Ideal Rheinubung

Historical what if discussions, hypothetical operations, battleship vs. battleship engagements, design your own warship, etc.
Bgile
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Post by Bgile » Tue Apr 01, 2008 5:40 pm

Ramius wrote:Then make the Bismarck head for the U-Boats :wink:
This seems simple, but really isn't. How are you going to do this when you don't know where the U-boats are? I guess you can order all U-boats to surface and report their postion and then stay where they are, and just hope the British don't DF them and go sink them. Then you send a long message to Bismarck telling her where all the U-boats are. Then you assume U-boat navigation is so precise that their reported location is really exactly where they are and so is Bismarck's, so Bismarck can lead her followers to that spot. Then you have to hope they don't torpedo Bismarck by mistake.

Alternately you can order the u-boats to set up a picket line and lead them through it. But you have to just hope they are fast enough to get there in time and their navigation is precise enough to actually make a real line of several u-boats.

Then you have to hope the u-boat can target and hit a high speed warship that is zig zagging to make u-boat attack difficult.

It's possible, but harder than it at first seems.

lwd
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Post by lwd » Tue Apr 01, 2008 7:25 pm

Bgile wrote: ...
Didn't a major British warship pass within easy torpedo range of a U-boat during the Bismarck chase and was saved by the fact that the U-boat had no torpedoes left?
If I recall correctly the Uboat came to periscope depth at a postion where he had a good shot at an RN CV and BB or BC. Still not a certain kill by any means. But close enough that he had a reasonable chance of getting one or more hits.
...Certainly all 4 of the ones I listed were, but there were a number of others.
Only one of them is Japanese. While she wasn't damaged she was also incomplete and didn't have a full crew on board. I'll look it up and see what I can find.
... I guess what you are saying is some warships trying to limp home were sunk by submarines.
The US subs tended to patrol fairly close to Japanese ports or standard routes. Code breaking helped also. So a lot of the Japanese warships sunk by US subs were cripples headed home. Like I said will look it up.
Incidentally, escorts going at high speed can't use their sonar effectively. They have to rely on spotting periscope or torpedo tracks.
Air cover can often spot the sub even if it's submerged. Not sure of what the RN policy on ASW patrols was however.

Bgile
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Post by Bgile » Tue Apr 01, 2008 7:42 pm

lwd wrote: Only one of them is Japanese. While she wasn't damaged she was also incomplete and didn't have a full crew on board. I'll look it up and see what I can find.
But one of the points you were trying to make was that US subs could sink japanese warships but not the other way around because US asw was better. So I gave you an example which included 3 ships sunk entirely by japanese submarines, and you say "but those were us ships".

Exactly my point.

I have a book about the sinking of Shinano. While it's true that she was not fully worked up, IIRC a us study after the war concluded that a Yamato class BB would most likely sink if hit by 4 US submarine torpedoes on the same side of the ship. It probably wouldn't sink as fast as Shinano, but few battleships would survive that kind of attack.

Ramius
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Post by Ramius » Tue Apr 01, 2008 11:07 pm

:think: I think most modern (and fully operational) battleships's could have taken four torpedoes, without sinking that is. Shinano was brand new and had not been tested for compartment watertightness, althought in a show of size she lost power three hours after the torpedoes hit and finally sank another five hours after that, which I find very impressive for a ship in her condition.

Bgile
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Post by Bgile » Wed Apr 02, 2008 6:09 am

Ramius wrote::think: I think most modern (and fully operational) battleships's could have taken four torpedoes, without sinking that is. Shinano was brand new and had not been tested for compartment watertightness, althought in a show of size she lost power three hours after the torpedoes hit and finally sank another five hours after that, which I find very impressive for a ship in her condition.
How many can you come up with that did survive? Remember, it has to be all four on the same side with none on the other side to balance the flooding. 5 hits are better for the target ship than four if two are on one side and 3 on the other.

I just finished reading about Haruna, sunk by two US submarine torpedoes on the same side. Malaya, sunk in a very short time by 4 torpedoes. Wasp, hit by 3 torpedoes on the same side. Sunk. PoW, hit by one torpedo which put all but two 5.25" mounts out of action, put 5 of 8 dynamos out of action, and made the ship uncontrollable. She was later hit by 4 torpedoes on the opposite side of the ship, but eventually rolled over to the port side, where the first torpedo all but insured her destruction.

lwd
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Post by lwd » Wed Apr 02, 2008 1:52 pm

Bgile wrote:...
But one of the points you were trying to make was that US subs could sink japanese warships but not the other way around because US asw was better.
No. I never made that claim. What I did claim was that it was not particularly easy for subs to sink warships at full speed. The qualit of US or British ASW would just make it more difficult for the Japanese compared to their opponents. As for the Japanese sinking allied ships it should come as no surprise that they sank a few especially considering that warships were the primary target of Japanese subs.
[/quote] So I gave you an example which included 3 ships sunk entirely by japanese submarines, and you say "but those were us ships".
[/quote]
No I didn't. For one thing I believe at least one of them wasn't a US ship..
I have a book about the sinking of Shinano. While it's true that she was not fully worked up, IIRC a us study after the war concluded that a Yamato class BB would most likely sink if hit by 4 US submarine torpedoes on the same side of the ship. It probably wouldn't sink as fast as Shinano, but few battleships would survive that kind of attack.
From what I've read Shianano would have had a good chance of making port if she had been completed with a trained crew on board. Certainly 4 torpedo hits especially by late war torpedos are going to be a challenge for any ship but it took quite a while for Shinano to sink and again from what I've read her damage control efforts were not all that impressive.

lwd
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Post by lwd » Wed Apr 02, 2008 1:55 pm

Bgile wrote: ... So I gave you an example which included 3 ships sunk entirely by japanese submarines, and you say "but those were us ships"....
Oh yes a minor correction. Wasp wasn't sunk "entirely" by a Japanese sub.

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Post by lwd » Wed Apr 02, 2008 1:58 pm

Bgile wrote:...
How many can you come up with that did survive? ....
How many were hit with 4 on one side total? Using cases like this proves nothing because the sample size is so small. Especially considering that in any particular case random events can be so dominant. As an extreme example Mutsu was hit by 0 torpedos and sank.

lwd
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Post by lwd » Wed Apr 02, 2008 2:07 pm

Ok I'm curious about this one
Bgile wrote: ... Malaya, sunk in a very short time by 4 torpedoes. ....
From what I can find Malaya was only hit by one torpedo and didn't sink. In fact the info I have is that she was scrapped after the war.

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Post by Bgile » Wed Apr 02, 2008 2:47 pm

lwd wrote:
Bgile wrote:...
How many can you come up with that did survive? ....
How many were hit with 4 on one side total? Using cases like this proves nothing because the sample size is so small. Especially considering that in any particular case random events can be so dominant. As an extreme example Mutsu was hit by 0 torpedos and sank.
What is your sample size of ships which survived 4 hits? How about 3 hits?

I don't see what bearing Mutsu has on ships being sunk by submarines at all. I am giving you examples of ships that were and you come up with that? How large a sample do you want?

Wasp was sunk by torpedoes. There was no other damage mentioned in her report, and she was not otherwise in combat.

lwd
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Post by lwd » Wed Apr 02, 2008 4:46 pm

Bgile wrote:...
What is your sample size of ships which survived 4 hits? How about 3 hits?
Exactly. The sample size of modern BBs hit with torpedos at all is very small. As a general rule if you argoing to make any conclusions regarding statitics you need a sample size of at least 12.
I don't see what bearing Mutsu has on ships being sunk by submarines at all. I am giving you examples of ships that were and you come up with that?
I was trying to make the point that random events (luck if you will) can have a tremendous effect on the things we are discussing. Mutsu is an extreme case of this. For a less extreme case take Barham. Hit by three torpedos on the same side but two didn't make any difference at all. What mattered was the one that detonated her magazine (same thing that sunk Mutsu).
Wasp was sunk by torpedoes. There was no other damage mentioned in her report, and she was not otherwise in combat.
Wasp was scuttled. While she was hit by 3 torpedos from the Japanese sub she also recieved 3 from a US DD, at least according to:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Wasp_%28CV-7%29#Loss

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Post by lwd » Wed Apr 02, 2008 4:52 pm

Stepping back a bit it looks like there has been a bit of misunderstanding going on here on the part of at least two of us. My point earlier was that deploying submarines in the open ocean to take on warships is probably not the optimum use of such assets. While some success might are possible they are neither likely or as potentially productive as other uses.

If one looks at warships and in particular major warships sunk by submarines the percentage that occurs in open water while undamaged is pretty low. Didn't the Germans try something like this at Jutland which was pretty much a total failure. And then there is the example of the USS England rolling up a whole picket line of subs by herself (well she had help from the intel types).

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Post by Bgile » Wed Apr 02, 2008 7:40 pm

lwd wrote:Stepping back a bit it looks like there has been a bit of misunderstanding going on here on the part of at least two of us. My point earlier was that deploying submarines in the open ocean to take on warships is probably not the optimum use of such assets. While some success might are possible they are neither likely or as potentially productive as other uses.

If one looks at warships and in particular major warships sunk by submarines the percentage that occurs in open water while undamaged is pretty low. Didn't the Germans try something like this at Jutland which was pretty much a total failure. And then there is the example of the USS England rolling up a whole picket line of subs by herself (well she had help from the intel types).
I don't have a problem with the above at all. In fact, if you look at my posts you will see that I said much the same thing.

My problem was with your statement that most modern battleships could survive 4 modern torpedo hits on the same side of the ship.

I have been asking where you got this belief and for you to show examples to substantiate it.

Your Wasp example was amusing, where you say that because after she was abandoned by her crew and she was finised off by a destroyer, that means that the Japanese didn't sink her. Perhaps I should have been more specific? Like "4 torpedoes hits on the same side of a modern battleship would result in her being eventually abandoned by her crew and the ship becoming a total loss to the owning nation"? I mistakenly believed I wouldn't have to become that specific.

Are you a lawyer by any chance?

Ramius
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Post by Ramius » Wed Apr 02, 2008 11:57 pm

So, what is your all's opinion after our debating about what Ideal Rhine would be? Lets say we start tampering at the Battle of Denmark Strait, Hood has just been blown out of the water, and Tirpiz and Hipper are inserted wherever you decide.

lwd
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Post by lwd » Thu Apr 03, 2008 3:45 am

Bgile wrote: I don't have a problem with the above at all. In fact, if you look at my posts you will see that I said much the same thing.

My problem was with your statement that most modern battleships could survive 4 modern torpedo hits on the same side of the ship.

I have been asking where you got this belief and for you to show examples to substantiate it.
Actually I didn't say that. That's why I was making no real attempt to prove it. I'm just not sure the reverse is true ie that a modern BB that takes 4 torps on the same side will sink.

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