The Greatest Naval Battle in History

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Expand view Topic review: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Post by VoidSamukai » Mon Apr 18, 2016 3:29 am

Not only that, but the battle of Tsushima meant the end of the Russo-Japanese war. It was one of the few naval battles where the looser was forced to surrender in the short time after. Jutland was inconclusive and German could've still strangle the British if they had played their cards right, while Midway the Japanese still could fight back in a way and the war would end 3 years after.

Even Leyte, the Japanese could still fight on, although at this stage, Japanese defeat was unavoidable. It was just a matter of when and how.

Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Post by aurora » Fri Dec 12, 2014 4:31 pm

I am inclined to agree Gary :ok:
The Battle of Tsushima Strait was one of the most decisive naval battles in history. In July of 1904 Admiral Rozhdestvenski set sail with the Russian Baltic fleet to replace losses incurred by the Far East Fleet in the Pacific at the beginning of the Russo-Japanese War. After sailing around the Cape of Good Hope and across the Indian Ocean, the Russians were sighted by Admiral Togo's Japanese Combined Fleet on May 26, 1905, who then engaged the Russians the following day. Of the 45 ships in the Russian fleet, only two destroyers, a light cruiser, and six other smaller vessels survived the ensuing battle, while the Japanese only lost three torpedo boats. Japanese casualties were approximately 600 compared to the 6000 Russians killed or wounded.

Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Post by Garyt » Wed Dec 10, 2014 8:06 pm

Japan would have to be defeated in major battle somewhere. Wherever that battle happens it would be a major significant event.


Or it could have been defeated in a battle of attrition not requiring a "major" battle such as the Solomon's campaign. Lose a ship here and there, some planes here and there and you will be beat by the production capacity of the US, and the other thing that will cause Japan to lose is the inability to replace pilots at any decent rate.

The Marianas Turkey Shoot was lost in the Solomon's campaign. The Solomon's campaign chewed up Japan's airpower and pilots, leading the the horrid performance in the Marianas.

But just look at aircraft carrier production. Let's say Japan had a significant win at Midway, reversing the fortunes of that battle. Japan loses 1 carrier to the US losing all 3 of it's carriers. By Jan 1944 we have 5 Essex class carriers comissioned, 9 Independence class CVL's, Plus we probably bring over the Ranger and Saratoga.

Even the losses of the pilots was not as bad as one would think. Per Parshall and Tully, only 25% of the 4 Carriers aircrews perished at Midway. Heavy losses yes, but not really any heavier than at Coral Sea or Santa Cruz. I think Santa Cruz even caused more losses for the aircrews. Losing 40% of the mechanics and technicians was probably just as heavy of a blow given the fact that Japan in general was less industrialized and far less of their population had exposure to operation and repair of heavy machinery.

So the Pacific war was an eventuality, making Midway while important not a huge issue in the overall scheme of things. A Japanese victory would have only delayed things maybe 6 months to a year.

On the contrary it had a major impact on the result of the First World War. The British blockade on Germany was confirmed and reinforced, with the resulting food and strategic raw material shortages that pushed Germany into defeat and near revolution. Also the High Seas Fleet confirmed that strategically it was now unable to adequately challenge British supremacy in its own back yard and win.


My thought here - before Jutland, Germany was embargoed and their fleet was largely holed up other than some minor actions. After an indecisive battle, GErmany was embargoed and their fleet holed up. It really did not change anything. Nor did it result in any major changes as to how it was thought naval wars would be fought. Perhaps some better Fire Control resulted, or more precisely better implementation of existing fire control technology, and a little more attention paid to damage control for things such as magazine flash fires, but that's really about it. I'd say Tsushima from this time period was more important, curtailed Russian Naval Power and set up Japan as a player for power in the World's Navies.

Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Post by aurora » Wed Dec 10, 2014 11:22 am

The Battle of Leyte Gulf, formerly known as the Second Battle of the Philippine Sea, is generally considered to be the largest naval battle of World War II and, by some criteria, possibly the largest naval battle in history, excluding the Battle of Red Cliffs in 208 BC which was the largest in terms of numbers.

It was fought in waters near the Philippine islands of Leyte, Samar and Luzon from 23–26 October 1944, between combined American and Australian forces and the Imperial Japanese Navy. On 20 October, United States troops invaded the island of Leyte as part of a strategy aimed at isolating Japan from the countries it had occupied in Southeast Asia, and in particular depriving its forces and industry of vital oil supplies.

The Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) mobilized nearly all of its remaining major naval vessels in an attempt to defeat the Allied invasion, but was repulsed by the US Navy's 3rd and 7th Fleets. The IJN failed to achieve its objective, suffered very heavy losses, and never sailed to battle in comparable force thereafter. The majority of its surviving heavy ships, deprived of fuel, remained in their bases for the rest of the Pacific War.

The battle consisted of four separate engagements between the opposing forces: the Battle of the Sibuyan Sea, the Battle of Surigao Strait, the Battle of Cape Engaño and the Battle of Samar, as well as other actions.

It was the first battle in which Japanese aircraft carried out organized kamikaze attacks. By the time of the battle, Japan had fewer aircraft than the Allied forces had sea vessels, demonstrating the difference in power of the two sides at this point of the war.

Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Post by RF » Wed Dec 10, 2014 9:17 am

Garyt wrote:Midway was not that significant either, as the war still would have ended the same even with a substantial Japanese victory. They just could not replace their pilots fast enough and would die of pilot attrition, plus they could not put out new ships anywhere as fast as the US did, and even if they did they did not have the fuel to support them.


Japan would have to be defeated in major battle somewhere. Wherever that battle happens it would be a major significant event.

Jutland was big, but really it was a draw and did not influence the war.

On the contrary it had a major impact on the result of the First World War. The British blockade on Germany was confirmed and reinforced, with the resulting food and strategic raw material shortages that pushed Germany into defeat and near revolution. Also the High Seas Fleet confirmed that strategically it was now unable to adequately challenge British supremacy in its own back yard and win.

Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Post by Garyt » Wed Dec 10, 2014 12:50 am

I don't see the interest in Leyte, other than it was a really really big battle, but the Japanese were pretty well doomed from the start. You have a surface fleet with no airpower going against perhaps the largest carrier fleet to hit the waves and it's pretty easy to figure out the winner, even before combat started. For number of ships and men it's probably pretty good, but the outcome was known before the battle.

Midway was not that significant either, as the war still would have ended the same even with a substantial Japanese victory. They just could not replace their pilots fast enough and would die of pilot attrition, plus they could not put out new ships anywhere as fast as the US did, and even if they did they did not have the fuel to support them.

Trafalgar - good choice, but I think the French were pretty well outclassed and the outcome was not a surprise.

Jutland was big, but really it was a draw and did not influence the war.

I'd have to go with Lepanto or Salamis, two battles where the outcome seemed to be in doubt, and both had major consequences.

Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Post by tameraire01 » Tue Aug 05, 2014 5:24 pm

Taranto showed the world that the battleship was dead and that aircraft carriers was going to be the driving force of the future.

Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Post by RF » Tue Jul 29, 2014 6:03 pm

Alberto Virtuani wrote:Jutland was bigger but indecisive (albeit it confirmed to Britain the supremacy at sea).

At Tsushima, Japan took over the role of Eastern Naval power from Russia and the consequence and dramatic outcome of the battle is still unsurpassed.

Bye, Alberto


Two comments here. I think that Jutland was the greatest naval battle in the European theatre, in terms of the ships and firepower deployed. Whether it wasn't that important because it was indecisive is an interesting point, however it could be argued that in one aspect the Battle of Jutland was decisive - namely in that the British seaborne blockade of Germany was and remained unbroken and helped doom Germany towards its eventual defeat, in the words of the New York Times, ''the German Fleet has assaulted its jailor but it is still in jail.'' It provides I think the illustration of the stupidity of the Schlieffen Plan that the Kaiser and his generals so arrogantly applied in 1914.

Secondly, with respect to Tsushima I would judge that it was the greatest naval battle in Asia before the advent of aviation. But whether it had a lasting impact in my view is doubtful, seen in the context of Japan's eventual defeat in WW2.

Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Sat Jul 26, 2014 8:53 am

My vote goes to Tsushima among the "recent" battles.
I exclude Leyte and Midway as they were not Naval battles but Aero-Naval battles, therefore a completely different matter. In addition Leyte happened when the balance of the war was already moving to the US side.
Jutland was bigger but indecisive (albeit it confirmed to Britain the supremacy at sea).

At Tsushima, Japan took over the role of Eastern Naval power from Russia and the consequence and dramatic outcome of the battle is still unsurpassed.

For the old ages, I would not forget in chronologic order 1) Milazzo (Mylae, 260BC) when Caio Duilio gave to the Roman Republic the supremacy at sea in the Mediterranean that lasted until the end of the Empire, 2)Lepanto (for the overall importance in stopping the expansion of the Ottoman Empire and 3) Trafalgar that "de facto" decided the domain of the seas during the Napoleonic wars.

Bye, Alberto

Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Post by jesse espinosa » Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:47 pm

after okinawa it seems the japanese are already a defeated nation..however the invasion of japan will not be like the invasion of germany..it would be nasty..the experience in saipan, iwo jima and okinawa its enough the americans and its allies to think twice. whatever the issue to use the atomic bombs, with the fanatical stand of the japanese to protect their emperor, the 2 bombs saved a million of lives and ending the war earlier as expected.

Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Post by neil hilton » Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:20 pm

But with a US invasion fleet coming over the horizon all those planes, even with the forces deficiencies, would have gone kamikaze on them by the hundreds. Not a pretty sight.

Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Post by Byron Angel » Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:32 pm

RF wrote:The first US bombing raid by Doolittle was launched from carriers in April 1942 and was successful in its aims, including achieving surprise.

Japanese aircraft in the four home islands were completely ineffective against the USAF; lack of fuel, lack of trained pilots with combat experience, lack of radar quite apart from the US tactics.
The US could and did bomb Japan from bases in China.



I agree that Japanese home air defense was found wanting in the case of the USAF strategic bombing campaign; it proved IMO an annoyance more than an effective deterrent. The most problematical component of the campaign for the US seems to have been the great over-water ranges at which the bombers were initially forced to operate. I'm not sure I would say that the Japanese air defense was totally ineffective, however. It did "encourage" the USAF B29s to operate at very high altitudes in daylight (although that decision may have also been influenced by the USAF's own preliminary theories about the abilities of its new B29s to conduct precision bombing at such altitudes); when LeMay decided to commit to low altitude attacks to improve bombing accuracy, he did opt to do so at night.

B

Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Post by RF » Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:22 am

The first US bombing raid by Doolittle was launched from carriers in April 1942 and was successful in its aims, including achieving surprise.

Japanese aircraft in the four home islands were completely ineffective against the USAF; lack of fuel, lack of trained pilots with combat experience, lack of radar quite apart from the US tactics.
The US could and did bomb Japan from bases in China.

Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Post by neil hilton » Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:32 pm

This would be very dangerous for the US fleet as the Japanese expected it and maintained a huge airforce on the home islands. This was why the US initially decided on high altitude bombing with B29s up in the jet stream so the Japanese aircraft couldn't get at them.

Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Post by RF » Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:40 pm

Of course also the US could go direct for Japan without the ''island hopping'' apart from the three Mariana islands plus Iwo Jima. They had plenty of carriers, some of them on Atlantic and Mediterranean duty.

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