The Decisive Battle.

Historical what if discussions, hypothetical operations, battleship vs. battleship engagements, design your own warship, etc.
lwd
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Re: The Decisive Battle.

Post by lwd » Mon Apr 13, 2009 9:26 pm

Dave Saxton wrote: ...
I don't see how I'm being inconstistant? This thread is clearly within the context of war between Japan and the US not starting prior to 1943.
No it said the battle took place in 43. It's not at all clear even what the older US BBs look like in 43. For that matter are the Japanese BBs upgraded at this point? As for inconsistency at one point you are talking about Iowa being used as a taxi and running over rocks ie very detailed historical events in a what if that is a long way from historical.

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Re: The Decisive Battle.

Post by Dave Saxton » Mon Apr 13, 2009 10:41 pm

The OP wrote this in follow up
jazsa80 wrote: ....... If this was the first real naval clash for the War set in Jan 43.................
.
Entering a night sea battle is an awesome business.The enveloping darkness, hiding the enemy's.. seems a living thing, malignant and oppressive.Swishing water at the bow and stern mark an inexorable advance toward an unknown destiny.

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Re: The Decisive Battle.

Post by BlackBirdZGTR » Tue Apr 14, 2009 6:45 am

Would the Shinano had been completed at this point considering by the time midway took place she was about 80 percent complete. Without a Midway her construction would of continued, finished and comissioned as the third Yamato battleship.

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Re: The Decisive Battle.

Post by jazsa80 » Tue Apr 14, 2009 7:18 am

I was thinking that this would be the first battle of a war. So both sides having only the experience they had before 42. Thats why I stated that the USN radar wouldn't really come into it as, in my opinion, no Admrial is going to rely on the 'new fangled technology'.

Im sure the Shinano would have been completed as a BB if this scenario occured.

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Re: The Decisive Battle.

Post by lwd » Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:16 am

jazsa80 wrote:I was thinking that this would be the first battle of a war. So both sides having only the experience they had before 42.
OK if that's the paramters we're operating under now what do the PH BBs look like? I'm pretty sure some of the modernization they went through was done because they were already in the yards due to damage during the PH strike.
Thats why I stated that the USN radar wouldn't really come into it as, in my opinion, no Admrial is going to rely on the 'new fangled technology'....
I'm not sure they would use try for blind fire but there was extensive interest in it and it's use in ranging and intell would be obvious. On the other hand a lot would depend on what's happening in Europe. Radar development got a huge boost due to US British cooperation.

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Re: The Decisive Battle.

Post by lwd » Tue Apr 14, 2009 3:54 pm

Dave Saxton wrote:...Historically, the South Dakota and the Washington had waited until they had achieved an optical firing solution as well as a radar firing solution before opening fire the first time they were comitted to a night battle in Nov 1942, waiting until the range had closed to about 11,000 yards. ...
While researching something else I came across this:
http://www.navsource.org/archives/01/pdf/015617g.pdf
Which indicates that the US BBs opened up at 18,500 yards. And the situation was apparently quite confused as the island were producing false returns.

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Re: The Decisive Battle.

Post by David89 » Fri May 08, 2009 11:41 am

Legend wrote:Iowa, New Jersey, Missouri, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Indiana, Massachussetts, Alabama, North Carolina, Washington- 48,600
New York- 45,000
Yamato, Musashi- 43,456
Tenessee, California, Mississippi, Idaho, Pennsylvania- 36,000
Nagato, Mutsu- 35,984
Colorado, Maryland, West Virginia- 35,840
Ise, Hyuga, Fuso, Yamashiro- 35,640
Kongo, Hiei, Kirishima, Haruna- 23,760
The figure for New York seems a rather high, being 9000lb more than the 12x14in standard types even though New York has less guns of the same calibre. Given that only 16lb seperates the weight of fire per min of the 12x14in standard types and the Nagato class, I feel that the 16in guns of the Nagatos will give them an advantage here. Same applies to the Colorado class, as they also have a similar weight of fire, while the fact that the Japanese 12x14in BBs have 98.5% of the weight of fire of the US 12x14ins BBs means there is very little practical difference in performance.
This shows despite the slower speed and slightly inferior armor, the US WWI BB's still have more firepower than the Ise and Kongo class. I see two seperate battles coming to here. The nine slower "Standard Type Battleships" would seperate and lure the ten older Japanese ships to a wattery grave while the ten or so 30 knot US Leviathans slug it out with Yamato and Musashi, only after that going to help the "Standard Types" with the rest of the fleet. Though I can see the opposite happening, Yamato and Musashi go and have a frenzy in the midst of the 21 knot WWI battleships while the Kongo and Ise class ships occupy the "Modern BB's". After Yamato and Musashi have their fun, they change course and slug it out with the Modern US BB's. This scenario would leave the older and weaker Ise class and Kongo class limping around or sunk, and the WWI Battlewagons out of comission. That would be more ideal for the Japanese, making the final stage of the battle more fair, though the Yamato's and Musashi's crews would be exausted by that point.
I don't see why the Japanese would split up their forces. All their BBs have top speeds between 25 and 27 knots, only the Kongo class battlecruisers being faster, so it make sense to keep their forces together and force the US to either split up into a 28kt group and a 21kt group or all limp around at 21kts, unable to force an engagement. If this happens then it will be the 10 modern US BBs vs the 10 Japanese BBs, with the standard types playing little or no role in the battle. Close call as to the winner of this battle.

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Re: The Decisive Battle.

Post by Dave Saxton » Sat May 09, 2009 2:18 pm

lwd wrote:
Dave Saxton wrote:...Historically, the South Dakota and the Washington had waited until they had achieved an optical firing solution as well as a radar firing solution before opening fire the first time they were comitted to a night battle in Nov 1942, waiting until the range had closed to about 11,000 yards. ...
While researching something else I came across this:
http://www.navsource.org/archives/01/pdf/015617g.pdf
Which indicates that the US BBs opened up at 18,500 yards. And the situation was apparently quite confused as the island were producing false returns.


18,500 yards has long been proven incorrect. First radar contact was 9 nautical miles or 18,000 yards, and there was a long delay between the first radar contact and when Lee finally gave the go ahead to open fire as they tried to identify the contacts and develop an optical firing solution to go with the radar data.

This was the first phase of the battle to the east of Savo and did not involve the Kirishima battle group. That came about 30-40 minutes later to the west of Savo. In this early phase they fired ~14 Salvos for no hits, until the radar contacts were off the screens in the case of BB56, or until the power failure for BB57. The max reliable range to DD's and other smaller warships for Mk3 was about 18,000 yards.

The range to Kirishima during the later phase of the battle was at most 8,500 yards for Washington. Kirishima was also advertizing its position with its own search lights, although the IJN had flashless powder.

The range resolution for SG was 500 yards on the PPI and 300 yards on the A-scope. Range resolution for Mk3 was 400 yards. I doubt the shadow of Savo was hiding the IJN ships from the American radar as they were not within 500 yards of the shoreline, although the large echo from Savo may have made it more difficult to distiguish small pips close together (but in excess of 500 yards) on the time base.

The confusion spoken of during the later phase of the battle seems to be limited mainly to the Mk3's and this was probably caused by the confusion of properly "pip matching" a mess of so many contacts on the A-scope as required by the method of lobe switching. The type of lobe switching used by the 40cm radars required that amplitudes of contacts from the switched beams be matched for each target in order for the antenna/director to be correctly aimed at the target.

The former gunnery officer on the DD Maury reports that in the face of multiple targets and some sea clutter, it was very difficult to "pip match" the correct pips, and usually resulted "in firing at the center of gravity" when using Mk3/4.
Entering a night sea battle is an awesome business.The enveloping darkness, hiding the enemy's.. seems a living thing, malignant and oppressive.Swishing water at the bow and stern mark an inexorable advance toward an unknown destiny.

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Re: The Decisive Battle.

Post by Tiornu » Sat May 09, 2009 4:35 pm

18,500 yards has long been proven incorrect.
By what? The Washington action report repeatedly states that she opened fire at 18,500 yards. SoDak had a shorter range.
First radar contact was 9 nautical miles or 18,000 yards, and there was a long delay between the first radar contact and when Lee finally gave the go ahead to open fire as they tried to identify the contacts and develop an optical firing solution to go with the radar data.
The radar contact that developed into the first gunnery engagement began at 19,600 yards. Seven minutes passed before confirmation that the radar and optics had the same target. Gunnery began four minutes after that.

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Re: The Decisive Battle.

Post by Dave Saxton » Sun May 10, 2009 5:36 am

By Math for one. The first radar contact occured just before 2255 hours at about 9 miles to the northwest of BB56. The first broadsides were fired at 2317 hours. In the intervening period Lee held a westerly course and Hashimoto held a roughly southernly course. How could the range still be more or less 9 miles after some 20+ minutes? Even if the period between the first radar contact and the first broadsides was 11 minutes, 18,500 yards is hardly plausible. Official report or not it doesn't add up.

One of the more well thought out and well researched accounts in my opinion, is by Eric Hammel:

"... Washington's SG surface-search radar pinpointed a firm target about 18,000 yards to the northwest, well off the flagship's starboard bow. This was Sendai....Lee maintained his silence for twenty-four minutes as he sought additional targets and waited for the Japanese light cruiser (and her initially unpreceived destroyer escort) to close range. Then, at 2312, Washington's main battery director officer reported that he had visually sighted the target through his spotting telescope. South Dakota, which was astern the flagship, reported by TBS radio that she had also obtained a visual sighting. Admiral Lee waited four more minutes for other targets to turn up, then transmitted a simple order over the open TBS circuit, 'open fire when you are ready.' Washington's first salvo of nine 16-rounds was sent on its way at 2317. Range from the flagship was 11,000 yards. ....South Dakota joined in against Shikinami at 2318 from 15,700 yards with her seven operable 16-inch guns..."
Entering a night sea battle is an awesome business.The enveloping darkness, hiding the enemy's.. seems a living thing, malignant and oppressive.Swishing water at the bow and stern mark an inexorable advance toward an unknown destiny.

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Re: The Decisive Battle.

Post by Tiornu » Mon May 11, 2009 3:28 pm

When you say that the 18,500-yard figure has long been proven incorrect, does that mean authorities on the Guadalcanal battle have established that the official report is incorrect, or simply that you personally rejected it long ago? I don't think we can blame the math. Using a published summary that lacks detail, then making broad assumptions about precisely what the radar detected, mistakenly identify a 20-minute period when in fact it's 11 minutes, and the radar is handling a divided formation--that's where the problem lies. What track charts are you using?

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Re: The Decisive Battle.

Post by Dave Saxton » Tue May 12, 2009 3:06 pm

Morrison's track charts will do. It can easily be seen that even given an 11 minute interval (and how do you know that is correct and it's not 20+ minutes?) a rate of closure of 100 yards per minute isn't plausable.

Hammel provides far more detail than anybody else. Indeed he expends over 500 pages on the naval battles of mid November. Other accounts are completely lacking in detail by comparison. Reading most other accounts, even Frank's, may lead one to believe that Washington engaged the Japanese forces, including Kirishima, at 18,500 yards, which is baloney. Is the lack of detail and general vagueness pertaining to this clash in most accounts because they don't want to deal with the inconsistencies of the official record? But does the exact range of this early skirmish during the periods prior to 2330 hours matter other than as a matter of historical accuracy? They scored no hits and Hashimoto turned away under cover of a smoke screen.
Entering a night sea battle is an awesome business.The enveloping darkness, hiding the enemy's.. seems a living thing, malignant and oppressive.Swishing water at the bow and stern mark an inexorable advance toward an unknown destiny.

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Re: The Decisive Battle.

Post by Dave Saxton » Wed May 13, 2009 2:24 pm

I reveiwed what some of the authorities wrote about the inconsistencies of the after action reports and how they dealt with them. The reports from various ships do not corroberate and are in some cases contradictory. This is especially the case as regards to chronology. For example, the timing of events between the records of South Dakota and Washington can be off by as much as ten minutes. Morison doesn't regard the SD's reports as reliable at all and puts more faith on those from Washington. Morison served aboard Washington, but after the battle. He deals with the ambiguity of chronology by fixxing the completion of TF-64's turn to the west at 2252 hours. The reports seem to agree more or less on this point. Also the various authorities seem to agree that Washington's SG detected and held a firm target, range nine miles (tactical radars measured range in miles while gunnery radars measured range in yards) that turned out to be Sendai to the northwest almost immediently after completing the turn. Morison determined that this radar contact must have occured by 2300. Morison in his track chart gives first radar contact at 2300 and the range to Sendai at 2317 as about 6.5 miles or about 13,000 yards. Using his track chart Morison has TF64 steaming roughly westward at about 588 yards per minute. Hashimoto's speed is left somewhat ambigious. Assuming a similar speed and if there's an 11 minute interval between first radar contact and opening fire, and assuming the range at first contact was 19,600 yards, then the range at opening fire for Washington falls between 12,600 yards and 13,600 yards. If the time interval is 20+ minutes then the range is roughly 11,000 yards.

Hammel went over the inconsitencies of details between the various action reports in 1988 with a Rear Admiral Parker, whom was also there as a junior officer in his youth. Parker told Hammel that these reports are not considered to be, nor were expected to be, totally accurate. Hammel generally agrees with Morison in many details pertaining to the chronology on the 14/15th Nov battles, but differs more so in his examinations of the Friday the 13th battle.

Frank sticks fairly close to Morison, whom he holds in high regard, but waxes ambigious about the chronology of the skirmish east of Savo. Frank organizes his account into battles east of Savo and west of Savo. All take at face value that the range of first SG radar contact of Sendai was 9 miles. Only Frank seems to take at face value the 18,500 yards figure, but does not deal with inconsitencies caused thereby.

All authoritive accounts agree that the range between Washington and Kirishima west of Savo was 8,400 yards, and that the Washington divided it 5" fire between Kirishima and a cruiser, with one 5" mount continiously firing starshell to illuminate Kirishima.
Entering a night sea battle is an awesome business.The enveloping darkness, hiding the enemy's.. seems a living thing, malignant and oppressive.Swishing water at the bow and stern mark an inexorable advance toward an unknown destiny.

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Re: The Decisive Battle.

Post by Tiornu » Wed May 13, 2009 9:03 pm

The fact that battle reports must be viewed critically, like any other sources, is obvious. But you are cutting the legs out from under your claim that the 18,500-yard figure has been disproven. You have no definitive source to base it on.

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Re: The Decisive Battle.

Post by Dave Saxton » Fri May 15, 2009 10:01 pm

Morison essentially disproved it, it seems to me.
Entering a night sea battle is an awesome business.The enveloping darkness, hiding the enemy's.. seems a living thing, malignant and oppressive.Swishing water at the bow and stern mark an inexorable advance toward an unknown destiny.

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