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DeliciousFart

Interesting article on Yamato's torpedo defense flaws

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9 hours ago, Big_Spud said:

 

It's to my understanding that almost the entire center of the ship was obliterated by an explosion and created a massive debris field, which probably wiped out any evidence there. Drawing's I've seen of the wreck have most of the hull from the B turrets barbette >forward in relatively whole condition, with at least one torpedo strike noted on the port side, the starboard side resting in the sea floor. The entire aft of the ship looks like it twisted and landed mostly upside down in one big piece.

 

I guess wishing for a Bismarck style wreck where the hull is basically intact and resting upright was a bit much to hope for

 

Ahhh, that is unfortunate.

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16 hours ago, ksix said:

Okay, read, and while you were happy to jump in above about deficiencies you never pointed out to spud the last paragraph stating that the Torpedo fired by Skate had the TNT equivalent of between 1000-1200lb which almost assuredly would of defeated any TDS of the time. 

 

What? The author said the Skate torpedo warhead is 635 lb Torpex. Torpex has relative effective of 1.3, or 30% more than TNT. Other sources give 50% more effectiveness.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TNT_equivalent

 

I don't know what your point is, are you saying that the TDS weakness is irrelevant because of how powerful torpedo warheads are?

Edited by DeliciousFart

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On 8/31/2017 at 4:14 PM, 1nv4d3rZ1m said:

Careful you are treading on dangerous ground, a couple redditors tried to skin me alive when I implied that the Yamato didnt have the absolute strongest TDS. Its a good read though +1. 

 

God help you if you dare same anything negative about the Yamato, the masses will burn you alive.  It is clearly the best ship that was ever sunk!

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55 minutes ago, DeliciousFart said:

 

What? The author said the Skate torpedo warhead is 635 lb Torpex. Torpex has relative effective of 1.3, or 30% more than TNT. Other sources give 50% more effectiveness.

 

I don't know what your point is, are you saying that the TDS weakness is irrelevant because of how powerful torpedo warheads are?

 

Oh right, I saw the thread on NavWeaps about the Iowa belt connector as well.

 

Looks like I may have been wrong about the thickness of the holding bulkhead over the magazines on Iowa/SoDak.

 

: \

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36 minutes ago, Big_Spud said:

 

Oh right, I saw the thread on NavWeaps about the Iowa belt connector as well.

 

Looks like I was wrong about the thickness of the holding bulkhead over the magazines on Iowa/SoDak.

 

: \

I'm hoping @RadDisconnect can chime in here, he seems to be getting lots of good info from the NavWeaps forums.

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On 8/31/2017 at 9:34 PM, Lampshade_M1A2 said:

Yeah, Yamato's present condition would pose a problem.

 

Out of boredom I was just browsing Wikipedia and noticed the claim that Musashi's belt armor was 10mm thinner than on Yamato. Seems an unusual change, there must have been some reason for that. I wonder what was done with the weight saved? Like most classes of multiple warships I presume Musashi saw some minor improvements to the design based on experience.

 

On 8/31/2017 at 9:36 PM, AraAragami said:

Curiously, despite that, Musashi was slightly heavier than Yamato. Something clearly happened.

 

On 8/31/2017 at 9:38 PM, DeliciousFart said:

I recall reading articles saying that Musashi had extra displacement because it was built with additional spaces to be a fleet flagship. It's sort of like how the South Dakota had to trade 2 secondary turrets for the additional spaces for fleet flagship purposes.


If you have a chance, try and find this book:
51M+K0JYiaL._SX354_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

 

It talks all about Musashi, from her design and construction to her sinking.

Musashi started construction after Yamato by several months. Yamato was built in Kure in the naval yard drydock. Musashi was built in Nagasaki at a civilian shipyard.......on the slipways. Yes, believe it or not, Musashi slid stern first down the ways into the water. Perhaps this is a reason for the lighter armor?

As Yamato was put into commission first, any issues or problems with her were corrected in Musashi. Musashi was also being built with better flag facilities as after joining the fleet, she became the new fleet Flagship of the IJN.

 

On 9/1/2017 at 2:29 PM, Tzarevitch said:

Yes. The TDS on the Yamato class didn't perform well in practice. I am not at home to check my books, but as I recall the steelwork was excessively rigid and poorly joined. When struck, the plates didn't give enough as a result torpedo hits could fail to penetrate, but the shock of the hits would displace steel plates (which weren't well joined as you mentioned) and let water, effectively defeating the system that way. That's how Yamato took 3,000 tons of water in from a single torpedo hit dead on her TDS. I vaguely recall that the Yamatos weren't particularly well compartmentalized for such large ships either. 

The good news as I recall was that the ships had MASSIVE buoyancy reserves. They could flood almost all areas outside of the citadel area and stay barely afloat. I suspect that buoyancy reserve is the real reason why they survived as long as they did from the air attacks that did them in.


From what I've read, that joint between the two armor plates was roughly at the level that torpedos usually ran at. Any torpedo hit would be right at that seam. 
Yamato class had very good reserve buoyancy and powerful pumps. Musashi used those pumps and counter flooding to remain on an even keel while under attack. Eventually the system became over whelmed and Musashi sank. Shinano ran into the problem that her watertight compartments weren't. Enough water flooded her that she listed far enough her pumps couldn't counter flood to right her. The intakes for the pumps were out of the water.

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On 9/2/2017 at 7:03 PM, DeliciousFart said:

I'm hoping @RadDisconnect can chime in here, he seems to be getting lots of good info from the NavWeaps forums.

I did, in fact, ask around about the Iowa's upper and lower belt joint. I'll quote the response from Bill Jurens here.

 

(This may represent a 'double posting' insofar as I did send a similar one in about an hour ago which appears to have gone adrift in cyber-space.  I apologize if I've inadvertently posted twice.)

 The upper and lower belts appear to have been connected by a key roughly 2.8" (71mm) square.   The dimensions are approximate -- within  millimeter or so -- insofar as the key seats in the upper and lower plates were usually machined by the manufacturer, with the key itself usually being manufactured and installed 'to fit' at the shipyard.

For what it is worth,  I am not entirely convinced that the apparent defect in the joint in the armor belt of Yamato, etc. was actually as bad as it is often depicted.  It's not uncommon when designing heavily loaded structures to build in specific weak points in order to more easily estimate and control the precise types of failures that might occur when the loading occurs.   A good example of that might be the line of perforations used to separate postage stamps, or the often odd configurations of various brackets and supports used in the 'crumple zones' used  in modern automobiles.  In that regard, it's possible that  the Japanese engineer(s) might actually have been smarter than we think they were.  Sometimes the devil you know is better than the devil you don't.

When failure does occur under heavy loading, it's tempting to think that the failure might have been delayed or perhaps even avoided by 'beefing up' various structural bits, but it's often not realized that simply adding rigidity, etc., does not necessarily equate to an equivalent increase in overall resistance.  When evaluating such things, it's important to realize that alternative modes of failure might not be much better, and might even be somewhat worse.  When energy absorption is of primary concern, designing for a greater-than-intuitive amount of plastic and elastic distortion is often good.

Bill Jurens.

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I do respect Mr. Jurens greatly, but I think he's a bit wrong about the "joint" on Yamatos TDS being an intended feature.

 

Mostly because of the fact that we know even the Japanese engineers didn't expect it to fail so catastrophically, and didn't actually have a way to fix it beyond adding another 5,000 tons of backing to the area in question, as well as a massive increase in internal subdivision in the compartments immediately behind it. Generally speaking, needing to add 5,000 more tons to an already long since completed 70,000 ton super-battleship in order to fix something as basic as the TDS, means that a mistake in design was made at some point.

 

 

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In engineering there is a practice of "fail safe", so to say, where if your system fails you want it to fail predictably and not catastrophically. For Yamato's system, I can see how it meets the first criteria, but the second one though, I'm not so sure. I mean it's possible that they anticipated the TDS being breached, which is why they had so many longitudinal subdivisions in the machinery spaces.

 

I'm considering making an account on Navweaps forums myself to see if I can pick the brains of some naval historians there.

Edited by DeliciousFart

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4 hours ago, DeliciousFart said:

In engineering there is a practice of "fail safe", so to say, where if your system fails you want it to fail predictably and not catastrophically. For Yamato's system, I can see how it meets the first criteria, but the second one though, I'm not so sure. I mean it's possible that they anticipated the TDS being breached, which is why they had so many longitudinal subdivisions in the machinery spaces.

 

I'm considering making an account on Navweaps forums myself to see if I can pick the brains of some naval historians there.

 

The large amount of longitudinal machinery bulkheads always seemed more as a result of the system being forced to use twelve boilers all stacked up side by side in the wide hull to generate the 150,000 shp, rather than the echeloned form and fewer boilers used by modern USN or Royal Navy ships (the main weakness of the Iowas and South Dakota's was the lack of longitudinal subdivision, to a certain extent). It allows for better subdivision, but the Nagatos had even more watertight compartments on a much narrower and shorter hull. The KGVs also had absurd levels of internal division in the machinery spaces for a ship their size. The number of compartments inside Yamato probably had more to do with her size than anything else.

 

Knowing the Japanese, a lot of it was also probably done simply for additional counter flooding capabilities. Yamato was even flooding some of her machinery spaces intentionally for stability towards the end, which is something I imagine you would not see on any other ship. Usually the way you gain that ability is by making "sacrificial"'compartments just inboard of the final torpedo bulkhead that are allowed to flood predictably, but on Yamato you just had the belt and then fuel storage with nothing but an extremely thin mild steel bulkhead separating it from the adjacent machinery rooms.

 

Funnily enough, with all of KGVs flaws, this is something they did correctly. There was an additional sacrificial space inboard of the final TDS bulkhead that was designed to keep any flooding out of the magazines and machinery/boiler spaces. This worked well on PoW, although when her shaft was knocked out of alignment and tore apart literally every watertight bulkhead along its length, she was finished. IIRC, study's of the wreck found that none of the other torpedoes would have actually caused additional flooding inboard of that space.

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5 hours ago, Big_Spud said:

 

The large amount of longitudinal machinery bulkheads always seemed more as a result of the system being forced to use twelve boilers all stacked up side by side in the wide hull to generate the 150,000 shp, rather than the echeloned form and fewer boilers used by modern USN or Royal Navy ships (the main weakness of the Iowas and South Dakota's was the lack of longitudinal subdivision, to a certain extent). It allows for better subdivision, but the Nagatos had even more watertight compartments on a much narrower and shorter hull. The KGVs also had absurd levels of internal division in the machinery spaces for a ship their size. The number of compartments inside Yamato probably had more to do with her size than anything else.

 

Knowing the Japanese, a lot of it was also probably done simply for additional counter flooding capabilities. Yamato was even flooding some of her machinery spaces intentionally for stability towards the end, which is something I imagine you would not see on any other ship. Usually the way you gain that ability is by making "sacrificial"'compartments just inboard of the final torpedo bulkhead that are allowed to flood predictably, but on Yamato you just had the belt and then fuel storage with nothing but an extremely thin mild steel bulkhead separating it from the adjacent machinery rooms.

 

Funnily enough, with all of KGVs flaws, this is something they did correctly. There was an additional sacrificial space inboard of the final TDS bulkhead that was designed to keep any flooding out of the magazines and machinery/boiler spaces. This worked well on PoW, although when her shaft was knocked out of alignment and tore apart literally every watertight bulkhead along its length, she was finished. IIRC, study's of the wreck found that none of the other torpedoes would have actually caused additional flooding inboard of that space.

How sacrificial those spaces are on the KGVs is debatable. I don't have a diagram with me right now but aren't some of those sacrificial spaces containing auxiliary machinery? I think one of the reasons the Prince of Wales was lost is losing electrical power that basically rendered the HACS and 5.25" secondaries useless.

Edited by DeliciousFart

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22 minutes ago, DeliciousFart said:

How sacrificial those spaces are on the KGVs is debatable. I don't have a diagram with me right now but aren't some of those sacrificial spaces containing auxiliary machinery?

 I think some of them contain auxiliary generators, etc. Still better than having an entire engine room or magazine flood, mind you. The Royal Navy still relied on hydraulic power for its main battery traverse, etc., so losing a few small generators would conceivably mean less for the ships primary fighting capabilities, at the expense of all other electric sub-systems.

 

Not that the system as whole would hold up particularly well against anything other than early war aerial torpedoes. It's still too shallow.

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42 minutes ago, Big_Spud said:

 I think some of them contain auxiliary generators, etc. Still better than having an entire engine room or magazine flood, mind you. The Royal Navy still relied on hydraulic power for its main battery traverse, etc., so losing a few small generators would conceivably mean less for the ships primary fighting capabilities, at the expense of all other electric sub-systems.

 

Not that the system as whole would hold up particularly well against anything other than early war aerial torpedoes. It's still too shallow.

 

Were the dynamos located in those auxiliary generator spaces? Even the hit to the propeller shaft caused flooding to one of the engine rooms and some auxiliary machinery spaces, but that was enough to disable large parts of damage control and electrical output. Makes me think that the electrical system on the KGVs were not that well thought out.

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Battleships #110 and #111 were to be built as sister ships according to the design of the Yamato and Musashi and were to compose one battleship division. However, some improvements were attempted in response to the appearance of a new weapon, improvement of flagship facilities and cruising range.

(1)   Reinforcement of the ship’s bottom protection. When World War II began in Europe the very sensitive magnetic mine was used, against which the IJN had no countermeasure. As protection against this mine the reinforcement of the ship’s bottom in the range of the machinery spaces, particularly the engine rooms, and ammunition magazines was considered as necessary. Above the double bottom, consisting of two layers of 25.4-mm thick DS plates, another DS layer of 12.7-mm thickness was stretched to make a triple bottom. In areas lacking the space to fit this plate, the double bottom was reinforced. According to calculations and experiments the detonation of a mine with a charge of 300 kg at 2.5 m distance to the bottom would not cause any leakage.

(2)   Reduction of armor thickness to compensate the weight increase by the partial triple bottom and reinforced double bottom. The protection against the magnetic mine required an increase of the weight by approx. 600 tons. On the other hand, several armor thicknesses had some “reserve” which could be used to compensate the weight increase by the strengthening of the ship’s bottom protection. Consequently, the thickness of the belt armor was reduced to 400 mm from 410 mm, that of the protective (middle) deck to 190 mm from 200 mm and the barbettes of the main guns to 540 mm from 560 mm.

(3)   Reinforcement of the protection of the secondary gun turrets against bombs. The weight saved by the aforementioned reductions exceeded the required approx. 600 tons and also permitted the reinforcement of the protection of the secondary gun turrets against bombs. The 25.4-mm thick plates of the turrets provided only splinter protection and the barbettes above the weather deck also had insufficient protection. However, the design of the reinforcement is uncertain.

(4)   Improvement of the flagship facilities. The revision of the flagship facilities as flagship of the Combined Fleet caused changes in the fleet operation room, which, in turn, affected the nearby command centres in the foremast.

(5)   Reduction of the fuel storage. New calculations had shown a remarkable excess of the required range so a reduction of the fuel storage was intended.

(6)   Planned reinforcement of the anti-aircraft defense. Instead of the 40-cal Type 89 12.7-cm twin high-angle guns the most modern and much more efficient 60-cal Type 98 10-cm twin high-angle guns should be mounted. But this planning had to be given up because of the insufficient production of this gun.

Lengerer, Hans. Capital Ships of the Imperial Japanese Navy 1868-1945: The YAMATO Class and Subsequent Planning: Chapters 7 through 10 (Kindle Locations 2681-2704). Nimble Books LLC. Kindle Edition.

 

According to this, which is the best source on the Yamato-class in English, Musashi had the same protection as Yamato, but the follow on hulls would have had the armour reduction sometimes quoted for Musashi in order to make up for the reinforcement of the vessels' bottoms.

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1 minute ago, DeliciousFart said:

 

Were the dynamos located in those auxiliary generator spaces? Even the hit to the propeller shaft caused flooding to one of the engine rooms and some auxiliary machinery spaces, but that was enough to disable large parts of damage control and electrical output. Makes me think that the electrical system on the KGVs were not that well thought out.

 

The damage caused by the shaft being restarted and tearing free basically ruined every single watertight compartment along its entire length. I've read that the last man out of one of the engine rooms literally had water following him up the ladder, and barely managed to get the hatch dogged before it poured over into the compartment ABOVE the room he had just left. By that point I don't know if having her electrical systems intact would have made a difference, the flooding was just too fast and too comprehensive to really do anything about.

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3 minutes ago, AdmiralPiett said:

Lengerer, Hans. Capital Ships of the Imperial Japanese Navy 1868-1945: The YAMATO Class and Subsequent Planning: Chapters 7 through 10 (Kindle Locations 2681-2704). Nimble Books LLC. Kindle Edition.

 

According to this, which is the best source on the Yamato-class in English, Musashi had the same protection as Yamato, but the follow on hulls would have had the armour reduction sometimes quoted for Musashi in order to make up for the reinforcement of the vessels' bottoms.

I haven't read the book in its entirety, but point 5 to me is really weird. A reduction in range? Yamato's range isn't exactly world beating and it's one of the reasons she wasn't used in Guadalcanal, yet the IJN thought her range is excessive?

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1 minute ago, DeliciousFart said:

I haven't read the book in its entirety, but point 5 to me is really weird. A reduction in range? Yamato's range isn't exactly world beating and it's one of the reasons she wasn't used in Guadalcanal, yet the IJN thought her range is excessive?

 

Never really understood that part either...

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2 minutes ago, DeliciousFart said:

I haven't read the book in its entirety, but point 5 to me is really weird. A reduction in range? Yamato's range isn't exactly world beating and it's one of the reasons she wasn't used in Guadalcanal, yet the IJN thought her range is excessive?

 

I guess they calculated that it was well in excess of the original requirement? Since it was built to a defensive strategy where the IJN would have been operating on interior lines, it does make some sense. Does seem a little odd to me as well though. If you have it, why not use it?

Edited by AdmiralPiett

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The major modifications incorporated in the rough design of #797 warship, planned to be built in Yokosuka Navy Yard, were as follows:

(1)   Reinforcement of the ship’s bottom protection. The reinforcement was in the range as described above.

(2)   Reinforcement of the underwater protection. Mounting of longitudinal bulkheads along the unprotected sides forward and aft of the vital part to limit immersion resulting from a torpedo hit. (It is uncertain whether or not the thickness of the bulkheads in these parts was increased since the very long unprotected areas had been recognised as a seriously weak point of the Yamato class.)

(3)   Reinforcement of the AA defense. The secondary guns were abolished to mount as many as possible of the 60-cal Type 98 10-cm twin high-angle guns and Type 96 25-mm triple machine-guns (Some sources state the number of the 10-cm high-angle guns as ten but even this number is uncertain.). As for the 25-mm machine-guns the authors have found no numbers in the sources consulted. To control these weapons the increase of the high-angle gun fire control system and machine-gun directors was intended. The air defense control stations on top of the foremast and the main mast and the air watch stations were revised in response to the increased numbers of these weapons.

(4)   The rooms of the commanding headquarters were shifted forward to make them rather more spacious.

Lengerer, Hans. Capital Ships of the Imperial Japanese Navy 1868-1945: The YAMATO Class and Subsequent Planning: Chapters 7 through 10 (Kindle Locations 2719-2732). Nimble Books LLC. Kindle Edition. 

Here is some more info on a further modified hull, #797.

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10 minutes ago, AdmiralPiett said:

 

I guess they calculated that it was well in excess of the original requirement? Since it was built to a defensive strategy where the IJN would have been operating on interior lines, it does make some sense. Does seem a little odd to me as well though. If you have it, why not use it?

 

Regardless of original requirements, the massive fuel consumption of these ships limited them strictly to the Decisive Battle doctrine and seriously reduced their overall utility. The fact that the IJN decided to reduce bunkerage even with the operational experience at Guadalcanal is puzzling. Were they just that wed to their Decisive Battle doctrine with the Yamatos?

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5 minutes ago, DeliciousFart said:

 

Regardless of original requirements, the massive fuel consumption of these ships limited them strictly to the Decisive Battle doctrine and seriously reduced their overall utility. The fact that the IJN decided to reduce bunkerage even with the operational experience at Guadalcanal is puzzling. Were they just that wed to their Decisive Battle doctrine with the Yamatos?

 

Ahhhh, here we go. The design improvements were finalized before the war. That would explain it. Both were laid down in 1940. Hull #110 was Shinano.

Edited by AdmiralPiett

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Reading through Lengerer's book, some more rather baffling design decisions with the Yamatos, and I quote.

Quote

At the early period of the fundamental design, the advantages of the liquid layer for underwater protection were known by the results of the experiments* and the use of fuel tanks was designed. But irrespective of this result, the final decision was that the liquid layer was unnecessary because the armor against the underwater AP projectile would provide sufficient protection also against torpedoes etc. This decision, based upon the overestimated effect of the lower armor, was fateful for it could never bring about the effect of the multiple liquid layers. Consequently, the supposed amount of flooding was about twice that calculated for the system of the US battleships, with the corresponding bigger destruction area.

 

*During the design of the battleship Nagato , comparative experiments with reduced scale models were executed comparing the system devised by Hiraga Yuzuru (curved longitudinal bulkhead from the lower end of the belt armor to the bottom composed of three plate layers with the air layer in front, which was very difficult to produce) and that adopted in US battleships (three layers of longitudinal bulkheads jointly using liquid layers). Hiraga adopted his system for all capital ships and heavy cruisers designed by him, stating that the experiments had proven its superiority. But Fujimoto Kikuo, who succeeded him as Keikaku Shunin , afterwards doubted the effect of this system. In preparation for the design of the new capital ships many experiments with regard to the underwater protection were carried out and the utilisation of the liquid layer proved to be superior. As advantages the following effects were confirmed: (1) Obstruction of the penetration of protective bulkheads by fragments of the ship’s structure caused by a torpedo detonation (the water had the effect of a brake and annihilated much of the kinetic energy), (2) distribution of the detonation gas pressure as water pressure upon the whole area of the protective bulkhead (therefore the force of the detonation effected upon a much larger area than in case of an air space, in which only the distance to the detonation point reduced the force of the expanding gases), (3) reduction of the flooding in the protective compartments (by offering more resistance) and reduction of the total amount of flooding by putting more transverse bulkheads (the water of the layers was already in the ship and considered in the calculations and transverse bulkheads limited flooding in the longitudinal direction).

There seems to be some serious engineering management issues during the design process.

Edited by DeliciousFart

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10 minutes ago, DeliciousFart said:

Reading through Lengerer's book, some more rather baffling design decisions with the Yamatos, and I quote.

There seems to be some serious engineering management issues during the design process.

Yeah, there were many great design choices, but also some completely baffling ones. Particularly related to the TDS. I have seen similar trends with many IJN designs of warships and aircraft. Where the technical personnel that know things try to explain to the people demanding certain characteristics that their logic won't work so well in reality, only to be ignored. The design process behind G4M being another notable example.

Edited by AdmiralPiett

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Amusingly, this reminds me of the recent A-12 Avenger debacle, where the Navy's poor understanding of stealth resulted in requirements and parameters that made the two companies with actual stealth experience at the time, Lockheed and Northrop, go "lol nope", and the resulting McDonnell Douglass/General Dynamics design was a complete dog before the whole thing was finally canceled.

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