The final battle in Battleship (2012) brings the WWII battleship "Missouri" hilariously into play against the alien mothership. They wave away the fact that the boat is operational and fueled with a comment about "enough fuel for a maintenance run," but where do the shells come from? They go into battle with dozens of explosive shells, and we're told that some of these, at least, weigh 1000lbs each. Were they just being stored on a decommissioned naval vessel being used as a museum and tourist trap? Or was there some explanation within the movie that I missed?

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    I'm pretty sure this is one of those conundrums we have to live with while watching shows. Take the movie for what it is ... that being "entertainment". I'm pretty sure they would not be storing live ammunition or even an amount of fuel on board. They would tie the boat to shore using external power sources (big thick cables) to keep it "alive". We need to keep fiction and reality separate. Just one of those things. Sep 16, 2014 at 15:55
  • Call me stupid or unattentive, but I don't even notice such things at all, and I'm extremely glad for that.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Sep 16, 2014 at 16:10
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    My wife warns me she will shoot me if I start pointing out things like this while we are watching a movie. I agree, I totally enjoyed this movie. Like I said, I have to let things like this slide and understand I'm watching it for the entertainment factor. If I wanted complete accuracy, I wouldn't be watching Sci-Fi in the first place. Sep 16, 2014 at 17:50
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    @BrettFromLA To be clear I think this movie is immensely enjoyable; the cartoonish stupidity is part of the charm. I was just wondering if they bothered explaining why the ship was battle-ready at some point I missed, or if they just decided to run with it. Sep 16, 2014 at 20:39
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    @MichaelStern Thanks for the clarification! As for the live availability of ammunition for the decommissioned ship, I'm pretty sure they just decided to run with it. LOL! Sep 16, 2014 at 22:44

2 Answers 2


I think there is a federal law about keeping two Iowa class battleships, maintained and ready, in case they are needed .. i dont know if that includes them being armed, or not. Tim


As far as I remember, visiting the Battleship New Jersey, there was plenty of ammunition lying around -- I mean the shells were there. I think they were AP shells, in that they were generally big lumps of metal, so, there was nothing that would or could explode -- hence, why there were a large bunch of them sitting around.

In theory in the movie the shells could have been sitting around the grounds, doing nothing but waiting to be used in the display around the ship.

The only factor I would see is where did they get the gun powder?? That's the tricky bit, I see.

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