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Cruiser comparison

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

  1. USS Washington

    USS Washington Active Member

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    If simply making the torps wider was enough to give them a boost in range, then (imho) it wasn't necessary, nor worthwhile to use more oxygen, especially when it results in several ships and their crews being lost to their own torpedoes if they took a direct hit in combat.
     
  2. USS Washington

    USS Washington Active Member

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    Yup, even the Type 93 wasn't immune to malfunctions.
     
  3. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    Valid point. We'd need to really dig into it, but it's possible that feature cost them more of their own ships than it made a difference hitting the enemy.
     
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  4. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    If you count the friendly ships sunk at extreme range as well as those lost to oxygen or torped fires it probably did cost them more than it benefited them in WWII. The problem of course is that they were designed for a particular task that never came to pass although arguably it was close at Surigao.
     
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  5. Gromit801

    Gromit801 Member

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    Recall what a single 5" round from the USS Whire Plains did to the Chokai. One hit in the torpedo launcher took the Chokai clean out of the Battle off Samar.
     
  6. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    With 20/20 hindsight putting torpedoes on ships designed to mostly fight it out with guns was probably a mistake, torpedoes are dangerous (one not very accredited theory on the loss of HMS Hood is that the explosion was from torpedo warheads and Lutzow was lost due to torpedo room flooding at Jutland, the very long range of the Type 93 would theoretically allow to fire them effectively before engaging in a protracted gunfight but I don't believe this was done except possibly at Java Sea (need to check if torpedoes were fired at Komandorski that was the other case of a long lasting day duel).
    The torpedo charge was central to Japanese tactical doctrine and the cruisers were intended to help getting the destroyers punch though the enemy screen, I believe that was the reason behind the very heavy torpedo armament.
     
  7. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    According to Morison, the Japanese fired 43 torpedos at the Kommandorskis, for no hits.
     
  8. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    This is very argumentative...As the Seydlitz was saved because of her forward torpedo room. It was the only "dry" part of her bow and this provided enough positive buoyancy that the bow did not go completely under.

    One man's cure is another man's poison.
     
  9. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    Possibly any the forward compartment would have had the same effect on the German BC at Jutland whatever it was used for though I believe in the case of Lutzow configuring is as a torpedo room made it more vulnerable, another critical element in her loss was that the pumps proved insufficent (as with Littorio's forward compartment at Taranto) and her continuing to steam at high speed desptite the bow damage didn't help either.
     
  10. USS Washington

    USS Washington Active Member

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    Why were the Omaha' not deployed in front line duties in most cases, aside from Richmond' participation in the battle of Komandorski Island?
     
  11. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    There are three major reasons the Omaha class weren't employed on front-line duties:

    1. Their AA systems were awful compared to other US cruisers. They had 3"/50 cal guns in local control giving them easily the least effective AA battery of any US cruiser.

    2. The main battery fire control was equally poor with the casemated 6" guns firing on what was essentially a WW 1 era "follow the pointer" system.

    3. They were very vulnerable to underwater damage compared to later US cruisers.

    The result was they were relegated to secondary theaters for convoy escort and protection against commerce raiding.
     
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  12. Markus Becker

    Markus Becker Member

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    They were obsolete and vulnerable:

    In 1942 in the Dutch East Indies USS Marblehead was hit by two 100 kg bombs. One aft right near the steering gear and one between bridge and forefunnel. Both caused major fires, the former disabled the steering for three hours. A third hit was a damaging near miss at the bow that caused much flooding. The combined effects of the three bombs and damage control efforts made her very dangerously instable.
     
  13. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    WWI era light cruisers were rarely used in front line roles by any navy other than the Japanese, who used them mainly as destroyer squadron flagships. The Omahas were also sometimes used in this role, but it appears to have been abandoned once the war was underway. At least one of them - Detroit IIRC - was flagship for an underway replenishment force supporting the fast carriers late in the war.

    Older cruisers were used as AA ships, particularly by the British, and there was a proposal to rearm the Omahas as such, with 5"/25s and quad 1.1" guns. Curiously, they planned to retain the twin 6" mounts fore and aft. Nothing came of it, probably because of the generally good AA armament of most of our ships, including dual purpose guns on most destroyers.
     
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  14. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    Omaha was basically a WW1 cruiser design even if they were built after the end of that war. If we look at similar "survivors" the Germans rearmed some old cruiser hulls as flak ships and relegated Emden to training roles, Japanese used theirs a destroyer leaders (but they were significantly smaller than USS Omaha). The Royal Navy mostly kept the C, D and E class cruisers out of the hot areas, except for the AA conversions, and the Regia Marina did the same with her two surviving war prize ships. I think the only other ship that roughly compares to an Omaha that did get into a major fight was the Dutch Java.
     
  15. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    The USN used light cruisers extensively on the front lines in WWII. Of course the Cleveland's and Brooklyn's were weighed in with a lot of heavy cruisers and when the Atlanta's got into a front line engagement it wasn't always planned.
     
  16. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    I believe that Carronade had clarified his statement


    Which would be correct.

    The US had the Omaha class mostly in the backwaters of the conflict & the British had modified their several of their C-,D-,E-, and Hawkins classes for AA escorts, and they spent most of their time on trade defense.
     
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  17. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    Updating old cruisers usually just wasn't worth the effort. A great example of this is HMS Delhi. This D Class WW 1 cruiser was rebuilt by the US for Britain in early 1941. Her original armament was 6 6" guns and a pair of 3" AA guns and 4 triple torpedo tubes. As rebuilt she received 5 single 5"/38 turrets and two Mk 37 directors. That in essence made her a slightly bigger and somewhat armored destroyer for all intents, except the gun turrets were less than optimally placed for fields of fire.

    Doing something similar to the Omaha class light cruisers would have resulted in a poor ship by comparison to new construction too.
     
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  18. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Missed that. Thanks.

    As a group the WWI era light cruisers still in service during WWII were kind of mixed lot though, in part because the class didn't really exist until after the post war naval treaties where the class was defined. As a group they were probably the most obsolescent bunch in any navy with the exception of a few training/historical ships.
     
  19. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    Modern light cruisers were widely used by all the major navies; I hope no one thinks I would suggest that only Japan employed them ;) Japan actually had the fewest among the major surface fleets, just four Agano class (also destroyer flagships) and Oyodo, due to their preference for 8" gun cruisers.
     
  20. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Just thinking about it and realized that there is probably more differences between WWI and WWII light cruisers than any other class of ship with the possible exception of aircraft carriers. Or am I off here as well?
     

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