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About Murotsu

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  1. The Turkey oil pipeline isn't going to happen. First, the world's leader in building such pipelines is the US. It is US oil companies like Texaco or Esso (Standard Oil) that were building all the pipelines that did exist. The Germans don't have the equipment, personnel, or materials available to build any sort of major long distance pipeline in the 1930's or 40's. That's in large part because they have no need for them domestically, and unlike the US or even Britain (British Petroleum / BP) or the Netherlands (Royal Dutch Shell / Shell Oil), they have no overseas oil assets to deal with. The Soviets don't have the ability to build such pipelines either. So, Germany would have to acquire this technology, train personnel, and then acquire the materials and equipment to build a pipeline. The whole would take a decade or more to accomplish. The US built many pipelines during WW 2. The "Big Inch" line of about 1400 miles from Pennsylvania to Texas was on such line. It took the US several years to complete. That's in a situation where they have the equipment, manpower, and materials to do it on hand and in terrain that is far more conducive to a pipeline than mountainous Turkey. http://www.mainlinetoday.com/core/pagetools.php?url=%2FMain-Line-Today%2FAugust-2011%2FBig-War-Big-Inch-How-an-Oil-Pipeline-Built-From-Texas-to-Phoenixville-Led-to-a-World-War-II-Victory%2F&mode=print https://aoghs.org/petroleum-in-war/oil-pipelines/ Note how the pipeline was trenched using mechanized equipment like a rotary trenching machine... Doesn't exist in Germany in the 1930's or 40's: Note the side crane crawler tractor in the background. This is something that doesn't exist in Germany in the 1930's or 40's. So, the Germans ain't buildn' no pipeline 'cept in yer dreams...
  2. Italy doesn't enter until early June. The plan I propose occurs in late May. Yes, that's just a couple of weeks, three at most, between the two, but if the Germans were already in Britain at that point keeping the Italians out of the picture would make the armistice less complicated. If Italy jumped in at the last minute, I could actually see the Germans letting Italy go down in flames against Britain rather than supporting them if it meant the Germans got a treaty. Then it becomes Italy versus Britain and the British crush Italy. So long as the British don't invade Italy itself or push into Greece, I doubt the Germans would care that Italy gets a WWE smackdown by Britain.
  3. The only viable alternative I have been able to come up with that might-- might-- work to get a German invasion of Britain to work, at least in the short run, is this. The Germans plan for a semi-improvised invasion of Britain before they invade France. This is a contingency plan they put in place if the invasion goes well (which it does). There are four designated infantry divisions that are notified to put the plan into action. These immediately make for the French / Belgian coast and in connection with available motorized and reconnissance assets start capturing ports and any shipping that happens to be in them. Shipping could be anything from coastal freighters to fishing trawlers, to large motor boats or yachts. Each division forms a kampfgruppe of reinforced battalion size to immediately send to sea and towards Britain. They try to make the crossing mostly at night. This is occurring about 24 to 28 May. The 1st Fallschirmjäger division, is rounded up and pulled out of the line as quickly as possible. It makes a jump on England, using all available transport and gliders to take the points the sea contingent above is to arrive at. This would be two ports relatively near each other, and not ones being heavily used by the Dunkirk evacuation, like Dover or Folkestowe. The 22nd Luftlande division is alerted that they will be moving to England once the parachutists have secured an airfield. It doesn't have to be a good one, just one Ju 52 can land on. Even suitable open ground might be used. The Luftwaffe has two primary missions at this point. Keep pressure on the RN off Dunkirk and pressure on the RAF. Their other mission is escorting the Ju 52 into for their drops and landings. This works only because the British are messed up at this point. There is one division in England in good shape to respond: 1st Canadian. Other than that, there's a polyglot of crap and half-ready formations with iffy equipment for the most part. The BEF is wrecked and trying hard to get the hell out of France. It's almost certain that this invasion will be contained. It will get harder and harder to keep it supplied and reinforced. But the Germans have roughly two divisions of infantry (numerically) in England with a viable defense perimeter, and possibly even having forayed deeper into the country. The German plan now is to bluff and ask Britain for an armistice and offers generous terms. Churchill has been in office now for about two weeks. Parliament at that point is debating whether to ask for terms. The Germans managed to get a foothold on the island by a combination of surprise and swift action, something they can do. Yes, it's a crap invasion. They have several thousand paratroops on the ground, maybe two regiments of infantry with some heavy weapons and artillery, and are trying hard to inject another infantry regiment and the air landing troops with some more heavy weapons. Unlike the British, the Germans generally manage at this stage of the war to work well with improvisations and on the fly. The British Army is a plodding opponent that's very well trained but operationally poor. The Germans would have enough "stuff" on the ground to stave off defeat and look like a potentially serious threat for the next few weeks at a minimum. That might well have been just enough to get the armistice. Germany offers to allow Britain a complete withdrawal from France and will repatriate all POW's. Germany would withdraw from Britain in return. Italy isn't in the war yet, and Germany makes no uncertain terms to them to stay the hell out. France likewise ends up surrendering in this agreement with Germany negotiating separate terms to them (Disarmament for a partial withdrawal). Germany agrees to withdraw over a period of months from Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, and Denmark. This gives Germany time to loot these countries and stabilize their own economy. Hitler goes for round two about in the late 1940's or early 50's. There's a lot of "if's" in that plan and it could as easily fail as succeed. But, the Germans were taking big chances in 1939 and 40, so it's within the realm of possibility they could pull it off.
  4. The Germans devised two primary landing craft they used for the rest of the war. The first is the Marinefahrprahm (literally translated that's Navy driven baby carriage) or MFP. It is equivalent to the US LCM. It could carry about 100 tons to 150 tons of cargo. A variant was the AFP or Artilleriefahrprahm. These had several 8.8 cm guns, along with numerous 3.7cm and 2cm guns aboard and were intended as escorts and inshore fire support. The other type is the Siebel ferry. This is a pontoon boat with a large flat deck. They could be heavily armed with 8.8cm guns or lots of smaller flak pieces But, in 1940 neither existed. These were designed for Seelöwe and begin to appear about September 1940. By mid 1941 they are general use. The MFP can handle open ocean. The Siebel ferry is limited to relatively calm waters. In open ocean with any serious wave action, the pontoon nature of the construction can result in the ship breaking up as it flexes.
  5. Why? Their battlecruisers all pretty much suck. Hood is the only decent one. The Renown's are weakly armored and have just 6 15" guns. They're Myogi's for all intents. The Tiger is a Kongo with smaller guns. Everything before that is just a cruiser with battleship guns for all intents.
  6. Armor is one of those subjects you can discuss for weeks and nobody will agree on much about it. Some observations and general notes: Face hardening really only helps on armor that's less than about 3" thick. Above that, the mass of the armor is such that the few millimeters of face hardening doesn't have much effect. Early on when Krupp first perfected the process, it helped more because armor piercing shot lacked caps and the rounds would shatter, deflect, or otherwise loose penetrative ability against it. Once capped rounds come out, face hardening really thick armor doesn't do a lot for you unless it's thin plates. By WW 2 the US was using what today are called "Triple Alloy" steels of the ASTM 86xx series. These are chrome-vanadium-moly steels that have very high toughness and good hardening properties. They are shock resistant so they don't shatter on being impacted. The US also took to magnafluxing as much of their production as they could. This meant that any voids, large crystallization, or other flaws in the armor or in armor piercing shot were found and either repaired or the item rejected for use. Everybody was using nickel steels as these are pretty tough and shock resistant too. Another advantage is they are lower cost than the triple alloy steels. On tanks the British stuck with face hardened plate and bolting things together to avoid weakening the plates at the welds. That's why even late war British tanks like the Cromwell have those big "warts" on the turret. Those are the bolts holding the armor together. Everybody used homogeneous steel, and everybody except the Germans made use of large castings like turrets and hulls. The Germans alone were using plate almost exclusively in their tanks. German armor plate has far more tendency to shatter than anybody else's. That's due to their lack of access to some of the alloying agents everybody else was using to make the plate. This is more apparent on tanks where the armor plate is say about 80mm or less in thickness. Again, that's the 3" / 76mm point where above that the simple thickness of the plate starts to take over. Below that is where you really need those alloy steels with their increased toughness and shock resistance to prevent penetrations and shattering. Above that, the mass of the plate and its thickness become more important.
  7. Here's a little tidbit on metals. In Germany, Krupp had a monopoly on tungsten carbide through their subsidiary Hartzmetallzentrall. This was the only company in Germany making tungsten carbide during the war. Krupp wouldn't sell more than one of the three grades of TC they made to any other company. This is why AP 40 is so rare. It's also why most AP 40 doesn't even use TC but rather steel shot. If you look at the guns firing TC rounds, they're all made by Krupp. Nobody else bothered because they couldn't get the metal for the rounds. In the US the Buick system of 15 grades of TC was adopted and there were dozens of manufacturers turning it out. So, cemented TC tools became pretty common in the US throughout industry rather than high speed steel. That increased production rates.
  8. On the V-2's navigation system. The US examined it well before the end of the war. Hughes was tasked with coming up with a better guidance system for the MX 774 ballistic missile the US was developing. Their solution was to move most of the guidance off the missile itself. That saves weight and space for more fuel or more kaboom! What Hughes did (their system was code named Azusa after the town where the plant that designed it was) was use ground radar stations to track the missile in the boost phase using telemetry from the missile in addition. A ground station would calculate the trajectory and radio commands to the missile for correcting its course. That meant most of the really expensive electronics weren't on the missile (who's life was going to be very short). It also meant the bad guys couldn't possibly recover the guidance system components and copy it. This system proved far more, exponentially more, accurate than what the V-2 was using. In fact, variations of it were used up through Atlas and beyond. The Soviets came to similar conclusions and did likewise in the late 50's and into the 60's. Such systems were eventually replaced by modern inertial navigation ones in the 70's and 80's. After all, the boost phase is where guidance is needed. Once the missile burns out and starts its ballistic reentry guidance really isn't necessary. It's a projectile on a stable trajectory at that point.
  9. In many ways, the Allies were far more innovative and creative than the Germans were in coming to solutions for problems. One thing the US and Britain in particular did very early on is inject operations management and industrial engineering into everything they could. For example, the Kriegsmarine made little real attempt to properly equip their U-boats with ESM and radar systems. Most U-boats never got radar at all, and those that did weren't particularly trained in making good use of it. The same goes for ESM. Naxos and Flensburg as two for radar detection were often fitted. But, the early Naxos sets used an improvised antenna derisively called "The Biscay Cross." It was so badly devised that most U-boat captains didn't bother to use it at all. Then there were suspicions by captains that using any of this stuff would give their position away. So they didn't use it for that reason. The US fitted their subs in the Pacific with extensive radar and ESM systems. When captains became skeptical of their use, they got training courses where they were shown how to make best use of the equipment and why it would improve their performance. Once they tried those methods they were sold on the new electronics and made full use of them. They commented on how they had to crash dive less due to enemy air activity, found more targets, and were able to detect enemy ASW efforts sooner. The KM did nothing like that and suffered for it.
  10. It wasn't as if the Allies couldn't have matched this. In almost every case they did. The difference is that the Allies didn't rush their stuff into early production, half-tested, with a high failure rate. Some examples. The US copied the V-1 missile as the JB-2 / Loon (USAAF / USN designations). The first JB-2 flew just 60 days after the first V-1 was launched on England. The US also had the JB 1, 4, and 10 in testing along with the US Navy's Gordon missile in various formats. The US Army started development of a SAM about a week after D-Day. This eventually morphed into the Nike Ajax missile. None of the German SAM prototypes were ever developed into a usable system. Probably the worst of the bunch was the Wasserfall. Postwar, the Soviets tried for nearly 10 years to get that missile to work before deciding it was a complete waste of time and discarding it. The US discarded it after just three test firings. In AAM's the German X-4 was a pathetic joke. It really was. It was wire guided using a joy stick! That was utterly insane. The US had the JB 3 Tiamat and Ryan Firebird under development at the same time. The US had guided bombs like the AZON in service by 1944. The USN was using the BAT glide bomb in the Pacific in 1945 and sank several Japanese ships with it at ranges up to 20 + miles. BAT was either radar homing or television guided. The US had the first operational jet fighter squadrons in service but chose to use these for development and training rather than combat. Yes, the P-59 wasn't that great a jet fighter, but it was perfectly adequate for training pilots and ground crew on jet aircraft. The British fumbled around with their program and if they hadn't the Meteor might have been flying by early 1943 in squadron strength. The USN put the first working AEW aircraft in service shortly before the war ended. The British experimented with doing this on a Wellington bomber but couldn't get around problems like parallax errors. The Germans never tried to develop an AEW plane. The British and US also developed every rocket fuel the Germans did and several they didn't, particularly ones using rubber and gasoline as fuels. They simply, and correctly, saw no value in developing a large ballistic missile as it wasn't a cost effective weapon. With the V-2, the Germans were firing the equivalent in cost to an Me 110 for the one-time delivery of a 2,000 lbs. payload at a range of about 300 miles max. That's insane. It was only with nuclear weapons that the US started to take serious interest in large ballistic missiles. Their first program was the MX 774 Hiroc. It was intended to have double the range of the V-2 and triple the payload. A few were tested postwar. One lasting idea incorporated in the design was the use of the shell of the rocket as the walls of the fuel tank. That innovation by Convair (their engineer Charlie Bossart) has remained a feature on virtually all rockets since. The reality was the Germans really didn't have any wunderwaffe that their opponents weren't able to match. In some cases, their opponents didn't try because they recognized the stupidity of doing so.
  11. Yes Bofors is Swedish. The Dutch got a license to build their 40mm gun, and improved it as the "Hazemeyer" mounting. The Dutch put a water jacket on the gun, changed a few details, made a twin mount for it, then added power to the mount and were going to add a fire control radar as well. Yes, the Dutch had invented a radar set prior to WW 2. The Dutch Philips company was one of Europe's leading vacuum tube producers. In fact, the Germans were dependent on them for several critical ones they used. A US ship and a Dutch navy one met at sea and the Dutch transferred their technology to the US. The US saw the value of adopting the weapon and went ahead with plans to manufacture it without obtaining a license from Bofors (they did later after the war and did pay some royalties for previous production). In the US, Chrysler Corporation made massive changes to the gun's manufacturing process and detail design changes. Machineguns are nearly worthless in a sea battle. A 7.92 machinegun has a realistic useful range of maybe 500 yards. Against even craft with 20mm guns it's hopelessly out ranged. Putting some rifle caliber bullet holes in a PT boat or the like is going to do little compared to 20mm and 40mm shells detonating from the return fire.
  12. The Bayern Horror Show

    I kind of like the Bayern. At anything up to about 12 km I can generally get multiple solid hits and often get citadel hits with it. Beyond that it tends to miss a lot more. You can go pretty fine to bow on and still get all four turrets on a target. My only complaint really is the slow turret rotation. But, that is something you really have to plan for when playing a battleship. With a survival build it can certainly take a beating and at anything but very long range really dish out some hurt. I've one salvo'ed more than one cruiser with it because of the propensity to get citadel hits. Getting 5+ citadels in a game is more common than not with it. I also tend to half salvo the fire. That seems to help a lot too. Two salvos of 4 15 seconds apart helps a lot. I guess it's how you use the ship in part. Overall, it's a huge improvement over the worthless Kaiser that precedes it. Now there is a worthless battleship. Those 12" guns are just too small for the tier.
  13. Actually, the US spent it wisely, only their time table didn't match Japan's. The US was figuring a war in mid 1942 not at the end of 1941. Their planning was based on that. Had the US completed their build up, the Philippines wouldn't have fallen, Wake wouldn't have fallen, while Pearl Harbor might still have occurred much the way it did. For example, on Wake the planned full build up was for a Marine defense battalion of just over 1,000 men reinforced by a Marine infantry company, the island would have had an early warning radar, there would have been another fighter squadron, and a dive bomber squadron (it was at Pearl Harbor at MCAS Ewa when the war started waiting to be taken out to Wake). In addition, a PBY squadron was to be added. Contractors were building all the facilities for this on the island. A narrow gage railway had been installed to move supplies from the pier in the lagoon and more dredging was to be done on that too. As it was only a bit less than half the Marine defense battalion had arrived on the island along with one fighter squadron. They defeated the first Japanese invasion attempt and almost defeated the second. In the PI, the planned build up was to bring the Philippine Division up to a full triangular US infantry division. The necessary troops were in route from the US when the war broke out. This was a regiment from Oklahoma and Texas of National Guard. The Pensacola convoy (named after the cruiser that was flagship for it) was bringing more 75mm guns for the Philippine Army, along with small arms and ammunition. A USAAC A-24 dive bomber group with 52 planes was aboard, along with another 18 P-40E fighters. Four new field artillery battalions were also in that shipment. It was at sea and diverted to Australia when the war broke out. The USS Langley had 40 P-40E aboard and was independently sailing to the PI to deliver those. The 12 B-17 that flew into the middle of the Pearl Harbor attack were being sent to the PI. By August 1942, the Philippines would have had 1 full US infantry division, 8 Philippine Army infantry divisions (with two more in training), 2 M3 light tank battalions, 1 M3 medium tank battalion, 3 75mm halftrack tank destroyer battalions, 155mm corps artillery, and the coast defenses bolstered where the Japanese historical landing beaches would now have 155m and 8" guns covering them. The USAAC would have had in excess of 200 fighters and 100 bombers of various sorts. There would have been additional radar stations to the 3 that existed. The final planned forces were overwhelming. But, less than half that was in place in December 1941. I'm saying the US public was prepared to go to war with Germany and it was inevitable. Hitler and Göbbels, his propagandist were making bellicose statements towards the US for more than a year. The torpedoing of the USS Kearny off Iceland on 17 October 1941 resulted in the passage of an armed merchant bill within days by Congress. Germany sneered off the incident as a fabricated lie by Roosevelt. The sinking of the USS Ruben James two weeks later on 30 October saw the repeal of the Neutrality Act. The US public was firmly behind England by this point, and against Germany. Polling showed that clearly, both before and after Pearl Harbor. The only way Germany possibly could have avoided war with the US was to severely restrict their U-boat campaign while trying to make nice politically from roughly 1937 on. Those conditions weren't going to happen.
  14. Turkey signed a mutual alliance pact with Britain and France in 1939. They stayed neutral after France was invaded by invoking the clause that if they entered the war it might impact their relations with the USSR. When Germany invaded the Balkans the Turks signed a non-aggression pact with Germany. Germany needed Turkish chromium for their steel industry and Turkey did sell to the Germans. This might well have been disrupted if Germany invaded. The USSR might decide to invade Turkey if Germany did too, particularly if Germany and the USSR are at peace. The Soviets might well want a deal like they got with Poland. That would end any German ambitions of continuing into Iraq and the Middle East.