Discuss the Victory at Sea range of naval games.

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Postby DM » Sat Oct 28, 2006 11:13 am

"Environment" and "Requirement" are two key things to remember when considering how "good" a ship design is (or anything else for that matter). The Russian Marats are often criticised as being poor examples of WW1 battleships and in isolation they probably are, but they have to be seen as part of the Russian coastal defence system, working inextricably with (and preventing clearance of) minefields. When you atke a systems approach and look at them in that light suddenly the reasons why they were the way they were become apparent.

Likewise WW1 battlecruisers - depending on where you sit on the question of Fisher's view of the fleet, battlecruisers were supremely good at doing what they were designed to do; i.e. catching and despatching enemy raiders. Using them in the line of battle was less successful (but of course working outside the safe limits for ammunition handling helped make this worse). Then there is the other view that Fisher was actually advocating an entirely battlecruiser-driven fleet........ :)
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Postby Jellicoe » Sat Oct 28, 2006 12:00 pm

Yes, exactly. What Fisher wanted as the future fleet composition is still very much open to debate. But battlecruisers - even the name is misguided - were not supposed to end up doing what they did at Jutland. On top of that trying to get off as many rounds as possible to overcome your inability to hit anything just compounds the problem. When employed in their envisaged role like at the Falklands Islands in 1914, they did exactly what they were designed to do. Same in 1939/40.

Focusing too much on stats and technical details is only half the story. Another good example for this is HMS Vanguard. When compared to the Iowa’s on paper she looks weak, but she handled better than the Iowa’s when underway at speed and rough seas - something the USN did acknowledge in joint exercises after the war. Also she had a very proven and effective main battery less prone to breakdowns.
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Postby Itkovian » Mon Oct 30, 2006 3:19 pm

Often used quote from a USN commander to his RN counterpart during the operations off Okinawa.

"When a Kamikaze hits one of our carriers it's 'Make to Pearl for repairs' when a Kamikaze hits one of yours its 'sweepers man your brooms'"
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Postby Chernobyl » Mon Oct 30, 2006 6:11 pm

sweepers sweepers man your brooms. make a clean sweep foreward and aft. sweep down all ladders, ladderwells, and passageways. Now, sweepers.

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Lord David the Denied
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Postby Lord David the Denied » Mon Oct 30, 2006 6:54 pm

Post count not high enough, Chern? :wink:
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Postby oggie x » Mon Oct 30, 2006 6:55 pm

The battlecruiser was a good idea. Having the same speed and armour as her intended raider target but a far better battery. Which is exactly what Britain needed as she possessed a global empire that needed something that could rapidally respond to any sea borne threat to it. At Jutland they were effectively scouting for the High Seas Fleet. When they found it they were engaged in the worst possible circumstances they could have been. Outnumbered, appauling gunnery, speed effectively matched (German Battlecruisers) and main battery not much better than those they faced. So they were slapped about and probably saved by the fast battleship wing of the fleet (4 ships of the Queen Elizabeth class). The reason they were used at Jutland was that the Royal Navy knew the High Seas Fleet was coming out. Any ship with 12" or better guns would be needed.

DM is quite right that when comparing and evaluating how good a weapon is you have to take into consideration what it was designed for and how well it did that task.

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