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Concrete Battleship


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After the U.S. defeated Spain in the Spanish-American War and took the Phillipines it was decided Manilla Bay need better defenses.  So just a few miles south of Correigidor a concrete battlehip was constructed in the harbor.  It was made out of reinforced concrete 36 feet thick and had two heavily reinforced battlehsip guns installed.  It was captured by the Japanense and in a quirk of fate the final crew were survivors of the sunken super battlehip Mushashi.  When the U.S. landed on top of the battleship in 1945 it was decided there was no way to get to the Japanese hidden deep in the interior.  So 3,000 gallons of diesel and some TNT tossed down the ventilator shafts did the job.  The fire took two weeks to go out and there were, obviously, no survivors.  It still sits in the harbor burned and abandoned.

 

 

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When I was stationed at a base in Nova Scotia back in the early 70's there was an Infantry Captain who was building a sailboat out of Cement.  At first, we all thought he was crazier than a sage hen and wondered if maybe his security clearance should be lifted.  Then we found out they are real.  A couple of years later I was stationed at a base in Saskatchewan and an officer there said he was building a house with a wood basement. We almost choked on our drinks when he said that, then we all laughed.  Jumping ahead to my retirement year,  I took a night course on house building, which included design and sequence of events etc.  they mentioned wood basements, so I took a seminar on wood basements and was sold on the idea.  We now have a wood basement and 35 years later, never a problem.  Wood basements give you more square footage than concrete and a higher R factor.

I still can't get my head around sailing on a concrete boat.

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Back in the 70's my father in law built a concrete hull sailboat in his back yard. The hull used #3 rebar and wire mesh then sprayed on concrete. About 1 1/4" thick. He launched it to finish in the water. But like most of his projects he never finished it. He sold it and the new owner did. It did well in the ocean.

My cousin was a General Contractor in NW Iowa. Mostly residential. He built all of his basements using wood framing and plywood. I thought he was crazy. But its a proven thing.

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Marine cement, known widely as "ferrocement", has been used in boat building since the mid-1800s.  Often the material of choice for backyard builders, ferro boats run the gamut from crude DIY projects to very sophisticated, highly engineered vessels.  

 

LL

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Ft. Drum remained in action and effective until the fall of Corregidor and surrendered to the Japanese mostly because of Wainwright's surrender agreement and partly because of lack of long term food supplies.

 

The other defenses of Manila Bay included Ft. Mills on Corregidor Island, Ft Hughes on Caballo Island and Fort Frank on Carabao Island.

 

Subic Bay was defended by Fort Wint on Grande Island

 

Some of the fortifications, especially Ft. Drum and the sites on Corregidor can can be seen on Google Earth or other similar sites.

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A number of cement landing craft were built by our Navy up in the Great Lakes.  Built and sunk (to allow the cement to "cure) then  floated and towed to other shipyards to be outfitted and put into service.  I have been told that they were mostly landing craft but I never bothered to look it ll up.

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Posted (edited)

Totally unsinkable 

Edited by Utah Bob #35998
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