As most of you know, I am a great history buff, particularly military and political history. When I wrote Bob Feller: Ace of the Greatest Generation, my favorite chapter to write was the chapter about his war service aboard the USS Alabama. In a different fluctuation of the universe, I write history books and not baseball books.
Despite spending my entire life as a landlubber in the Midwest, I've always had a fascination with ships and love of naval history. Poking around Youtube, I've found a couple of old newsreel videos that might be of interest to any of you with similar likings. First, here is a clip about the scrapping of USS Enterprise, CV-6, the most famous ship of the Second World War. This ship was as historically important as Constitution or Victory, and one of my biggest pet peeves (which I've mentioned before) is the fact that no way was found to preserve her.
Secondly, here is newsreel footage of the sinking of HMS Barham, torpedoed and sunk by a German U-boat in the Mediterranean in 1941. This explosion often shows up in stock footage of the war, often used to represent other ships blowing up, but this puts the event in context. Barham was one of the five ships of the Queen Elizabeth class, built at the beginning of the First World War and for a time the most powerful battleships on Earth. Three of the class (QE, Valiant, and Warspite) were reconstructed for service in the Second World War and were still quite effective, but there wasn't sufficient time to rebuild Malaya and Barham and this obsolescence may have helped doom the later.