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Flightline Friday Thursday edition – America’s Battlecruisers May 15, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Flightline Friday, fun, history, silliness, Society.
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Actually this is a Fullbore Friday.

The battlecruiser was a concept invented by the incredibly prolific mind of First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Jackie Fisher, who dominated the pre-WWI Royal Navy like no man before or sense.  Fisher invented a number of weapon systems that would play a huge role in the coming decades – the dreadnought or all big gun battleship, the 427px-Adm__John_Fisherbattlecruiser, the incorporation of destroyers into fleet actions, and the submarine. He did not invent the latter, but turned it from a toy or curiosity into a serious weapon of war.  Fisher did much more than just invent new tactics or architecture, he also revolutionized Royal Navy training, putting the world’s dominant navy into a position to much more effectively fight, and win, the First World War.

Of all his concepts and initiatives, by far the most controversial was the battlecruiser.  The battlecruiser was something of a hybrid between a battleship and a cruiser, a ship designed to outfight anything it couldn’t outrun, and outrun anything it couldn’t outfight.  A battlecruiser carried the same main armament as a battleship – 12″, 13.5″, or 15″ guns – but had the speed of a light cruiser, going from 25 kts in the earliest ships to over 30 kts later on.  But they had an Achilles heel, to obtain the high speed and

Battlecruiser HMS Tiger

Battlecruiser HMS Tiger

heavy armament, something had to be sacrificed, and that something was protection.  Battlecruisers, especially British battlecruisers, received scant armored protection.  This was to have tragic results when battlecruisers were inappropriately committed to major fleet actions.

The idea behind battlecruisers was that they would hunt down and destroy enemy commerce raiders.  Since cruisers had typically been used in that role, it was thought that battlecruisers would be a great defense against commerce raiding surface ships.  And since the British nation depended on overseas commerce for its survival, it made sense to commit serious resources (battlecruisers and battleships were extremely expensive) to defend against commerce raiders.

The battlecruisers were, however, never without critics.  While Fisher trumpeted their speed and hitting power, 800px-Cfbattlepaintingcritics saw them as expensive sitting ducks if they ever came across either an enemy battleship, or if the enemy developed their own battlecruisers.  And this is something the enemy – His Imperial German Majesty’s Navy – did, and because they could see and observe the capabilities of the first, British battlecruisers, the Germans did theirs much better. At the very least, battlecruisers seemed to some in the Royal Navy as an expensive gamble.

But early in the war it seemed the gamble had paid off.  During two early engagements, the Battle of the Heligoland 792px-Bluecher_sinkendBight and the Battle of the Falkland Islands, British battlecruisers dominated and won the day.  They were employed exactly as Fisher had envisioned at the Falklands, crushing a larger fleet of German cruisers which were slower and much less heavily armed.

However, all the battlecruiser’s deficiencies were revealed in glaring detail at the largest single naval surface engagement in history, the Battle of Jutland (technically, the Battle of Leyte Gulf was a larger battle in terms of combatants, but Leyte Gulf was more of a series of engagements rather than one single battle).  As I said, the Germans had studied and observed the British battlecruisers and built their own. The German ships were much, much better, especially in terms of armor protection.  They were really prototype fast battleships.  At Jutland, three British battlecruisers exploded and sank spectacularly with nearly all hands after their thin armor plate failed to stop heavy German shells from 800px-InvincibleBlowingUpJutland1916penetrating to their magazines.

The famous loss of the HMS Hood in World War II is widely believed to have been due to the same cause – dramatically insufficient horizontal, or deck, armor, which protects a ship from steeply plunging shells fired from long range.

In spite of this experience, battlecruisers still had their supporters.  The German battlecruisers, after all, had taken a terrific pounding, hadn’t they?   Some German battlecruisers were so holed by British shell fire they returned to port with their decks awash, but they still survived.  Maybe the concept wasn’t fatally flawed?


Lexington Class

So the thinking went, and so the United States, in a largely unknown massive naval armaments program that got wound up after World War I, began construction on its own battlecruisers.  Almost 900 feet long, displacing 45,000 tons, the Lexington Class were sleek, fast ships, with a projected speed of 33 kts.  Armed with 16″ guns,, they would have been very thinly armored and very similar to the British ships that had such a bad time at Jutland.

Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed, and the nascent naval arms race after WWI between Japan, the US, and Britain was effectively cancelled by the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922.  It suspended all battleship/battlecruiser construction for ten years (with a couple of caveats) and attempted to impose a “treaty limit” on all battleships of 35,000 tons displacement.

By the time the US and other nations began arming for WWII, technology and tactics had advanced to lead to a new type of battleship, the “fast battleship,” which had heavy armored protection but exceeded the formerly

Deutschland Class

Deutschland Class

“standard” battleship speed of about 23 kts.  Ships like the US Iowa and South Dakota classes, the British King George V class, and the German Bismarck class were all fast battleships, heavily armed, armored, and fast.

However, the idea of an ultimate “cruiser-killer” remained an attractive one, and some navies continued to play around with the battlecruiser or super-cruiser concept.  The Germans actually got the race started in this case, designing the Graf Spee type “pocket battleships,” or battlecruisers, in the late 1920s.  Supposedly just normal cruisers, and supposedly limited to the Washington treaty’s limitation of 10,000 tons displacement, the Deutschland class actually displaced more like 15,000 tons and had near-battleship armament of 11″ guns.  The French responded with their own near-battleships, the Dunkerques, and the race was on.

To deal with the threat of these new battlecruisers, the US Navy decided to develop its own “large cruiser,” or battlecruiser, what became the Alaska Class.  Equipped with a new 12 inch gun with more hitting power than the 14″ guns of its WWI era predecessors, the Alaska Class was designed to take on these new super-cruisers, or

USS Alaska

USS Alaska

battlecruisers, and also to outfight the large number of 8″ gunned heavy cruisers the Japanese had in service.   Germany, too, had developed very large and powerful 8″ gunned cruisers, and there was fear the US counterparts would not measure up.  The Alaska was designed to deal with both.

Interestingly, it was not so much the US Navy that pushed for the development of the Alaska Class, but Franklin Roosevelt. He was a former assistant secretary of the Navy from the WWI era, and had a certain interest in naval matters.  He more or less pushed the Alaska’s on a fairly reticent Navy, which didn’t see much need, at this point, for a new battlecruiser.

As such, development was slow, and always a relatively low priority.  Even though the design process had started Alaska_(CB-1)in the late 30s, the first ship was not completed until mid-1944.  By that time, the threat they had been designed against had more or less evaporated, and no one was sure what to do with them.  The two Alaskas completed wound up escorting carriers and conducting a few independent missions of minimal importance.

The Alaska’s were basically scaled up versions of the Baltimore-class heavy cruisers.  They were not given anything nearly like battleship levels or protection.  Armor was much more on a cruiser scale than battleship scale, although their 12″ turrets were well armored.  Belt and deck armor was heavier than most cruisers but lighter than a battleship’s and covered much less of the hull.  To keep weight down, the Alaska’s were given virtually no underwater protection against torpedoes, making them very vulnerable in that regard.

There has long been a huge debate in naval circles whether the Alaska’s were “large cruisers” or battlecruisers. USS_Alaska_CB-1 The question is really moot, although there are arguments on both sides.  Since a battlecruiser was really just a scaled up cruiser all along, I’ve always called them battlecruisers.  One significant difference between a cruiser/battlecruiser and a battleship, is the difference in length-to-beam ratio.  Battleships tend to be much fatter, even if fast battleships like the Iowas somewhat cut against that trend.  As you see in the photo at lower left, even compared to an Iowa class battleship, the Alaskas had a sleek, narrow planform.


USS Alaska with USS Missouri above

They were, indisputably, extremely handsome ships.  They never even came close serving in their intended role against enemy surface vessels, so there has been much speculation as to how well they would perform.  I can say that some fairly decent naval simulation games like Harpoon generally show the Alaska’s being dominant over contemporary heavy cruisers.

After the war, the Alaska’s were decommissioned and put in reserve just as soon as possible, even before some WWI-era battleships.  Both were out of service after spending much of 1946 ferrying US servicemen home.  Neither ship was ever recommissioned again, in spite of many different plans to do so.  There were all manner of conversion programs envisioned for the Alaska’s, from turning them into guided USS_Alaska_(CB-1)_under_air_attack_in_1945missile battlecruisers to huge command ships, but the expense was always too great, and so they were sent to the scrappers in 1959.


Alaska Class Battlecruiser

Displacement: 29,800 tons (normal), 34,500 tons (full load)
Length: 808 ft
Beam: 92 ft
Draft: 27 ft

Propulsion:  Essex-class carrier fit of 8 boilers, 4 turbines/shafts, 150,000 hp
Speed: 33 kts

Armament: 9 x 12″50 cal Mark 8 guns, 12 x 5″/38 cal dual purpose guns, 56x40mm AA guns, 34x20mm AA guns


Main side belt 9″ tapering to 5″ at waterline, deck armor 4-6″




Meanwhile, at Compostela, pagan rites at the main altar, Holy Mass at the side altar May 15, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disconcerting, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Holy suffering, Liturgy, sadness, scandals, secularism, Society, the return.
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It never rains, but it pours?

The famous cathedral of Santiago de Compostela was desecrated by Buddhist and Shinto rites  The Catholic Church prohibits in their churches every act of worship of another religion. Through the Buddhisten-Santiago-Compostela-1-300x225implementation of a strange rite a Catholic church is profaned, and requires a special rite to fix this desecration.

Nevertheless, it came as part of an event organized by the local tourist association  “Japanese Week in Santiago”, the  desecration of the world famous place of pilgrimage cathedral by Buddhist monks and Shinto priests, who presented ritual songs and dances…….

…..While Holy Mass was celebrated in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel of the Cathedral,  the main nave of the church in front of the main altar  was opened to Buddhist monks and Shinto priests for their rites.

The event was not mentioned on the website of the cathedral church, but without the consent of those responsible,   the event could not have taken place. There is also no indication that the procedure  required by the Church after a profanation, that is a  purification rite, will be  performed with a new consecration.

Are really all religions equal and a church  is only a syncretic container dedicated  to fit  in   all religions? What does Archbishop Julián Barrio   of Santiago de Compostela mean by this?

Sometimes, it seems the Society is so very, very, very right.


Italian bishop hates icky pro-lifers and their clanky beads May 15, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Abortion, asshatery, contraception, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, scandals, secularism, self-serving, shocking, the enemy, the return.
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I guess it’s Scandal Thursday:

An Italian bishop has angered pro-life advocates at home and abroad after he told an interviewer May 12 that he has little time for the kind of pro-lifer who prays the Rosary outside abortion facilities.

I do not identify with the expressionless faces of those who recite the Rosary outside the clinics who practice interruption of pregnancy,   [‘l’interruzione della gravidanza’] but with those young people who are opposed to this practice and strive for the quality of life of the people, for their right to health, to work,” said Bishop Nunzio Galantino, secretary-general of the Italian bishops’ conference (CEI). [And appointed to that position by whom?  Pope Francis.  And does this rhetoric not mimic some of that we’ve heard before regarding annoying Rosary counters and other similar unreconstructed neo-pelagian types?]

Quite the euphemism, no?  “Interruption of pregnancy.”  And once again, we see the best, most faithful Catholics slammed, while people of dubious faith (or even an open hostility to the Faith) are extolled.  In fact, it seems in this Brave New Church, the only enemies are……..Catholics.

But wait, there is so very much more:

But Galantino did not limit himself to a critique of the pro-life movement. Asked, “What is your wish for the Italian Church,” Galantino responded, “That we can talk without taboo about any subject of married priests, of giving the Eucharist to divorced persons, homosexuality, according to the Gospel and giving reasons for their positions.” [Oh for crying out loud, what do you mean, “talk without taboo”?!?  All we do is hear from people ostensibly in the Church about how wrong She is and has always been on those subjects.  The LCWR has been saying as much for 4 decades straight, and still not faced one real canonical penalty of any kind.  But that’s not what the prelate means.  What he means is, when can we finally shut up those annoying faithful Catholics who point out that the leadership’s collective desire to kneel to the world is completely irreconcilable with the Doctrine and history of the Faith?]

Responding to the question of whether the politically influential CEI will continue to press Italy’s Parliament to address the “non-negotiable values” of life, family and education, Galantino said, “We think about the sacredness of life. In the past we have not concentrated exclusively on abortion and euthanasia. It cannot be so; in the middle [of these two] there is the existence [of the person] that continuously develops.”  [And we see again trotted out the old false dichotomy that by defending life we are somehow opposing cherished social welfare schemes.]

Galantino added that with the pontificate of Pope Francis, “the Italian Church has an extraordinary opportunity to reposition itself with respect to spiritual, moral and cultural expectations.” 

“Reposition……”  Such an interesting word.  Tell me, did St. Charles Borromeo or St. Philip Neri worry much about “repositioning” the Church on various matters?

The Italian Episcopal Conference has been increasingly problematic for a while, but it has taken a hard and obvious turn left – politically, theologically, “pastorally” – over the past year or so.  This guy is an embarrassment, and yet he was very publicly called to his highly influential position by the occupant of the See of Peter himself.

Let those who have eyes, see.  We are watching the opening credits of “Church Wars Episode V, The Progressives Strike Back.”

I have to say, those who argue that men like this are plainly speaking from a different faith, a different religion from that which has always been known as “the Catholic Church” have an increasingly excellent and irrefutable point.  Lord, have mercy on us.

NOW President: “Babies wouldn’t die so much if we’d just kill them before they died” May 15, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, contraception, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, sickness, Society, unadulterated evil.
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From the “You have to be leftist to believe something like this” department, marxist NOW president Terry O’Neill published an op-ed on the Puffington Host (safe link) that argued abortion as a “life-saving” aspect of basic medical care:

National Organization for Women (NOW) president Terry O’Neill published an editorial on the Huffington Post today entitled, “Abortion, Like Contraception, Is Essential Health Care That Saves Lives.”

Let that sink in for a second. A procedure that’s taken over 50 million lives in the U.S. alone since 1973 . . . saves lives.

O’Neill actually wrote the following:

We have a premature birth crisis in this country that can be directly linked to our failure to provide adequate contraception and abortion care. About half of pregnancies in the U.S. each year are unintended, and for those women who carry their pregnancies to term (more than half do), the prognosis is anything but great. They not only experience higher rates of premature birth, but also are more likely to have inadequate prenatal care, low birth weight and small size infants, maternal depression and anxiety.

From a public health point of view, abortion care, no less than contraception, is an essential measure to prevent the heartbreak of infant mortality . . .

…... . . as more states like Texas and North Carolina restrict access to abortion care, more women are dying in childbirth or pregnancy, and more infants are not surviving to their first birthday.

The Church has long explained that materialism and utilitarianism are wickedly corrupt philosophical bases.  Both are at work in this monstrously self-serving and non sequitur essay.  We have to kill babies to keep them from abortion-conceptsdying. The fact that pro-aborts have utter disregard for the humanity of pre-born infants is on full display here.  It’s not just disregard – they pretend these infants either don’t exist, or are somehow freakishly non-human.  The callousness on display is simply breathtaking, as is the rampant ill-logic.

As for the very moderate restrictions placed on baby-murder in Texas (and other states), there is not one scintilla of evidence that maternal mortality rates have increased.  For goodness’ sake, these measures haven’t even been in place more than a few months.  This is just a shroud waving strawman intended to distract attention from the inescapable fact that abortion is murder in every single possible instance.

abortion-decapitatedAs the LifeNews writer goes on to note, O’Neill’s argument is exactly the same as arguing that we should kill the poor, sick, elderly, or whomever someone, somewhere judges to be not quite human enough.  It is a monstrously utilitarian and materialist argument that could only come from a true leftist.  It is also the same kind of mass inhumanity that leftist states, like the former Soviet Union and today’s China, have honed to a high art.  Those are also the two states responsible for more mass slaughter of their own citizens than any other nations in recorded history.

A key point at the end of the article regarding not letting abortion-lovers, or any other leftists, gain control of the language, as they are so exceedingly good at doing:

Don’t let the phrase “abortion care” go by unchallenged if it’s used in your presence. All that’s required for a pernicious phrase like “abortion care” to slip into the American lexicon is for you and me to say nothing.


Those were the days…..UPDATED May 15, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Christendom, episcopate, fun, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, priests, Society, Tradition, Virtue.
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Orbis Catholicus had an excerpt of the 1963 Otto Preminger movie The Cardinal on his blog, and I found some more interesting excerpts on Youtube I thought I’d share.

I can’t say if the entire movie excerpted below is worth watching or not.  I saw some bits regarding Adam and Eve viz a viz evolution that were a bit concerning to me.  This movie is supposed to be a sort of biography of Cardinal Spellman, a Cardinal widely viewed both then and now as being a very solid conservative/orthodox prelate.  But if Cardinal Spellman really did downplay the reality of Adam and Eve, and even argued that evolution could explain Creation, then perhaps we see one more little revelation as how Vatican II happened.

But who knows if the movie is at all accurate. The film also includes a section on the future Cardinal character leaving the priesthood for a while and striking up a romance in 1920s Vienna.   That’s just bunk if this is supposed to be about Cardinal Spellman.

Anyway, a few scenes of how things used to be, including one of John Huston as Cardinal O’Connell.  While filmed in 1963, this is 100% preconciliar Church.

Not so great resolution below:

Cardinal Spellman was never so square-jawed, straight-backed, tall, or masculine.  He was a very short little round guy.

One thing I found while looking a couple things up about him, is that the homosexuals have not left him alone, either.  Long after he died, suddenly there were “rumors” and “stories” he was a “voracious” sodomite.

I am extremely dubious of any such after the fact claims, but whatever the case, I think this desperate need to find historical examples of that perversion is more revealing of the accusers than anything else.

Has anyone seen the whole movie?  Do you recommend it for family viewing?

UPDATE: From the same movie, a re-enactment of a very small portion of the persecution faced by the Church under the National Socialist leftist government of Adolf Hitler:

Reading more on the background of the movie, it seems the execution of the movie was somewhat controversial, as it was based on a book of the same name, but the book and movie diverged tremendously in story arc and emphasis. The book was not about Cardinal Spellman but a theoretical priest whose main sin of pride winds up causing massive damage, and is something it takes him a great deal of time and effort to overcome.  It seems director Otto Preminger made some folks mad when he turned the story into one of a more “socially relevant” tale involving all manner of bad guys, Klansmen, Nazis, etc.

Anyway, your reviews of the movie appreciated.