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MS406france1940

Kongo class VS some old US battleships.

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So a few days ago I started a topic where I whanted to see the opinions on the ideas I have for a project I am planning on doing.

And while that  is going on I wanted to ask the community more specific questions regarding the ships I am considering using. 

 You can see the full context in the previous post here is a list of the ships on the American side. (I am only considering using two of this ships not all  of them in a battle line) 

Nevada class battleships (uss Nevada and uss Oklahoma)

Wyoming class battleships (uss Wyoming and uss Arkansas) 

Florida class battleships (uss Florida and uss Utha) 

And  while I am not that sure I whant to go this far into the 'what if' The Lexintong class battlescruisers.

On the Japanese side I am sure I am using the fast battleships of the Kongo class. 

So how do you belive the ships mentioned above would battle each other? More  specifically at ranges between 20.000 and 31.000 yards whit intervalts of clear visivility interrupted by smokescreams.

For more references here is some information a friend on Devianart provided my whit regarding this. (I didn't talk whit him about the Lexintongs so that is missing) 

The Florida class could not fire that fire but even with increased elevation it would not penetrate 203mm belt armour. The 12" Mark 5 gun could penetrate at maximum 15 degrees elevation at 11km range an armour of 251mm thickness.

Wyoming's 12" Mark 7 probably be able to penetrate at 18km but above that the likelihood of penetration is wastly decreased.

Nevada's 14" Mark 1 / Mark 8 cannons could penetrate Kongo's belt armour (new guns, older ones could not) at those distances though at max range the angle of fall might prevent penetration.

At 18km it could probably penetrate the Florida and Wyoming's class armour above that not likely, Nevada is protected and couldn't be penetrated.

So, what do you think?

Edited by MS406france1940
Correction
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Well, let's see:

The Florida class is the oldest one mentioned.  Neither ship was modernized in the 30's because they were taken out of service due to the WNT.  I'd assume if they stayed in service they'd get a greater degree of modernization than they did historically.  You could also expect a slightly better penetration with the Mk 15 12" round versus the "old" round generally listed for this gun.  While it still wouldn't be up to the Arkansas class' penetration, it'd be about an 1" to 2" more than listed at longer range (the 251mm penetration).  So, say it's now closer to 275 to 280 mm at 12,000 yards.

The Arkansas class simply adds a turret to the Florida.

The New York class is basically the Arkansas class with one less turret but 14" guns.

The Nevada class goes to the "all or nothing" scheme of armor and ups the belt to 13.5"

All of these ships are relatively compact.  They're much smaller than their Japanese counterparts.  The US ships are about 100 to 150 feet shorter than the Japanese battleships that are contemporary.

But, it really comes down to how many hits one or the other would score, not what the belt armor is particularly.  Kirishima was wrecked end to end and the heaviest armor made next to zero difference.  The US 12" ships could shoot about 1.5 to 2 times the rounds the Japanese ship could in the same time.  That means the Japanese are going to take more hits quickly than the US ship will, and adding to that the smaller US ship is a more difficult target, even if only fractionally.

At over 20,000 yards I doubt either side has much going for it.  Firing off optical sights only, above 20,000 yards is more a matter of luck than skill.  If you want to talk about using spotter planes then the US has a very clear advantage doing this, at least out to the maximum range the ships can shoot.  Why?  Because the US fire control technique using spotter planes is far better than Japanese practice, and the US plane has much better FM radio(s) fitted along with better specialist gear for the task.  Proof of this is in the ability of US battleships to provide devastatingly accurate NGS in amphibious landings using spotting planes, while the one case where Japanese BB's tried doing this (Guadalcanal against Henderson Field) gave mediocre results.

So, if this were to happen in terms of the ABDA fleet, I'd say the Japanese were at a disadvantage in a one-on-one against a US BB, even an old 12" one.

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8 hours ago, Murotsu said:

Well, let's see:

The Florida class is the oldest one mentioned.  Neither ship was modernized in the 30's because they were taken out of service due to the WNT.  I'd assume if they stayed in service they'd get a greater degree of modernization than they did historically.  You could also expect a slightly better penetration with the Mk 15 12" round versus the "old" round generally listed for this gun.  While it still wouldn't be up to the Arkansas class' penetration, it'd be about an 1" to 2" more than listed at longer range (the 251mm penetration).  So, say it's now closer to 275 to 280 mm at 12,000 yards.

The Arkansas class simply adds a turret to the Florida.

The New York class is basically the Arkansas class with one less turret but 14" guns.

The Nevada class goes to the "all or nothing" scheme of armor and ups the belt to 13.5"

All of these ships are relatively compact.  They're much smaller than their Japanese counterparts.  The US ships are about 100 to 150 feet shorter than the Japanese battleships that are contemporary.

But, it really comes down to how many hits one or the other would score, not what the belt armor is particularly.  Kirishima was wrecked end to end and the heaviest armor made next to zero difference.  The US 12" ships could shoot about 1.5 to 2 times the rounds the Japanese ship could in the same time.  That means the Japanese are going to take more hits quickly than the US ship will, and adding to that the smaller US ship is a more difficult target, even if only fractionally.

At over 20,000 yards I doubt either side has much going for it.  Firing off optical sights only, above 20,000 yards is more a matter of luck than skill.  If you want to talk about using spotter planes then the US has a very clear advantage doing this, at least out to the maximum range the ships can shoot.  Why?  Because the US fire control technique using spotter planes is far better than Japanese practice, and the US plane has much better FM radio(s) fitted along with better specialist gear for the task.  Proof of this is in the ability of US battleships to provide devastatingly accurate NGS in amphibious landings using spotting planes, while the one case where Japanese BB's tried doing this (Guadalcanal against Henderson Field) gave mediocre results.

So, if this were to happen in terms of the ABDA fleet, I'd say the Japanese were at a disadvantage in a one-on-one against a US BB, even an old 12" one.

The Mark 7 on the Wyoming could fire 2-3 shells a minute, depending on elevation. She could keep up a volume a fire that could give her a first hit advantage (throw enough crapat the wall concept)

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10 hours ago, Murotsu said:

 

All of these ships are relatively compact.  They're much smaller than their Japanese counterparts.  The US ships are about 100 to 150 feet shorter than the Japanese battleships that are contemporary.

But, it really comes down to how many hits one or the other would score, not what the belt armor is particularly.  Kirishima was wrecked end to end and the heaviest armor made next to zero difference.  The US 12" ships could shoot about 1.5 to 2 times the rounds the Japanese ship could in the same time.  That means the Japanese are going to take more hits quickly than the US ship will, and adding to that the smaller US ship is a more difficult target, even if only fractionally.

At over 20,000 yards I doubt either side has much going for it.  Firing off optical sights only, above 20,000 yards is more a matter of luck than skill.  If you want to talk about using spotter planes then the US has a very clear advantage doing this, at least out to the maximum range the ships can shoot.  Why?  Because the US fire control technique using spotter planes is far better than Japanese practice, and the US plane has much better FM radio(s) fitted along with better specialist gear for the task.  Proof of this is in the ability of US battleships to provide devastatingly accurate NGS in amphibious landings using spotting planes, while the one case where Japanese BB's tried doing this (Guadalcanal against Henderson Field) gave mediocre results.

So, if this were to happen in terms of the ABDA fleet, I'd say the Japanese were at a disadvantage in a one-on-one against a US BB, even an old 12" one.

Interesting. So the Japanse would have to close the range in order to counter the US spoter plane advantage. And since the Kongos are way faster that means the only way the Americans could only maintain distance or disengage by using smoke screens from the escorting destroyers. 

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If we are talking about both sides needing to force a surface engagement for no reason or the other, then speed means nothing outside of one force quitting the battlefield should fortune turn against them.

The entire American line will be moving between 19 and 21 knots (depending on the mood of Oklahoma’s engines that day) and if the Japanese wish to engage them, THEY need to close.

The slower fleet generally has the advantage in that it can always maneuver to meet whichever direction the opposing fleet chooses to approach from, especially in the Pacific. Given the tight tactical diameters common to the short and stocky USN designs with their huge rudders, it’s going to make it extremely difficult to ever cross the T of the American battle line. If the Kongos decide to split into two divisions for whatever reason, then the American line will simply focus on one pair until they are rapidly disabled, and then switch to the other.

 

In terms of protection and armament, the Nevada’s and New York’s are superior, although New York is still more vulnerable than Nevada thanks to her distributed protection scheme. The Nevada’s in particular will prove most difficult for the Kongos to sink at a wide variety of ranges, and the same can not be said in reverse. At any reasonable combat range the Kongo is entirely vulnerable to fire from the American 14”/45 guns, which are rather significantly more powerful than the Japanese weapon of the same caliber. Even the thickest plating on their turrets is not safe by any measure.

 

The older Florida (why is she even here?) and Arkansas/Wyoming (assuming Wyoming never got her training ship conversion in 1931)  will be more challenged by the Kongos, mostly because of their lessened striking power and protection. I would rate the Kongos as more powerful per unit than either of these classes in 1941, including giving the Florida’s an Arkansas type reconstruction. The Americans can produce a higher volume of fire, but I am not particularly sure how their fire control will hold up. If they hit at a reasonable range, they will hurt the Kongos. But the Kongos can hit back harder and have more “meat” to absorb damage before being completely disabled. Now if the Arkansas/Florida gets lucky and gets a few turret hits in (more likely to happen because of the aforementioned higher volume of fire and Kongos lighter protection), then they might be able to take the day by forcing a withdrawal. I won’t call it a particularly unlikely scenario either, barbette and turret hits are rather common.

 

The results would not be entirely surprising. Traditional Battlecruisers are rather notoriously poorly equipped for dealing with a proper battleship.

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23 minutes ago, Big_Spud said:

 

 

The older Florida (why is she even here?) 

Just putting out as much options as possible but to be honest I am almost certain I am going to put the Arkansas and the Oklahoma in the division. 

And thanks for the opinion it will be very usseful:cap_like:

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3 hours ago, MS406france1940 said:

Interesting. So the Japanse would have to close the range in order to counter the US spoter plane advantage. And since the Kongos are way faster that means the only way the Americans could only maintain distance or disengage by using smoke screens from the escorting destroyers. 

Higher speed is only good for running away.  The USN clearly didn't expect to run from a fight with their battleships.  That means they'll stay and fight.

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1 hour ago, Murotsu said:

Higher speed is only good for running away.  The USN clearly didn't expect to run from a fight with their battleships.  That means they'll stay and fight.

Okay so that will be a very important factor. 

On another note how would you think this vertion of teh Java sea would go. In my opinion the best way to include the battleships without them traying to catch up whit the rest of the fleet goes as follows (At least in the firts part of the battle). 

The battleships and a screen of four 'Four stakers' destroyers leave Surabaya whit the nest of the fleet on march 26. At night when the rest of the strike force returned to port the battleships stay on patrol sailing to the west. In the following hours when the invation force is discovered the battleships turn arround and this allows the allies to attack on a pincer move. Something like this. 

 

 

Javasea.jpg

(Mind-bending paint avilities away) 

After that is bit more out in the air, ofcourse the Japanse try to use their battleships to counter teh US battleships but maybe they launch a torpedo attack agaist them? Maybe the US destroyers launch their own attack? In any case I imagine the battleships retire at around the same nightfall. 

Edited by MS406france1940

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Any additional ships present at Java will simply succumb to the massed torpedo attacks and early Japanese night supremacy that felled the others. The problem with the Allied force here wasn't its ships, it was the tactics and general lack of coordination that doomed them.

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8 hours ago, Psycodiver said:

The Mark 7 on the Wyoming could fire 2-3 shells a minute, depending on elevation. She could keep up a volume a fire that could give her a first hit advantage (throw enough crapat the wall concept)

I think he meant "more shells" as in volume of fire. Arkansas has 12 guns vs the Kongo's 8.Even if they could only fire once every minute, Kongo is putting out 24 shells the first minute then 16 for ever minute after while Arkansas is doing 36 then 24. (If both ships start out loaded which I think they didn't)

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30 minutes ago, Big_Spud said:

Any additional ships present at Java will simply succumb to the massed torpedo attacks and early Japanese night supremacy that felled the others. The problem with the Allied force here wasn't its ships, it was the tactics and general lack of coordination that doomed them.

It was both really.

The massed daylight torpedo attacks launched by the IJN were almost totally useless, 134 torpedo launches IIRC for the result of one small Dutch destroyer sunk. With a larger ABDA fleet the results may be similar again.

In the daylight gunnery action the Japanese had the better of it thanks to weight of fire and problems on Exeter (20 8in to 6) and a boost to the Allied firepower would have been useful. Doorman could have used better tactics but with the coordination as you say it would be difficult - he threw away the Allied advantage in 6in firepower because his signalling was barely up to his famous 'Follow Me' exhortion. 

In the night action the Allies had lots of problems, but greater force may have been useful. The Java and De Ruyter were unlucky and outgunned, but in the short, sharp action Perth and Houston avoided the fairly small cruiser-launched torpedo barrage and disengaged. In strategic terms it didn't matter too much as in that position and by nightfall the mission of interdicting the invasion convoy was already looking impossible.

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1 hour ago, mofton said:

It was both really.

The massed daylight torpedo attacks launched by the IJN were almost totally useless, 134 torpedo launches IIRC for the result of one small Dutch destroyer sunk. With a larger ABDA fleet the results may be similar again.

In the daylight gunnery action the Japanese had the better of it thanks to weight of fire and problems on Exeter (20 8in to 6) and a boost to the Allied firepower would have been useful. Doorman could have used better tactics but with the coordination as you say it would be difficult - he threw away the Allied advantage in 6in firepower because his signalling was barely up to his famous 'Follow Me' exhortion. 

In the night action the Allies had lots of problems, but greater force may have been useful. The Java and De Ruyter were unlucky and outgunned, but in the short, sharp action Perth and Houston avoided the fairly small cruiser-launched torpedo barrage and disengaged. In strategic terms it didn't matter too much as in that position and by nightfall the mission of interdicting the invasion convoy was already looking impossible.

Oh I agree that the torpedoes had very little success in terms of actual damage, but it definitely caused issues with station holding.

 

I still question the utility of a single battleship. It’s going to slow down all other units that are in formation with it, which may increase the chances of additional torpedo hits. Furthermore if the situation does turn sour as it did in reality, there is practically no way for it to make a rapid withdrawal with whatever remaining cruisers or destroyers there are. Especially if it has taken a torpedo hit. And if the Japanese are aware of the commitment of a large capital ship, they may very well commit more units to ensure its destruction.

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21 minutes ago, Big_Spud said:

Oh I agree that the torpedoes had very little success in terms of actual damage, but it definitely caused issues with station holding.

 

I still question the utility of a single battleship. It’s going to slow down all other units that are in formation with it, which may increase the chances of additional torpedo hits. Furthermore if the situation does turn sour as it did in reality, there is practically no way for it to make a rapid withdrawal with whatever remaining cruisers or destroyers there are. Especially if it has taken a torpedo hit.

I'm definitely with you on the low utility of a single USN Standard-type. In this particular scenario MS406France1940 has suggested splitting the battleship and a small escort of 4x Four-Pipers' off to the west of the main group.

That might mean you were less hobbled by the speed (the ABDA force was already tied to ~26kts - slower than the Japanese) but coordination would be a nightmare. From what I recall only the Exeter had a radio that could speak to the De Ruyter, but Exeter could speak to the USN, RAN and other RN ships. That meant that anything complex had to go via Exeter with obvious calamitous results when she was crippled. In addition Doorman wanted to lead the fleet with De Ruyter with Exeter second in line in order to be able to communicate better even though it was disadvantageous. If you can't coordinate a line of 5 cruisers in sight of each other, a battleship over the horizon seems impossible.

If the IJN get a Kongo or two to 'counter' the USN Standard then the balance of forces coordination aside goes even more in their favor.

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My honest opinion is, IJN CV aviation kill the USN BBs up front. 

/If/ they actually fight, the IJN fights from long range, hits the USN ships a few times for minimal damage and disengages when their magazines are empty.  The USN shoots a lot of shells, maybe gets lucky and lands a hit, but doesn't accomplish much of anything.

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11 minutes ago, crzyhawk said:

My honest opinion is, IJN CV aviation kill the USN BBs up front. 

/If/ they actually fight, the IJN fights from long range, hits the USN ships a few times for minimal damage and disengages when their magazines are empty.  The USN shoots a lot of shells, maybe gets lucky and lands a hit, but doesn't accomplish much of anything.

At the specific Battle of the Java Sea IJN CV aviation was absent.

Whether they'd make that choice given the hypothetical re-deployment of a USN Standard is uncertain. Usually any 'if there was bonus ship here' scenario would have a logical countermove by the opposing forces.

In the DEI campaign generally the Ryujo was the main IJN CV deployed, but the Kido Butai didn't turn up until a bit after the main battle where they then sank the Edsall. Land based IJN/A bombers did damage Marblehead and Houston pretty severely earlier in February - the same fate could easily befall an old USN Standard type.

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Well I replied to your other thread and I suggested that the USS Wyoming and USS Utah, in their actual 1941 configurations (or somewhat modified in the Utah's case), might be a more interesting option posted here ... 

 

If I understand your story narrative correctly, it should cover the time between the period just before WWII kicked off for the US and lasting until the ships are destroyed during as part of the ABDA force or potentially surviving long enough to fight at Savo Island. 

These two ships with their unusually heavy AA batteries, due to their missions as gunnery training vessels, would actually be better positioned than most in protecting themselves from air attack during the opening phases of your story.  

Now Java Sea is an interesting battle or better yet, Sunda Straight and you are assuming that the Kongo's advance fast enough to participate in the fight (which they did not historically).  So, what happens to the ABDA force if they don't.  What happens if the cruiser forces of the IJN need to face these two old warriors the ABDA cruiser force without the Kongo's to support them.  Now that creates and even more interesting what if situation.  Or, what happens if the ABDA force manages to push it's way past the IJN cruisers  but then, just as escape seems possible, the Kongo's arrive and the two old battleships turn to engage them to allow the other ships to escape.  Nice story material that. 

If these old battleships turned gunner training vessels were to face the Kongo's then the Wyoming retains six of her original 12 inch guns but then the question is what does Utah retain if the decision had been made to convert her into a gunnery training ship rather than just an AA training ship.  As my other post indicated, Four of her twin turrets were still mounted with one of them virtually unchanged other than the elimination of it's heavy guns.  Would two of these turrets have their main guns remounted for her expanded role, or would she have three like Wyoming. 

In either case, facing the Kongo's would be something of a forlorn hope needing something of a miracle for these old warships to actually defeat or turn back the Japanese ships.  Still, it would make interesting reading. 

Anyway, that's sort of my take on this.  

Edited by BB3_Oregon_Steel
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1 minute ago, mofton said:

At the specific Battle of the Java Sea IJN CV aviation was absent.

Whether they'd make that choice given the hypothetical re-deployment of a USN Standard is uncertain. Usually any 'if there was bonus ship here' scenario would have a logical countermove by the opposing forces.

In the DEI campaign generally the Ryujo was the main IJN CV deployed, but the Kido Butai didn't turn up until a bit after the main battle where they then sank the Edsall. Land based IJN/A bombers did damage Marblehead and Houston pretty severely earlier in February - the same fate could easily befall an old USN Standard type.

Ryujo finished off Pope on 1 MAR, so she was certainly in the area.  BBs would have certainly drawn her attention if they were not executed in port in a simultanous strike on 8 DEC (local time).  On 27 FEB, Kido Butai was within striking range of Langley.  If two USN BB were in the area, they certainly would have drawn Nagumo's attention.  It's not like IJN CV's were half a world away.  They were in striking range or close to it.  A BB deployment would have undoubtedly drawn them into striking range.

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I am not sure if anyone of you guys seen this 艦隊決戦 (Kantai Kessen). it almost sound like what you guys are talking about. 

 

Quote

The senior officer class of the Imperial Japanese Navy was heavily influenced by the works of Alfred Thayer Mahan, whose works (including The Influence of Seapower Upon History,1660-1783, published in 1890) were required reading at the Imperial Japanese Naval Academy and Naval Staff College.[1]

Mahan believed that control of seaborne commerce was critical to domination in war. If one combatant could manage to deny the use of the sea to the other, the others' economy would inevitably collapse, leading to victory. Mahan's theory relied on the use of a fleet of battleships to establish command of the sea. The Mahanian objective was to build a fleet capable of destroying the enemy's main force in a single decisive battle. After this victory was won, it would be easy to enforce a blockade against the enemy. For the weaker combatant, the goal was to delay such a climactic battle for as long as possible. While their fleet still posed any threat, the enemy could not risk splitting their forces to close off trade routes. This led to the strategy of a fleet in being, a naval force kept deliberately in port to threaten rather than act. Mahan's doctrines were adopted by a number of navies, and contributed to types of capital ships produced in the final years of the 19th and early years of the 20th century.

The Imperial National Defense Policy of 1907 directed the focus of Japan's military away from Imperial Russia, whom they had defeated in the war of 1905, to the United States, who had negotiated the peace agreement embodied in the Treaty of Portsmouth, an agreement the Japanese saw as unfavorable.[2] Japanese ambitions to lead Asia were looked upon with suspicion by the United States. The U.S. Open Door Policy towards China was a clear check against Japanese aspirations on the Asian mainland. In this setting the naval planners who shaped strategies in both countries began working out scenarios for how a future conflict in the Pacific might be fought and won.[3]

Based on a theoretical United States Navy strength of 25 battleships and heavy cruisers split between two oceans, Japanese naval theoreticians led by Admiral Satō Tetsutarō postulated that Japan would need a fleet of at least eight first-line battleships and eight cruisers for parity. When Naval Minister Admiral Yamamoto Gonnohyoe presented the budget request for this Eight-eight fleet to the Diet of Japan, the amount was more than twice that of the entire Japanese national budget at the time. Budget limitations meant the battleship program would consume a large percentage of the funds for naval procurement in order to complete the Eight-eight Fleet project.

Battle Plan

The kantai kessen strategy presumed a defensive posture by the Japanese Navy, with the bulk of its battleship fleet in strategic reserve, as secondary forces based on cruisers and destroyers waged a campaign of attrition against the American battle fleet.[4] The Japanese planners believed the American fleet would necessarily be operating a great distance from its source of supply. This would limit the time the American fleet could operate in the western Pacific and force them to commit to a single major battle, a battle which Japan could win decisively as they had at the Battle of Tsushima.[5]

Up until the 1920s the Japanese expected this decisive battle to occur near the Ryukyu Islands and for the battle to be "a defense of Japan's home waters conducted purely by surface forces." However, as technology increased the ranges of submarines and aircraft, the projected location of the battle moved farther and farther eastward. By 1940, the Japanese were planning for the decisive battle to be fought "somewhere east of a line between the Bonin and Mariana Islands."[1]

The Japanese defensive posture was considerably enhanced by the acquisition of the South Pacific Mandate from the League of Nations after World War I. The Pacific islands (the Caroline islands, Marshall islands, Mariana Islands and Palau were heavily fortified to become "unsinkable aircraft carriers", from which Japanese forces could sortie to inflict damage on any approaching fleet. The Japanese counted on these island outposts to wear down the approaching American fleet to a level to near parity where the Japanese Combined Fleet could meet them, and crush them in a decisive battle.[1]

According to the first stage of the battle plan, fast attack submarines would first be used to weaken the American fleet by 10%, then Japanese bombers from land bases and aircraft carriers would inflict another 10% casualty rate. Air strikes launched from the Japanese carriers would neutralize the American carrier fleet. Fast attack battleships and heavy cruisers, likely operating at night, would then sink or scatter enemy cruiser and destroyer screening formations to allow massed light cruiser and destroyer attacks on the US battleships using long-distance torpedoes. According to plan, this moment would be the "decisive" stage of the decisive battle, when the battleships of the Combined Fleet, centered on the modern Yamatoclass, would join the battle against the US battleships. Finally, the older battleships would join the fray and mop up the surviving remnants of the American fleet.[5]

Flaws

Mahan's premise that a naval force would be unable to recover after an initial overwhelming defeat was refuted by the US Navy's own recovery after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Japanese pursuit of "decisive battle" was carried out to such an extent it contributed to Japan's defeat in 1945.[6][7]

Despite being one of the first countries to build aircraft carriers and a naval aviation arm, conservatives among senior commanders did not initially accept its value and saw it primarily as a means for reconnaissance and spotting for the battleship force. Subsequently, the investment Japan made in battleships meant other branches of the fleet, particularly destroyers and escorts used to protect shipping, were neglected.[5] As a result, the Japanese suffered substantial losses in shipping to American submarines, resulting in an enormous strain for resources for the Japanese war machine. In addition, operational restrictions and the U.S. cryptographers' breaking of the Japanese naval code rendered the Japanese submarine force less effective than anticipated. It was unable to inflict a 10% casualty rate on the American fleet.[5]

After the Battle of Midway it became clear that carrier air strength would have to be the means by which the Imperial Navy would deliver the blow against the US Navy in a decisive future battle. Japanese planners refused to abandon the kantai kessendoctrine, but shifted their emphasis from battleships to the carriers.[citation needed] It was clear[citation needed] from the surprise attacks they suffered at Midway that they would have to rethink how they operated their naval forces to prevent their carrier force from being surprised and destroyed in a future air attack.[8] Furthermore, following Midway, the carriers and aircraft by which the Japanese would engage in such a decisive battle would need to be replaced. This would take the better part of two years to accomplish.

As Japan lost ground in the Pacific, Japanese naval planners continued to rely on the Americans to attempt to take every Japanese island outpost along the way to Japan. However, the Americans had already decided on a strategy of "leapfrogging" in the Pacific.[9] This conserved the strength of the attacker, while causing the Japanese to effectively lose the services of those units isolated and bypassed, as well as requiring them to continue to be supplied. Since the U.S. had the initiative and could choose when and where an island would be invaded, they were numerically superior to the Japanese at nearly every engagement.

Opposition

Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto led the opposition to the traditional kantai kessen doctrine in the Japanese navy. Contrary to other naval officers, Yamamoto claimed that building huge battleships such as Yamato and Musashi was pointless, as no ship was unsinkable, saying "The fiercest serpent may be overcome by a swarm of ants".[10] According to Yamamoto, carrier-based airplanes would be the deadly swarm of ants in the new war. He believed it unlikely the Japanese and American navies would ever engage in a battleship engagement. Instead, he believed the struggle in the Pacific would be for control of the skies as naval aviation can project firepower to much greater distances than battleships. However, Yamamoto was killed on April 18, 1943, and with his death came the death of the staunchest advocate of naval aviation in the Japanese navy.

As the war progressed, other officers came to question other aspects of the Kantai Kessen doctrine; for example, Admiral Matome Ugaki asked, "I wonder why they don't give enough consideration to attacking enemy elements easy to destroy, instead of always seeking a decisive battle?".[10] Ugaki advocated smaller engagements of concentrated forces to pick off weak elements of the American navy instead of attempting to destroy the entire fleet at once.

In practice

The naval battles of the Coral Sea and Midway represented a departure from the traditional doctrine of kantai kessen.[1] Planned by Yamamoto, these battles aimed at achieving decisive victories to knock the American fleet out of the war at an early stage. However, failure to secure a decisive victory at the Coral Sea, and the disastrous defeat at the Battle of Midway, ended Yamamoto's plans for an aggressive, offensive strategy. Rather than reorganize the fleet around three carrier groups similar to the USN Task Forces, as had been argued by Rear Admiral Tamon Yamaguchi even before Midway, the Japanese Navy General Staff refused to accept the subordination of battleships to aircraft carriers and reverted to the more conservative defensive strategy within the doctrine of kantai kessen [11]

For most of 1943, Japan focused on preparing perimeter defenses to stand up to the coming American offensives. The Japanese defensive perimeter was such that the Marshall Islands and Gilbert Islands were left outside of the area to which the Japanese were willing to commit the Combined Fleet to defend. The Americans thus took these two island groups without significant resistance from the Combined Fleet [9]

After the capture of the Marshalls in early 1944, the Japanese sought the decisive victory in the Marianas.[9] Contrary to their assessment of the value of the Marshall Islands, the Japanese deemed the Marianas vital enough to commit the Combined Fleet. In the Battle of the Philippine Sea, known informally by US forces as the "Great Marianas Turkey Shoot", the Japanese lost over 400 aircraft and three of nine aircraft carriers, effectively crushing the Japanese carrier force in the Pacific.[9] While the Japanese plans had intended the American fleet to gradually be ground down during the American offensives across the Pacific, in actuality it was the Japanese Fleet which lost irreplaceable aircraft carriers, planes, and pilots, reducing their ability to win any battle, let alone a decisive battle against the American fleet. However, the Japanese did not alter their strategy and made one last great attempt to achieve a decisive naval victory during the defense of the Philippines.

The Japanese knew that in order to continue the war, the Philippines needed to be held against American invasion. If the Philippines fell, Japanese supply lines to the oil fields of Southeast Asia would be severed and Japan's fleet and industries would be unable to continue the war.[9] Therefore, the Japanese committed the entire Combined Fleet, despite lack of sufficient air support, in a last desperate attempt for a decisive victory. Beginning October 24, 1944, the fleets engaged in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, one of the largest naval battles in history. The battle was indeed decisive, but as a defeat for Japan, as the bulk of the remaining combat effective force of the Combined Fleet was annihilated and the Imperial Japanese Navy was unable to recover.[12]

The Japanese search for a decisive battle to turn the course of the war based on battleship-to-battleship combat was futile. The American carriers refused to allow the Japanese battleships within range. The decisive battle was fought not between battleships as envisioned under the kantai kessen, but by naval aviation.

 

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5 hours ago, Big_Spud said:

Oh I agree that the torpedoes had very little success in terms of actual damage, but it definitely caused issues with station holding.

 

I still question the utility of a single battleship. It’s going to slow down all other units that are in formation with it, which may increase the chances of additional torpedo hits. Furthermore if the situation does turn sour as it did in reality, there is practically no way for it to make a rapid withdrawal with whatever remaining cruisers or destroyers there are. Especially if it has taken a torpedo hit. And if the Japanese are aware of the commitment of a large capital ship, they may very well commit more units to ensure its destruction.

 

4 hours ago, mofton said:

I'm definitely with you on the low utility of a single USN Standard-type. In this particular scenario MS406France1940 has suggested splitting the battleship and a small escort of 4x Four-Pipers' off to the west of the main group.

That might mean you were less hobbled by the speed (the ABDA force was already tied to ~26kts - slower than the Japanese) but coordination would be a nightmare. From what I recall only the Exeter had a radio that could speak to the De Ruyter, but Exeter could speak to the USN, RAN and other RN ships. That meant that anything complex had to go via Exeter with obvious calamitous results when she was crippled. In addition Doorman wanted to lead the fleet with De Ruyter with Exeter second in line in order to be able to communicate better even though it was disadvantageous. If you can't coordinate a line of 5 cruisers in sight of each other, a battleship over the horizon seems impossible.

If the IJN get a Kongo or two to 'counter' the USN Standard then the balance of forces coordination aside goes even more in their favor.

 

3 hours ago, crzyhawk said:

Ryujo finished off Pope on 1 MAR, so she was certainly in the area.  BBs would have certainly drawn her attention if they were not executed in port in a simultanous strike on 8 DEC (local time).  On 27 FEB, Kido Butai was within striking range of Langley.  If two USN BB were in the area, they certainly would have drawn Nagumo's attention.  It's not like IJN CV's were half a world away.  They were in striking range or close to it.  A BB deployment would have undoubtedly drawn them into striking range.

Firts of all and just so everyone is clear on this, I have abandon the idea of a single battleship and insteat I am going whit a 'battleship division Asia' conformed by two battleships (Most likely the Oklahoma and the Arkansas but that can still change) The reason I still listed only one in the proffessionally edited map (:cap_like:) is because derp. But yes, I have moved on from the one lone battleship idea. 

As for the rest of the comments here is my possition. 

I am aware that the Japanse would counter the precense of heavy allied forces in the area most likely by having the Kirishima and the Hiei close to the convoy (And in fact they were relatively close to it in real live, just not close enough to reach the battle area in time) and as someone has mentioned above their mind set made them very lickely to do that. 

I agree that cordination would be a nightmere and I mostly imagine the battleships would do their own thing for most of the battle whit any order coming from Doorman actually difficulting or sabotaging their actions, but then again that is more or less what happened in the actual battle so I dont see the need  to change that. 

About the air attacks . As I mentioned previously on the other post the battleships are out of Manila by december 8 so they scape the initial blow out. They remain south of Java escorting convoys through out most of Jenuary so they are out of danger. During February they still remain on escort duty most of the time whit the exeption of the Makassar strait and Java Sea. On the firts one they they can remian undetected for enough time for the main assault to be focused  on the cruisers but of course they also get attacked and take some damage but not fatal. Then at Java... Um, that one is a lot more tricky but it could go as follows. 

A: The Japanese resive incorrect intelligence reports saying that bombers had sunk the battleships (Something that isn't out side the raml of possibilities for a nation that declared to have sunk the Houston like four times, the Enterprice like five and the South Dakota at least a couple of times) So they dont rush the Kido Butai into the area but still keep the Kirishima and the Hiei at a close distance, allowing them to enter the battle at some point before night fall resulting in the climatic battleship on battleship engament.(BTW this one is my favorite one) 

B: For reasons of miscommunication or bad coordination the Kado Butai dosent take part of the battle but the Ruyjo does take part in the battle and while I don't think she has enough airplanes to sink the battleships she can easily force them to retreat at a moment when they have the change to get the upper hand. 

 

 

Edited by MS406france1940
My computer hates my and for some reason posted before I was finish.

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nter

4 hours ago, BB3_Oregon_Steel said:

Well I replied to your other thread and I suggested that the USS Wyoming and USS Utah, in their actual 1941 configurations (or somewhat modified in the Utah's case), might be a more interesting option posted here ... 

 

If I understand your story narrative correctly, it should cover the time between the period just before WWII kicked off for the US and lasting until the ships are destroyed during as part of the ABDA force or potentially surviving long enough to fight at Savo Island. 

These two ships with their unusually heavy AA batteries, due to their missions as gunnery training vessels, would actually be better positioned than most in protecting themselves from air attack during the opening phases of your story.  

Now Java Sea is an interesting battle or better yet, Sunda Straight and you are assuming that the Kongo's advance fast enough to participate in the fight (which they did not historically).  So, what happens to the ABDA force if they don't.  What happens if the cruiser forces of the IJN need to face these two old warriors the ABDA cruiser force without the Kongo's to support them.  Now that creates and even more interesting what if situation.  Or, what happens if the ABDA force manages to push it's way past the IJN cruisers  but then, just as escape seems possible, the Kongo's arrive and the two old battleships turn to engage them to allow the other ships to escape.  Nice story material that. 

If these old battleships turned gunner training vessels were to face the Kongo's then the Wyoming retains six of her original 12 inch guns but then the question is what does Utah retain if the decision had been made to convert her into a gunnery training ship rather than just an AA training ship.  As my other post indicated, Four of her twin turrets were still mounted with one of them virtually unchanged other than the elimination of it's heavy guns.  Would two of these turrets have their main guns remounted for her expanded role, or would she have three like Wyoming. 

In either case, facing the Kongo's would be something of a forlorn hope needing something of a miracle for these old warships to actually defeat or turn back the Japanese ships.  Still, it would make interesting reading. 

Anyway, that's sort of my take on this.  

While I dont like the idea of using the Utha and the Wyoming in their 1941 historical configuration or in an alternative one were the Utha still has some of its main guns (I just simply dont see why they would be used that way, maybe have them remain as normal battleships but then I would preffer the Oklahoma and teh Arkansas) I am totally onboart whit the idea of the battleships pushing their way into the convoy to then be attacked by the Kongos just as they are retreating resulting in a dramatic battle for fredom. That sir, is just amazing and is definitely going into the final product. (And yes, I am going to give you credid) :Smile_great:

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4 hours ago, crzyhawk said:

Ryujo finished off Pope on 1 MAR, so she was certainly in the area.  BBs would have certainly drawn her attention if they were not executed in port in a simultanous strike on 8 DEC (local time).  On 27 FEB, Kido Butai was within striking range of Langley.  If two USN BB were in the area, they certainly would have drawn Nagumo's attention.  It's not like IJN CV's were half a world away.  They were in striking range or close to it.  A BB deployment would have undoubtedly drawn them into striking range.

Overall I agree, though I'm not quite sure why you bring up Langley, she was sunk by land-based aircraft operating out of Denpassar, Bali and was also south of Tlitjap some 240 nm from the Battle of the Java Sea's location.

Going off the movement record for Hiryu which was part of the Kido Butai she sailed from Staring Bay (Kendari, Indonesia) on 25 FEB - that's 620 nm from the Java Sea action and about 850 nm from Tlitjap. Certainly she could have gotten into the fight in the 2 days until 27 FEB, though it's odd that her next entry is for 1 MAR as 'operating South of Sunda Strait' - Sunda Strait being the western side of Java.

Then again this is the IJN so they were probably off strafing Penguins on the Falkland Islands to distract the British as part of Operation 'Split into 20 irrelevant Deception Fleets'! The IJN also wasted about 6 heavy cruisers in the theater but not engaged with the only Allied surface force, so good stuff there I guess...

An in-port strike would depend, the Repulse and PoW in Singapore saw an air attack on 8 Dec but were unmolested. The IJA/IJN air strikes on the Philippines did not have unlimited resources and the battleships may have escaped any attack on Cavite/Manila. Can they survive the next 3 months in-theater with some IJN carriers gunning for them and remain in a condition to fight? Probably not.

 

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You guys might want to read this article before attributing the Long Lance torpedo with being a panacea for Japanese success in the Java Sea.  I doubt it would have contributed much to the ABDA Flot's defeat with more Allied ships present than it did.

http://www.navweaps.com/index_tech/tech-067.php

This is why at the beginning of this thread I suggested adding additional cruisers and destroyers would have been more effective.  I would also say that eliminating, or at least not making the British intelligence system responsible for maritime scouting reports would have helped.  Once the war started the Dutch and US maritime patrol plane reports were being funneled through the British system.  This greatly slowed their disposition to ships at sea.

(See:  https://www.amazon.com/Dutch-Naval-Force-Against-Japan/dp/078642365X)

9780786423651.jpg

In addition, the Dutch and ABDA Flot were facing mostly IJAAF not IJN aircraft, so the air issue isn't as big a concern as it would be elsewhere for naval forces.

Some other very useful adds would have been a couple more seaplane tenders converted from 4 pipers:

5077900630_6c55d1a8dc_z.jpg

Even another couple of these would have made a huge difference in scouting.  As it was, the USN had two, the USS Childs, and USS William B. Preston,  present.  Of course, this is really hindsight, as the two available tenders were sufficient for the single Patrol Wing of Catalina present in the SWPA at the beginning of the war.

On the other hand, the presence of a BatRon of two old US BB might have given the British the impetus to send Force Z to join them, along with other British assets at Singapore for a combined offensive against the IJN.  A major part of the Allies' problem was they didn't concentrate their forces sufficiently against the Japanese.

 

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19 hours ago, MS406france1940 said:

nter

While I dont like the idea of using the Utha and the Wyoming in their 1941 historical configuration or in an alternative one were the Utha still has some of its main guns (I just simply dont see why they would be used that way, maybe have them remain as normal battleships but then I would preffer the Oklahoma and teh Arkansas) I am totally onboart whit the idea of the battleships pushing their way into the convoy to then be attacked by the Kongos just as they are retreating resulting in a dramatic battle for fredom. That sir, is just amazing and is definitely going into the final product. (And yes, I am going to give you credid) :Smile_great:

Well, this was in response to one of the posters in your original thread where they indicated that the US Fleet was not going to risk any of it's battleships in such an exposed forward deployment, which is something I personally agree with.  One has to remember that the base of the Pacific Fleet at that time was San Diego, not Pearl Harbor.  Pearl Harbor was the fleet's forward base or operations and the fleet was moved to this more exposed position as a warning to Japan.  Having them move any substantial heavy fleet units as far forward as Cavite and the Philippines is just something that they probably wouldn't be willing to do. 

However, the Wyoming and Utah would be a different story.  Both of these ships were demilitarized due the the provisions of the Washington and later London Naval treaties, and were no longer regarded as fighting elements of the fleet.   However, that being said, Wyoming in particular retained a reasonable amount of her original firepower and a greatly augmented AA battery.  If the USN wanted to deploy a battleship like vessel as a deterrence to Japan without risking any of their precious battleships in that exposed position, the Wyoming might well have been an attractive option. 

With the Utah, had the USN elected to refit her as a full gunnery training vessel rather than as a AA trainer, she did still retain four of her original turrets and the USN could have elected to restore part of her original heavy guns to bring her up to Wyoming's standards.  She was undergoing her AA refit in 1941 so if one assumes that her refit would have included reshipping some of her 12 inch guns, then she could easily have been used for the same purpose as Wyoming and for much the same reasons. 

Alternatively, if you want to use an actual battleship in this, then Arkansas is really your best choice.  She was the only remaining 12 inch gun battleship remaining in the USN and was due to soon be retired as new construction became available.  The looming approach of WWII gave her a new lease on life, but if the US had been willing to risk any of it's existing battleships in such a forward deployment, Arkansas would have been the one.  Using her in conjunction with Wyoming would create an interesting pairing though the Arkansas herself had a fairly eventful career in WWII which kind of runs against the stated parameters of your narrative. 

Remember, any capital ship forward deployed to the Philippines is going to be one that the USN can afford to lose. This pretty much excludes any of the other battleships (except possibly the New Yorks, but they would have been handicapped in the pacific due to their short endurance).   

Anyway that was my reasoning is making my suggestion. 

I also think that using later battleships in your scenario is going to create problems with your narrative when they meet the Kongos. Essentially once you move to the Nevada's or beyond, the US battleships will be superior to the Kongo's in every measure except for speed.  If you use the New Yorks instead, then they will be equivalents of the Kongo's in most respects.  Hence, in a conflict between these, the US ships will probably be the equals or have the upper hand so you lose that outnumbered outgunned element from your story.   

If you want that whole "us against the overpowering foe" I'd probably go for the 12 inch armed US vessels or go with only one of the later ships to create that element of your story. 

And thanks, glad you liked the story idea and that you'd like to give me credit for it in your story.  Just remember if you do so, that I'm afraid I'm not exactly a "Sir" as I have entirely different set of specifications and am fitted out quite differently.  :Smile_great: 

Edited by BB3_Oregon_Steel
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Btw, if you want to go a little further afield with the what if scenario, let me introduce you to a potential addition to your "Old Warriors" flotilla. 

USS Rochester

xl3MVw.jpg

This is her appearance in 1939 moored in Subic Bay in the Phillipines.  This ship started her life as the Armored Cruiser New York originally built in the 1890's and a veteran of the Spanish American War and WW I.  In 1905 she was extensively modernized and refitted with modern 8 inch/45 caliber rifles in redesigned turrets as well as Krupp steel and she remained in active service until 1933, when she was placed in reserve to comply with the provisions of the London Naval treaty, however she was not disarmed, scrapped or converted to an auxiliary purpose but remained largely intact.  

Her last active assignment was with the Asiatic Fleet operating on the China Station so rather than bring her back to the US, she was placed in reserve and tied up to a pier at Olongapo Shipyard in Subic Bay where she would remain until the Japanese invasion in 1941. 

As can be seen from this photo, the ship remained intact with all of her primary armament still shipped and in reasonably good condition.  If, in your story, the decision had been made to reactivate her as an additional unit to support the forward deployed heavy division (i.e. an additional unit which would make the squadron more powerful and yet one that Navy could afford to place in harm's way) she might be an interesting possibility.  

Edited by BB3_Oregon_Steel
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I don't think the gunpower would unmissed, not if we're talking 10-odd 12" or 14" rifles, the speed edge is going to be significant. A 2-0-21 knot dreadnought is going to only slow the Allied line further, while the 30-knot Kongo's aren't going to appreciably slow the Japanese forces, as it can keep up with the cruisers.

 

Considering the Battle of Java Sea revolved around the Allies intercepting a Japanese convoy, the addition of a 21 knot ship to the Allied battle line could possibly be more of a hindrance than boon, if it cannot keep up with the action or risks becoming isolated and thus vulnerable to torpedo attack. Given the battleship would thus tie down more destroyers just to escort it, it only hurts the 'fast' part of the Allied battle line.

 

Even if the Kongo's stuck behind to keep the American battleships occupied, the Allies are still in a disadvantageous position as the Japanese cruiser force, as it was historically, is just more powerful and more capable of cooperation than the Allied line.

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