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Old 03-15-2019, 12:58 PM
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Why a lack of modern military museum ships in other countries?


According to this website. in the entire world there's only 14 museum ships in the entire world outside of the United States of ships produced past 1900. The United Kingdom only has 3, Greece has 2, France has 1 (formerly 2, they scrapped a cruiser in 2007), Canada and Australia have 1 each, and the rest of the countries only seem to have 1 each.

While I understand they're expensive to upkeep, the fact "rich" countries like France only had 2 but then let one get scrapped due to budget cuts seems awfully dumb. If the United States can somehow support dozens I don't see why the European governments can't put more money aside for more than one each.
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Old 03-15-2019, 01:39 PM
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It's probably not at the core of your question, but that's not a list of all modern ships which are museum ships. It's only a list of "all-guns" ships, an era which they describe as ending in about 1950. And it's not even all ships of that era, because I know of at least one WWII submarine which is now a museum ship, but which isn't on that list (apparently, using torpedoes means it's not "all-guns"). It may, in fact, be that most nations' museum ships are too modern to be on that list.
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Old 03-15-2019, 01:58 PM
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Agreed. For example, I know for fact there's a submarine just outside of Paris (from the 50s I think ? Pretty sure post WW2 - google break - yup, entered service in 56)
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Old 03-15-2019, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
It's probably not at the core of your question, but that's not a list of all modern ships which are museum ships. It's only a list of "all-guns" ships, an era which they describe as ending in about 1950.
Also, looking at the first list, of the 8 American "ships of the line," 7 were battleships from WWII -- which, alone, suggests something to me about *why* they were preserved, rather than being scrapped. It was a war in which the U.S. was triumphant, and about which there was likely a great deal of interest in preserving the ships, and their stories, after the war.

Also, it's interesting to note that almost all of the non-U.S. ships on that list are much, *much* older.

Last edited by kenobi 65; 03-15-2019 at 02:12 PM.
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Old 03-15-2019, 02:33 PM
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Well, after many wars most of the ships on the losing side were either sunk during the war, taken or scuttled. So, for example Germany wouldnt be expected to have many, and of course some nations went thru a "war is bad" phase, and got rid of anything that would remind them.

Even the IJN Mikasa would have been sunk or something during WW2, except it was encased in concrete and useless.
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Old 03-15-2019, 02:36 PM
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Also, looking at the first list, of the 8 American "ships of the line," 7 were battleships from WWII -- which, alone, suggests something to me about *why* they were preserved, rather than being scrapped. It was a war in which the U.S. was triumphant, and about which there was likely a great deal of interest in preserving the ships, and their stories, after the war.

Also, it's interesting to note that almost all of the non-U.S. ships on that list are much, *much* older.
Yes, the USA fought a pair of wars in WWII where the navy was a major participant - particularly the Pacific war. Not too many other countries fought - and won - major naval efforts in the last century, they were mostly land wars. The WWI participants probably didn't want to keep and memorialize their giant dreadnoughts which in the end were mainly giant duds in the overall war.

So if you look at the following lists on the website, the other countries are far better represented. And that does not include submarines, of which I visited 2 in the USA alone.

Last edited by md2000; 03-15-2019 at 02:37 PM.
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Old 03-15-2019, 02:41 PM
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According to this website...
It does not contain USS Pueblo at the Pyongyang Victorious War Museum/Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum (though Pueblo is not a 'major warship from the "all gun" era'.)
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Old 03-15-2019, 02:51 PM
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I think the US is unique in having a very pro-military culture AND having a very short history. Which is why we ended up with a lot of modern war equipment on display.

When I think of famous warships on display, the first three that come to mind are the Vasa, Mary Rose and HMS Victory. These are older than the US itself.

The USA is also a huge country with a lot of land available, and everything spaced far apart. So the US has more of most things.

Last edited by scr4; 03-15-2019 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 03-15-2019, 03:04 PM
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In the US are any of those museums maintained by the government or are the all owned by private entities?

Now that I think about it are they even owned by the museums or do they just maintain them? I know the Intrepid has its own foundation that runs the museum but Iím not sure if the DoD maintains any kind of hold on it.
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Old 03-15-2019, 03:13 PM
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Also note that all but 2 of the US battleships that are currently museums are located in the state they were named after. So there's got to be a bit of state pride involved there as well.

The 2 exceptions are the Missouri & the Wisconsin, landlocked states. And they're located in/near 2 of the most well known naval bases in the world as well.
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Old 03-15-2019, 03:58 PM
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Managing ships of this kind and staying solvent has proved difficult, and too many trusts or charities have tried it and gone broke, leaving a rusting hulk which is clocking up moorage fees weekly (think of the USS Cabot) . Even the HMS Belfast Trust couldn't do it and remain solvent, which was why the IWM ended up taking it on.
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Old 03-15-2019, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Asuka View Post
According to this website. in the entire world there's only 14 museum ships in the entire world outside of the United States of ships produced past 1900. The United Kingdom only has 3, Greece has 2, France has 1 (formerly 2, they scrapped a cruiser in 2007), Canada and Australia have 1 each, and the rest of the countries only seem to have 1 each.
I can already tell you they're not counting ships which are part of places such as the Dunkirk Naval Museum, which includes several post-1900 ships.
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Last edited by Nava; 03-15-2019 at 04:10 PM.
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Old 03-15-2019, 10:26 PM
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Why does the OP assume that it's a good thing to have old warships as museums?
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Old 03-15-2019, 10:44 PM
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Even the IJN Mikasa would have been sunk or something during WW2, except it was encased in concrete and useless.
I believe it was Nimitz, a big history buff, who was instrumental in saving Mikasa during the occupation or just after.
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Old 03-15-2019, 10:47 PM
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In the US are any of those museums maintained by the government or are the all owned by private entities?

Now that I think about it are they even owned by the museums or do they just maintain them? I know the Intrepid has its own foundation that runs the museum but Iím not sure if the DoD maintains any kind of hold on it.
Intrepid is also located in the city which is the center of world finance and gets a lot of foreign visitors, for whom itís part of the must see (myself on multiple occasions for instance), when visiting NYC.
So a bit of a unique situation.
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Old 03-16-2019, 02:20 AM
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Why does the OP assume that it's a good thing to have old warships as museums?
Says the Canadian who only has one warship preserved.

But as a matter of fact I think its a good thing because it's a unique piece of history we will probably never see built again due to how fast naval technology changes. We have all sorts of historical sites, why not a warship? Also why scrap them when you can at least use them to attract tourists.
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Old 03-16-2019, 02:24 AM
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In the US are any of those museums maintained by the government or are the all owned by private entities?

Now that I think about it are they even owned by the museums or do they just maintain them? I know the Intrepid has its own foundation that runs the museum but Iím not sure if the DoD maintains any kind of hold on it.
I believe most are operated by private entities. During government shutdowns while Pearl Harbor Memorial Park is closed the USS Missouri stays open due to it being privately funded. I've also seen the same said for the USS Iowa and USS Midway.

I think the only ones funded by the government are the ones still under active commission such as the USS Constitution and USS Little Rock.
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Old 03-16-2019, 03:17 AM
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I believe it was Nimitz, a big history buff, who was instrumental in saving Mikasa during the occupation or just after.
See https://news.google.com/newspapers?i...&pg=4000,36941

After WWII, the people in power in Japan needed to know that waging war for imperialist purposes was absolutely wrong. They needed to know that they had to completely abandon the militaristic society which lead to the war.

The US had absolutely no desire to allow Japan to glorify the war.
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Nagato was far too old to serve usefully in the United States Navy, which had a surplus of aging battleships. The United States wanted to ensure, however, that the ship would not become a focus for revanchist Japanese nationalism in the future. Like many ships seized from Germany and Japan, along with a fair portion of the older cohort of USN ships, Nagato would meet her end at the Bikini atom bomb tests. The USN used the Bikini tests to understand the impact of atomic weapon strikes on fleet concentrations. The Navy used a variety of older capital ships and support vessels, including battleships, carriers, cruisers, and smaller ships. Many of the ships allocated to the tests survived, often for later use as targets for more conventional explosives. Nagato did not.
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Old 03-16-2019, 01:08 PM
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I think the OP may have it wrong, since there are definitely more than 3 former warships preserved from the Royal Navy.

HMS Victory
HMS Caroline
HMS Holland 1
HMS Warrior
HMS M.3 (monitor)
HMS Gannet
HMS Cavalier
HMS Alliance
HMS Belfast
HMS Ocelot
HMS X24
HMS Courageous
HMS Wellington
HMS Unicorn
HMS Trincomalee
HMS President
HM Coastal motor boat No4

Added to this are the Mary Rose which is possibly one of the most noteworthy archeological maritime preservation in the world along with many bits and pieces of other vessels such as HMS Namur

There are others whose future has yet to be decided, and all this along with the UKs National Historic Fleet with around 1000 vessels, and a number of tall ships that take on various well publicised events.
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Old 03-16-2019, 01:47 PM
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Why does the OP assume that it's a good thing to have old warships as museums?
Why do we save old tombs, battlegrounds and monuments? Why not turn Montecito into condos?

You need to see how the sailors lived and fought.
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Old 03-16-2019, 03:14 PM
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I reckon one reason why US has quite a few is simply business - they generate enough revenue to make it worthwhile.

Think of the number of veterans who have served, along with their families, and all those who have ancestors who served - that must be a pretty big number and that's aside from ordinary tourists.
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Old 03-16-2019, 03:29 PM
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In Stockholm, instead of a museum in a ship they have a ship in a museum. The whole ship.
Vasa Museum. Does that count?
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Old 03-16-2019, 04:04 PM
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It's probably not at the core of your question, but that's not a list of all modern ships which are museum ships. It's only a list of "all-guns" ships, an era which they describe as ending in about 1950. And it's not even all ships of that era, because I know of at least one WWII submarine which is now a museum ship, but which isn't on that list (apparently, using torpedoes means it's not "all-guns"). It may, in fact, be that most nations' museum ships are too modern to be on that list.
The list also skips ships like the USS Midway, which is an amazing museum.
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Old 03-16-2019, 06:20 PM
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Says the Canadian who only has one warship preserved.
At least two. I did not see the HMCS Sackville on the list, and I very much was aboard her not that long ago.
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Old 03-16-2019, 10:33 PM
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The three number is wrong for the UK. I can think of four off the top of my head:

HMS Belfast
HMS Victory
SS Great Britain
Cutty Sark
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Old Yesterday, 02:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asuka
Why a lack of modern military museum ships in other countries?

According to this website. in the entire world there's only 14 museum ships in the entire world outside of the United States of ships produced past 1900. The United Kingdom only has 3...
Quote:
Originally Posted by casdave
I think the OP may have it wrong, since there are definitely more than 3 former warships preserved from the Royal Navy.

HMS Victory
HMS Caroline
HMS Holland 1
HMS Warrior
HMS M.3 (monitor)
HMS Gannet
HMS Cavalier
HMS Alliance
HMS Belfast
HMS Ocelot
HMS X24
HMS Courageous
HMS Wellington
HMS Unicorn
HMS Trincomalee
HMS President
HM Coastal motor boat No4

Added to this are the Mary Rose which is possibly one of the most noteworthy archeological maritime preservation in the world along with many bits and pieces of other vessels such as HMS Namur

There are others whose future has yet to be decided, and all this along with the UKs National Historic Fleet with around 1000 vessels, and a number of tall ships that take on various well publicised events.
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Originally Posted by griffin1977
The three number is wrong for the UK. I can think of four off the top of my head:

HMS Belfast
HMS Victory
SS Great Britain
Cutty Sark
Some of you haven't read the OP carefully enough. Also, SS Great Britain and the Cutty Sark were never military ships. One might even argue that one reason why the UK doesn't make more of an effort to preserve modern warships is that it prefers to preserve older ships, including non-military ones.

But the real answer to the OP is that the USA is very obviously the outlier whose tradition is the one that requires explanation.
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Old Yesterday, 04:26 AM
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Originally Posted by griffin1977 View Post
The three number is wrong for the UK. I can think of four off the top of my head:

HMS Belfast
HMS Victory
SS Great Britain
Cutty Sark
Belfast qualifies, but Victory is 18th century and the other two were commercial not war ships.

Last edited by bob++; Yesterday at 04:27 AM.
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Old Yesterday, 04:56 AM
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At least two. I did not see the HMCS Sackville on the list, and I very much was aboard her not that long ago.
I've been aboard her too. In Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The OP's link is a little out-of-date, as HMCS Haida is, to the best of my knowledge, now in Hamilton, Ontario, not Toronto; and is still a museum ship. I visited Haida a few times, when she was in Toronto.

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Old Yesterday, 05:35 AM
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All of our own Belgian museum-ships are non-military AFAIK, but there's a Soviet submarine you can visit in Zeebrugge.
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Old Yesterday, 06:52 AM
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Also note that all but 2 of the US battleships that are currently museums are located in the state they were named after. So there's got to be a bit of state pride involved there as well.

The 2 exceptions are the Missouri & the Wisconsin, landlocked states. And they're located in/near 2 of the most well known naval bases in the world as well.
I wouldn't call Wisconsin landlocked -- it is two of the Great Lakes, and there are still (smaller) navy ships produced in the state. The USS Cobia is a museum submarine in Manitowoc. Hypothetically the Wisconsin could be disassembled an placed on a lake. (It's too big to fit though the various locks/canals)

Bothe Wisconsin and Missouri are on the Mississippi, but the navigation channel is only 12 feet deep and the battleships have a draft of > 34 feet so that is even a more difficult challenge.

Brian
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Old Yesterday, 09:45 AM
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Here is Wikipedia's much more comprehensive list of museum ships. It can be sorted by launch date which will let you easily get to the era you consider modern. Not all are warships or even ships (c'mon, a lifeboat?) but OTOH no replicas are included, none of which were warships anyway.
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Old Yesterday, 10:19 AM
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In the UK. those are modern, just US perspective is a little different, old to you is new to us - hence the New Forest
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Old Yesterday, 11:56 AM
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Says the Canadian who only has one warship preserved.
But it's not only one. There are many; Haida, Sackville, Acadia, Ojibwa, and probably more. The OP is just wrong.
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Old Yesterday, 03:27 PM
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I checked the French article about the Colbert (the French ship that was dismantled). Apparently, it was only kept temporarily as a museum ship for about 15 years, and it wasn't really envisioned to keep it permanently. Apparently, it requires a lot of maintenance, that costs a lot (they mention half a million euros just to repaint it), nobody was willing to pay for it (and in particular not the permanently money-starved French navy), and it seems that ecologists wanted it gone (I think because of potentially toxic materials in the hull, it's not clearly explained). Even people living around where it was moored demanded vehemently to get rid of it, it was an issue of interest during the local elections (again, the article doesn't explain why).

They aren't kept because they're too modern, so nobody is interested in preserving them. Of course, two centuries down the road, people would be amazed to visit such antiquities, but few people think that much ahead. That's a problem for everything, not just for ships, like for instance relatively recent architecture. People don't see it as historic and romantic, just old and ugly, so it's an uphill battle to preserve a remarkable example of, say, 1950 housing building or 1900 factory. To give another example, while people clamor for the restoration of even the less remarkable but still lovingly preserved medieval ruined wall, renaissance battlement or Vauban-era fortress, not a single Maginot line fort was, even though they were exceptional examples of 20th century military engineering.


So, IMO, the surprising thing is that the USA keep such ships, not that other countries don't.
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Old Yesterday, 03:53 PM
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So, IMO, the surprising thing is that the USA keep such ships, not that other countries don't.
Well, they can't keep the ships they sent to Lepanto...
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Old Yesterday, 04:09 PM
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Well, they can't keep the ships they sent to Lepanto...
Indeed, but you didn't keep those, either.
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Old Yesterday, 04:39 PM
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According to this website. in the entire world there's only 14 museum ships in the entire world outside of the United States of ships produced past 1900. The United Kingdom only has 3, Greece has 2, France has 1 (formerly 2, they scrapped a cruiser in 2007), Canada and Australia have 1 each, and the rest of the countries only seem to have 1 each.
.
Others have quibbled with the specific numbers, but the thing that's much more common in the US than most other places is WWII era warships maintained as permanent exhibits. Pre and post WWII warship exhibits are much less common everywhere including the US. The only non-WWII US warships of significant size maintained as memorials are USS Constitution (the 1790's frigate which is technically still an active USN ship), the 1854 sailing sloop Constellation (which used to be presented as the 1790's frigate Constellation, technically the new ship was a 'rebuild' of the old but almost entirely different), the 1890's cruiser Olympia and the WWI era battleship Texas, though that ship also served in WWII. The Coast Guard cutter Taney dates from the 1930's and might or not be considered WWII era. That contingent is vastly outnumbered by ships built or at least started during WWII, and the contingent of definitively post WWII museum ships in the US is also much smaller.

Not only is the attitude toward WWII naval power different in the US (it's part of a longer history in Britain, the French and Soviet navies were comparatively less active in WWII, Germany and Japan lost nearly all* their WWII warships, etc), I think the degree of support for all those monuments is going to decline in the US as time goes on. It isn't just that the US won WWII. It also won the Spanish War of 1898, Olympia is the only ship of its type left in the world (a steel 'protected cruiser'), but the organization which runs it has been fighting a basically losing battle to maintain it. WWII ship memorials are more popular IMO in large part because relatives whom living people remember (or even are still alive) served on them or similar ships. Once that isn't true, there will be too many to support I suspect.

*U-995 is maintained on land at the Laboe monument in Kiel, Germany but Japan is completely devoid of real (rather than simulated) WWII warship memorials.
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Old Today, 09:25 AM
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Texas is the last surviving Dreadnaugt BB but is deteriorating badly. There's been talk of putting her in a dry berth, as has been done for Mikasa, for thirty years, but it has not happened yet.
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