Fair question, and my only electronics qualifications is putting together those really cool box-sets that Radio Shack used to sell.As an electronics guy who works with a former Navy ET (Tico-class boat, NEC's for radar and IFF), why the skepticism?
This is so frustrating to read, yet the author is a fantastic writer. The story reads almost like a work of fiction, sadly that is not the case.
Gave me a much better understanding of what happened.
Investigation finds Navy leaders ignored warnings for years before one of the deadliest crashes in decades — ProPublica
These paragraphs baffles me:
The review revealed neglect by Navy leadership, serious mistakes by officers — and extraordinary acts of valor and endurance by the crew.
The Fitzgerald’s captain selected an untested team to steer the ship at night. He ordered the crew to speed through shipping lanes filled with cargo ships and fishing vessels to free up time to train his sailors the next day. At the time of the collision, he was asleep in his cabin.
The 26-year-old officer of the deck, who was in charge of the destroyer at the time of the crash, had navigated the route only once before in daylight. In a panic, she ordered the Fitzgerald to turn directly into the path of the Crystal.
This paragraph educated me:
The speed left Coppock nervous. Steering a massive warship through the ocean at night is an exercise in managed chaos. Imagine driving down a four-lane highway without guardrails, traffic stripes or dividers. It is pitch dark. Other vehicles, ranging in size from mopeds to tractor-trailers, zip around you. None of them have brakes that can stop quickly.
And this one terrified me.
Felderman was going to be submerged in seconds. He took a breath and went under. A battle lantern lit the quarters underwater, but the light was poor, and there was no clear path to escape. And now he was desperate for air.
He thrust himself upward. He burst out into a small pocket of air between two pipes. He found only inches of space between the water level and the top of the compartment.
He smashed his head into the opening so hard that he bruised his face, split his skin and began bleeding.
“I was raving like a wild animal for air, pushing my face as high as I could,” he remembered.
He sucked in what air he could and went under again.
Lt. j.g. Stephany Breau (the ship’s damage control assistant) gave me hope. It is difficult to believe the ship would not have gone under without her actions.
She picked up a microphone for the shipwide intercom: “I assume all duties and responsibilities for damage control onboard USS Fitzgerald,” she announced. She sounded the alarm for general quarters, directing sailors to pre-assigned stations designated for emergencies.
She did algebra, scribbling calculations on the back of a notebook. She had to figure out the weight of water in the ship in case she needed to counterflood the Fitzgerald, a technique to deliberately flood other ship compartments to counterbalance areas already filled with water.
One stubborn area remained: Water continued to flood into a lower deck compartment carrying equipment for the Tomahawk missile system. None of the pumps were powerful enough to carry the water out.
Breau’s last trick was a bucket brigade. For 10 hours, about two dozen sailors at a time snaked in a long, tight line from below ship up three ladder wells to the main deck. Sailors rotated in and out, relieving comrades fatigued by the nonstop passing of 10-pound buckets of water.
And this one caused me to roll my eyes....
The Navy explicitly ruled out problems with any of the ship’s radars.
Touchscreens, they scare the shit out of me. I think of all of the WW2 movies I’ve seen and the damage those ships sustained, yet the crew was still able to keep the ship functional.
I see videos of today’s navy, with huge monitor screens, touch screens, everything so electronic it looks like the bridge of the Starship Enterprise.
Maybe am probably oversimplifying things, but my perception is that in 2020 it is a whole lot easier to disable a naval vessel of today, than it was in 1944. That just does not make any sense to me.
Nothing would make me happier than having somebody respond telling me to read more, post less, and here’s why you’re wrong… But I don’t think that I am.
To add -
I’m pretty certain we have a thread on this already, I’ll find it and move those posts there.