Yamato: the greatest warship of all times

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lwd
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Re: Yamato: the greatest warship of all times

Post by lwd » Tue Apr 29, 2008 10:41 pm

It's really hard to tell. The pilots thought she was shooting well but then they had a lot of company and very little of it friendly. Not sure how long they lasted as a matter of fact. Also the crew would hardly have gotten a good nights sleep after loosing ships in their formation to both subs and aircraft the day before. Then there's the buck fever aspect of getting a shot at carriers. At one point I was critical of Yamato's shooting there. Now while you can't say it was exceptional I'm not sure that much more can be said with any justification.

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Re: Yamato: the greatest warship of all times

Post by synthesim » Sat Dec 17, 2011 6:37 am

If Yamato and Iowa were shooting it out, and Iowa was still outranged at 25+ miles, and Yamato fired, could not the officers of Iowa see the shells in flight and determine their relative trajectory in time to turn aside to port or starboard and avoid the shells?

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Rick Rather
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Re: Yamato: the greatest warship of all times

Post by Rick Rather » Sun Dec 18, 2011 4:04 am

No.

Though 18 inches is big for a shell, it is still a very small aerial object. Assuming that someone with binoculars was standing on the bridge wing looking in exactly the right place at the right time, by the time he could see the shells and track them long enough to predict a trajectory they would have been just seconds from impact, and a battleship's helm could not respond fast enough to make any difference at all.
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Re: Yamato: the greatest warship of all times

Post by yellowtail3 » Mon Dec 19, 2011 1:00 am

Yamato, the greatest warship of all time? Naw... but she was a big one. Not the biggest - lots of carriers since have been a LOT bigger - but her day, biggest battleship. Not the fastest, not the longest-ranged, not the most advanced design of its time, but big and capable... more powerful in a shoot-out than any of the European battleships, roughly comparable to the USN's last four battleships, though substantially slower with much shorter radius. She was easy on they eyes, give her credit for that. She wasn't all that much bang for the buck; all those yen could have gone into a lot of destroyers that would likely have been put to better use (same could be said of other countries' ships battleships, too).

Too bad we don't have some hi-res pictures of her, esp interior.
Shift Colors... underway.

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Re: Yamato: the greatest warship of all times

Post by synthesim » Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:43 pm

The reason I mention this idea of seeing the incoming shells in time to avoid them, in the pc game 'Silent Hunter', you could see incoming destroyer shells quite a while before they hit (but of course that was a game-programmer's hypothetical scenario and not the real world).
And in 'Shattered Sword', on pages 178-180, when the B-17s "...very high up, over 20,000 feet..." tried to bomb the Japanese carriers, the high altitude bombing technique of the Americans resulted in the following;

"...the Japanese captains watched as the bombers came into their runs. Cooly, they waited until each element had dropped, then put the helm over into radical evasive maneuvers. Whether the Americans dropped promptly or even on target was largely irrelevant. The pirouetting warships below still had a good thirty seconds' worth of air time to play with, meaning that they could be a quarter of a mile in nearly any direction when the bombs finally landed. Even by dropping a "stick" of a dozen or more 500-lb weapons at a time, the odds of securing a hit weren't good. Not only that, but the cloud cover over Kido Butai frustrated their attacks... ...(in a 20 minute run) both Hiryu and Soryu were bracketed by near misses, to the consternation of the Japanese. In the end, though, the American heavies (B-17s) scored no damage."

In fact, it was only when the American carrier fighter bombers finally came in with dive bomb attacks that the Americans finally began hitting the Japanese carriers successfully.
So the Japanese had a 20 to 30 second advance warning, visual sighting of the falling bombs, and ability to turn away in time to avoid the bomb hits.
That's why it occurred to me that -with transit times of 1 to 1 1/2 minutes for incoming 18.1 inch shells- I thought that perhaps if they knew where to look -say, straight ahead- an Iowa-class might just have just enough time to make visual sighting and sight-gauge incoming Japanese shell trajectories in time to attempt to avoid them.
Viewed almost head-on from right after reaching the height of mid-trajectory, a shell would appear almost to hang in the air and merely increase in diameter as it approached.
If dead-on, it wouldn't move. If a near-miss, it would seem to drift right or left slowly as it swelled.

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Re: Yamato: the greatest warship of all times

Post by synthesim » Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:22 pm

quote: "Yamato, the greatest warship of all time? Naw..."

Very well, I will merely give a brief list of some of Yamato's accomplishments;
Yamato was the first ship ever to use a true bulbous bow to reduce hull resistance and increase propulsive efficiency. As many as fifty experimental hull models were built and tested in the experimental model basin of the Naval Technical Research Center in Tokyo, leading to the adoption of a gigantic bulbous bow of a size and shape uniquely advanced for the time.
She had port and starboard aft motor launch bays for launching and retrieving 17-meter and 15-meter cabin motor launches on overhead winch rails. You could just run them out on their overhead rails and lower them straight down into the water. She was designed to carry up to sixteen boats altogether, including some smaller open-hull cutters.
She had an aft central belowdecks aircraft hangar, and the belowdecks hangar and weather deck fantail were both equipped with trolley rails and turntables for moving the seaplanes around on their trolleys and catapult cradles, and could carry up to seven floatplanes.
She had air conditioning for most of the ship, a rarity of the time.
Her pagoda tower was extremely minimized in cross-section to streamline and improve her fuel efficiency still further.
Yamato's primary weapons outranged Iowa-class ships by several miles.
Her binocular 15-meter rangefinders gave tremendous precision to the main gunfire.
Yamato had superior turning ability compared with other battleships; she could turn tighter circles than any other battleship ever built before or since.
Her 18.1 inch shells were given hydrodynamic shell nose cones, so the trajectory would not alter drastically on entry into the water, with the idea of intentionally landing the shells just short of the target so as to finish their trajectory below the ocean surface and hitting the target underwater.
Designed by the eminent Doctor Hiraga, Yamato was more than just a 'big ship with bigger guns'.

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Re: Yamato: the greatest warship of all times

Post by alecsandros » Tue Dec 20, 2011 6:46 am

All that is nice Synthesism, but the most important aspect to consider when describing a mid-to-late-war BB was fire control and it's integration into the ship.
The RPC of the Yamato class was nowhere to be found, and the available 1942-1944 Japanese radars mounted on this class were FAR below contemporary radars.

I would also have a thing or two to say about the quality of the 46cm type91's, and about their fuzes, but I'll keep my mouth shut for the moment.

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Re: Yamato: the greatest warship of all times

Post by RNfanDan » Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:17 pm

lwd wrote:You['re] right. She wasn't the larges either in displacement or in length.
??? Pray tell, what contemporary battleship of Yamato's day --other than her own sistership Musashi-- displaced more? The Yamato class easily trumped the Iowas in overall size; USS Saratoga was longer, but wasn't a battleship, and even the Tirpitz couldn't match Yamato's beam.

The porpoise-nosed Iowas' length was rather artificial, serving mostly to add a large ratio of displacement and extra steel for no worthwhile gain in armament, fuel bunkerage, accomodation, machinery, magazine capacity, et.al. Take a SoDak, stretch its nose out like taffy, add an extra 5 calibers to its outranged, targetless main armament, add maybe 5-6 knots' differential in speed, and what do you get? Four, fast carrier escorts with big visual impact, many internal compromises, and large (but ill-founded) historical legends.

Oh yeah, and radar... :wink:
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Re: Yamato: the greatest warship of all times

Post by synthesim » Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:38 am

You're right alecsandros, all the American battleships with their more modern radar FCS had to do was to stay out of Yamato's way until they were numerically superior in numbers of ships or planes, or until after dark when Yamato's superior optical RF's and spotter planes -of which she could carry up to seven- would do her no good, or to attack with a strong wind at their backs putting spray in Yamato's turret optics and Yamato would have a problem.

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Re: Yamato: the greatest warship of all times

Post by alecsandros » Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:51 am

:D :D :D

Don't get me wrong my friend. Yamato had some nice features and was an impressive design. But in reality it had some drawbacks which would have put it in inferiority against contemporary battleships.

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Karl Heidenreich
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Re: Yamato: the greatest warship of all times

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Thu Dec 22, 2011 6:55 pm

Since I finished the Barranquilla project (in Colombia) some four months ago I have been in Costa Rica with my family and getting prepared for the next job, this time a bigger one in Cali, Colombia.
These four months have been peacefull at the side of my family (and the first time to be in my motherland for so long) and decided that I would not stress myself with forum discussion for the time being.
I also dedicated myself to something more positive than to be in stressfull discussions that will prove futile at the end: in four months I built thirteen 1:350 models (finished the IJN Akagi; the Admiral Ushkov soviet BC; the G335 Akula soviet sub; the Kunetzov nuclear aircraft carrier; the Trafalgar Class British Sub; the Revell Bismarck; the Musashi, the Oriol russian battleship; the HMS Dreadnought 1905 battleship; a Type VII german sub; the Graf Spee pocket battleship; the IJN BB Kongo and just finishing the superb IJN Fuso). With each of these models I have made a research to learn moe about them focusing specially in what Friedman or Garzke or Raven have to say.
Now, taking a quick glimpse to these four months in the forum I am glad that I didn't participate because many members, specially the usual USN fans, have avoided to learn a bit on what people like Dave Saxton, Thorsten or Alexandros have tried, in which seems a futile way, to teach to all of us. In this same thread (which is why I choose it) we still have apologists of the myth of the Iowa Class (and their superb battle record of NOT sinking a single ship in their whole careers, specially capital ships and avoiding to mention how their narrow beam compromised their ATS or how their 38 mm defuzing deck was not thick enough or how the munitions were not protected enough, etc. etc.) or the South Dak's incredible flawed design, present and exhibiting their ignorance in battleship design, doctrine and history.
I think is better for a lot of persons to close the tab and use our time in building more models and study independently rather than being dragged in nonsense like what I have read in less than an hour.
It is fair to say that there are a lot of incredible good posts, of the usual people that are more objetive, tolerant and better knowlodgeble guys than me which I celebrate and salute.
Bye.
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill

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Re: Yamato: the greatest warship of all times

Post by synthesim » Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:31 pm

I've been gathering information for a fictional work about Yamato,
which harmonizes with the historical record in creative ways.
Wishing everyone here the best. Thank you.

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Re: Yamato: the greatest warship of all times

Post by alecsandros » Sat Dec 24, 2011 7:00 pm

All the best to you to, and good luck with the new project!
And Merry Christmas to everyone on the forum! You're great, guys!

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Re: Yamato: the greatest warship of all times

Post by boredatwork » Sat Dec 24, 2011 9:02 pm

RNfanDan wrote:
lwd wrote:You['re] right. She wasn't the larges either in displacement or in length.
??? Pray tell, what contemporary battleship of Yamato's day --other than her own sistership Musashi-- displaced more? The Yamato class easily trumped the Iowas in overall size; USS Saratoga was longer, but wasn't a battleship, and even the Tirpitz couldn't match Yamato's beam.
??? how is lwd's comment invalid? You'll note the title of this thread is "Yamato: the greatest warship of all times" not "Yamato: Largest Battleship of WW2". lwd's original questioning as to the criteria Karl used to make such a sweeping statement is valid. Why the anti-us crowd has to turn everything into a lets bash Iowa is beyond me - when the initial paramters left plenty of other ships which might qualify for the title "greatest" depending on your criteria.

They weren't the largest - as lwd implied all ~20 US Super Carriers are larger in virtually every sense - both in absolute terms and relative to their foreign contemporaries.

They're not the most powerfull - again in absolute terms any ship capable of carrying a nuclear missile trumps them. Even in strictly coventional terms relative to her contemporaries it could be argued any fleet carrier since ~1942, by virtue of the fact it could actually get in range to use it's weapons, was more powerfull.

They're not particularly advanced or innovative ships - they're very large for the day and employ some novel features but most contemporary foreign ships had more advanced features - be it their machinery, gun mountings, construction techniques, guns (AFAIR the Yamatos were the only WW2 BB (excepting Vanguard, obviously) to retain wire wound armament), AA, etc and there have been numerous ships in history which were more conceptually revolutionary - Dreadnaught, Nautilus, Gloire, etc.

From a historical perspective, aside from the extreme secrecy in which they were built they achieved nothing of note - unless you consider the number of Torpedoes and Bombs before taken before sinking - but again they were unable to remotely pose a threat in return to the ships that sank them. From the achievement POV you could list hundreds of ships which have some far greater combat related claim to fame - both Enterprises, Bismarck, Warspite, Emden, Yukikaze, Akagi, Penelope, etc.


I'm not saying that they're not necessarily the "greatest warships of all time" but if you're going to make such a broad statement I think inquiring as to the criteria being used to judge "greatest" is certainly valid.

As for my opinion - I don't know about "all time" but if we limit the discussion to WW2, certainly from a design foresight POV, coupled with actual achievement my vote would go to the Yorktown class carriers and Enterprise in particular as being the "greatest." It's too bad she couldn't have been preserved instead of the glut of BBs and Essex class.

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Re: Yamato: the greatest warship of all times

Post by RNfanDan » Sat Dec 24, 2011 11:44 pm

boredatwork wrote: You'll note the title of this thread is "Yamato: the greatest warship of all times...
In reading the quoted reply I realized that, In my haste, the words completely escaped my notice. I recant my previous post, and will not further comment from that viewpoint.

Thank you for alerting me to my oversight. :oops:
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