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Saturday, 9 July 2016

HISTORY #6: CosMoS CE2F, the Swimmer Delivery Vehicles (SDV) of the Hellenic Navy

 Written by D-Mitch

CE2F/X60 SDV of the Hellenic Navy
CosMoS CE2F were a series of Swimmer Delivery Vehicle (SDV) built by M/s Cos.Mo.S Spa. which was in Livorno of Italy. Cosmos is probably the most famous military wet-sub (chariot) / midget sub manufacturer in the world. The firm originated in the 1950s when Ing. Sergio Pucciarini, an ex member of the Decima Flottiglia Mezzi d'Assalto (MAS), also known as La Decima or Xª MAS, an Italian commando frogman unit of the Italian Royal Navy, started to build wet subs for civilian and military use. The Hellenic Navy (Πολεμικό Ναυτικό) purchased some SDVs of the CE2F/X60 model (perhaps four) in the late '70s. In service, they were known as ΥΠ.ΟΧ. (Υποβρύχια Οχήματα). The CE2Fs are designed from the outset as a mean for attacking enemy warships in harbor mainly as well as for other special operations.

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Thursday, 30 June 2016

NAVAL FORCES #9 and INFOGRAPHICS #22: World's Ballistic Missile Submarines

The following artwork was created by H. I. Sutton and it was included in his excellent article published on June 18 of this year entitled The Gods of M.A.D.ness which analyzes the Nuclear Ballistic Missile Submarines that are in service nowadays. Just click on the previous title to learn all the amazing details regarding the current ballistic missile submarines in world's navies as well as other great infographics about submarines in general but especially about submarines designed for special purposes such as Swimmer Delivery Vehicles (SDVs), midget subs and similar craft. For other infographics and information in this blogger-page about Nuclear Ballistic Missile Submarines click here or just the appropriate label.

Today's World's Ballistic Missile Submarines. High resolution image here.
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Tuesday, 28 June 2016

The evolution of Japanese destroyers after WWII

Article written by Jon Harris
Editing, photos and graphs by D-Mitch

JMSDF destroyers (DDG and DDH) in formation
Since the end of World War Two, Japan has commissioned as many different destroyer type designs as the United States and the former Soviet Union. This exceptional feat has gone little noticed. The Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) has produced a steady stream of gradually improving designs, culminating in the powerful, well-balanced fleet of today. Their design bureau didn't produce radical forms such as the Russian KYNDA class cruisers, or Swedish VISBY class corvettes. Rather, this island nation developed a variety of platforms designed to defend the homeland and its vital oceanic trade. The application of existing weapons and sensors, primarily of US origin, provided for robust growth, and limited expenditures on research and development.
A massive fleet of Japanese destroyers in formation
As of 2016, the JMSDF operates a total of 50 destroyers including; four (4) helicopter destroyers of three different classes (IZUMO, HYUGA, SHIRANE), eight (8) anti-aircraft warfare (AAW) destroyers of three different classes (ATAGO, KONGOU, HATAKAZE), 18 destroyers of three different classes (AKIZUKI, TAKANAMI, MURASAME), 11 small destroyers similar in size to frigates of two different classes (ASAGIRI, HATSUYUKI), six (6) destroyer escorts of the ABUKUMA class (similar in size to light frigates and corvettes) and three (3) small SHIMAYUKI class (reconverted HATSUYUKI-class) destroyers that are used mainly for training purposes but they keep all their armament intact. But let's go back some decades ago...

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Tuesday, 31 May 2016

HISTORY #5: 100 years since the Battle of Jutland!

The 2nd Division of the Royal Navy's Grand Fleet prepares
to open fire on the German High Seas Fleet.
The 31st of May 2016 marks 100 years since Britain and Germany fought each other in the Battle of Jutland. It was the biggest fight to take place on sea during World War One and happened in the North Sea, just off the coast of Denmark. British ships had set sail to stop the German fleet and there was an expectation that Britain would win the battle. Britain's navy was superior to Germany's - they had a bigger fleet and more firepower. But the battle didn't unfold as simply as many thought it would do. Around 100,000 men were involved in the battle of Jutland and 250 ships. The battle was fought over 36 hours from 31 May to 1 June, 1916. The German High Seas Fleet was under the command of the Admiral Reinhard Scheer. In charge of the British fleet that day was Admiral Sir John Jellicoe. It brought together the two most powerful naval forces of the time and it became the largest sea battle in naval warfare history in terms of the numbers of battleships involved. More than 6,000 Britons and 2,500 Germans died. Who won the battle? The Germans claimed victory, as they lost fewer ships and men. The British press reported this and Admiral Jellicoe was criticized for being overly cautious in the battle and was later sacked. But within days, attitudes changes and Jutland was seen by some people as a victory for the British. This was because Germany never again tried to challenge the British Grand Fleet and stayed in their bases for the rest of the war. Who really won the Battle of Jutland is a topic that is still debated now, 100 years on. More information, details and photos from the battle here and here.

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INFOGRAPHICS #21: Deutschland class heavy cruisers (pocket battleships)

German heavy cruiser pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee
returning from an Atlantic cruise, October 1938.
The Deutschland class was a series of three Panzerschiffe ("armored ships"), a form of heavily armed cruiser, built by the Reichsmarine officially in accordance with restrictions imposed by the Treaty of Versailles. The class, which comprised the ships Deutschland (renamed Lützow later), Admiral Scheer, and Admiral Graf Spee, were all stated to displace 10,000 long tons (10,000 t) in accordance with the Treaty, though they actually displaced 10,600 to 12,340 long tons (10,770 to 12,540 t) at standard displacement. Despite violating the weight limitation, the design for the ships incorporated several radical innovations to save weight. They were the first major warships to use welding and all-diesel propulsion system, a radical innovation at the time that contributed to significant savings in weight. Due to their heavy armament of six 28 cm (11 in) guns, the British began referring to the vessels as "pocket battleships". The Deutschland-class ships were initially classified as Panzerschiffe or "armored ships", but the Kriegsmarine reclassified them as heavy cruisers in February 1940. The three ships were built between 1929 and 1936 by the Deutsche Werke and Reichsmarinewerft in Kiel and Wilhelmshaven, respectively. The three Deutschland-class ships varied slightly in dimensions, appearance and armament. The Admiral Graf Spee was confronted by three British cruisers at the Battle of the River Plate. Although she damaged the British ships severely, she was herself damaged and her engines were in poor condition. Coupled with false reports of British reinforcements, the state of the ship convinced Hans Langsdorff, her commander, to scuttle the ship outside Montevideo on December 17, 1939. The Lützow and Admiral Scheer were destroyed by British bombers in the final weeks of the war (April 1945). Lützow was raised and sunk as a target by the Soviet Navy while Admiral Scheer was partially broken up in situ, with the remainder of the hulk buried beneath rubble.

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Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Baden-Württemberg class frigates of the German Navy

Written by D-Mitch 

The German Navy F125 class frigate Baden-Württemberg
during sea trials (July 1st). Photo: Carsten Vennemann
After approximately two years, and with very limited time, I managed finally to reach my 100th post. Due to this special occasion, I chose to write an analysis on a warship class that has not been in service yet, a new "controversial" warship design if I may say which I will elaborate later why is that. This is the newest frigate design today in Europe and one of the latest worldwide, the Baden-Württemberg class of the German Navy, also known as F125 class which is the project name. The F125 class intends to replace the eight aged F122 class (also known as Bremen class) of frigates in a 1:2 ratio which means one F125 class frigate will succeed two F122 class frigates. There is not so much information regarding the capabilities of the design and her electronic equipment or photos of her special features as only few images of the lead ship of the class during its first sea trials were just recently released in public. That is the main reason why the majority of the photos in the article are of low resolution; once they become available better photos I will update the analysis.

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Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Cruisers and Men

RHS Georgios Averof
HMCS Ontario of Canadian Navy
This is the second article (after the article Battleships and Men) that is dedicated to crew photos together with their warships. After battleships, the largest surface combatants once in the world, the second largest are the cruisers (and the largest surface combatants today) of which some of them exceeded even the 200 meters in length (for example the American Des Moines class heavy cruisers had a length of over 218m and a crew of about 1,800 men!). Therefore, I felt that I had to create a post about them and their crews, similarly I did about battleships, in order to have a complete collection of massive surface combatants and their numerous crews. This is a collection of over 45 crew photos of various countries' cruisers. So, enjoy some nostalgic photos of these former but also some of the today's elegant and powerful rulers of the seas with their crews! If you have similar photos, please do not hesitate to contact me!

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