identical ships - why?

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Wulf Corbett
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Postby Wulf Corbett » Fri Feb 16, 2007 1:36 pm

DM wrote:IIRC we developed some "on the fly" skip bombing rules and posted them on the forum a few weeks back. Darned if I can find them now!!
http://www.mongoosepublishing.com/phpBB ... hp?t=24962

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Postby DM » Fri Feb 16, 2007 1:51 pm

Thanks Wulf :)
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Postby Fitzwalrus » Fri Feb 16, 2007 6:04 pm

One version of the "solid nose" B-25 used for skip-bombing had a total of fourteen forward-firing .50 cal HMGs, all triggered from the pilot's joystick. They used to routinely buzzsaw sampans in half in one pass with those things.

The very earliest skip-bombing experiments and attacks were actually made with B-17's, but the B-25 won out in the end as it was more maneuverable and a smaller target, even though the Fortress carried a larger bomb load. (The Forts were also fewer in number in the Pacific, and were wanted for longer-ranged missions.)
I've always wanted to run a squadron of skip-bombing B-17's in an early Pacific campaign.... :twisted: :lol:
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Postby DM » Fri Feb 16, 2007 6:08 pm

Yeah, with all those Zeroes around its going to be fun :)
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Postby BuShips » Fri Feb 16, 2007 6:44 pm

Myrm wrote:
BuShips wrote:%. What is really interesting, it was a tactic developed "in the field" and specially-modified bombers that became the B-25H & J (iirc).
D'you mean the one with racks of .50 cals either side of the cockpit?

There's one flying that Ive seen at Duxford Flying legends a few times...got a nice piccy or two somewhere from my flight line walk past it
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Postby Myrm » Fri Feb 16, 2007 7:32 pm

Well the piccy I have is one with only the 4 50s plus the glass nose gun plus the turrt rather than the 14 50s Fitzwalrus mentioned but it is flying...

Also the 'Other' B17, oh heck its duxford there's all sorts there ;)
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Postby Fitzwalrus » Fri Feb 16, 2007 7:45 pm

The model I'm referring to started out as a field modification of the standard bombadier-nose Mitchells, and then became one of the factory-produced variants for the B-25J. It had the long nose of the bombadier version, but the nose was solid paneling rather than glass and carried eight .50's in four rows of two. There were four more in external "chin packs", two on either side below the cockpit, and then the top turret with it's two .50's could be locked to fire forward and slaved to the pilot's firing trigger.

That's not counting the MG's in the other locations like waist and tail, of course..... :shock: 8)
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Postby Chernobyl » Fri Feb 16, 2007 11:15 pm

got my 4 ONI CD's today...they messed up though, one I was supposed to get was "German Naval Vessels" but instead got "Naval Vessels of the USSR"

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Postby BuShips » Fri Feb 16, 2007 11:19 pm

Fitzwalrus described them well, but I'll add a few additional details. Where the original model of the B-25 had a dorsal twin .50 turret on top, it was placed in a rear fuselage position. The later models moved it forward into a better position, and this helped when the field mod was implemented. In one version of the mod (I can't remember which it was, H or J), the bombardier's crawl-way was used to mount a 75mm recoilless cannon :shock: . This mod had the highest firepower, but the other mod had more .50's. There were stories of more than sampans sinking, as destroyer escorts could be pierced by the mass fire of the "ma duce's". :shock:
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Postby BuShips » Fri Feb 16, 2007 11:37 pm

Chernobyl wrote:got my 4 ONI CD's today...they messed up though, one I was supposed to get was "German Naval Vessels" but instead got "Naval Vessels of the USSR"

Chern
Nope, it was correct (wry comment warning!!). It contains the USSR assets of the Petropavlovsk (the Hipper class Lutzow) and the Graf Zeppelin. :wink:
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Postby Fitzwalrus » Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:08 am

BuShips wrote:Fitzwalrus described them well, but I'll add a few additional details. Where the original model of the B-25 had a dorsal twin .50 turret on top, it was placed in a rear fuselage position. The later models moved it forward into a better position, and this helped when the field mod was implemented. In one version of the mod (I can't remember which it was, H or J), the bombardier's crawl-way was used to mount a 75mm recoilless cannon :shock: . This mod had the highest firepower, but the other mod had more .50's. There were stories of more than sampans sinking, as destroyer escorts could be pierced by the mass fire of the "ma duce's". :shock:
The B-25H is the "snub nose" version with the 75mm gun, which is also the same gun that was modified and put into production in the M24 Chaffee light tank. IIRC the semi-automatic version in the Mitchell had either a three or five-round clip (three, I think) because firing the gun more times than that in succession slowed the plane to the point that stalling out became a real danger.

A friend who is a big IJN buff has mentioned before that the US gun camera footage one sees of Japanese destroyers being strafed and exploding is often due to their poorly-protected torpedo reload magazines being penetrated by the .50 cal. fire from the attacking planes. I imagine one or two or eight Long Lances going off inside the hull of a DD would do a pretty thorough job of it...... :shock:
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Postby Chernobyl » Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:24 am

yeah, that'd probably do the trick... :shock:

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Postby BuShips » Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:27 am

Fitzwalrus wrote: I imagine one or two or eight Long Lances going off inside the hull of a DD would do a pretty thorough job of it...... :shock:


One word- "Overkill" :shock: .
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Postby Fitzwalrus » Sat Feb 17, 2007 1:09 am

In the old Seapower rules I always got a laugh out of the fact that (the way their damage system worked out) a single Long Lance hit on an average DD did 98% damage.
That was enough that you had no speed, no guns, no torpedoes, no nothing left but hadn't quite sunk: just enough left to get everyone off into the liferafts, I guess. :lol:
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Postby BuShips » Sat Feb 17, 2007 1:12 am

Fitzwalrus wrote:A friend who is a big IJN buff has mentioned before that the US gun camera footage one sees of Japanese destroyers being strafed and exploding is often due to their poorly-protected torpedo reload magazines being penetrated by the .50 cal. fire from the attacking planes. I imagine one or two or eight Long Lances going off inside the hull of a DD would do a pretty thorough job of it...... :shock:
If you look about one-third of the way into this youtube video, viewers will see just what a .50 cal heavy machine gun can accomplish.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w22M1DAQ59I

Now consider the reason that destroyers were called "tin cans", with even sea stress caving in the 1/2" (or less) unarmored hull plates to show the ribbed framework of the ship. It's hard to have a favorite between the two versions, and I have long since decided that both of are my favorite versions of the B-25 :wink:. I wouldn't probably be incorrect in saying that this mod gave birth to the aerial gunship concept such as "Spooky" and "Spectre". I'm always learning new things in these online discussions, as I found a plastic model site that tells the history that B-25 gunships escorted the WW2 Japanese surrender documents. I can always learn something new :wink: .

http://modelingmadness.com/reviews/alli ... ver25j.htm

BTW, Fitzwalrus stated correctly what I used to know but had to refresh my memory about- The B-25J had 18 .50 cal guns, 14 of them forward-firing. Compare this to the famous B-17G "Flying Fortress" with a total of 13 .50 cal. weapons, and even the B-29 Super-fortress with 10 .50's and a tail 20mm cannon. So you tell me, what was the most heavily-armed U.S. Army Air Force bomber in WW2?
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Postby Chernobyl » Sat Feb 17, 2007 2:07 am

as far as gunships go, I've always liked this one...
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Postby Myrm » Sat Feb 17, 2007 9:50 am

Fitzwalrus wrote:The model I'm referring to started out as a field modification of the standard bombadier-nose Mitchells, and then became one of the factory-produced variants for the B-25J. It had the long nose of the bombadier version, but the nose was solid paneling rather than glass and carried eight .50's in four rows of two. There were four more in
AYe, sorry was just commenting that the one I had images of wasnt that heavy armed version :)
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Postby DM » Sat Feb 17, 2007 10:09 am

I imagine one or two or eight Long Lances going off inside the hull of a DD would do a pretty thorough job of it......
IIRC they weren't in the hull, but were in deckhouses on the weatherdeck. Anyway, the end resutl was the same. Also, IIRC some more, several Allied destroyers also suffered grevious and fatal damage from the detonations of their own torpedoes when they were hit and damaged prior to launch. One of the sad facts about modern warships (in fact probably any warship from the age of gunpowder onwards) has been that one of the greatest risks to their survival is posed by their own ammunition!
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Postby Myrm » Sat Feb 17, 2007 10:17 am

DM wrote:One of the sad facts about modern warships (in fact probably any warship from the age of gunpowder onwards) has been that one of the greatest risks to their survival is posed by their own ammunition!
AYe, if you ever get a chance to go to Fort Siloso in Singapore (or anywhere similar - I just know that one) and look at the shore batteries and the amount of rock and structure they have between the ammo store and the exposed parts of the battery to see what they thought necessary and then compare that to what you could put on a ship its a bit on the worrying side ;)
Last edited by Myrm on Sat Feb 17, 2007 10:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby DM » Sat Feb 17, 2007 10:22 am

Having wrestled with the complexities of magazine design on several classes of contemporary warships (British and overseas) I can only agree :D
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