near total abandonment of armor. This post does a nice job of describing the current armor ‘problem’ and visually demonstrates the effect of varying steel thicknesses:
Here’s some additional discussion of the vulnerabilities caused by lack of armor:
One of the main problems with eliminating armor is that a modern ship’s main weapons and sensors – the ship’s entire reason for existence! – are completely unprotected and subject to damage, destruction, and inoperability due to even simple shrapnel, to say nothing of actual direct explosive hits. We’ve built ships that can be mission killed by minor shrapnel damage! Here’s some discussion about the failure to armor a ship’s main weapons and sensors:
Having a good feel for the scope and ramifications of the problem, we turn to the overall rationale for naval armor. This post presents the basic rationale for ship’s armor and is the single most important post on the subject:
The following post reminds us about the painful lessons learned by the Navy when we abandoned armor and moved to aluminum construction. Despite these graphic lessons, the Navy has returned to aluminum in the LCS classes:
There are, unfortunately, a great many naval observers who believe that ships cannot carry armor without either sinking under the weight or, if they don’t outright sink, will be so weighed down as to lose all speed and range. This post addresses those misconceptions and reminds us of the fallacy of such beliefs by highlighting WWII ships that carried a great deal of armor and still managed to not only stay afloat but to exhibit great speed and range:
Have armor requirements changed from WWII days? This post presents a conceptual description of how to armor a modern ship in response to modern threats, including anti-ship missiles:
Many observers believe that it is impossible to armor a ship against torpedoes. Here’s a post that disproves that belief and goes on to discuss some torpedo armor concepts:
For those who might want a bit more in-depth discussion of the application of armor and how it is structurally arranged:
So, what is the future of naval armor? Well, it’s not bright:
Finally, if you’re more interested in land combat, here’s a discussion of the Marines and their love-hate relationship with armored vehicles.
So, there you have it. Almost everything you’d want to know about ship’s armor – or at least what I’ve covered so far!
As I said, this is an experiment so let me know in the comments whether this kind of compendium is worthwhile and, if you think it is, what other topics you’d like to see compiled in this manner.