Skip to comments.S. Korea: Cheonan's Bow Salvaged(many photos)
Posted on 04/24/2010 8:05:46 AM PDT by TigerLikesRooster
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Sure. All of today’s plastic “turrets” (good enough for spray and water protection) are “not armored” against anything but the environment.
Don’t get fooled by “Well, it’s just a Korean (small) corvette - “our” USN ships are really tough.”
USS Cole was destroyed - put completely out of action by a smaller bomb exploded against its side carried by a outboard-motor fishing boat.
An underwater mine blew a USS destroyer nearly in half i the Gulf - They had to carry it back on a submersible freighter or it would have broken in two Mid-Atlantic.
Since WWII, NO cruiser-destroyer-frigate sized ship of ANY Navy, ANYWHERE worldwide, has “survived” (still able to fight, flee, AND float”) after EVEN one missile, mine, shell, or anti-radar hit.
Once hit one time - by anything - every frigate-destroyer-cruiser (up to CG-47/Spruance sized) ship has been put out of action.
Used to be, we’d brag about “Wooden ships and Iron men.”
Then it became “Steel ships and electronic weapons ...”
Now? “Aluminum boats and wooden men, led by lawyers and bureaucrats, reading procedures to fire blanks.”
Chains and dragging effects are visible as the rough vertical scars parallel to the chains holding the ship in the air. Chains and lifting forces could have done some of the topside damage, but the impact on the bottom is want “cut off smooth” all of the upper electronic masts and gear.
I’d use a single torpedo, passively guided with no active sonar = no warning except the “swish” of the torpedo screws.
Noisiest, most vulnerable part of the ship is the engine room = best target for a torpedo homing in on a noise source.
Alt? Lay a mine with a torpedo attached. Program it as follows: “At noise level xxx decibels, Doppler increasing (range closing), launch torpedo towards noise. After launch, open air flotation valve.” With no buoyancy, the launching mine and its anchor sinks to bottom, giving no trace for the attacked Navy to locate except by a long and expensive and probably unsuccessful sonar search.
Incredible recovery job, the divers deserve every
accolade their country can give.
Imagine being underwater with those chains moving
This will be studied for a long time.
Moving the USS.Cole was impressive but this is just
None of the recovery photos of bow or stern sections were directly abeam. The bow view I used was viewed from the port bow, and the stern view was port stern. This necessitated considerable image warping and stretching to "rotate" them to approach the silhouette view. The stack section was viewed from directly port abeam, and required only scaling to fit the silhouette.
There is obvious, massive below-waterline upward thrust, and the entire stack section was, apparently blown upward and separated. My original blast placement of forward of the stack appears to be the correct one.
Torpedo -- or (quite likely) a directly-placed contact charge...
The Cheonan's powerplant was gas turbine/Diesel. Probably plenty of noise there for audio homing -- and that appears to be right where the explosion occurred.
Watch for the Obama announcement of friendly fire during the Naval exercises at the time.
Even the Black Shoe Navy had to admit this unpleasant fact.
IMO the fact they are covering up the damaged end is key. There must be something there they don’t want the world to see.
What you have shown is almost exactly the same one which a local military expert in SK suggested, more than a week ago.
Carriers are not invincible by any means, but they are tougher than many people give them credit for.
The USS Forrestal, a first generation supercarrier, had 10-12 1,000 lb bombs cook off, plus numerous smaller ordinance, and she was able to steam. Granted, as you said, a torpedo under the keel of any ship is difficult to survive. But, ships CAN be very tough, just look at the survivors of Bikini Atoll.
I agree with your analysis of the salvage...great job. I presume they covered up the exposed areas with tarps to prevent as much as possible, speculation. (Personally, I don’t have to speculate, I am convinced.)
When I was a kid living in Subic Bay, PI, they towed in the remains of the USS Frank E. Evans that was sliced in half by the HMAS Melbourne. My bus went by that dock every day where the floating stern section was tied up, and I could never tear my eyes off of the exposed innards of the ship.
There is something disturbing about damage to a ship.
I have always been into aviation but seeing wrecked planes or even chopped up planes (as was done for SALT II) does not seem to have the same visceral effect on me that seeing damage to a ship does.
I read a book once years ago, and I have not been able to find it again since. It was a book that contained photographs of ships being broken up for scrap. Almost all of them were WWII ships, cruisers, battleships, carriers, destroyers, etc. There was a picture of a WWII heavy cruiser almost completely intact with all of its guns, superstructure, etc still intact, but the bow was removed just forward of the #1 turret.
That picture stuck with me. For some reason, it had the same effect on me as seeing a face with a missing nose. Very odd. I have always believed that ships do indeed have personality to them (I know it is a silly thing, but that is just the way I feel...I have always felt them to be “she” in a very non-inanimate way.)
I know other sailors who feel the same way, and some of those men who served on them in combat definitely feel that way. I have talked to men who to this day, shed tears at the loss of a ship.
Thank you for posting this, TLR. I always appreciate your perspective of that side of the globe.
Excellent analysis, as always...
We sure don’t make them like we used to, that is for sure. but then, nobody does.
That is awesome.
May I post that on another site?
Good point. I had heard that same point made some years back.
The rest of those ships there are a sorry sight -- missing most of their superstructures and heavily rusted...
IMHO, Davis-Monthan is a far more honorable "graveyard". There's a view that will blow your socks off!
Go ahead and download it to your computer and make good use of it.
...and, if you feel so led, credit it to an ancient Texan out in the Texas Piney Woods... '-)
I credited your FReeper name, I can update it.
“TXnMA” is fine...
Thanks very much fellow Texan!
I went to Davis-Monthan a few years ago and took the tour. It was amazing to see. Interestingly, I went to the Pima Air Museum with my wife after that, and I saw an A7E Corsair on display, the kind I used to work on. When I walked over to show my wife, I saw that not only was it an A7, but it was from my old squadron (VA-46)!
Furthermore, it was one of the very planes I was a plane captain on (right after we transitioned to A7E from A7B)
Boy, did that ever twist my head, a real coincidence!
Hmmmm..... looks to me like there was a fight going on.
You may be a USAF guy, but your understanding of this issue shows that your knowledge is pretty “cross platform” in my opinion.
Thanks for your service!
If you go to that Google Maps link and look in the upper left (NW) corner of the "yard", in the second row, you will see four A/C with trapezoidal wings. Those are B-57 Canberras.
A couple of groups down to their right are three A/C with long, broad wings -- apparently missing their flaps. In the 60's, I was on the secure comlink when the msg came in to our unit that those guys were operational. Can you guess what they are? '-)
To a regime who has no regard for human life, and a people who have no reason to think their OWN lives are useless - if not downright so horrible that death IS a better life ... Then a human-guided torpedo is easier to build.
Cheaper to build.
No, that was the F8 Crusader, a superstar in it’s own right. Pilots LOVED that plane, it was a HOTROD for its day!
I loved them as an aviation buff.
As a kid, I would go to Cubi Point in the Philippines and walk around the tarmac. Things were so different then, an 11 year old boy could just wander in and out of the planes, peering into their intakes, up their tailpipes and around the wheel wells. So different then. When the pilots came out, I would walk over and follow them on their pre-flight walkarounds. I would ask them all kinds of questions, look at what they were looking at and check out their equipment. I remember thinking how amazing these guys were, in their olive colored flight suits and g-suits walking with their helmet under their arm, the oxygen mask dangling down. I looked at their boots, the way they laced and tucked them in. But I found the helmets with all the stuff painted on them completely intriguing.
But most of all, were the very few times I would get them to let me sit in the cockpit, and though I never asked, I never did get to wear one of those helmets. I would sit in the cockpit and soak it all in, looking at the instruments, the throttle, the stick.
I know this is all sickening kid hero-worship, but yeah. I thought guys like he and my dad were amazing.
The reason I bring this up, is because this one pilot I followed around let me sit in the cockpit, and then as he climbed up, he bent over to me and said: “Watch what I do when I take off!”
I walked over to the edge of the tarmac, and creeped as close as I could get to the runway side without attracting attention, and I watched this guy take off in an F8 Crusader at Cubi Point.
He took off in full afterburner (actually the Crusader only has on/off I think) and as the wheels left the runway, he retracted them, and instead of taking off gradually in the plane, kept it pretty level after raising his gear to build up speed.
When he hit the end of the runway (Which stuck out like a finger into the water at Cubi Point) he pulled the nose up to what I guess must have been a 70 degree climb, and that frikking plane climbed like a rocket. I had never seen that before. Flight ops at Cubi were pretty controlled, and I know because I watched them all the time. There was never anything unusual.
But the coolest thing was, as he pulled up the nose and steadied into that climb, he began doing full deflection aileron rolls. I only remember three, but that is only because I stopped counting with my mouth hanging open. That plane just screwed into the sky, going up, up, up, roaring.
It was unbelievable. And he had told me he was going to do it.
When I saw them on the JFK (They were the RF8U Crusaders, stripped down with cameras in them. They were beautiful in flight, but I always thought they looked ungainly, like gooney birds as they came in to land with those wings in the “up” position. When they landed, they always looked to me like they were going to break up on landing, or at least have the nose gear break off. After they caught the wire, the nose gear would hilariously (to me, for some reason) spin 180 degrees so it was completely backwards. It looked so clumsy and awkward.
But when they took off, man did I ever love that. They still used the cable to launch those, but once they got them settled in and the jet blast deflector up, the engines would spin up as the cat officer wiggled his fingers in the air.
As soon as they reached full power, they would kick in the afterburner. When it kicked in, you felt the concussion.
The afterburner on the F8 was odd to me, because the only other plane on the ship with an afterburner at that time was the Tomcat, and when they fired up the afterburners on those, they came up gradually. They roared, roaring louder and louder as the flames would get bigger and bigger. They were yellow, and the gas margins were kind of jagged on the edges, just a massive, heavy stream of burning hot gases overwhelming you the same way a wave does when it hits you gradually.
On the Crusader, the afterburner would come on...POW! No pussyfooting around, no massive river of burning gas, it was sharp, precise and focused more like a welding torch than a flamethrower. Often their gas margins were extremely sharp with the inner and outer zones of somewhat transparent burning gases, usually colored mostly blue. Efficient. Occasionally you would get some concentric rings on the cone of exhaust, and I think I even remember seeing diamond patterns on occasion.
But as beautiful as it looked, it was the WHAM as it came on that was awe inspiring to me.
I saw one go into the drink off the bow cat one time, too. As soon as it left the deck, the plane did a sharp roll to starboard and went straight into the water. Amazingly, I recall the pilot ejected almost immediately, but the plane drilled nose first into the water and simply vanished. Disappeared. I even recall seeing a spout of water come out the tailpipe as it went in. Funny, as I get older and think of these things, they are as vivid in my mind’s eye as they were when I saw them, like a videotape played over and over, but I begin to question, do I have these details right?
It is a very strange feeling, and...I am not that old!
Are these the guys?
I guess if it was secure comlink from that type, the mission that might fit would be these guys? (From the hated Wikipedia)
Though intended as a bomber and never before deployed by the USAF to a combat zone, the first B-57s to be deployed to South Vietnam were not operated in an offensive role. The need for additional reconnaissance assets, especially those capable of operating at night, led to the deployment of two RB-57E aircraft on April 15, 1963. Under project Patricia Lynn these aircraft provided infrared coverage using their Reconofax VI cameras. Later in August 1965, a single RB-57F would be deployed to Udon, RTAB in an attempt to gather information about North Vietnamese SAM sites, first under project Greek God and then under project Mad King. In December another RB-57F would be deployed for this purpose, under project Sky Wave. Neither project garnered useful results and they were terminated in October 1965 and February 1966 respectively.
Would these be them?
(LOL, I know YOU know the answer, I am just being rhetorical...:)
IMO the fact they are covering up the damaged end is key. There must be something there they dont want the world to see.
They do that to ensure that remains of any crew members won’t wash out of the opening as they lift the hulk clear of the water. They recovered several of the crew from this piece of wreckage.
Curiously, when I got back home from overseas, I learned that my father-in-law had worked on the conversion at General Dynamics in Fort Worth. He said those big turbofans they stuck in those extended wings were so big you could nearly stand in the inlet...
Some of the A/C he worked on: B-24, B-36, B-47, B-58, RB-57F, FB-111 & F-16 (that I recall.)
Thank you for an image to wrap my head around what I was seeing on the wreckage photos.
My privilege! :-)
b) What aspects of the US-South Korean Defense Treaty compel the United States to retaliate against North Korea and further consider this an act of war?
All I know is that the ceasefire agreement has been broken so often that the legal discussion on whether it warrant retaliation could be moot.
If we go for retaliation, my hunch is that legality is fully on our side.
Though to be fair, in a threat environment that includes cheap Exocets and Silkworms armoring a DD or CG against such threats is uneconomical.
Modern naval architecture thought seems to revolve around keeping the incoming from getting near the hull, either via CIWS, RAM, or both. Which, when the enemy is pitching cheap antishipping missiles with the capability to hurt a medium aircraft carrier or wound even an Iowa-class, probably isn’t a bad idea.
Forgot to mention - most armor for anything above small arms became irrelevant the moment someone realized that a torpedo with a 1000lb warhead could sink any non-capital ship and even some capital ships, not by attacking the armor directly but by exploding some distance below the hull. Hydrostatic effects then lift the ship - and then the keel breaks.
Observe: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RV8MF-440xg (ignore the audio)
The torpedo is detonated *below* the hull, it doesn’t actually hit the hull at all.
Versus this torpedo type, armor is irrelevant. The hull has cracked in half before the secondary explosion occurs.
USS Cole was destroyed - put completely out of action by a smaller bomb exploded against its side carried by a outboard-motor fishing boat.
Wasn’t in brought back to America on a salvage ship that looks like a dry dock? This is what I remember. That the USS Cole could not return under its own propulsion.
How is that sickening hero worship? It’s good that boys have someone to look up to. The problem today is they look up to rap stars and other bad examples in the popular culture.
LOL...I didn’t mean it to come out that way, what I meant to say is that it LOOKS like sickening hero worship to some people...
I certainly don’t feel like it is or was. I was on a roll thinking of that, and just misstated it...you are 100% correct.
Thanks for your post and ping.
Not to mention all the idiot sports heroes boys have to look up to these days
Check out my Freep page on who we view as heroes...you and I are on the same page...:)
I like your hall of heroes :)
Last week I read about a famous Navy Commander who was from Kansas or Idaho. Thousands of miles from the ocean. I always laugh when I read those stories
I know what you mean, I have always felt the same way. I am fairly well read on naval history, and it is chock full of men from places like Worley, ID who had never even seen a large lake before who contributed to history as part of the Navy.
My Dad worked on B-58s at Convair, the plant with the mile-long Main Assembly building. I was 7 years old when he took me to the open house. Same place?
Its not our (United States) place to retaliate.
Leave that up to South Korea.
I've long since lost track of all the company name changes the A/C assembly plant that shares a runway with Carswell AFB has had - but, yep, that's the place...