Sunday, October 30, 2005

F-16s Fail to Sink Ship? Is anything indicated by this?

Sun Bin remarked on another post:

failed F-16 missions over a defenseless cargo ship.

Your fiction/fantasy's ending is probably more likely than MZT's.

This refers to this event here:

Three weeks after a South Korean freighter carrying more than 2,000 tonnes of benzene capsized off Taoyuan County, the government on Thursday tried to demolish the ship with bombs and missiles.

Although two separate bombing runs failed to sink the ship, the Ministry of National Defense declared the mission a success.

Admitting that it was "embarassing" that the initial effort by two F-16s to bomb and sink the ship failed, Minister of National Defense Lee Jye (李傑) yesterday said the ministry would engage in introspection about the mission.

This sounds like it might confirm my thoughts about the competence of Taiwanese forces, but reality is more complex. The fact is that it is not uncommon for even completely stricken and helpless ships to be difficult to sink:

"At 1851 the planes from Isuzu and Maya noted Mustin and Anderson cudgeling Hornet with their 5-inch guns to speed her demise. Flames gnawed Hornet's soggy hull from stem to stern, but despite seven bombs, two aircraft crashes, three Japanese and nine American torpedoes, and now over 300 5-inch shells, she refused to succumb."*

I don't think we can conclude much from this isolated incident.

*From Frank, Guadalcanal, p398


Sun Bin said...

hehe...i was kidding:)

Michael Turton said...

Well, actually, I thought that it was something people might think -- they can't sink the ship so they must be incompetent. But ships can be hard to sink.