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by MaduroBU
Sat Feb 15, 2020 10:55 pm
Forum: Off-Topic
Topic: When America understood warship building
Replies: 23
Views: 2710

Re: When America understood warship building

One other interesting factoid/historical oddity:

Nearly all of the Japanese carriers SHOULD have been sunk by US submarines in 1942 and 1943, in that all sustained torpedo hits which would've been fatal with working torpedoes. The criminally negligent performance of the pre-war Bureau of Ordnance (abetted by Congress) in fielding a torpedo with a faulty detonator that ran deep essentially kept the IJN in the war for an additional 2 years.

There's a great Youtuber who goes by "Drachinifel" who does a lot of cool WW1-WW2 warship videos, but his Mk 14 video was insightful on a subject that I had spent time looking into. I didn't realize the full extent of the losses that the IJN avoided during the early war, particularly to its carriers, until watching that video. I bring it up because it highlights the gravity of the shift in naval power from battleships to submarines even as early as 1942 (though that transition was camoflaged by bureaucratic incompetence).
by MaduroBU
Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:13 pm
Forum: Off-Topic
Topic: When America understood warship building
Replies: 23
Views: 2710

Re: When America understood warship building

One thing that I wonder about now is the relative lack of CIWS platforms on modern USN warships. At the outset of WW2, surface ships all had a sensible number of AA guns. By the end of WW2, sour urface ships looked like porcupines with 5" DP mounts, Bofors and 20mm mounts for quills. That transition wasn't made because sailors were doddling on the decks- it was a decision born of bombs striking our warships.

Fast forward to modern times: NOTHING good happens when something hits your ship going Mach 10, but the results are far worse if that object explodes once it is inside. Procurement and maintenance on a bunch of 20mm gatling cannons seems comparatively cheap compared to a single missile hit on a CVN.
by MaduroBU
Fri Jan 24, 2020 1:44 am
Forum: Off-Topic
Topic: When America understood warship building
Replies: 23
Views: 2710

Re: When America understood warship building

Chester Nimitz, Hyman Rickover and Jimmy Thach killed the battleship, albeit in very different ways.

Nimitz, being a submariner, unleashed the Silent Service upon Japan days after Pearl Harbor and demonstrated the terrifying power of the attack submarine. When Rickover aggressively made nuclear boats safe and reliable, the SSN functionally replaced the battleship. In that way, it's incorrect to say that we don't have battleships, just that they look different today. There is a reason that only SSNs and SSBNs are named after states Ii.e the historical naming convention for BBs).

Thach contributed to the BB's demise by starting the process of redefining "armor". In direct response to Midway and the Coral Sea, he proposed continuous CAP over American task forces with destroyer pickets at great range actively vectoring in those airplanes. The effectiveness of this strategy was apparent in its defense against kamikaze attacks, but most pointedly at the Philippine Sea, wherein Hellcats literally ate incoming waves of Japanese planes. What should've been the "Japanese Midway" (they had a big advantage in wind as well as a ton of land based aircraft to buttress their carrier air wings) was instead the "Marianas Turkey Shoot". Our planes killed exactly one carrier (the Cavalla also got one- cool boat to see in Galveston), but it didn't matter because by the end, nearly all of the Japanese pilots were busy fighting off sharks. Armor, like every other material, depends upon size and material properties. Steel's material properties are far superior to those of air, but hundreds of nautical miles of air can overcome that disadvantage.

Nuclear reactors, rocket propelled shells, nuclear warheads, and composite armor all COULD have contributed to a battleship that was massively superior to its predecessors. The Iowas actually carried W8 shells in the 1950s, which were reportedly ~15kt each. But none of that mattered compared to the sea change in naval power that lead to the ascendancy of the CVN as the primary support platform, the SSBN as the primary strategic naval arm, and the SSN as the new battleship.

The guy who ran a sports website that I used to frequent service on a Los Angeles class SSN. He said that during wargames, they essentially cruised around racking up tonnage.

Image

The Mk 7 is an impressive weapon, but the Mk 48 Mod 7 is horrifying.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81fRUr_8mLI

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