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Cruiser comparison

Discussion in 'Ships & Shipborne Weaponry' started by USMCPrice, Apr 3, 2010.

  1. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large Patron  

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    Gromit801,
    You're correct the Japanese didn't have this device at Savo or Java. Mikebatzel, in the article he wrote and linked to, specifically states.
    Hope this clarifies.
     
  2. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    The Japanese did have a number of radar detection devices during the war. But, these were not available before late 1943 and even then and thereafter never available in large numbers. Most of these were crude early warning sets that gave little useful information beyond the presence of an enemy radar. Some were directional enough to be useful for general homing or direction finding.
    None of them were something that would have be tactically useful in the sense of giving the Japanese information that could be translated into targetting information or even just knowledge about the possible composition of an enemy force.
    I'll see if I can post up a bit on what they had at some point.
     
  3. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    The two commonly available ESM sets the Japanese put on most of their larger warships for radar detection were the 3 Kai Dentan metric set that could detect radar emmissions from .75 to 4 meters in wavelength and had about a 175 mile range in optimal conditions. It used a pair of switchable (for 360 degree coverage) directional loop antennas of the Metox type. These were covered by small 'can' radomes and typically mounted on each side of the bridge structure towards the top. This set is sometimes refered to by the manufacturer designation E-27.
    The other set was the 4 Gata with 49 Go parabolic antenna. This set covered the range from 3 to 75 centimeters.
    In addition, ships would have a 93 Shiki radio direction finder set with goniometer loop type antenna for general RDF.

    Both radar ESM sets first started to become available in January 1944. By mid year most ships of destroyer size or larger had one or both sets fitted. Two operators would man the equipment when both were fitted and the equipment was normally placed in the same compartment as the radar scopes were.
    Manning at sea was normally continious as was monitoring.

    These sets gave a Japanese warship a warning to the presence of enemy radars and covered most of the Allied operating frequencies. But, they only gave a very general indication of range and bearing. Additionally, I suspect that it would have been very difficult for a Japanese operator to single out a particular radar and track it where there were numerous signals being received.
     
  4. mikebatzel

    mikebatzel Dreadnaught

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    If you read the essay you will see I cited my sources, but here are the ones that mention this specifically

    History of United States Naval Operations in World War II. Vol. 6: Breaking the Bismark Barrier by Samuel Eliot Morison, Pg 183

    The Two-Ocean War: A Short History of the United States Navy in the Second World War by Samuel Eliot Morison, Pg 278

    America’s Fighting Admirals: Winning the War at Sea in World War II by William Tuohy, pg 167

    Battle of Kolombangara, July 13, 1943, by Vincent P. O'Hara
     
  5. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper

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    Best..thread...ever. Well done guys.
     
  6. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large Patron  

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    Thanks for moving this thread over T.A. I had forgotten about it. I really enjoyed this particular discussion.
     
  7. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    IMO the most spectacular damage any cruiser survived was the small Dido class HMS Argonaut that lost both her stern ad part of her bow to a submarine but still made it back. IMO chance had a lot more to do with ship survival than design choices.

    As long as the watertight bulkheads held loosing an "extremity", to a torpedo was not usually fatal, plenty of cruisers from all combattants survived that sort of damage, fires and engine flooding that deprives the ship of it's power are a lot more likely to be fatal. IIRC USS Pittsburg lost her bow to a different kind of "enemy" (a typhoon), after the training accidents of the thirties the IJN warships were all strengthened and would probably have fared better.
     
  8. Chi-Ri

    Chi-Ri Member

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    Yes, really. WW2 showed us both unlucky ships (like HMS Ark Royal sunk by the single torpedo) and lucky ones (like HMS Argonaut you've mentioned - if she'd got those two torpedoes in central part of hull - boiler of machine halls, I think, she would have been lost).

    Regards,
     
  9. USS Washington

    USS Washington Active Member

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    Heavy cruiser Aobas survival in the Battle of Cape Esperance was impressive as well, true, it was helped by the fact that her sister-ship Furutaka came alongside to aid her and essentially put herself in the line of fire, but the fact that even after taking up to 40 6" and 8" shells that had wrecked the bridge(Mortally wounding Admiral Goto along with 80 other crewmen being killed), knocked out #2 and 3 turrets, and put 4 of the boilers offline, she was still able to limp back to Truk, no doubt this was due to the brave efforts of her crew. Anyones thoughts on this?
     
  10. Dave55

    Dave55 Member Patron  

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    I haven't see these great pictures before. So glad this thread got bumped.

    I couldn't make out the Halsey message on the sign in this one at first. I thought it was his quote about Japanese will only be spoken in hell but it reads:

    'Admiral Halsey says "Kill Japs, kill Japs, kill more Japs"! You will help kill the yellow bastards if you do your job well'.
     
  11. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    Credit was certainly due to Aoba's crew, but it was difficult to sink a large ship entirely by gunfire. Most lost cruisers in all navies succumbed to torpedos, at least in part. An ironic variation was several Japanese cruisers sunk or helped to sink by explosions of their own torpedos, including Furutaka at Cape Esperance. Aoba was fortunate that forty hits apparently did not impact her Long Lances.
     
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  12. USS Washington

    USS Washington Active Member

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    With regards to the Type 93; Given its volatility due to the usage of pure oxygen, which as you noted, may have contributed to the loss some Japanese ships including Furutaka, and the fact that torpedos fired at long range very rarely ever manage to hit anything(Though the sinking of USS Strong on the night of July 4th, 1943 was one of those impressive exceptions,(she was struck 11 miles away from the Japanese), it makes me question whether the efforts in giving the Long Lance its great range was worth it? Nonetheless it was a superb torpedo, with a powerful warhead, reliable detonator, and a high speed.
     
  13. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    Intriguing question. The extreme long range does not seem to have been very useful; for example in the daylight phase of the Java Sea battle Japanese cruisers and destroyers fired over one hundred for only one hit. This was basically the scenario the Long Lance was conceived for, mass salvos against an enemy battle line.

    On the other hand, in several of the Solomons battles our ships, mainly cruisers, were hit at what they thought was beyond torpedo range; Friedman notes of one occasion "Nonexistent submarines were blamed." We'd have to delve deep into the data to determine whether the extra boost of oxygen was really necessary. Just having 24" torpedos vice other navies' 21" gave some advantage; for example the Type 30 was good for 10,000 meters at 42 knots.
     
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  14. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    From a previous discussion the Type 93's had some problems early on. At tthe Java Sea as many as 1/3 or more may have prematurely detonated. Even afterwards sometimes wakes were enough to cause them to detonate. Remember however that they were designed to attrit the US Battle line prior to the "Decisive Battle" (and not a cruiser line). Here's one persons analysis of whether or not that was likely:
    http://www.navweaps.com/index_tech/tech-067.htm
     
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  15. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper

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    Tryin' to learn here... Thought the Lances' long range was due to similar fuel used in the German's fuel for the rocket fighters. Was it T stoff (peroxide)? Which made it dangerously explosive when the 2 chemicals reacted, providing propulsion.
    But it seems the Lance was powered only by Oxygen mixed with kerosene? ...pardon me, lost a lot of brain cells in the 80's.
     
  16. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    That's it, nothing exotic. The science behind oxygen torpedos was fairly basic, and several navies experimented with them in the interwar period, but most decided that the safety hazards outweighed the benefits. The only other WWII oxygen torpedos I can think of were the British 24.5" in the battleships Nelson and Rodney, but they were in an underwater torpedo room in the bow, safe from shells or bombs. Those are described as oxygen-enriched rather than pure oxygen.
     
  17. mac_bolan00

    mac_bolan00 Member

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    How was the Bartolomeo Colleoni pursued and sunk by a British cruiser when it was supposed to be the fastest in the world? 37 knots was the claimed top speed.
     
  18. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Actually, it was in excess of 40 knots on her trials. Still...

    When you conduct your "speed trials" without armament, ammunition, and other various supplies, with just enough fuel to complete the "speed trial", and push the engines well above their rated shaft horsepower(usually 15,000-20,000shp), and design your cruisers to carry a bare minimum of armor, you can turn in some astounding numbers. But the results of these trials are essentially meaningless, other than for the manufacturer to collect his bonus, as they have no basis on how the ship will perform under a wartime full load. Hence the great surprise when these "speedy" cruisers were run down and sunk by "supposedly" inferior ships.

    It was only after the first few cruiser classes were completed that the Italian navy decided to set some rules for speed trials, and, of course, did speeds drop to more realistic levels.

    Edit: Forgot to add that the ships had been in service for about a decade or so, so their propulsion plants were not exactly in top form, as such these cruisers turned in operational speeds of about 31-32 knots during WW2.
     
  19. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    An excellent illustration of how we need to consider the specific circumstances of an action in addition to simple speed. The Italian cruisers were pursuing British destroyers at high speed when Sydney arrived, also steaming to the rescue at top speed. Initially the cruisers were closing each other at around sixty knots, and although the Italians promptly turned away, they were within 6" gun range, and Sydney was able to score a crippling hit in BC's engineering spaces before she could pull out of range. Apparently the proximity of the island of Crete prevented the Italians from running directly away - it would be interesting to see a chart of the battle. The other Italian cruiser, Giovanni dalle Bande Nere, did manage to outrun the British.
     
  20. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    In regards to fastest it should also be noted that the Atlanta's were in that range as well: From:
    http://www.ussatlanta.com/specs.htm
    Other anecdotal evidence also points to her being able to reach high into the 30's and
     

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