April 18, 2022

Moskva's Last Patrol

A Journalist on Twitter, Sotiri Dimpinoudis posted these pics last night and they are making the rounds today.

We still don't know a lot, but there are reports that the Cruiser was hit by two Neptune missiles. Damage control/Damage assessment are not my forte' but the pics look consistent with those reports. I've seen people protest that there are no obvious blast holes like was apparent on  U.S.S. Stark when hit by an Iraqi exocet.  Moskva was a very substantial vessel, MUCH larger than a frigates and the missiles are small things. Also note this footage of HMS Sheffield before she sank due to another exocet hit. 

HMS Sheffield was a smaller ship than Stark yet there is not the same spectacular obvious blast damage. There is certainly damage but its much closer to what we see on Moskva. Note too that in the case of both Stark and Sheffield the most serious damage was caused by the fire started by the rocket motor. 

I don't have any idea what happened and am not technically qualified to speculate on damage control matters, but I don't think it is wise to dismiss the Ukrainian claims of a hit with their new missiles out of hand. 

I suggest you go read this rather sober piece by Cdr Salamander  who notes that the life-rafts on Moskva did deploy.  He also notes the difficulties that a ship faces in range of enemy missiles. The Russians have not covered themselves in glory during this abominable campaign, but it is foolish to assume that every setback they face is a result of incompetence. The Moskva was old but VERY well equipped and as flagship she would have had a crackerjack crew. We would do well to draw lessons from her loss rather than engage in mockery. 

We should save the mockery for those in our educated class who despite layers of fact-checker posted this picture claiming it represented the incident being discussed. 

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 07:47 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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1 The examples of USS STARK and HMS Sheffield is pertinent because each has an element in their incident that could have gone into Moskva's loss.
STARK had, by all accounts, a competent crew but a lack of attention at a critical point and the lack of promptness in servicing equipment resulted in the frigate getting nailed by Exocet missiles.  While the crew loss was horrible, the STARK lucked-out because she avoided a a true 'kill shot' hit.

HMS Sheffield, on the other hand, had a competent crew and was materially prepared for war, but a lack of attention (Made worse by past alerts of attacks that failed to materialize.) resulting in a blase attitude toward the danger, and equipment interference allowed a successful Exocet attack.  Despite that, it still required an enormous amount (Or lack of.) luck for the damage to be as severe as it was - IIRC, one Brit poster on the old sci.military.naval USENET group quipped that the hit was a classic Golden BB shot, because you could not have placed the warhead any better even if you did it by hand.

Right now, we still do not know enough from the Moskva to draw anything other than a few basic conclusions.  Her loss might have matched the case of the STARK, the case of the Sheffield, a mix of the two, or something entirely different.  We do not know enough at this time and even what is probably true is still in dispute.  One of the few things that can be confidently predicted is that Moskva will not be the last ship lost in the war, and that Moskva might not be the worse loss at sea in the war.

Posted by: cxt217 at Mon Apr 18 19:39:45 2022 (MuaLM)

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