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About Murotsu

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  1. Murotsu

    1:42 VoD's are splendid

    I noticed a mistake in the narrative. These destroyers did not have good seakeeping abilities. That twin 5.9" turret forward made them nose heavy and they tended to plow through even moderate seas. The inclusion of the 5.9" main armament was in all likelihood a mistake on such a lively ship. The shells weighed in at right at 100 lbs. and were manually loaded with the assistance of a loading tray. That's a lot of weight for a crewman to be lifting repeatedly and trying to place in the loading tray while the ship is moving and experiencing rolls to some extent.
  2. The IJN and IJA pilots were mostly high hour, well trained, and skilled pilots. Their shortcomings were their tactics were getting outdated in 1940, and their equipment was anywhere from excellent to mediocre. Allied pilots varied greatly in skill levels. The USN had pilots equal to or better than the IJN in 1941, but their equipment was barely equal or inferior. The big advantages the USN pilots had was they were innovators and had some excellent tactical training that almost no other air service gave in training. For example, the USN was just about the only service that taught and practiced deflection shooting. In most other air services, this was learned OJT as you flew in combat. Jimmy Thach came up with the Thach weave (now called "scissoring") http://www.combataircraft.com/en/Tactics/Air-To-Air/Scissors/ It was a complete shock to the Japanese who had never experienced this tactic before. The USAAF was of highly variable quality. The long-term pre-war pilots tended to be very good while the "90 day wonders" recently inducted and trained were of indifferent quality due to their lack of hours and experience. The RAF and Commonwealth pilots in the Pacific early war tended to be very poor with few hours of flying time. The reason for this was once they got experience and some hours they were often transferred to the Mediterranean, North Africa, or England to fly combat missions as more experienced pilots and they would be replaced by the latest batch of pilots out of flight school. The Dutch were a mixed bag as well. Many were very good, long-term veterans and could fly quite well. But, the expansion of the East Indies air force meant that there were a lot of new low-hour pilots being mixed in. The biggest hit to the IJN was the USN quickly adopted and expanded carrier controlled interception. That is, the CAP on US carriers starting at Coral Sea were vectored onto incoming Japanese strikes by radar and a controller on the carrier. By Midway this had expanded in radio channels and most cruisers were tied in where they could report radar readings to the carrier controller(s) who vectored the CAP onto the Japanese strike. At Coral Sea the CAP was something like 8 fighters taking on a strike. By Midway the US was vectoring 20 to 30 fighters onto a strike and had doubled the range from 20 to 40 miles out to intercept. At 40 miles the strike got decimated as shown by Hiryu's two on the Yorktown. Yes, the Japanese pilots with grim determination fought through and crippled the carrier, but it was at the cost of nearly the entire strike. By comparison, the Japanese had no such system and simply stacked the CAP over the carrier and expected pilots to spot and intercept a strike as it came in. Many Zeros at Midway didn't even carry a radio so nothing like the US system was going to work. The USN also had the YE ZB homing system to rely on. This allowed any USN pilot to home in on his carrier with unerring accuracy lowering the losses from navigation errors. http://www.skywaves.ar88.net/Docs/YE-ZB Presentation.pdf Technology wins!
  3. The best comparisons are Wake and Kota Bharu in Malaya. The landings in the Philippines were barely opposed. Guam was all but undefended. The garrison was a small Marine detachment about the size of a company and the Guam constabulary force. The USMC, the defense of Midway was theirs, were almost entirely long-term veterans and all volunteers with good training. All of the units were pre-war ones made up of veteran peacetime Marines, not draftees or rear area types. The infantry component on Midway was the Marine raider battalion. These were hand picked volunteers from among the Marine Corps as a whole. They were specially trained in small unit tactics and combat and specially equipped for that purpose. https://archive.org/details/MarinesAtMidway/page/n3/mode/2up http://www.pacificwar.org.au/Midway/Marines_arrive_Midway.html At Kota Bharu, the Japanese initial landing was a reinforced regiment that faced a two brigade Indian Infantry division that was dug in about equally well to the Midway defenders. The Indians however were spread much thinner and were not nearly as well trained. Yet, they nearly threw back the Japanese assault. As it was, it only succeeded by sheer determination on the part of the Japanese and the decision on the Indian division's part to withdraw. http://www.oocities.org/dutcheastindies/kota_bharu.html The landings there succeeded only because there was a second and third wave as the Japanese were landing an entire, reinforced, infantry division. This isn't happening at Midway. At Wake only about half the intended defense battalion had arrived on the island when it was invaded. The Japanese invasion force at Midway for each island was about the same size as the one at Wake, so the landings on Midway would be opposed by roughly double the number of US defenders as at Wake. At Wake the Japanese suffered about 400 casualties out of a total landing force of about 2500 men. The defending Marines numbered about 400 and there was no specific infantry force included in their numbers. Had the full defense battalion + company of infantry been present (about 1400 Marines total), the Japanese would have probably lost the battle. As for the bombardment of the island, as I and others pointed out, Japanese doctrine was to use cruisers or destroyers for this purpose and at Midway the bombardment force was four heavy cruisers. When the Japanese used battleships for bombardment at Guadalcanal, it was only after repeated attempts to put the airfield out of action by destroyers and cruisers that that was attempted. Even then, the battleships did a poor job of it and never did succeed in putting Henderson Field out of commission for more than a few hours. The two SNLF that composed half the landing force for the Japanese should be noted as being very green. These were comprised entirely of sailors seconded to being naval infantry who had nothing more than standard basic infantry training. No special training in amphibious operations, no combat experience, nada, zip. In fact, the few landing craft allotted to them were given by the Army as there were no Navy ones available.
  4. HMS Rodney and Nelson had bow mounted 24" torpedo tubes. Not much use unless they got close to an adversary. Interior shot of Rodney's torpedo room. While it's a little hard to see, the yellow areas are Rodney and Nelson's torpedo tubes in plan Pre- and WW 1 battleships often had broadside torpedo tubes mounted in the expectation that they'd be fighting at under 10,000 yards in some cases. This proved wrong during the war and these were later removed.
  5. Murotsu

    Could Guns Use International Ammo?

    For large naval guns, the general answer would likely be no you can't switch / swap rounds between guns. The reasons for this include: The driving and gas check bands in the shells would be different and there would likely be differences in the depth and twist of rifling in the guns. This could lead to fouling of the gun, an incomplete 'bite' by the shell into the rifling giving erratic performance and / or poor accuracy. Then there's powder issues. Everybody uses different powder with different characteristics. The gun being used was designed and tested to load certain types and amounts of powder with a particular shell to get a particular performance out of the round. Using a different shell with different powder is going to result, again, in erratic performance and could even be dangerous to the gun and crew. Most navies at this time used some variant of nitrocellulose for propellant. Few of these are equal in performance. Some could be incompatible with the design and materials used in the gun. That is, as one example, one nation's powder might be highly corrosive used in another nation's guns because of design differences. Then there's the problem of fire control. The electro-analogue computers of that era are not programmable. They have set values as inputs. So, you couldn't input a value for a different shell and powder combination besides the ones designed into the machine. This would leave you with inaccurate fire control solutions when firing odd combinations of shells and powder. Some large naval guns use cartridges or a partial cartridge as part of the round. These are the brass, aluminum, or steel cartridges. These are likely incompatible with the odd round being fired when two piece and certainly going to have issues where they are loading as a one-piece round. Of course, you would also have to have the correct fuzes for the shells you are using. Another problem would be if the shells by size, weight, or shape were incompatible with the shell hoists on the ship using them.
  6. There are several things wrong with this analysis... First, Japanese doctrine at the time called for cruisers and destroyers to perform any amphibious landing bombardment. So, using battleships to do that would go against Japanese doctrine. Second, the battleships aren't loaded out for bombardment. They are there in case the US Navy's battleships show up. Then there's how the Japanese would carry out the bombardment. As elsewhere, each ship would fire about 10 to 15 rounds per tube at most in self-aimed fire-- eg., no spotters correcting fire except by the ship itself. The Japanese grossly overestimated the effectiveness of such bombardments. But, that was their then extant doctrine. The landings themselves would be the real debacle however. What the Japanese planned to do was land two separate forces, one Army, one Navy, on the two islands making up Midway atoll. The Navy would land an SNLF of about 1500 men on Sand Island, while the Army would land a similar sized reinforced battalion on Eastern Island. Neither force had much in the way of landing craft with them. For the most part the landing forces were going ashore in rowed boats and rubber rafts. They would have to cross a reef and approach through a pounding surf. The landings would occur on the right hand side of the photo below. They would then have to approach the beaches. Of course, the ships landing them would have to anchor out off shore fairly close in to the islands simply because the landing troops aren't going to row several miles to their landing sites. Any operable guns 3" to 7" on the islands are going to pretty quickly turn that landing into a complete cluster *** Worse, the two landings are being made totally separately. There is no support from one for the other. There is no second wave, or reinforcements beyond the initial landing force of 1500 men each. If the USN pounding some island for days on end with far more ships and aircraft than the Japanese mustered up for Midway can't eradicate the defense of a small island, the Japanese sure aren't going to do it with their desultory fire plan at Midway.
  7. The OP included this: In the case of Kaga and Akagi, the two were really very poorly laid out as carriers anyway. That's Akagi as in service with two hanger decks. As you can see, the hangers were anything but optimal and there is a lot of waste space or poorly laid out ship's systems on her. Kaga is the same way. Thus, a rebuild to improve them would require a very extensive teardown of the existing superstructure and rebuild.
  8. Murotsu

    1943: Where were the carriers?

    This also missed the four Sangamon class CVE that operated between New Caledonia and the Solomon Islands for most of 1943. These combined were operating somewhere between 120 and 160 aircraft and primarily engaged in covering convoy movements supporting Guadalcanal as well as strikes on Japanese targets in the Solomon Islands. They might have been slow, but their combined air strength made them a formidable force in that area of the Pacific. All four returned to US waters around October 1943 for refits having served almost the entirety of 1943 to that point in the South Pacific.
  9. Murotsu

    Plagues are a plague that needs to be addressed

    How I'm taking this epidemic....
  10. Depends on your opinion... All I did was point out the technical aspects of the Alaska design. Just as in the video in the OP, I left it to you to reach your own conclusion. Mine is they are very large cruisers, not battlecruisers.
  11. Given their historical build times of years-- Kaga: Launched 11/17/21 completed 3/31/26-- or 52 months Akagi: Launched 4/22/25 completed 3/25/27-- or 25 months Soryu: Launched 12/23/35 completed 12/29/37-- or 24 months Hiryu: Launched 11/16/37 completed 7/5/39--or 20 months An extensive rebuild of these would require roughly two years. So, the four would likely return to service sometime in early to mid 1944. They'd be sunk and the US would still win. They would also likely replace new construction as Japanese yards were limited in capacity so by rebuilding these carriers, they forego building new ones in their place.
  12. Murotsu

    Laffey requires wine donations

    More like a whine about wine... But we all know in reality... BEER WINS!
  13. An easier way to look at this quandary is to examine how the Alaska class were actually built and laid out. First, the secondary battery and catapult arrangements amidships are very much in line with US cruiser design, not battleship. They have the same 5"/38 twin turret layout that the Cleveland and Baltimore classes have, not one like any of the modern US BB use--even if reduced in number. The catapults amidships on columns are very much in keeping with cruiser practice pre-war where having these amidships made for a drier location for air operations. Next, the Alaska class followed cruiser design layout for protection As you can see, there is a single armored deck and side armor consists of a single belt. The torpedo defense system is a bit deeper than on other US cruisers but it is nowhere as comprehensive as a battleship's. As you can see in the two pictures above, the Alaska has no real liquid loading system for torpedo defense, on a double bottom versus a triple bottom, and the depth of the system is far less than on a battleship. Even the hull form followed cruiser lines for the period rather than the squarer and squatter battleship lines. The use of a single rudder (a mistake in my opinion) is again, not in line with battleship design.
  14. Murotsu

    Armed Merchant Cruisers

    The day of the merchant cruiser was numbered, even finished with the advent of long range, reliable radio communications, aircraft, and radar. The oceans may be huge, but you can't easily hide when those looking for you have the means to know with near instant communications where you are when you do show up. As for Q-ships, in WW 1 the British took this to a different level by pairing a merchant with a submarine, particularly a fast one like the R-Class. The idea here was the enemy sub would surface (this was in the still "gentlemanly" days of submarine warfare) and force the merchant to stop. While the U-boat was busy with that, the friendly sub would sneak up and torpedo the U-boat. That only worked until the Germans stopped being nice and asking a merchant to surrender first before firing.
  15. Murotsu

    Total Crap!

    Yea, I'm sure Captain Ralph Kerr (he was commanding HMS Hood don't ya know...) felt the exact same way...