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Re: "Automatic" torpedo fire defensible designwise? NO

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  • bmusler11
    Len, Thanks. Great post. It s amazing how definite things are when you only read one source...and how quickly they can get cloudy when you start to ask
    Message 1 of 104 , May 19, 2012
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      Len,

      Thanks. Great post. It's amazing how definite things are when you only read one source...and how quickly they can get cloudy when you start to ask questions. To your knowledge, did the Japanese also have a detection device that indicated when radar was being employed by the enemy? (Was that at Tassafaronga?) Because IF their spotters were blocked by the weather they really would have to get the weapon targeting data from a fully functional radar set, right? I've never come across that before; especially feeding it to other ships for a coodinated launch. (Not that I've investigated it though.) Did the Niizuki sink with the only prototype?!

      Now, intentionally jumping to a way over-hasty conclusion for a contrafactual wargame, it's frightening to think what the Japanese might have done with American style radar directing schools of Type 93 torpedoes in the Solomons. That would have been a Divine Wind to beat the baka bomb!

      - Brandon

      --- In NavWarGames@yahoogroups.com, "lenheinz2002" <lenheinz2002@...> wrote:
      >
      > Here's what I found when I researched this engagement a few years ago. It's one of those actions that doesn't yield a clear historical picture:
      >
      > The authorities are at odds over the details of this action. Dull identifies the engaged ships as Niizuki, Yunagi and Nagatsuki, and says that the Niizuki fed target data from her radar to her consorts. This is at odds with other data on Japanese radar development, which suggests that the Japanese had no effective surface search sets at the time of this engagement. Rohwer and Hummelchen list the Japanese ships in the action as the Mochizuki, Mikazuki and Hamakaze under Captain Tsuneo Orita -- three older destroyer-transports that probably would not have had radar and may not even have had Long Lance torpedoes. This group was the "First Transport Unit" at the battle of Kula Gulf. Morison does not identify the Japanese vessels at all, writing only that the Americans had two radar contacts, and makes no reference to how the Japanese spotted their targets or laid their weapons. Despite other data, Morison credits Niizuki with radar and says that she used it at the Battle of Kula Gulf (where she was sunk). Morison's account of that battle suggests that Niikuki's set detected the presence of American ships 34 minutes before the Americans SG radar detected the Japanese, and that the Americans were tracked down to a range of 12,000 yards. Morison also says that the action off Enogai took place on a "dark, overcast night," so it seems unlikely that Japanese optics outranged American radar in the engagement. Based on this, I conclude that the Niizuki was present at this action, and that her radar data resulted in the hits scored that night. An alternate explanation, which the players may wish to explore, is that the three Japanese destroyers were hidden against the shoreline at Bairoka, launched torpedoes and then were spotted only when the exited the gulf.
      >
      > The footnotes did't make it through the cut-and-paste, but the sources were Dull's history of the Japanese Navy in WW II, Rohwer and Hummelchen's chronology of WW II at sea, Morison (of course), and the Takao book from the Anatomy of the Ship series for radar data. I don't think that I had Vince O'Hara's book at the time.
      >
      > --- In NavWarGames@yahoogroups.com, "bmusler11" <bmusler@> wrote:
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > --- In NavWarGames@yahoogroups.com, "bmusler11" <bmusler@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > According to Rohwer's CHRONOLOGY OF THE WAR AT SEA 1939-1945 (p.258) it may have been either MOCHITSUKI, MIKATSUKI, or HAMAKAZE after they landed troops near Vila in Kula Gulf. Rohwer notes the long lance hit, "at great range."
      > >
      > > It should be noted that the link post by Mark Hinds debunks this theory in favor of a more choreographed mass launch.
      > >
      >
    • bmusler11
      True enough -- the new tactics progressed to doctrine. But after the Solomons, with a few exceptions, air power began to deliver most of the significant
      Message 104 of 104 , May 22, 2012
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        True enough -- the new tactics progressed to doctrine. But after the Solomons, with a few exceptions, air power began to deliver most of the significant torpedo attacks. The measurement of a ship's utility almost becomes how much AA (and radar) a ship could provide (provided it wasn't a carrier itself) to ward them off.

        To be honest -- and this is just my own personal bias -- the naval war becomes drastically less interesting to me after 1943. By then the Japanese had decisively missed their window to extend the war by fleet action.

        --- In NavWarGames@yahoogroups.com, Lou Coatney <cl52@...> wrote:
        >
        > Not really.  Our destroyers in Surigao Strait and the Japanese longrange
        >   torpedo attack in the Philippines soon thereafter were made before gunfire.
        >  
        > Torpedos' effectiveness was greatly enhanced by surprise, which gunfire
        >   gave away, and among islands, radar could still be unreliable.
        >  
        > "The only caveat I would stress if that the conditions that validated
        >   these tactics changed as the war continued so it should be a Solomons game."
        >
        > Lou Coatney, ELCOAT@...
        > Skarerasen 16, Apt 1107
        > 1473 Loerenskog, Norway
        > 47-45765765
        > http://LCoat.tripod.com/index.htm
        > http://www.coatneyhistory.com
        > (Free games, cardstock model ship plans, etc.)
        >
        >
        > ________________________________
        > From: bmusler11 <bmusler@...>
        > To: NavWarGames@yahoogroups.com
        > Sent: Sunday, May 20, 2012 6:37 PM
        > Subject: [NavWarGames] Re: "Automatic" torpedo fire defensible designwise? NO
        >
        >
        >  
        >
        >
        > > Therefore I think that somebody ought to try designing a game around the torpedo system and then adding gunnery as a misfit afterthought, rather than vice-versa. This conception would also fit Japanese thinking, in which the torpedo was to be the primary weapon.
        >
        > That's a great idea if we are talking about a tactical game focused primarily on surface warfare. After all, when all was said and done, the Americans had changed their initial tactics in two major ways that bascially mirrored the Japanese approach. 1) DDs were allowed to maneuver (more) independently of the main battle line. 2) Under ideal conditions the torpedo attack by the DDs was conducted BEFORE the order to open fire with the main battery was given. The only caveat I would stress if that the conditions that validated these tactics changed as the war continued so it should be a Solomons game.
        >
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        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
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