Aircraft´s anti ship tactics post 1945

Naval discussions covering the latter half of the 20th Century.
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neil hilton
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Re: Aircraft´s anti ship tactics post 1945

Postby neil hilton » Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:10 pm

RF wrote:
neil hilton wrote:Are you suggesting that RN damage control procedures during the Flaklands was defficient? If so have to disagree. The effectiveness of British DC in the Flaklands was very good. What the real problem was was poor and chaep ship design, ship superstructures made from aluminium (which can burn if hot enough) to save weight. Ships constructed especially to be light and therefore cheap, so much so that many actually started to break up in the heavy seas in the south Atlantic swell. Older better made ships didn't have that problem. The Type 21 Amazon class was a deliberatly over loaded design (too much equipment, too much weight for its undersized cheap hull). The Type 22 batch 1 Broadswords designed without a main gun and only four exocet AS missiles ready to fire.
Years and years of underfunding resulted in the RN being equipped about as poorly as it ever has


Clearly yes, and the quote above answers that question for me.


I think I may be misunderstanding your definition of damage control? To me DC is the actions and procedures carried out by the crew in order to stop the ship from sinking and to prevent further damage. This means counterflooding, firefighting, blocking holes in the hull etc etc. This is affected by the ship desing and construction but they are not the same thing.
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Bgile
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Re: Aircraft´s anti ship tactics post 1945

Postby Bgile » Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:10 pm

USS Stark, which I believe also used Aluminum in her construction and was hit by two Exocets, survived. I think luck plays a role, and that damage control competence varies a lot within the same navy. I have no doubt that the heavy use of Aluminum represented the belief that modern weapons were so damaging that it was better to make the ship more powerful by using light weight construction materials and hope that enabled her not to get hit in the first place. Since then I think it's been recognized that you WILL get hit, and the use of Aluminum in naval construction has been reduced quite a bit.

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RF
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Re: Aircraft´s anti ship tactics post 1945

Postby RF » Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:48 am

In answer to Neil, basically yes.

Any damage control must include a prior assessment of the construction and vulnerabilities of the ship, the impact of a direct hit by a weapon known to be used by the enemy. Speed of reaction to the hit is also vital, plus, where possible, the help of other ships, including measures to make if more difficult to be hit.

Sheffield was the first, and in any first action or battle there is the inertia caused by having no previous damage or casualties and also the unconscious belief that ''it can't happen here.'' But when it does - everybody must know what to do, and do it immediately. Battle excercises should have ingrained that into all officers and men.
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Re: Aircraft´s anti ship tactics post 1945

Postby lwd » Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:43 pm

Aluminum doesn't burn all that readily. From what I remember the most telling problem Sheffield had was the Exocet that hit her still had a lot of fuel on board and that's was the primary reason for the massive fire.

See:
http://www.g2mil.com/aluminum.htm
and I'm not sure about this one but if true its rather telling
http://www.g2mil.com/aluminum.htm
... As far as I am aware, it started with the accusation that HMS Sheffield was lost in the Falklands War in 1982 because its aluminium superstructure burned, forgetting perhaps that HMS Sheffield was an all-steel vessel. ...

this document supports the above contention:
www.afsa.org.za/Portals/0/Documents/... ... d-Fire.pdf
Of the nine ships sunk in this conflict only three had aluminium superstructures. All three vessels had steel hulls and in each case the damage inflicted suggested that these vessels would have sunk regardless of the materials of the superstructure. In no case did aluminium burn. HMS Sheffield, the first British destroyer to be sunk, was widely reported to have an aluminium superstructure. This was, in fact, an all-steel ship with both a steel hull and a steel superstructure. The Defence White Paper published on 14 December 1982 concluded, “There is no evidence that aluminium has
contributed to the loss of any vessel”.

as does
http://books.google.com/books?id=49kDAA ... ld&f=false

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Re: Aircraft´s anti ship tactics post 1945

Postby Bgile » Thu Mar 03, 2011 6:33 pm

It wasn't that the aluminum burned... it melted. So did the superstructure of USS Belknap.

There was fuel in the missiles which hit Stark as well.

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Re: Aircraft´s anti ship tactics post 1945

Postby lwd » Fri Mar 04, 2011 7:10 pm

Bgile wrote:... There was fuel in the missiles which hit Stark as well.

Indeed and we came very close to loosing her as well.

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neil hilton
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Re: Aircraft´s anti ship tactics post 1945

Postby neil hilton » Mon Mar 07, 2011 1:58 pm

From what I heard the Exocet that hit HMS Sheffield didn't actually go off, rather it went into the hull and basically sat there with its rocket motor still going for several minutes essentially blowtorching the inside of the ship spreading a massive fire that was pretty much impossible to deal with right from the get go.
I didn't say the Type 42s had Aluminium superstructures, the Type 21s and Type 22s did.
One aspect of DC is the sheer volume and mass of a ship, bigger ships can take a lot more damage than smaller ships, obvious. RN ships post war have always been on the small side compared to contemporary navies such as the USN. With a limited budget the RN would rather have 3 smaller destroyers rather than 2 big ones, from a certain point of view (more hulls meaning you won't lose everying if the worst happens) it makes sense. But from the point of view of individual ship survivability its not a good idea.
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neil hilton
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Re: Aircraft´s anti ship tactics post 1945

Postby neil hilton » Mon Mar 07, 2011 2:16 pm

RF wrote:Sheffield was the first, and in any first action or battle there is the inertia caused by having no previous damage or casualties and also the unconscious belief that ''it can't happen here.'' But when it does - everybody must know what to do, and do it immediately. Battle excercises should have ingrained that into all officers and men.


There is an implication here that RN DC was deficient due to poor training and lethargy during the Falklands War. This is wrong, RN DC during the Falklands was very good. The ship designs were rubbish which hampered DC efforts, the crews worked very hard to save their ships but specific situations made DC impossible. Take HMS Coventry, hit by two bombs one of which lodged between the bulkheads sepparating the foreward and after engine rooms. The absolute worst position, impossible to get to and when it did finally go off it flooded the two largest compartments in the ship! No contemporary ship could have survived that. HMS Antelope hit by a bomb that didn't go off, did sink when it did go off during a deffusing attempt when most of the crew had been evacuated. There is no evidence of deficient RN DC in the Falkalnds war but there is plenty of evidence of excellent DC but insurmountable situations.
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