Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Avast, Ye Scurvy Pirates!

Here is another thing I don't understand...Last I heard we had literally thousands of semi-obsolete 20 mm. and 40 mm light antiaircraft guns. It would cost pennies to mount those guns on merchant vessels, put small Navy crews on them, or train the civilian crews. There is nothing particularly difficult to mount those guns for close range surface engagements.

Anybody want to guess what would happen if a 40 mm flak shell explodes over one of those Somali pirate speedboats? Or a half-dozen explosive 20 mm rounds?

For that matter, The Dillon people out in Arizona sell brand new electric miniguns. The put out six thousand rounds per minute. A one second burst would put a thousand 7.62 NATO rounds into a small craft. Instant floating debris and small oil slick.

We also probably have hundreds, if not thousands, of five inch dual purpose Naval Rifles sitting on mothballed Navy Ships. Just in case the pirates choose to go with bigger ships.

When I was in the Service I spent time on several sorts of troopships, as a matter of fact I sailed across the whole Pacific Ocean on LSD. (Landing Ship. Dock.) This old WW2 ship had 20s, 40s and five inch thirty-eights. Nothing much could get too close to that old tub without a fight. Plus, of course, the shootin' irons of the Battalion of Marines aboard. Of course we weren't allowed to have ammo. I suspect as many as five or six guys actually obeyed that rule.

During WW2 merchant ships were armed as a matter of course. Matter of fact, merchant vessels carried cannon from the invention of cannon to about WW1, without government permission.

So, with thousands of various kins of naval weaponry sitting on mothballed ships, costing money to keep from rusting away, why can't anyone but me figure out what to do about pirates?

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