Monday, October 16, 2017

Argumentum ad feces fabricatum...

William S. Lind, an ever-reliable source of military history lulz, dropped another funny one.

After some nattering about warship propulsion* that was incorrect, he wrote...
"What this means, and has meant for centuries, is that most of the time ships and fleets are in their home ports.  Small detachments may be stationed around the world, the gunboats of gunboat diplomacy.  But gunboat diplomacy worked because the gunboat was a reminder of the powerful fleet that could come quickly if the gunboat needed support.  Other than these gunboats and small detached squadrons, the rest of the navy was comfortably at rest in its home harbors.  There was, and is, no need for it to be anywhere else, not only in peacetime but often also in war.  It can go where it needs to when it needs to."
This is a dude who has obviously never heard the term "China Station" or "East Indies Station" or "Asiatic Squadron" or...or...well, all of 18th, 19th, and 20th Century naval history.

* "Because steamships had to coal frequently, they were more dependent on the land than were ships driven by the wind.  The replacement of coal by oil for fuel and then of steam by fuel-efficient diesels for propulsion..." Warships don't use diesel propulsion, generally†, Bill. Well, the Kriegsmarine's pocket battleships did, and knowing what a boner you have for the Jerries, this factoid probably stuck in your mind and you assumed all forward-thinking navies just went on to copy that.

†Following discussion elsewhere, I'll modify "warships" to "major surface combatants of the world's large blue-water navies".