Should we bring back the battlewagon as a fleet element? Now, before y'all think I'm nuts and a total anachronism (especially you old navy files
), consider this . . .
The wars we fight today, and will likely fight in the foreseeable future, are limited conflicts. I think a reasonable argument can be made that a truly modern, purpose-built battleship, would be ideal, both for its psychological impact on potential third-world enemies, and as a highly effective weapons system against likely targets, given modern technological innovation. Envision a ship of about 100,000 tons (approximately the size of a modern super carrier), but armed not only with modern fire-control and heavy guns (perhaps in the 18-20 inch range), but also heavily equipped with harpoons, tomahawks, standards and any other missile system we desired to put on it, even verticle-launch tubes for strategic nuclear weapons of the type carried by missile subs. Couple that with modern armor protection, and, unlike a carrier, such a vessel would be impervious to anything an enemy could throw at it short of a nuclear-tipped missile. How would you like a ship of that power sitting off your coast while the diplomats "negotiate?"
OK, it's a wild idea and it won't ever be built, but it might be fun to toss it around. How would you arm a vessel such as that, and would it be worth its cost? Food for thought.