I read about this idea years ago.
Take a large cargo ship. Have 155mm howitzers on the deck. Use this a fire support ship. Modern container ships could hold a large number of 155mm howitzers.
Modern 155mm ammunition is devastating:
1. A standard round is 100 pounds of steel and high explosives.
2. There are carrier rounds (improved conventinal munitions /icm rounds) that carry submunitions. These can be anti-personnel or dual purpose anti-armor grenandes. This round can also deliver mines, both antipersonnel, and anti-tank. This round is the artillery equivalent of the cluster bomb.
3. Smoke rounds.
4. White phosphorus rounds. These can be used for quick smoke, and for incendiary work.
Such a vessal would not equal a battelship, but could easily equal the firepower of a cruiser. And it could be put together quickly with out the cost of regular manning. When needed a cargo ship could be leased. Artillery battalions would be assigned to man the guns. As the campaign moves inland the arillery battalion goes ashore and continues it's mission.
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Last edited by 17thfabn; 02-12-2007 at 11:21 PM..