These photos show raw American naval power… and it is both awesome and scary [Amazing Photo of the Day]

Anyone familiar with the history of the United States knows that in the founding years of the country there was a big struggle between pro-navy and anti-navy advocates. Since then, however, the United States has come to build and operate the largest and most powerful navy in the history of man.

For security purposes, the full American navy is never in one place at one time (not like there would be enough space in a single port…). However, recently a rare event occurred — multiple US Navy ships were docked in Norfolk, Virginia at the same time (Norfolk is the largest naval base in the world). More specifically, six “amphibious ships”, four Nimitz-class aircraft carriers, and one Enterprise-class aircraft carrier were in Norfolk at the same time. Check it out:

Six amphibious ships and five carriers moored in Norfolk.

Six amphibious ships and five carriers moored in Norfolk.

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(For anyone that doesn’t know, Nimitz-class aircraft carriers are the largest type in the world. The US has a total of ten. Enterprise-class carriers are smaller than Nimitz-class but still larger than the aircraft carriers that other countries have. Enterprise-class carriers are being slowly booted from the US Navy.)

The above sight, in my opinion, is both awesome and scary. It is awesome in the most simplistic, animalistic sense — a sight of raw power, of technologically advanced warships. It is scary in the sense that if the US actually has to ever put these ships into battle (I’m not talking about maritime operations or bullying countries like Iran), then you know we are in World War III; maybe even World War IV or World War V.

[Thanks Enrique, via Gizmodo, US Navy]

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10 comments

  1. JMJ

    @riya: Thank you, Riya, for your very kind reply to my angry reaction to unkind remarks concerning my Country which, like every other, of course, is comprised of PEOPLE like you and me.

    My business activites over the last 17 years include monthly tranches of 10,000MT of (Portland , Types 2 and 4) Cement shipped from Gemlik or Piraeus to Mongla or Chittagong. I used to use Hadlia but the berthing and port charges became too expensive. I am an American using ships to deliver my tiny amounts of cement which are being used by the governments of your Country and Bangaldesh in a one-hundred year project to control flooding. Fact.

    The terrible, preventable tragedy at Bhopal was the result of greed and putting rupees ahead of human beings’ health and safety. Your Country’s government and evil, greedy businessmen are responsible, not the American government or the American People. You know how tempting utk?cagraha?a can be to some.

    In mid-December 1941, after Pearl Harbor, Indian soldiers, under British leadership, fled from the Japanese as they invaded the north-east of the Malayan Peninsula. That would not be the last time. I am not suggesting that Indian soldiers are cowardly, quite the contrary, in fact. Their bravery and pressure from the United States of America induced Britain to “grant” India’s independence in 1947. I’m not that old but have been keen on that period’s history, partially because my Father and Grandfather, both Americans, fought and bled to help save people all over the World from the abuse of the kind of power evidenced in the photos above.

    America made a terrible mistake when it did not also pressure the French to grant Vietnam its independence. We know how that turned out, right? It can be argued that America made another mistake in the use of its power when we pressured the World to grant statehood to Israel in 1948, can’t it?

    Pakistan and Bangaladesh consider your Country to have been (to be) a bullying abuser of power, don’t they, even without ships like those pictured above?

    My point is, that power itself is not to be feared; rather, it is power in the hands of people or governments that wield that power abusively. Mistakes included, most of America’s history has it on the right side of important decisions.

    I always have strong reactions to ANYone’s blanket condemnation of others, including whole countries… yours or mine or anyone else’s. On this thing we call the Internet, there should be no place for people to follow the same nationalistic, xenophobic, narrow, unkind mindsets that have led to so many wars, so much oppression and so much bloodshed over the centuries.

    Thanks again for your kind response. I’ll *try* to remember to emulate your concilliatory example when confronted by potentially infuriating remarks. :-)

    All the best, Riya.

    — JMJ

  2. riya

    @JMJ: hey, I didn’t mean to anger you or anything or suggesting so and so people are bad but… the truth is many times the US govt had ‘pressured’ our govt to make some decisions (eg. Bhopal gas tragedy, Amul’s development, some countries foreign policies.) India never wanted to involve in WW2 but since we were not independent, the British forced to join and please no one fled, many sacrificed their lives in… RIP.
    And India finally got rid of the British.
    As far as the whole river thing, I live in Uzanbazar, thats near Brahmaputra. There’s no people dying here but yes, some rice fields are affected. It was all fine before the 1950 earthquake drastically changed the landscape. It was a powerful quake and many lives were lost :(
    now, just want to say that no govt in this world is perfect. Sometimes, the elected govt is good and all is well and sometimes not, nowadays most of them are greedy and power hungry.
    Anyways, have a good day :)

  3. JMJ

    @riya: America came to India before, Riya, with powerful ships, planes, tanks, trucks and people to keep your country from falling to true abuse of power. Did India help its neigbors, Malaya or Thailand or Burma when they were being raped and pillaged? I’m an American and I know that, after the British, who were so worshipped, envied and imititated by *you*, were beaten and after so many Indian soldiers simply discarded their weapons and fled the field, it was American power that rescued your country from paralysis and crushing defeat in the early days of WWII.

    Good thing America had the power and ships then, huh?

    America delivered by sea the materials and parts that made your country’s largest indigenous car maker possible.

    Good thing America had the power and the ships then, huh?

    America, though not perfect or always right, did not forsake India even when India was manufacturing so many of the MiG’s used by our arch-rival, the C.C.C.P.; rather America continued to use its powerful ships to supply food, medicine, raw materials, etc. Please tell me, What are the Hindi words for “Thank you”?

    America still sends powerful ships to your Home, even now. It’s the best way to deliver the millions of tons of Type 2 and Type 4 cement being used to control the flooding of the Ganges and Bramaputra Rivers that annually kill so many of your countrymen.

    Good thing America has the power, humanity and ships to do that now, huh?

    So, my Internet eFriend, if you see powerful American ships in your Country’s ports, don’t be alarmed, as they have so often in the past, they are bringing your Country something good.

  4. JMJ

    As much as some of the comments here make we want to give a modern-history lecture, I will try REALLY hard to resist and simply state that power in the hands of the United States of America is safer than in any other nation’s hands in history!

    Yes, the United States has been wrong in some of its foreign policy positions but far, far more often it has been right. EVERYONE commenting here owes the United States of America a HUGE debt of gratititude. I don’t care whether you are Russian, Indian, Chinese, African, German, French, Italian, etc., etc.

    The U.S.A. saved the World t-w-i-c-e between 1917 and 1945 from tyrannical abuse of the sort of power pictured above. Despite a fundamental difference of policy, from 1941 until the end of WWII, the U.S.A. supplied Russia with food, arms and supplies to fend off Nazi aggression. If they had not, Russia (Stalingrad, Murmansk, Moscow, for example) would have suffered even more than they did. As would have most of the rest of the world.

    Just ask the Australians.

    China would have been conquered by the Japanese which, throughout history, lusted to “straddle the Dragon”. The U.S.A. A-L-O-N-E had the power and will to help the Chinese resist a then irresistible force. If it weren’t for the U.S.A. and its power, China might today be Japanese… to its everlasting horror. Need proof? Bing/Google “Nanking”. In the alternative, China may have been a colony of the Soviet Union following WWII if American power had not forestalled the ambitions of Josef Stalin.

    India? Look up “Mahindra & Mahindra” + “Willy’s Overland” and how their relationship to each other shows how America’s power helped save THAT part of the World. While you’re at it, look up “Burma Road” for further illustration of how American power helped that part of our Planet.

    Europe? Who commenting here lives in a country that did 1/1,000th of what America did to rescue it from the folly of its own making? America saved Europe and then fed Europe and then helped rebuild Europe after Europe failed to take care of itself!

    South Korea? I won’t even bother.

    Yes, Vietnam demonstrates how sometimes power can be misused but examples like that are rare in the history of the United States. And, only America had the power to make America correct that horrible mistake. And, the American people did!

    The people commenting here can directly trace their ability to opine openly and without fear to the application of American power in the democratization of the World. Hell! Even all the oh-so-cool l33ts MUST remember that America INVENTED the Internet, dammit!

    Name one other country that has done more –or as much– to move this e-n-t-i-r-e Planet to a more egalitarian, humanitarian position than has the United State of America.

    So look at the pretty, powerful ships and thank whatever gods you pray to that they are possessed by the free-est, most self-constrained, most ethnically diverse and most powerful Nation the Earth has even known!

  5. lancer

    What I don’t understand is why so many people around the world seem to forget all the food aid the US has provided to their nations during times of famine. I recall when India was suffering badly and the US (and other nations) sent massive amounts of food aid to India. I also recall reading that something like 50% was lost on the docks due to rodent infestations. I wonder how much food aid the US has sent, not just the Government but also through charites? Why do people forget or maybe not even know about these things?

  6. JonE

    @riya: You are absolutley correct; the ships in these photos were not designed for offensive use. They do not roam the oceans of the world looking to to wipe out human life. These ships were designed as defensive weapons and not only for the defense of the United States, but to promote the peace of the world. These ships are manned with personnel who all have families. Many are married with Wive’s, Husband’s, and Children and all have Father’s, Mother’s, Brother’s, Sister’s, Grandmother’s, Grandfather’s and other family members and friends; and while they all take orders from people in higher positions than themselves they, from the highest ranking to the lowest rank, would be hard pressed to take offensive action against any people without just cause.

    And I also agree with you about arrogant, stupid politicians; to a degree. Many wars have been started and much innocent life lost because of the decisions of arrogant, stupid, and power hungry politicians. But, at the same time, many wars have also been started by arrogant, stupid, ignorant, and power hungry citizens of one country against other countries because they feel like their way of life is better than the way of life of other countries and instead of finding a way to live in peace they’d rather wipe out those that disagree with them; unfortunate.

    And I’m wondering where you got the idea that the U.S. Army (almost) came to wipe out India? Where did you hear that? I was in the U.S. military during the Bangladesh Liberation War and I do remember that time period. We were involved up to our eye balls in the Vietnam Conflict during that time. It would have been difficult for the U.S. to deploy troops to that region, during that time period and I don’t ever remember hearing that anything like that was ever considered. The U.S. did deploy one Naval Nimitz class Aircraft Carrier to the Bay of Bengal; it arrived on 11 December 1971, days before the end of hostilities, as I remember. I believe the Indian government viewed this as a Nuclear threat; I sincerely doubt that. And if you look at the politics of the time I believe you will come to understand that this was nothing more than a show of force, but certainly not against India, but the USSR. And show of force might be a bit stronger language that what the purpose of the U.S. was; we just needed to keep track of what our good friends from the USSR were doing or going to do.

    What is not commonly known is that the USSR deployed ships to the area, on two seperate occasions, which were armed with Nuclear missles. If there was a Nuclear threat in your part of the world it was most certainly on the part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic. I’ve never been able to figure out how you can use the words Socialist and Republic together. Of course the main mission of these Soviet ships was to baby sit the U.S. Naval Aircraft Carrier. And I believe that both the U.S. and Soviets maintained a presence in the area till the first week in 1972.

    Admittedly the U.S. supported the Pakistan effort, but I’ve never been able to find any evidence that the U.S. ever considered getting actively involved in any way. Our only interest in that area of the world was keeping an eye on the USSR and what they might do.

    I don’t know where you got the impression that the U.S. Army would come to India to wipe it out. It’s been forty years since then and I don’t know any American that has ever had an aggressive thought against India.

  7. K Lewis

    Years ago I was fortunate enough to have a brother-in-law in the Navy at Norfolk. He was a diesel mechanic on a tug. When we visited, we were able to board the tug, take a tour and then push a ship into port. It was amazing. There was also an aircraft carrier docked beside us. I had no idea the massive size of those ships. It was something truly to be proud of. Just compare the vehicles or the buildings to the size of those ships. I still get chills whenever I look at these photos. God bless the USA!

  8. riya

    These pics are awesome.. but I really don’t like to think they are actually out there waiting to wipe out any country along with the many innocent lives! What if our arrogant stupid politicians goes into war with each other… and then we have to lose our lives, thanks to their dirty politics! There was a time when the us army almost came to wipe out India during the Bangladesh liberation war. I hope those bullies never come to India, especialy with those monster ships.

  9. JonE

    Military power is something I know a little bit about. Awesome, yes. But, what is scary to me is to see this much of our naval power in the same place at the same time. I would think that we learned a lesson 70+ years ago at Pearl Harbor. To be sure it would be difficult, if not impossible, to attack our military power, anywhere in the world, in the same manner as it was at Pearl Harbor. But, with current technology, and many enemies that would love to see us wiped off the face of earth there are a host of different ways to effectively attack American resources with much more devastating, as well as effective results as there were in Pearl Harbor, not to mention in the blink of an eye with little or no warning, at all. Although I refuse to believe we’ve become complacent or over confident with our technology, and I’m sure someone is minding the store, photos like this make me wonder.

    Despite the undeniable technology that exists today the most amazing, awesome photos I’ve ever seen of naval power are those of the Allied D-Day Armada and those of the Allied Naval Armada that destroyed the Japanese Fleet toward the end of WWII.

    Imagine for a moment that you are a German Soldier on the Normandy coast in June of 1944; you look up and glance out across the English Channel where you’ve looked out a hundred times before and seen nothing before except miles and miles of open, empty ocean, but this time when you glance up all you can see from horizon to horizon is ships; great big ships as far as the eye can see. This had to be one of the most incredible and intimidating sights of the war. What are you thinking? Only one thing comes to my mind; Fear! Paralyzing fear, and then the bombardment starts and you know what’s coming next.