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Murotsu

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  1. US task forces usually have auxiliary ships nearby. A common one following one is a fleet or ocean going tug with salvage gear aboard. For example, if Yorktown had survived Midway the tow would have been done by the fleet tug Vireo AT-144. As it was, Vireo did start a tow on Yorktown and also provided salvage gear.
  2. Well, in the "what-if" category, if Bismarck had divers and the proper equipment aboard, the might have just cut away the damaged rudder, or in part and continued on the remaining rudder. Of course, part of the problem with that is Bismarck was operating alone at that point which is a big no-no for a battleship of any nation to be doing. This was more the cause of Bismarck's undoing than anything else. The KM should never, ever have committed Bismarck to an operation on her own.
  3. I'd be more worried they introduce something like these: Guided missiles and guided glide bombs would be much worse. Meanwhile... On the topic of Tier 4 carriers... The easiest way to nerf these is: A. Do away with the rocket firing planes entirely as no rocket firing planes existed in the period under consideration. That gets rid of easily blasting early DD's with no AA defense to speak of. B. Shorten the range of torpedoes and slow them down considerably. This would fit the reality of early aerial torpedoes making it more of a challenge to drop accurately on a ship as well as giving even ships with weak AA defenses more opportunity to fight back against the torpedo planes. That's two simple fixes that would cure the problem without killing off the use of low tier carriers.
  4. Murotsu

    What if - Bismark had met Warspite and Valiant.

    The closest approach the PE made to the British battleships was about 13,000 meters. That's just shy of the maximum range of a G7a torpedo (14,000 meters) and they would travel at just 30 knots to achieve that. So, while firing might have been possible, it would have largely been a futile gesture given the distance and slow speed of the torpedoes. There isn't even a guarantee that they could have arrived at the receiving end before running out of steam. Firing from such an extreme range wasn't likely to induce hits. Even the Japanese figured this out with their Type 93's. If you look at the chart included in your referenced site, you can see the British didn't hold a steady course so prediction on their position with a given run time for the G7a to a target at 12 to 14,000 meters being roughly 12 to 14 minutes, means that you aren't likely to find your torpedoes where the British ships actually ended up. Hood's torpedoes weren't any better. They ran to about 13,500 yards at 25 knots so even if Hood did fire them, they wouldn't have reached their intended targets but could have still be picked up on hydrophones and acted on the intended victims not knowing that at the time.
  5. Murotsu

    What if - Bismark had met Warspite and Valiant.

    Actually, the British BB's would still be reasonably stable firing platforms. So, that wouldn't be an issue particularly here. The Prinz Eugen never came close to being in range for a torpedo barrage. She was also ordered to fall back behind Bismarck to keep an eye on the two British cruisers shadowing the German ships least they decide to join the action. "Charging in" would have gotten the cruiser blown out of the water in any case. I'd also expect a destroyer escort to be present as it was for Hood and PoW (6 destroyers).
  6. Actually, the Philippines was a commonwealth with it's own government starting in 1935 and the US was going to give it full independence in 1945 which did occur on July 4 1946 with the Treaty of Manila. The Philippines then became one of the first members of the UN. In 1940, the Philippines had raised its own army alongside the few US units in the Philippines. The US was guarantor of Philippine sovereignty and certainly would have responded to an attack on the islands at the time.
  7. He did have a ship named after him, the FF-1091 USS Miller https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Miller_(FF-1091)#/media/File:USS_Miller_(FF-1091).jpg This was appropriate. Naming a carrier after him is just PC gone amok. Of course, I think we shouldn't be naming carriers after Presidents either, and certainly not after some not-particularly-known senator (the USS John C. Stennis). The guy was just a senator. Never served in the military, let alone the Navy, and really didn't have anything to write home about other than a very long stay in the senate. If it were up to me carriers would be named for states or for something really important to the nation. I could see the USS Congress, or the USS President, but not one named for a specific politician. Naming them for states would be a great way to make the ships more visible to the public too. Right now, they're just forgettable politicians...
  8. Sorry, didn't read the whole thread but... The original post in this thread makes a fundamental error in reasoning. It is a post hoc prompter hoc fallacy. Why? Because it presupposes that carriers could and did operate singly. With few exceptions, and the RN's use of carriers through roughly 1942, aircraft carriers didn't operate alone. Normally, neither did battleships. If you look at the naval history of WW 2, you find that battleships and carriers operating alone were very vulnerable to enemy attack compared to those operating in pairs or groups. Battleships, and other surface ships as well, are vulnerable to air attack while the converse is not true. A single carrier could sink a battleship. It might take repeated strikes, but the battleship could be sunk by a carrier's planes. On the other hand, except when handled with abysmally poor captaining, as in the case of Glorious, battleships weren't going to sink carriers. Carriers have both a speed and scouting advantage over a battleship. This is considering both in isolation from other naval and air forces. A battleship exerts sea control over a radius maybe 30 miles around it. A carrier (WW 2) has a sea control radius of about 300 miles. There are plenty of examples of both carriers and battleships operating singly in WW 2, and the results of that are usually not in favor of it. Every navy knew that... well, maybe not the RN since they did regularly operate carriers singly. The simple fact is that by WW 2 battleships weren't all that useful for anything other than fighting other battleships. In amphibious operations 5 to 6" guns proved more than ample for NGFS missions and performed them better than very large caliber battleship guns. In carrier fights, battleships did provide significant AA capability but weren't so much better than cruisers and destroyers acting as a screen that the cost was worth the results. What made carriers so useful was their ability to control large swaths of ocean and to concentrate firepower at much greater distances. For example, in the first ninety days of 1944, TF 38 (the Fast Carriers) swept the Central Pacific of essentially all Japanese shipping and warships leaving little bigger than a rowboat afloat (a slight exaggeration to make a point), sinking over 1 million tons. They could do so, so quickly and efficiently because of their ability to project power. Battleships or submarines couldn't match that. It would take far more submarines and much more time to match that capacity--which they did. Battleships were never going to be numerous enough to do likewise. It is this combination of power projection at a great distance, and the ability to scout vast amounts of ocean that make carriers so effective. This is why they replaced battleships. And, they replaced them not because they did things better than a battleship, but because they did things a battleship couldn't do enumerated below: They could scout large areas of ocean quickly and effectively. They could mount a far more serious defense against air attack. That is, carrier aircraft are the best defense against air attack, not antiaircraft fire. They could project firepower at exponentially greater distances both at sea and over land. They were capable of dealing with a much greater variety of targets. For example, carriers can hunt and attack submarines, battleships cannot. So, carriers can "kill" battleships while the converse is almost never true, and there were numerous reasons to end using battleships in favor of carriers.
  9. This is an incorrect view of both Japanese and US naval air power. In the US case, the USN recognized that an advance across the Pacific would require air support and that meant bringing it with them using primarily carriers. As far as technical and doctrinal approaches went, the USN singularly went for the largest air group they could cram on a carrier and designed their carriers thusly. They alone were using deck parks for aircraft and saw the hanger bay as a storage place for replacement planes and maintenance. Doctrinally, only the USN required carriers to be commanded by qualified pilots. The thinking here was that a pilot as Captain of a carrier would best understand how to use air power in a naval action. The USN also thoroughly explored using carriers in various ways in the late 20's and throughout the 30's trying to discover their strengths and weaknesses. They knew full well by 1939 that big carriers with a large air wing were a winner. They sized their carriers to the largest strikes they could launch and recover efficiently. At the same time, they learned to operate carriers in groups rather than singularly. The 1929 exercise against the Panama Canal by Saratoga alone resulted in the carrier being "sunk" three times. That demonstrated to those commanding that carriers shouldn't operate alone. Also, the USN alone adopted pre-war formations that maximized defense against air attack like the ring formation. While US carrier aircraft design in the pre-war era wasn't outstanding, the designs were solid and utilitarian unlike the British FAA who adopted a whole plethora of failures and modified land aircraft designs that on the whole were wretched. In the IJN, aviation being the junior and newest branch usually got last pick on everything. That is, commanding a carrier, or even serving on one as an officer was considered an very less desirable position to being on say a cruiser or battleship. Commanding officers of carriers were picked by seniority, following British practice (this was a major cause of the loss of Glorious by the way). Thus, carrier commanders were not particularly well versed in air operations but rather in just general ship handling. The Japanese also followed British practice in striking down to the hangers all planes between strikes. This increased cycle times and made their air wings smaller (if you look at the layout of the Akagi's or Kaga's hanger bays they are just awful being both badly arranged and very cramped for the size of ship). The three elevator design on pre-war Japanese carriers was specialized too. The forward elevator and hanger bay space was used by fighters. The amidships elevator and bay, by dive bombers, and the aft elevator and bay by torpedo planes. Each elevator was sized appropriately for its use. Japan adopted no special formations or steaming doctrine for carriers but did adopt a battleship-like set of divisions of two carriers that would operate similarly to a division of other capital ships. Hence, the Kido Butai was really just an extension of the battle line with carriers. Steaming was often in column of divisions just like surface ships would perform. Also, each carrier and its air arm was specifically tailored to operations from a specific carrier. This is what kept Zuikaku from going to Midway. Her air wing was badly depleted and being built up again and unlike the USN pilots and planes from other units couldn't be utilized without first having to retrain them on the Zuikaku's operational methods. The USN by comparison could put any naval squadron on any carrier and qualify them in short order as the procedures on all carriers was the same. One thing the IJN would sorely miss in an Atlantic operation would be their land based air arm. The IJN had a very powerful land based component that was often crucial to success in operations. It was this land based component that sank Force Z off Malaya. It was A6M operating out of Tinian that successfully struck many US bases in the opening days of the war. This same component was heavily used by the Japanese in the Guadalcanal campaign. Without this powerful adjunct to carrier power and it's scouting forces of long range seaplanes, the Japanese will be at a severe disadvantage. As noted briefly in other posts, the Japanese also aren't particularly good at replenishment at sea. They lack the sort of fleet train the US has. Even the RN was astounded at how efficient US ships were at unrep and amazed at how the USN could put to sea and stay there for extended periods using tankers and other replenishment ships. The US alone had procedures and doctrine in place on how to deal with a surprise attack during replenishment operations. Their ships could part ways in minutes and be back into action. Japanese replenishment at sea was a slow, drawn out process that restricted all other operations until it was complete. It's all these details that aren't apparent in a ship's design normally that make a difference. The US for example had YE/ZB homing system (sometimes called "Always home" by naval aviators of the time) allowed USN pilots to find their carriers. Japanese naval aircraft were lost at higher rates due to their inability to home on their carriers in a similar manner). These small things add up. Also, it's completely incorrect to say IJN pilots and crew were better trained than USN ones. Lindstrom's two volume The First Team shows this conclusively to not be the case. USN naval aviators had as much training and flight hours as their IJN counterparts and were just as good, so that's not going to make a difference.
  10. Murotsu

    What if - Bismark had met Warspite and Valiant.

    This is the equivalent of the having Bismarck meet the Oklahoma and Nevada in a battle. The only advantage the British have is there are two of them. If we assume Bismarck engages, which ever of the two that gets targeted will only last until the Bismarck scores something like 3 or 4 solid hits. The British ships are woefully under-protected to be going up against Bismarck. They're slower so they can't maneuver nearly as readily even as they can fire back. But, because the they have relatively poor armor, every time Bismarck scores the damage is going to be more severe. Neither, for example has a armored conning tower (in common with the KGV class). On PoW, this proved disastrous as a shell passed through the bridge killing or injuring everyone on it and leaving the ship out of command control for crucial minutes. Both have weak deck armor and relatively thin belts. Any solid hit that causes flooding is likely to be severe and potentially threatens the stability of the ship.
  11. Having two in-line rudders is a way to increase rudder area on a relatively narrow ship hull. On ships the size and weight of Yoshino or say, Alaska, a single rudder just isn't all that efficient. Two in-line is better than nothing over the single rudder. The Alaska's were criticized by their captains for being slow to turn and having a large turning circle. Some WW 1 German capital ships used the two in-line rudder scheme too, like the Derfflinger class battlecruisers: But, if you have the room, two side-by-side rudders is far better as you get some thrust deflection off the screws, and on very large ships like modern US carriers, this is carried to four rudders each lined up on a screw giving much better turning rates.
  12. An interesting point about the M8 Greyhound. This vehicle was developed as a prototype by Ford Motor Corp as a tank destroyer. It's one of a whole slew of "jeep" mounted 37mm guns like the T14 that kept growing in size and protection. The T21 was a direct ancestor of the M8 The lineage is obvious. All the M8 did was add armor and an open topped turret. So, in 1944 it proved useful in its original role at least one time...
  13. Seems to me sort of a moot point. Going broadside to a Mogami at that range invites suicide by torpedo. Smart play would have been to be turning away or into the Mogami to avoid the inevitable torpedo spread unless you are 100% sure she's already fired and is in reload mode.
  14. So? Enemy AFV were misidentified all the time, particularly by crews and units that normally didn't fight enemy tanks. The 87th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron was part of 7th Armored Division. http://7tharmddiv.org/87rcn.htm http://battleofthebulgememories.be/en/stories/us-army/167-the-87th-cavalry-reconnaissance-squadron-during-the-battle-of-the-bulge.html The 87th had seen little combat since arriving in Europe in September. The Ardennes offensive was really their first true trial by combat. We know there were just 3 abteilung (battalions) with Tiger tanks in the Ardennes: S. SS Pz Abt. 501, S. Pz Abt. 506, and S. Pz Abt (FKL) 301. S. SS Pz Abt 501 was at the rear of KG Peiper in the northern part of the bulge trapped in traffic on the 18th. It's movements forward are well documented as there was a photographer with the unit. It's easily the most known Tiger unit in the battle. S. Pz Abt. 506 was deployed behind 5th Panzer Army and moved forward to positions around Bastogne and didn't see combat until around the 24th. S. Pz Abt (FKL) 301 is a specialist unit using the Borgward B IV remote control vehicles for clearing obstacles. They had a few Tiger I tanks to control these vehicles from: This unit wasn't committed on the 18th. However, the most likely unit in the 87th's area of operations was KG Hansen from 9th SS Panzer. They had about 40 Pz V Panther tanks leading their assault. So, it's very likely that this is what the M8 knocked out, the witnesses and crew thinking it was a "Tiger."
  15. There's only two problems with the story above: First, the US 37mm won't penetrate 80 mm of armor if you had the muzzle inches from it. It's max penetration is about 70mm The second is that there were only 3 battalions equipped with Tiger tanks (mostly Tiger II but S. Pz Abt. (FKl) 301 had a few Tiger I's). None of them were anywhere near St. Vith on the day in question. It's far more likely that this M8 crew knocked out a Panther tank mistaking it for a Tiger. You might note that the M8 was originally intended to be a tank destroyer. Yep, it was originally designed for the tank destroyer command but dropped when they realized a 37mm wasn't going to cut it as an antitank weapon. The vehicle was handed over to the mechanized cavalry regiments as it was already starting production. This is the reason the M8 has an open top manually traversed turret.
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