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Old 29th March 2020, 03:10 PM   #481
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Definition of a broadside. All turrets firing, not 'salvo' D o Y was firing ahead at long range and only engaged with A and B turrets.

Yes, I am being pedantic, a broadside is all guns from all turrets, not some turrets or just some guns in each turret, they are a 'salvo'
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Old 29th March 2020, 06:07 PM   #482
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I don't think we have the information, at least not without some serious digging, as to whether the Duke Of York never fired its back turrets too. The Scharnhorst had been MASSIVELY slowed down by the flooding of one of its boiler rooms at that point, and frankly the Duke Of York at that point wasn't limited by speed to keep up. In fact, the Scharnhorst was so severely limited in speed, IIRC down to 10 knots for most of it, that one of the destroyers, which were otherwise handicapped in speed by the very bad weather closed down to 1500 yards range and YOLO-torped it point-blank.

(You know, the kind of thing that would get you reported as noob in World Of Warships )

Don't get me wrong, I don't know off hand which guns did the Duke Of York fire. But it did have decent angles of fire on the rear turret and it wouldn't have taken all that much of a swing to fire it too. At the latter stages it was mostly keeping an optimal distance to its wounded prey.

Plus, if we're talking "last time a Battleship fired a broadside", without qualifying it as strictly a BRITISH battleship, the Scharnhorst definitely did exactly that in the Battle Of North Cape. The first salvo on the Norfolk, for example, fired all 3 main gun batteries.
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Old 4th April 2020, 01:53 PM   #483
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I'm re-reading Parshall and Tully's Shattered Sword about the Battle of Midway and they've reminded that Kaga was a bit of a dog compared to the rest of the IJN's carriers. She was under construction as a battleship and supposed to have been scrapped after the Washington Treaty but had to be converted to a carrier following the destruction of Amagi in the 1923 earthquake. She wound up several knots slower than her squadron-mate Akagi.
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Old 4th April 2020, 02:06 PM   #484
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
I'm re-reading Parshall and Tully's Shattered Sword about the Battle of Midway and they've reminded that Kaga was a bit of a dog compared to the rest of the IJN's carriers. She was under construction as a battleship and supposed to have been scrapped after the Washington Treaty but had to be converted to a carrier following the destruction of Amagi in the 1923 earthquake. She wound up several knots slower than her squadron-mate Akagi.
IIRC one of the things the author emphasizes is that all the Japanese carriers had issues stemming from poor command towers. They were cramped, and had barely the room for the command staff, and maps were hard to use. By comparison the US carriers had much better facilities for command rooms.
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Old 4th April 2020, 03:10 PM   #485
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RN and USN Carriers were better all round.
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Old 4th April 2020, 03:31 PM   #486
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Agreed. But at the beginning of the war, the Japanese had more of them, better planes and pilots, and a better understanding of how to use them. All of that had deteriorated even prior to Midway.
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Old 4th April 2020, 04:31 PM   #487
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Agreed. But at the beginning of the war, the Japanese had more of them, better planes and pilots, and a better understanding of how to use them. All of that had deteriorated even prior to Midway.
Here is a problem all air forces have. What do you do with your very best pilots? The Japanese Navy put them on the aircraft carriers. The Americans used them to train other pilots. Result: When a Japanese pilot was lost they could not be easily replaced. When an American pilot was lost, that did not matter for quality purposes, they were replaced by someone who had been trained by the best pilots. This is one reason Japan lost the war.
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Old 4th April 2020, 05:07 PM   #488
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Additionally, the US went to great lengths to retrieve downed pilots, including deploying submarines near islands being attacked. Many aviators were rescued and returned to duty, most famously, of course, George H. W. Bush.

The Japanese, conversely, generally made little effort at recovery, partly due to a lack of resources, but also partly due to a difference in philosophy, in which the abandonment of downed or shipwrecked personnel was often seen as a necessary sacrifice for the greater good.
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Old 4th April 2020, 05:18 PM   #489
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In fact, many of the Japanese military's problems during the war can be traced to the application of the Bushido code to modern warfare. For example, Japanese radar, sonar, and damage control were deficient partly because the best and brightest sailors all wanted to be in the weapons department, or failing that, engineering. And the failure of the IJN both to attack Allied supply convoys aggressively, and to escort their own convoys properly, were due in large measure to the view that noncombatant vessels were not worthwhile for true warriors to attack or defend.
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Old 4th April 2020, 05:25 PM   #490
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Just wanted to add some info to the previous comment: in the Battle Of The North Cape the Duke Of York most definitely fired broadsides. In fact, a full ten gun broadside from the Duke Of York is pretty much how the Scharnhorst learned that the second task force had arrived.
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Old 5th April 2020, 07:57 AM   #491
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
Here is a problem all air forces have. What do you do with your very best pilots? The Japanese Navy put them on the aircraft carriers. The Americans used them to train other pilots. Result: When a Japanese pilot was lost they could not be easily replaced. When an American pilot was lost, that did not matter for quality purposes, they were replaced by someone who had been trained by the best pilots. This is one reason Japan lost the war.
Slight digression, but the father of one of our former Scout leaders was one of the RN instructors seconded to the USN to help set up the Top Gun school.

Apparently he had a *great* social life in the States whilst doing this...
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Old 5th April 2020, 08:29 AM   #492
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
Slight digression, but the father of one of our former Scout leaders was one of the RN instructors seconded to the USN to help set up the Top Gun school.

Apparently he had a *great* social life in the States whilst doing this...
Was he at that Tailhook convention? Those guys were having a great time, until they weren't.
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Old 5th April 2020, 08:51 AM   #493
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Was he at that Tailhook convention? Those guys were having a great time, until they weren't.
As far as I know, Tailhook was decades later.
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Old 5th April 2020, 10:02 AM   #494
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
Slight digression, but the father of one of our former Scout leaders was one of the RN instructors seconded to the USN to help set up the Top Gun school.

Apparently he had a *great* social life in the States whilst doing this...
Germany had the same philosophy, Pilots stayed in the front line until they were killed.
It was the same across the other services. New tanks went to new crews so for example when the Panthers came in the crews in the PzIV weren't given the new better tanks, they went to the new crews being trained. This meant the most experienced crews didn't have the best equipment.
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Old 5th April 2020, 12:07 PM   #495
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Germany had the same philosophy, Pilots stayed in the front line until they were killed.
It was the same across the other services. New tanks went to new crews so for example when the Panthers came in the crews in the PzIV weren't given the new better tanks, they went to the new crews being trained. This meant the most experienced crews didn't have the best equipment.
Yes, really bad for a war of attrition.

But the Axis were really bad at the less eyecatching parts of prosecuting a war.

Not just this, or their reliance on horses and mules for logistics, but even their lack of standardisation or design for maintenance.
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Old 5th April 2020, 12:37 PM   #496
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In fairness, maybe the experienced crews didn’t want the early Panthers....
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Old 5th April 2020, 01:28 PM   #497
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Or a Tiger 2 at all!
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Old 5th April 2020, 04:07 PM   #498
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Well, I'm probably starting to sound like a broken record, but I'll return to that dictum: "Amateurs talk about tactics, professionals talk about logistics." And I'm dissing the Axis HQs there, as usual, if it wasn't clear.

But more generally it's about economics, not just the logistics part.

E.g., if you want to do some serious training new pilots, you need airplanes and you need fuel and you need parts. Even more so if you're going to regularly replace your veterans with newbies who might get a bit more, you know, shot. Germany couldn't afford that, and Japan even less. Especially after the Allies FINALLY got the saner idea to bomb the synthetic fuel refineries instead of venting their anger on civilians, the Luftwaffe was running on fumes, pretty much. They hardly could keep enough planes in the air to attack the B17's at all. They just couldn't AFFORD to have an extensive training program for new pilots too.

The same applied to tanks. Nobody had the fuel to start extensively training new tankers to absorb all the tricks and tips from veterans. By the end of '44, a new tank crew barely had clocked a couple of hours actually driving the tank before they were sent to the front line. That's not hyperbole, btw. They LITERALLY shipped to the front line with sometimes as little as 2 or 3 hours of actually driving their tank in training.

At that point, it doesn't matter if they're trained by veterans or by God Allmighty Himself, they're gonna suck anyway.

And that also applied if you wanted to retrain a Pz-III crew to Tiger crew. You just couldn't afford the fuel to retrain them.

Then there's the issue of parts. I may have mentioned before how Speer's "miracle" actually just consisted of assembling more tanks and airplanes, and leaving less parts. Basically whereas the USA would pack an airplane as parts for every couple actual airplanes even on carriers, Speer just padded his production figures by assembling everything into finished tanks and airplanes and leaving almost nothing as parts for repairs. THAT is how he could show Adolf that, look, production jumped almost overnight when he got put in charge.

With the effect that even for something like a broken transmission, you were supposed to pack the whole tank on a train and send it back to the factory for repairs, and get a new one instead in the meantime. And the damned things often broke down before even getting in range of an enemy. So it's not like it was even in question whether it's worth recovering it or whatnot. Just the damn thing breaks on the way to the front, and you have to just send it back. Unlike, say, the USA, where you'd just unbolt the front, change the transmission, and you're right back into action.

This clogged logistics even more fiercely than had been the case before. Shipping even more tanks back and forth to upgrade a perfectly functional unit to newer stuff was a burden that Germany just couldn't afford. I mean, it still did happen, but more when they had to (e.g., because the old stuff had been lost in action,) than as some kind of policy to upgrade veterans to better stuff.

Then there was the issue of available personnel. Not only technically competent people who can drive a tank at all if you give them only 2-3 hours of training at a premium, but so was competent military personnel period.

See, the USA, and Britain, and the USSR, and so on, had had millions of reservists when the war started. You can then just promote those and there you go, you have all the sergeants and whatnot to train and lead the new recruits.

Germany didn't. Remember Versailles and that 100,000 soldiers limit Germany had? Yeah, that's one effect it had. Germany had a complete shortage of such reservists when they started the war. In fact, they had to reactivate 50 year old guys with WW1 experience to have someone with ANY kind of experience as NCOs and whatnot.

What I'm getting at is that that's also a reason why you didn't want to pull out your veterans. You needed them just to lead the rest of the troops there.

Etc.

And don't get me wrong, I'm not saying this as some kind of EXCUSE for the high command. It's stuff that was known and they chose to ignore when they decided to have a war anyway. Which is very damning in my book.
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Old 5th April 2020, 04:17 PM   #499
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
With the effect that even for something like a broken transmission, you were supposed to pack the whole tank on a train and send it back to the factory for repairs, and get a new one instead in the meantime.
This is an interesting example.
To change the transmission on a German tank was a huge job that needed a factory or big workshop, it couldn't be done in the field without a lot of effort and difficulties. On the Pz 3, 4 and Tiger the entire top hull had to be removed to get the transmission out. On the Panther you could get away with just removing the entire turret but it was easier to remove the whole upper hull.
It was just as easy to give a crew a new tank and take the old one away as it was to try and fix it in the field.
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Old 5th April 2020, 05:13 PM   #500
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Well, that's not taking into account the state of German logistics, though. Hauling the tank back to Germany and a new one back to Russia was not as quick and easy as it might have been for other nations.

But I think the proof of the pudding is in the eating. We have enough documents to establish that the actual troops on the front line very much would have preferred to do the repairs themselves rather than wait a couple of weeks for that round trip.

In fact, it's pretty well documented that a lot of tanks were returned to the factory an empty shell, stripped of everything that could physically be stripped. Like, apparently some were hit in the turret so hard, that it knocked the engine, transmission and final drive clean out of the hull

Even (or especially) supposedly disciplined SS units did this all the time.

Basically, sure, in an ideal world it may have been easier to just send it back and get a new one. And if it were that quick and ideal, I don't doubt that most troops would have preferred it that way. But the world was FAR less than ideal at that point, and the choice was more like try to fix it yourself or lack a tank for weeks until you get a new one. They very much preferred the former.
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Old 5th April 2020, 05:19 PM   #501
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But basically just to illustrate how bad the fuel situation was, at one point Opel nearly closed a truck factory because they weren't even getting enough fuel to test that the damn thing even starts. They literally had no idea whether the fuel pump works, because they weren't getting enough fuel to do that test. Eventually they got special dispensation from the party and could keep the factory open.

So, yeah, it's in that context that you have to judge the decision to not do some extensive programme of using old aces to train really good new pilots.
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Old 5th April 2020, 05:36 PM   #502
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So, maybe having Porsche design your tanks wasn't the greatest idea....
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Old 5th April 2020, 05:51 PM   #503
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
So, maybe having Porsche design your tanks wasn't the greatest idea....
Well, yeah, but THAT's worth a couple of pages all by itself.
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Old 6th April 2020, 02:34 AM   #504
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Actually, to return to the actual topic, did anyone mention the Kaiten yet? I mean, it's the only naval vessels DESIGNED to kill the crew in action. Other ships may have been a death trap in practice, but they weren't usually DESIGNED to be.

Worse yet, not even just in an actual successful engagement. They tended to kill or maim people even in training, since even without a warhead, it still involved driving at 30 knots at a target, without a seatbelt. And possibly sinking even in training.

Even WORSE yet, they weren't awful just for their own crews' survival. They tended to also get the submarine carrying them killed.

Thing is, with a normal torpedo you can just flood the tubes, fire, and dive to avoid the DDs. The launch procedure for a Kaiten took a whole lot of time, including loading its compressed air tanks (or peroxide for the type 2!!), ventilating the crew compartment, loading the guy in, etc. It was a long time and it had to be done at pretty much periscope depth, since these didn't have much of a pressure hull or anything. And if you got spotted by some airplane or destroyer in that time, you tended to be pretty much screwed.

So, anyway, a vessel that's not only a literal deathtrap for its own crew, but jeopardises ANOTHER allied vessel too as part of its normal operation, well, it has to count as THE worst ever.
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Old 9th April 2020, 03:00 PM   #505
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Slightly off-topic, but as I'm reading Shattered Sword (Hiryu is about to get hit) I thought I'd do an image search for "Battle of Midway", and came across this complete mess. It's apparently an image from the recent and much hated film, clearly depicting the Pearl Harbor raid. Talk about your bad warships!
The ship on the left has the old-style cage masts. Four ships present for the raid had those: Tennessee, California, West Virginia, and Maryland. The ship in the picture has triple turrets, hence either California or Tennessee, the other two having twins. But she also has notches in the hull for casemate mounted secondaries. None of the "Big Five" ever had those. Tennessee was moored alongside WV, which also had cage masts. California was by herself. But alongside in the image is a ship with tripods.
It's difficult to tell how many guns per turret in that other ship, but probably three. That would be Arizona (moored alongside repair ship Vestal) or Pennsylvania (in drydock). Just possibly the ship could be Oklahoma (moored alongside Maryland, which had a cage mast and twin turrets) or Nevada, which had twin over triple and was moored by herself.
Did these clowns simply not care at all?
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Old 10th April 2020, 06:49 AM   #506
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Actually, to return to the actual topic, did anyone mention the Kaiten yet? I mean, it's the only naval vessels DESIGNED to kill the crew in action. Other ships may have been a death trap in practice, but they weren't usually DESIGNED to be.

Worse yet, not even just in an actual successful engagement. They tended to kill or maim people even in training, since even without a warhead, it still involved driving at 30 knots at a target, without a seatbelt. And possibly sinking even in training.

Even WORSE yet, they weren't awful just for their own crews' survival. They tended to also get the submarine carrying them killed.

Thing is, with a normal torpedo you can just flood the tubes, fire, and dive to avoid the DDs. The launch procedure for a Kaiten took a whole lot of time, including loading its compressed air tanks (or peroxide for the type 2!!), ventilating the crew compartment, loading the guy in, etc. It was a long time and it had to be done at pretty much periscope depth, since these didn't have much of a pressure hull or anything. And if you got spotted by some airplane or destroyer in that time, you tended to be pretty much screwed.

So, anyway, a vessel that's not only a literal deathtrap for its own crew, but jeopardises ANOTHER allied vessel too as part of its normal operation, well, it has to count as THE worst ever.
Huh. You know, I occasionally play a game call Star General (it's old but good) and a few of the races in it have as part of their navies "manned torpedoes" and I thought huh, that's a novel idea. I mean, no one in reality would be insane enough to actually USE a manned torpedo right?

Then I googled Kaiten. Holy crap.
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Old 10th April 2020, 07:04 AM   #507
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
Here is a problem all air forces have. What do you do with your very best pilots? The Japanese Navy put them on the aircraft carriers. The Americans used them to train other pilots. Result: When a Japanese pilot was lost they could not be easily replaced. When an American pilot was lost, that did not matter for quality purposes, they were replaced by someone who had been trained by the best pilots. This is one reason Japan lost the war.
It works the same way with farming
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Old 10th April 2020, 08:04 AM   #508
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Originally Posted by MarkCorrigan View Post
Huh. You know, I occasionally play a game call Star General (it's old but good) and a few of the races in it have as part of their navies "manned torpedoes" and I thought huh, that's a novel idea. I mean, no one in reality would be insane enough to actually USE a manned torpedo right?

Then I googled Kaiten. Holy crap.
Actually the Royal Navy used manned torpedoes to attempt to destroy the Tirpitz (very unsuccessfully), and on other occasions. However, they weren't designed to work by sealing the 'man' element in to his death.

Trebuchet, I suggest you don't look at a recent post in the 'Watched Movies' thread.
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Old 10th April 2020, 08:34 AM   #509
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Originally Posted by gypsyjackson View Post

Trebuchet, I suggest you don't look at a recent post in the 'Watched Movies' thread.
Uh-oh. Now I'm going to have to.
I just realized the ships in that picture are also too far apart.
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Old 10th April 2020, 10:13 AM   #510
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Originally Posted by gypsyjackson View Post
Actually the Royal Navy used manned torpedoes to attempt to destroy the Tirpitz (very unsuccessfully), and on other occasions. However, they weren't designed to work by sealing the 'man' element in to his death.

Trebuchet, I suggest you don't look at a recent post in the 'Watched Movies' thread.
I'd disagree, X-craft were midget submarines, and the Italian "human torpedoes" were for a similar role, which was commando-type attacks on high-value ships at anchor.

It's a bit like saying that a kamikaze and a dive bomber are essentially the same, except that the dive bomber is supposed to survive.
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Old 10th April 2020, 02:07 PM   #511
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Yeah, all the non-Japanese ones were really used nothing like a torpedo.
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Old 10th April 2020, 05:52 PM   #512
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
I'd disagree, X-craft were midget submarines, and the Italian "human torpedoes" were for a similar role, which was commando-type attacks on high-value ships at anchor.

It's a bit like saying that a kamikaze and a dive bomber are essentially the same, except that the dive bomber is supposed to survive.
I wasn't referring to the X-class attacks (which were somewhat successful at keeping Tirpitz out of action), but this one: https://codenames.info/operation/title/ - an almost total disaster.

I also certainly wasn't trying to equate the RN operations with the Kaiten (as I thought I made clear with my last line in my post).

I was referring to MarkCorrigan's line that no-one would be insane enough to use a manned torpedo. As you point out the Italian Navy in addition to the Royal Navy did have something in that line, though it is really a misnomer. I don't know anything about the game he referred to so I don't know how that class was designed to be used.
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Old 10th April 2020, 06:28 PM   #513
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Slightly off-topic, but as I'm reading Shattered Sword (Hiryu is about to get hit) I thought I'd do an image search for "Battle of Midway", and came across this complete mess. It's apparently an image from the recent and much hated film, clearly depicting the Pearl Harbor raid. Talk about your bad warships!
The ship on the left has the old-style cage masts. Four ships present for the raid had those: Tennessee, California, West Virginia, and Maryland. The ship in the picture has triple turrets, hence either California or Tennessee, the other two having twins. But she also has notches in the hull for casemate mounted secondaries. None of the "Big Five" ever had those. Tennessee was moored alongside WV, which also had cage masts. California was by herself. But alongside in the image is a ship with tripods.
It's difficult to tell how many guns per turret in that other ship, but probably three. That would be Arizona (moored alongside repair ship Vestal) or Pennsylvania (in drydock). Just possibly the ship could be Oklahoma (moored alongside Maryland, which had a cage mast and twin turrets) or Nevada, which had twin over triple and was moored by herself.
Did these clowns simply not care at all?

I mentioned most of these things up-thread after I watched the trailer. It's even worse when you the movie; there's so much wrong it would take me way too long to even start mentioning them all. Nevertheless I still think it's one of the better naval war movies that's been made recently, and it's head and shoulders above The Movie That Must Not Be Named, although that's not saying a whole lot.
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Old 10th April 2020, 09:48 PM   #514
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Originally Posted by SpitfireIX View Post
I mentioned most of these things up-thread after I watched the trailer. It's even worse when you the movie; there's so much wrong it would take me way too long to even start mentioning them all. Nevertheless I still think it's one of the better naval war movies that's been made recently, and it's head and shoulders above The Movie That Must Not Be Named, although that's not saying a whole lot.
And in the watched movies thread I just had to go look at, someone liked it for historical accuracy.
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Old 11th April 2020, 03:53 AM   #515
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Are you two talking about Midway?
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Old 11th April 2020, 07:30 AM   #516
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Originally Posted by Klimax View Post
Are you two talking about Midway?
I was, but I believe The Movie That Must Not Be Named refers to Pearl Harbor.
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Old 11th April 2020, 11:35 AM   #517
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To be fair, I don't think that the accuracy of the mooring positions is what people criticized the most, though. I mean, I know I'm far from being a WW2 historian, but the average Joe knows even less, and it didn't occur to me to count the guns per turret.

The bigger problem seems to be that, as struck me way back when we were talking about the trailer, it seems to be mostly indistinguishable from a video game trailer. There is a lot of spectacular CGI action (although as I said back then, some of it leaves me with the impression that I've seen the exact same scene before in an actual game trailer.) But there is very little actual story that connects it all, other than that there was a war back there, nor reason to be particularly invested in any characters. There are times when it's not even clear after the fact why they're bombing some target or whatnot.

I mean take even, say, Top Gun as another movie with aircraft and carriers. It's even less historically accurate, and in fact it pretty much just overall fails reality. Hard. But you've been given a protagonist, followed him through the story, and generally there's no point where you're left wondering either (A) what the hell is happening, or (B) who the hell is that guy, or (C) why should you care.

In Midway most of that is lacking.

In fact, forget Top Gun, I've been more emotionally invested in a silly SF anime like Girly Air Force than in Midway. Not by much, but still.
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Old 11th April 2020, 02:40 PM   #518
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Admittedly I'm a naval history nerd, but I'm not the only one. How much harder could it have been to have done a little better?
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Old 11th April 2020, 03:04 PM   #519
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Well, I'm not saying they couldn't do better. Just that that's the least of the problems that it had.
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Old 11th April 2020, 04:06 PM   #520
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Yeah.
Some years back, my wife got me a copy of "Air Force One". Because I worked at Boeing, and mostly on the 747. That was, to put it mildly, a mistake. I managed not to put my foot through the screen, but it was a close thing.
Watching movies about subjects of which you have event a little knowledge is generally not going to go well.
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