Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Monday, October 23, 2006

The Latest "Diesel Boats Are Scary" Story

Every few months, you'll see a story in some local paper about how "diesel boats sank the most advanced U.S. warships in an exercise" or "foreign warplanes shot down our most advanced fighters in an exercise". The newest one came out last week on the website from LA, discussing the San Diego-based Swedish submarine HMS Gotland. Here are some excerpts:
According to Swedish newspapers, in training exercises the Gotland has sunk our most sophisticated nuclear submarines. But perhaps even more disconcerting, it reportedly sunk our largest aircraft carrier, the U.S.S. Reagan...
...As the U.S. funnels billions into the war on terror, countries like North Korea, China and Iran are building or trying to get submarines like the Gotland.
Two months ago in the Persian Gulf, Iran tested a new anti-ship missile fired by one of its subs.
If the Iranians are successful in getting a Gotland-class submarine, it could pose a new silent danger to vital oil tanker traffic in the region...
I'd say that's a pretty big if -- I don't think the Swedes are selling to the Iranians. Still, I think these stories actually serve a fairly good purpose, hopefully getting Congress to provide more money for the military to respond to the "threat"; they also make our allies feel better about themselves, which is important. Meanwhile, those of us who know will just keep it to ourselves that essentially every submarine in the world could "sink" a carrier in a SoCal exercise; the real question is how they'd do in a real-world situation, where they'd have to transit a couple hundred miles to the CVOA, and their torpedos would actually have to work, and they'd be going up against a screen of one or two SSNs, who know what the threat axis is and who don't have their NAUs turned on. (This is not to say the Gotland, or another Western submarine and crew couldn't do it -- they're very good. We're not planning on going to war with them, though. I'm saying that an Iranian or North Korean diesel boat and crew would have a hard time actually getting close enough to an alerted Battle Group to do any militarily significant damage. Remember, in a war with Iran, we're not going to be sending the carriers charging through the SOH until the Iranian Kilos are sunk; they'll be way down in the Arabian Sea, leveling the submarine maintenance facility at Bandar Abbas with air strikes.)

Until then, we'll just sit back and act shocked, and let everyone know that if we had a few billion more dollars, we could make it all better.


Blogger NCdt(II) Genest said...

The problem is that sometimes--and I'm not saying it happens often--you guys lose to a decidedly under-equipped foe. Mostly Canadians. We're that good.

In exercises, American warplanes have lost (read: got their butts handed to them) to Canadian F-18s dating from the 1980s, who operate with older systems and with less training, on multiple occasions.

Now, I'm not saying Canadians are that superior (we are, but that's not what I'm saying :p) but rather that you guys are a bit overconfident. Yes, you could kick every country's ass in a real war, but you have to ask yourselves how many losses you would take before the people would be rioting in the streets à la Berkeley in the 60's.

Sure, if the Iranian Navy had boats that worked and there was a war, they'd get their asses kicked, but I'm sure they'd do enough damage that people back home would start asking why you're there and why you didn't do enough to protect your sailors, and all that other crap the why-are-we-here journalists think up.

So my point is really that although you guys are very, very good, you're not quite good enough that you can just keep on cruising.

10/24/2006 10:21 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of's clearly time for a Canadian joke:

Two guys from Toronto die and wake up in hell.

The next day the devil stops in to check on them and sees them dressed in parkas, mittens and toques warming themselves around the fire. The devil asks them, "What are you doing? Isn’t it hot enough for you?"

The two guys reply, "Well, you know, we’re from Canada, the land of snow and ice and cold. We’re just happy for a chance to warm up a little bit, eh."

The devil decides that these two aren’t miserable enough and turns up the heat.

The next morning he stops in again and there they are, still dressed in parkas, toques and mittens. The devil asks them again, "It’s awfully hot down here, can’t you guys feel it?"

Again the two guys reply, "Well, like we told ya yesterday, we’re from Canada, the land of snow and ice and cold. We’re just happy for a chance to warm up a little bit, eh."

This gets the devil a little steamed up and he decides to fix these two guys. He cranks the heat up as high as it will go. The people are wailing and screaming everywhere. He stops by the room with the two guys from Canada and finds them in light jackets and bucket hats, grilling sausage and drinking beer.

The devil is astonished, "Everyone down here is in abject misery, and you two seem to be enjoying yourselves."

The two Canadians reply, "Well, ya know, we don’t get too much warm weather up there in Toronto so we’ve just got to have a cook-out when the weather’s THIS nice."

The devil is absolutely furious, he can hardly see straight. Finally he comes up with the answer. The two guys love the heat because they have been cold all their lives. The devil decides to turn all the heat off in hell.

The next morning, the temperature is below zero, icicles are hanging everywhere; people are shivering so bad that they are unable to do anything but wail, moan and gnash their teeth.

The devil smiles and heads for the room with the two Canadians.

He gets there and finds them back in their parkas, toques, and mittens. NOW they are jumping up and down, cheering, yelling and screaming with delight like mad men!!!

The devil is dumbfounded, "I don’t understand, when I turn up the heat you’re happy. Now it’s freezing cold and you’re still happy. What is wrong with you two???"

The Torontonians look at the devil in surprise, "Well, don’t you know? If Hell freezes over, it must mean the Leafs have won the Stanley Cup."

10/24/2006 2:25 PM

Anonymous Sean(DeepDiver) said...

Hey Dad,

I'm at school and just wanted to steal your link for Line Rider.

P.S. Conner thanks you.

10/24/2006 3:04 PM


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