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About Murotsu

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  1. Murotsu

    Modern naval militias

    Probably not. The primary reason would be complexity. A crew operating on something like a Naval Reserve schedule simply couldn't maintain proficiency on many systems on a viable modern warship. That goes for sensors, most of the weapon systems, the control systems, and to a degree, the propulsion plant. You'd need people who were initially trained for months to take those sorts of systems and operate them. They'd need to have frequent proficiency drills on the equipment as well. It isn't like it was 75 years ago. Then, you needed a large crew who mostly had to master simple manual tasks to operate a ship. Only a relative handful of skilled technicians and equipment operators were needed. Take a 5" gun. 75 years ago, the crew would be 2 or 3 operators who knew how to aim and fire the gun. The tasks weren't overly complex but required some practice. The rest of the gun crew were guys humping rounds from the magazine to the breech and could learn the job in a matter of a couple of days. Today there's an operator in at a remote computerized console running such a gun. This requires considerably more skill to know how to use the console. It also requires technicians who can maintain the console, computer(s), sensors, and gun mount. All of these things require lots of training and some degree of practice on a regular basis to maintain proficiency. The second problem would be cost. The ship and the cost of its operation would be pretty serious money. Little gunboats or inshore craft are basically worthless come a serious naval war. They have very limited utility at most. So, this would be difficult to do. The US Navy Reserve is that way. They operate few ships today simply because of those two problems.
  2. Murotsu

    How Effective was Battlecruiser idea?

    For the Germans in 1935 or so, calling them Coast Defense Battleships would have been a genius move. It would give political cover to any real motives for the design while being entirely plausible based on their actual known characteristics (displacement, speed, armament, protection). What you miss is the clear combination of armament and protection that looks very much like other coast defense battleships. Yes, their speed and displacement are greater but they certainly are not battleships by any stretch of the imagination. Nor are they really cruisers. Cruisers are faster-- considerably faster. Cruisers don't have a split secondary battery of guns and AA guns like a Deutschland. A Deutschland's secondary battery is as heavy as some light cruisers main battery.
  3. Murotsu

    How Effective was Battlecruiser idea?

    If you look at coast defense battleships, they generally follow a pattern of having two main turrets with battleship sized guns in them. They may be a bit smaller than the biggest guns in use however. They always have a pretty serious secondary battery of guns around 6" (15 cm) in size. Their armor is usually inferior to that of actual battleships mostly due to displacement issues. They're not particularly fast. The Deutschland class fits that description very well. I'd say they were excellent examples of the category. As for shore batteries versus ships (of whatever size) I'd say that only the US had really credible coast defenses in this sense. The US put battleship sized guns, and no small number of them, at critical points. These were backed by numerous smaller batteries of guns and high angle mortars that threw battleship sized shells. Although US coast defenses were never tested (the Japanese avoided those of Manila Bay to the maximum extent they could), if you look at other nation's coast defenses, theirs are almost a joke compared to what the US was building. Take Manila Bay again. The US had 16 12" guns and 8 14" guns there along with 32 guns of 6" or larger and 20 12" mortars. That's a fleet's worth of heavy artillery. You don't waltz up to that with a couple of battleships and expect to take the defenses out.
  4. Murotsu

    How Effective was Battlecruiser idea?

    Essentially, a modern (for the time) version of a coast defense battleship. If you look at other ships dubbed "coast defense battleship" with the exception of range, they are quite similar for their date of manufacture to what the Deutschland class got for armament and armor. Previous coast defense battleships had two main gun turrets (variable number of guns), usually of a caliber close to what full size battleships carried. They usually had a fairly powerful secondary battery as well. Armor was usually a bit lighter than a full size battleship simply because the tonnage was limited. The Deutschland's fit that description quite well. They aren't really cruisers of some sort as they're too slow in that role. Cruisers almost universally could exceed 30 knots by the time the Deutschland's were built. Now, I know they were never used as coast defense battleships, but that is probably a role that would have suited them quite well.
  5. Murotsu

    How Effective was Battlecruiser idea?

    The Alaska class was not wanted by the USN, but rather continued into production because FDR, previously having been Secretary of the Navy, had a personal interest and kept the program going. It is interesting to note that the Captains of ships of this class were not happy with their commands in terms of technical merit. They found the ships had poor sea handling qualities, large turning circles (in good part to having just one rudder), an both awkward and difficult to use in fleet operations. They were never intended to be "battlecruisers" but simply larger versions of existing cruisers. That is, for all intents they were a scaled up Baltimore class cruiser with 12" guns. That made them expensive and really just overkill for the cruiser mission. Any other modern cruiser in service could match the AA, scouting, and escort capacity of an Alaska. The Alaska's were really white elephants. I think the proposal to turn the Hawaii (never completed) into a CCG (ie., large cruiser guided missile) was quashed in good part by the poor reviews of the ships actually built. Here's a cross section of the Alaska showing the armor and protective arrangements. Note how the torpedo defenses are very shallow and there is just a double bottom. That's in line with cruiser levels of protection. The deck armor, likewise, is set to cruiser levels of protection. A 9" belt is again scaled up cruiser armor, not something a battleship or even a battlecruiser would be expected to have by 1944.
  6. The French would have major problems right off. 1. They have no carrier or naval air force to cover their operations. Without that, they're doomed. Even if the IJN didn't have carriers, their land based air arm has nearly a 1,000 mile range out to sea including fighter escort, and knows how to take down surface ships. Even if we give them the never built Joffre, even both that were to be built, that's just 80 planes of which something like 20 would be fighters of dubious quality compared to the A6M. The Joffre's as designed are more akin to US CVL's, and on the small side. They aren't going to stand up to the Kido Butai. 2. Their air defense capacity per ship is execrable. French ships just don't have a lot of AA guns and those they do have are nothing to write home about. 3. Some of the ships they'd be using are pretty iffy. The three Bretagne class battleships might best be compared to pre-dreadnoughts in WW 1. They are just awful battleships. They were never really upgraded or rebuilt. The armor is really poor for a WW 2 battleship, particularly the deck armor. Their fire controls are rudimentary at best. 4. They'd have little or no service support available. This means even routine things like refueling and replenishing would be difficult to accomplish That's just for starters.
  7. Murotsu

    Best trained Navy of WWII?

    As a list of different qualities, I'd sum Navies in WW 2 up more or less like this: Seamanship: All the major players were about equal, the USN, RN, KM, IJN, etc., all could go to sea and sail competently. The USN started the war with one big advantage in this area. They had developed new formations for sailing during the interwar period based on wargaming at the Naval War College. The circular formation, or ring formation, for ASW and AAW was something nobody else was practicing in 1939. The world standard outside the USN was to still steam in traditional formations like line ahead or column of divisions and it was largely every ship for itself when it came to defending against aircraft and to a lessor extent, submarines. Worst? Probably the Soviet Union. That's what happens when you don't go to sea and stay there. Damage Control: Hands down the USN both in terms of fighting damage and in terms of salvage. No other navy could have raised, repaired, and put back in service the losses at Pearl Harbor. Worst? IJN. An almost neglected subject usually left to a junior officer of lessor repute on any ship. Carrier operations: USN with the RN being a close second. The USN's use of deck parks and general launch-land cycles was superb. The RN had the edge with better CAP and fighter control. They also did far more night operations. So, sort of a wash. The IJN never developed carrier controlled intercept (CCI) like the USN and RN did. Without CAP coordination they were at a defensive disadvantage. Their deck operations were slower in cycle times as well. Aviation: USN and IJN are tied early on. The RN is a close second. There is little to choose on pilot quality here. All three services started the war with long-service high hour and well trained pilots and aircrew. None really had an advantage there. The biggest detractor for the RN is the poor quality of aircraft they offered. Up to 1942 the FAA was lagging well behind the USN and IJN in aircraft quality. The USN began to pull ahead by developing better and better tactics for air combat while the IJN almost stagnated. It wasn't just declining aircrew qualities that hurt the IJN, it was also that the USN was getting far better at intercepting raids, and making effective offensive strikes. US use of CCI moved from carriers to screening cruisers then to destroyers on picket. Intercepts of Japanese air raids shifted from 20 to 30 miles early in the war to 75 to 100 miles out by 1945. It almost ensured that any Japanese raid was doomed before it ever saw the target. The RN, with smaller air wings, chose the torpedo as the weapon of decision for naval strikes. They did make night air strikes a major component of their training and were definitely well ahead in this respect. The US was somewhat reluctant to follow, but by 1944 the Enterprise had become a specialist carrier for night carrier operations. However, the torpedo by 1944 was becoming a weapon that aircraft could no longer deliver against targets without suffering unsustainable losses. Dive bombing and rockets were taking it's place, and guided weapons were becoming a reality. On the later, the Germans and US had the lead on those like Fritz X, or the Hs 293 (German), or the BAT and Gordon (USN). Submarine operations. The KM. The Germans had this one cold. Second place the USN. Worst: Easily the Soviet Union which lost more subs than sank ships. Replenishment at sea: Far and away, the USN. Nobody else could come close to the USN at going to sea and staying there for prolonged periods. The USN had been planning and training to fight a naval war without bases halfway around the world since 1905. Gunnery: It's a wash / tie between the USN / RN / KM. All three exhibited good to excellent gunnery and were much better than the IJN at it. Night actions at sea: The IJN and RN. Both trained and excelled at this sort of battle. The British certainly demonstrated this versus the Italians in the Med. There the British repeatedly trounced the RM in night actions. Technical advancement: Tie between the USN and RN. The later was really handicapped by a lack of economic means to exploit technology on the scale and with the speed the US did. The Japanese started off at a deficit in this respect and would never catch up. The KM often neglected this field but did produce some top notch innovations such as the Gruppenhochtgerät (GHG) large array sonar. This was well in advance of Allied submarine sonar technology.
  8. Murotsu

    New BB for WOWS idea

    My personal preference would be to see them expand the lower tiers into a separate line of pre-dreadnoughts, armored cruisers, and the like where you get true close in contests with broadsides, lots of smoke (black powder, etc.), huge slow firing guns and small quick firing ones that do only a little damage. All the while you have torpedo boats with one or two torpedoes that are small and short ranged trying to race into point blank range and fire their one or two tubes hoping for a hit. Maybe add night actions where the ships have to use searchlights to find their targets.
  9. Murotsu

    New BB for WOWS idea

    While this is the section more for historical topics, making a Tegethoff class BB a tier 5 is to vastly overrate it. At best, it's tier 4. Even then, it would be very prone to torpedo damage (if modelled historically).
  10. The problem for the Russians was their fleet was grossly incompetent. In steaming to the Pacific they did learn how to operated at sea in terms of coaling and keeping their ships going. But, they learned nothing about fleet tactics, gunnery, or fighting a battle. Now, had the Russian fleet had the ammunition they could have drilled and practiced until they were proficient at gunnery and damage control. But, without reasonably competent officers and senior enlisted they had little chance of that happening. The problem was they started with crews and officers that were largely incompetent, and never did anything substantial to change that. Almost any other navy of the period wasn't saddled with such an insurmountable problem. As an unrelated example that demonstrates this problem, when I was in boot camp upon joining the Navy, there were companies of Iranian sailors there too (this was when the Shah ran Iran). Their boot camp ran about a year to lean essentially the same stuff we (Americans) were getting in eight weeks. Even then, I heard rumors from the drill instructors that the Iranians were still incompetent because the enlisted were looked at as stupid, inferior, peons compared to their officers. It was a mindset for failure.
  11. Murotsu

    How Strong was Italian Navy?

    At the outset of war, Italy really made a mess of their opening moves. It gave Britain the advantage and they took that to defeating the Italians pretty decisively. It was German intervention that saved the situation. In Italian East Africa they had a reasonably decent fleet, but it's purpose was completely botched up. The main surface force was two destroyer squadrons with 7 ships between them. They could have made a reasonable raiding force against British shipping headed into the Red Sea for Egypt but really did nothing. There were two merchant raider / cruisers. These left for Japan instead of immediately setting sail and going on a raiding campaign in the Indian Ocean. The MAS boats available broke down with alarming frequency and were useless, while the submarines were found to have faulty air conditioning that poisoned the crew, something that if they were being regularly at sea prior to the war would have been known and repaired. There was a half-hearted attempt to mine the entry to the Red Sea, another thing that could have easily been accomplished with more aggressive and competent leadership. On the whole, Italian East Africa should have been better prepared for a campaign in isolation. Numerically, they had the forces to hold out for an extended period, but lacked the in-place supplies and material to support such a campaign. That is again incompetence from peacetime.
  12. Murotsu

    How Strong was Italian Navy?

    The incompetence often came down to unit level too. Much of the Italian military, particularly the army, had a very large gulf between the enlisted troops and officers. Officers were often drawn from more well-to-do urban families in Northern Italy and had a sense of entitlement while the enlisted were usually from more rural areas, particularly Southern Italy, and got indifferent treatment. There were some good units in the Italian military, but you can't say that of the whole. For instance, Italian navy destroyers developed a good reputation for bravery and competence. But, they were let down by the heavier units and lack of air cover for the most part.
  13. Murotsu

    How Strong was Italian Navy?

    Lack of fuel and lack of a naval air arm effectively crippled the Italian navy. There was also a degree of simple incompetence in many of their operations. For example, in Italian East Africa, their naval forces pretty much did nothing. This was in part (and applies to the whole of their navy) due to their not spending a lot of time at sea prior to the war. A fleet that doesn't go to sea, can't fight when they do go to sea.
  14. Murotsu

    Caption the profile image above you.

    Exploding cigar... Who'd have thunk it?
  15. Murotsu

    The Russian 2nd Pacific Squadron - Voyage of the Damned

    Actually, by the time the Russian fleet arrived in the Pacific, they had become extremely adept at coaling, both in port and at sea, along with keeping their ships going. What they lacked however were realistic battle drills and gunnery exercises. So, they were steaming and 'sailing' proficient but combat unready.