10 moments that changed the course of the war at sea

From the Washington Naval Treaty to the end of the Second World War.
User avatar
RF
Senior Member
Posts: 7603
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:15 pm
Location: Wolverhampton, ENGLAND

Re: 10 moments that changed the course of the war at sea

Post by RF » Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:18 am

I was under the impression that a combination of sail and rowers would be used by the these early ships, as rowers only would leave these vessels somewhat short ranged.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

lwd
Senior Member
Posts: 3810
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 2:15 am
Location: Southfield, USA

Re: 10 moments that changed the course of the war at sea

Post by lwd » Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:05 pm

RF wrote:I was under the impression that a combination of sail and rowers would be used by the these early ships, as rowers only would leave these vessels somewhat short ranged.
They did use sails but usually as an auxilary form of power and sails were shipped in most cases if combat was expected. I think I recall reading somewhere that Greek galleys would actually leave their sails and masts ashore if they expected to go into action soon. Also consider that with the square sails they used they couldn't go far off the wind under sail. When they could use the wind it meant their rowers were fresher.

User avatar
neil hilton
Senior Member
Posts: 334
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:31 pm

Re: 10 moments that changed the course of the war at sea

Post by neil hilton » Tue Nov 16, 2010 7:10 pm

If you are talking about 10 major historical improvements in naval technology I would put forward the invention of log tables to improve the resupply and vitaling of ships (thats what they were invented for). And also RASing (replenishment at sea) which allowed global operations without having to have a shore base every few thousand miles.
Veni, vidi, verrimus!
I came, I saw, I swept the floor!

User avatar
RF
Senior Member
Posts: 7603
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:15 pm
Location: Wolverhampton, ENGLAND

Re: 10 moments that changed the course of the war at sea

Post by RF » Wed Nov 17, 2010 9:09 am

neil hilton wrote: And also RASing (replenishment at sea) which allowed global operations without having to have a shore base every few thousand miles.
Some navies such as the RN were rather slow to take this up. In the case of the RN it was left to Churchill to ask why.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

User avatar
aurora
Senior Member
Posts: 696
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:31 pm
Location: YORKSHIRE

Re: 10 moments that changed the course of the war at sea

Post by aurora » Wed Nov 07, 2012 4:54 pm

THE DIEPPE RAID
Quote from Robin Neilland's (ex RM) 2005 book-"The Dieppe Raid"
"Ignorance,incompetence,a false concept of war,a want of moral courage-not least the courage to call the operation off-permeate the story of the Dieppe Raid. These weaknesses contributed to the losses suffered by the troops that went ashore in an assault that was indeed "inherently vain"

My comment:-
But why was the raid ever mounted? What was it's strategic objective?Afterwards nobody appeared to have a clear answer,and neither did it appear that anybody could be held accountable.Was the whole thing, as has been alleged,expected to fail,a cynical conspiracy to prove to the Americans,at the expense of the Canadians;the impracticability of staging the Normandy landingsfor another two years.???
The concept was Churchill's via his insatiable desire to be seen to be hitting back.The Plan- Mountbatten's on Churchill's orders after he was given the command of Combined Operations by Churchill.The decision to use Canadians-this is even more murky!!!
In direct response to the raid on Dieppe, Winston Churchill remarked that, “My Impression of 'Jubilee' is that the results fully justified the heavy cost” and that it “was a Canadian contribution of the greatest significance to final victory.” I for one am not buying this last piece of Churchillian bluster.

aurora
Quo Fata Vocant-Whither the Fates call

Jim

User avatar
RF
Senior Member
Posts: 7603
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:15 pm
Location: Wolverhampton, ENGLAND

Re: 10 moments that changed the course of the war at sea

Post by RF » Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:03 am

I think this analysis is rather shallow. Churchill did have considerable strategic insight, but as a politician became an easy yarget for those who seek to apportion blame on military failures he was associated with. Gallipoli is a classic case.

Dieppe was fully justified and Churchills' conclusions were and are correct. The payoff were the success of the D-Day landings in 1944; indeed almost all the amphibios landings in Africa/Europe benefitted from the lessons learned at Dieppe.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

User avatar
RF
Senior Member
Posts: 7603
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:15 pm
Location: Wolverhampton, ENGLAND

Re: 10 moments that changed the course of the war at sea

Post by RF » Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:13 am

aurora wrote: But why was the raid ever mounted? What was it's strategic objective?
aurora


To demonstrate the ease or difficulty in assaulting and seizing a port on enemy coastline to facilitate invasion of the hinterland. And to draw enemy forces from other fronts to reinforce defence of that coastline. And yes, to demonstrate that the Allies were capable of landing in France and bolstering the idea that France would be liberated.

The demonstration showed that assaulting a port direct would be likely to end in failure. That heavy gunfire from battleships was essential to support the landings and knock out coastal batteries. That tanks landed on beaches risked being bogged down by the terrain and enemy fortifications and the need for a quick penetration inland to secure bridgeheads. And finally that absolute command of the air was essential for success.

Dieppe was an example of the ''trial and error'' approach; the losses and tactical failure were plain to see, but the advantages gained were not immediately tangible and indeed can only realy be seen post war.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

User avatar
neil hilton
Senior Member
Posts: 334
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:31 pm

Re: 10 moments that changed the course of the war at sea

Post by neil hilton » Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:26 pm

RF wrote:
neil hilton wrote: And also RASing (replenishment at sea) which allowed global operations without having to have a shore base every few thousand miles.
Some navies such as the RN were rather slow to take this up. In the case of the RN it was left to Churchill to ask why.
The RN had naval bases scattered all over the world, coaling bases etc, they didn't need RASing capability. So it was left to the USN to develop RASing during ww2. And they only did it because they lost all their bases in the western pacific.
Veni, vidi, verrimus!
I came, I saw, I swept the floor!

User avatar
neil hilton
Senior Member
Posts: 334
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:31 pm

Re: 10 moments that changed the course of the war at sea

Post by neil hilton » Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:34 pm

I'm not sure of this but I think the reason why the Canadians were picked for the dieppe raid was that one of their generals volunteered them because he was a bit of a glory hound.

Also one great lesson learned at Dieppe was the need of combined operations cooperation. Before Dieppe every nation in the worlds armed forces (navy, army and Air Force) tended to act alone and had to be forced to cooperate with each other. This was why Mountbatten was chosen to command it. Royal ties meant he was seen by navy, army and Air Force as unbiased even though he was in the navy.
Veni, vidi, verrimus!
I came, I saw, I swept the floor!

User avatar
aurora
Senior Member
Posts: 696
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:31 pm
Location: YORKSHIRE

Re: 10 moments that changed the course of the war at sea

Post by aurora » Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:29 pm

The raid on the coast of France at the town of Dieppe, in August of 1942, was the first time that the Canadians fought directly against the Nazis, on land. They had been active in the air, with many RCAF victories by fighter planes and massive bombing raids by number 6 heavy bomber group, flying from their bases in Yorkshire.
The raid was NOT intended to be "The Invasion of Europe". It was planned to be a test. A test of methods, equipment and tactics. It was a failure, due to anumber of factors, not the least of which was the breakdown of operational security due to a number of changes and re-scheduling of the date of the raid.
When it did take place, the amount of air cover was severly reduced as was the naval gunfire , and the landing took place in full daylight, rather than in full darkness. This meant the troops were completely exposed to the defender's gunfire and they suffered heavy casualties on the beach. The tanks could not get over the seawall and were trapped on the beach ,too.
Of the about 5,000 Canadians who took part in the raid, only about 1600 got back to England. The rest were either killed or taken prisoner. Entire units were wiped out that day, dead or on the way to a POW camp.
The after action briefings confirmed that this was NOT the way to launch a successfull invasion and the "lessons learned " at Dieppe, were applied to the Normandy landings two years later, with much more success.

At home, in Canada, there was great sorrow that so many young guys had died, apparantly for very little gain.

aurora
Quo Fata Vocant-Whither the Fates call

Jim

User avatar
aurora
Senior Member
Posts: 696
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:31 pm
Location: YORKSHIRE

Re: 10 moments that changed the course of the war at sea

Post by aurora » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:06 pm

Dieppe Raid
The objective of the raid was discussed by Churchill in his war memoirs:
I thought it most important that a large-scale operation should take place this summer, and military opinion seemed unanimous that until an operation on that scale was undertaken, no responsible general would take the responsibility of planning the main invasion...

In discussion with Admiral Mountbatten it became clear that time did not permit a new large-scale operations to be mounted during the summer (after Rutter had been cancelled), but that Dieppe could be remounted (the new code-name "Jubilee") within a month, provided extraordinary steps were taken to ensure secrecy. For this reason no records were kept but, after the Canadian authorities and the Chiefs of Staff had given their approval, I personally went through the plans with the C.I.G.S., Admiral Mountbatten, and the Naval Force Commander, Captain J. Hughes-Hallett.

Objectives included seizing and holding a major port for a short period, both to prove it was possible and to gather intelligence from prisoners and captured materials, including naval intelligence in a hotel in town and a radar installation on the cliffs above it. Although neither were completely successful, some knowledge was gained while assessing the German responses. The Allies also wanted to destroy coastal defences, port structures and all strategic buildings. The raid could have given a morale boost to the troops, Resistance, and general public, while assuring the Soviet Union of the commitment of the United Kingdom and the United States.
Quo Fata Vocant-Whither the Fates call

Jim

User avatar
aurora
Senior Member
Posts: 696
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:31 pm
Location: YORKSHIRE

Re: 10 moments that changed the course of the war at sea

Post by aurora » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:55 pm

Quote RB- "Churchill did have considerable strategic insight"The strategies for the following operations were all brainwaves of WSC; but were all questionable :-
The sacrifice of the Rile Brigade at Calais
The sacrifice of 51st HD at St valery
Norwegian Campaign
Stripping the Desert Army of four Divisions (Mostlly Commonwealth)to fight a lost battle in Greece
Evacuation of the Greek Garrison to CRETE-another debacle,which came close to losing our Mediterranean Fleet
Reinforcing Singapore and the DEI for the Japanese to capture
The loss of Repulse and POW
The Dodecanese Campaign
Unrestricted area bombing until DRESDEN
In my opinion-not a lot of strategic insight shown in the above examples.

aurora
Quo Fata Vocant-Whither the Fates call

Jim

User avatar
RF
Senior Member
Posts: 7603
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:15 pm
Location: Wolverhampton, ENGLAND

Re: 10 moments that changed the course of the war at sea

Post by RF » Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:15 pm

aurora wrote:The raid on the coast of France at the town of Dieppe, in August of 1942, was the first time that the Canadians fought directly against the Nazis, on land.
aurora
The same was true of the US, as a couple of Ranger battalions were deployed in two side operations away from the main assault, which were also more succesful.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

User avatar
RF
Senior Member
Posts: 7603
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:15 pm
Location: Wolverhampton, ENGLAND

Re: 10 moments that changed the course of the war at sea

Post by RF » Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:20 pm

aurora wrote:In my opinion-not a lot of strategic insight shown in the above examples.
aurora
I disagree with your conclusions. Your examples are highly selective and some of them were not quite the disasters you take them to be. Until 1942 Britain on land against Germany was on the back foot and any decision was likely to carry immediate risks. Churchill was a far better general than many give him credit for and it was his strategic insight that ultimately led to the defeat of Germany, even if the USSR was the biggest victor.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

User avatar
neil hilton
Senior Member
Posts: 334
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:31 pm

Re: 10 moments that changed the course of the war at sea

Post by neil hilton » Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:53 pm

RF wrote: The same was true of the US, as a couple of Ranger battalions were deployed in two side operations away from the main assault, which were also more succesful.
The subsidiary ops were carried out by No3 and No4 Commandos of the Royal Marines.
Veni, vidi, verrimus!
I came, I saw, I swept the floor!

Post Reply