Sumner and Gearing Class DD's

Discuss the Victory at Sea range of naval games.

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MektonZero
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Postby MektonZero » Tue Jan 08, 2008 10:19 pm

jbickley00 wrote:you have hit on my point exactlty: why close to 20,000 yards with a ship designed to fight at 30,000 yards? ultimately speed can be used to maintain distance.
If Iowa is opening the range, Yamato can probably move so that she's bow on to Iowa's stern. 6 guns to 3 isn't a winning scenario for Iowa; even with radar.
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Postby Soth » Wed Jan 09, 2008 2:27 am

Personally, If what happened in mektons scenario was any indication, I wouldnt be opening the range if I were the Iowa, id be closing to knife fighting range to guarantee hits with my remaining turret and any of my secondarys that i had left.Maximum rate fire with the turret at fairly close range, because plunging fire has allready taken its toll on both ships anyway.
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Postby BuShips » Wed Jan 09, 2008 6:04 am

Well, I'd guess it would matter which of the turrets was still working on Iowa. If the 163 mount (X) was functional, you could run parallel to Yamato for a bit and see what transpired, or "bug out", firing as you went. If the only functional turret was a forward one, you'd have to leave the battle fast or just charge in hoping to get lucky.

Also to the matter of the Yamato's secondaries and charging into them. It would depend if the battle was early war or late war, as the wing 6" guns and half (?) of the 5" guns were removed late-war in favor of added AA defenses.

---

This is from combinedfleet.com (http://www.combinedfleet.com/b_heavy.htm) and is interesting when comparing South Dakota vs. Yamato-
Second, I'm saying that South Dakota would have usually whipped the Bismarck. Not only that, but if handled correctly, she ought to have had a better-than-even shot against Yamato, a statement that on the face of it seems absurd! Yamato was fully 27,000+ tons heavier, had much thicker armor, and possessed the largest naval rifles ever mounted afloat. However, the American ship had the world's best fire-control system, a fantastic armor belt, and guns which delivered very large projectiles at high-angle trajectories which could go through thicker deck plates than Yamato's 18.1" shells. Again, fire-control and the ship's fighting instructions become crucial. If the American stays at range (30,000-35,000 yards), she should be able to deliver many more hits to Yamato than she receives in return, because she can both shoot and maneuver (due to her much better stable vertical fire-control system elements). Further, Yamato's internal subdivision is not as good as SoDak's, and American hits are therefore likely to be more damaging than the Japanese. On the other hand, historically the Americans had little idea of Yamato's capabilities, and were likely to have attempted to close the range with her, not knowing the extent of her armoring, or that she was, in fact, armed with truly enormous 18.1" guns, rather than the 16" guns everyone on the American side of the lake assumed was the case. Closing the range with Yamato would likely have resulted in the American ship learning a painful lesson in gunfire supremacy. South Dakota's belt is better than Yamato's (barely), but at close range Yamato's guns have much better penetration. Further, Yamato's secondaries are very powerful, and would have begun to take a possible toll on SoDak's exposed radars and fire-control equipment, which would reduce her advantage in fire-control substantially if disabled. The bottom line is that South Dakota is a boxer, and should maintain her distance from a slugger like Yamato. Under the right circumstances, however, she was perfectly capable of dishing out critical damage to her hulking opponent.
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DM
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Postby DM » Wed Jan 09, 2008 6:17 am

An intersting thought that just popped into my head as a result of some stuff I'm doing at work just now - Yamato's infamous "beehive" AA rounds could possibly be useful in eliminating radars and optics in a closer range engagement through air burst fragmentation damage. Quite how useful I don't know as I haven't read up on them in much detail in the past but there's a possibility there :)
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Postby Soth » Wed Jan 09, 2008 6:59 am

Yamato's Beehive round would be like a big shotgun shell, it would shred upper works, Radars, masts, open 40mm Gun emplacements, stuff like that, but its overall effect would be like a Claymore mine, odds are good a hit close to the bridge.. and you have very dead command staff as well.
This would definately affect the performance of the ship overall along with whatever actual damage was caused. I would add the fact tho, it would be more effective against a surface target, then it actually was against aircraft. If youve seen the History channel show"Dogfights" it shows the last cruise of the Yamato in one episode.
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Postby Soulmage » Wed Jan 09, 2008 2:16 pm

BuShips wrote: If the 163 mount (X) was functional, you could run parallel to Yamato
I've hear references to turrets by number before. How exactly does the numbering scheme work?
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Postby Soth » Wed Jan 09, 2008 4:15 pm

front turrets start out as A then B. working your way to the rear of the ship, counting secondary turrets as well. On Bismarck instead of saying A Turret, the turrets were "Anton" "Bruno" "Ceasar" and "Dora", thus Anton and Bruno were the front turrets, and Ceasar and Dora the rear turrets. The Germans didnt count secondarys in the listing of turrets like most other navys did or do.Also with the A and the B, and the X and the Y, what you get is A and B denotes Front, and X and Y denotes rear according to alphabet.. begining, end.

But I believe his mention of 163, denotes 16 inch gun 3 gun turret
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Postby BuShips » Wed Jan 09, 2008 6:47 pm

Pretty close Soth, but here's the method that the USN used in WW2 that Soulmage asked about.

You're correct that the "16" is for the gun caliber, but since this is to state the location of the turret on the ship, the "3" is turret number three of that caliber of gun on the ship, from the bow going aft of course. So the turrets of an Iowa class would be numbered as 161, 162 & 163.

As to the secondary mounts, since they are of 5" caliber, they would be numbered "51", "52", and so forth up to the 510 mount. Where my memory is not clear is iirc they started on the port side and then went starboard for the "52" mount, zigging back and forth going aft. I think this is what I recall, but it was something I read too many years back to be confidant of.

All of the naval wargames that I know of have adopted the Royal Navy A B - Q - X Y system.
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Postby BuShips » Wed Jan 09, 2008 6:57 pm

Oh, and regarding a destroyer, say a Fletcher, the location would be called the "51 mount" on toward the aft "55 mount."

A John C. Butler class DE would only have a 51 mount and a 52 mount.
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Postby Soulmage » Wed Jan 09, 2008 7:42 pm

OK, that makes sense.

In the "Death of the Japanese Navy" episode of Dogfights, one of the Johnston survivors mentions the number 52 turret getting blown up. . . so I was trying to figure out how that numbering system worked.
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Postby MektonZero » Wed Jan 09, 2008 7:45 pm

jbickley00 wrote:Its an interesting question, the yamato v. missouri. Of course the entire analysis of the penetration gainst the frontal turret armour is relatively meaningless.

US tacitcal doctrine of the day was to engage at extreme range, where the plunging fire would be pentrating top and deck armour. Ultimately the battle would be decided, I think by the most accurate extreme range shooting. In this case, I would go with velocity over weight, and I would give the edge to the missouri. given radar, and superior fire control computers, I think the Missouri would score hits faster on the Yamato than vice versa. Ultimately, what kills ships is "critical hits."

Just a thought.
I'd think that the problem at extreme range is that both Iowa and Yamato are a LOT of ship to kill. Given the low hit probabilities for maneuvering targets at that range, you'd probably run out of ammo before sinking the enemy. Of course for the US, sinking would be nice but hardly necessary. If they expended all their rounds and both ships ended up in a shipyard for 6 months being repaired, that's a clear US victory. :)
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Postby jbickley00 » Wed Jan 09, 2008 8:07 pm

Soth wrote:a demonstration of the amount of ammunition used in just one engagement, can be found here from the USS Washingtons website.
Standing west from this point, first radar contact was made at 0001 with enemy ships east of Savo. From 0016 to 0019 fired 42 rounds 16", opening at 18,500 yards, at large cruiser or battleship which it is believed was sunk. From 0016 to 0017 fired 100 rounds 5" at ranges 12 to 13,000 yards at enemy cruiser or large destroyer which was also engaged by SOUTH DAKOTA and was left burning. Standing on north-westerly courses fired 133 rounds 5" from 0025 to 0034 at ranges about 10,000 yards at light craft close to south-east shore of Savo which were engaging our destroyers; all were silenced and one was left burning. From 0100 to 0107 fired 75 rounds 16'' and 107 rounds 5" at ranges from 8,400 to 12,650 yards, at battleship northwest of Savo which was firing at SOUTH DAKOTA.
From 0100 to 0107, fired 120 rounds 5", at ranges from 7,400 to 9,500 yards, in succession at three enemy cruisers illuminating and engaging SOUTH DAKOTA.
So you can see in this particular engagement, the ammunition expenditure was tremendous.
You realize of course that this was a night action, and the ranges are relfective of that. however, in fairness, I will cite the battle of Surigao strait, when radar detected the Japanese ships at 42,000 yards, firing solutions were obtaind at 30,000 yards and the battleships opened fire at 22,800 yards. The West Virginia's first salvo, firing at 22,800 yards hit the Yamashiro These were older US battleships (relative to the Missouri), firing at night, and the japanese ships never closed sufficienty to return fire. The West Virginia went on to fire 93 shells.


That being said, the ammunition expenditure in any action was tremendous. But ships in daylight did engage at extreme ranges, longer ranges than were initiall conceived by the deisngers. As I mention in previous posts, US tactical doctrine with capital ships was to engage at extreme range. The percentage of hits was low, but the damage done by the hits was greater. Read "the US Navy v. The Axis" for good examples of all of this. It is an entire book deadicated to surface actions.

One thing about most wargamers, is they want to destry the ship, and do so without regard to the amount of damage they are taking. The grim reality is most nations could not afford to fight a naval battle to conclusion, and did so only when desperate. In most naval actions, few ships are sunk as a result of pure damage-its the catastrophic hits (the criticals) than sink ships.

thuis in all likelihood, the yamoto and the Missouri would engage at extreme ranges (and history is lacking of historical examples here-the action never took place) and fire away at each other, hoping to score a catastrophic hit, or disable enough main gu turrets to let destroyers or curisers finish her off (as one done with the Bismark). Not to put too fine a point on it, but running low on ammo was a common reason for breaking off a naval engagement.
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Postby Soth » Wed Jan 09, 2008 8:37 pm

Well, even the US navy could not afford the losses from a duel to the death, even tho our rebuild rate was much faster. but the time to build Iowa and New Jersey was 2 and a half years, the cost per ship officially stated as 100,000,000 according to janes.Battleships are expensive obviously. And at the battle of Surigao strait, the range was marked at 30,000, but the Japanese had been engaged by the battleships at the range in which you stated. But they had also been engaged before the BB's opened fire, by Destroyers and torpedo boats firing torpedos,then came under fire from the Battleships, and as the range was closed even further, fire from Cruisers.And as was every Battleship admirals dream.. a crossing of the "T" occured. This would certainly be considered a textbook example of the way to engage an enemy fleet. Whats significant to note too, Battleships that were at pearl harbor when it was attacked, got revenge.
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Postby BuShips » Wed Jan 09, 2008 10:54 pm

Soth wrote:Whats significant to note too, Battleships that were at pearl harbor when it was attacked, got revenge.
Yeah, except for old Pennsylvania. She got crowded out of the fight by getting masked by friendly ships. She never fired a shot. :roll:
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Postby jbickley00 » Wed Jan 09, 2008 11:46 pm

Well to be fair, the Pennsylvania's fire control radar was of an older type and mounted aft, so it was harder for her to capitalize on her opportunities.
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Postby Soth » Thu Jan 10, 2008 2:11 am

Im certainly Looking forward to WW1 Naval rules when they get done. Dogger bank, Jutland, the Coronels(Falklands). i imagine there will be plenty more discussion going on :D Im quite enjoying this one as it is.
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Postby BuShips » Thu Jan 10, 2008 2:45 am

jbickley00 wrote:Well to be fair, the Pennsylvania's fire control radar was of an older type and mounted aft, so it was harder for her to capitalize on her opportunities.
Yes, but according to the analysis at the navweaps site, the Pennsylvania's aft MK3 was only masked for between 1-4 minutes. Anyone interested in the action at Surigao Straight will find this page very good reading.

http://www.navweaps.com/index_tech/tech-079.htm

The expended rounds is especially good info if you wanted to ration those ships if they were to fight the Center force later in a set battle. :)
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Postby Soth » Thu Jan 10, 2008 4:59 am

If i were Admiral Ohlendorf, i dont think id be wanting to fight the center force later on. The center force included Yamato and Musashi didnt it?
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Postby DM » Thu Jan 10, 2008 6:27 am

This is another one of those actions that makes a really good campaign game, especially if you get the right players for the Japanese. They KNOW they are going to get spanked somewhere so you need players who can keep that sense of animal cunning whilst they are taking their lumps - we did the campaign with some players who didn't react well to losses and it wa s acomplete washout as they sulked about how "unfair" it was :(
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Postby Soth » Thu Jan 10, 2008 7:41 am

well, they sulked stupidly of course. The Whole idea of the 3 seperate forces was to lure Halsey out after the carriers, so the other two forces could slip in. Ohlendorf and Halsey, for that matter Kinkaid, could not know that the center force would return after it had allready been attacked. It could have gone really really badly for the Invasion fleet had it not been for the Heroic actions of the Destroyers, Destroyer Escorts, and Escort Carriers. The Japanese planned to take theyre lumps,and almost succeeded with the plan.

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