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Commissar_Carl

Successful Ships vs Successful Designs

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1 hour ago, Lord_Slayer said:

But the actual ship herself never fired her guns in anger and her only kill was a submarine ram.

Dreadnought:

entertained-500x317.jpg&f=1&nofb=1

 

I don't know much about the details of Dreadnought running over a Submarine.  But if it was at night, I can see that happening.  John F. Kennedy's small, nimble PT Boat was rammed by an IJN Destroyer in the middle of the night.

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway

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23 minutes ago, HazeGrayUnderway said:

Dreadnought:

entertained-500x317.jpg&f=1&nofb=1

 

I don't know much about the details of Dreadnought running over a Submarine.  But if it was at night, I can see that happening.  John F. Kennedy's small, nimble PT Boat was rammed by an IJN Destroyer in the middle of the night.

Considering HMS Dreadnought (1801) fought at Trafalgar, I can't really say she lived up to her namesake in terms of war glory.

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1 hour ago, Sventex said:

Considering HMS Dreadnought (1801) fought at Trafalgar, I can't really say she lived up to her namesake in terms of war glory.

A bunch of expensive warships never get to fulfill their expectation of squaring off in battle trading shells, etc. with enemy ships.  It's just the way things go sometimes.

 

For example, all those new Fast BBs of the USN?  North Carolina, South Dakota, and the Iowa-classes?  10 ships total between these 3 classes and only 2 of these ships ever got to fight another Battleship.  Not a single member of the Iowa-class had the chance to square off against another BB.  Even among the 2 that actually fought a BB, South Dakota screwed  it up so bad that she had no power for a while as the IJN was shooting at her.  Washington was the only one to stand out out of these 10 BBs.  Outside this, it was mostly just covering Carriers.  With Missouri being the site of surrender for the Japanese and Iowa shooting at a DD and a Training Ship that were desperately fleeing Truk getting nuked by Carrier Air Power, there's no real martial glory for Iowa-class.  I don't even count Massachusetts "fighting" Jean Bart because JB was incomplete and stuck in a harbor.

 

No fault of the ship, that's just the way war went.

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15 minutes ago, HazeGrayUnderway said:

I don't even count Massachusetts "fighting" Jean Bart because JB was incomplete and stuck in a harbor.

At least Massachusetts fought.  There was still a fleet at Casablanca and the destroyer Fougueux was sunk by Massachusetts in the fleet engagement.  Battleships wouldn't be covered in secondary guns if they were only expected to engage other Battleships.  HMS Dreadnought, for all her fame, missed the boat in WWI.

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On 3/27/2021 at 5:27 AM, mofton said:

Mediocre design but good combat record potentials:

Admiral Hipper - Admiral Hipper was cursed with unreliable and balky turbines, breaking down at sea more than she should and spending a whole year in mostly machinery refit 1941-1942 while still a young ship. She was widely criticized as pretty weight inefficient, using massive tonnage for compromised protection and moderate firepower. On the plus side her raiding record was respectable and her gunnery usually very effective.

Prinz Eugen shoot down 53 aircraft during WW2, according to her first Artillery officer who also entered service in the Bundesmarine.

 

Clearly the powerplant was a serious weakness in all german ships.

Unreliability, high fuel consumption at holiday load to name the most essential.

( >8 tons per hour for Hipperclass, >9 tons per hour both battleship classes.)

>50% of all shipyard times  caused mainly by machinery problems.

The problems were known in 1940 and solutions prepared. According commissioning protocol of Blücher.

Rectification was hindered by lenght of required shipyard stays in connection with size of the fleet.

 

Edited by Captain_Hook_NA

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On 3/26/2021 at 2:19 PM, Commissar_Carl said:

Which leads to the discussion. What ships were fantastic designs that really were not successful, or designs that were mediocre, but the ships had great combat records?

Post WW2 era ?I'll say

  • USS ForrestFire

In your argument in your OP..For the mediocre ship? I have to go with

  • Atlanta cruiser class
    • Mainly because it was given a bad hand..
      • I mean friendly fire from the USS San Fransisco, sheesh!
      • Lets not mention the loss of 5 family members (the Sullivan)
      • Armament issues

It was our misuse/mismanagement from the brass. The class was doomed from the start because of it... I think the class had potential but then again technology was moving fast back then, I think it was a lost cause because of those factors.

In the end, the ATL class was mediocre just like the liberty ships of the time.

 

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Isn't it funny that the situation, management, and just sheer luck can take a mediocre on paper ship, and then turn it into something really celebrated? Or vice versa - that a truly excellent design can be rendered as seemingly poor. 

Good to have excellent tools, better to have capable strategy, best to be lucky!

 

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In the case of the S. Dakota, it wasn't a design flaw that was at the heart of the problem the ship had at that critical moment, but rather a training one.  I've personally seen the sort of problem S. Dakota suffered on other ships.

What happened was this:

One of the 5" directors had an electrical fault in it.  The ship's electricians cut the director out of the system to eliminate the fault.  What they forgot to do was eliminate the alternate power source for the director.  So, the director crew, finding their power cut, switched to the alternate source and reinserted the fault causing the loss of a load center on the superstructure.  That resulted in numerous other systems being affected.

Because the ship was a Zed (battle stations with all watertight hatches dogged, etc.) it took the ship's electrician's mates forever to go through each hatch undogging it then dogging it as they went to get to the load center and clear the fault.  In the interim, the ship was without critical power to systems they needed to fight.

The fire control crew didn't have a clue what a cluster they caused by switching to alternate.  They just knew they needed power and got it for a moment.  The electricians were doing their job but forgot that that director had an alternate source of power and that allowed the situation to happen at a critical moment.  It was mostly very bad luck rather than a design flaw that let it happen.

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6 hours ago, Dr_Seadog said:

Isn't it funny that the situation, management, and just sheer luck can take a mediocre on paper ship, and then turn it into something really celebrated? Or vice versa - that a truly excellent design can be rendered as seemingly poor. 

Good to have excellent tools, better to have capable strategy, best to be lucky!

 

Actually a poor ship with a great crew will do much better than the best ship with a crappy crew every time.

Here's a personal anecdote on that.  

I was on watch on the Enterprise (CVN 65) as load dispatcher (the guy that supervises and coordinates the electrical plant operation).  We were transiting the Straight of Molucca off Malaysia at about two in the morning.  This was in 1982 or 1983.  We had 22 planes up at the time.  It was one of those try to stay awake watches of utter boredom...

Then, we lost the aft group of plants.  Because of the reactor line up both aft engine rooms, etc., dropped off-line.  That took half the electric plant with it.  Without that half the plant we couldn't land aircraft.  It was one of those "awsh*t" moments...

It took me about 30 minutes to restore full power to the ship.  Most of that was getting people up-- I sent the Duty Distribution Rover to berthing to get people up--to man up the emergency diesel generators so we could safely shift loads and restore power.  Captain Kelly was very pleased that we landed our planes rather than have to divert them to foreign airports.

I was later told that the Saratoga had suffered something similar in the same area of the world about six months earlier and had to divert their planes because they couldn't get their electric plant up anywhere near as quickly.  I saw that as the difference between the level of training nuclear power crew and conventional crew had.  The nukes were way better trained and skilled.

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Bad crews ruining what could have been a good ship?

TAIHO

Taiho was cutting edge IJN Carrier development.  The IJN had been rebuilding their carrier air groups for about a year so that they could finally, confidently face the ever growing, powerful USN Carrier forces.  The IJN had finally gotten a bunch of new planes like the A6M5 Zero, but at this stage of the war, the pilots that got them were now reduced to basic trained naval aviators.  The IJN's once great corps of experienced, well trained pre-war and early war aviators of 1942 and before were all dead.

 

Carrier Taiho had a very inexperienced crew that bungled damage control from 1 submarine torpedo hit.  It was so ineptly done that their actions made it so for Taiho to disastrously blow up.

In sharp contrast, Carrier Shokaku had some of the best Damage Control teams you'll ever see out of all IJN Carriers.  Shokaku had received tons of hits, heavy damage over her wartime career, but her Damage Control saved the ship each time.  Only in the Battle of the Philippine Sea of 1944 where she ate tons of submarine torpedo hits was where she couldn't be saved.

Taiho, Akagi, Kaga, Hiryu, Soryu took far less hits and damage than Shokaku and sank.  Shokaku pulled through until it was just simply too much.

 

There's also lots of cases where poor leadership, questionable command and control can ruin a superior force.  Savo Island... Where to even start?  Just watch the video, it was a huge clusterf--k.  Ozawa should have never had a chance, yet he inflicted a huge defeat against the US Navy.

 

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway

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8 hours ago, Murotsu said:

In the case of the S. Dakota, it wasn't a design flaw that was at the heart of the problem the ship had at that critical moment, but rather a training one.  I've personally seen the sort of problem S. Dakota suffered on other ships.

What happened was this:

One of the 5" directors had an electrical fault in it.  The ship's electricians cut the director out of the system to eliminate the fault.  What they forgot to do was eliminate the alternate power source for the director.  So, the director crew, finding their power cut, switched to the alternate source and reinserted the fault causing the loss of a load center on the superstructure.  That resulted in numerous other systems being affected.

Because the ship was a Zed (battle stations with all watertight hatches dogged, etc.) it took the ship's electrician's mates forever to go through each hatch undogging it then dogging it as they went to get to the load center and clear the fault.  In the interim, the ship was without critical power to systems they needed to fight.

The fire control crew didn't have a clue what a cluster they caused by switching to alternate.  They just knew they needed power and got it for a moment.  The electricians were doing their job but forgot that that director had an alternate source of power and that allowed the situation to happen at a critical moment.  It was mostly very bad luck rather than a design flaw that let it happen.

I thought there was a design flaw?  That the firing of the guns had thrown a breaker causing the sequence of events.  The reason for the fault being that South Dakota had an highly abridged shakedown cruise to get her into the fight faster and had not caught this flaw because they didn't have time to thoroughly test fire the guns at different firing angles.

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9 hours ago, Murotsu said:

Actually a poor ship with a great crew will do much better than the best ship with a crappy crew every time.

Here's a personal anecdote on that.  

I was on watch on the Enterprise (CVN 65) as load dispatcher (the guy that supervises and coordinates the electrical plant operation).  We were transiting the Straight of Molucca off Malaysia at about two in the morning.  This was in 1982 or 1983.  We had 22 planes up at the time.  It was one of those try to stay awake watches of utter boredom...

Then, we lost the aft group of plants.  Because of the reactor line up both aft engine rooms, etc., dropped off-line.  That took half the electric plant with it.  Without that half the plant we couldn't land aircraft.  It was one of those "awsh*t" moments...

It took me about 30 minutes to restore full power to the ship.  Most of that was getting people up-- I sent the Duty Distribution Rover to berthing to get people up--to man up the emergency diesel generators so we could safely shift loads and restore power.  Captain Kelly was very pleased that we landed our planes rather than have to divert them to foreign airports.

I was later told that the Saratoga had suffered something similar in the same area of the world about six months earlier and had to divert their planes because they couldn't get their electric plant up anywhere near as quickly.  I saw that as the difference between the level of training nuclear power crew and conventional crew had.  The nukes were way better trained and skilled.

That story is "worthy of a beer".
If we ever meet, remind me to buy you a drink of your choice.  :-)

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On 3/26/2021 at 6:26 PM, Karstodes said:

Yamato looks like a well design ship that face situation that she was not made to handle.

She functioned fantastically as a floating hotel...

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3 hours ago, Sventex said:

I thought there was a design flaw?  That the firing of the guns had thrown a breaker causing the sequence of events.  The reason for the fault being that South Dakota had an highly abridged shakedown cruise to get her into the fight faster and had not caught this flaw because they didn't have time to thoroughly test fire the guns at different firing angles.

Nope.  The fault occurred before the S. Dakota opened fire on anything.  This sort of fault does occur in ship's electrical systems.  Had the director crew been told to stay off-line and both the normal and alternate power been cut out the S. Dakota wouldn't have been thrown into confusion sorting this problem out just as they entered combat.

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We might love naval history around here but the honest truth is that not much happened in the industrial age and most surface units did not see combat against their peers. Thus a ship being the most decorated had more to do with being in the right place at the right time than any sort of merit.

Let's look at Bismarck for example. It's Euro peers the Richelieus and Littorios were at least as good and IMO better nm the US and Japanese BB's which were vastly superior. But Bismarck was more successful than any of these ships because it got the chance to blow up a battlecruiser while most of these other ships never saw that sceanrio. Despite probably being the weakest in it's peer group it's the most accomplished(I guess it's debatable with Washington) because it just so happened to run into Hood.  

For example everyone could agree Bismarck was more successful than Yamato but everyone would also agree that Yamto is a vastly superipor ship. Being the best doesn't mean you're going to accomplish the most. Same is true of humans if the most talented person is in a less eventful time and situation they're going to accomplish less than a less talented person who faced more high stakes situations. 

Edited by Aristotle83

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I don't know about that, a lot of naval battles occurred 1860 - 1945.

 

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22 minutes ago, Aristotle83 said:

We might love naval history around here but the honest truth is that not much happened in the industrial age and most surface units did not see combat against their peers. Thus a ship being the most decorated had more to do with being in the right place at the right time than any sort of merit.

Let's look at Bismarck for example. It's Euro peers the Richelieus and Littorios were at least as good and IMO better nm the US and Japanese BB's which were vastly superior. But Bismarck was more successful than any of these ships because it got the chance to blow up a battlecruiser while most of these other ships never saw that sceanrio. Despite probably being the weakest in it's peer group it's the most accomplished(I guess it's debatable with Washington) because it just so happened to run into Hood.  

For example everyone could agree Bismarck was more successful than Yamato but everyone would also agree that Yamto is a vastly superipor ship. Being the best doesn't mean you're going to accomplish the most. Same is true of humans if the most talented person is in a less eventful time and situation they're going to accomplish less than a less talented person who faced more high stakes situations. 

That's because Battleships were ironically built to prevent conflicts, to show off national prestige.  One reason the Yamatos were seen as such failures was because Japan failed to understand the concept of fleet in being.  The Yamatos were top secret and could not show off national prestige due to their obscurity and they were specifically built to fight a war it could not win.  The Battleships of old often spent nearly 40% of the ships cost on decoration alone, to intimidate the lesser foes in order to keep commerce secure.

4aeb2470a35e9b1d7643658e3a17bd57.jpg

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Imperial Japan not being the only entity to misunderstand that...

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On 6/3/2021 at 4:06 AM, Navalpride33 said:

In your argument in your OP..For the mediocre ship? I have to go with

  • Atlanta cruiser class
    • Mainly because it was given a bad hand..
      • I mean friendly fire from the USS San Fransisco, sheesh!
      • Lets not mention the loss of 5 family members (the Sullivan)
      • Armament issues

It was our misuse/mismanagement from the brass. The class was doomed from the start because of it... I think the class had potential but then again technology was moving fast back then, I think it was a lost cause because of those factors.

In the end, the ATL class was mediocre just like the liberty ships of the time.

 

Couple of things:

Friendly fire from the San Francisco is not the fault of the class. It is either the fault of the command crew for putting their ship between friendly and foe, or the fault of the friendly shooting for not properly identifying the target they were shooting at.

The Navy had a policy of separating siblings, however it was not strictly enforced and the brothers themselves asked to serve together. This is also not the fault of the class, but could be seen as a tragic lapse of Navy Policy. That policy was corrected, but again, nothing to do with the ship.

 

The ship was a light cruiser, designed for scouting duties and destroyer flotilla leaders. As such, they were not designed to fight other cruisers. The only armament issue the ships did have was the early AA suite of 1.1in guns. These were replaced with the much better 40mm mounts. For a class of such 'failure' a further 3 were completed after losing 2, and 3 more of an improved design were also laid down and completed by wars end. This ships being employed incorrectly is not the fault of the ships. That is the fault of the Admirals that put them in that position. It's just like its not the fault of the BCs at Jutland that exploded fighting BBs. They were not meant to fight BBs, but cruisers.

 

As for the Liberties being mediocre, what are you smoking?

2,710 of the ships were built. They carried cargo and troops all over the world. Those ships were the backbone of post-war cargo fleets. Many of those ships lasted until the 70s, 30 years since the war had ended. I don't see how those ships can be considered 'mediocre'.

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2 minutes ago, Lord_Slayer said:

Friendly fire from the San Francisco is not the fault of the class.

Correct but the poor design in containing flooding or DMG is the fault of the poor ship class design.

From transcripts from history, some would say the crew, the glorious crew of these ships.. Saved them from the bottom of the sea.. So, the number of two lost, would've been higher. The ship, was like a pretty boy not wanting to get hit in a fight...

Although, the ATL class was a die young and leave a cute corps ships design. It was a costly budget burner...It was a good call by the brass to retire the class after just 9 yrs of active service.

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5 hours ago, Lord_Slayer said:

That is the fault of the Admirals that put them in that position .  It's just like its not the fault of the BCs at Jutland that exploded fighting BBs.  They were not meant to fight BBs, but cruisers.

No Battlecruiser was exploded by a Battleship at Jutland though.  That fact that one sides' Battlecruisers couldn't withstand the opponent's Battlecruisers was traced to the subversion of the ship's safety features, which is of course Admiral Beatty's fault.  It's very possible British Battlecruisers could have been exploded by German armored cruisers if all it took was igniting the cordite with turret armor spalling.

  • Cool 1

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Refreshing conversation and informative also....Thank you

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