Yamato + Musahi - Damage taken

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Steve Crandell
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Re: Yamato + Musahi - Damage taken

Postby Steve Crandell » Thu Feb 12, 2015 3:08 am

I don't recall any temporary rudder outages that weren't simply normal operational failures. Does someone have an example of this? A combat damaged rudder that was fixed at sea? Oh, I believe a German cruiser lost her rudder and jury rigged a fix, but not sure if it was combat related. Was that when the stern failed and sagged after a torpedo hit?

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Re: Yamato + Musahi - Damage taken

Postby Garyt » Thu Feb 12, 2015 4:21 am

I don't recall any temporary rudder outages that weren't simply normal operational failures. Does someone have an example of this? A combat damaged rudder that was fixed at sea? Oh, I believe a German cruiser lost her rudder and jury rigged a fix, but not sure if it was combat related. Was that when the stern failed and sagged after a torpedo hit?


This might take a good amount of research. If steering is unresponsive for a few minutes, how is that going to factor into the damage report? It may well be missed, OR you have to find some very detailed descriptions of the battle.

Sometimes shell hits could result in flash fires which could temporarily knock out main armaments or secondary armaments - and while this is a factual thing that happened, you often don't see it in reports of a battle.

Also, if a ship did have an even temporary loss of steering, this would make her much more likely to be sunk, thereby making it impossible to determine if repairs were possible at sea.

For example, the Akagi had a damaged rudder at Midway from a bomb near miss. Whether it was repairable at sea is rather impossible to determine.

I'm not saying temporary rudder damage was common or uncommon, just that it may be difficult to determine.

Along another vein, it's almost as difficult as looking for physical evidence regarding the ever elusive greek linothorax.

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Re: Yamato + Musahi - Damage taken

Postby alecsandros » Thu Feb 12, 2015 7:48 am

Garyt wrote:NO, I actually like them better not being computerized, makes it easier to understand the nuts and bolts behind the system. The numbers I am quoting are from two different games - I think Alecsandros in his 25-33% numbers is using real life percentages.

Yes, it's the available volume of the magazines at battle range and target inclination in the way of probable 380mm shell trajectory...
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Re: Yamato + Musahi - Damage taken

Postby Steve Crandell » Thu Feb 12, 2015 4:59 pm

Garyt wrote:
I don't recall any temporary rudder outages that weren't simply normal operational failures. Does someone have an example of this? A combat damaged rudder that was fixed at sea? Oh, I believe a German cruiser lost her rudder and jury rigged a fix, but not sure if it was combat related. Was that when the stern failed and sagged after a torpedo hit?


This might take a good amount of research. If steering is unresponsive for a few minutes, how is that going to factor into the damage report? It may well be missed, OR you have to find some very detailed descriptions of the battle.

Sometimes shell hits could result in flash fires which could temporarily knock out main armaments or secondary armaments - and while this is a factual thing that happened, you often don't see it in reports of a battle.

Also, if a ship did have an even temporary loss of steering, this would make her much more likely to be sunk, thereby making it impossible to determine if repairs were possible at sea.

For example, the Akagi had a damaged rudder at Midway from a bomb near miss. Whether it was repairable at sea is rather impossible to determine.

I'm not saying temporary rudder damage was common or uncommon, just that it may be difficult to determine.

Along another vein, it's almost as difficult as looking for physical evidence regarding the ever elusive greek linothorax.


I disagree. I think you will find any and all of those things in a normal ship damage report. We have been debating a three minute loss of electrical power on South Dakota, and it was dealt will extensively on the ship's damage report. I am sure any loss of rudder function and for sure a "flash fire" knocking out main or secondary armament will be in it. I also can't imagine such a thing putting armament out for only a few minutes, but in any case it would be very significant to the people responsible for designing protection against those things.

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Re: Yamato + Musahi - Damage taken

Postby Garyt » Thu Feb 12, 2015 8:07 pm

I disagree. I think you will find any and all of those things in a normal ship damage report


I'm not in a condition to agree or disagree. Until I'd research about every ship that had been hit by a torpedo and if there was any steering loss and if that was later corrected at sea, I don't feel comfortable with any definitive answer. I'd of course throw near misses in there as well.

Another hit in the stern area that could cause problems would be the flooding of the steering rooms such as on the Hiei before she was sunk. Not a damaged rudder, but similar results. And sometimes temporary as well.

And again, like the Akagi, we don't know if the Hiei could have corrected her steering problems given enough time. The problem is is that these vessels are generally caught and not able to run away, and are soon sunk without being able to determine if a steering problem is correctable at sea. THis is one of the problems in determining whether these damages could be repaired at sea. If the Bismarck was given calmer waters and was not being hunted could it have repaired the rudder? Maybe, but we will never know.

and for sure a "flash fire" knocking out main or secondary armament will be in it. I also can't imagine such a thing putting armament out for only a few minutes, but in any case it would be very significant to the people responsible for designing protection against those things.


Problem you have here is that the most common response to a flash fire would be to flood magazines. Another common result would be a detonation. You will have to find a situation to where there was the start of a magazine fire, the magazine was not flooded, and the magazine did not detonate.

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Re: Yamato + Musahi - Damage taken

Postby Garyt » Sat Feb 14, 2015 6:59 pm

I might add there is a bit of a difference between real life and a wargame when it comes to flash fires as well.

In a wargame, you decide not to flood the magazines the worst that happens is you lose one of your miniatures (a temporary loss of course).

In real life it could result in the deaths of thousands.

I think it should almost be automatic that the magazine should attempt to be flooded in the event of a dangerous magazine fire.

The only thing that might stop this from happening might be
1) Access to the flooding mechanism impossible due to damage or raging fires
2) Flooding mechanism itself is damaged and inoperable
3) Crew is to engaged in abandoning the ship to stop the fire

A situation like #3 was the likely cause of the Yamato's magazine explosion, the fire around the 6" gun mags probably went out of control as the order was given to abandon ship. Either this fire or the explosion of the 6" mags led to the detonation of the primary magazines.

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Re: Yamato + Musahi - Damage taken

Postby paul.mercer » Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:41 pm

Garyt wrote:
Unlike naval artillery, bombs can strike decks at or very near the normal (a right angle). Given a high enough release point and corresponding high velocity even a much smaller AP bomb striking at or near the normal could defeat such deck protection. A bomb penetration is not unlikely at all. It may have been flash rather than a full intact penetration, however.


First, lets look at the terminal velocity of such a bomb - Per an earlier post of yours on this forum -

I have found original data on the US 1600 lb AP bomb. The terminal velocity was 270m/s. At 270m/s and striking at the normal, the penetration is ~205mm homogenous armour.


The Musahi had 200-230mm deck armor, so at the bombs terminal velocity, penetration is a borderline issue.

Problem is though that to get to a terminal velocity would require a higher drop than dive bombing. I don't have the exact numbers, but we'd be looking more along the lines of fairly high level bombing. Which to my knowledge, the US was using dive bombing against the Musahi. Level bombing from that height would have had almost no chance of hitting a moving battleship. Ask the B-17 bombers at Midway.

based on the above info, I'd argue against a penetrating hit of the armored deck. I would think the decks above the armored deck were penetrated (which would also give any witnesses the appearance that the ship was indeed "penetrated"), and as I said above the concussive damage caused damage to the piping below in the boiler room. Penetration is not required to damage a vessel. Spalling could have been another explanation of the damage caused to the Engine areas.

It's possible it could have hit a joint or seem, but I don't think there is any method to calculate the chances of penetration for every possibility.

Yoshimura shows 16 direct bomb hits and 17 damaging near misses from bombs.


Have to read the US technical mission to Japan and their findings on the damage taken by the Musahi? From what I have read of it, it seems to make pretty good sense. I think sometimes interviews conducted and pieced together after the event can be more credible than what witnesses believe happened during the heat of battle.

I don't know if either is 100% accurate, but I tend to lean towards the US technical mission's findings.

I might add though that 17 damaging near misses add a lot of below waterline damage to the hull. It's amazing that in addition to the severe torpedo damage the Musahi took those near misses, which I think are more damaging to the sea worthiness of a well armored vessel like the Musahi than direct hits.

In the case of the Prince of Wales it was the warping of a drive shaft by the first torpedo hit aft, which destroyed the water tightness of the ship for some 280 feet-all the way to and into the turbine rooms. It was a fatal hit, but kind of fluke result unlikely to very repeatable.

What is of greater concern was the knocking out of most of the ship's electrical power by the first hit.


Yes, I think the POW class was a bit weak in underwater defenses compared to other modern battleships. Not because of that one hit, but because it's voided area was a fair amount thinner than most other vessels of it's class.

Gentlemen,
If the terminal velocity of a 1600 bomb is 270m/s what would the terminal velocity of a 15 or 16" shell (which weigh more) be, and would it have the same effect?

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Re: Yamato + Musahi - Damage taken

Postby Steve Crandell » Tue Feb 24, 2015 4:31 am

The Japanese used battleship shells converted to AP bombs at Pearl Harbor. When fired from guns, battleship shells do not reach terminal velocity. I believe they are actually accelerating when they reach the end of their trajectory at long ranges.

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Re: Yamato + Musahi - Damage taken

Postby Dave Saxton » Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:02 pm

The velocities when fired from a gun are much higher than obtained from free falling. I have the velocity data of the German 15". The muzzle velocity was 820 m/s. It reduces to about 450 meters per second by beyond 30,000 meters. On one data set it reduces constantly until 31,500 meters range where it is 460 m/s. It kind of holds at about that reducing only slightly. It increases slightly to about 465 m/s beyond 36,000 meters range.
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: Yamato + Musahi - Damage taken

Postby Garyt » Tue Feb 24, 2015 7:34 pm

I was going to give some date on shells at various ranges, Dave, but you beat me to the punch :D

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Re: Yamato + Musahi - Damage taken

Postby Steve Crandell » Tue Feb 24, 2015 10:37 pm

Dave Saxton wrote:The velocities when fired from a gun are much higher than obtained from free falling. I have the velocity data of the German 15". The muzzle velocity was 820 m/s. It reduces to about 450 meters per second by beyond 30,000 meters. On one data set it reduces constantly until 31,500 meters range where it is 460 m/s. It kind of holds at about that reducing only slightly. It increases slightly to about 465 m/s beyond 36,000 meters range.


Comparatively, the US 16"/50 had lower muzzle velocity but higher terminal velocity at the longer ranges.

The 16"/45 had lower muzzle velocity than the 16"/50 (of course) and even higher terminal velocity at the same ranges, but of course couldn't go as far and didn't achieve as high a velocity at their respective maximum ranges.

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Re: Yamato + Musahi - Damage taken

Postby Dave Saxton » Wed Feb 25, 2015 3:11 am

Steve Crandell wrote:Comparatively, the US 16"/50 had lower muzzle velocity but higher terminal velocity at the longer ranges.

Indeed, greater weight means less loss of velocity per distance traveled. Assuming not too much disparity between starting velocities, the heavier shell will eventually be going faster than the lighter shell.

It does an interesting thing to angle of fall at long ranges though. At 30km the AoF of the 16"/50 (1200kg) is ~32*. At 30km the angle of fall of the 15"/52 (800kg) is 31*.

An interesting comparison is the Wee Vee 16"/45 (2240lb) to the Mk7 16"/50 (2700lb): At 25km the Wee Vee 16" has an angle of fall of 26* while the 16"/50 has 25*. At 30km the Wee Vee 16" AoF is 35* compared to 32*. At 31 km (max range of the Wee Vee 16" ) is 38*, while the 16"/50 is ~35*.

Now what does the shell weight of the Yamato and Musashi's 46cm guns do to their long range ballistics despite their modest muzzle velocities?
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: Yamato + Musahi - Damage taken

Postby paulcadogan » Wed Mar 04, 2015 3:17 am

Well maybe there'll be some new info for you all!

Musashi's wreck has just been found!

http://www.warhistoryonline.com/war-art ... sashi.html
Qui invidet minor est - He who envies is the lesser man

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Re: Yamato + Musahi - Damage taken

Postby delcyros » Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:21 pm

From:
US technical mission to Japan
No. S-06-2
Reports of damage to japanese warships, artcile 2 (42p.)
YAMATO(BB), MUSASHI(BB),
SHINANO (CV), TAIHO (CV).
Issued january 6th, 1946.

The report contains conclusive evaluation of other reports, inclusing USSBS Interrogation reports No. 32, 35,47, 133 and 149.
I quote from p. 17:
3. When this investigation was started, there was little data aviable. That which was aviable was fantastic and completely out of proportion with the charackteristics of the ship, the events which caused YAMATO´s loss, and those involved in the loss of SHINANO. For example the Chief of Staff to the OTC in command reported in USSBS interrogation report No. 149 that she had been hit with 18 torpedoes and 40 bombs -deriving this information, he said, from survivors. Again, the action report briefed in Article, this report, lists 21 torpedohits. Yet MUSASHI did not sink until about four hours after the end of the last and most vicious attack made against her. It appeared that the well known trait of magnifying disaster had had full rein, with no questions asked by any office of the Naval Ministry.

4. Fortunately, the Executive Officer and the Chief Engeneer were made aviable for interrogation. Both had personal notebooks filed with many details of MUSASHI´s loss. Both had interviewed many survivors. Both officers also reported 21 torpedohits, but it turned out that the Executive Officer had assisted in preperation of the action report referred to in (3). Nonetheless, both officers appeared unusually intellegent and well-informed. oncerning ten of the hits, they were able to furnish comparatively large amount of detailed information. On the other eleven they could give absolutely no details, despite the facts that the Executive Officer had received almost all damage controll reports and kept notes of the rports, and that the Engineering Officer was in the machinery spaces almost the entire period of action.




A narrative about the standarts and draft of MUSASHI as well as the details of the action and damage involvd follows. On p. 20f. it goes on with the final attack of the last and most vicious wave:

23. Fatal damage was done by torpedoes. Both Captains reported ten hits. Two of these were reported as duds, striking at frame 140 port. While identifying a dud torpedohit in the midst of a heavy air attack offers ground for speculation, the matter was not pressed beyond determining that they had been reported presumably by eyewitnesses. No flooding inboard of the holding bulkhead was reported, in any event.

24. Of the remaining eight torpedoes, four were quite well identified by flooding reported by the Chief Engineer and Executive Officer. The first was at frame 75 port, in way of turret No.1 magazines. The magazines on the two lower levels were flooded. This hit was reported by the Executive Officer to have hit in the same area as a hit in the fourth attack (which was not assessed as a hit because no flooding was known by either officer). The second certain hit was near frame 125 port, flooding No.8 firerooms immediately, No. 12 fireroom was flooded more slowly. The third certain hit was near frame 145 port, flooding the port outboard engineroom quite rapidly, altough personal escaped. Again, the Executive Officer believed this hit to be in the way of a previous hit from the second attack (which was not assessed as a hit because no inboard signs of damage were recalled by the Chief Engeneerer). The fourth certain hit was near frame 105 starboard, in way of AA magazines immediately forward of the machinery spaces. Magazines of two lower levels were reported to have flooded.

25. Neither officer could recall any specific damage or flooding from the other four torpedohits from this attack, altough the Executive Officer had the location entered in his notebook. This lack of information is understandable, perhaps, altough it is pointed out that about four hours elapsed between the end of the attack and MUSASHI´s sinking. Nonetheless, they are assesed as possible hits in the following location:
About frame 40 port
About frame 60 port
About frame 80 starboard
About frame 165 port

26. At the end of this attack, MUSASHI had a noticable list to starboard, estimated by both officers as about 10 to 12 deg. The trim forward was serious with the waterline at the stem in the vicinity of the flying (U.S. Forecastle) deck. Three certain torpedohits were on the portside and one on the starboard side. The reported list thus is reasonably consistent with the number of hits assesed as certain. It is difficult to assess the possible hits, in terms of either trim or list, inasmuch as the certain hits are consistent with conditions and the possible hits, had they occurred, could reasonably be expected to have produced a much heavier list (three possible were well forward). Actual trim by the bow increased only one deck height. It is considered doubtful that they occurred.




A narrative of the counterefforts undertaken to righten up the ship follows, evnetually, these efforts prooved to be fruitless due to progressive flooding forward.

B. Discussion

32. Aircraft torpedoes with warheads containing 600 lbs Torpex were employed against MUSASHI. The depth settings employed are largely unknown but a few were set quite shallow. It is doubtful if any were more shallow than the submarine torpedo, which struck YAMATO in December 1943 (from section I it will be recalled that the depth of this hit, located by the puddle area on the armour, was about four feet). Therefore, all hits other than duds should have caused some inboard flooding.

33. Table

34. Thus there were five starboard and five port certain hits, possibly augmented by one or more of the four purported hits received in the last attack, altough these possible hits are considered improbable. The equal distribution, port and starboard, and the interval between attacks undoubtly were responsible for MUSASHI´s lingering death throes.


Ten certain torpedo hits, and up to four more possible ones. The number of ~20 torpedohits seems to be inflated.

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Re: Yamato + Musahi - Damage taken

Postby Garyt » Tue Jun 23, 2015 7:12 pm

Ten certain torpedo hits, and up to four more possible ones. The number of ~20 torpedohits seems to be inflated


That is pretty much how I feel. I'm guessing some of the possibles were hits, so maybe 12 torpedoes if we had to have an exact number.

Yamato took 11-13 torpedoes, and more concentrated to one side, so the 14 number may be right as well. The Musahi took much more time to sink than the Yamato did, largely I think to the US tactic of concentrating torpedo attacks predominantly on one side.

I think the Musahi did take 12 torpedoes, but it definitely took these 12 to sink it.

The other thing that would have effected it's ability to stay afloat would be damaging near misses - I'm sure there were some, but does the US technical mission address how many?


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