Friday, November 28, 2014
As I have frequently commented in this blog, a number of Malaysian netizens apparently want to chip their opinions about Malaysian military. I don't mind critical comments, as long as they are substantiative, preferably with good references. What I am about to comment has probably been written several years ago, but resurfaced again in a local online forum. As I grew older (and hopefully wiser) I can at least listen to opposite views, but this one really cracked me up. In general, the gentleman alleged that military spending in Malaysia is dictated by 'ministers with more money than sense'. Hence (paraphrased):
"Purchase of a warship which (he) will not name. While making the purchase, a minister wanted a canon (sic) with a large caliber added to the ship. Despite advice from the manufacturer and reports by our own (military) people....because of higher cost and ship not being able to absorb the recoil, the minister went ahead. Now we have a ship that can only fire in the forward direction only. If tried broadside, the recoil would endanger the ship structurally and might cause it to capsize"
As far as I can remember, the largest gun fitted to TLDM ships was the 4.5" (114-mm) on board KD Rahmat. The rest of the fleet have guns between 40mm to 76mm and those hardly count as 'oversized' on FAC, corvettes and frigates of the TLDM. This is pure fiction by the writer. And I believe where all this mumbo-jumbo about 'structural failure' and 'capsizing when fired a broadside' came from: HMS Agincourt of World War I. Originally ex-Sultan Osman I, ex-Rio De Janeiro, the battleship was armed with fourteen 14" guns in seven turrets, at least two guns more than contemporary battleships. It was feared that the Agincourt might turn turtle if it fired the full broadside. Agincourt fought OR during the Battle Of Jutland and did fire a full broadside without any ill effect. The ship served the Royal Navy until scrapped in 1924. Apparently, the story was given a new life 100 years later but made more ridiculous by the fact that modern warships have smaller weaponry than their World War I ancestors.
"How about our MBT division? Never heard of it? Probably not. Another purchase from history (emphasis added). Malaysian bridges of the early 1990s not strong enough to support the weight of the tanks.Tanks would sink into the ground, ground too soft for heavy MBTs. Although the weight limitation was known, we still buy. Now we have impressive tanks but useless in the field"
Yes, I have never heard of it either in the 1990s, because it DID NOT EXIST! The PT-91s only entered service in 2005 and although I'm no civil engineer, I believe most bridges in Malaysia can support the weight of tanks, unless the writer talks about kampung bridges. Ground too soft? Have this guy ever heard of 'ground pressure footprint'? The Americans have also proved that tanks can operate in South East Asia.
"The submarine is also another bad move. Our waters is too shallow to adequately support submarine warfare. Subs not able to dive to safety. Not to mention two subs are not enough. You see awesome submarine, I see cheaper/faster patrol boat loaded with depth charges...submarine skipper know he and his crew are dead men because the water is too shallow and sub cannot dive to safety"
I agree that two subs are not enough. There rest are bull. The South China Sea, although relatively shallow, can still allow submarine operations, otherwise why should Vietnam, Singapore and Indonesia bothered to buy submarines? Not adequately supporting subs? Then why during WW2, Japanese submarine I-58 managed to relay contact report about Force Z without being detected? Or that many Japanese warships and merchant ships were sunk by US submarines in the same area? Depth charges? What's the use of them against a SURFACED submarine? Besides the submarine, even on the surface can shoot at the patrol boats long before the boats can drop their depth charges.
In short, this guy has no military knowledge whatsoever, and to lend credence to his story, he mentioned that he learnt all these from 'servicemen sharing their opinions' and 'coming from a military family' and 'not wanting to reveal their identity in order not to jeopardize their careers and pensions'. Yea, right. That old FOAF story again. Come on, if you want to be a 21st century hippie, at least come out with true, rather than made-up 'facts'.