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Old 5th November 2022, 03:21 PM   #121
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
High price to pay to put a incompetent brother on a throne...
TBH, I also suspect it wasn't even the only price for that idiocy.

If you pay attention to what's happening elsewhere, Russia -- who had been another fairly voluntary and steadfast ally -- starts being hella worried about having Napoleon's troops on their border in Western Galicia. They first withdraw from the Continental System (the blockade of the UK), and eventually, after Napoleon also backs out of a royal marriage with their princess and goes for Austria instead, they get insecure enough to demand that Napoleon withdraws his troops from their border. Napoleon declares war on Russia in response, and we know how THAT went.

Now some of that is not the only problem there. The Continental System was hard on the Russian economy, so there's also that as motivation, but you have to wonder about how an ally would suddenly rather start trading with the enemy instead of blockading them... right after you attacked another ally.

The fears of an invasion through that province, however, are pretty well documented. And again, you have to wonder about the chronology and Russia going from ally to fearing an invasion.

So yeah, the price to pay for the <bleep>-up in Spain was high by itself. But it may have also paved the way for a much bigger <bleep>-up and a MUCH higher price to pay down the line.
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Old 5th November 2022, 03:34 PM   #122
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Originally Posted by steenkh View Post
I don’t remember British BCs exploding without being hit by enemy shells. Are there really such cases?
Not a BC, but battleship HMS Vanguard exploded while sitting quietly at anchor in Scapa Flow. Japanese battleship Mutsu did likewise during WWII. The Imperial Japanese Navy modeled itself heavily on the RN.
I'm pretty sure there are other examples of capital ships spontaneously exploding.
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Old 6th November 2022, 02:26 AM   #123
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Old 6th November 2022, 01:14 PM   #124
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To keep the bad ideas flowing, I'll nominate the Shinano, i.e., the one Yamato class battleship turned in a hurry into an aircraft carrier. Specifically the "in a hurry" part. They did a thorougly rush job.

The Shinano had significant flaws that made it botch even its initial launch off the slipway, and put it back into the same dock for repairs.

More importantly, pretty much nothing was properly sealed, much less tested to be airtight. There were walls with simple holes for the cables or pipes to pass through, and some of the airtight bulkheads were missing. The quality of construction in places was also sub-par.

It was also slow. Very slow.

Most of the damage control equipment was missing. (E.g., no working pumps, both handheld or fixed for fire suppression.) And the crew also... to say they were green, is giving them too much credit. It even included a few hundred dockworkers who were conscripted straight out of repairing it (after the previous botched launch) to manning it.

The destroyers that were supposed to escort it were also denied any time to repair and recuperate after the previous battle they were in.

This all would come to bite it in the ass when straight away it would run into a US submarine. Things went hilariously slapstick when the destroyers failed to even attack the lone US sub, and the whole group was reduced to trying to outrun the sub, at a MARGINAL speed advantage over the sub. Which evaporated when some bearings started to overheat (remember, it had been running at flank speed to BARELY outrun a submarine), forcing it to dial back the speed by 2 knots. Then for whatever reason it turned around and started going TOWARDS the submarine, which decided to do a turn and attack it from the side.

The destroyers would continue to be useless. One of them literally passed over the US submarine right as it was at periscope depth lining its shots and failed to even detect it.

And then when the torpedoes hit... remember all those things wrong with the Shinano? Yeah, now's where they'd bite it in the ass. Structural beams buckled or broke, just because they were poor quality. Welds sheared. A flood which was originally deemed manageable, turned into a doomsday scenario, where not only water could rush through those unsealed holes, but also pulled sailors through them. And soon thereafter it just sank.

So yeah... cutting corners in a warship? Specifically cutting corners when it comes to keeping the water out as much as possible? Generally a bad idea
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Old 6th November 2022, 02:23 PM   #125
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
To keep the bad ideas flowing, I'll nominate the Shinano, i.e., the one Yamato class battleship turned in a hurry into an aircraft carrier. Specifically the "in a hurry" part. They did a thorougly rush job.
To be fair here, they just did not have the resources by then to build it right. They knew they had a POS on their hands. It was what could be done with what they had left. The bad part was that they bothered to do it rather than spend the resources they had on something less ambitious like more destroyers or maybe more depth charges.

IIRC, by this point in the war, US subs had started hunting destroyers instead of running from them. Even when the ships were intact, they were hurting for depth charges making them into prey instead of predators.
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Old 6th November 2022, 02:47 PM   #126
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Well, I would assume that the Japanese ought to be familiar with the game of Go. And thus with the idea that sometimes not doing anything is better than doing something counter-productive
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Old 6th November 2022, 03:20 PM   #127
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The Shinano is also weird in that they tried to make it into some kind of "support carrier" rather than a front line carrier. I don't mean like a smaller US Escort Carrier, its actual purpose was unclear and seemed like the IJN was just trying to get planes onto the sea while pretending they could avoid the risk inherent in doing that.
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Old 6th November 2022, 04:54 PM   #128
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
The concept of the Battlecruiser was to be able to outfight anything you couldn't outrun, and outrun anything you couldn't outfight. That was demonstrated in the Battle of the Falklands, where the battlecruisers were able to do both against Von Spee's ships, although the outcome might have been different had Von Spee retained some AP ammo, since he scored several hits to one British in the earlier stages.
The gaping hole in the concept was the very real possibliity of BC's coming up against one of their own kind. Especially one that may have been a knot or so slower, had an inch or so smaller guns, but was better armored and better trained. That was what was wrong with Beatty's bloody ships.
You are right.
I think the whole battlecruise concept was mistaken. And it got's if final blow when the Hood went down.
The US did complete 2 Battlecrusider in WW2..the Alaska and the GUam, but they were expensive white elephants. One that was under constraction was cancelled, and it'snearly complete Hull was sued for a light Carrier.
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Old 6th November 2022, 06:08 PM   #129
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Technically they were called "large cruisers" rather than "battlecruisers", though one can make a very convincing case that they were supposed to fit the battlecruiser role to the letter. Well, at least when they were originally designed. Afterwards an even more convincing case could be made that nobody had any clue WTH role would the navy need them for.
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Old 7th November 2022, 04:43 PM   #130
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Technically they were called "large cruisers" rather than "battlecruisers", though one can make a very convincing case that they were supposed to fit the battlecruiser role to the letter. Well, at least when they were originally designed. Afterwards an even more convincing case could be made that nobody had any clue WTH role would the navy need them for.
I don't think there was anything wrong with them per se given that they were designed in 1938. Japan has some really big effective heavy cruisers that ours were outclassed by. Remember, in 1938 no one knew how effective carrier airpower was going to be. So having some cruiser killing "super cruisers" seems reasonable to me. The fact that they didn't go oh well, this is dumb, and scrap them on the drydocks by 1943 was however pretty thickheaded.

A much dumber ship class the USN did during the war was the Saipan class of light carriers. After we lost two Independence class light aircraft carriers the navy hurried two replacements, the improved Saipan classes.... because for some reason they wanted to keep the exact same number of light carriers. What made their whole being really stupid is by the time they were laid down we were launching the far larger, far more capable, Essex class carrier like once a month.
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Old 7th November 2022, 11:25 PM   #131
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Yes, as I was saying, when originally designed they were supposed to just fit the battlecruiser role. Later, they didn't really have a role for them any more. Or am I missing some subtle thing you're trying to tell me there?
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Old 8th November 2022, 05:54 AM   #132
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More bad ideas: not trusting the newfangled equipment and insisting on doing dead reckoning like in the good ol' days (calculating where you are by how fast you reckon you've been going and in what direction), even when more accurate navigation data is transmitted to you. Resulting in the disaster at Honda Point, aka, when the whole team does a hard Notser IRL. (I.e., runs aground.)

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Old 8th November 2022, 12:27 PM   #133
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Originally Posted by kookbreaker View Post
The Shinano is also weird in that they tried to make it into some kind of "support carrier" rather than a front line carrier. I don't mean like a smaller US Escort Carrier, its actual purpose was unclear and seemed like the IJN was just trying to get planes onto the sea while pretending they could avoid the risk inherent in doing that.
My bold. Desperately so, due to having lost 2/3 of their fleet carriers at Midway

Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
You are right.
I think the whole battlecruise concept was mistaken. And it got's if final blow when the Hood went down.
The US did complete 2 Battlecrusider in WW2..the Alaska and the GUam, but they were expensive white elephants. One that was under constraction was cancelled, and it'snearly complete Hull was sued for a light Carrier.
Actually USS Hawaii was not converted, just eventually scrapped.

Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Technically they were called "large cruisers" rather than "battlecruisers", though one can make a very convincing case that they were supposed to fit the battlecruiser role to the letter. Well, at least when they were originally designed. Afterwards an even more convincing case could be made that nobody had any clue WTH role would the navy need them for.
The "large cruisers" were a pet project of FDR. To have been true battlecruisers, I think, they needed actual battleship armament, perhaps six of 16"/50. And would still have been of very little use. But that would have at least saved the expense of developing a new 12" gun.
They also handled badly. I read an anecdote somewhere of Alaska's skipper steaming in circles for a full hour with the helm centered, just to prove the point.
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Old 8th November 2022, 06:02 PM   #134
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How about Operation Rheinübung, May, 1941?

The Germany KM had a decent plan on paper, with Bismarck, Tirpitz, Gneisenau, and Prinz Eugen. But Gneisenau was damaged in an airstrike, and Tripitz wasn't ready yet. The wise move would have been to wait until one or both ships were available.

But no, the German Navy got happy feet, and sent Bismarck out with Prinz Eugen, and no coordination with their U-boats. In fact, they didn't even tell Hitler they'd sailed.

Compounding things, the Bismarck hadn't undergone full sea trials yet, and her command doesn't bother to top-off their fuel tanks before hitting the open ocean. The mission fell apart after their run-in with the Royal Navy, and while the Hood was sunk, Bismarck took a round that punctured a fuel tank, and her big guns knocked out her radar. Throw in the fact that the British pinned their ears back, and were filled with extra resolve to put Bismarck on the sea floor, and this mission was over before it started. The many bad decisions made by Bismarck's command after Denmark Strait just piled on to her demise.

I don't see a scenario where Bismarck and Prinz Eugen survive a successful cruise in May, 1941. Even had they successfully attacked a convoy, the RN would have been waiting for them on the way back.

And I suppose we can also argue the issue of pre-WWII reliance on centering naval tactics around battleships in general too. This wasn't just a German thing.
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Old 9th November 2022, 12:49 AM   #135
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Originally Posted by Axxman300 View Post
How about Operation Rheinübung, May, 1941?

The Germany KM had a decent plan on paper, with Bismarck, Tirpitz, Gneisenau, and Prinz Eugen. But Gneisenau was damaged in an airstrike, and Tripitz wasn't ready yet. The wise move would have been to wait until one or both ships were available.

But no, the German Navy got happy feet, and sent Bismarck out with Prinz Eugen, and no coordination with their U-boats. In fact, they didn't even tell Hitler they'd sailed.

Compounding things, the Bismarck hadn't undergone full sea trials yet, and her command doesn't bother to top-off their fuel tanks before hitting the open ocean. The mission fell apart after their run-in with the Royal Navy, and while the Hood was sunk, Bismarck took a round that punctured a fuel tank, and her big guns knocked out her radar. Throw in the fact that the British pinned their ears back, and were filled with extra resolve to put Bismarck on the sea floor, and this mission was over before it started. The many bad decisions made by Bismarck's command after Denmark Strait just piled on to her demise.

I don't see a scenario where Bismarck and Prinz Eugen survive a successful cruise in May, 1941. Even had they successfully attacked a convoy, the RN would have been waiting for them on the way back.

And I suppose we can also argue the issue of pre-WWII reliance on centering naval tactics around battleships in general too. This wasn't just a German thing.
I don't know.
Up until this point, German surface raiders had been fairly succesful.
Scharnhorst and Gneisenau had just returned from their raid, as did Hipper (solo raid) and Scheer (also solo raid).
So the fact that there were only two ships available in the end was not such a bad thing.

What was more of an issue was that the window for raiding was closing fast. Summer was coming and with that short nights to hide in.
As Bismarck was not ready earlier and waiting on Tirpitz would mean that the earliest possibility for a raid would be somewhere in september or so, the decision to do a raid when Bismarck and Prinz Eugen were ready and then afterwards concentrate all the German ships in Brest was not a bad on in itself.

We can't really fault Lutjens from not knowing he had already been spotted in Bergen (well, we can a bit), and maybe not even for going forward after the battle of Denmark Straits (this one can be debated, but if the endresult was a wish to concentrate all the ships in Brest, a real case can be made for continuing). For let's face it. Returning back to Bergen at that point would risk being intercepted by forces from Scapa Flow.

Up to that point, I can't really fault Lutjens.

Where we get a real major 'Whoopsie' is with the large message send from Bismarck to Germany. That one is simply stupid beyond believe.
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Old 9th November 2022, 02:50 AM   #136
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
You are right.
I think the whole battlecruise concept was mistaken. And it got's if final blow when the Hood went down.
The US did complete 2 Battlecrusider in WW2..the Alaska and the GUam, but they were expensive white elephants. One that was under constraction was cancelled, and it'snearly complete Hull was sued for a light Carrier.
Are you sure about the whole battlecruiser concept?
If we look at the amount of punishment a ship like the Lion took over the entire war, they were very durable ships.
One of the reasons a lot of them got so much damage and losses was that theyr were used so much. This opposed to the battleships, that stayed more or less passive in Scapa Flow.

Problem was that it was only during the '30s that technology had progressed enough that you could have speed and armor.

It was precisely the speed of the battlecruisers that made them so useful for the respective naivies.
We see this in WWII with the Japanese navy as well. Which ships got the most use out of them? The Kongos, becauses these had the speed needed for their operations.
Or the American navy, where the older, slower battleships, those that were available shortly after Pearl Harbor, weren't used either, other than for shore bombardment.

And going back to Jutland. Let's not forget that Malaya came very, very close to following the battlecruisers Queen Mary and Indefatigable in going up in a big cloud (I believe, but am not sure, that Invincible hadn't exploded yet, when Malaya almost did).
Battleship guns were getting so powerful by this time, that all ships, be they battleships or battlecruisers turned into 'eggshells with hammers'. And that being the case, having speed does help more, than not having it.
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Old 9th November 2022, 08:01 AM   #137
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Sad to say, though, no, Operation Rheinübung was wrong from the start. And it couldn't be anything else, because the doctrine behind it was wrong.

The idea (and problem) behind it wasn't just having more or bigger guns to shoot at convoys. A bunch of light cruisers could have done that job better than the Bismarck and cost less. You don't need 15" guns to sink a merchant ship. A 6" can even disable a destroyer in 1 or 2 hits, and can do horrible stuff to a thin-skinned freighter even with the HE round. The problem was that the UK had started adding older battleships as convoy escorts, and cruisers or even Scharnhorst class were a bit outgunned by those and had to run away. Enter the "bright" idea that you could have a big ship like the Bismarck "tank" the enemy BB, while the cruiser(s) have a go at the convoys.

But think about the cost there for a moment. You'd end up with a capital ship in drydock for repairs for months after a sortie that actually worked like that. It's months and months of high costs for each such misadventure. And for what? For a bunch of merchant ships that cost the UK less to make?

That is, if you even make it back with the Bismarck. I mean, let's say it passed unseen and unscathed into the Atlantic, met such a convoy, and took about the same damage as it did in the encounter with the Hood. NOW WHAT? You're limping home from an even bigger distance.

What you'd really want is really to keep at the hit and run attacks. As in, just run if you see a capital ship. And for that you really don't need a battleship.
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Old 9th November 2022, 08:06 AM   #138
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Then there's the US Air Farce, which has spent the last 35 years trying to get rid of the A-10 because it doesn't look cool. Who cares if it just works?
But it doesn't just work. They definitely do need to get rid of it. The A10 is only good in uncontested airspace. If you sent any to Ukraine, they'd all be gone in a couple of days.

The gun isn't much good either. They tested it in pretty much ideal conditions on 60's era US tanks and found it could disable them but the assessment was that it wouldn't be effective against later Soviet tanks. Not that you'd want to get close enough to the enemy to use the gun. The A10 might be able to survive battle damage that other aircraft can't but all that gets you is the safe return of the pilot. The aircraft itself is out of action until it is repaired. In the first Gulf War, the A10's had to be restricted from flying to deep into Iraq because they were too vulnerable.

It's much better to stand off and hit targets from a distance with missiles, which the A10 did quite effectively in the first Gulf War although there were too many friendly fire incidents due to its lack of equipment to tell the difference between friend and foe. But any aircraft can do that and something like an F35 can do other things too.

The F35 is too expensive, I hear you say. Well no it isn't when you consider it can do other things than close air support* and is much more likely to survive any given mission unscathed. Also, the A10c upgrade negates most of the cost advantage the original A10 had.

Yes, continuing with the A10 is a Bad Idea™.

*The "close" in "close air support" does not mean the aircraft is close to the target but that the target is close to your own troops.
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Old 9th November 2022, 08:16 AM   #139
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Sad to say, though, no, Operation Rheinübung was wrong from the start. And it couldn't be anything else, because the doctrine behind it was wrong.

The idea (and problem) behind it wasn't just having more or bigger guns to shoot at convoys. A bunch of light cruisers could have done that job better than the Bismarck and cost less. The problem was that the UK had started adding older battleships as convoy escorts, and cruisers or even Scharnhorst class were a bit outgunned by those and had to run away. Enter the "bright" idea that you could have a big ship like the Bismarck "tank" the enemy BB, while the cruiser(s) have a go at the convoys.

But think about the cost there for a moment. You'd end up with a capital ship in drydock for repairs for months after a sortie that actually worked like that. It's months and months of high costs for each such misadventure. And for what? For a bunch of merchant ships that cost the UK less to make?

What you'd really want is really to keep at the hit and run attacks. As in, just run if you see a capital ship. And for that you really don't need a battleship.
Yes and no.

You're right that any actual shooting/fighting would have these dangers and likely results.

That is not the only effect with having a ship like the Bismarck running around in the Atlantic ocean though.
As long as she was free to raid, convoys had to be rerouted, had to wait until sufficient heavy escorts (other battleships), can be found and arranged for sailing with them. Each battleship used as a convoy escort is a battleship that can not be used for another task.

It all adds up as a kind of virtual attrition. Not enough of itself to do much, but it comes on top of ships sunk by U-boats/mines/aircraft.
And for these results to matter you do have to threaten the convoys with a ship like the Bismarck. Anything else, like light cruisers (should the Germans ever have that would be suitable for this task) would not work. And maybe you get lucky and have more cases like PQ-17.

The German navy, alone of all the armed forces of nazi Germany, did have the right idea concerning the nature of this war. It being a war of attrition and such.
This was something the rest of Germany's armed forces never totally accepted.
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Old 9th November 2022, 08:21 AM   #140
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I don't think they would just for 1 more Nazi Battleship. They didn't for the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, for a start.
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Old 9th November 2022, 08:40 AM   #141
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
I don't think they would just for 1 more Nazi Battleship. They didn't for the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, for a start.
Yes they did.

All those battleships the Twins encountered during the raids were present for a reason.
The Bismarck being more powerful than the Twins, would force the British to provide enough heavy escorts for each convoy just in case they should encounter Bismarck.

Look at the amount of ships the Allies had to keep present later in the war, just for the off chance that Tirpitz would sally from her Norwegian fjord. It was that kind of force commitment that Bismarck threatened to the convoy system. British Forces that were as such not doing anything, but could not be in another place. Like the Mediterranean, where they were sorely needed. Or later in the war in the Far East.

In hindsight, Bismarck could better have been used like Tirpitz as a 'fleet in being', but at the time of Rheinubung, with the experiences of raids just before that, the decision for Rheinubung was a reasonable one.
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Old 9th November 2022, 09:01 AM   #142
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Originally Posted by jeremyp View Post
But it doesn't just work. They definitely do need to get rid of it. The A10 is only good in uncontested airspace. If you sent any to Ukraine, they'd all be gone in a couple of days.

The gun isn't much good either. They tested it in pretty much ideal conditions on 60's era US tanks and found it could disable them but the assessment was that it wouldn't be effective against later Soviet tanks. Not that you'd want to get close enough to the enemy to use the gun. The A10 might be able to survive battle damage that other aircraft can't but all that gets you is the safe return of the pilot. The aircraft itself is out of action until it is repaired. In the first Gulf War, the A10's had to be restricted from flying to deep into Iraq because they were too vulnerable.

It's much better to stand off and hit targets from a distance with missiles, which the A10 did quite effectively in the first Gulf War although there were too many friendly fire incidents due to its lack of equipment to tell the difference between friend and foe. But any aircraft can do that and something like an F35 can do other things too.

The F35 is too expensive, I hear you say. Well no it isn't when you consider it can do other things than close air support* and is much more likely to survive any given mission unscathed. Also, the A10c upgrade negates most of the cost advantage the original A10 had.

Yes, continuing with the A10 is a Bad Idea™.

*The "close" in "close air support" does not mean the aircraft is close to the target but that the target is close to your own troops.
That makes no sense as the Ukrainian AF is still operating SU-25's.

I still say, and will still maintain, if the A-10 is crap that the USAF doesn't want... then lets train Ukrainians on them and transfer them over. With the assumption that they would take them and that seems highly likely.

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Old 9th November 2022, 11:25 AM   #143
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Inspired in part by the battlecruiser discussion...

Kantai Kessen, the Japanese naval doctrine of a single decisive surface battle to defeat the US Navy in WWII. Worked at Tsushima in 1905, was never going to happen in the 1940's.
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Old 9th November 2022, 11:57 AM   #144
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Inspired in part by the battlecruiser discussion...

Kantai Kessen, the Japanese naval doctrine of a single decisive surface battle to defeat the US Navy in WWII. Worked at Tsushima in 1905, was never going to happen in the 1940's.
Yeah.
And one can make a case for it not working in 1905 either.
Oh for sure at Tsushima the Russian fleet was more than decisively destroyed.
But in order to get to that point, the Japanese first had to defeat the original Russian Pacific Fleet. And that task took a lot of grinding and some scary moments to achieve. An effort the Japanese apperently completely forgot after Tsushima.
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Old 9th November 2022, 12:48 PM   #145
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Originally Posted by erwinl View Post
Yes they did.
That's not the same thing as you claimed before that the Bismarck would make them do, so no they didn't. They didn't reroute convoys in the Atlantic, nor did they put convoys on hold for lack of a battleship to escort them. They were perfectly fine with the idea of not having a battleship for every convoy.

The only place they actually rerouted convoys out of was the Mediterranean, and that one involved a much more substantial Italian Navy presence in less space and closer proximity.
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Old 9th November 2022, 03:58 PM   #146
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I think Custer's entering the Valley of the Little Bighorn without any real recon has got to be up there....
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Old 9th November 2022, 04:47 PM   #147
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The Dieppe raid of 1942 seems fairly daft to me.

(At least they did learn things that helped D-Day work.)
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Old 9th November 2022, 05:06 PM   #148
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Originally Posted by pzkpfw View Post
The Dieppe raid of 1942 seems fairly daft to me.

(At least they did learn things that helped D-Day work.)
It's like Gallipoli. They're just colonials, who give a ****** Not as if there were actual Englishmen at risk!
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Old 9th November 2022, 11:11 PM   #149
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
I think Custer's entering the Valley of the Little Bighorn without any real recon has got to be up there....
Aye, that was bad. Sadly, WW1 has some even dumber ideas than that. Namely ignoring existing intel.

1. The Russians are informed that the Germans are massing troops and heavy artillery, decide that meh, intelligence is for dummies, attack there anyway. With spectacularly catastrophic results.

2. Two of the three stooges of WW1 meet at Asiago: Von Hötzendorf proposes a combined offensive against Italy there, is told nobody has troops to spare, goes along with it anyway on his own. Preparations are so incredibly slow, that not only Italian intelligence knows literally everything about it, but it's even published daily in Italian NEWSPAPERS. He attacks anyway. His Italian counterpart, Cadorna, is utterly surprised anyway when the Austrians attack exactly where and how everyone was telling him they would. The front nearly collapses. He had dismissed all those reports as nonsense.

(For bonus points, Cadorna's troops do manage to repel the attack, and utterly rout the Austrians. The path to Vienna and knocking Austria-Hungary clean out of the war is wide open. Cadorna is now in the position of the dog who caught the car, so he doesn't know what to do and... just stops. Like, just stays put until finally the Austrians regroup and reform the front. Further cementing his reputation as THE #1 dumbest general of WW1.)

(Meanwhile, Von Hötzendorf had actually pulled troops from Verdun to pull this stunt. And may have in fact contributed to why the Verdun offensive was ultimately lost.)
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Old 9th November 2022, 11:14 PM   #150
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
It's like Gallipoli. They're just colonials, who give a ****** Not as if there were actual Englishmen at risk!
Ah, Galipoli... yeah, that whole push to breach the Dardanelles does count as a spectacularly bad idea, especially since it's not just hindsight. It had been predicted before it happened. Three different lords of the Admiralty had predicted before that such a move would be daft. For bonus points, one of them had been Churchill himself
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Old 10th November 2022, 02:06 AM   #151
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Originally Posted by jeremyp View Post
But it doesn't just work. They definitely do need to get rid of it. The A10 is only good in uncontested airspace... If you sent any to Ukraine, they'd all be gone in a couple of days.

The gun isn't much good either... The A10 might be able to survive battle damage that other aircraft can't but all that gets you is the safe return of the pilot...

It's much better to stand off and hit targets from a distance with missiles, which the A10 did quite effectively in the first Gulf War although there were too many friendly fire incidents due to its lack of equipment to tell the difference between friend and foe. But any aircraft can do that and something like an F35 can do other things too.

The F35 is... much more likely to survive any given mission unscathed.

Yes, continuing with the A10 is a Bad Idea™.
I can't blame the A-10 too much for its worse performance & safety record than other planes that were designed later with later technology and a more modern combat philosophy. It was a product of its era: one in which not only was the technology simpler but very high casualty rates were expected and accepted because they were harder to avoid and just throwing huge waves of people & metal at each other was just how war worked. Times change and that's no big deal if we look at things in their actual context.

But the fact that it's still around well past its expiration date, plus the myth of USAF "trying to get rid of it" or the reason for that being "because it doesn't look zoomzoomy", plus the macho-man way its defenders carry on about it despite its reality being the opposite of the bluster, plus the associated wild distortions of how anything about combat planes works at all in comparisons with F-35 by the anti-F-35 religious crowd, does all add up to what I think is the real "bad idea" behind the A-10: getting emotionally attached to equipment or doctrinal concepts instead of assessing them for actual effectiveness... especially when the emotion driving that attachment is that kind of shallow trucks-nuts-style fakery of masculinity. It's a recipe for ineffective/counterproductive decisions. Fortunately, it seems to have been confined to a few corners of our military system overall, and the latter is so huge and so good in some other ways that it can take being diminished a bit by those pockets of dumb attitude and still be bigger & better than we'll ever need.
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Old 13th November 2022, 12:09 PM   #152
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Since we're talking airplanes, and I started the thread with one, let me add one more: the Nakajima Ki-115 Tsurugi.

It was designed as a purpose built one-way kamikaze airplane, with much the same philosophy otherwise as the Volksjäger program in Germany. It just had to be cheap to mass-produce, with the cheapest materials that could get the job done, and the most unskilled workers one could find. In small workshops too.

Since it was a one-way affair, instead of a retractable landing gear, it had one that could be jettisoned after take-off, much like on the Komet. That way you also saved money on the wheels for the next soul sent to his suicide on the next plane. Unlike the Komet, it had no skids for landing either.

The initial model also had such cute cost-saving ideas as no brakes on those wheels, and even no flaps. The first poor souls to be trained in those, most just died on takeoff. So the second iteration added some flaps and brakes.

BUT, and hear me out, this is when it actually went pear shaped: nobody seemed to have realized that you first have to train those conscripted kids on how to fly the plane, before you can send them to their deaths. They have to at the very least practice take off a couple of times, which also means landing afterwards. Yeah, guess how well that training went, with absolutely no landing gear.

Another cutesy feature was that it had a single bomb underneath, that couldn't actually be dropped. Which also didn't help when landing after a training, even if you had an inert one. (Not to mention, if you had to return to base with a live one, because you didn't find a target to crash into. Japan had buggerall recon at this point, what with the USA air supremacy and lack of fuel.) Around the third iteration, a release mechanism was added.

Anyway, this obviously didn't help all that much either, since you still had to do a belly landing. So the program was finally cancelled, after it had killed about 100 kids that were supposed to be trained on it. Literally not a single one of these made it as far as to be flown against the Americans.
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Old 14th November 2022, 02:48 PM   #153
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Since we're talking airplanes, and I started the thread with one, let me add one more: the Nakajima Ki-115 Tsurugi.

It was designed as a purpose built one-way kamikaze airplane, with much the same philosophy otherwise as the Volksjäger program in Germany. It just had to be cheap to mass-produce, with the cheapest materials that could get the job done, and the most unskilled workers one could find. In small workshops too.

Since it was a one-way affair, instead of a retractable landing gear, it had one that could be jettisoned after take-off, much like on the Komet. That way you also saved money on the wheels for the next soul sent to his suicide on the next plane. Unlike the Komet, it had no skids for landing either.

The initial model also had such cute cost-saving ideas as no brakes on those wheels, and even no flaps. The first poor souls to be trained in those, most just died on takeoff. So the second iteration added some flaps and brakes.

BUT, and hear me out, this is when it actually went pear shaped: nobody seemed to have realized that you first have to train those conscripted kids on how to fly the plane, before you can send them to their deaths. They have to at the very least practice take off a couple of times, which also means landing afterwards. Yeah, guess how well that training went, with absolutely no landing gear.

Another cutesy feature was that it had a single bomb underneath, that couldn't actually be dropped. Which also didn't help when landing after a training, even if you had an inert one. (Not to mention, if you had to return to base with a live one, because you didn't find a target to crash into. Japan had buggerall recon at this point, what with the USA air supremacy and lack of fuel.) Around the third iteration, a release mechanism was added.

Anyway, this obviously didn't help all that much either, since you still had to do a belly landing. So the program was finally cancelled, after it had killed about 100 kids that were supposed to be trained on it. Literally not a single one of these made it as far as to be flown against the Americans.
What timing! One of my subs on Youtube - Greg's Airplanes and Automobiles - just posted a video about this plane:

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE
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Old 14th November 2022, 03:20 PM   #154
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Well, here's another one, then: the Ohka flying bomb.

It was kinda same idea as the Komet: a rocket propelled super-fast airplane... except it was pretty much a cruise missile. This time it didn't have a bomb attached to it. It WAS a bomb with wings.

Just like with the Tsurugi, the problems started in training. This thing was not designed to actually land, although you had to give trainees SOME time at the stick before sending them to their death, so eventually they have to land. So this one did get a landing skid. Just like the Komet, like I was saying. Also just like the Komet you'd try to "glide" it to land. It had a ridiculously high landing speed and, as I was saying, no engine at that point to help you correct if you didn't line up just right. Even the first test pilots died trying to land it. Not from peroxide like with the Komet, just sheer mechanical impact with the ground. You can imagine how it went for the poor conscripted kids being trained as kamikaze.

If you survived training, the problems just got worse. For a start because, as you'd expect from a rocket engine, it had VERY short range. About 20 nautical miles.

Needless to say, you couldn't just take off from Japan and make it even to Okinawa.

Solution 1: Let's put some on carriers. Which meant a carrier had to try to get very dangerously close to an enemy to launch these. Two carriers were lost that way, including the Shinano which I mentioned before, without actually managing to launch any. Both to submarines, but still, any carrier that got in range to actually launch it wouldn't have made it back,

Solution 2: let's load it under a medium bomber and have the bomber fly close enough to the enemy to launch it. Thing is, the whole thing was heavy, and made the bomber slow too. Combined with the short range, some hundreds of bomber pilots lost their lives trying to deliver this.

So just like the Kaiten, it tended to also get the craft carrying it killed.

And then it didn't actually do much. It sunk one US destroyer, damaged another beyond repair, and IIRC it also sunk a cargo ship. It hit a few more, and there were some near misses, but the next problem reared its head: coming at transonic speeds, it had an over-penetration problem. A few more hit a US vessel, went straight through and out the other side, and blew up at a safe distance.

There weren't that many hits though. In fact you could quite literally count them on your fingers.

And not just because of most getting shot down together with the bomber carrying them. You may have noticed the word "transonic" two paragraphs ago. Yeah, it came near the speed of sound in a dive. Something that wasn't tested either in training (you really couldn't recover and land safely if you went into that kinda dive) nor even in a wind tunnel. The problem is that the airspeed over the top of the wing could go from laminar to viscous, resulting in a massive drop in lift. The problem was only solved after the war, and is why so many post-war aircraft had back-swept or delta wings. The Ohka wings didn't have nearly enough sweep to solve it. (I think the version that actually saw use actually had no sweep.)

So just like with the Zero, an untrained kamikaze pilot would find that his airplane suddenly behaves very differently in a dive -- albeit in a very different way -- making the trajectory not exactly what one had planned.

But yeah, the impact it made on the US forces was negligible (though at least not zero like for the tsurugi) and it came at the expense of a LOT of bomber and their pilots being lost too, in addition to the unfortunate souls in the cockpit of it, and the countless kids it killed in training.

The US crews named it the Baka Bomb (Baka=idiot in Japanese), and that's really all you need to know as the short version
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Old 14th November 2022, 06:05 PM   #155
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
I think Custer's entering the Valley of the Little Bighorn without any real recon has got to be up there....
Do you think it would have changed his mind? He ignores his scouts who tell him there are thousands waiting for him. When he rides out he sees how big the village actually was, but he's so convinced his tactical plan was solid enough to divide the Sioux/Cheyenne. A smart commander would have turned around at some point, especially once the number of hostiles clearly outnumbered your force. Instead of hauling ass back the way he came, he set up a skirmish line.

Seems like Custer had Go Fever that morning.
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Old 14th November 2022, 06:42 PM   #156
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Re Custer: Let's remember that both before and after his campaign, NO Indians EVER won a battle against the US cavalry. Also, he was badly let down by his subordinates that day. If his plan had been adhered to, all the savages in the West couldn't have marshaled their forces -- amateurs and civilians, remember -- cohesively enough to win a victory.

Further, Custer had a lot of frustrating experience trying to catch Indians who'd had a chance to get away. His best tactic was to ride in on them pellmell and destroy their camp. Catching their pony herds would make a huge difference too.

Howsomever, I grew up in the West, and like all westerners I have a personal relationship with George. I still sometimes take a handful of that fancy-dan buckskin shirt, pull him eye to eye, and say in a low voice, "Don't. Ride. Down. There. You. Fool." But he never listens.
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Old 14th November 2022, 07:00 PM   #157
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Originally Posted by jeremyp View Post
But it doesn't just work.
Sure about that?


Quote:
They definitely do need to get rid of it. The A10 is only good in uncontested airspace. If you sent any to Ukraine, they'd all be gone in a couple of days.
You mean the the SU-25s, which are the same vintage, that are still flying combat for both sides right now? There are plenty of videos showing the 25s taking hits from Stingers, and flying away. "Uncontested Airspace" is a relative term. The A-10 doesn't go in first, second, or third. They deploy after enemy radars have been dealt with by the Wild Weasel/Growler crowd.

Quote:
The gun isn't much good either. They tested it in pretty much ideal conditions on 60's era US tanks and found it could disable them but the assessment was that it wouldn't be effective against later Soviet tanks.
They chewed up T-72s in Iraq.


Quote:
Not that you'd want to get close enough to the enemy to use the gun. The A10 might be able to survive battle damage that other aircraft can't but all that gets you is the safe return of the pilot.
Think about the A-10's job. It flies directly into heavy enemy ground-fire to deliver ordinance. And even with the upgrades giving it standoff ability, it's primary job is to strafe enemy ground targets. And last time I checked, not killing pilots is a good thing (looking at you, Russian Air Farce).

Quote:
The aircraft itself is out of action until it is repaired.
As would any combat aircraft be in this situation. Assuming it can make it back to base.

Quote:
In the first Gulf War, the A10's had to be restricted from flying to deep into Iraq because they were too vulnerable.
You'll need to show where they were ever tasked for deep penetration into Iraq during Desert Storm. The mission was Kuwait, and the Iraqi Army along the border with Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. F-117s were the primary aircraft over Baghdad, F-15Es, F-111s, F-16s, Navy A-6s, and FA-18s did the bulk of the work in southern Iraq. F-111s destroyed more tanks than the A-10 did, but that was because the A-10 (at the time) was mostly a daylight attack aircraft. It's night capabilities were limited, they had no LANTERN pods. During the war, A-10 pilots used the IR cameras on their Hellfire missiles to find targets at night.

Quote:
It's much better to stand off and hit targets from a distance with missiles, which the A10 did quite effectively in the first Gulf War although there were too many friendly fire incidents due to its lack of equipment to tell the difference between friend and foe.
The A-10 was involved in 2 blue-on-blues. Yes, that's two too many, but one was a British vehicle hit by a Warthog looking for targets of opportunity. Not sure about the pair of USMC LAVS attacked. Most of the time the A-10 is vectored onto a target from the ground.

Quote:
The F35 is too expensive, I hear you say. Well no it isn't when you consider it can do other things than close air support*
The F-35's job is the take out enemy defenses and enemy radars. It's next job is air superiority. Ground-Attack is a much distant third. The damage an F-35 will take during ground-attack is much more expensive than identical damages to the A-10 due to the 35's radar absorbing skin.

Quote:
and is much more likely to survive any given mission unscathed
.

This is an unsubstantiated, hypothetical claim.

Quote:
Also, the A10c upgrade negates most of the cost advantage the original A10 had.
Show me a cheap war plane in 2022. Also, the A-10 will likely continue to fly another fifteen years thanks to the USAF's shift to drone warfare. The A-10 has the lift capacity to carry the new drones under her wings, where the F-35 does not. In fact, the A-10 w/Drones could become the center of a niche domain of aerial warfare by the 2030s.

And keeping the A-10 frees up the F-35 for other targets.
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Old 15th November 2022, 07:07 PM   #158
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Then there was the outrage by French Politicians right before World War One when several generals advised that the traditional Red Trousers worn by the French Army be changed to something less conspicilous on a modern battlefield.
It was shouted down "Remove the red pants? No! The red pants are la France”.
As a result, the French Army took many unnecessary casualaties in 1914.in 1915 the pants were chaged to a drab light blue.
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Old 15th November 2022, 07:45 PM   #159
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Well, the whole WW1 is a treasure trove of idiocy, starting with the fact that most of that stuff wasn't as new as people think. Just nobody gave a flip to learn from previous conflicts.

E.g., the fight at Gate Pa or the Russo-Japanese war could have shown quite a few things about what happens in a modern war. I already wrote about it in ye olde WW1 thread. But nope, everyone had to first lose a few hundreds of thousands of troops and rediscover it personally the hard way. 'Cause, you know, not invented here.

Edit: and not just stuff in second rate wars. I mean, the Brits were right there at the Gate Pa, still didn't learn anything. Or the same Brits had already discovered in the Boer Wars why you want khaki uniforms (or really, whatever blends in) instead of their traditional bright red jackets. The French never bothered to notice, and, yeah, had those red pants and blue jackets. Or the Brits again seem to have discovered in the Second Boer War that maybe tell the officers to leave their flashy swords back when the enemy has snipers and it marks you as a priority target. (See Scholagladiatoria's video, for example.) Forget the French. Even the Brits seem to have completely forgotten by WW1, where it took a few thousand officers getting their skull vented before they reached the same conclusion all over again.
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Last edited by HansMustermann; 15th November 2022 at 07:52 PM.
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Old 16th November 2022, 03:03 AM   #160
Shadowdweller
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While I possess some skepticism as to the rigor of its historical authenticity, this account of the Russo-Japanese war (1904-5) is pretty hilarious.
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Last edited by Shadowdweller; 16th November 2022 at 03:05 AM.
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