Yamato and Musashi vs. Missouri and Iowa

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Karl Heidenreich
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Yamato and Musashi vs. Missouri and Iowa

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Tue Feb 07, 2006 5:48 pm

Two 18" superdreadnoughts against the two most modern ones!
Let´s have the combat at Okinawa, 1945. No aircraft intervention, just the ships. Al admirals sweating and betting. Clear skies, smooth ocean.

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Postby Coyote850 » Fri Feb 10, 2006 4:51 am

Well radar, rate of fire and speed all favor the US ships. However if they get withing range of those 18s and take a couple hits, it would not take long to even out the US advantage.

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Postby miro777 » Sat Feb 11, 2006 4:47 pm

hey

hmm that's a very interesting szenario

i think the Japanese would win, and that's becuase they just have the superior weapons.
it's even possible under good and lucky circumstances that one of the japanese could take on BOTH americans....


kk

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Die See ruft....

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Postby Coyote850 » Sat Feb 11, 2006 5:06 pm

Hello Miro. You must remember that the American ships have much better radar. This gives them a much better chance of hitting the Japanese when they get in range. And the Iowa class 16 inch guns had a better rate of fire. While the 16 inch shells may not do as much damage, chances are the Americans can hit the Japanese more times. And the Iowa class can go faster than the Yamatos, this gives them the chance to decide how and when to fight. In no way could one Yamato sink both Iowas , the Yamato would have to split its fire, (9 shots) while recieving 18 shots in return. And the Iowas would be more accurate.

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Postby Karl Heidenreich » Mon Feb 13, 2006 3:26 pm

But surely the Yamato (or Musashi) had a longer effective range with their 18"?
Somewhere I read that the Iowas´ 16" had a faster muzzle velocity and were more accurate. Is that correct?

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Postby Coyote850 » Mon Feb 13, 2006 5:00 pm

It is true that the 18s on the Yamatos had greater range. But greater range does not ensure getting the first hit. The Americans could close the range rapidly while taking evasive manuevers. It is my belief that the American radar guided accuracy, speed, and rate of fire would win the day. They would however take a beating.
I know I would not want to be aboard any of the 4 ships involved.........

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Postby Karl Heidenreich » Mon Feb 13, 2006 6:37 pm

Yeah, those mighty ships give a sense of security that it´s not so. They have the tendency to blow sky high. :x
If I have to choose I will be an infantry soldier anytime.
But, returning to the main topic: as far as we are concrened no great American BB was tested in a one against one classic surface combat. How do we know that the American Squadron would evade and close to such a monster as the Yamato?
But, on the other hand, what you are pointing makes a lot of sense: rate of fire and accuracy (radar guided) are big issues if not THE ISSUES. At Jutland these two factors (rate of fire and accuracy) took the British battlecruisers badly!
I do believe it´s a fair fight: Yamatos vs. Iowas: 50-50 chance with an explosive ending if the japanese hit first.
Isn´t true that the Americans were getting ready to fight Yamato at Okinawa with a 5 Battleship Task Group in case the aircraft failed to sink her?

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Agreed

Postby George Gerolimatos » Mon Feb 27, 2006 2:30 pm

Without the intervention of aircraft and with an even playing field, it would have been a tough fight. People often cit rate of fire as important. This only holds for shorter ranges: in order to spot fall of shot at longer ranges, guns, no matter how fast their nominal rates of fire, must fire at a steady clip and allow spotting. Given that shells more or less travel at the same speed for all ships at a given range, RoF would be equal.

Apparently, the Americans knew very little about the Y&M. I've read that they thought the ships were similar to Iowa in terms of main armament: 9 x 16" guns on a roughly equal displacement. In addition, the Americans planned to close the range in these ships with this fact in mind. Had they done so, the 18" monsters would have been a bad shock indeed. At longer ranges the American 16" shell had similar penetrating preformance as the Japanese 18", and the American FC was better. At shorter ranges, the 18" shell had no equal.
George G.

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Re: Agreed

Postby Coyote850 » Mon Feb 27, 2006 6:16 pm

Maybe I am not understanding what you are meaning George. You say RoF would be equal?? I am not sure of the exact numbers, but say the US ships can shoot 3 times per minute, and the Japanese shoot 2 times per minute. Rate of fire then is in the Americans advantage. If the Americans fire 3 broadsides per minute and the Japanese fire 2 broadsides per minute the American ships have 27 chances of hitting vs 18 for the Japanese. Distance does not matter.

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Distance does matter

Postby George Gerolimatos » Mon Feb 27, 2006 7:47 pm

Hello,
Perhaps I wasn't being clear enough. Yes, nominal RoF of American ships might be faster than Japanese. By "nominal" I mean that American ships can load and fire fast without concern for range or accuracy. However, gunnery dictates that for accurate shooting (meaning spotting fall of shot), there must be a time interval to allow the shells to fly to the target. Then, gunners will correct aim and fire again. At long ranges, shells take up to a minute to get there; hence, ships with even the fastest RoF must wait to allow the shells to fall around (or on) the target. Of course, at shorter ranges, flight time is much shorter. This is where RoF would matter. Once shots are spotted at closer ranges, American ships can pump out shells faster than their Japanese counterparts. At longer ranges, however, RoF is not very important.

I once thought that the raw numbers of RoF correlated with more shells in the air, as you do. However, I got a wargame and with some questions I learned that going by numbers by themselves don't account for the whole picture.

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Postby marcelo_malara » Mon Feb 27, 2006 8:01 pm

George is referring to the fact that at very long distances you have to wait for the shell time of flight, then spot the fall of the salvo, make corrections and shoot again. For example, the 18" gun of Yamato have a max range of 45000 yards, but the time of flight at that distance is 106 seconds. So the firing cycle of 45 seconds of Yamato need to be expanded to 2 minutes. Besides the max range of the 16" Mk VII is 42000 yards, not much less than Yamato´s 18". And the shell weight is 1225 against 1460 kg, not much different either.

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Postby Coyote850 » Mon Feb 27, 2006 11:58 pm

Ok I understand your point now. :wink:

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Re: Yamato and Musashi vs. Missouri and Iowa

Postby admiralscheer89 » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:37 pm

My money would be on the Japanese ships, they showed an uncanny ability to deal with damage sustained in battle, both bombs and torpedoes (plunging fire/direct salvo). The larger guns would be of advantage, though the quality of the 18inch shells has come into question a time or two, it might take but one shell functioning properly to cripple an Iowa.
Yamato class ships were quite nimble considering the size and weight of the warship, or so i have heard, and their top speed wasnt too far off that of the Iowas. Rough seas would make sighting much harder for both sides, but the mass of Yamato and Musashi should have made it a stable enough gun platform, while not negating the radar advantage, it would have helped somewhat. Im not taking anything away from the Iowa class ships here, they are in my eyes, the SECOND finest battleships ever afloat.

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Re: Yamato and Musashi vs. Missouri and Iowa

Postby Guest » Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:01 am

lol seems nobody understand that the 18'' was designated for effective firing in the range of 20 km only!!! while in 42 km max range, the 18'' spread over 200m wide between 2 shells. how could yammy possibly hit an iowa class battle ship with such spread?

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Re: Yamato and Musashi vs. Missouri and Iowa

Postby tommy303 » Sat Sep 28, 2013 12:42 am

Can you cite an official document or primary source on that? On the average, Japanese naval gunnery was noted as having very tight dispersion for its guns--perhaps even too tight--in nearly all sizes including the 18-inch. A 200m spread in salvo pattern at 42km would not be excessive.

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