Whatza Battleship?
by Gary Rinsem

"Damn the torpedoes, they'll just bounce off this hull!"
Farragut (not quite a quote)

It seems that most people think a "battleship" is any ship made to do battle. That's a "warship," not a "battleship." Of course, a battleship is also a warship. It's OK, it's allowed to be both. You can be forgiven. I didn't know much when I enlisted in the Navy. "Battleship" is a classification based on ship design. They were the most heavily armored ships with the largest guns, but nations stopped building battleships after WWII. It was mostly the fault of aircraft carriers. They made battleships nearly useless. It would take a very long time to study and learn the frist bits about battleships. It is a complex subject. Instead, this page intends only to help you gain perspective on what a battleship is. Get ready to zoom and pan and examine and stare at a bunch of amazing pictures. They'll quickly show you the scale and design of military ships. Keep this in mind... what you see is not only a large machine, much of it is made of very thick steel. Acres of armor! Up to 17½ inches thick. That's a lot of extremely hard to make steel that is even harder to fabricate into a ship. Can you believe it? This junk floats and drives all over the world with a top speed of 40mph... while people are getting haircuts in it's barber shop. Be amazed. Be very amazed. That's it for the tutoring. This is mostly a self-study course full of images, to examine and contemplate. I hope you enjoy it.
image On 7-1-1981 the USS New Jersey had spent 12 years at the Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility, Bremerton Washington.
image 3-13-1982 - the ship is in the big drydock at the Long Beach Naval Shipyard. These pics show fantastic detail of the shipyard.
By 3-13-1982, four of the 5" gun mounts have been removed. They're sitting next to the bow, as three story buildings.
3-13-1982 - the "Spruce Goose" is in the center of this picture, waiting 1 1/2 years for it's new home, very close to where it was built.
image BB63 - not the New Jersey, but I also worked on the Missouri, a tiny bit. This pic shows the size of ships. That's 37' below the waterline!
image BB63 - Great detail here when you zoom in! Notice that the drydock can handle ships much wider and at least another ten feet of draft.
image On 9-25-1982 the USS New Jersey was out of drydock and running tests at sea, off the coast of California.
image 12-1-1982 I was on board for this shakedown cruise, but I only knew how cool it was, not how lucky I was to be there.

image 12-28-1982 - Barely out of boot camp, I didn't realize how lucky I was to be on the ship during the commissioning ceremony.
image A rare view from the USS enterprise flight deck. Three teak deck warships in a row, followed by two unidentified smaller ships.
image Navy ships don't usually do "Nut To Butt." That was a tactic before radar, when one ship navigated and the others followed.
image It was a day of recreation for this carrier group. An event to savor, as you can see by the number of sailors on deck to watch.
image BB62Citadel1
image BB62Citadel2
image BB62Citadel3
image BB63Citadel4
image BB62WeaponsPhalanx1
image BB62WeaponsTriple1
image BB62-AerialPort1
image BB62-AerialPort2
image BB62-AerialStarboard1
image BB62-AerialPortBow1
image BB62-AerialPortBow2
image BB62-AerialPortBow3
image BB62-AerialPortStern1
image BB62-AerialStern1
image BB62-StarboardStern1