Jump to content

Midway—77 Years Ago, Today.


Recommended Posts

6,500 ft. ? What was the likely hood of a direct hit?

 

American ph was supposedly about 20% against BBs for normal divebombing at 2,000 ft, and ph did hardly degrade for release at 3,000 ft.

Now considering that 6,500 ft allows for 127 mm penetration and the Kongos had 80 mm at most, and acceleration by gravity is quicker at first than after dropping a while, we can guesstimate that the breakthrough altitude may very well have been in the 3,000...4000 ft range.

Now keep in mind that 10 battleships meeting 10 battleships does lead to much damage to your battleships, but will fall short of sinking 10 enemy battleships. It may even involve losing lots of your own battleships.

There's no reason why one would require a carrier's air component to ensure a battleship kill in one sortie. The lethality of carriers proved to be fine, and peacetime testing tends to rather exaggerate lethality, so there was reason for the USN to rather overestimate the carrier than to underestimate it. It wasn't operational research calculations that held carriers back in the 1930's (OR was not really established by the time anyway), it was inertia, path dependency, not all important people being educated on the newest findings and so on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 922
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Glenn, engines cannot be run at maximum output for long. It's risking damage and problems accumulate.

 

The battlecruisers' boilers were replaced, but not their steam turbines.

 

 

According to Wiki, the turbines were replaced in Haruna 1926-1928, Kongo 1929-1931, Hiei 1937-1941, Kirishima 1934-1936.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

my bad

 

You still don't cruise at top speed and even if you did, you would still not escape a 30 kts CV TF that's been nearby on first contact. The odds that a battleship of any design gets to force a fight with a BB or BC is much smaller than a CV's odds, and I wonder why this obvious fact doesn't seem to sink in.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

my bad

 

You still don't cruise at top speed and even if you did, you would still not escape a 30 kts CV TF that's been nearby on first contact. The odds that a battleship of any design gets to force a fight with a BB or BC is much smaller than a CV's odds, and I wonder why this obvious fact doesn't seem to sink in.

 

Generally speaking I think you're right that battleship were an inefficient ship type to build by the 1930's. But, for the ships that already existed, they were still effective enough in combat to warrant keeping them in commission during the war rather than scrapping them. Some of the more heavily damaged battleships, (Queen Elizabeth) might have been better off being scrapped than repaired. Like with USS Franklin, sometimes prestige got in the way of efficiency. After the war? Scrap them, except for shore bombardment roles. (Why did the British complete the Vanguard?)

 

Battleships in combat were at the distinct disadvantage against carriers, true. But the overall trend into 1945 was that AA was improving faster than aircraft attack, so by the late war period it's not so clear, for hypothetical example that if a Zuikaku went up against an Iowa (one on one), that the IJN air group would not be shredded by AA to no serious effect against the BB. Even with comparatively inferior IJN AA, at Leyte Gulf Halsey's air attacks against IJN surface forces were underwhelming in results. Just imagine if Kurita had Lee's AA equipment and doctrine.

Edited by glenn239
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

That was less than the radius of actions of SBD Dauntless divebombers that could easily pierce the battlecruisers' decks at the best-protected locations.

AFAIK no. Dive bomers releases at low altitudes and SBD only carried 1,000lb bombs. That could not defeat the deck armour after the second modernisation/rebuild.

 

 

Actually, the SBD-5 was designed to carry the 1,600-lb AN-Mk I AP, Bomb but did not appear until early 1943.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You still don't cruise at top speed and even if you did, you would still not escape a 30 kts CV TF that's been nearby on first contact. The odds that a battleship of any design gets to force a fight with a BB or BC is much smaller than a CV's odds, and I wonder why this obvious fact doesn't seem to sink in.

 

Just like you misunderstood what vessels the Japanese employed in the Battle of Savo Island, you also misunderstand why Washington and South Dakota were committed in the 2d Naval Battle of Guadalcanal (AKA 4th Savo Island) rather than having carrier air take them out on their withdrawal. The objective was not to sink Hiei and Kirishima, it was to stop the bombardment of Henderson Field, It was also a time when only Enterprise was operational...and that was with repair crews still aboard repairing damage from two bomb hits at Santa Cruz.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

You still don't cruise at top speed and even if you did, you would still not escape a 30 kts CV TF that's been nearby on first contact. The odds that a battleship of any design gets to force a fight with a BB or BC is much smaller than a CV's odds, and I wonder why this obvious fact doesn't seem to sink in.

 

Just like you misunderstood what vessels the Japanese employed in the Battle of Savo Island, you also misunderstand why Washington and South Dakota were committed in the 2d Naval Battle of Guadalcanal (AKA 4th Savo Island) rather than having carrier air take them out on their withdrawal. The objective was not to sink Hiei and Kirishima, it was to stop the bombardment of Henderson Field, It was also a time when only Enterprise was operational...and that was with repair crews still aboard repairing damage from two bomb hits at Santa Cruz.

 

 

You're just living in your own fantasy. Nothing of what you wrote there about me had any link to reality and the rest of what you wrote is utterly irrelevant to the discussion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While it is interesting to hear of the theoretical speed and range and ph petcentages etc. In real life two IJN capital ships were able to bombard US forces at will until USN battleships showed up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

You still don't cruise at top speed and even if you did, you would still not escape a 30 kts CV TF that's been nearby on first contact. The odds that a battleship of any design gets to force a fight with a BB or BC is much smaller than a CV's odds, and I wonder why this obvious fact doesn't seem to sink in.

 

Just like you misunderstood what vessels the Japanese employed in the Battle of Savo Island, you also misunderstand why Washington and South Dakota were committed in the 2d Naval Battle of Guadalcanal (AKA 4th Savo Island) rather than having carrier air take them out on their withdrawal. The objective was not to sink Hiei and Kirishima, it was to stop the bombardment of Henderson Field, It was also a time when only Enterprise was operational...and that was with repair crews still aboard repairing damage from two bomb hits at Santa Cruz.

 

 

You're just living in your own fantasy. Nothing of what you wrote there about me had any link to reality and the rest of what you wrote is utterly irrelevant to the discussion.

 

 

Really? Your reply to Detonable's post #753 yesterday, "Where to start...

Battleships werent obsolete. The carriers covering the Guadalcanal landings left at dark and Japanese battleships came in and wiped out most of defending cruisers and destroyers." in post #755 was "The Japanese capital ships at Guadalcanal were battlecruisers, not battleships. There's a substantial difference."

 

You were both incorrect, but apparently you have a problem acknowledging when you are incorrect, because you followed that post with a series of ever more waffling posts, claiming they were aging, then when told they were rebuilt twice, claiming they only had boilers replaced, then when told that they had new turbines installed, still tried to waffle on about top speeds, which was never the issue.

 

Now you are claiming that the actual operational requirements and decisions that led to the commitment of Washington and South Dakota are "utterly irrelevant to the discussion". You live in a fantasy land of your own creation. I have no interest in it. You're ignored.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it's worth pointing out that after every carrier battle in the Pacific up to and including Santa Cruz, the US navy, regardless of the outcome, was compelled to withdraw by the approach of the (at the time) superior Japanese heavy surface forces. Carrier air power in 1942 generally was worn down quite quickly in a serious engagement and accumulated battle damage as well as losses to aircrew and machines meant that any surviving carriers were usually not in a position to continue the fight and thus had to withdraw.

 

Arguably the Lexington could have been saved had there been sufficient US heavy forces to face the Japanese battleships and heavy cruisers that were closing in to finish off the job.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

 

You still don't cruise at top speed and even if you did, you would still not escape a 30 kts CV TF that's been nearby on first contact. The odds that a battleship of any design gets to force a fight with a BB or BC is much smaller than a CV's odds, and I wonder why this obvious fact doesn't seem to sink in.

 

Just like you misunderstood what vessels the Japanese employed in the Battle of Savo Island, you also misunderstand why Washington and South Dakota were committed in the 2d Naval Battle of Guadalcanal (AKA 4th Savo Island) rather than having carrier air take them out on their withdrawal. The objective was not to sink Hiei and Kirishima, it was to stop the bombardment of Henderson Field, It was also a time when only Enterprise was operational...and that was with repair crews still aboard repairing damage from two bomb hits at Santa Cruz.

 

 

You're just living in your own fantasy. Nothing of what you wrote there about me had any link to reality and the rest of what you wrote is utterly irrelevant to the discussion.

 

 

Really? Your reply to Detonable's post #753 yesterday, "Where to start...

Battleships werent obsolete. The carriers covering the Guadalcanal landings left at dark and Japanese battleships came in and wiped out most of defending cruisers and destroyers." in post #755 was "The Japanese capital ships at Guadalcanal were battlecruisers, not battleships. There's a substantial difference."

 

You were both incorrect, but apparently you have a problem acknowledging when you are incorrect, because you followed that post with a series of ever more waffling posts, claiming they were aging, then when told they were rebuilt twice, claiming they only had boilers replaced, then when told that they had new turbines installed, still tried to waffle on about top speeds, which was never the issue.

 

Now you are claiming that the actual operational requirements and decisions that led to the commitment of Washington and South Dakota are "utterly irrelevant to the discussion". You live in a fantasy land of your own creation. I have no interest in it. You're ignored.

 

+1 Rich. Great information and ignore choice.

Edited by Rick
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Re: Kongo class armour and AP bombs.

 

The Kongo‘s had 70mm/2.75“ as build but after modernization they had up to 120mm/4.7“. Aside from the matter of hitting a moving target from 6.5k feet I‘m not entirely convinced a 1.600 lb AP bomb would penetrate 5“ of armor. At PH the Japanese dropped AP bombs of this weight on stationary* targets but from 10k feet. The ships they targeted had less than 5“ of effective** deck armor.

 

 

*16% hit rate.

**One layer of 3” and 2” on top, giving less protection than on 5” plate.

 

 

I'm not seeing SBD as battleship killers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

AAA - even with VT fuse - was defeated by air attack technology by 1943.

The land-attack focused air forces and USN of the post-WW2 years merely neglected PGMs and thus create the impression that little had improved.

 

 

Aircraft attack improved incrementally during the war, but anti-aircraft and damage control improved exponentially. Jets and missiles were the answer to late war USN AA doctrine, neither of which were carried by aircraft carriers during WW2 (AFAIK). A hypothetical. If, at the Marianas in 1944, Ozawa's 9 carriers and 450 aircraft (without battleship support) had gone up against Lee's battleship group (without carrier support), my guess would be that Ozawa's air groups would have suffered more damage than they would inflict. I could easily see a ratio of 10-15 aircraft shot down for each hit scored on a ship, and a good chance that not even one US battleship would be sunk.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Re: Kongo class armour and AP bombs.

 

The Kongo‘s had 70mm/2.75“ as build but after modernization they had up to 120mm/4.7“. Aside from the matter of hitting a moving target from 6.5k feet I‘m not entirely convinced a 1.600 lb AP bomb would penetrate 5“ of armor. At PH the Japanese dropped AP bombs of this weight on stationary* targets but from 10k feet. The ships they targeted had less than 5“ of effective** deck armor.

 

 

*16% hit rate.

**One layer of 3” and 2” on top, giving less protection than on 5” plate.

 

 

I'm not seeing SBD as battleship killers.

 

According to Terminal Ballistics III, the 1,600-lb AN-Mk I AP should penetrate 5" of armor when released at c. 6,000 feet while in a 60 degree dive at 350 MPH or when released at c. 7,500 feet in level flight at 250 MPH.

 

However, bombs were never really intended as "ship killers", at least for armored ships. They were "ship cripplers". The ship killer was the torpedo.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Considering who its likely opponents were, it had to be.

 

Yep. They also had the advantage that their most likely opponent in general badly underestimated them and their capabilities.

 

 

What is also interesting how effective the IJN actually was at shore bombardment despite its relative inexperience with it.

 

I would be interested to know the basis for that statement?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

 

 

 

BTW, a much more even-handed, historically accurate, and un-sensationalized account of King may be found at https://www.history.navy.mil/about-us/leadership/director/directors-corner/h-grams/h-gram-008/h-008-5.html

hmmm the UK already had evidence that any form of convoy escort helped, post wart review of German files noted that the U-boats commanders in the early part of the war were leery of tangling with escorts and looked for unprotected targets. A lot of the early convoys often sailed with only 1 escort.

You cant hail the success of Operation Drumbeat without reflecting that most of its success can be hung around the neck of Admiral King. As the Royal Navy discovered, even poorly escorted convoys were a lot better than no convoy at all.

The Royal Navy "discovered" nothing of the sort. They assumed. They also assumed that smaller convoys were better than large convoys, because they moved faster, smaller numbers of escorts could escort better, and they were less detectable. All those assumptions were eventually refuted by Blackett's OR section at Admiralty (he moved there in December 1941), but the conclusions were not reached until 1942 and were not accepted by the Admiralty until 1943.

 

So shouldn't the success of the U-Bootewaffe in 1942 be hung around the next of Sir Dudley Pound?

Rich, you can point to the negatives of the Royal Navy, but by early 1942, they had learned from most of the mistakes. King thought there was nothing to learn from the RN, and in that he was badly mistaken.

 

To make the mistake on the Pacific was forgiveable, to do it on the East coast at the same time was not.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Rich, you can point to the negatives of the Royal Navy, but by early 1942, they had learned from most of the mistakes. King thought there was nothing to learn from the RN, and in that he was badly mistaken.

 

To make the mistake on the Pacific was forgiveable, to do it on the East coast at the same time was not.

 

Stuart, no, I'm sorry, but you seem to have missed that the Royal Navy had not learned from most of their mistakes by early 1942. They still believed in the efficacy of small convoys over large convoys and did not agree to act on Blackett's conclusions in 1942 until early 1943.

 

Nor did King ever think "there was nothing to learn from the RN". After ABC-1 was established 27 March 1941, the office of CNO Stark prepared a plan titled "Principal Navy Shipping Control Plan, Rainbow No. 5" (short title WPSC-46), outlined the tasks of the Chief of Naval Operations, Commanders in Chief, and what were then known as Coastal Frontier Commanders in connection with the control of merchant shipping; agreements with Great Britain, New Zealand and Australia; and general instructions for the operation of the Merchant Ship Control Service. In other words, the basic convoying plans were integrated between the US and UK before King became COMINCH (20 December 1941) and then also CNO (18 March 1942).

 

Coastal convoys along the Atlantic Sea Frontiers was first proposed 9 March 1942, because it already was evident that the resources allocated to coastal patrolling were inadequate (and because no joint Army-Navy agreement on use of air forces had yet been reached). King held a conference on 16 March to further arrangements and on 20 March ordered the plans implementation, two days after becoming CNO. Various changes to the convoy plan and routes then occurred in discussions culminating in a report on 27 March, approved by King (as COMINCH) 3 April. The first convoy under the plan sailed 14 May Norfolk-Key West.

 

On 1 August 1942, in a meeting between Admiralty and USN representatives, the initial US Atlantic coastal convoy system was interlocked with the existing British Caribbean convoy system and extended to include various US Caribbean and Gulf bases.

 

There is zero evidence that King ever blocked or delayed the implementation of coastal convoying. However, the dearth of escort resources and the usual length of time required to assemble convoys from independent sailings meant that from his initial decision to implement it to its actual implementation was 41 days.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rick, my experience with you is that if I attempt to explain something to you that you didn't get right right away, I just waste time.

You just pile up failures to understand and it only gets worse and worse while you get only more and more convinced that you're right and I'm an idiot - all the while you don't even understand my points.

 

I can tell from your writing that you're not even prepared to think about at what point a ship class becomes obsolete. You're visibly incapable of separating "obsolete" from "not useful at all any more" and you're visibly incapable of judging what's critical and what's a sideshow.

Rick, I don't consider you a worthwhile partner for a discussion of the topic and I don't care about you or your opinions.

 

-----------------

 

To all others; keep in mind that only the citadels were armoured; bow, stern and superstructures were at most fragmentation protected.

You don't need to sink a warship right away to doom it. 500...2,000 nm away from the nearest port a crippled warship would be doomed in face of aggressive, undefeated opposing forces. Still, there were multiple ways of penetrating even good deck armour with bombs. Germany alone used three technologies for this during WW2 (heavy AP bomb, rocket-accelerated AP bomb, hollow charge precursor to bomb). Additionally, let's remember that PoW (a fast BB with exceptional deck armour) was sunk alongside Repulse, both with aerial torpedoes. British light AA was much-maligned, but PoW's AA was actually much more powerful than anything the USN used at the time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess an interesting what-if would be if Yamamoto committed the IJN to Guadalcanal en masse instead of in dribs and drabs. Maybe its just me re-reading Japanese Destroyer Captain, but the author makes a pretty convincing case.

My understanding is that the IJN BB's would consume too much of the oil reserves of the navy for this to happen. Also, Japan could not neutralize Henderson field, hence the danger to the battleships.

Edited by Rick
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share


×
×
  • Create New...