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q_sertorius

Historic Tidbit: Kill the Ships! Not the sailors!!.....

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Good Day All!

I read something interesting!..  In Naval Battles it is the Ship, not so much the sailors in them, that must be killed!!  Once the Ship's has Struck, or goes under, there was immediate rescue of the sailors that survived!  I am in the Infantry, and we killed the men, not the machines in Land Warfare if we can help it.  We want the equipment also....

q_sertorius

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Same reason you don't shoot down parachutes.

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The rule of thumb is....

Your ship sinks = you die.

Your ship stays afloat, no matter how badly wrecked = you live.

When a ship sinks in a naval engagement the vast majority of the time most of the crew dies with the ship.  When a ship is wrecked end to end, but is still afloat at the end of a naval engagement and later abandoned, most of the crew is rescued or survives in things like the lifeboats or rafts.

 

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1 minute ago, Murotsu said:

The rule of thumb is....

Your ship sinks = you die.

Your ship stays afloat, no matter how badly wrecked = you live.

When a ship sinks in a naval engagement the vast majority of the time most of the crew dies with the ship.  When a ship is wrecked end to end, but is still afloat at the end of a naval engagement and later abandoned, most of the crew is rescued or survives in things like the lifeboats or rafts.

 

I guess my point is, I am just bad at making it....  In all the Naval books, and research I have done, the Naval forces engaged, always seemed to be trying to kill the "Ship!", not so much the seamen in them.  But on the land, we try to kill the enemy as a "Person", nit a piece of equipment.....  I hope I make better sense now...

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This didn't always happen, all nations may have shot at sailors in the water however, there is well documented cases of this happening in the Pacific. 

 

The Japanese were most likely the worst offenders with examples like Minesweeper W-12, USS Little/USS Gregory, throwing airmen bound with fuel cans overboard, SS Tjisalak, SS Jean Nicolet and countless other examples. 

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6 minutes ago, xX_Critical_ClopOut69_Xx said:

This didn't always happen, all nations may have shot at sailors in the water however, there is well documented cases of this happening in the Pacific. 

 

The Japanese were most likely the worst offenders with examples like Minesweeper W-12, USS Little/USS Gregory, throwing airmen bound with fuel cans overboard, SS Tjisalak, SS Jean Nicolet and countless other examples. 

True!..  But, the Pacific War was, I believe, the exception, not the rule...  For the most part, I think me observation still stands..  But that being said, there is no question the War in the Pacific was pound for pound, more brutal then that going on the the European Theater..

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51 minutes ago, Lert said:

Same reason you don't shoot down parachutes.

Hee hee!!...  True!....

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5 hours ago, q_sertorius said:

I guess my point is, I am just bad at making it....  In all the Naval books, and research I have done, the Naval forces engaged, always seemed to be trying to kill the "Ship!", not so much the seamen in them.  But on the land, we try to kill the enemy as a "Person", nit a piece of equipment.....  I hope I make better sense now...

Ships are like tanks on land, or aircraft in the sky.  They are a point target operated by a crew.  The point target is what you are trying to "kill."  On land, with infantry you are trying to take out the individual men because they are the targets.  But, with a tank, neutralizing or destroying the vehicle whether you kill or injure the crew is the objective.  Same with the airplane.  The pilot or crew can bail out, but the destruction of the plane is what's important.

As for killing survivors of a ship's crew this occasionally happens, but most of the time the victor of the battle, assuming it was close enough that the winner is in the area that the enemy's ship(s) went down in, might ignore survivors leaving them to their fate, or rescue and capture them.  Shooting them does happen some times, but it's really pretty pointless on the whole.

 

Edited by Murotsu

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5 hours ago, q_sertorius said:

I guess my point is, I am just bad at making it....  In all the Naval books, and research I have done, the Naval forces engaged, always seemed to be trying to kill the "Ship!", not so much the seamen in them.  But on the land, we try to kill the enemy as a "Person", nit a piece of equipment.....  I hope I make better sense now...

Bismarck was good example of why they tried to kill the ship since despite being hammered unmercifully and most of the gunnery crew were killed, you still had a lot of sailors below decks and had the steering not been disabled hours before the final battle Bismarck could likely have sailed away, been repaired, replacement gunnery crews trained and the ship would be back on the hunt.

Very difficult to board and capture a ship that did not want to be boarded. Unlike land combat where you can find ways to often capture a land vehicle back then on the sea it's totally different story.

Not to mention back in the day ships were also status symbols and some had such reputations of being the "best" and being "invincible" that unless the ship was surrendered to you or you somehow found it abandoned you needed sink the ship not only to end the threat, but often as a matter of national pride.

That's part of the reason why Yamato, Musashi, Bismarck, Tirpitz, and Hood getting sunk were headline news around the world aside from the loss of life you have the loss of a national status symbol that often was a blow to morale as well as the loss of naval power they represented.

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