The Greatest Naval Battle in History

General naval discussions that don't fit within any specific time period or cover several issues.

Which was the greatest naval battle in history?

You may select 1 option

 
 
View results

User avatar
RF
Senior Member
Posts: 7593
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:15 pm
Location: Wolverhampton, ENGLAND

Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Post by RF » Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:54 pm

celticmarine10 wrote: Actually the japanese have revolutionize the naval warfare in World War 2. By using aircarft carriers as there main weapon and there destroyers to launch torpedoes against the capital ships of the allied forces.
Not quite. The British had already started the process.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

jmcnorkis@yahoo.com

Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Post by jmcnorkis@yahoo.com » Mon Feb 21, 2011 2:14 pm

RF wrote:
celticmarine10 wrote: Actually the japanese have revolutionize the naval warfare in World War 2. By using aircarft carriers as there main weapon and there destroyers to launch torpedoes against the capital ships of the allied forces.
Not quite. The British had already started the process.
yes the british started it but it is the japanese who makes use the full potential of the aircraft carriers. I have two examples that the british was not able to take the full potential of the aircraft carriers. one, during the sinking of the bismarck, the british plan is to search and destroy bismarck to outnumbered and thru the usual ship to ship engagement. It is only the british had difficulty finding bismarck that they used aircraft carrier and actually it is the naval aircrafts that crippled bismarck..since bismarck can no longer maneuver she was finished by naval gun fire. However, the aircraft carriers could have finished off bismarck for another wave of torpedoes but it seems the pride of the navy to use naval guns made that decision. In the battle of malaya and singapore..again the british their pride the Prince of Wales, Repulse and a couple of destroyers have all confidence to defeat the japanese fleet. But they were wrong, in only a couple of hours the british fleet was wiped out without any loss of ships on the part of the japanese. Dont know why the aircraft carrier Hermes was with Prince of Wales at Cape Town in route to Singapore was not deployed. is it the British pride to use the might of their battleships and cruisers only?

Even before Pearl Harbor was attacked, no one, the americans and even the british think of the aircraft carriers as the main weapon. The americans and british still used the battleships as the main weapon and made the aircraft carriers as a support role only. It is only after Pear Harbor that the americans applied the aircraft carrier doctrine as the main weapon. The tactics they learned from the Japanese. The british never made use air craft carriers in any naval battle in world war 2. This is the reason we cannot find british war ships in any major naval battles in world war 2. The sinking of bismarck could have been made easier if the aircraft carrier was made its main weapon rather just chasing it (one whole fleet against one german warship) that could not even stand with the mighty Yamato or the U.S. Iowa class. Again winning naval battles is not only about ships but making full potential of tactics. Tactics with technology is a potent weapon.

jmcnorkis@yahoo.com

Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Post by jmcnorkis@yahoo.com » Mon Feb 21, 2011 2:21 pm

Well. one exception the Falkland War it is the only naval battle the british used aircraft carriers to defeat the Argentines.

User avatar
RF
Senior Member
Posts: 7593
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:15 pm
Location: Wolverhampton, ENGLAND

Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Post by RF » Mon Feb 21, 2011 6:40 pm

jmcnorkis@yahoo.com wrote:
Even before Pearl Harbor was attacked, no one, the americans and even the british think of the aircraft carriers as the main weapon. The americans and british still used the battleships as the main weapon and made the aircraft carriers as a support role only. It is only after Pear Harbor that the americans applied the aircraft carrier doctrine as the main weapon. The tactics they learned from the Japanese. The british never made use air craft carriers in any naval battle in world war 2.
This is wrong. It was Somerville's carrier plane attack on Taranto in November 1940 that demonstrated to the world the power of carrier attack, in sinking three Italian battleships with minimal loss of attacking aircraft. One of the first visitors to the Taranto naval base immediately after the attack was the Japanese naval attache to Fascist Italy. His detailed report to Tokyo helped inspire the idea of maximum airstrike on Pearl Harbor; up to that point the Japanese were considering midget submarine attack as their main weapon. In the event the air attack was a success while the sub attack was a total failure.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

lwd
Senior Member
Posts: 3810
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 2:15 am
Location: Southfield, USA

Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Post by lwd » Wed Feb 23, 2011 7:01 pm

There were also a couple (maybe more) prewar maneuvers by the USN where carriers became the primary strike tool. Nor would I catagorize the British use of them vs Bismarck as poor. The weather on the other hand ...

User avatar
RF
Senior Member
Posts: 7593
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:15 pm
Location: Wolverhampton, ENGLAND

Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Post by RF » Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:21 am

I think with this there is an element of necessity - carriers were the only means of striking at the target, especially when the target frequently stayed in harbour as the Italians did. With Bismarck, the Swordfish were the only possible means of slowing Bismarck down immediately after Hood was sunk. Their success on hitting the rudder really was a fluke.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

User avatar
neil hilton
Senior Member
Posts: 334
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:31 pm

Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Post by neil hilton » Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:39 pm

jmcnorkis@yahoo.com wrote:
Javier L. wrote:
Tiornu wrote:I believe Leyte had the greatest number of ships involved, but Jutland had a greater tonnage of ships involved.
Hi Tiornu,

I didn't put Leyte because I consider it a naval campaign consisting of many small engagements (not a single battle), like Guadalcanal, or the battle of the Atlantic 1941-43.
WITH DUE RESPECT, I BEG TO DISAGREE WITH YOU THAT LEYTE CONSIST OF MANY SMALL OF ENGAGEMENT..THE BATTLE OF LEYTE GULF IS A VERY COMPLEX NAVAL BATTLE BECAUSE OF THE TACTICS APPLIED BY THE AMERICANS AND JAPANESE COMMANDERS. IT IS A CONTINOUS NAVAL BATTLE FOUGHT FROM OCTOBER 23-26, 1944. INVOLVING AMERICANS 3RD AND 7TH FLEET AND THE JAPANESE NORTHERN, CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN FORCE. I ALSO DISAGREE THAT JUTLAND HAD A GREATER TONNAGE OF SHIPS. AMERICAN FORCES HAD 8 FLEET CARRIERS, 8 LIGHT CARRIERS, 16 ESCORT CARRIERS, 12 BATTLESHIPS, 24 CRUISERS, 141 DESTROYERS AND 1,500 PLANES. JAPANESE FORCES 1 FLEER CARRIER, 3 LIGHT CRUISERS, 9 BATTLESHIPS, 14 HEAVY CRUISERS 35 DESTROYERS AND 300 PLANES.
AMERICAN LOSSES: 1 LIGHT CARRIER, 2 ESCORT CARRIERS, 2 DESTROYERS, 1 DESTROYER ESCORT, 200 PLANES AND 2,800 DEAD
JAPANESE LOSSES: 1 FLEET CARRIER, 3 LIGHT CRUISERS, 3 BATTLESHIPS,1O CRUISERS, 11 DESTROYERS, 500 PLANES AND 10,500 DEAD
BATTLE OF LEYTE GULF HAVE THE SHIP TO SHIP ENGAGEMENT OF CAPITAL SHIPS, SHIPS AGAINST AIRCRAFT AND AIRCRAFT AGAINSTS AIRCRAFT..HOW CAN IT BE A SMALL ENGAGEMENT?
Determining the difference between what is a battle and what is a campaign is all about where you draw the line.
Leyte Gulf consisted of 3 seperate engagements; Suriagao Strait, Cape Engano and Sibuyan Sea. Each of these was under direct command of different Admirals but the whole operation was under a single administration command, to me this means it is a campaign not a single battle. If you can call Leyte Gulf a battle then you can call the Battle of the Atlantic a single battle (many individual commands, one overall administration command).
Veni, vidi, verrimus!
I came, I saw, I swept the floor!

User avatar
neil hilton
Senior Member
Posts: 334
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:31 pm

Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Post by neil hilton » Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:52 pm

lwd wrote:Isn't it?
Didn't the previous engagements set up the fireship attack? Conversely if they had enough comunications to go the long way around to return home then why couldn't they have reformed and tried the invasion?
Almost anytime someone picks a point and says "here is where it began" they are being at least to some extent arbitrary.
The Spanish Armada failed because the naval element (Sidonas ships) couldn't co-ordinate with the land element (Parmas army) to pick them up. The whole plan thought up by Phillip was flawed. The Armada tried to contact Parmas army while enroute but the messenger (on horseback) only got to Parma the day before the Armada did. The Armada was forced to drop anchor at sea off the coast of Holland and wait thus setting themselves up for the fireship attack. Tactically speaking where the problem really started was when the Armada failed to sieze the opprtunity to anchor in the only safe place in the English Channel big enough for them the Solent, Sidona wasn't a seaman and didn't listen to the advice of his 2nd in command who was (can't remember his name). If they had anchored in the Solent they would have had the English fleet bottled up. But thanks to some heroic rowing (towing race built galleons with rowboats tens of miles in the open sea!) the English fleet managed to get the weather gauge on the Spanish.
Veni, vidi, verrimus!
I came, I saw, I swept the floor!

User avatar
neil hilton
Senior Member
Posts: 334
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:31 pm

Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Post by neil hilton » Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:56 pm

RF wrote:I think with this there is an element of necessity - carriers were the only means of striking at the target, especially when the target frequently stayed in harbour as the Italians did. With Bismarck, the Swordfish were the only possible means of slowing Bismarck down immediately after Hood was sunk. Their success on hitting the rudder really was a fluke.
I saw a program on tv which had interviews with some of the swordfish pilots in the Bismarck strike. They basically said they knew their 12" airborne torps had little chance against Bismarcks side armour so they deliberatly targeted the stern beyond where the belt armour stopped. Makes sense.
Veni, vidi, verrimus!
I came, I saw, I swept the floor!

User avatar
RF
Senior Member
Posts: 7593
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:15 pm
Location: Wolverhampton, ENGLAND

Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Post by RF » Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:42 am

I wonder if that was in the aircrew briefings before the attacks, or whether that comment was made purely from hindsight. There is no record by any of the writers of Bismarck history stating the pilots were ordered to target the stern section.

Its difficult enough trying to hit the target in the face of the flak and the ship twisting and turning. Of the three hits on Bismarck by the Swordfish two were midships against the main armour belt. Targetting the stern makes it easier for the target to comb the torpedo tracks, aiming for midships at least improves the chance of getting a hit albeit the damage may not be great. The objective was to slow Bismarck down, nothing more.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

User avatar
RF
Senior Member
Posts: 7593
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:15 pm
Location: Wolverhampton, ENGLAND

Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Post by RF » Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:49 am

neil hilton wrote: If they had anchored in the Solent they would have had the English fleet bottled up. But thanks to some heroic rowing (towing race built galleons with rowboats tens of miles in the open sea!) the English fleet managed to get the weather gauge on the Spanish.
Anchoring in the Solent, right outside the English naval bases makes the Spanish ships sitting ducks for ambush, fireships and anything else the English throw at them.

No, what the Spanish should have done is what they did on a much smaller scale in 1595 - a landing in Cornwall. From there they could have seized Falmouth and Plymouth, had they a few thousand troops to land.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

User avatar
neil hilton
Senior Member
Posts: 334
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:31 pm

Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Post by neil hilton » Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:21 pm

RF wrote:
neil hilton wrote: If they had anchored in the Solent they would have had the English fleet bottled up. But thanks to some heroic rowing (towing race built galleons with rowboats tens of miles in the open sea!) the English fleet managed to get the weather gauge on the Spanish.
Anchoring in the Solent, right outside the English naval bases makes the Spanish ships sitting ducks for ambush, fireships and anything else the English throw at them.

No, what the Spanish should have done is what they did on a much smaller scale in 1595 - a landing in Cornwall. From there they could have seized Falmouth and Plymouth, had they a few thousand troops to land.
I agree. With the proviso that it depends on where in the Solent they anchor, if they had anchored upwind of the port ie the western side (preveiling wind being westerly) then the English would have to tow their ships around behind the Spanish, which would mean going around the Isle of Wight. Historically this is why the English put so much effort into towing their ships out to sea to the west in order to get upwind.
I think the Spanish thought their crescent formation made them invulneable, even at anchor.
Veni, vidi, verrimus!
I came, I saw, I swept the floor!

lwd
Senior Member
Posts: 3810
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 2:15 am
Location: Southfield, USA

Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Post by lwd » Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:04 pm

neil hilton wrote: ...
Leyte Gulf consisted of 3 seperate engagements; Suriagao Strait, Cape Engano and Sibuyan Sea. Each of these was under direct command of different Admirals but the whole operation was under a single administration command, to me this means it is a campaign not a single battle. If you can call Leyte Gulf a battle then you can call the Battle of the Atlantic a single battle (many individual commands, one overall administration command).
I think the latter is going a bit far. The Leyte Gulf battle or battles took place over a fairly short period of time and was the result of one operation. Indeed it would seem to me that a stronger case for it being considered a single battle could be made than for considering the defeat of the Spanish Armada a single battle. You are correct however in it's a matter of where you draw the line. Indeed even the number of engagements in this battle/campaign would depend on just what critieria you choose.

Bgile
Senior Member
Posts: 3658
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 7:33 pm
Location: Portland, OR, USA

Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Post by Bgile » Wed Mar 02, 2011 3:57 pm

Leyte Gulf was certainly planned by the Japanese as a single coordinated operation. I suppose you could argue that Midway wasn't a single battle, and claim that each of several separate air attacks by the USN and the IJN were each a separate battle.

User avatar
neil hilton
Senior Member
Posts: 334
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:31 pm

Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Post by neil hilton » Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:34 pm

I think using whether a campaign or battle defination based on whether it was planned as a single operation is too vague, as is time period. Campaigns and battles can both be planned as a single operation simply because the outcome is usually expected to be decisive and therefore further planning is irrelevent. On the other side both campaigns and battles are often planned to have multiple operational phases for contingency purposes. I think using specific chain of command structure and administration is a more clear cut method of determining the difference.
It all becomes confusing and you end up with endless on-line contention :? :wink: :lol: Which is good because I like a really good argument.
Veni, vidi, verrimus!
I came, I saw, I swept the floor!

Post Reply