The Greatest Naval Battle in History

General naval discussions that don't fit within any specific time period or cover several issues.

Which was the greatest naval battle in history?

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neil hilton
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Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Post by neil hilton » Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:15 pm

I think the problem with this how it was reported in the press. BATTLE FOR LEYTE GULF is a good newspaper headline CAMPAIGN FOR LEYTE GULFisnt. Same with the Battle of the Atlantic which is clearly a campaign and yet everybody calls it a battle because thats what the ordinary man in the street understands not the differences of military jargon.
I think 'The Greatest Naval Battle in History' is a rather obscure way of putting it. As has been pointed out before in this thread what is meant by 'Greatest' what is meant by 'Battle'? Non definitive meanings result in endless discussion.
It should be noted that the original post didnt include Leyte Gulf as a contender.
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Pandora
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Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Post by Pandora » Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:45 pm

I think smae can be said about the pursuit and sinking of the Bismarck that included 2 main battles at Denmark strait and Bismarck final battle. Rheinubung is as well within the battle of the Atlantic. it is really a campaign inside a bigger campaign.

Battle of the Atlantic > Rheinubung > Denmark strait battle

jesse espinosa
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Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Post by jesse espinosa » Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:50 am

mike1880 wrote:I have some sympathy with both sides of this argument. Leyte is never referred to, as far as I'm aware, as anything other than a battle. If it was a campaign you'd be able to point to specific engagements, each individually named, as being the battles fought as part of that campaign. And what do you know, you can. Both right then. Can we move on now?
thats good enough..with due respect specially to mr hilton i appreciate your correction and i stand corrected to some issues and i appreciate with the discussion is very fruitful..yes we have to move on but hope there will be more discussions about leyte gulf because there are many things to be discussed in that campaign for the several battles it fought because not only the strength of the u.s navy but also the strong determination of the japanese navy against all odds, that makes the battle of leyte gulf or campaign an extraordinary naval warfare

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neil hilton
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Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Post by neil hilton » Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:57 pm

jesse espinosa wrote:
mike1880 wrote:I have some sympathy with both sides of this argument. Leyte is never referred to, as far as I'm aware, as anything other than a battle. If it was a campaign you'd be able to point to specific engagements, each individually named, as being the battles fought as part of that campaign. And what do you know, you can. Both right then. Can we move on now?
thats good enough..with due respect specially to mr hilton i appreciate your correction and i stand corrected to some issues and i appreciate with the discussion is very fruitful..yes we have to move on but hope there will be more discussions about leyte gulf because there are many things to be discussed in that campaign for the several battles it fought because not only the strength of the u.s navy but also the strong determination of the japanese navy against all odds, that makes the battle of leyte gulf or campaign an extraordinary naval warfare
I do hope nobody takes this the wrong way but this thread is a debate/argument about great historical naval battles, that is what we have been doing isn't it? So moving on to something else makes no sense except to end the debate. All the points raised in the last few pages are legitimate to this discussion and do not detract from it, it should continue as long as somebody has something to add.
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Djoser
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Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Post by Djoser » Sun Dec 02, 2012 11:15 am

i would add that no more was at stake than was at Salamis, and that result was least of all predictable.

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neil hilton
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Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Post by neil hilton » Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:30 pm

I disagree. If the US had lost the Leyte Gulf campaign it would have set the war against Japan back a few years while a new fleet was prepared and troops trained. If the Greeks had lost at Salamis they would not have been able to recover and the Persians would be able to control Greece easily, what that would do for the whole of hellenic/latin/european culture would be drastic.
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RF
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Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Post by RF » Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:17 pm

Why?

The US deployed only 15% of its war potential against Japan, compared with 85% against Germany. By 1944 such losses you could envisage would be quickly replaced. That is quite apart from the fact that within a year the war in Europe was over and the US had the atom bomb.

I think ''a few months'' would be far more accurate than ''a few years.''
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neil hilton
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Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Post by neil hilton » Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:55 pm

A few months is a little too quick I think (it would probably take that long just to plan such an operation) but a few years may be too slow as it would be doubtful the Japanese could destroy the US fleet rather than forcing it to retreat. I was erring on the side of caution. Also considering the eventual involvement of the USSR this would egg the US on in getting to Japan first even if they had a shortage of forces.
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RF
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Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Post by RF » Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:40 pm

Of course also the US could go direct for Japan without the ''island hopping'' apart from the three Mariana islands plus Iwo Jima. They had plenty of carriers, some of them on Atlantic and Mediterranean duty.
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neil hilton
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Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Post by neil hilton » Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:32 pm

This would be very dangerous for the US fleet as the Japanese expected it and maintained a huge airforce on the home islands. This was why the US initially decided on high altitude bombing with B29s up in the jet stream so the Japanese aircraft couldn't get at them.
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RF
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Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Post by RF » Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:22 am

The first US bombing raid by Doolittle was launched from carriers in April 1942 and was successful in its aims, including achieving surprise.

Japanese aircraft in the four home islands were completely ineffective against the USAF; lack of fuel, lack of trained pilots with combat experience, lack of radar quite apart from the US tactics.
The US could and did bomb Japan from bases in China.
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Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Post by Byron Angel » Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:32 pm

RF wrote:The first US bombing raid by Doolittle was launched from carriers in April 1942 and was successful in its aims, including achieving surprise.

Japanese aircraft in the four home islands were completely ineffective against the USAF; lack of fuel, lack of trained pilots with combat experience, lack of radar quite apart from the US tactics.
The US could and did bomb Japan from bases in China.

I agree that Japanese home air defense was found wanting in the case of the USAF strategic bombing campaign; it proved IMO an annoyance more than an effective deterrent. The most problematical component of the campaign for the US seems to have been the great over-water ranges at which the bombers were initially forced to operate. I'm not sure I would say that the Japanese air defense was totally ineffective, however. It did "encourage" the USAF B29s to operate at very high altitudes in daylight (although that decision may have also been influenced by the USAF's own preliminary theories about the abilities of its new B29s to conduct precision bombing at such altitudes); when LeMay decided to commit to low altitude attacks to improve bombing accuracy, he did opt to do so at night.

B

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neil hilton
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Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Post by neil hilton » Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:20 pm

But with a US invasion fleet coming over the horizon all those planes, even with the forces deficiencies, would have gone kamikaze on them by the hundreds. Not a pretty sight.
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jesse espinosa
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Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Post by jesse espinosa » Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:47 pm

after okinawa it seems the japanese are already a defeated nation..however the invasion of japan will not be like the invasion of germany..it would be nasty..the experience in saipan, iwo jima and okinawa its enough the americans and its allies to think twice. whatever the issue to use the atomic bombs, with the fanatical stand of the japanese to protect their emperor, the 2 bombs saved a million of lives and ending the war earlier as expected.

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Sat Jul 26, 2014 8:53 am

My vote goes to Tsushima among the "recent" battles.
I exclude Leyte and Midway as they were not Naval battles but Aero-Naval battles, therefore a completely different matter. In addition Leyte happened when the balance of the war was already moving to the US side.
Jutland was bigger but indecisive (albeit it confirmed to Britain the supremacy at sea).

At Tsushima, Japan took over the role of Eastern Naval power from Russia and the consequence and dramatic outcome of the battle is still unsurpassed.

For the old ages, I would not forget in chronologic order 1) Milazzo (Mylae, 260BC) when Caio Duilio gave to the Roman Republic the supremacy at sea in the Mediterranean that lasted until the end of the Empire, 2)Lepanto (for the overall importance in stopping the expansion of the Ottoman Empire and 3) Trafalgar that "de facto" decided the domain of the seas during the Napoleonic wars.

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