PODA WEAPONS DEVOLUTION 11
I’m not a huge fan of naval warfare, study-wise. There was a very good reason I never seriously entertained notions of joining the Navy. His name is Jaws. On land, there is dangers aplenty, but they don’t include being burned, then nearly drowned, then eaten by sharks. I like my surfaces under my feet to remain steady except for the occasional earthquake. Of course, there isn’t a whole lot to learn, either. The navy that controls the oceans controls its trade, and that always brings more to a nation than what it costs to float the ships and run them. Unless that nation is broke and then it is game over even if it still looks like they control things. All I’ll say about that is that the US Navy is losing ships at the same time we need to control the seas to get the 60% of our daily oil use we need, which is imported, not only to function financially but to eat ( the other percentage is overland from Canada, or close enough offshore to be safe ). Naval power is economic power. In the near enough future ( after oil production constricts enough and it WILL contract much faster on the down side than the ascendant side as back then we were discovering new uses for oil whereas now it all depends on the substance ) navies will be unable to operate on a nation state scale due to all the same issues effecting other heavy weapons. Navies will cease as a global presence and float, if at all, as very scant shadows of their former selves.
More than likely, only sail will power future ships. And likely, the massive ship of war with row of cannon will no longer be viable. You still need naval power- if for nothing else defense- but ramming, boarding and high above the mast sniping should be the main weapons. And ships will just be a way of getting land soldiers to distant lands, just as the Vikings did. As with armies, navies will shrink and go back to muscle power conflict, with marginal aid from Mother Nature and chemistry. Most likely, envision offensive action as resembling modern piracy in the Caribbean ( insofar as full time sailing is concerned- divorced from the part time Viking transport type ). And the defense for that more of the same but with more manpower. If it exists. I can easily envision local port tax collectors to insist on their cut without actually offering to pay for protection to get there. If that is the case, then we revert to a free for all on the sea as pirates are mercenaries for other government entities ( Letter Of Marquee ) or just out for themselves and water transport protection becomes the private expense of ship captains and his financial backers ( which is most likely getting ahead of ourselves by a century or two- without a strong enough government on land to assure trade there, there is no surplus wealth to finance any ship expeditions ).
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