Tribal class dd

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Francis Marliere
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Re: Tribal class dd

Post by Francis Marliere » Fri Sep 26, 2014 9:08 am

dunmunro wrote:Which of Friedman's books are you referring to? I disagree that the Tribal's AA director was worse. It was a very lightweight director that could track targets easily versus Mk 33 which was a nightmare to use against aircraft
I refer - from memory since I don't have the book at hand - to "Naval antiaircraft guns and gunnery". The book is highly critical of British AA directors and also states that while the Mk 37 turned into a very efficient system when fitted with radars and proximity fuzes, the Mk 33 was not a success. However

dunmunro wrote:This allowed for 8 x 4.7in guns with AA capability in the Tribals, 6 x 4.7in/50 (50 deg elevation) in the L-M class and 6 x 4.7in in the J-K-Ms versus no 5in AA capability in the USN leaders and only 4 x 5in with AA capability guns in the smaller destroyer classes that were equivalent to the J-K-M class
The 4.7" guns had a short engagement enveloppe, and as AA escorts usually had to fire and umbrella barrage over the target, which was not - still from Friedman's book - not very effective.

It seems that you prise British guns more than the British did. They were more than aware of the limitation of their guns against aircrafts and shifted later on the war to 4.5" guns (why change your guns if they just work fine ?). IMHO 4.7" guns were more SP guns with a secondary AA capacity than a true DP gun (only the US 5"/38 was a true DP gun). I do not mean that British were stupids or incompetents : they just did not have the money build true DP guns and destroyers big enough to accomodate them (a DD with 8 DP guns would far bigger and more expensive than a Tribal). The RN had to do his best with the ressources available and IMHO made the good choice. The RN needed a lot of ships : I think that if the Brits build in the late 30s DD with true DP guns, there would be too few of them for fleet action and ASW.

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Re: Tribal class dd

Post by Francis Marliere » Fri Sep 26, 2014 9:27 am

dunmunro wrote: According to Lundstrom ( Lundstrom has stated to me and to others that his book Black Shoe Carrier Admiral contains his most accurate analysis) USN AA successes were very limited until Santa Cruz, and then the vast majority of AA kills were made by the CIWS. If USN 5in guns couldn't shoot down slow and non-manoeuvring drones in large numbers, it seems reasonable that they would have even less ability to shoot down higher speed, manoeuvring targets, and the numbers from Lundstrom support this:

At Coral Sea they claimed 37 AA kills by the USN carrier force but Lundstrom assessed only 3.
At Midway the USN claimed 20 AA kills and got 3.
At Eastern Solomons the USN claimed 30 and got 4.
At Santa Cruz the USN claimed 127 and got ~25. Gatch assessed that only 5% were downed by 5in AA and the rest by the CIWS.

For the first 3 actions the USN claimed 87 but Lundstrom assessed only 10 AA kills. ( for all AA weapons including 5in and CIWS)

5in kills were very rare in 1942. In 1943 and later the 5in guns benefited greatly due to the availability of VT ammo. AA successes by 5in fire was probably one aircraft per several thousand rounds of 5in gunfire, which was probably the same or even worse than the kill rate achieved by RN medium calibre AA. 5in AA kills were probably achieved through simple volume of fire rather than accuracy of control. In the Deadly Fuze, Baldwin (an NDRC scientist who worked on VT development) the author states that the actual 5in kill rate during ww2 was very low:
With mechanical time fuzes, the sky around a target was often spotted with shell burst smoke, but the chances of bringing a plane down were low. It was estimated that it took about twenty-four hundred rounds of five-inch time fuzed ammunition to bring down a single plane. (p.24)
Of course officially, the USN was claiming one kill per 114 rounds fired in 1942 (USN AA summary June -Dec 1942), but later revised that to ~250 per kill. 2400 rounds per 5in kill tallies very closely to Lundstrom's (and Gatch's) numbers.
I agree that large caliber guns, including 5"/38 ones, apparently didn't shoot down a lot of planes untill 1943, when they got proximity fuzes and good directors / fire control radars. As you said, some people estimated that in 1942, most planes were apparently shot down by Oerlikons, but it is just an opinion that other people did not share. The statistics were not reliable because there was no scientific basis, just a feeling of what people saw under fire. The estimation of Gatch (5" shoot down only 5% of the planes) was distrusted by other officers.I would not personnaly blindly believe someone who wrote in a report that South Dakota alone shoot down 27 planes.
You already know however that in the first part of the war, the main objective of AAA was not to destroy planes but to make their attack difficult. I would add that the low hit rate of the 5"/38 which is a good , fast firing gun directed by a good director tells a lot of the hit rate of 4.7" which, due to inadequate elevation and slower rate of fire, shoots less shells with less accuracy (the director being not very effective).
In 1943-1945, improvements made 5"/38 a very effective AA system. British guns, even with PF and FCR never became as effective as US ones.

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Re: Tribal class dd

Post by Francis Marliere » Fri Sep 26, 2014 9:33 am

Steve Crandell wrote:How could you possibly get a kill with a VT fuse if the fire control system is unable to get the round close enough to the target?
Friedman says in his book that it was not too much a problem for the USN, because the late war directors did work fine, but it was a big one for the BPF : the British guns, due to HACS shortcomings, did not shoot accurately enough and the shells passed too far away from the target to detonate.

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Re: Tribal class dd

Post by pgollin » Fri Sep 26, 2014 11:21 am

Francis Marliere wrote:
Friedman says in his book that it was not too much a problem for the USN, because the late war directors did work fine, but it was a big one for the BPF : the British guns, due to HACS shortcomings, did not shoot accurately enough and the shells passed too far away from the target to detonate.


You, obviously, are free to interpret Friedman's book as you wish, however the impression I got from his book was that he was VERY wary of making direct comparisons between navies' systems/performance (despite the advanced "blub" for the book saying that he would be making such). I really think you are being rather optimistic in taking such definitive views from his book.

Certainly the complicated nature of the numerous add-ons to the various HACS make "simple" statements about HACS almost impossible.

The BIG imponderable which is normally left out of discussions such is this is the massive difference in any system dealing with a "crossing" target with an "approaching" target. There are many positive statements (of various optimism level) about dealing with approaching targets from both RN and USN sources. Crossing targets SEEM to have been a major problem until the end of the war as proximity fuzes hardly affected the probability of downing them.

.

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Re: Tribal class dd

Post by Steve Crandell » Fri Sep 26, 2014 1:26 pm

Pretty much the only CIWS the USN had in 1942 were 50 cal MGs and 1.1" autocannon, which had a lot of problems, so one would think the IJN would have sunk pretty much every ship they attacked, subject only to bombing inaccuracy. We know the IJN pilots were very good in 1942 and USN Wildcats fighters were inferior to A6Ms. Also, fighter control of the day wasn't very good at intercepting incoming aircraft before they made their attack. dunmunro at least implies with his quote about not being able to get the mark 33 director on target that 5" guns would never even be able to open fire on a target, let alone hit one. I am under the impression that they actually did open fire quite a bit, and had an effect on their targets, even if not shooting down a lot of them.

With respect to Gatch I'm sure there is some truth in some of the things he said, but he is also the person who's ship took credit for sinking Kirishima when South Dakota showed up stateside to get repaired after Guadalcanal, and he did little to dispel that myth.

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Re: Tribal class dd

Post by Dave Saxton » Fri Sep 26, 2014 2:41 pm

Francis Marliere wrote:... that while the Mk 37 turned into a very efficient system when fitted with radars and proximity fuzes....
Many experts disagree with this point of view. Speaking to the late 44 through 1945 phase of the Pacific War Louis Brown wrote:
While the Army was beginning to demonstrate excellent AA fire, the Navy's perfomance with FD (type) radars with the mechnical anolog predictor, although greatly improved with the introduction of the proximity, was failing all too often....Attacks on ships often came in very low, evading air warning radar until late and making it impossible for the FD to determine height accurately. When air attacks began to come from Kamikazes the deficiencies of air defense became serious. The proximity fuze was of no avail if the shell was not placed within 20 meters of the target....Bell also undertook to design a replacement for the FD, the mark 12, using the same basic structure but on 33cm and with automatic tracking in range, automatic tracking in direction was to follow in a later modification (which did not happen during the war). This still left the Mk12 with manual tracking, not suited to the agile attackers and still followed by a slow mechnical predictor, and most ships retained the FD. No Mk57 directors appeared until early 1945.... This situation seemed nothing short of scandalous to Ivan Getting, who had been working on a Navy 3cm fire direction radar, Mk35, and a compatible and highly advanced director, the Mk56. When there was no evident move by April 1945 to put the system into service he wrote a sharp letter to Coordinator of R&D of the Navy Department pointing out the superiority of the Army's ...
No warship AA system of anybody's, anywhere, was really adequate, at any time, during WWII. If you didn't have a strong CAP you were in serious trouble.
Entering a night sea battle is an awesome business.The enveloping darkness, hiding the enemy's.. seems a living thing, malignant and oppressive.Swishing water at the bow and stern mark an inexorable advance toward an unknown destiny.

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Re: Tribal class dd

Post by dunmunro » Fri Sep 26, 2014 3:06 pm

Francis Marliere wrote:
dunmunro wrote:Which of Friedman's books are you referring to? I disagree that the Tribal's AA director was worse. It was a very lightweight director that could track targets easily versus Mk 33 which was a nightmare to use against aircraft
I refer - from memory since I don't have the book at hand - to "Naval antiaircraft guns and gunnery". The book is highly critical of British AA directors and also states that while the Mk 37 turned into a very efficient system when fitted with radars and proximity fuzes, the Mk 33 was not a success. However

dunmunro wrote:This allowed for 8 x 4.7in guns with AA capability in the Tribals, 6 x 4.7in/50 (50 deg elevation) in the L-M class and 6 x 4.7in in the J-K-Ms versus no 5in AA capability in the USN leaders and only 4 x 5in with AA capability guns in the smaller destroyer classes that were equivalent to the J-K-M class
The 4.7" guns had a short engagement envelope, and as AA escorts usually had to fire and umbrella barrage over the target, which was not - still from Friedman's book - not very effective.

It seems that you prise British guns more than the British did. They were more than aware of the limitation of their guns against aircrafts and shifted later on the war to 4.5" guns (why change your guns if they just work fine ?). IMHO 4.7" guns were more SP guns with a secondary AA capacity than a true DP gun (only the US 5"/38 was a true DP gun). I do not mean that British were stupids or incompetents : they just did not have the money build true DP guns and destroyers big enough to accomodate them (a DD with 8 DP guns would far bigger and more expensive than a Tribal). The RN had to do his best with the ressources available and IMHO made the good choice. The RN needed a lot of ships : I think that if the Brits build in the late 30s DD with true DP guns, there would be too few of them for fleet action and ASW.
Yes, Friedman is highly critical of RN directors and FC. Unfortunately, Friedman doesn't take the same critical analysis and apply it to USN systems. The Mk 33 and earlier systems were the USN's primary AA GFCS in service in 1939. The first Mk 37 didn't enter service until 1940 and even by mid 1941 Mk 37 was still quite rare so comparing a Tribal class, which entered service in 1938 to a USN destroyer that appeared several years later is a bit misleading. The USN had the luxury of continuing their AA GFCS development under peacetime conditions until Dec 1941, when the RN suddenly faced severe competition for access to the UK's industrial resources from Sept 1939 onward, and even more severely from mid 1940 onward.

The engagement envelop of a twin 4.7in/40 was limited by it's elevation and by the 25 sec max fuze time of the early MT fuzes, where the 5in/38 single was limited also by a 25sec max fuze timing in 1942. Against a 15000ft to (although at 15000ft the target would rapidly fly over the envelope) 12000ft altitude target both guns would open fire at aprox the same range, and against 9000ft altitude targets (as attacked Force Z) both guns would have approximately the same effective firing envelope, if the destroyer was acting as an AA escort. The effective AA envelope of a L-M class destroyer acting as an AA escort, with the 4.7in/50 was almost identical to a USN MK 37 destroyer.

The RN was aware of the limitations of gunfire against aircraft since they assessed their own claims very severely, but the USN BuOrd willfully ignored their own drone tests and then falsified their 1942 AA claims to produce fantastically optimistic kill numbers which, in turn, seemed to add validity to the money spent on Mk33/37 development. Mk 33/37 seemed fantastic, on paper, but in actual combat it's kill numbers per round fired were no better than the RN's - but this is something that Friedman rather disappointingly ignores. It wasn't until civilian scientists got involved in developing USN AA FC that some sane numbers began to be developed for the true efficacy of Mk 37. The RN claimed only 22 AA kills during the Battle for Crete, while BuOrd accepted USN Carrier TG claims for 37 during Coral Sea. At first glance it appears as though USN AA must have been far superior, yet post war analysis shows 15+ AA kills for the RN at Crete and only 3 for the USN at Coral Sea! This data was available to Friedman yet he opted not to use it...

Again, remember that the USN also the built the destroyer leaders that had 8 x 5in/38 but with no 5in/38 AA capability beyond simple barrage fire.

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Re: Tribal class dd

Post by dunmunro » Fri Sep 26, 2014 3:18 pm

Francis Marliere wrote:
Steve Crandell wrote:How could you possibly get a kill with a VT fuse if the fire control system is unable to get the round close enough to the target?
Friedman says in his book that it was not too much a problem for the USN, because the late war directors did work fine, but it was a big one for the BPF : the British guns, due to HACS shortcomings, did not shoot accurately enough and the shells passed too far away from the target to detonate.
I only have access to a few RN action reports from the Pacific.. Using radar ranging RN AA accuracy seems very comparable to USN AA. VT Fuze development lagged for RN guns so RN VT ammo was always a generation behind USN ammo.

At Philippine Sea, IJN record seems to show considerable USN AA overclaiming...the same attack on a comparable force but using the RN's more severe AA assessments would probably result in one third fewer claims...

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Re: Tribal class dd

Post by alecsandros » Fri Sep 26, 2014 3:20 pm

dunmunro wrote:
Francis Marliere wrote:
Steve Crandell wrote:How could you possibly get a kill with a VT fuse if the fire control system is unable to get the round close enough to the target?
Friedman says in his book that it was not too much a problem for the USN, because the late war directors did work fine, but it was a big one for the BPF : the British guns, due to HACS shortcomings, did not shoot accurately enough and the shells passed too far away from the target to detonate.
I only have access to a few RN action reports from the Pacific.. Using radar ranging RN AA accuracy seems very comparable to USN AA. VT Fuze development lagged for RN guns so RN VT ammo was always a generation behind USN ammo.

At Philippine Sea, IJN record seems to show considerable USN AA overclaiming...the same attack on a comparable force but using the RN's more severe AA assessments would probably result in one third fewer claims...
With the hope that I will still get ignored,
USN Technical Mission to Japan recorded that CV Zuikaku AA gunnery log at Philipine Sea mentioned "at least 20" certain USN bombers shot down by Zuikaku's guns alone.

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Re: Tribal class dd

Post by Francis Marliere » Fri Sep 26, 2014 5:02 pm

pgollin wrote:You, obviously, are free to interpret Friedman's book as you wish, however the impression I got from his book was that he was VERY wary of making direct comparisons between navies' systems/performance (despite the advanced "blub" for the book saying that he would be making such). I really think you are being rather optimistic in taking such definitive views from his book.

Certainly the complicated nature of the numerous add-ons to the various HACS make "simple" statements about HACS almost impossible.

The BIG imponderable which is normally left out of discussions such is this is the massive difference in any system dealing with a "crossing" target with an "approaching" target. There are many positive statements (of various optimism level) about dealing with approaching targets from both RN and USN sources. Crossing targets SEEM to have been a major problem until the end of the war as proximity fuzes hardly affected the probability of downing them.
I may be mistaken, or optimistic or just using bad words (my english is not very good). Since Steeve asked the question of proximity fuzes not exploding because passing too far away from the target, I replied what I wrote on the book.
Anyway, I don't understand your comment on crossing targets. I guess we all agree that fast crossing targets were very difficult to shoot down, even with late war guns and fire controls.
Last edited by Francis Marliere on Fri Sep 26, 2014 5:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Tribal class dd

Post by Francis Marliere » Fri Sep 26, 2014 5:15 pm

Dave Saxton wrote: Many experts disagree with this point of view. Speaking to the late 44 through 1945 phase of the Pacific War Louis Brown wrote:
While the Army was beginning to demonstrate excellent AA fire, the Navy's perfomance with FD (type) radars with the mechnical anolog predictor, although greatly improved with the introduction of the proximity, was failing all too often....Attacks on ships often came in very low, evading air warning radar until late and making it impossible for the FD to determine height accurately. When air attacks began to come from Kamikazes the deficiencies of air defense became serious. The proximity fuze was of no avail if the shell was not placed within 20 meters of the target....Bell also undertook to design a replacement for the FD, the mark 12, using the same basic structure but on 33cm and with automatic tracking in range, automatic tracking in direction was to follow in a later modification (which did not happen during the war). This still left the Mk12 with manual tracking, not suited to the agile attackers and still followed by a slow mechnical predictor, and most ships retained the FD. No Mk57 directors appeared until early 1945.... This situation seemed nothing short of scandalous to Ivan Getting, who had been working on a Navy 3cm fire direction radar, Mk35, and a compatible and highly advanced director, the Mk56. When there was no evident move by April 1945 to put the system into service he wrote a sharp letter to Coordinator of R&D of the Navy Department pointing out the superiority of the Army's ...
No warship AA system of anybody's, anywhere, was really adequate, at any time, during WWII. If you didn't have a strong CAP you were in serious trouble.
Friedman does not say that AAA became perfect, but that it improved dramatically during the war, especially in 1943 with Bofors, FC radars and proximity fuzes. As dunmunro said, AAA shot down very few aircrafts in the first carreir battles. Late 42, looses were more important, and in 43-45, classic attacks became very costly for the attackers. That's the reason why Japanese changed tactics and tried either to saturate the defense or attack by surprise (small groups attacking at low altitude in poor visibility). Despite the improvements (more guns, better fire controls), the AAA could not deal effectively against this kind of attacks.

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Re: Tribal class dd

Post by Francis Marliere » Fri Sep 26, 2014 5:22 pm

dunmunro wrote:
Francis Marliere wrote:
dunmunro wrote:Which of Friedman's books are you referring to? I disagree that the Tribal's AA director was worse. It was a very lightweight director that could track targets easily versus Mk 33 which was a nightmare to use against aircraft
I refer - from memory since I don't have the book at hand - to "Naval antiaircraft guns and gunnery". The book is highly critical of British AA directors and also states that while the Mk 37 turned into a very efficient system when fitted with radars and proximity fuzes, the Mk 33 was not a success. However

dunmunro wrote:This allowed for 8 x 4.7in guns with AA capability in the Tribals, 6 x 4.7in/50 (50 deg elevation) in the L-M class and 6 x 4.7in in the J-K-Ms versus no 5in AA capability in the USN leaders and only 4 x 5in with AA capability guns in the smaller destroyer classes that were equivalent to the J-K-M class
The 4.7" guns had a short engagement envelope, and as AA escorts usually had to fire and umbrella barrage over the target, which was not - still from Friedman's book - not very effective.

It seems that you prise British guns more than the British did. They were more than aware of the limitation of their guns against aircrafts and shifted later on the war to 4.5" guns (why change your guns if they just work fine ?). IMHO 4.7" guns were more SP guns with a secondary AA capacity than a true DP gun (only the US 5"/38 was a true DP gun). I do not mean that British were stupids or incompetents : they just did not have the money build true DP guns and destroyers big enough to accomodate them (a DD with 8 DP guns would far bigger and more expensive than a Tribal). The RN had to do his best with the ressources available and IMHO made the good choice. The RN needed a lot of ships : I think that if the Brits build in the late 30s DD with true DP guns, there would be too few of them for fleet action and ASW.
Yes, Friedman is highly critical of RN directors and FC. Unfortunately, Friedman doesn't take the same critical analysis and apply it to USN systems. The Mk 33 and earlier systems were the USN's primary AA GFCS in service in 1939. The first Mk 37 didn't enter service until 1940 and even by mid 1941 Mk 37 was still quite rare so comparing a Tribal class, which entered service in 1938 to a USN destroyer that appeared several years later is a bit misleading. The USN had the luxury of continuing their AA GFCS development under peacetime conditions until Dec 1941, when the RN suddenly faced severe competition for access to the UK's industrial resources from Sept 1939 onward, and even more severely from mid 1940 onward.

The engagement envelop of a twin 4.7in/40 was limited by it's elevation and by the 25 sec max fuze time of the early MT fuzes, where the 5in/38 single was limited also by a 25sec max fuze timing in 1942. Against a 15000ft to (although at 15000ft the target would rapidly fly over the envelope) 12000ft altitude target both guns would open fire at aprox the same range, and against 9000ft altitude targets (as attacked Force Z) both guns would have approximately the same effective firing envelope, if the destroyer was acting as an AA escort. The effective AA envelope of a L-M class destroyer acting as an AA escort, with the 4.7in/50 was almost identical to a USN MK 37 destroyer.

The RN was aware of the limitations of gunfire against aircraft since they assessed their own claims very severely, but the USN BuOrd willfully ignored their own drone tests and then falsified their 1942 AA claims to produce fantastically optimistic kill numbers which, in turn, seemed to add validity to the money spent on Mk33/37 development. Mk 33/37 seemed fantastic, on paper, but in actual combat it's kill numbers per round fired were no better than the RN's - but this is something that Friedman rather disappointingly ignores. It wasn't until civilian scientists got involved in developing USN AA FC that some sane numbers began to be developed for the true efficacy of Mk 37. The RN claimed only 22 AA kills during the Battle for Crete, while BuOrd accepted USN Carrier TG claims for 37 during Coral Sea. At first glance it appears as though USN AA must have been far superior, yet post war analysis shows 15+ AA kills for the RN at Crete and only 3 for the USN at Coral Sea! This data was available to Friedman yet he opted not to use it...

Again, remember that the USN also the built the destroyer leaders that had 8 x 5in/38 but with no 5in/38 AA capability beyond simple barrage fire.
Dunmunro, sorry if I was not clear. I do not say that US DD (few of which had Mk37 untill 1943) were superior to Tribal when build. I just say that the USN had the time and money to build a combo 5"/38 + Mk37 + FC radars that turned into an efficient system in 1943 while the 4.7" did not have this potential. No crusade pro or against RN or USN here. As for Friedman, I did not notice a pro US biasis in the book.

Best,

Francis

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Re: Tribal class dd

Post by pgollin » Sat Sep 27, 2014 12:15 pm

Francis Marliere wrote:
........ Anyway, I don't understand your comment on crossing targets. I guess we all agree that fast crossing targets were very difficult to shoot down, even with late war guns and fire controls.


I don't really understand your comment (probably my error) - I THINK we are in agreement, as "crossing targets" (whether "fast" or not) were still a big problem for ALL navies, all guns and all fire control systems.

What I was trying to get at is that when people talk about how good or bad some aspect of AA gunnery was they almost invariably really mean how good that system was against an "approaching" target. ALL systems had problems with crossing targets and this should not be forgotten when praising (or not) any, or all, systems.

.

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Re: Tribal class dd

Post by Francis Marliere » Mon Sep 29, 2014 8:50 am

pgollin wrote:I don't really understand your comment (probably my error) - I THINK we are in agreement, as "crossing targets" (whether "fast" or not) were still a big problem for ALL navies, all guns and all fire control systems.
Sorry, my bad. My english is poor and I did not understand you. We are indeed in agreement.

Best,

Francis

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Re: Tribal class dd = HACS vs Mk37

Post by Byron Angel » Tue Sep 30, 2014 2:19 am

The HACS versus Mk.37 controversy was done to death earlier this year on the Naweaps BvB forum. My opinion, for whatever anyone thinks it's worth, is as follows: the only party who took any real time to analyze and compare the two systems side by side on a technical hands-on basis was the Royal Navy. The clear conclusions of their technical experts can be read and inferred in the successive wartime editions of Progress in Naval Gunnery.

B

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