Ben Oostdam story # 212


My experience with Naval Power - specifically Aircraft Carriers - is limited.

I served on the Dutch A.C. "Karel Doorman" in 1950 on a glorious cruise in the Mediterranean - but found out on the WWW decades later that the Dutch Naval Historians professed that the "Doorman" had been laid up during that period.
Anyhow, the Dutch - who had gotten the A.C. after WWII from the British (I think as the HMS "Vengeance") sold her out of all nations to ...Argentinia, just around the time of the Falkland Islands conflict !...

A few years later, I was sailing the Dutch Bank sailing boat in the harbour of Hongkong, accompanied by an attractive Australian radio announceress.
We headed straight for a huge U.S. Aircraft Carrier (appropriately named the "Bennington" and I refused to budge, assuring her that sail has the right of way.
When we were less than a cable away, the "Bennington" made a 90 degree turn, and my reputation in Hongkong.
Later I found out that she had had to round a navigation buoy.

So the "Doorman" is now (?) Argentinian (or possibly Indian steel), Hongkong is now Chinese again, and I am now an American citizen. What all changes!

Perhaps it is because of all these changes that I am particularly interested in aspects of naval power. For example, I studied the Delaware Estuary and know its "fluid mud"- bottom lies some hundred miles inland, in Philadelphia. (I even lectured about the phenomenon in Shanghai) But I wonder if the US Navy knows that (the USACE certainly does), or if they think their A.C. engines and tugs have enough power to plow through?

(please click to enlarge)

(also see update Dec.12, 2006)

(recall that Eunuch,
Zheng He in the early 1400's ?!)
Now the latest news is about Chinese marine audacity and
(re-)expansion :
China creating AC fleet - March, 2006
China's Reform Monitor, May 10, 2006: Citing "high-ranking military officials," Hong Kong's Wen Wei Po reports that China's military has confirmed plans to build an aircraft carrier fleet. The People's Liberation Army will also boost its development of anti-aircraft-carrier weaponry, and has reopened its production lines for making Hong-6M bombers, the so-called "aerial aircraft-carrier killers." The news follows a report in the Qingnian Cankao Bao claiming that Russia's Defense Ministry is mulling the sale of Su-34 bombers to China, and could collaborate with Beijing in the development of Moscow's fifth-generation fighter jets.
US Eyes China Naval Power - China Submarine Model -

BLO fecit 20061114b - stories