Ship to shore action(s)

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Jellicoe
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Ship to shore action(s)

Postby Jellicoe » Thu Nov 02, 2006 12:53 am

While waiting around we might as well do something constructive. Now the game is about fleet action battleships, carriers and all and I am not suggesting a full scale Normandy scenario or something like that, but something smaller more manageable should be doable, e.g. invasion of Midway. Maybe the system similar to the planetary assault rules in ACTA could be adapted.

To start with something I would suggest just so simple ship to shore engagements. There are precedents for this the RN conducted a gunfire raid by battleships on Genoa early on in the war and did similar things to Axis positions in North Africa. Or the German assault on Oslo had some interesting shore to ship action.

Creating the stats for this is not all that difficult. The weapons are very similar as those onboard the ships so that’s done. As for the protection side batteries encased in strong concreted positions like those in Northern France in 1944 could receive a very high damage rating - essentially indestructible, but range finders etc.. can be disabled making them inaccurate.

There could be a sliding scale for the type of emplacement. Some types requiring a direct hit to neutralise, again something not too difficult or laborious to calculate. Artillery in open positions would have no protection, but say a concealment bonus - hidden in the juggle on a Pacific Island. Depending on the type of battery - strong emplacement or just deployed field artillery it would have modifiers or the opposite.

Scenario - a USN Task Force enters an area of operations with a few small islands defended by IJN destroyers, subs, aircraft and shore based batteries. Minefields? - I guess there are rules for minefields. The IJN player can hide some batteries on the islands. As part of the US players he has strategic recce which he can use at the beginning of the scenario. Depending on the outcome of throwing 2d6 or something he receives so info on the location and nature of the shore emplacement.

Otherwise they remain hidden until the IJN player decides to use them and declare their location. As it is difficult to identify the exact location of a shore battery they might take a few rounds to localise or require air spotting.

Any thoughts on this? Or is this a complete non-starter?
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Lord David the Denied
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Postby Lord David the Denied » Thu Nov 02, 2006 10:28 am

Most field guns would be small, though. The British 4.5" heavy gun was pretty decent for field operations but those shells are not big by naval standards. They'd be relatively poor against even smallish ships.
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Postby DM » Thu Nov 02, 2006 1:31 pm

However there were many much larger guns employed in shore batteries (for example the German 11" batteries in Norway that used the turrets from the Gneisenau, the 12" (or were they 14"?) guns of Corregidor and US 16" guns (one of which is on display at APG in Maryland)
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Re: Ship to shore action(s)

Postby noobdelux » Thu Nov 02, 2006 2:20 pm

Jellicoe wrote: Or the German assault on Oslo had some interesting shore to ship action.
hu what? where uh did you get that from ?
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Postby DM » Thu Nov 02, 2006 2:27 pm

Sinking of the Blucher?
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Alexb83
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Postby Alexb83 » Thu Nov 02, 2006 2:47 pm

Beached guardships I suppose can be considered in this sort of mobile vs. stationary engagement, too.
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Postby noobdelux » Thu Nov 02, 2006 2:59 pm

oh right...

that was just a fort firing torpedos on Blucher, and if the stories are right it was just some mess hall chefs doing the shooting as well.. getting an lucky hit : P
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Postby DM » Thu Nov 02, 2006 5:54 pm

Well if that doesn't qualify as an "interesting shore to ship action" I don't know what does :)

The fort's guns (German Krupps from the 1890s IIRC) engaged as well.
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Postby noobdelux » Thu Nov 02, 2006 8:58 pm

havent read it up, it havent been written abaout in the literature iv read abaout the war..

so far iv read the books abaout "company Linge", "hidden soldiers" and "XU"
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Postby BuShips » Fri Nov 03, 2006 12:13 am

DM is correct. It was a 40 year old torpedo battery at a choke point in the fjord after 1892 vintage guns (made in Germany!) fired from an old fort that got the Blucher, and the guns were as old as the torpedoes. I'm not sure about the old guys manning the fort, as I've heard the same. Many hits on the web just now revealed most think it was raw recruits, but I'm sure there was a bit of truth to both, as you can't have all raw recruits without someone to train them, right? This was one of the most "point blank" shots that could have ever been fired, too. I think the ship was less than a mile from the guns when they were fired upon. Probably same for the torps. Yeah, this would make for a short VaS scenario, for sure. Here are some great pics of poor Blucher-

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Postby noobdelux » Fri Nov 03, 2006 2:39 pm

German cruiser Blücher
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Career
Ordered:
Shipyard: Deutsche Werke, Kiel
Laid down: August 15, 1935
Launched: June 8, 1937
Commissioned: September 20, 1939
Fate: Torpedoed and sunk April 9, 1940 in Oslofjord, Norway
General characteristics
Displacement: 18,208 tons
Dimensions: 675 ft 4 in (206 m) × 69 ft 9 in (21.3 m) × 19 ft (7.7 m)
Armament: 8 × 8 in (203 mm)
12 × 4.1 in (105 mm)
6 × 40 mm
12 × 37 mm
32 × 20 mm
12 × 21 in torpedo tubes
160 mines
Aircraft: 3
Propulsion: 132,000 hp (98 MW), 32.5 knots (60 km/h)
Crew: Approximately 1,600
The German heavy cruiser Blücher[1] was the German Kriegsmarine's newest ship at the outbreak of World War II. Blücher is most notable for being sunk by Norwegian guns on April 9, 1940, less than three years after her launch, on the first day of the invasion of Norway (Operation Weserübung).

Blücher, the heavy cruiser Lützow (formerly classified as a pocket battleship) and the light cruiser Emden, commanded by Rear Admiral Oskar Kummetz, were sailing up the Oslo fjord to land troops for the occupation of the Norwegian capital, Oslo, but the 47 year old (and, ironically, German {Krupp}) 28 cm guns of Oscarsborg fortress opened fire at 05:21 German time (04:21 Norwegian time) from a range of 1400 to 1800 meters, quickly putting Blücher out of control (Blücher was hit directly above the bridge in the artillery command station and the second 280 mm hit set fire to aircraft fuel deposits). She briefly returned fire, but as "the bigger guns could not find any aim of military importance", the impact on the fortress was only marginal. She then drifted into range of a torpedo battery, which hit her with two torpedoes. Blücher sank at Askholmene at 07:23 German time (06:23 Norwegian time), taking 830 men with her into the deep.

As a result of the sinking, Oslo was not captured for several hours after the planned invasion of the capital, allowing the Norwegian royal family, parliament and cabinet to escape: additionally, Norway's gold reserves were moved out of reach of the invaders and ultimately shipped to the Allies for Norway's use during the war.

Blücher still lies at the bottom of the Oslofjord north of Oscarsborg fortress.

Operational history

Blücher sinking in the Oslo fjordBlücher was the flagship of the naval detachment sent to capture Oslo in the initial stages of the German invasion of Norway, codenamed Operation Weserübung ("Weser Exercise"). Despite some early indication that Norway would resist the invasion, notably the attack on the fleet by the Norwegian armed vessel Pol III, the heavy cruiser was at the front of the line as the German detachment approached Oscarsborg fortress in the Drøbak narrows. Since the three Krupp guns (one of which was left unmanned due to lack of trained gunners) of the fortress were severely outdated, having been installed in 1893, the defenders held fire until the vessels were at point-blank range (most sources state that fire was opened at a range of 1,600 to 1,800 metres (about 1 mile). By sheer luck, the first hit from one of the ancient 280 mm (11 in) guns hit the forward artillery control station, rendering the ship's forward guns effectively blind and unable to fire back. The second hit from the fortress's guns apparently struck the aircraft hangar, setting fire to aviation fuel and infantry munition stored on deck.

While fire was raging aboard Blücher, the Norwegian coastal batteries pelted her with smaller calibre guns. Although not causing significant damage, this suppressed the fire from her light artillery as Blücher slowly moved past the fortress. Attempts to extinguish the fire aboard the ship and to tend to the many wounded were also much hindered by the continuous small-calibre fire from the shore.

The invaders were unaware that a torpedo battery had been built at the narrowest point of the fjord in 1901 and fitted with Austrian-built Whitehead torpedoes of the same turn-of-the-century vintage. Aiming the torpedoes at this close range was unnecessary; the only question was whether the 40-year-old weapons would work properly. They did. Blücher received two direct hits in the engine room, leaving her drifting out of control in the narrow fjord. The torpedoes sealed her fate. The rest of the fleet, believing Blücher had hit mines, reversed their way out of the narrows, thus ensuring that Oslo would not be invaded at dawn as intended.

To avoid hitting land, Blücher dropped anchor at Askholmen, 6 nautical miles south of Oslo. Her torpedoes were fired into the sides of the fjord to prevent them from exploding aboard the ship.

At 06.23, Blücher capsized and sank, about an hour after she was first hit. Of the 2,202 men[3] on the ship, some 830 either went down with her, drowned in the water or burnt to death in the flaming oil slick surrounding the wreck. The survivors reached the shore on either side of the fjord. The sailors were ordered to give their life vests to the land troops being transported by the ship, saving the lives of a significant number of soldiers.
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Postby Jellicoe » Fri Nov 03, 2006 8:54 pm

Ok, I did not want to get to hung up on Norway and was thinking more about this:
DM wrote:However there were many much larger guns employed in shore batteries (for example the German 11" batteries in Norway that used the turrets from the Gneisenau, the 12" (or were they 14"?) guns of Corregidor and US 16" guns (one of which is on display at APG in Maryland)
One of the German batteries near Calais also managed to sink a merchant ship in the Channel on D-Day. But as part of the game is a simulation element and not meant to be historically accurate it could be fun to let a few battleships slog it out with heavy shore batteries.
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Postby BuShips » Fri Nov 03, 2006 10:47 pm

Jellicoe wrote:Ok, I did not want to get to hung up on Norway and was thinking more about this:
DM wrote:However there were many much larger guns employed in shore batteries (for example the German 11" batteries in Norway that used the turrets from the Gneisenau, the 12" (or were they 14"?) guns of Corregidor and US 16" guns (one of which is on display at APG in Maryland)
One of the German batteries near Calais also managed to sink a merchant ship in the Channel on D-Day. But as part of the game is a simulation element and not meant to be historically accurate it could be fun to let a few battleships slog it out with heavy shore batteries.
Does the Jean Bart count as a shore battery? :lol: Well, one of the best sources for something like what you mentioned (but in the Pacific) is "The Concrete Battleship", Fort Drum. It was built to guard the entrance to Manila Bay, and was just south of Corregidor and the Bataan peninsula. Built upon a small island that was blasted down to sea level, it was built up with barracks for 200 crew and had steel reinforced walls from 25 feet thick up to 36 feet thick. It was an Army fort, but was shaped like a battleship, even having a bow and a range-finding cage mast for its 4-14" guns (in two trainable turrets) and 4-6" side guns in swivel casemates, as well as anti-air defences. It was never defeated by the Japanese, and was only ordered to cease fire after Corregidor fell. It was then occupied by the Japanese, and the fort had to be pummeled by the US when the Philippines was retaken. I've got many ideas taking form for "VaS projects", this being one of them actually. It really is a remarkable artifact, and can be visited today if you want to! Here is a website dedicated to it- http://www.concretebattleship.org/.

"The Guns of Navarone" have got nothing on Fort Drum, I'd say, heh and Fort Drum was real. Other ideas would be island defenses like on Wake Island (I plan to build a Wake Island model), and I've mentioned before "Battery Pennsylvania" on Oahu, which is really one of the turrets of the sunken USS Arizona. This would have to be a "what if" scenario as the gun was test fired as the Japanese were surrendering from WW2. Great fodder for naval game ideas.
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Postby Greg Smith » Fri Nov 03, 2006 11:06 pm

There was also the plan to allow the Tirpitz to sink in very shallow waters leaving her as an immobile battery. But the British finished her off before that could happen, IIRC.
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Postby BuShips » Sat Nov 04, 2006 1:22 am

Greg Smith wrote:There was also the plan to allow the Tirpitz to sink in very shallow waters leaving her as an immobile battery. But the British finished her off before that could happen, IIRC.
I'm not sure about the Tirpitz (don't remember either way), but the Yamato's last mission was to ground itself ashore on Okinawa to act as an unsinkable artillery platform. It only had fuel for a one-way trip. Talk about the Guiness record for the largest kamikazi in the world, I'd think :shock: . It's also a sad (although gallant at the same time) ending for such a ship as it was. The Japanese anime' Space Battleship Yamato didn't do its homework well as the ship exploded and broke in half before sinking, thus making it a poor choice to refit after the oceans boiled off :wink: . I've always substituted the Musashi as a better choice to make a spaceship out of, if you ask me, heh.
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Postby Wulf Corbett » Sat Nov 04, 2006 7:43 pm

BuShips wrote:The Japanese anime' Space Battleship Yamato didn't do its homework well as the ship exploded and broke in half before sinking, thus making it a poor choice to refit after the oceans boiled off :wink: . I've always substituted the Musashi as a better choice to make a spaceship out of, if you ask me, heh.
Do not diss Space Battleship Yamato. Bad things happen to people who diss Space Battleship Yamato. I'm just saying, like...

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Postby BuShips » Sat Nov 04, 2006 9:11 pm

Wulf Corbett wrote:
BuShips wrote:The Japanese anime' Space Battleship Yamato didn't do its homework well as the ship exploded and broke in half before sinking, thus making it a poor choice to refit after the oceans boiled off :wink: . I've always substituted the Musashi as a better choice to make a spaceship out of, if you ask me, heh.
Do not diss Space Battleship Yamato. Bad things happen to people who diss Space Battleship Yamato. I'm just saying, like...

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Well, I suppose when the 72,000 ton ship broke in half and sank, the two separate halves might have collided at the bottom of the ocean exactly where they would need to be able to hit each other in order to reassemble the ship pieces. Then why of course it's just a matter of letting the rust and marine growth over the years "weld" the massive sections back into a semblance of the original builder's shape. It would be just a simple matter then of course to build a spaceship inside the shell (which is what they did on the series). Yeah, no problem. Happy now? It sorta works out... right? :lol:
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Postby Quel » Mon Nov 06, 2006 4:46 am

BuShips wrote:
Greg Smith wrote:There was also the plan to allow the Tirpitz to sink in very shallow waters leaving her as an immobile battery. But the British finished her off before that could happen, IIRC.
I'm not sure about the Tirpitz (don't remember either way), but the Yamato's last mission was to ground itself ashore on Okinawa to act as an unsinkable artillery platform. It only had fuel for a one-way trip. Talk about the Guiness record for the largest kamikazi in the world, I'd think :shock: . It's also a sad (although gallant at the same time) ending for such a ship as it was. The Japanese anime' Space Battleship Yamato didn't do its homework well as the ship exploded and broke in half before sinking, thus making it a poor choice to refit after the oceans boiled off :wink: . I've always substituted the Musashi as a better choice to make a spaceship out of, if you ask me, heh.
I believe the largest Kamikaze in the world was a typhoon that destroyed a Mongel fleet in 1821, including the most technologically advanced warship of the time. :wink:
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Postby Alexb83 » Mon Nov 06, 2006 3:26 pm

Greg was right about the Tirpitz - she was sunk before she could be used as a block ship/battery.

Another good example is the Battle of the Falkland Islands (okay, WW1) where HMS Canopus had been grounded to act as a stable gun battery. When the fleet under Spee approached, they turned back, coming under fire from Canopus, giving the RN time to raise steam and leave Port Stanley to chase them.

I'll see if I can dig up any more examples...
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Postby DM » Mon Nov 06, 2006 4:21 pm

Another interesting factoid regarding the Falklands battle was that Canopus' main guns were loaded with practice shells. They were fired out of the guns in the general direction of von Spee'ssquadron rather than being removed as it was a quicker way to reload. IIRC their ballistic qualities at long range were a bit different to those of the regular 12" rounds and they actually travelled further, landing close to the German ships, which encouraged them to make a dignified (but ultimately unsuccessful) withdrawl a bit earlier than they otherwise might have.

IIRC at least one other batteship was hit by a heavy calibre practice shell and I think some were fired off during the River Plate battle as well :)

(as an aside I was "shot" with a blank '303 at close range once - it bloody well hurt! These "practice rounds" can pack quite a punch!! :shock: )

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