I amused myself by watching TV or reading manga when I’m bored. Other times I read books, but ever since I finished reading the painstaking Anna Karenina (I call it ‘painstaking’ because it was so thick that I’ve read it for over a month – on and off, but the book was nice though), I imposed a total restraining order for reading thick books because I’m still exhausted and ‘overwhelmed’ by that Tolstoy-book. So most of the time I just stayed in the house eating and sleeping and doing something in between.
Part of my TV schedule is watching amazing features from Discovery Channel. I can still remember one of its coolest episodes by far, Superweapons: Top Ten. It’s not that I’m cruel, but war never ceases to amaze me, and even that, the weapons used are something that fascinates me. I’ve lived my childhood days preferring toy cars and guns than cheesy Barbie dolls.
There are five specific considerations for choosing the top ten superweapons: the fear factor, the fire power, the protection, the innovation and the service length. Among the reviewers were defense analysts – Rebecca Grant and Paul Beaver, and naval architects, James Harrison and Philip Simms. The super weapons chosen were the hardest, the fastest and the ones that won the battle for over the years. Some of the minor considerations are its own features like displacement, propulsion, speed, crew, range, protection, and principal armament. Cool!
To start the countdown, at number ten, we have the Hood Class Battle Cruiser, completed in Germany on year 1920. It has a speed of 31 knots and range of 5,170 nautical miles. It was used by Germany in its great battles in year 1960. It is 860 feet long and one of the largest ships ever built for royal armor at that time. It was also the best fighting ship because of its side armor at an angle. It was unfortunately destroyed in 1941, where about 1,400 people died.
At the ninth spot is the Deutschland Class Pocket Battleship (I dunno if I got the spelling right but it sounds and looks like that way). It has a speed of 26 knots and can accommodate a crew of 1,150 people. It amazing features includes its innovative design to make it lighter, that’s why it can cruise 12,500 miles. This German battle ship was used during the outbreak of World War 1, where it was used to attack merchant shipping by its 5-inch thick armor, thereby, earning its nickname, ‘The Formidable Raider’.
At the eight spot is the Essex Class Aircraft Carrier, used during America’s pacific wars. It has propulsion of 4 X shaft steam turbines, a speed of 33 knots, a range of 15,000 nautical miles, and protection of a maximum armor of 3 inches. It weighs for about 34,880 tons, and can accommodate a crew of 2,687. It was commissioned by America to replace its battleships during American-Japanese War. It fears an adversary: it is the number one target of the kamikaze pilots. There were 24 aircraft carriers built on this class, and most of them remained in service for another 30 years. This is probably one of the reasons why Allies won the World War 1, and this reason remains to be one of its tremendous impacts.
At the seventh spot is Hitler’s favorite ship! The Bismarck Class Battle Ship weighs 50,153 tons, has propulsion of 3 X geared steam turbines, speed of 30 knots and range of 8,525 nautical miles. It can take up a crew of 2,300 people. It has a protection of maximum armor of 14 inches, and its principal armament was 8 X 15-inch guns. It is considered as the best German navy ship. In 1941, it was used as a first war patrol, but then later on it was used to attack Allied ships. Its technology was so advanced that it was a major threat at sea.
At the sixth spot is the North Carolina Class Battleship. It has a displacement of 44,800 tons, and propulsion of quadruple steam engines producing 121,000 horsepower. It has a speed of 27 knots, and a range of 17,850 miles. It can take up 1,880 people. It has a protection of a maximum armor of 16 inches and its principal armaments are the 9 X 16-inch guns. Because of these features it is used as service combats in pacific battles, especially against Japan. Only, it is known to have a short operational service life.
The Fletcher Class Destroyer is in the fifth spot, the little ship with a big punch! It has a displacement of 2,325 tons, and propulsion of 2 geared turbines. It can accommodate a crew of 329 people. Its range can take up to 6,500 nautical miles. It has a protection of maximum armor of 0.5 inches over vital areas and its principal armaments are 5 X 5-inch guns. It is an awesome fighting machine because it has built-in sonar to identify any incoming attacks. It is used to target and kill mainly kamikaze attacks. It is responsible for the sinking of 29 Japanese submarines and more than 15,000 kamikaze pilots were killed. Personally, this is my favorite weapon, haha!
The sophisticated Ticonderoga Class Missile Cruiser is in the fourth spot. It has a displacement of 9,466 tons and propulsion of 4 X general electric turbine engine. It has a speed of 30 knots and a range of 6000 nautical miles at 20 knots. It has a protection of Kevlar armor over vital areas and it has principal armaments of 2 X M45 5-inch guns. It can take up 400 crew members. It is known to be a missile destroyer. It has advanced radar track targets. It was upgraded with tomahawk attack missiles that can shoot in a digital battle field. Later on, it was used to patrol in waters for both commercial and military shipping. It has a service length of 20 years.
At the third spot is the Queen Elizabeth Battle Ship, the toughest battle ship. It has a displacement of 36,450 tons, and propulsion of quadruple screw steam turbines. It runs in a speed of 23 knots and can take a range of 4500 nautical miles at ten knots. It has a protection armor of 13 inches and a principal armament of 8 X 15-inch guns. It can accommodate a crew of 1,190 people. The different thing about this ship is it is powered with oil, rather than coal. It has been used during World War 1 and World War 2, and its service length took long as 30 years.
At the second spot is the Nimitz Class Aircraft Carrier. It has a displacement of a staggering 97,000 tons! Its propulsion is 2 X nuclear reactors with 4 turbines. Its speed is 30 knots and its range is unlimited. Protection: none. But it can carry and facilitate 85 X aircrafts and can accommodate a crew of 5,680 people. It is known as the largest and the most powerful warship because of its size and capability.
Finally, at the first spot – the best of all the best superweapons – is the Iowa Class Battle Ship. It has a displacement of 57,450 tons and propulsion of 4 X screw steam turbines. It has a speed of 33 knots and a range of 15,000 nautical miles over 12 knots. It has a protection armor of 18 inches and a principal armament of 9 X 16-inch guns that can fire up to 24 miles. It was launched on year 1942 and because of the war, it was always on the heat of the action. It was upgraded to shoot tomahawk missiles. This ship is the evidence that there are so many ways to hurl destruction. It was used during World War 2, Korean War, Vietnam War, and even in Gulf War, thus its service length was 50 years. With its massive power and top speed, no wonder it earned the first spot in the countdown.
So it’s about the top ten fighting ships, eh?
They are really big toys. Trust me.