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Iowa vs. Yamato battle that almost happened: TG 34.5 vs. Kurita's Center Force

TG 34.5 versus Center Force  

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  1. 1. Which force would prevail?

    • TG 34.5 (Iowa, New Jersey, etc.)
      77
    • Center Force (Yamato, Nagato, etc.)
      11

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*Gasp* Clickbait!! I know I know, yet another Iowa vs. Yamato thread? But this time, it's not your typical 1v1 **** measuring contest.

I have some interesting historical context that can hopefully spur some useful discussion, and perhaps even replicate it in training room since in this particular scenario I believe the game has all the requisite ships. What I'm talking about is "Bull's Run" during the Battle of Leyte Gulf on October 25-26, 1944, where upon realizing that he had left the San Bernadino Strait unguarded, Admiral Halsey belatedly dispatched Task Force 34, and more specifically formed Task Group 34.5 lead by Rear Admiral Badger centered around the Iowa and New Jersey back to the San Bernadino Strait in a belated attempt to protect the American beachhead and relieve Taffy 3, which had slugged it out with Admiral Kurita's Center Force. Note that TG 34.5 was only dispatched on 1622 on October 25, 1944, well after the surface action between Taffy 3 and Center Force had concluded. Had Admiral Kurita loitered around the San Bernadino Strait for a few more hours before withdrawing, it's possible or even likely that what remains of the Center Force would have clashed with TG 34.5 in the morning hours of October 26, 1944. Navweaps has the order of battle which lists the ship composition of each force.

 

TG 34.5

Battleships: 2 Iowa-class (Iowa, New Jersey)

Cruisers: 3 Cleveland-class (Biloxi, Vincennes, Miami)

Destroyers: 8 Fletcher-class (Owen, Miller, The Sullivans, Tingey, Hickox, Hunt, Marshall, Lewis Hancock)

Total: 2 battleships, 3 cruisers, 8 destroyers

 

Center Force (as of Oct. 26, 1944)

Battleships: 1 Yamato-class (Yamato), 1 Nagato-class (Nagato), 2 Kongo-class (Kongo, Haruna)

Cruisers: 1 Myoko-class (Haguro), 1 Mogami-class (Kumano), 1 Tone-class (Tone), 2 Agano-class (Yahagi, Noshiro)

Destroyers: 1 Shimakaze-class (Shimakaze), 6 Yugumo-class (Hayashimo, Akishimo, Kishinami, Okinami, Hamanami, Fujinami), 4 Kagero-class (Nowaki, Urakaze, Isokaze, Yukikaze)

Total: 4 battleships, 5 cruisers, 11 destroyers

 

Note that by the morning of Oct. 26, Center Force had already lost Suzuya, Chokai, and Chikuma, hence their absence from the list above, while Kumano was heavily damaged with a blown-off bow, so realistically you could count Kumano out of the battle. Yahagiand Noshiro were Agano-class light cruisers that mount 3x2 152 mm guns with a rather slow rate of fire of 6 RPM, making their value as surface combatants questionable. In fact, they fill the roles of destroyer flotilla leader. Finally, it's unclear how many Japanese destroyers had already expended their torpedoes during the Battle off Samar, but at least some of them did.

 

With these composition of forces in mind, how do you think the battle would have turned out? Personally, despite the numerical disadvantage, I consider the American force as the likely victor. But before you start leveling accusations of American bias at me, let me explain my reasoning. Center Force had expended a considerable amount of ammunition, both shells and torpedoes, against Taffy 3 during the Battle of Samar the day before. Furthermore, the Japanese crew would no doubt have been very fatigued from a day of relentless combat, whereas the American crew of TG 34.5 would be comparatively well-rested and probably have a full stock of ammunition. Furthermore, the American force would have approached the San Bernadino Strait from the east, thus having the sun to their advantage. Now, the fire control and automatic gunlaying of the American ships have been often-cited advantages (both Iowa and New Jersey were equipped with the Mark 8 FCR), and I think when all these operational factors are taken into account, the American force would more likely emerge as the victors. However, I won't deny some of the advantages that the Japanese would have in this battle; numerical superiority isn't something that can be easily written off especially in capital ships, and I believe there was still an ample supply of torpedoes.

 

Speaking of which, aside from Tone and the Aganos, I believe you can replicate this scenario in a training room, though the number of destroyers would likely have to be cut down (and can you imagine 10 Yugumo/Kagero all running torpedo reload mod?) If someone want to try and set a scenario like this up it can be a fun little exercise, especially when Cleveland finally moves to T8.

 

Some pictures of the two forces on Oct. 25-26, 1944.

016261i.jpg
The New Jersey (BB-62) prepares to turn to port, following the Iowa (BB-61) on 26 October 1944

1280px-Yamato_off_Samar.jpg
Yamato and a heavy cruiser, possibly Tone or Chikuma, in action in the battle off Samar

Content Moderated by HeadlockMvnky

Edited by DeliciousFart
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I think it'd be a bit more dicey for the US if Center force, had proceeded to the landing zone and wiped out the invasion support ships.

That would have set the war back about 6 months as far as Iwo Jima and Okinawa is concerned.  It would have also slowed the Philippians' operation, because they needed those ships to advance.

And then, if they headed South, they would run into Kinkaid...  without any AP rounds left. 

That would be a rather nervous battle.

Edited by AVR_Project
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Reading a bit about the battle and it seems more importantly about Kurita, I believe the IJN fleet would have disengaged. According to wikipedia, which itself quoted Ito, "The End of the Imperial Japanese Navy", p.128. The Yamato seemed to have been pretty damaged being able to only reach 18 knots. Also fuel must have been an important factor. Add to that the lack of any air cover, and the IJN disengagement was almost certain. 

That said, I agree that if  the Center Force was unable to retreat, then it would have faced an uphill battle against TG 34.5. On the other hand you can argue that the mission of TG 34.5 was to relieve Taffy 3, upon completing this mission, they may not have wanted to pursue further action.

Just my 2 cents anyway,  not an expert on WW2 naval history.

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34 minutes ago, AVR_Project said:

I think it'd be a bit more dicey for the US if Center force, had proceeded to the landing zone and wiped out the invasion support ships.

That would have set the war back about 6 months as far as Iwo Jima and Okinawa is concerned.  It would have also slowed the Philippians' operation, because they needed those ships to advance.

And then, if they headed South, they would run into Kinkaid...  without any AP rounds left. 

That would be a rather nervous battle.

You're right, had Center Force actually reached the landing zones, American casualties would likely have skyrocketed, but I do wonder how many AP and HE shells the Japanese ships were carrying. While it's true that Kinkaid's 7th Fleet expended much of their munitions against Nishimura's Southern Force, Kurita's Center Force also expended considerable munitions fighting Taffy 3.

In any case, my premise here is actually in the aftermath of the Battle off Samar, where Kurita's Center Force was on the verge of withdrawing into the San Bernadino Strait in the morning of Oct. 26.

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I'll have to think more about this one before I consider a definite opinion, but I'm inclined to favor the Americans.

Before considering more material concerns, as pointed out in the OP the Japanese crews would be fatigued from the combat off Samar. Likewise, my impression after reading Hara's IJN DD captain is that the command staff as a whole was fatigued from the war in general - after the results of the battle, I think their operational effeciency would be severely depleted by this point

Likewise, there is the ammunition expenditure and the sun's position to consider as already mentioned above.

 

Those factors will be important because the Americans are in a tight spot here.

Even depleted, the center force is still a forced to be reckoned with.

 

Regardless of the debate of which is better, the Yamato is a powerful opponent for an Iowa to face, and that's likely to consume the attention of at least one of them. The other American battleship then has to deal with the Nagato and the two Kongo's

In the cruiser battleline, the AganoAgano's have no business engaging Cleveland's, but Haguro and Tone are both capable heavy cruisers that are strong opponents for a Cleveland to face. Regardless of how accurately and rapidly they can fire, going up against 8" guns is not a great place for a light cruiser to be. 

 

Most likely the IJN CLs will be deployed with the DDs, and while they're not any good for fighting a Cleveland, they and the greater number of IJN DDs will make it hard for the American DDs to press a torpedo attack, or prevent one entirely.

 

I think the Kongo's will be one of Japan's best assets here - they can be a massive PITA to the Americans, either harassing the two Battleships while their own BBs are fighting them, or going after the light cruisers, which would be very bad for the Cleveland's.

 

On paper I think the IJN has an edge. The problem is whether they can exploit it, and how well their gunnery is able to hold up. 

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Another thing I haven't quite considered however is the extent of the battle damage that the Japanese battleships suffered from both the Battle off Samar and Battle of Sibuyan Sea in the days prior. Nagato and Kongo did sustain several casualties, though I don't know how much that would have affected their combat ability. Furthermore, based on ship records, it appears that from Oct. 25-26, the Center Force was attacked by intermittent waves of aircraft from TF 38. Whatever the damage from these air strikes may be (they doomed the damaged straggling heavy cruisers),  they would have further worn down the Japanese crew.

 

Yet another consideration is how long the battle drags on. Remember, trailing rather closely behind TG 34.5 is another American group consisting of elements from TG 38.2 and 38.4 which at that point had a North Carolina-class and South Dakota-class battleship (Washington and Alabama respectively), two heavy cruisers (Wichita and New Orleans), and six additional destroyers (four Fletcher-class and two Bagley-class).

Edited by DeliciousFart

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That's the other factor that's hard to quantify -- the weight of US air, including land-based air.  Just look what it did to Musashi.  IMO, factoring air swings it clearly to the US side.

 

 

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1 hour ago, DeliciousFart said:

Another thing I haven't quite considered however is the extent of the battle damage that the Japanese battleships suffered from both the Battle off Samar and Battle of Sibuyan Sea in the days prior. Nagato and Kongo did sustain several casualties, though I don't know how much that would have affected their combat ability. Furthermore, based on ship records, it appears that from Oct. 25-26, the Center Force was attacked by intermittent waves of aircraft from TF 38. Whatever the damage from these air strikes may be (they doomed the damaged straggling heavy cruisers),  they would have further worn down the Japanese crew.

 

Yet another consideration is how long the battle drags on. Remember, trailing rather closely behind TG 34.5 is another American group consisting of elements from TG 38.2 and 38.4 which at that point had a North Carolina-class and South Dakota-class battleship (Washington and Alabama respectively), two heavy cruisers (Wichita and New Orleans), and six additional destroyers (four Fletcher-class and two Bagley-class).

This last point is probably the most important.  The non-existant/missing TF 34 would have included Washington and Alabama as well as the remainder of 38.2 and 38.4 and significantly increasing the potency of 34.5.    I suspect against this powerful TF 34, only Yamato would have been a significant threat.

Edited by real_icebeast

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Given superior US Fire control, the US would win that battle.

Going off of the latest grouping for the US of 4 BB, 2 CA, 3 CL, 14 DD (2 Iowa, 1 North Carolina, 1 South Dakota, 3 Cleveland, 2 New Orleans, 12 Fletcher, 2 Bagley):

Iowa v. Yamato is the big duel here. Iowa should come out on top, though I doubt unscathed. She is fast enough to dictate the terms of her engagements, and accurate enough to inflict serious damage on Yamato. Also, given the effectiveness of US Radar, line of sight may not be necessary, and might lead to a Fletcher laying smoke for Iowa/New Jersey during their duels, which should really mess with Japanese gunners, and they may focus the DD more than the BB (which will also be very hard, seeing as they were only able to sink a total of 3 out of the 7 different destroyers of TF 77.4.3 after more than an hour of dueling, and losing)

As for the Washington and Alabama vs Nagato and 2 Kongo'sWashington has already proven she can very efficiently kill other Battleships, Kongo's specifically. She sank Kirishima during Guadalcanal, with the assistance of South Dakota. I doubt there will be a whole lot of issues dispatching Kongo and her sister. It is likely New Jersey duels with Nagato, barring Iowa struggling with her duel with Yamato.

The Cruisers will likely play a smaller role, one in which the Americans should win as well. Cleveland's and New Orleans' should win their fights, though probably with some difficulty. US DD easilly have the upper hand, given their success against Center Force on the 25th. They should easilly dispatch the Japanese DD, and move on to support the Cruisers in their duels. A few will likely shadow friendly battleships and provide smoke cover during the battle.

Even without Carrier Support, the United States definitely has the upper hand. However, it might be a little less certain if it was pre Taffy 3 Center Force as opposed to post Taffy 3.

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Irrespective of the impact of reinforcing carrier aircraft I think the Americans have it.

A fresh fleet has a huge advantage, and the daylight performance of the IJN doesn't look so good.

  • Off Samar immediately prior to this engagement just three Fletchers fought brilliantly, inflicted useful torpedo attacks, tangled with IJN destroyers and in two hours of action against vastly superior force lost only two ships. Now there are eight Fletchers.. and they have support
  • The impact of the Type 93 torpedo may not be at all significant. At Java Sea a massed launch of ~136 weapons generated only one hit. Assuming the Agano class take a destroyer-leader role and contribute the IJN could put out a volley of over 100 weapons here, but with limited odds of surprise and with the aforementioned Fletcher class running interference it will be hard to land hits - torpedo attacks in the face of determined destroyers were practically never successful
  • The Yamato has a nominal 100 rounds per gun ammunition load, although she didn't spend the entire engagement firing it's likely that she used a reasonable amount of her magazine capacity
  • Being up-sun as @DeliciousFart observed is a tremendous advantage

The primary IJN advantage is superior numbers of capital ships. Jutland is just one occasion where the risk of not engaging every enemy battleship is shown, left unhindered if Nagato and Yamato are engaged the Kongo's could well be a PITA as @Phoenix_jz pointed out. Ships not under fire shoot better as a general rule. The Americans could mitigate that by splitting their main battery firepower, and it's entirely possible that Nagato might go 'pop' sooner rather than later - she has 305mm of vertical belt armor and although her modernized deck armor isn't terrible unless I'm misreading the numbers she looks very vulnerable.

How does the battle go?

The USN destroyers, supported by the Cleveland's advance and contact the IJN's destroyer forces with flotilla-leading Agano's. The IJN's heavy cruisers get stuck in as well, but during the daylight and in 1944 the Cleveland's are not at a great disadvantage. The IJN force is exhausted, mistakes are made, positioning is poor. The Fletcher's with their ability to fire and maneuver have a huge advantage as they attack out of the sun. The battleships form line and for a while things are indecisive as they fail to find the range, the odd hit not being critical.

Then, either one of the Iowa's or the Nagato takes a significant hit and the pressure snowballs back either way. After fighting to near exhaustion the Fletcher's and USN cruisers have the upper hand and can launch a weaker torpedo attack, the IJN battleships turn to comb the tracks and the battle ends.

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IIRC, when it was learned that Yamato was heading to Okinawa on operation ten-go, the US was gonna send 3 iowa class battleships and 3 south dakota class battleships but they opted for planes instead

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I can tell you've wanted to make this one for a while.

 

The goal of the Japanese here should be withdrawal at all costs. Not only is the Japanese fleet at a distinct disadvantage in terms of sensor equipment and other material factors such as remaining ammunition and fatigued crew, but as others have pointed out they have the sun in their eyes. No matter how good your optics are, if all you can see is glare off the water while you yourself are clearly outlined against the sky, you're going to perform poorly in a shooting match. This isn't like Jutland either, where thick clouds of smoke can effectively conceal you from the enemy even in this position. Radar doesn't care about smoke.

 

Even without the knowledge of the equally powerful Task Groups following the faster units, my first reaction as the Japanese commander would be to retreat given the state of my forces. The best way to achieve this would be a massed torpedo attack from whatever ships still have any. I'm going to assume that all of the Japanese cruisers and destroyers have at least a few torpedoes left on-board, and ideally it would unfold as follows:

-First, divide the forces available by speed. Nagato and Yamato should immediately begin to withdraw and assume positions at the far end of the formation while engaging the two Iowas or whatever else they can see. The heavy cruisers and two Kongos should be placed with one another and focus on the American van, attempting to break up the cruiser formation where possible with medium range gunfire. Aside from that, they should basically pray the Iowas decide to keep shooting at Yamato and Nagato because quite frankly there's nothing they can do to defend themselves should they become the primary focus of their attention. Split the light units into two oversized lines, each one led by an Agano followed by half of the destroyers.

-Use the Aganos to lead the destroyer groups in and keep the Fletchers at bay for a little while. By this point American Destroyer Divisions have finally been given somewhat free reign to operate out in front of the main force in order to execute torpedo attacks, so there would most likely be a rather large space between the two divisions of four Fletchers and the Clevelands behind them.

-Assume a very obvious textbook torpedo position in front of the American van, and drop whatever fish are left. By this point I would fully expect to lose a quarter of the destroyers and maybe one of the Aganos to the concentrated American cruiser and destroyer fire as they move to intercept and spoil the torpedo launch. Assuming enough make it into the water, this should force them to conduct evasive maneuvering to comb the presumptive torpedo tracks or turn out of their way entirely. By this time the USN is painfully aware of the long range striking power of the Type 93's, and most likely will not sail headlong into what is clearly a massed launch.

-While the light units make their torpedo attack, continue firing on American van with the Kongos and heavy cruisers. As the fastest capital ships available to the Japanese, the two Kongos should either be with or shortly behind the heavy cruisers, focusing their fire on the Clevelands. The American cruisers are hardy for certain, but no CruDiv commander is going to continue an attack in the face of concentrated 14" and 8" gunfire as well as likely torpedoes. Under this intense fire, the Clevelands will most likely turn away.

-As the light units fall back, have the heavy cruisers and Kongos fold in and begin to withdraw, while continuing to fire on whatever targets are visible. By this point there is probably a horrific amount of smoke obscuring the area from optical range-finding. At best this will simply be harassing fire on various Fletchers as they poke out to fire half salvos of torpedoes.

-As the heavy cruisers fold in, have them fire whatever torpedoes they have left, just to add to the confusion and maybe clip a hapless Fletcher. Better than keeping them on-board for what will in all likelihood be a very protracted running action.

-By this point I'm going to assume Nagato  has either been heavily damaged, or is sinking. This is provided that at least one Iowa has been firing on her this entire time. If both Iowas immediately changed targets to the Kongos and heavy cruiser line, I would quite frankly expect every one of those ships to be heavily damaged or sinking. With the possible exception of a few good salvos from Yamato at the far end of the line, both Iowas are probably still in good health. However, provided the torpedo attack has succeeded in its function of forcing the American formations to break or turn away to avoid being struck, there may be a halt to the pursuit as they tend to their damaged vessels and re-organize. This may be further slowed and confused by the arrival of the stragglers from TG 38.2 and 38.4.

-Allowing this, now would be the time for a general withdrawal at full speed with whatever units are left, scuttling any stragglers that are incapable of fleeing and loading the survivors on the remaining ships. And then the rest are sunk later in the day by a massive carrier strike, because there REALLY IS NO WAY TO WIN THIS AS THE JAPANESE.

 

Predicted results:

Japanese losses from surface action:

-4 DD (Sunk)

-5 DD (Damaged)

-1 CL (Sunk)

- CL (Damaged/Sinking)

-2 CA (Damaged)

-1 Kongo (Sunk)

-1 Kongo (Damaged)

-1 Nagato (Damaged/Sinking)

-1 Yamato (Damaged)

 

American losses from the surface action: 

-2 Fletcher (Sunk/Sinking)

-3 Fletcher (Damaged)

-1 Cleveland (Sunk/Sinking)

-2 Cleveland (Damaged)

-1 Iowa (Damaged)

 

This is just my opinion  based off a variety of other AA reports from 1943 onwards. I still think the only chance the Japanese have given the state of their fleet at the beginning of the action is to attempt a fighting withdrawal and just hope to so disorganize the pursuing American units that literally every one of their ships doesn't end up at the bottom of the Pacific in one afternoon. I expect Japanese destroyer losses to be extremely heavy as they are going to bear the brunt of essentially being sacrificial units, which to be fair is often the case anyways. 

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20 minutes ago, TitanicMan2 said:

IIRC, when it was learned that Yamato was heading to Okinawa on operation ten-go, the US was gonna send 3 iowa class battleships and 3 south dakota class battleships but they opted for planes instead

Rules of gunfighting apply to ships like it does infantry.

military-humor-funny-joke-soldier-rules-

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3 hours ago, Halonut24 said:

As for the Washington and Alabama vs Nagato and 2 Kongo'sWashington has already proven she can very efficiently kill other Battleships, Kongo's specifically. She sank Kirishima during Guadalcanal, with the assistance of South Dakota. I doubt there will be a whole lot of issues dispatching Kongo and her sister. 

While I absolutely agree with the conclusion here - Washington or Alabama is more than overwhelming as far as opponents go for a Kongo - 2nd Guadalcanal is somewhat a poor situation to use to judge things as the Japanese were entirely surprised, and South Dakota helped Washington massively by being a punching bag. She absorbed Japanese attention, although it could have cost her dearly - she was lucky Kirishima had mostly HE and bombardment rounds that broke up or exploded (relatively) harmlessly against South Dakota - she only got 1 AP hit, and it yawed against the aft turret barbette and failed to penetrate. She did get 1 HE hit that, had it been AP, would've punched straight into South Dakota's machinery spaces.

However it didn't matter, because as her attention was focused on South Dakota, the undetected Washington started laying into her with 16" shells, and that ended that fight then and there with 20-odd devastating hits. It was essentially a 'free kill' for Washington.

That doesn't change the fact that Washington would absolutely have the overwhelming edge over Kirishima in almost any engagement scenario - but it does make 2nd Guadalcanal somewhat hard to use as a measuring stick. Had the roles been reversed (Washington accidentally lobbing 16" HE into, say, Hiei, while Kirishima lines up and fires devastating 14" salvoes being totally unmolested herself), than that battle would easily be a very different story.

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3 hours ago, TitanicMan2 said:

IIRC, when it was learned that Yamato was heading to Okinawa on operation ten-go, the US was gonna send 3 iowa class battleships and 3 south dakota class battleships but they opted for planes instead

Not quite, the surface task force built around 3 Iowas and 3 South Dakotas would have been sent regardless of whether or not the airstrikes succeeded. In fact, prior to the launching of the strike package, upon learning of the Japanese force, Admiral Spruance actually ordered Task Force 54 consisting of mainly Standard-type battleships to intercept Yamato's group. I believe Admiral Mitscher actually circumvented Spruance by launching the strike package and then informing Spruance only after the launch had occurred.

 

Back to the scenario at hand, @Big_Spud I'm not actually sure what the Japanese torpedo expenditure was during the Battle off Samar. Furthermore, another thing I haven't factored in is that several destroyers would have been loaded with survivors from sunken Japanese ships; for example, Nowaki was carrying the survivors from Chikuma but ultimately couldn't retreat fast enough and was picked off by TG 34.5.

 

On another note, I added some media to the OP to make it more interesting.

Edited by DeliciousFart

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26 minutes ago, DeliciousFart said:

Back to the scenario at hand, @Big_Spud I'm not actually sure what the Japanese torpedo expenditure was during the Battle off Samar. Furthermore, another thing I haven't factored in is that several destroyers would have been loaded with survivors from sunken Japanese ships; for example, Nowaki was carrying the survivors from Chikuma but ultimately couldn't retreat fast enough and was picked off by TG 34.5.

 

On another note, I added some media to the OP to make it more interesting.

 

Yeah, I can't find anything in that regard, so I gave them the benefit of the doubt. I don't know what effect having survivors on-board would have, apart from increasing casualties if the ship was struck/sunk.

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26 minutes ago, DeliciousFart said:

Back to the scenario at hand, @Big_Spud I'm not actually sure what the Japanese torpedo expenditure was during the Battle off Samar. Furthermore, another thing I haven't factored in is that several destroyers would have been loaded with survivors from sunken Japanese ships; for example, Nowaki was carrying the survivors from Chikuma but ultimately couldn't retreat fast enough and was picked off by TG 34.5.

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

This says 'at least 7 torpedo launches' which is... vague. Maybe believable, the destroyers did not get stuck in that well to the USN's DD's and retiring CVE's make a poor torpedo target.

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13 hours ago, DeliciousFart said:

*Gasp* Clickbait!! I know I know, yet another Iowa vs. Yamato thread? But this time, it's not your typical 1v1 d!ck measuring contest.

I have some interesting historical context that can hopefully spur some useful discussion, and perhaps even replicate it in training room since in this particular scenario I believe the game has all the requisite ships. What I'm talking about is "Bull's Run" during the Battle of Leyte Gulf on October 25-26, 1944, where upon realizing that he had left the San Bernadino Strait unguarded, Admiral Halsey belatedly dispatched Task Force 34, and more specifically formed Task Group 34.5 lead by Rear Admiral Badger centered around the Iowa and New Jersey back to the San Bernadino Strait in a belated attempt to protect the American beachhead and relieve Taffy 3, which had slugged it out with Admiral Kurita's Center Force. Note that TG 34.5 was only dispatched on 1622 on October 25, 1944, well after the surface action between Taffy 3 and Center Force had concluded. Had Admiral Kurita loitered around the San Bernadino Strait for a few more hours before withdrawing, it's possible or even likely that what remains of the Center Force would have clashed with TG 34.5 in the morning hours of October 26, 1944. Navweaps has the order of battle which lists the ship composition of each force.

 

TG 34.5

Battleships: 2 Iowa-class (Iowa, New Jersey)

Cruisers: 3 Cleveland-class (Biloxi, Vincennes, Miami)

Destroyers: 8 Fletcher-class (Owen, Miller, The Sullivans, Tingey, Hickox, Hunt, Marshall, Lewis Hancock)

Total: 2 battleships, 3 cruisers, 8 destroyers

 

Center Force (as of Oct. 26, 1944)

Battleships: 1 Yamato-class (Yamato), 1 Nagato-class (Nagato), 2 Kongo-class (Kongo, Haruna)

Cruisers: 1 Myoko-class (Haguro), 1 Mogami-class (Kumano), 1 Tone-class (Tone), 2 Agano-class (Yahagi, Noshiro)

Destroyers: 1 Shimakaze-class (Shimakaze), 6 Yugumo-class (Hayashimo, Akishimo, Kishinami, Okinami, Hamanami, Fujinami), 4 Kagero-class (Nowaki, Urakaze, Isokaze, Yukikaze)

Total: 4 battleships, 5 cruisers, 11 destroyers

 

Note that by the morning of Oct. 26, Center Force had already lost Suzuya, Chokai, and Chikuma, hence their absence from the list above, while Kumano was heavily damaged with a blown-off bow, so realistically you could count Kumano out of the battle. Yahagi and Noshiro were Agano-class light cruisers that mount 3x2 152 mm guns with a rather slow rate of fire of 6 RPM, making their value as surface combatants questionable. In fact, they fill the roles of destroyer flotilla leader. Finally, it's unclear how many Japanese destroyers had already expended their torpedoes during the Battle off Samar, but at least some of them did.

 

With these composition of forces in mind, how do you think the battle would have turned out? Personally, despite the numerical disadvantage, I consider the American force as the likely victor. But before you start leveling accusations of American bias at me, let me explain my reasoning. Center Force had expended a considerable amount of ammunition, both shells and torpedoes, against Taffy 3 during the Battle of Samar the day before. Furthermore, the Japanese crew would no doubt have been very fatigued from a day of relentless combat, whereas the American crew of TG 34.5 would be comparatively well-rested and probably have a full stock of ammunition. Furthermore, the American force would have approached the San Bernadino Strait from the east, thus having the sun to their advantage. Now, the fire control and automatic gunlaying of the American ships have been often-cited advantages (both Iowa and New Jersey were equipped with the Mark 8 FCR), and I think when all these operational factors are taken into account, the American force would more likely emerge as the victors. However, I won't deny some of the advantages that the Japanese would have in this battle; numerical superiority isn't something that can be easily written off especially in capital ships, and I believe there was still an ample supply of torpedoes.

 

Speaking of which, aside from Tone and the Aganos, I believe you can replicate this scenario in a training room, though the number of destroyers would likely have to be cut down (and can you imagine 10 Yugumo/Kagero all running torpedo reload mod?) If someone want to try and set a scenario like this up it can be a fun little exercise, especially when Cleveland finally moves to T8.

 

Some pictures of the two forces on Oct. 25-26, 1944.

016261i.jpg
The New Jersey (BB-62) prepares to turn to port, following the Iowa (BB-61) on 26 October 1944

1280px-Yamato_off_Samar.jpg
Yamato and a heavy cruiser, possibly Tone or Chikuma, in action in the battle off Samar

Hi

I always enjoy a good "What If Scenario " however despite your disclaimer of trying not to be bias this particular scenario seems to be stacked against the IJN and i deny it is going to be a uphill battle for the IJN but it will also be no curb stomping as seem to to think it will be.

Instead why not put up "What If Scenario " of perhaps  A Full strength Centre Force against Task Group 34.5  but of course that would make the fight more even cant have that, but i digress lets get back to this scenario.

Lets get back to this scenario then, i have had read all the reply posts from various forum members including some that have a great wealth of knowledge ( far greater than mine ) @Big_Spud, @mofton, @Phoenix_jz to name a few plus yourself Delicious all putting forth a lot of facts and figures that way against the the IJN having any hope at all I am not disputing any of it. 

Then we have other members throwing in more things like the addition of 2 more task groups and air power what are people afraid that even in a What if the USN might get beat.

The points that those forumite's i mentioned above are telling factors against the IJN but all the technology and all the other advantages mean nothing in some cases it boils down to men that are using it.

For the record i think its a tough fight for the IJN but not unwinnable 

A number of the IJN ships are veterans fought in many battles and the crews are not just guys from the local rowing club conscripted in to be part of some suicide mission.

Then you have the number of ships the IJN has, this gives them a advantage  and evens up the odds greatly.

The IJN has 2 to 1 advantage in Battleships that is a huge plus and yet some keep righting off The Kongo's that's a mistake those ships are fast BB's  with big guns that can hit hard.

IJN DDS are not to be look at lightly not with there torpedo armament either.

I looked at the poll results and had to laugh we here in general are constantly crying Russian bias at just about anything this company does in game.

However looking at the score card so far you cant half tell that this is the NA sever heaven forbid that any NA local could conceive or contemplate that the IJN could pull off a victory even in a "What If Scenario " how unpatriotic.

Before i get roasted I am all for being patriotic and have pride for my team but this "What If  discussion seems to be showing just touch USN bias.

regards  

Edited by tm63au
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26 minutes ago, tm63au said:

Hi

I always enjoy a good "What If Scenario " however despite your disclaimer of trying not to be bias this particular scenario seems to be stacked against the IJN and i deny it is going to be a uphill battle for the IJN but it will also be no curb stomping as seem to to think it will be.

Instead why not put up "What If Scenario " of perhaps  A Full strength Centre Force against Task Group 34.5  but of course that would make the fight more even cant have that, but i digress lets get back to this scenario.

Lets get back to this scenario then, i have had read all the reply posts from various forum members including some that have a great wealth of knowledge ( far greater than mine ) @Big_Spud, @mofton, @Phoenix_jz to name a few plus yourself Delicious all putting forth a lot of facts and figures that way against the the IJN having any hope at all I am not disputing any of it. 

Then we have other members throwing in more things like the addition of 2 more task groups and air power what are people afraid that even in a What if the USN might get beat.

The points that those forumite's i mentioned above are telling factors against the IJN but all the technology and all the other advantages mean nothing in some cases it boils down to men that are using it.

For the record i think its a tough fight for the IJN but not unwinnable 

A number of the IJN ships are veterans fought in many battles and the crews are just guys from the local rowing club conscripted in to be part of some suicide mission.

Then you have the number of ships the IJN has, this gives them a advantage  and evens up the odds greatly.

The IJN has 2 to 1 advantage in Battleships the a huge plus and yet some keep righting off The Kongo's that's a mistake those ships are fast BB's  with big guns that can hit hard.

IJN DDS are not to be look at lightly not with there torpedo armament either.

I looked at the poll results and had to laugh we here in general are constantly crying Russian bias at just about anything this company does in game.

However looking at the score card so far you cant half tell that this is the NA sever heaven forbid that any NA local could conceive or contemplate that the IJN could pull off a victory even in a "What If Scenario " how unpatriotic.

Before i get roasted I am all for being patriotic and have pride for my team but this "What If  discussion seems to be showing just touch USN bias.

regards  

The reason this what if discussion shows a touch of USN bias is the what if occurs after the engagement with taffy 3.  This leaves center force exhausted in terms of ammunition and manpower.  Center Force engages sometime after 0300 and disengages around 0911.  This means they had 6 hours of combat.  

Further, Center Force had a difficult time dealing with TG 77.4 consisting of 6 escort carriers, 3 dds and 4 des.  This makes you wonder how effective they would have been against TG 34.5.

Why people, including the OP are discussing additional TGs is due to the composition of TF 34 and the expected additional ships behind TG34.5 .  This partly ignores the carriers of TG 38.2 (Intrepid and 2 escorts) that had been order specifically to shadow TG 34.5 and provide air support if the enemy was engaged.  "Admiral Bogan's  carriers operated to the eastward of them (TG 34.5) in order to render air support if needed" (Leyte, June 1944 - January 1945).  This is why people keep adding things.

Now to your original point, if the engagement was with a full strength Center Force, many of these considerations may be different.  But the Center Force after engaging TG 77.4 would have been in a seriously negative position.

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18 hours ago, tm63au said:

Hi

I always enjoy a good "What If Scenario " however despite your disclaimer of trying not to be bias this particular scenario seems to be stacked against the IJN and i deny it is going to be a uphill battle for the IJN but it will also be no curb stomping as seem to to think it will be.

Instead why not put up "What If Scenario " of perhaps  A Full strength Centre Force against Task Group 34.5  but of course that would make the fight more even cant have that, but i digress lets get back to this scenario.

Lets get back to this scenario then, i have had read all the reply posts from various forum members including some that have a great wealth of knowledge ( far greater than mine ) @Big_Spud, @mofton, @Phoenix_jz to name a few plus yourself Delicious all putting forth a lot of facts and figures that way against the the IJN having any hope at all I am not disputing any of it. 

Then we have other members throwing in more things like the addition of 2 more task groups and air power what are people afraid that even in a What if the USN might get beat.

The points that those forumite's i mentioned above are telling factors against the IJN but all the technology and all the other advantages mean nothing in some cases it boils down to men that are using it.

For the record i think its a tough fight for the IJN but not unwinnable 

A number of the IJN ships are veterans fought in many battles and the crews are not just guys from the local rowing club conscripted in to be part of some suicide mission.

Then you have the number of ships the IJN has, this gives them a advantage  and evens up the odds greatly.

The IJN has 2 to 1 advantage in Battleships the a huge plus and yet some keep righting off The Kongo's that's a mistake those ships are fast BB's  with big guns that can hit hard.

IJN DDS are not to be look at lightly not with there torpedo armament either.

I looked at the poll results and had to laugh we here in general are constantly crying Russian bias at just about anything this company does in game.

However looking at the score card so far you cant half tell that this is the NA sever heaven forbid that any NA local could conceive or contemplate that the IJN could pull off a victory even in a "What If Scenario " how unpatriotic.

Before i get roasted I am all for being patriotic and have pride for my team but this "What If  discussion seems to be showing just touch USN bias.

regards  

Firstly, the composition of forces that I describe above were not arbitrary; they were in fact what the two forces were actually composed of in the early morning hours of Oct. 26, 1944, just prior to Center Force's withdrawal into the San Bernadino Strait. More specifically, I chose these forces because they were the most realistic composition if the two had actually faced against each other in the historical context of the battle. To consider a Center Force at full strength, you would have to rewind the clock back by two days, before the Battle off Samar and even before Battle of Sibuyan Sea on Oct. 24 which resulted in the loss of Musashi.

But if a full strength Center Force was bearing down on the San Bernadino Strait on Oct. 24-25 and the Third Fleet did not chase Admidal Ozawa's decoy Northern Force, then you would see the entire TF 38 (5 Essex-class fleet carriers, 5 Independence-class light carriers, Enterprise, 2 Iowa-class, 3 South Dakota-class, and Washington) guarding the strait. Even if you assume that Admiral Halsey would split off all of his carrier task groups (a completely unrealistic proposal that would violate American doctrine, but for the sake of discussion let's assume he does it), you're still looking at a TF 34 which consist of the 6 aforementioned battleships, 2 heavy cruisers (New Orleans and Wichita), 5 Cleveland-class light cruisers, 6 Fletcher-class and 2 Bagley-class destroyers. And even in this optimistic scenario (for the Japanese), you then need to present a convincing argument that Halsey would detach his carrier task groups and split his forces under this hypothetical scenario.

In summary, if I wanted to I could've stacked the deck significantly more in favor of the American force, i.e. bringing the entire TF 34 (or better yet, the entire TF 38) to bear on the Center Force.

It's amusing that you see my attempt at giving the American and Japanese forces as much realistic parity as historically possible as an act of American jingoism...

Edited by DeliciousFart
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Very interesting discussions. I will just add a few points:

At the time of the battle, US intelligence regarding the size and capabilities of the Yamato class battleships were grossly inaccurate. They underestimated the Yamato's 18''-caliber guns and its total displacement, therefore armor value. As a result, US commanders going into surface engagement with a Yamato battleship would likely want to close the range to guarantee hits, but would actually negate the advantage afforded to the US in superior fire control. None of the US battleships had sizable immunity zone against Yamato's guns (except Montana, which wasn't built), while Yamato enjoys a substantial immunity zone against US 16'' guns. The only chance for a US BB to defeat Yamato would be to use superior radar fire control and the ability of the US BBs to maneuver while maintaining firing solution to engage the Yamato at long range, where the Yamato has a very low chance of achieving a hit (US hit rate will be low as well, but still higher than Yamato's). So in the theoretical battle, it is unlikely that a US BB would be able to deliver crippling hit to Yamato, while the Yamato had a reasonable chance of seriously damaging a US BB, if it can land a hit.

The Nagato and Kongos, however, would fear decidedly less well against US BBs, as stated in previous posts. I would also add that Kongos' thin belt can be penetrated by US 8'' and even 6'' AP shells, as demonstrated by previous engagement of the Hiei at Guadalcanal. So in the event of general fleet engagement, after defeat of the IJN cruiser force (likely given superiority of US cruisers at this time), US Cleveland, New Orleans, and Wichita cruisers can pose significant threat to Kongos

If the IJN cruisers did not have chance to fire their torpedoes, their presence on the ships would pose significant risk during a surface engagement. A stray hit on a torpedo tube would be catastrophic, as seen by Mogami in Battle of Midway.

Overall, even though Yamato may have advantage in any 1 v. 1 fight against a US BB, the overall IJN fleet would be at significant disadvantage. If the US BB engaged with Yamato can hold her off for long enough, when other engagements in the fleet are resolved in US' favor, it will negate any advantage Yamato may have in 1 v. 1 fight.   

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7 hours ago, Phoenix_jz said:

While I absolutely agree with the conclusion here - Washington or Alabama is more than overwhelming as far as opponents go for a Kongo - 2nd Guadalcanal is somewhat a poor situation to use to judge things as the Japanese were entirely surprised, and South Dakota helped Washington massively by being a punching bag. She absorbed Japanese attention, although it could have cost her dearly - she was lucky Kirishima had mostly HE and bombardment rounds that broke up or exploded (relatively) harmlessly against South Dakota - she only got 1 AP hit, and it yawed against the aft turret barbette and failed to penetrate. She did get 1 HE hit that, had it been AP, would've punched straight into South Dakota's machinery spaces.

However it didn't matter, because as her attention was focused on South Dakota, the undetected Washington started laying into her with 16" shells, and that ended that fight then and there with 20-odd devastating hits. It was essentially a 'free kill' for Washington.

That doesn't change the fact that Washington would absolutely have the overwhelming edge over Kirishima in almost any engagement scenario - but it does make 2nd Guadalcanal somewhat hard to use as a measuring stick. Had the roles been reversed (Washington accidentally lobbing 16" HE into, say, Hiei, while Kirishima lines up and fires devastating 14" salvoes being totally unmolested herself), than that battle would easily be a very different story.

You are right. The battle in question was not a proper Battleship duel. On top of the overwhelming advantage a North Carolina and South Dakota have, Washington, assuming she still has most of her command crew from Guadalcanal, have first-hand experience for killing a Kongo class, which just adds to the advantage they would have. 

32 minutes ago, axyarthur said:

If the IJN cruisers did not have chance to fire their torpedoes, their presence on the ships would pose significant risk during a surface engagement. A stray hit on a torpedo tube would be catastrophic, as seen by Mogami in Battle of Midway.

Or Chikuma during the Battle off Samar. One of the CVE's aft 5" guns struck her torpedoes, and she was almost blown in half. Is it just me, or does Japanese machinery seem more prone to exploding than other nations'? Their planes explode nicely, their torpedoes are undetonated bombs on the decks, Carriers burn like kindling, Battleships explode spectacularly. I dunno.

 

To @tm63au and his comment about the scenario not being unwinnable, yes, technically. It's a helluva uphill battle though. You have a fleet that was so terrified of the American fleet that the moment they saw ship masts on the horizon they went Code Brown and had their butts handed to them by the 7 Tin Can's and 6 Jeep Carriers they thought were Baltimore's and Essex's. They are absolutely demoralized, humiliated, and wounded, having lost at least 3 CA's to the Tin Can's. Not only that, but they have to square off against TWO of the most technologically advanced Battleships ever built, plus two others that, while not nearly as advanced as Iowa and Jersey, are still veterans and extremely capable Battleships. They have to do this with 2 horribly outdated Battlecruisers (Kongo, Hiei), one older Battleship (Nagato), and the biggest Battleship in human history (Yamato).

So, for the sake of fairness, how does Japan win this engagement, exactly? Well, first Yamato NEEDS to put down or at the very least incapacitate Iowa in a timely manner. The longer they duel, the worse off they will be. Yamato in their Ace in the Hole. Their only real advantage in this fight. The longer she takes, the more likely Kongo and Hiei are gone, being absolutely no match whatsoever to Washington and Alabama. Not to mention in all likelyhood Nagato will have to square off with New Jersey, which is almost just as bad. The first side to lose a Battleship from the fight will lose, because at the start it's and even 4 v. 4, with four independent duels going on simultaneously. If one falls, it goes to two 1 v. 1's and a 2 v. 1. Then it cascades. If Yamato can get free from Iowa, she will then have to support Nagato against New Jersey. Then Washington and Alabama. At that point, though, it's likely either one or both Kongo's will not be fit for combat anymore, and will have to disengage. THEN they have to save their Destroyers from being absolutely demolished by the swarm of Fletchers bearing down on them while not being torpedoed. Really, the deciding factor for this fight is who wins their BB duels. It's looking like probably 7 or 8 times out of 10, it's the United States, just based on the fact that they have four modern Battlewagons as opposed to Japan's one modern and 3 outdated battlecruisers. Japan is badly outgunned in this battle, even with the biggest Naval rifles on the planet.

A more fair hypothetical fight would be Yamato, Musashi, Nagato, and one of her sister's against Iowa, New Jersey, Washington, and Alabama. That way Japan has ships that can actually square up more evenly to the smaller of the US BB without using their heavyweights, but that's just hypothetical and overly fictitious. 

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4 hours ago, tm63au said:

Then we have other members throwing in more things like the addition of 2 more task groups and air power what are people afraid that even in a What if the USN might get beat.

I was one that made note of the presence of air power that was not mentioned in the original scenario description.

Your charge of bias is, frankly, insulting.  The scenario is based on real circumstances, not some made-up stacked deck or isolated duel.  The difference between the proposed scenario and what really occurred was the matter of a few hours.  That's all.

 

You want a scenario that was different by a few more hours?  What if Halsey hadn't bit on the North Force decoy and stayed home.  What does the Battle Off Samar look like then?  An IJN victory?  What do you say?

 

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2 hours ago, DeliciousFart said:

Firstly, the composition of forces that I describe above were not arbitrary; they were in fact what the two forces were actually composed of in the early morning hours of Oct. 26, 1944, just prior to Center Force's withdrawal into the San Bernadino Strait. More specifically, I chose these forces because they were the most realistic composition if the two had actually faced against each other in the historical context of the battle. To consider a Center Force at full strength, you would have to rewind the clock back by two days, before the Battle off Samar and even before Battle of Sibuyan Sea on Oct. 24 which resulted in the loss of Musashi.

But if a full strength Center Force was bearing down on the San Bernadino Strait on Oct. 24-25 and the Third Fleet did not chase Admidal Ozawa's decoy Northern Force, then you would see the entire TF 38 (7 Essex-class fleet carriers, Enterprise, 2 Iowa-class, 3 South Dakota-class, and Washington) guarding the strait. Even if you assume that Admiral Halsey would split off all of his carrier task groups (a completely unrealistic proposal that would violate American doctrine, but for the sake of discussion let's assume he does it), you're still looking at a TF 34 which consist of the 6 aforementioned battleships, 2 heavy cruisers (New Orleans and Wichita), 5 Cleveland-class light cruisers, 6 Fletcher-class and 2 Bagley-class destroyers. And even in this optimistic scenario (for the Japanese), you then need to present a convincing argument that Halsey would detach his carrier task groups and split his forces under this hypothetical scenario.

In summary, if I wanted to I could've stacked the deck significantly more in favor of the American force, i.e. bringing the entire TF 34 (or better yet, the entire TF 38) to bear on the Center Force.

It's amusing that you see my attempt at giving the American and Japanese forces as much realistic parity as historically possible as an act of American jingoism...

HI Delicious

First lets see why I feel this "What If " is stacked as interesting as it is ( and didn't say it was not ) your putting up a scenario that's pits a damaged and depleted force against a full strength force on forum site that's possible close to 90%  supporters of one team shall we say, even the most open minded NA native are not going to vote against there home team and the others who seem to believe this myth of invincibility will dismiss any suggestion that there team might lose so I would call it stacked.

All I can say is the Roman Army thought it was the most powerful Force in the world at one time however Hannibal at Cannae proved that wrong anything is possible.

Were you expecting a even discussion or scoreboard because this scenario was never going to do it, I doubt even had you discuss a scenario perhaps only the lines centre force reaching San Bernardino Strait minus Musashi and the 3 Cruisers  not having to face Taffy 3 first but instead running into Task Force 34.5  the poll would still be the same.

As for my thoughts on your 2 new alternative scenarios

A: Centre Force meeting the entire TF 38 IF and that's big IF Centre Force some how managed to fight there way through the Air strikes of the CV's they probable suffer the same fate as The Southern Force maybe dealing out little more damage to TF 38 than there Ill fated comrades did in Southern Force.

B: Centre Force meeting TF38 ( minus CVs ) still a tough ask possible they would fight for so long suffer heavy damages and try to withdraw and salvage some of there fleet, the Damage to USN would much higher possible.

As I write I see I have few more replies to my original post which I will answer but after I will withdraw from the thread it may seem like I am USN bashing I'm not I like " What ifs " but I like them to be designed around scenarios that give both sides a even playing field in regards to debate and discussion.

cheers           

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3 hours ago, Halonut24 said:

You are right. The battle in question was not a proper Battleship duel. On top of the overwhelming advantage a North Carolina and South Dakota have, Washington, assuming she still has most of her command crew from Guadalcanal, have first-hand experience for killing a Kongo class, which just adds to the advantage they would have. 

Or Chikuma during the Battle off Samar. One of the CVE's aft 5" guns struck her torpedoes, and she was almost blown in half. Is it just me, or does Japanese machinery seem more prone to exploding than other nations'? Their planes explode nicely, their torpedoes are undetonated bombs on the decks, Carriers burn like kindling, Battleships explode spectacularly. I dunno.

 

To @tm63au and his comment about the scenario not being unwinnable, yes, technically. It's a helluva uphill battle though. You have a fleet that was so terrified of the American fleet that the moment they saw ship masts on the horizon they went Code Brown and had their butts handed to them by the 7 Tin Can's and 6 Jeep Carriers they thought were Baltimore's and Essex's. They are absolutely demoralized, humiliated, and wounded, having lost at least 3 CA's to the Tin Can's. Not only that, but they have to square off against TWO of the most technologically advanced Battleships ever built, plus two others that, while not nearly as advanced as Iowa and Jersey, are still veterans and extremely capable Battleships. They have to do this with 2 horribly outdated Battlecruisers (Kongo, Hiei), one older Battleship (Nagato), and the biggest Battleship in human history (Yamato).

So, for the sake of fairness, how does Japan win this engagement, exactly? Well, first Yamato NEEDS to put down or at the very least incapacitate Iowa in a timely manner. The longer they duel, the worse off they will be. Yamato in their Ace in the Hole. Their only real advantage in this fight. The longer she takes, the more likely Kongo and Hiei are gone, being absolutely no match whatsoever to Washington and Alabama. Not to mention in all likelyhood Nagato will have to square off with New Jersey, which is almost just as bad. The first side to lose a Battleship from the fight will lose, because at the start it's and even 4 v. 4, with four independent duels going on simultaneously. If one falls, it goes to two 1 v. 1's and a 2 v. 1. Then it cascades. If Yamato can get free from Iowa, she will then have to support Nagato against New Jersey. Then Washington and Alabama. At that point, though, it's likely either one or both Kongo's will not be fit for combat anymore, and will have to disengage. THEN they have to save their Destroyers from being absolutely demolished by the swarm of Fletchers bearing down on them while not being torpedoed. Really, the deciding factor for this fight is who wins their BB duels. It's looking like probably 7 or 8 times out of 10, it's the United States, just based on the fact that they have four modern Battlewagons as opposed to Japan's one modern and 3 outdated battlecruisers. Japan is badly outgunned in this battle, even with the biggest Naval rifles on the planet.

A more fair hypothetical fight would be Yamato, Musashi, Nagato, and one of her sister's against Iowa, New Jersey, Washington, and Alabama. That way Japan has ships that can actually square up more evenly to the smaller of the US BB without using their heavyweights, but that's just hypothetical and overly fictitious. 

Hi

Well I was quite interested in you post right up to the part when you declared that the IJN where terrified  and went code brown  etc. etc. now I'm certain you have read up on this most naval enthusiast have so please don't start talking rubbish and pushing your chest out yes your the most powerful nation in the world today but this is what gets my ire the myth of invincibility that people go on about anyone and everyone can be beaten.

It is my understanding from my reading of the battle that IJN were to put it mildly surprised that there plan succeeded some might have even been shocked at this hence they were over cautious in there attacks against Taffy 3 and escorts.

Its true to say that Taffy fought greatly that's not in doubt, The Centre Force withdrew firstly because they believed they were indeed facing the main USN Force that's just bad intelligence not fear they returned again to fight still over cautious about how to proceed, its not that easy fighting someone if front of you while looking over your shoulder again that's not fear that's common sense unless you like being king hit in back of your head.

TWO OF THE MOST TECHNOLOGICALLY ADVANCED BATTLESHIPS  since I only know a little about these ships I will take your word for it, battles are not won by machines its the men/ women that use them and how good they are at working them.

That is only one factor in battles and there are other factors that play a part in winning and losing, and where back to Kongo bashing again.

Not only that this "What If Scenario" that @DeliciousFart has posted about is not about said ships you have mentioned so please go back and read his OP thanks your getting off track and you need to breath or your going to hurt your chest :Smile_Default:cheers                

Edited by tm63au
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