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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Military/History Related Hobbies > Alternate Timelines > Xtreme Alternate History

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  #16  
Old 21 Jul 15, 15:23
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Wink Minor hijacking

Anybody remember the old dos version of the warship games. There was one for the PAcific and one for the ETO. They weren't bad for their day and you could how speed could effect tactics.

We did a similar set of scenarios one pitting KGV, PoW, Nelson, Warspite and Queen Elizabeth against two such titans. The British won by splitting their line into two wings and leap frogging the lead ships once the US battleships were spotted. Engagement began at about 27,000 yds (visibility) and when the last shell splashes collapsed both US ships were wrecked, Neslon was sinking, two other (Warspite, QE) British battleships were badly damaged and two lightly damaged (KGV, PoW).

In a similar match up ahainst Yamato, Hiei, Karishima, Fuso and Ise. The US won but both BBs were badly shot up (both Hiei and Fuso exploded).

Pity no one took those games into the modern computing gaming. French Fantastique DDs could sweep the sea against other DDs until the RN Tribals and mid war DDs came along. Pitting French and Italian fleets against each other was a lot of fun too.

Pardon the hijacking
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  #17  
Old 21 Jul 15, 16:29
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I'd say the above scenarios depend on the tactics the two sides use.

The best choice in both for the Iowa's is to maintain range at 25,000 to 30,000 yards where they have about a 30% or better shooting accuracy advantage over their opponents. None of the above battleships have a radar anywhere close to as accurate as the Mk 8 FC radar on an Iowa.
The British are still using "A scope" displays for their FC radar in 1944-45.
This advantage isn't to be understated. At 25,000 + yards you are shooting at hull down ships over the visual horizon. It is very difficult to get an optical range on such a ship.

The British line would be limited to about (realistically) 20 knots if it intended to stay together in any sort of formation.
The Japanese would be limited to about the same.

I doubt the Fantastique's would have proven that vicious. Again, when you factor in fire control, the British are slightly ahead but have an odd arrangement with a separate range finder and DCT giving them a basic range clock system with "follow the pointer" at the guns. The RN, putting it bluntly, let their DD's down with a single purpose gun and giving them a half @$$ed fire control system.

The French are about equivalent in FC. The big disadvantage is using the 5.5" gun which really pushes the limit of what can be hand loaded. In the calmer Med this might have been acceptable but in the Atlantic it would have been an issue, just as it was for the Germans.


Both are better than the Germans with DD's where the Germans put just a rangefinder aboard.

Both are behind the curve compared to the Mk 33 / 38 system on US DD's.
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  #18  
Old 21 Jul 15, 16:57
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Are they teleported in or known to be building in the late thirties.If known quantities there existence would have had effect on RN building plans and force deployment,and actions taken to ensure their demise.Hood and PoW would have probably waited for concerted action with the ships that in the otl sank the Bismark.Both crews would have been green ,more so the ersatz Tirpitz rushed into premature service.Even if they triumph in the engagement major damage would be bound to happen leading to months of refit work in France or home ports with the attendant attention of the RAF.Round two would likely have them face part of the US fleet and possibly a couple of Lion class ships alongside the survivors of the original clash.
EDIT.I realised when I got to work I had the US in the war 12 months early,head hung in shame.

Last edited by grishnak; 22 Jul 15 at 16:28..
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  #19  
Old 21 Jul 15, 17:25
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I would add that tactically, battleships should never be operated singly. They should be used minimally in pairs.

A single battleship, even a superior quality one, is not a match for two BB. The fact that one BB is not going to be engaged gives it a big advantage over the single BB and its engaged companion.
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  #20  
Old 01 Aug 15, 18:57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobTheBarbarian View Post
In this crazy "what if" scenario, KMS Bismarck and Prinz Eugen are switched out for Iowa-class super-battleships just prior to the Battle of the Denmark Strait. In another breach of the space-time continuum, the Iowas are outfitted with their historical late-war weapons and equipment, radar-assisted gunfire, VT-fuses and all. The Germans have the ability to maintain such ships. Naturally the Royal Navy is going to do anything and everything it can to sink them. Assuming the historical forces dispatched against the Bismarck from 24-27 May 1941, can the two 60,000-ton giants prevail?

(For argument's sake let's assume that Admiral Lütjens is acting under direct orders to pick a fight with the RN forces. He will not take advantage of the Iowas' superior speed to zip away unless his ships are in immediate danger of being crippled or sunk.)
Hi BtB

Well I'll assume that the damage that Bismarck received prior to the engagement with KGV & Rodney etc must also be prevalent (to the USN ships) otherwise these vessels wouldn't have met each other without other's being present!

In reality all vessels suffer mechanical, electronic and other breakdowns/misfortunes during a battle, throw in a heavy dose of luck, crew training and the sea state and any ship can beat another on a given day.

Regards

Andy H
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  #21  
Old 01 Aug 15, 20:34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy H View Post
Hi BtB

Well I'll assume that the damage that Bismarck received prior to the engagement with KGV & Rodney etc must also be prevalent (to the USN ships) otherwise these vessels wouldn't have met each other without other's being present!

In reality all vessels suffer mechanical, electronic and other breakdowns/misfortunes during a battle, throw in a heavy dose of luck, crew training and the sea state and any ship can beat another on a given day.

Regards

Andy H
What damage? Hood and Prince of Wales would have been pulverized while still trying to walk in their firing range. And no Swordfish will survive any torpedo runs against Missouri and New Jersey. And just how will King George V and Rodney catch the Americans? They would be running away from the Americans as Rodney tries to figure out how to get a shot off!
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  #22  
Old 01 Aug 15, 21:25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy H View Post
In reality all vessels suffer mechanical, electronic and other breakdowns/misfortunes during a battle, throw in a heavy dose of luck, crew training and the sea state and any ship can beat another on a given day.

Regards

Andy H
But, there the US has the advantage again. For example, the US BB's rely on electrical turret traverse and elevation while the British ones using a DC electrical system rely on hydraulics. Take out either the hydraulic pump or DC power and down goes the turrets.
The US has the advantage of a more robust and redundant electrical system so it is less likely to lose turret power.
The British also rely heavily on steam powered fire pumps on their ships. The US puts a mix of electric and steam ones aboard. This too is in the US' favor.
One reason historically the PoW lost power and control so quickly was a loss of steam and the fire main. That meant their best way to control flooding was lost with it.
The US ships can use their emergency diesel generators to run some fire pumps in the event of loss of steam. That means they retain a de-watering capability that is far better than the British ships have.
The US ships also have "unit" machinery while the British, with the exception of the KVG class, still have boilers and engine rooms grouped separately making them more vulnerable to a loss of power.
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  #23  
Old 02 Aug 15, 08:11
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Hi

Without the damage received, the Bismarck wouldn't have met KGV etc, so the WI is mute.

Equally the RN wouldn't have just sent what they did historically against 2x16in BB's as they did against 1x15in BB and a 8in CA

Regards

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  #24  
Old 02 Aug 15, 10:47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy H View Post
Hi

Without the damage received, the Bismarck wouldn't have met KGV etc, so the WI is mute.

Equally the RN wouldn't have just sent what they did historically against 2x16in BB's as they did against 1x15in BB and a 8in CA

Regards

Andy H
They really didn't have any more to send. Some were in Egypt, some were too slow to catch up, some were too low on fuel. It wasn't like in WW1 where the whole Grand Fleet was just sitting at Scapa Flow waiting for the Germans.
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Old 02 Aug 15, 11:02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy H View Post
Hi

Without the damage received, the Bismarck wouldn't have met KGV etc, so the WI is mute.

Equally the RN wouldn't have just sent what they did historically against 2x16in BB's as they did against 1x15in BB and a 8in CA

Regards

Andy H
Hi Andy,

In order to prevent exactly what you are saying from occurring, the action starts with the two super-battleships replacing Bismarck and Prinz Eugen just before their encounter with Hood and PoW on May 24. Adm. Lutjens, in command of the force, is ordered to be aggressive, to 'pick a fight,' so to speak (so he won't just zip away using the Iowas' 33.5 knot top speed). This way, the Iowas will have to face both the initial RN task force (Hood and PoW) as well as the second group that arrived two days later (KGV, Rodney, Renown, Ark Royal, etc). The Germans are going for a decisive battle!
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  #26  
Old 02 Aug 15, 13:12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johns624 View Post
They really didn't have any more to send. Some were in Egypt, some were too slow to catch up, some were too low on fuel. It wasn't like in WW1 where the whole Grand Fleet was just sitting at Scapa Flow waiting for the Germans.
Hi John

This is always an issue with counter-factual's, even in such an extreme version as this, in that only one aspect is changed and nothing else is, thus defying logic and basing it on a scenario that would never come to pass and usually with a pre-ordained result/outcome in mind

Regards

Andy H
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  #27  
Old 02 Aug 15, 15:16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy H View Post
Hi

Without the damage received, the Bismarck wouldn't have met KGV etc, so the WI is mute.

Equally the RN wouldn't have just sent what they did historically against 2x16in BB's as they did against 1x15in BB and a 8in CA

Regards

Andy H
The WI is not moot. With the Germans now possessing the superior ships...they are no longer shying away from engagement. It is no longer "The Hunt for Bismarck" but rather..."Oh SH!T! The Missouri and New Jersey are on the hunt!".
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  #28  
Old 02 Aug 15, 15:48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy H View Post
Hi John

This is always an issue with counter-factual's, even in such an extreme version as this, in that only one aspect is changed and nothing else is, thus defying logic and basing it on a scenario that would never come to pass and usually with a pre-ordained result/outcome in mind

Regards

Andy H
It depends...
Would the British keep their fleet together or separate them? The only ships that could come close to the Iowa's speed are the Renown/Replulse. They would be quickly mangled. The Hood and KGV-class could work together. The QE's and especlally the R-class wouldn't be able to get out of the way.
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  #29  
Old 02 Aug 15, 16:32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johns624 View Post
It depends...
Would the British keep their fleet together or separate them? The only ships that could come close to the Iowa's speed are the Renown/Replulse. They would be quickly mangled. The Hood and KGV-class could work together. The QE's and especlally the R-class wouldn't be able to get out of the way.
The Hood or Rodney with 2 KGV probably could take a pair of Iowa class unless the later chose to disengage them. The R-Class are worthless in a battleship on battleship fight. They are slow, have obsolescent fire controls, and worst of all, really poor armor.
The QE's are a bit better, at least the modernized ones but I really wouldn't be one to recommend them taking on "modern" battleships for the most part.
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Old 02 Aug 15, 16:54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
The Hood or Rodney with 2 KGV probably could take a pair of Iowa class unless the later chose to disengage them.
Here's a question for you, because I really don't know the answer. With a 3:2 advantage of the British ships, would it make sense to put one or both of the Iowa's stern turrets (one from each ship) into local control to keep the third BB occupied while the two forward turrets dueled with their main target under radar control?
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