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Admiral_Thrawn_1

Were Yamato’s Final Escorts Refitted?

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Got thinking about how late War and even post war DDs in particular were having torpedo armaments reduced or even removed entirely in favor of adding more AA. And I imagine some CAs that had above deck torpedo launchers may have had same thing done to them as well. So the question is did the IJN refit Yamato Final escorts in similar manner or even consider it? I mean they would had to of predicted that Yamato and escorts would have had to fend off at least a few aircraft, although they likely did not expect just how many CV aircraft would end up attacking Yamato. Yeah added AA on the escorts might not have saved Yamato, but at least it would not have seemed so suicidal.

 

Edited by Admiral_Thrawn_1

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With the quality of Japanese AA, I doubt it would have change anything.

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Even in the remote outcome of Yamato surviving several air attacks, the surface fleet awaiting her just a few miles down her path would have obliterated her, her escorts and possibly sunk a nearby island in the process. 3 South Dakota-class and 3 Iowa-class battleships, 2 large cruisers, 9 cruisers and 21 destroyers were sent to finish her off if the air attacks should fail.

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49 minutes ago, Admiral_Thrawn_1 said:

Got thinking about how late War and even post war DDs in particular were having torpedo armaments reduced or even removed entirely in favor of adding more AA. And I imagine some CAs that had above deck torpedo launchers may have had same thing done to them as well. So the question is did the IJN refit Yamato Final escorts in similar manner or even consider it? I mean they would had to of predicted that Yamato and escorts would have had to fend off at least a few aircraft, although they likely did not expect just how many CV aircraft would end up attacking Yamato. Yeah added AA on the escorts might not have saved Yamato, but at least it would not have seemed so suicidal.

 

There weren't any great, altering refitting done.  Even then, the IJN relied a lot on their 127mm guns which were poor in AA duties.  Their 25mm guns were horrible.

 

You have to understand the condition the IJN was in when Yamato was sent off to die.

Battle of the Philippine Sea in July 1944 broke IJN naval aviation.

Battle of Leyte Gulf in late October 1944 caused devastating surface ship losses for Japan, even several Battleships and precious Heavy Cruisers.

The IJN spent most of the fuel it had left for Leyte Gulf.

Remaining ships were being stripped of weapons or reduced to being an AA barge in their ports.

 

You can see the refit Yamato had in 1945.  It's not really important.  She still sported the awful 25mm and 127mm guns.  Those 100mm guns on the Akizuki class?  "A total of 169 guns were completed between 1940 and 1944 with 68 used in land mountings. All were in twin mounts."   I.e. these were very rare guns.  Meanwhile the United States produced the 127mm/38 guns: "Over 8,000 of these weapons were produced between 1934 and 1945, broken down as 2,168 guns in single mountings and 2,714 guns in twin mountings for warships plus 3,298 guns in single mountings for auxiliary ships and merchant vessels. These figures may not include guns produced prior to 1 July 1940, at which time there were 315 single DP, eight twin DP and 52 twin SP mountings in the entire US Fleet."

 

Nothing would have helped the Operation Ten-Go force that went out in April 1945.  The IJN leadership that planned it and issued the orders knew it was suicidal.  VAdm Ito who was in charge of the Ten-Go force knew it was suicide and was against it.  His Division Commanders knew it was suicide.  The ship captains knew it was suicide.  Every crewman knew it was suicide.  In the book "Japanese Destroyer Captain," the author was skipper on CL Yahagi.  He knew it was suicide.  He was completely against it.  The crew and officers go on a binge of sake the night before the sortie, thinking they weren't coming back.

 

The goal was to run the gauntlet and beach Yamato on Okinawa and go down guns blazing.  Problem was USN Submarines spotted them early near Japan, reported it.  The Submarine commander was so arrogant that he broadcast the spotting report in plain english, knowing the Japanese would still intercept it.  There goes surprise.  Historically the USN dispatched a powerful surface force to meet Yamato but the Carriers jumped the gun.  VAdm. Mitscher sent the mass strike of aircraft then informed his superiors the planes were already on the way :Smile_popcorn:So, let's say Yamato somehow survives that mass air strike.  The USN surface force sent to deal with Yamato was under Adm. Deyo and he had in his command:

3 Iowa-class BBs: New Jersey, Wisconsin, Missouri

3 South Dakota-class BBs:  South Dakota, Indiana, Massachusetts

7 Cruisers

Alaska-class "Large Cruisers" x2:  Guam and Alaska

21 Destroyers.

 

To meet the initial Japanese force of:

Yamato-class BB x1:  Yamato

Agano-class CL x1:  Yahagi - IJN CLs were poorly armed compared to their competition.

8 DDs

Assuming no Japanese ships get sunk, disabled, etc. from the CV air attacks, this Ten-Go force even at 100% would have been absolutely massacred by the USN surface force sent to intercept it.  The funny part is there's still all those other ships, Carriers, and their escorts sitting around Okinawa.

 

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway

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37 minutes ago, Admiral_Thrawn_1 said:

Got thinking about how late War and even post war DDs in particular were having torpedo armaments reduced or even removed entirely in favor of adding more AA. And I imagine some CAs that had above deck torpedo launchers may have had same thing done to them as well. So the question is did the IJN refit Yamato Final escorts in similar manner or even consider it? I mean they would had to of predicted that Yamato and escorts would have had to fend off at least a few aircraft, although they likely did not expect just how many CV aircraft would end up attacking Yamato. Yeah added AA on the escorts might not have saved Yamato, but at least it would not have seemed so suicidal.

 

The IJN's version of an AA upgrade for DD's didn't remove any torpedo tubes, they removed one of the aft 127mm turrets and replaced it with a couple of triple 25mm mounts. The US Navy, Fench and Royal Navy's were in the habit of removing torpedo tubes for AA guns.

Japanese heavy cruisers had even less extensive modifications, Aside from Maya, you're looking at just an increasing number of 25mm guns, on most of the heavy cruisers the torpedo tubes are under the aircraft catapults and the platform for handling aircraft. Aircraft wouldn't be removed as the role of the heavy cruisers in a carrier force was to provide recon, which is what the float planes were for,  the ultimate example of this being the Tone. Maya lost her number 3 turret (or "C" turret if your British in favor of an extra pair of twin 127mm mounts.

There were some AA conversions of the old light cruisers, but they don't appear to have been successful.

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Japanese destroyers started trading in their X-turret in 1944 in favor of more 25mm weaponry. Exceptions were the Akizukis, Shimakaze and the Yuugumos, perhaps one or two odd ones as well.

However of all the nations that attempted to rearm their DDs with stronger AA suites, the Japanese were among the worst in the execution of those plans. The increase in 25mm was in essence just an increase in short range AA, and the performance of the 25mm gun is well known to be among the worst of any actively and widely used AA gun during the war. The British trading torpedoes or main guns for actual dp artillery were one step ahead. The Germans removing a main gun for a crap load of automatic 37mm guns were even better. And the Americans going as far as removing the entire torpedo armament for Bofors batteries take the crown with ease.

Not that the Japanese can be blamed, they had no functional medium range AA gun...

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50 minutes ago, HazeGrayUnderway said:

3 Iowa-class BBs: New Jersey, Wisconsin, Missouri

3 South Dakota-class BBs:  South Dakota, Indiana, Massachusetts

7 Cruisers

Alaska-class "Large Cruisers" x2:  Guam and Alaska

21 Destroyers.

The ship my dad served on the USS Hornet CV12 aided in the destruction of Yamato. (He was on it near the end of it's service life in the mid to late 60's. Very shortly before the Apollo moon missions.)

Anchors Aweigh is going there Jan 2020. I've never got to see it yet. I'm half way across the country. Would love to take my Dad there to visit.

 

iu (38).jpg

Edited by Capt_Ahab1776

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As far as I'm aware the IJN did its major wave of AA refits around 1944, thus usually implying the addition of more 25mm cannons.

To go ship by ship;

  • Light Cruiser Yahagi had her light AA armament, in various stages, entirely revised over the course of 1944. As built she had 2x3 + 4x2 25mm AA guns. In February the twins were stripped out and replaced by triples, and in July another four triples and fourteen singles were added. Ten more singles were added in November for a total of 8x3 + 24x1 25mm 

DesDiv7:

  • Destroyers IsokazeHamakaze, and Yukikaze (All Kagero-class), which sported only two 25mm twin mounts for AA, but over time lost one of these and a 127mm turret for more light AA. As of Ten-Go, they boasted 4x3 + 1x2 + 14x1 25mm and 4x1 13.2mm MG's

DesDiv21:

  • Asashimo (Yugumo-class) began the war with 4x3 + 1x2 25mm, and added to this 12x1 25mm and 4x1 13.2mm
  • Kasumi (Asashio-class) began the war with only a pair of twin 25mm mounts, but by 1945, at the loss of a turret and her torpedo reloads, had 4x3 + 3x2 + 14x1 25mm and 4x1 13.2mm
  • Hatsushimo (Hatsuharu-class) started the war with, you guessed it, a pair of 25mm twins. By Ten-Go, she had (at the cost of torpedo reloads and a turret) 3x3 + 1x2 + 10x1 25mm and 4x1 13.2mm

DesDiv41

  • Fuyuzuki (Akizuki-class) commissioned only in 1944, so she had an armament in 5x3 + 12x1 25mm and 4x1 25mm. In 1945 she had another refit (I'm not sure if it was before or after Ten-Go) that raised this to 7x3 + 30x1 25mm.
  • Suzutsuki (Akizuki-class), which was commissioned earlier, started the war with 4x3 25mm. As of the final '45 refit, her AA battery was identical to her sister Fuyuzuki.

 

The problem with these refits was that the 25mm was just a very poor gun, with the hitting power a little better than a 20mm, but the rate of fire was only about that of a 37-40mm gun. 

Thus, the light AA of Japanese destroyers tended to have very limited effective range (2,000 meters). This meant they really couldn't do much more than maybe defense themselves, and this was compounded by the lack of centralized control (which, to be fair, tended to only be a thing on American destroyers when it came to lighter AA calibers). Additionally, while the Japanese destroyers technically all had dual-purpose guns... only the 10cm Type 98 was effective as a gun in this role, with good elevation and traverse rate and a good rate of fire of 15 r/m (practical), while the 12.7cm Type 3 that equipped most IJN DDs was not - elevation rate was slow and the traverse rate was abysmal, as was the rate of fire, which had a practical rate of about 4.4-5 r/m in service. Stepping beyond the gun, though, Japanese destroyers would suffer with effective fire control - only the Akizuki-class had a true dual-purpose fire control system, with the others having a limited high-angle ability at best. Compounding this was the fact that none of the Japanese gun mounts were stabilized, and they failed to develop a working stable vertical, which would have greatly hampered their fire control efforts in general. 

 

Even if the Japanese had resources to fit all their destroyers with their best AA guns and equipment, they lacked good enough weapons (namely in regards to the light AA), and were too far behind the curve on the fire control technology to be effective, even compared to systems used by their Axis partners - which themselves weren't nearly as good as the American systems.

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CA and DD Torpedoes were upgraded to the newest 'Homing Torpedo' design from Germany.

Proximity fuses were fitted on the Yamato 18" and Yahagi 6" shells.  Nothing for the 5" DDs.

This was the best of the best the IJN had left.

Sad part is that it was only a diversion, like Ozawa at Leyte Gulf.  The main attack was the Kamikaze raids.

These Kamikaze air raids were disabling about one US carrier/day at Okinawa.

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19 hours ago, Brooklin82 said:

Even in the remote outcome of Yamato surviving several air attacks, the surface fleet awaiting her just a few miles down her path would have obliterated her, her escorts and possibly sunk a nearby island in the process. 3 South Dakota-class and 3 Iowa-class battleships, 2 large cruisers, 9 cruisers and 21 destroyers were sent to finish her off if the air attacks should fail.

If Yamato’s main guns and targeting systems happened to have been intact and operational when USN surface ships closed in, I would worry about how badly damaged the USN BBs might have ended up. Because those 18.1” shells if they hit would certainly have done some major damage and caused loss of life onboard.

Not saying Yamato would have survived, but odds are there would have been USN sailors that would have lost their lives. 

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5 minutes ago, Admiral_Thrawn_1 said:

If Yamato’s main guns and targeting systems happened to have been intact and operational when USN surface ships closed in, I would worry about how badly damaged the USN BBs might have ended up. Because those 18.1” shells if they hit would certainly have done some major damage and caused loss of life onboard.

Not saying Yamato would have survived, but odds are there would have been USN sailors that would have lost their lives. 

"Taffy 3".  Just sayin'.

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1 minute ago, Admiral_Thrawn_1 said:

If Yamato’s main guns and targeting systems happened to have been intact and operational when USN surface ships closed in, I would worry about how badly damaged the USN BBs might have ended up. Because those 18.1” shells if they hit would certainly have done some major damage and caused loss of life onboard.

Not saying Yamato would have survived, but odds are there would have been USN sailors that would have lost their lives. 

USN pilots died taking down Yamato, it would have been no different against a surface fleet.  Given Yamato's combat record that exposes poor accuracy, a highly damaged Yamato would be unlikely to score any hits, much like when Bismarck was executed.  The effectiveness of surface ships goes down dramatically when they are harassed by nearly unchallenged air power.

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I have to also wonder how effective Yamato’s air defenses would have been if they had been able to manufacture sufficient numbers of the dual purpose 100mm guns like those of Akizuki and had banks of those on either side of superstructure instead of the more useless 25mm AA turrets? Granted there would be fewer numbers of AA turrets, but if the guns were one of the most effective AA guns the Japanese had, it does make me wonder how Yamato would have been with them?

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9 hours ago, Admiral_Thrawn_1 said:

I have to also wonder how effective Yamato’s air defenses would have been if they had been able to manufacture sufficient numbers of the dual purpose 100mm guns like those of Akizuki and had banks of those on either side of superstructure instead of the more useless 25mm AA turrets? Granted there would be fewer numbers of AA turrets, but if the guns were one of the most effective AA guns the Japanese had, it does make me wonder how Yamato would have been with them?

 It's the sheer disparity of force that's causing such lopsided casualties.  Yamato was confronted by 11 CVs, if she survived long enough to engage in a surface action, she'd have been confronted 17 capital ships.  What would it ultimately matter if she shot down a few more aircraft before she was destroyed?  What changes?  No ship would withstand a combined attack by 11 other capital ships.

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10 hours ago, Admiral_Thrawn_1 said:

I have to also wonder how effective Yamato’s air defenses would have been if they had been able to manufacture sufficient numbers of the dual purpose 100mm guns like those of Akizuki and had banks of those on either side of superstructure instead of the more useless 25mm AA turrets? Granted there would be fewer numbers of AA turrets, but if the guns were one of the most effective AA guns the Japanese had, it does make me wonder how Yamato would have been with them?

The 10cm Type98's would have replaced the 12.7cm Type 89's, rather than the 25mm Type 96's. This was actually intended for later sisters of the class (ex, Shinano), but obviously this never came about. I'm not sure what the planned fit was suppose to be.

This would have improved the heavy AA firepower of the Yamato, since the 10cm Type 98 was a more effective AA weapon than the Type 89, with a practical rate of fire almost twice as high (8 r/m vs 15 r/m). However, it still would not have made a huge difference, as you've got too many deficiencies in her AA otherwise, mainly for the reasons I outlined in my post earlier. The quite decent 10cm Type 98's have the issues of;

  • Being director controlled but lacking RPC
  • Not being stabilized

Additionally, their directors don't have the aid of radar, but that's less of an inherent flaw and more Japan's radar technology just being too far behind the curve.

This, however, stacks with the 25mm gun still makes up all of Yamato's light AA, and is just a bad gun with limited hitting power, rate of fire, and effective range.

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13 hours ago, Phoenix_jz said:

The 10cm Type98's would have replaced the 12.7cm Type 89's, rather than the 25mm Type 96's. This was actually intended for later sisters of the class (ex, Shinano), but obviously this never came about. I'm not sure what the planned fit was suppose to be.

This would have improved the heavy AA firepower of the Yamato, since the 10cm Type 98 was a more effective AA weapon than the Type 89, with a practical rate of fire almost twice as high (8 r/m vs 15 r/m). However, it still would not have made a huge difference, as you've got too many deficiencies in her AA otherwise, mainly for the reasons I outlined in my post earlier. The quite decent 10cm Type 98's have the issues of;

  • Being director controlled but lacking RPC
  • Not being stabilized

Additionally, their directors don't have the aid of radar, but that's less of an inherent flaw and more Japan's radar technology just being too far behind the curve.

This, however, stacks with the 25mm gun still makes up all of Yamato's light AA, and is just a bad gun with limited hitting power, rate of fire, and effective range.

I thought the IJN 127mm guns were supposed to be comparable to the German 128mm Flak Guns? Which the later I am not totally certain how much better or worse they were compared with Flak 8.8s, but I know a lot of allied bombers were either shot down or badly damaged from flak guns. ( Have watched enough documentaries, seen enough photos, and read a few first hand veteran accounts of German flak Guns to know they were hitting allied planes, just not sure how many of the instances I have seen were 8.8s or 12.8s.) So I am interested to know more info on the IJN 127mm Guns. 

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25 minutes ago, Admiral_Thrawn_1 said:

I thought the IJN 127mm guns were supposed to be comparable to the German 128mm Flak Guns? Which the later I am not totally certain how much better or worse they were compared with Flak 8.8s, but I know a lot of allied bombers were either shot down or badly damaged from flak guns. ( Have watched enough documentaries, seen enough photos, and read a few first hand veteran accounts of German flak Guns to know they were hitting allied planes, just not sure how many of the instances I have seen were 8.8s or 12.8s.) So I am interested to know more info on the IJN 127mm Guns. 

Medium to Heavy bombers are easy to target with flak guns because they fly in tight formations at predictable altitudes and they fly straight and level.  This is completely unlike naval aircraft swarming around a Battleship with dive bombers peeling off at the last second and torpedo bombers on the deck dropping their payload.

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31 minutes ago, Admiral_Thrawn_1 said:

I thought the IJN 127mm guns were supposed to be comparable to the German 128mm Flak Guns? Which the later I am not totally certain how much better or worse they were compared with Flak 8.8s, but I know a lot of allied bombers were either shot down or badly damaged from flak guns. ( Have watched enough documentaries, seen enough photos, and read a few first hand veteran accounts of German flak Guns to know they were hitting allied planes, just not sure how many of the instances I have seen were 8.8s or 12.8s.) So I am interested to know more info on the IJN 127mm Guns. 

@Sventex Already mentioned this difference between the differenc between the styles of attack, but to add to it and also to answer your original question;

The German 12.8cm/61 (actually /58.5) FlaK 40 guns were a significantly better weapon. They fired a heavier shell (26 kg vs 23.45 kg) at a higher velocity (900 m/s vs 700-725 m/s), giving it greater effective range than the 12.7cm/40 Type 89. Additionally, they had a greater rate of fire - the Type 89 had a burst rate of fire of 14 r/m and a sustained rate of 8 r/m, to the 12.8cm FlaK 40's 15 r/m.

The gun as a whole was much better, and in general German systems behind it were better than the Japanese, as they had much better RPC technology, working stable verticals, etc. 

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On 11/14/2019 at 1:51 PM, SireneRacker said:

Japanese destroyers started trading in their X-turret in 1944 in favor of more 25mm weaponry. Exceptions were the Akizukis, Shimakaze and the Yuugumos, perhaps one or two odd ones as well.

However of all the nations that attempted to rearm their DDs with stronger AA suites, the Japanese were among the worst in the execution of those plans. The increase in 25mm was in essence just an increase in short range AA, and the performance of the 25mm gun is well known to be among the worst of any actively and widely used AA gun during the war. The British trading torpedoes or main guns for actual dp artillery were one step ahead. The Germans removing a main gun for a crap load of automatic 37mm guns were even better. And the Americans going as far as removing the entire torpedo armament for Bofors batteries take the crown with ease.

Not that the Japanese can be blamed, they had no functional medium range AA gun...

Yeah, IJN AA guns were just in general downright crap.  The ONE good AA gun they had, the 100mm guns on the Akizuki-class, were exceptionally rare.

 

So seeing a bunch of IJN ships mounting these in WoWS always made me giggle :Smile_popcorn:

 

Even the US Navy who went overboard in AA capability, by war's end, felt the 40mm bofors were no longer enough.  They pulled back into service a bunch of old 76mm guns, gave them new mounts and fire control, and slapped on Proximity Fuse shells.  Missed the war, but we see these in the game as they're mounted on the Des Moines-class, Worcester, and Ohio (I was really surprised WG gave Ohio those guns while Montana didn't get any).  From Navweaps:

WNUS_3-50_mk27-33-34_pic.jpgWNUS_3-50_mk27-33-34_Canberra_pic.jpgWNUS_3-50_mk27-33-34_museum_pic.jpg

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway

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I think people complaining about the 25mm gun are going a little bit too far. It wasn't a good gun but at the same time it isn't as bad as its reputation. The sustained RoF is low but on the flip side firing opportunities for AA guns were always short. More to the point comparing it to the 40mm Bofors is really unfair as that was almost inarguably the best AA weapon in the world at the time and also significantly newer. Most nations did not have access to similarly capable weapons, or even weapons that compared to the 25mm fully.

The RN relied for the vast majority of the war on the 40mm pom-pom, which is worse in basically every way than the 25mm, with a slow rate of fire, miserably short range, and available only on heavy multiple mounts which limited the numbers that could be fitted especially on small warships. Only late in the war did they start fitting Bofors mounts to new ships and sometimes refitting them to existing ships.

The KM and MN started the war with semi-automatic 37mm guns as their main heavy AA weaponry. The MN was kicked out of the war, and a few of their ships got USN refits later on. The KM eventually refitted limited numbers of Bofors mounts, but only late in the war and only on a few ships in limited numbers. The 37mm guns were fitted only very late(1944-1945) and again only on some ships.

The RM and VMF had probably the best AA guns as weapons at the outset of hostilities, the 37mm/54 M1932 and 37mm/67 70-K. The issue was that these weapons had poor mountings, especially the RM gun was very difficult to mount in any significant numbers. The single 37mm gun mounts that were most common during the war were also pretty poor, and the VMF wasn't exactly a huge combatant navy during the period.

Also, special mention to the USN 28mm, which was like the extra-[edited] version of the 40mm pom-pom. At least that threw a heavy shell to make up for the weighty mount, the 28mm was just bad all-round and the US was smart to find the Bofors, invest the resources to mass produce it, and never look back.

Basically, the 25mm was automatic, it had longer range than 20mm guns, it was light enough to be fitted anywhere on a ship, and the Japanese could and did produce it in huge numbers and stick it on everything that floated. In WWII, that's actually a huge step above the AA of most nations especially before 1944-45.

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2 hours ago, Aetreus said:

I think people complaining about the 25mm gun are going a little bit too far. It wasn't a good gun but at the same time it isn't as bad as its reputation. The sustained RoF is low but on the flip side firing opportunities for AA guns were always short. More to the point comparing it to the 40mm Bofors is really unfair as that was almost inarguably the best AA weapon in the world at the time and also significantly newer. Most nations did not have access to similarly capable weapons, or even weapons that compared to the 25mm fully.

The RN relied for the vast majority of the war on the 40mm pom-pom, which is worse in basically every way than the 25mm, with a slow rate of fire, miserably short range, and available only on heavy multiple mounts which limited the numbers that could be fitted especially on small warships. Only late in the war did they start fitting Bofors mounts to new ships and sometimes refitting them to existing ships.

The KM and MN started the war with semi-automatic 37mm guns as their main heavy AA weaponry. The MN was kicked out of the war, and a few of their ships got USN refits later on. The KM eventually refitted limited numbers of Bofors mounts, but only late in the war and only on a few ships in limited numbers. The 37mm guns were fitted only very late(1944-1945) and again only on some ships.

The RM and VMF had probably the best AA guns as weapons at the outset of hostilities, the 37mm/54 M1932 and 37mm/67 70-K. The issue was that these weapons had poor mountings, especially the RM gun was very difficult to mount in any significant numbers. The single 37mm gun mounts that were most common during the war were also pretty poor, and the VMF wasn't exactly a huge combatant navy during the period.

Also, special mention to the USN 28mm, which was like the extra-[edited] version of the 40mm pom-pom. At least that threw a heavy shell to make up for the weighty mount, the 28mm was just bad all-round and the US was smart to find the Bofors, invest the resources to mass produce it, and never look back.

Basically, the 25mm was automatic, it had longer range than 20mm guns, it was light enough to be fitted anywhere on a ship, and the Japanese could and did produce it in huge numbers and stick it on everything that floated. In WWII, that's actually a huge step above the AA of most nations especially before 1944-45.

Just because the gun wasn't as awful as some of the contemporaries doesn't change the the fact that it was indeed as bad as its reputation.  The purpose of anti aircraft guns is to disrupt and destroy aircraft, not outperform the guns of other navies.  The USN might have had some of the best AA guns in the world, but they too were also awful negating air power for several years of the war.  Those 25mm guns got their reputation because the USN planes could walk all over Japanese ships with minimal casualties.

Edited by Sventex

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2 hours ago, Aetreus said:

I think people complaining about the 25mm gun are going a little bit too far. It wasn't a good gun but at the same time it isn't as bad as its reputation. The sustained RoF is low but on the flip side firing opportunities for AA guns were always short. More to the point comparing it to the 40mm Bofors is really unfair as that was almost inarguably the best AA weapon in the world at the time and also significantly newer. Most nations did not have access to similarly capable weapons, or even weapons that compared to the 25mm fully.

I don‘t know about that. Say we compare to the Germans:

First the 20mm Flak38. The German gun throws twice the shells per barrel at an effective range that is only 20% shorter (1200 vs 1500m). The German shells, despite being only ~60% of the individual weight, carry an equal if not larger bursting charge. So the in terms of throwing mass the German gun easily competes, and when it comes to throwing actual bursting charges (instead of just punching holes) it easily overtakes. Then you have reports about excessive muzzle flash on the Japanese weapon (noted to be more severe of an issue than the rate of fire, I should add) as well as vibration issues, both things you don‘t really hear about the German weapon. On top of all this the Germans managed to get free floating twin mounts, whereas the Japanese noted that their average man could not handle a 25mm twin mount. What this meant for tracking speed goes without saying.

So I can firmly say that the German 20mm Flak38 compares to the Japanese 25mm, and if I had to pick I know what I would take.

And then you enter the hand loaded 37mm gun. While it may not even be a good weapon when holding it against fully automatic medium caliber guns, it was better than nothing as it was still an accurate, stabilized and fully independent system. And when you hold it next to the Japanese medium AA gun, you are quite literally comparing it to nothing. But it should be noted that on a per-barrel basis the mass output of the hand loaded 37mm gun matched that of the Japanese automatic 25mm gun. No seriously, it does.

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3 hours ago, HazeGrayUnderway said:

Yeah, IJN AA guns were just in general downright crap.  The ONE good AA gun they had, the 100mm guns on the Akizuki-class, were exceptionally rare.

While the 100mm Type98 was without doubt the best AA gun they had, and miles ahead of any other heavy AA gun they had (at least when it came to AA duties), it unfortunately still only gets an average rating honestly speaking.

One of the more sobering things to do with it is to compare it to the German 105mm/65, a weapon from 1933, and the only other heavy AA gun that was somewhat modern that is close enough caliber wise to be compared. And even then the weapon is several years older. But still the Japanese weapon compares in a rather mediocre way, with lower shell weight, much lower bursting charge, a seventh of the barrel life, absolute lack of shell variety and lack of stabilization and/or RPC. Only thing it can claim is that the mounts turn faster, yay.

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5 hours ago, Admiral_Thrawn_1 said:

I thought the IJN 127mm guns were supposed to be comparable to the German 128mm Flak Guns? Which the later I am not totally certain how much better or worse they were compared with Flak 8.8s, but I know a lot of allied bombers were either shot down or badly damaged from flak guns. ( Have watched enough documentaries, seen enough photos, and read a few first hand veteran accounts of German flak Guns to know they were hitting allied planes, just not sure how many of the instances I have seen were 8.8s or 12.8s.) So I am interested to know more info on the IJN 127mm Guns. 

Well then, let's compare: (ranges are for AA ceiling)

12.8 cm Flak 40:

Shell weight 26 kg

Muzzle velocity: 880 m/s  (2887 fps)

Maximum range 14,800 m (48556 feet)

It uses a two piece ammunition, shell and a steel casing with the propellant.  It has power ramming

Most of the Japanese 127mm guns were either Type 88 or 89

Shell weight:  23  or 23.5 kg  There are two variants.  A common round with burster charge and the Type 3 incendiary round that's basically useless.

Muzzle velocity:  725 m/s (2379 fps)

Maximum range 9400 m (30, 840 feet)

These guns use two piece ammunition, and have a spring rammer

On the whole, the Japanese gun is inferior to the German one on several counts.  It has a lower velocity meaning a greater travel time with a lower ceiling.  This reduces it's accuracy some.  The Type 88 is slow in train and elevation while the Type 89 is close to the German gun.  The shell is lighter and has a less effective explosive filler (picric acid versus TNT or Amatol).  The Type 3 incendiary as noted is worthless but rather spectacular as it's much like a fireworks display when it goes off.

On the whole the German gun is say, about 10 to 15% better than the Japanese one.  That's real rough, but it gives you some basis to start a comparison from.

 

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On 11/16/2019 at 7:43 PM, Aetreus said:

The RN relied for the vast majority of the war on the 40mm pom-pom, which is worse in basically every way than the 25mm, with a slow rate of fire, miserably short range, and available only on heavy multiple mounts which limited the numbers that could be fitted especially on small warships. Only late in the war did they start fitting Bofors mounts to new ships and sometimes refitting them to existing ships.

The rate of fire isn't that far from the 40mm Bofors, or the 25mm Type 96, whilst the throw weight of compared the latter is distinctly higher, as each projectile weighs more than three times as much. 

Whilst predominantly available in quadruple & octuple mounts, single versions of the 2pdr were available, and a number were used on lighter craft. Flower class corvettes, for instance, had a single 2pdr. 2pdr singles were also used for coastal convoy escorts as a bow chaser, for dealing with German S-boots. British MTB & MGBs also used the 2pdr, and it was actually found to be  a bit better than the Bofors against small ships, because of its heavier round. 

Bofors were installed in ships as early as 1941 (Prince of Wales had one when she sank), but there were problems developing & producing mountings, which meant that they didn't start being fitted more extensively until the latter third of the war. This is demonstrated rather well by the ships of the S, T, U & V  class destroyers, which were intended to get twin Bofors, but a number of units got extra Oerlikons or quadruple pom-poms instead. 

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