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NAME SOMETHING THE RN DID BETTER THAN THE USN

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by Ebar, Sep 15, 2006.

  1. Ebar

    Ebar New Member

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    NOTE: This topic should be taken purely in the spirit of good humour.

    Reading across this and other discussion groups you would often get the impression that everything the RN did was second rate compared to the USN. :cry: Is there anything that the RN did better?*






    *With the obvious exception of holystoning the deck which I'm sure we were whoopass at. :wink:
     
  2. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf New Member

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    :)

    - Anti-submarine warfare (vital Atlantic lifeline).

    - Sinking German ships.

    - Sinking Italian ships.

    - Forcing the German surface fleet to keep their heads down and thus become largely ineffectual.

    - Forcing the Italian fleet to keep their heads down and thus become completely ineffectual - they were too far away from the action to be even an effective fleet in being.

    - Putting a strangle hold on seaborne freight to Axis Europe and North Africa.

    - Obtaining vital Enigma code info (U-571 my ar@% :roll: ).

    - Sinking the Vichy French fleet to stop it getting into Nazi hands.

    - Protecting supply routes in the non-Pacific theatre.

    - fighting the Axis between 1939 and 1942 :p

    - Keeping a stiff upper lip.

    :D

    PS. The Yanks were clearly dominant in the Pacific.
     
  3. Castelot

    Castelot New Member

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    Actually I am not so sure on that.
    It could well be that the USN sank more french ships during Operation Torch than the RN did in 1940.

    The RN did not sink any french "fleet", they sank several (3-4, only 1 major one) ships in Mers El Kebir and 1 in Dakar I think.(Last time they sank a french fleet is 201 years ago....)

    And actually there never was any serious risk of the french fleet falling into axis hands....but of course the british could not be absolutely sure of that in 1940.
     
  4. Blaster

    Blaster New Member

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    USN! USN! USN!
     
  5. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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    "Actually I am not so sure on that."
    Right. British attacks actually caused MORE French ships to fall into Axis hands.
     
  6. majorwoody10

    majorwoody10 New Member

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    "rum ,buggary and the lash is all one need know of the royal navy"...winston churchill ....a former army man ,it should be noted....
     
  7. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf New Member

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    Hey guys - I didn't say it worked I just said that's why the Brits didi it !

    Let's get back on topic.
     
  8. Ossian phpbb3

    Ossian phpbb3 New Member

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    Do you have a list and references? I was under the impression that the French Navy actually kept their word that no warships would fight for the Germans or Italians. I know ships were captured at Toulon in November 1942 (when the Germans occupied Vichy France) but from what I have read, almost none were in seaworthy, let alone combat ready condition. For example: http://www.bobhenneman.info/bhst.htm

    I would assume the merchant marine was different, although again it would be interesting to find numbers / tonnage that went over to the Axis vs those joining the Free French


    Majorwoody, it actually wasnt Churchill who said "Don't talk to me about naval tradition. It's nothing but rum, sodomy and the lash", although he always wished he had(http://www.winstonchurchill.org/i4a/pag ... pageid=112) I always feel WSC half regretted joining the Army (then again, would the RN have ever let him join?)

    On the original topic, add:
    Capturing French Warships
    Capturing Spanish Warships
    Capturing West Indies Islands (normally several times)
    Heroic exploits in exploration (and relief expeditions)
    Shooting Admirals "pour encourager les autres"
    Nelson
    Sinking their own flagships by accident (then again, look at Honda Point)

    More seriously, setting naval trends e.g:
    HMS Dreadnought (turbine driven all big gun BB)
    HMS Invincible (ditto BC -- please skip all references to Golden Twinkies)

    Carrier innovations:
    First CV conversions
    First dedicated CV
    Angled Flight Deck
    Steam Catapult
    Mirror Landing System
     
  9. Quillin

    Quillin New Member

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    I dont think that you can call the Italian Fleet a fleet in being. When the war broke out the Italian Fleet was the Fifth biggest Fleet and had a change to take on the French an British navy.

    The only disadvantage of the Italian fleet is that the cruisers were to lightly protected (in some cases you can just simply say that there's no armour :eek: ). Thus, most cruisers got sunk by one torpedo (where normal cruisers can substain 2 to 3 torpedo's, depending on the place of impact)

    Anyway, back to the RN. Attacking the French to prevent them from joining the nazi's but instead just p*ss them more off. I didn't saw the americans doing that
     
  10. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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  11. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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    "The only disadvantage of the Italian fleet is that the cruisers were to lightly protected"
    The best-armored heavy cruisers of WWII were Italian.
    It appears that, as the Italians began modern CL construction, that they recognized the futility or trying to properly armor the ship against AP ammo. In other fleets, the response was to concentrate armor around a small volume; this had a chance to defeat shells but did little to ensure buoyancy. The Italians selected armor schemes that would protect the vitals from most non-AP hits while also including a large volume. That's why the statistics of Italian CL make them look so lightly armored. The later designs, excepting the Capitani class, were very well armored.
    Armor, of course, has nothing to do with torpedo protection. Italian ships weren't especially vulneralbe to torpedoes. Pretty much everybody (except the Americans) lost cruisers to single torpedo hits.
    If we want to cite a single disadvantage for the Italians, and we don't want it to have initials like BM, then the obvious choice is the fact that they had no fuel.
     
  12. Ossian phpbb3

    Ossian phpbb3 New Member

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    Thank you.
    Its interesting how two different sources give quite different information about ships taken over by the axis. Obviously different definitions of "operational"

    I think this has been discussed elsewhere, but the decision to attack the French fleet in 1940 was not made lightly and was, for the RN, a terrible thing to turn on people who had until days before been their allies. IIRC a number of choices were offered including joining the British or disarming in a neutral port or distant French colony. Only when all were rejected was the order to attack given. With the risk of a combined Franco-German-Italian fleet against the RN, it was the only decision that could have been made.
     
  13. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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    No, it certainly was not the only decision that could have been made.
     
  14. Ossian phpbb3

    Ossian phpbb3 New Member

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    So what others do you consider possible, given that a number of options had already been rejected. The actual text of the ultimatum was:
     
  15. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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    What would have happened if the British had not attacked? Hitler would have lost more sleep.
    The fact that the attack accomplished nothing militarily--in fact, it made things worse, militarily--is a strong indicator that it was not the only choice.
     
  16. Ossian phpbb3

    Ossian phpbb3 New Member

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    So you dont consider there is any risk that the Axis would have got control of the warships (either in summer 1940 or a few months later)? This could be by threatening the population of Metropolitan France (40 million potential hostages) or by a change of mind by the Vichy Government.

    Also, how was the military situation made worse? A major potential threat (the fleet in N Africa) was removed. Also the risk of a combined German-Italian-French fleet was removed

    Once again, I would be interested in what other choices you consider could have been made at the time and with the information available to HMG at the time

    How would a French fleet have affected Hitler's sleeping habits?
     
  17. Tony Williams

    Tony Williams Member

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    I've always understood that Cunningham secured the voluntary demilitarisation of the French ships at the eastern end of the Med by careful personal diplomacy. Somerville just presented an ultimatum. The French are very sensitive to anything they see affecting their honour, so it may be that a more diplomatic approach at Oran might have succeeded.

    Tony Williams: Military gun and ammunition website and discussion forum
     
  18. Castelot

    Castelot New Member

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    Actually from the 3 alternatives offered to Admiral Gensoul(joining the RN, sailing to a british port, sailing to Martinique)none could possibly be accepted, because all three would have been a break of the armistice signed with Germany and Italy a week before.

    Any such break would have led Germany and Italy to see the armistice as unbinding.

    The only options available to Admiral Gensoul was to either scuttle his ships or to fight the RN.


    As it has already been mentionned the french fleet in Alexandria accepted disarmement, but the situation was very different tough.
    They already were in a british harbour, lying alongside british ships....
     
  19. Quillin

    Quillin New Member

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    That would be the Zara-class. Yep, those or good protected but their light cruisers had little armor. The Italians sacrificed armor for speed. Their idea was, since the huge coastline that had to be protected, that cruisers should be very fast in order to relacated them fast enough from one place to another to fight of an enemy.
     
  20. JCalhoun

    JCalhoun New Member

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    If we can talk post-war, one thing the RN did was develop the angled flight deck on carriers. This was a simple yet brilliant design that had landing aircraft on a strip pointing away from the flight line.
     

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