George Gerolimatos wrote: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.
George ..... What you say is largely true of gunnery craft before the advent of radar controlled gunnery. Under radar FC, however, the rules changed somewhat. It was no longer necessary to wait to spot fall of shot in order to correct for range, as even early FC radars were very good at providing quite accurate range data in real time. USN BB daylight gunnery doctrine by 1944 was to employ rapid full salvoes with direct spotting under radar control at targets within the effective ranges of their FC radars. By 1944, this would have been the Mk8, with an effective ranging capability of 27-32,000 yards. At ranges beyond the FC ranging limit, aerial spotting and/or conventional bracketing and spotting techniques such as those you describe were to be used.
So, the nature of any engagement would depend a great deal upon visibility conditions.