Save the Battlewagons
During the 1981-1988 Iran-Iraq War, the Ayatollahs running Tehran decided that the best way to influence the outcome of the conflict was to attack western oil tankers transiting the Persian Gulf — through which passes 20 percent of the world’s oil. The U.S. responded by beefing up the 5th Fleet — and deploying the USS Iowa. The battleship’s captain, Larry Sequist described the effectiveness of the 45,000-ton armored behemoth: “When we would sail the Iowa down the Strait of Hormuz, all southern Iran would go quiet. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards were steaming around in boats with rockets, shooting at ships. When we arrived, all of that stuff stopped.”
I’d be willing to ditch the dreadnoughts if we had a different shore bombardment platform available. How about a four-ship class of monitors with two or three 8″ guns? I’d almost be willing to go with a ship armed with the Advanced Gun Systems (AGS) of the DD(X)s as long as it was decently armored and carried enough ammunition.
As I’ve said many times, I’m not proposing that we go and reactivate the BBs, though I wouldn’t be all that opposed to getting at least one of them processing so that it would be available for any Iran situations that may arise. But to get rid of these permanently without any replacement ever coming and even the first DD-1000 ships six years off is really asking for trouble.