Kin of the Stars

Please sign in to post.
Kin of the Stars

A community for the fans of Crest of the Stars, Abh culture, anime, technology, science fiction, video games, and friendly conduct.


    WW2 U-Boat & convoi war

    Share
    avatar
    Almael
    Imperial Admiral
    Imperial Admiral

    Number of posts : 2378
    Imperial Credits : 12828
    Registration date : 2009-03-18

    WW2 U-Boat & convoi war

    Post by Almael on 6/9/2009, 8:13 am

    Repost:
    Almael wrote:
    Lt. Schwenkdawg wrote:
    And
    Almael, the black cat aircraft weren't over-weaponized. The Black Cats'
    main mission was convoy attack, with a secondary objective of rescue.
    The PBY Catalina (the aircraft used) was originally built as a
    reconnissance aircraft, but actually was well-suited to a convoy attack
    role against lightly armed and armored japanese transports.

    Overall,
    although you dont read about it nearly as much, the US ran the most
    successful commerce war in history, which is contrary to the belief
    that the German U-boats were the most successful commerce
    raiders.
    I meant the Catalina. Especially the aft gun mount
    seem added. I don't remember seeing a front turret either on actual
    crafts, but will check later.

    That depends on the view point. WW2 only.
    1.The allies had 5000-7000 transporters(5000 british) at any given time.
    The
    germans had 20-50 subs at any given time. Even all out the germans
    wouldn't be able to sink all ships. However, they could effectivly
    block the supply line.
    2. In the heat of the convoy war the US only
    escorted ships half the way (the safe side) while the British did the
    dangerous part.
    3. By the time the US took more action, radar and aircraft were already deployed and the war was already a onesided sub-hunt.
    If anything or anyone it was the corvettes and the new convoy tactics that won the sub-war.

    As to the japanese:
    After
    Midway, they practically had no navy left, and their transport capacity
    was not worth mentioning. Destroying them with aircraft was easy. The
    US Navy had 110 aircraft carriers at the end of the war. Overall
    tousands of aircrafts against some (100) transporters.

    The reason why it's not so known is because it's not interesting and not worth mentioning.

    Edit:
    Japanese transports: 6 Kyuryokan (supply) 6 Kyuheikan (ammunition) 1 Asahi (repair)
    8 hospital ships
    ...do they actually have a commerce fleet?
    By
    numbers axies forces were peanuts compared to eg. 6000 ships in Op.
    Overlord (Normandy) and 5000 ships in Pacific Operations.

    Lt.
    Schwenkdawg wrote:
    No. All catalinas were built with a forward facing turret.
    as for the belly turret...i wouldnt be surprised, but i dont know. And
    as for the commerce war, youre looking at all the wrong numbers.
    Pre-war, the japanese merchant fleet was about 5.8 million tons of
    shipping. For a loss of ONLY 42 boats, the US submarine force sank 4
    million tons of this, or about 2/3. The allied merchant marine lost 14
    million tons of shipping, BUT although it is a bigger number, it only
    adds up to roughly 54% of total tonnage avalible for transport to the
    merchant navy AT THE BEGINNING OF THE WAR (once the united states
    entered the war, it was putting out a frankly irresponsible amount of
    merchant tonnage per year that completely made up for any losses
    sustained by the u-boat fleet). For this number, the u-boats lost an
    astonishing 783 of their own boats. You also have to remember that the
    german boats were fighting against an industrial juggernaut (the united
    states launched roughly 11 million tons of merchant shipping in 1943
    ALONE), while the japanese managed MAYBE 200,000 a year. Overall, the
    US air and sea blockade of the empire of japan was far more successful
    than the attempted german blockade of england. (although you are
    correct on some terms. Japanese naval planners, and naval officers, saw
    convoy escort duty as dishonorable, and wished only to be engaged in
    the decisive battle against the US batle line...which was never to
    come. Therefore, while the british and americans had EXTENSIVE ASW
    experience and technology, and put it to good use starting in 1943-ish,
    the japanese never did...and got played on for it) Oh, and convoy
    tactics weren't new. The only new part of WW2 era convoy systems was
    the technology...the tactics had remained essentially unchanged from
    the first world war...when the british had the same problem...

    For
    your comment about the japanese navy, it wasnt the loss of the carriers
    that crippled the IJN, it was the loss of the pilots on the carriers.
    Japanese naval aviators underwent much longer and more strenuous
    training periods than their allied counterparts did (germany had no
    naval aviators to speak of, so there is no comparison there).
    Therefore, at the beginning of the war, japan had a small cadre of
    extremely skilled pilots, while america had a slew of mediocre to okay
    pilots. But, attrition, along with the aging of the A6M Zero design in
    comparison to contemporary allied designs and tactics (the thatch weave
    was a particularly effective anti-zero tactic), started wearing away at
    this cadre, and Midway essentially put the nail in the coffin. The
    system in place for training japanese pilots simply couldnt account for
    the losses in men and aircraft suffered in the war, and therefore,
    japanese air power sharply declined. And, as i'm sure you well know,
    air power defined the pacific war. So, japan actually had a significant
    amount of naval power left after midway, but they had no pilots, no
    fuel, and they were running out of metal. Oh, and carrier-based fighter
    groups were rarely used to attack convoys (until late war, when there
    really wasnt much else to attack), as US carriers were deployed in task
    forces, and sending an incredibly powerful force like this to hunt
    convoys was a waste of time.

    Checked, the armament is accurate, but I still don't see the spherical type of front turrest like in the game, only a horizontal observation.

    Luckyly I got a book to pull numbers from: Convoi war by Martine Middlebrook
    I don't have info on the pacific.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    1939
    numbers refer to ships over 1000 BRT (sea worthy)
    GB 2965 17524000 BRT 190000 men; will receive 700 ships from fallen countries & swede (259 1040000 BRT) =3 MBRT
    US 1409 8506000 BRT
    G 713 3762000 BRT 46 active subs sunk 222 ships; 37 subs constructed
    J 1054 5030000 BRT
    Canadian Navy 6 warships; Sydney&Halifax assembling port
    GB Sunderland aircraft
    convoi tactic reduces BRT effectively down to 2/3
    ASDIC, depth charges, RAF coastal command available
    escort 200 sm into Atlantic
    september night attack tactic

    1940
    G april 32 active subs
    G june +26 italien subs;
    G september 28 active subs wolfpack strategy
    june-october 274 ships sunk 1.4 MBRT (133 sunk 700000 BRT by 4 aces)
    about same number of ships lost to other causes
    total 1281 ships sunk 4747033 BRT

    1941
    March US 3 destroyer sqr 5 aircraft sqr for west atlantic patrol, still neutral
    May: continuing escort across the Atlantic by canada, GB, + later US (october entered war)
    Soviet enters war
    Radar available makes detecting surface+night subs possible
    432 ships sunk 2+MBRT; 32 subs sunk (27 by GB escorts)
    GB abandons Atlantic patrols

    1942
    US not applying GB strategy of escorts
    radio direction finder available, uses wolfpack weakness
    continuous contingent of 8 subs(6 attack 2 tankers) close to US thanks to sub tankers
    May: 362 ships sunk BRT>1941
    US adopts GB strategy; G subs move to Caribean, Brasilian coast
    US takes command of west atlantic; NY becomes assembling port; BRT effectively reduced further by delays & Operation Torch
    october: 196 active subs (nearly doubled to begin of the year)
    allies begin bombing sub bases; 100 bombers lost (50% US)
    another 575 ships sunk 3 MBRT
    total 1160 ships sunk 6+ MBRT + 1.5 MBRT by others; 66 subs sunk majority by aircraft
    total lost until now 14 MBRT; half replaced
    Liberty ships introduced (2751 produced , about 200 sunk)

    1943 turning point
    GB escort force 30 destroyer 70 corvettes in 7 groups
    Canada escort force 5 groups
    US reserves only (5 cutters, etc)
    G nearly only newbie sub crewmen (all veterans died); surface ships practically grounded
    200 active subs in 8 fleets ; 5 subs per week produced
    B-24 Liberator longrange aircraft available
    B-17 Flying Fortress 2 sqr
    GB new convoi formation doubling escorted ships from 30 to 64 (sometimes 80)
    all british ships have one big gun
    1944
    GB 24000 marines, 14000 grunts on ships
    ------------------------------------------------

    My numbers show the accurate situation at any time not the total as yours.
    As you can see above the number of german subs peaks in 1942. US forces got active when aircrafts have become available everywhere, at which point it's practical game over for the subs.
    Compared to the germans the US subs were bad. The total performance just equals that of one year of 30-40 german subs while the US had 200+ subs at the end. (at compareable japanese naval strength)
    Yes US blocking was more effective due to two factors:
    1. more units
    2. lots of islands and carriers, not much gaps due to range

    lol
    I think the US pilots just got nothing else to shoot at at the time. The japanese only defended their islands which were only supplied by subs after they pulled back all their transport ships closer to home.
    People have been pointing out the strange japanese behaviour of taking risks and misplaced cautiousness. But IMHO that's because of their limited resources and no confidence to have them available for the fight at hand.
    avatar
    Schwenkdawg
    Rear Flyer
    Rear Flyer

    Number of posts : 113
    Imperial Credits : 6496
    Registration date : 2009-03-25
    Age : 28
    Location : Ardmore, PA

    Re: WW2 U-Boat & convoi war

    Post by Schwenkdawg on 6/10/2009, 3:15 am

    This thread is awesome. Thank you Almael Laughing

    What you're missing here isn't the numbers, because going by PURE tonnage sent to the bottom of the ocean, the Germans FAAAR outperformed the US Submarine fleet. This is easy to see through both your stats and mine. What i was talking about was effectiveness. The US submarine fleet of the second world war began, in 1941, with 55 large and 18 medium to small subs stationed in Pacific waters, and grew to around 250...ish ships (mostly of the GBT class of fleet boats) by the end of the war (this number is something i dont actually know, and if you do, its something for me to learn Smile ). These submarines, along with their British, Australian, and (to a small extent) Dutch allies, accounted for about 50-60% of Japanese merchant shipping losses during the war (the other 40% being accounted for by squadrons like the "Black Cats" and mining operations). For these results (remember that at least 2/3 of Japanese merchant shipping was on the bottom of the pacific by 1945, and the rest were holed up in port for a lack of fuel and a fear of the US Navy), the USN lost around 40 of their own boats. The German story was completely different. For the first three years of the Battle of the Atlantic (after september 1939, through 1940, and ESPECIALLY 1941 and 1942), the German boats were more successful than their american counterparts, having better tactics and faaaar more targets (remember, this was at the very end of the reign of the great British empire, so their merchant fleet dwarfed everyone else's), and if this trend had continued, then you would be correct, and the Kriegsmarine's commerce war in the Atlantic would be the prime example of commerce war studied in military academies. However, in 1943, the tide turned, as your statistics show. The biggest developments were those of HF/DF (or huff-duff) radio direction finding, and the breaking of the Enigma cipher used by the Kriegsmarine. Because of the wolfpack strategy relied upon by karl donietz (commander of the u-boats, later commander of the Kriegsmarine, and finally furher once hitler offed himself), his boats were in constant contact with his headquarters, and once the enigma cipher was cracked and HF/DF perfected, this constant radio contact was a HUGE liability to the german unterseebootswaffe (u-boat arm). And, mix this technological breakthrough with the increasing avalibility of escort carriers and long range bombers such as the liberator and sutherland flying boat equipped with radar and leigh lights, and the U-boats have essentially lost the war. This can be demonstrated by the losses in the U-boat arm. Throughout the entire war, u-boat crews suffered a 75% mortality rate, which was FAR higher than ANY other branch of the german armed services, with losses of 783 boats and almost all of their crews (escaping from a WW2 submarine as it was sinking was essentially a miracle, as most of them didnt have escape hatches, and rebreathers were in their infancy). In fact, the very fact that doenitz could keep crewing his u-boats with this kind of loss ratio is testament of the espirit de corps of the unterseebootswaffe. So, as a final word for the submarines success ratios, the US did much better (percentage wise) with much fewer losses than did the germans, and thats why i claim theirs was a better conducted commerce war.

    However, that is not all. Since we're talking WW2, it would be negligent of me to fail to metion air power as a factor of any combat, commerce war or not. The german concept of air power was mainly as a support for ground troops, and as a kind of mobile artillery, which is why it is unsuprising that the Germans failed to grasp the significance of long-range aircraft as an integral part of the war they were trying so valiantly to wage. The ONLY German aircraft that gave any kind of support to the battle of the atlantic was the FW-200 Condor, a long range, 4 engine design (an incredible oddity among german aircraft, as most of their bombers were 2 engine designs because all german bombers were required to have dive bombing capability. This was a result of the leader of the aircraft design bureau for the OKW, or the german high command, being so impressed with dive bombing as a tactic that he required ALL german bombers to have this ability), and even then, the Condor was produced in such small numbers that I might as well not mention it. Only 276 were ever produced, and only a fraction of these were used in the battle of the atlantic, sinking just over 300,000 tons of shipping, which would be notable if it werent for the total amount of shipping sunk during the battle of the atlantic. As it stands, the Germans never fully grasped the idea of submarine-aircraft coordination or convoy attack aircraft, and paid dearly for it, unlike the US. The US story is completely different. US aircraft were a huge factor in commerce war against the japanese merchant marine, and as i said earlier, nearly 40% of the tonnage sent to the bottom was due to US aircraft. Admittedly, this was made possible by US air control of essentially the entire pacific ocean after Midway, but it was still a deciding factor against the japanese merchant marine. Because of necessity (the American battle line was crushed at Pearl Harbor, negating the original plan for fighting the Japanese navy, codenamed Plan Orange, which involved sailing the battle line out to the Phillipines and duking it out with the Japanese battle line old school style, and the Americans had to make do with what they had, namely their aircraft carriers), the Americans found out very early that air power was to be the deciding factor in the naval war in the pacific, and WW2 at large, and the US military hasnt forgotten that lesson to this day. They applied this lesson very well to warfare on a oceanic scale, and the results are clear. Nearly All japanese naval losses (around 75%) and almost half of their merchant losses were due to aircraft. These combined arms tactics, as I'm sure you will agree, are the key to any successful combat situation, and the combination of air and submarine assets, along with the much better tonnage ratio, is why i believe that the US commerce war against the Japanese was a far more effective war than that the germans waged against the US and Britain.

    Two final things: First, American submarines were actually better than their german counterparts, in terms of pure performance. Although both navies suffered from sh*tty torpedoes until around 1943, the American designs (like the Gato/Balao/Tench class mentioned earlier) were roomier, better armed, faster, and had greater range than their german counterparts. For example, i will compare the Type IX u-boat with the GBT classes of American fleet boats. (i use the comparison because although there were FAR more type VIIs produced, the type IX is closer to the tonnage of the GBT classes). The GBTs were 1500 tons, 311 ft long, with 6 forward tubes (21 inches, which was the world standard by this time), with a surfaced speed of 20.25 kts, a submerged speed of 8.75 kts, a maximum depth of 122 meters, and a range of 11,000 nautical miles. The German Type IX boats were 1,120 tons, 252 ft long, with 4 forward tubes, with a surfaced speed of 18.3 kts, a submerged speed of 7 kts, a maximum depth of 150 meters, and the same range of 11,000 nautical miles. Although very similar, the main difference is the two extra tubes in the bow, and the speed. The two tubes gave an American captian a better chance of a hit (or multiple hits), as the common tactic of the day was to fire a spread of all the bow tubes over a number of projected courses and speeds, and hope one or more hit. The second major advantage is the speed. Although the numbers may not seem that different, the extra speed of the US boats allowed them to better stalk their prey, and also allowed them to escape better if necessary. (I checked the stats for the type VII as well, and the only major differences between it and the type IX are the tonnage, length, range, and diving depth[all were smaller/less]). Add to this the fact that allied escorts were FAAAR better trained and equipped for ASW than were their japanese counterparts, and you have a major advantage for the Americans right there.

    The final point i have in this post which is more and more resembling a paper is your comment of strange japanese behaivor. This can all chalked up to two things, both inter-related. The first is the fact that Japanese naval planning was ENTIRELY based around the sinking of enemy warships, which meant that convoys were usually not a concern to Japanese strategists, and the second was the longing for the decisive battle. Ever since the stunning Japanese victory at Tsushima in 1905 in the Russo-Japanese war, Japanese naval thought was dominated by the decisive battle between the US battleship line and the Japanese battleship line, and all their tactics, strategies, and even ship designs were subjugated to this fetish. Japanese ships were purpose designed for this battle, to the point where their capabilites in other areas were completely lacking (japanese destroyers were designed as torpedo boats to inflict night attacks on the advancing US fleet, Japanese cruisers were designed to lead the japanese destroyer flotillas in their mission, japanese carriers were designed to grant air superiority over the area of engagement for the battleships, and japanese battleships were designed with the sole purpose of battleship-battleship combat). Therefore, although their tactical decisions may seem odd, you have to remember that they were all based on the fetish of decisive battle, and their ships were designed for that purpose to the exclusion of everything else (a good explanation for the relative weakness of japanese AA armament on their warships)

    I cant believe im doing this, but heres my sources:
    The Illustrated Directory of Submarines of the World by David Miller
    Kaigun by David C. Evans and Mark R. Peattie (i HIGHLY recommend this book)
    Hitler's U-Boat War by Clay Blair (volumes 1 and 2)
    Battle of the Atlantic by Andrew Williams
    The Second World War by John Keegan
    and finally, Wikipedia, for a lot of the smaller things
    avatar
    Almael
    Imperial Admiral
    Imperial Admiral

    Number of posts : 2378
    Imperial Credits : 12828
    Registration date : 2009-03-18

    Re: WW2 U-Boat & convoi war

    Post by Almael on 6/10/2009, 10:01 am

    You're welcome! Very Happy

    ------------------
    US submarine force 1940-45
    8 O-type (lost 1941:1)
    19 R-type (lost 1943:1), 3 leased
    24 S1-type (lost 1942:4 1944:1), 6 leased
    7 S11-type
    6 S42-type (lost 1943:1)
    1 S48-type
    3 B-type
    1 A-type (lost 1943:1)
    2 Nautilus
    1 Dolphin
    2 Cachalot
    2 P1-type
    2 P3-type
    6 P5-type (lost 1942:1 1943:1 1944:1)
    6 Salmon
    10 Sargo (lost 1941:1 1943:1 1944:1?friendly fire 1945:1) (commissioned in 1939)
    6 Tambor (lost 1943:1 1944:1) (commissioned in 1940 1941:1)
    2 Mackerel (commissioned in 1941)
    6 Gar (lost 1943:3 1944:2) (commissioned in 1941)
    73 Gato (lost 1942:1 1943:5 1944:10 1945:3) (+1?) (commissioned 1941:4 1942:33 1943:32 1944:4)
    119 Balao (lost 1943:5 1944:5) (commissioned 1943:24 1944:68 1945:26 1946:1)
    30 Tench (commissioned 1944:7 1945:23)
    8+19+24+7+6+1+3+1+2+1+2+2+2+6+6+10+6+2+6+73+119+30=
    =336 subs 52 lost(leased not counted) 9 leased(no leased lost)
    1939 100 subs 9 leased
    1940 +5 subs
    1941 +13 subs 2 lost (start warfare)
    1942 +33 subs 6 lost
    1943 +56 subs 19 lost
    1944 +79 subs 21 lost
    1945 +49 subs 4 lost
    1946 +1

    Germany 1131 subs commissioned 785 sunk (863 went on missions 39000 men, 754 sunk 27491 men, 5000 men imprisoned)
    ------------------

    Yeah, although, the germans had advanced aircraft tech including heavy transports like the DO's type they didn't pursuit it further.
    I think they wanted to solidify/reinforce their forces power rather than able to wage distant war. Something like the thinking of having concentrated power of all forces at the place you are.
    Also the eerie sound of the Stuka divebomber might have added to their liking of creating terror.

    Actually, the japanese were the first to embrace naval airpower, they had the biggest carrier fleet at the time after all. They were also the first to bomb battleships (GB: Prince of Wales+). The US had only carriers because the japanese had them. Remember the Bill Mitchell affair? The japanese's success on Pearl Habor opened their eyes and they just followed up on the japanese example.
    *carrier&year numbers?

    Most historians blame Hitler for his priority toward the soviet territory, and lack of forsight for the U-boat weapon. That's why there weren't many subs available for the first 3 years. If they had doubled that number they would have won.

    Yes, the US applied everything available, but also had better circumstances.
    Adding to what I pointed out before about US number of units, area coverage, and japanese naval forces left.
    The number of ships in the Atlantic was higher, but so was the area of sub patrol as well as range.
    The japanese were mostly tied to the islands they got, which weren't far apart, clustered in certain areas, and easier to ambush.
    I doubt the japanese have much of an air cover for their ships (also resource limited), not to mention specialized hunters or the tech the allies had.
    I don't know if they even had the ASDIC. Although, according to movies they can do pinging...
    The lack of worthy resistance can't really be used to gauge or compare the performance or effectiveness, but the germans were compareably at a much greater disadvantage.
    With double the number of active subs at any time compared to the germans and with roughly same number of japanese naval forces as the GB for escort, IMHO they should have been able to utterly obliterate the japanese without air or surface ship support.

    Well, most german sub designs are a decade old when the war started. Newer versions weren't in any significant numbers and at a time when the war was already onesided.
    Then taking their lack of resources into account, they had to build compact subs at less cost. With 2/3 of the US subs with latest tech the advantage is really immeasureable.

    Yeah, there is that Samurai kind of battle thinking. I don't think seeking out a battle is wrong in itself, but rather their execution or application.
    And like in any kind of organisation the old generation is leading, hence older believes/opinion are given more priority. Even the Germans and British were still basing on their battleships.
    The japanese surely had the right mix of weaponry for their strategy until Midway. Yes, the ship design problem was the necessity to be organised into a big fleet. They could not have smaller ballanced forces.
    But then again I'm not sure the US was that much better. In any case, the (lucky) victory of Midway obliterated the japanese concept, hence, forcing them into the defense.
    It could very well, have gone the other way if the japanese discovered the US ships first. IMHO there were just too many lucky events in american favor, to draw a conclusive judgement.
    However, the later US ships built after Midway are definitely better than the older japanese designs.


    I don't have any other warfare book to refer to so it's all the nets fault if there are errors. geek
    http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/ships/ships-ss.html
    avatar
    JGZinv
    Admin
    Admin

    Number of posts : 667
    Imperial Credits : 7548
    Registration date : 2009-03-17
    Age : 30
    Location : 9468 Parallel World Dr. Artifact USA Earth

    Re: WW2 U-Boat & convoi war

    Post by JGZinv on 6/10/2009, 11:25 am

    Yeah - I'm not going to read all of that right away, but nice job with the
    quotes... I should have though about doing it that way before.


    _________________
    True power comes not from strength, but from the soul and imagination
    avatar
    Schwenkdawg
    Rear Flyer
    Rear Flyer

    Number of posts : 113
    Imperial Credits : 6496
    Registration date : 2009-03-25
    Age : 28
    Location : Ardmore, PA

    Re: WW2 U-Boat & convoi war

    Post by Schwenkdawg on 6/10/2009, 3:28 pm

    The eerie sound of the stuka actually was a conscious design choice. It was made by a siren attached to one of the landing gear (which were non-retractable), and was called the horn of jericho. Before the allies found out how horribly vulnerable the Stuka was to fighter aircraft, that sound alone could drive a regiment into retreat. Dive bombing was, at that time, the most accurate way to deliver ordnance across the battlefield (think of it as a smart bomb with an aircraft attached, except the aircraft detaches and pulls out at the last second), so it is semi-logical to require aircraft with that capability...especially for the German tactic of using the Stukas as a sort of mobile far-ranging artillery (the way most armies use their groud attack aircraft now). However, this dive bombing requirement really hampered the development of long-range strategic bombing capability for the Luftwaffe, which was sorely needed in the battle of britain, and later on the Eastern front and in the battle of the atlantic. Yes, the Japanese were the first to embrace naval air power, but it wasn't for air power's sake. Although the First Air Fleet (the first true carrier task force) was agruably the most powerful naval unit afloat at the start of WW2, until Admiral Yamamoto's revolutionary plan to bomb Pearl Harbor, its purpose was domination of the skies over the battlefield, and ancillary support of the battle line. Originally, the Japanese naval planners called for a seizure of the Phillipines, and then called for the IJN battle fleet to wait it out and have a battleship-battleship fight somewhere around the marianas...ish. Much like the Japanese carriers, American carriers were designed for air superiority over the battlefield for their battleships. Even though Billy Mitchell had demonstrated that bombers could, in fact, sink battleships, few in the US navy believed it, and the Big Gun school still held sway over naval policy...until their big guns were at the bottom of Pearl Harbor. From that point on, they had to make do. Before WW2, essentially NO ONE thought that air power would play the part in the war that it did, save strategic bombing...which was remarkably underwhelming.

    Yes Hitler's plan for his navy was ridiculous and poorly thought out, but battleships were still in pre-war, so the Z-plan was actually quite normal for a nation looking to rebuild its naval forces...in fact, large aircraft carrier formations like the Japanese (and later the americans), were more of an oddity than a regularity at this point. Most of japan's design and tactics considerations were based off the fact that the US just had more battleships than they did. I cannot find the formula in Kaigun (where i read of it), but the way a battle between two lines of ships was calculated was thus. Before the Dreadnought and the advent of the all big gun ships, battles were essentially 1 to 1 engagements. so, if you brought 10 ships and the enemy brought 8, assuming theyre of the same quality both in construction and crew, you will win, but will only have two ships left. Once the all big gun ship became the norm, the equation became quadratic...aka if the same situation occured, but the ships were dreadnought type, then you would have 2 SQUARED ships left...or 4. The japanese would seem to be at a disadvantage in this equation, but they figured that out as well. Japanese naval doctrine held that as long as japan maintained 70% of US naval strength, they would come out on top, because the US had two oceans to cover with their battlefleet, and the japanese only had one. Mix this with the japanese strategy of attrition planned as the US Pacific fleet crossed the ocean (in the IJN, destroyers, cruisers and submarines were purpose built for close in night attacks on enemy warships, which explains their perplexing narrowness of design, and also explains the IJN's domination of night warfare [see the battle of Savo island, the worst US naval defeat in its history] until the US managed to get a good radar system working), and you have a strategy, which, mixed with the the Japanese doctrine of quality over quantity (see the Fubuki, Tone, and Yamato classes, which were the best ships in their respective class in the world when they were launched), would have given Japan a reasonable chance of victory and a negotiated settlement had the original war plan been followed. (NOTE: the japanese produced or posessed 21 fleet carriers and 5 light carriers through the war...i dont have the numbers for american carriers, but i know the numbers were much larger).

    As for ASW, the Germans could have won the battle of the atlantic, if the Z plan had more closely reflected the lessons learned during the first world war. With the amount of subs he asked for at the beginning of the war, Donitz would have been able to cut off british supplies and force a surrender before the US had gotten into the war...but through no fault of him or his crews, this was not to be, as we've seen already. The german designs, although not AS good as their american counterparts, were actually more suited to the missions they were sent out to do. The Type VII, while slower and less well armed, was the perfect size for the shipping the Kriegsmarine was hoping to meance (namely the british isles), and it was an easy design to mass produce (American designs were more difficult to mass produce, but since mass-production was originally called "the American system" its not suprising that the americans managed to do it). The germans also got the short end of the stick technologically, at least between 1943-1944, when it really mattered. There were two sub developments made in the waning years of the war that could have reversed the fortunes of the u-boats, namely the schnorkel (a device which enabled the u-boats to run their diesels while submerged) and the more hydrodymanic design of the Type XXI boat...had these been introduced 2 years sooner, the atlantic war would have probably been a victory for the germans...but as it was, the schnorkel didnt reach the u-boats till after their sub pens had been overrun by the american army, and the Type XXI never made a shot in anger (although skipper Erich Topp did take one out on a war patrol, in which he drew a bead on 2 cruisers and a destroyer from in the middle of a british fleet manuver, but was ordered to call off the shot and sail home)

    As a final comment, the original reason i was arguing that the silent service was more effective was exactly that. they OBLITERATED 2/3 of the japanese merchant marine, and the only reason the other 1/3 didnt go to the bottom as well was that the navy requisitioned almost all ship fuel in the country towards the end of the war (when Yamato sailed on its last voyage, there wasnt enough naval fuel in all of japan to fill her tanks full, so they gave her a half tank...basically telling the crew that it was to be a one way mission). Although i will agree the German u-boats were fighting against much steeper odds (japanese ASW, as i've said, was laughable at best), i still think that the US, through luck, through chance, through an enemy who didnt appreciate protection of his supply lines, and through no small matter of skill, managed to wage the more successful commerce war...if on a smaller scale
    avatar
    Almael
    Imperial Admiral
    Imperial Admiral

    Number of posts : 2378
    Imperial Credits : 12828
    Registration date : 2009-03-18

    Re: WW2 U-Boat & convoi war

    Post by Almael on 6/10/2009, 6:36 pm

    from wikipedia and
    http://www.combinedfleet.com/kaigun.htm
    -------------------------
    Japanese Carriers 1941-1945
    Heavy 30+kt
    1 Kaga, sunk at Midway
    1 Akagi, scuppered at Midway
    1 Taiho (commissioned in 1944)
    1 Shinano (produced in 1944) sunk before commissioned

    Middle 20-30kt
    2 Shokaku, Zuikaku, (commissioned in 1941)
    2 Hiyo, Junyo, (commissioned in 1942), slow escort-carrier
    3 Taiyo, Unyo, Chuyo (commissioned 1941:1 1942:2)
    3 Unryu, Amagi, Katsuragi, (commissioned in 1944)

    Light
    1 Ryujo, lost in Battle of the Eastern Solomons on August 24, 1942
    2 Soryu, Hiryu, both were sunk at Midway 1942.
    =17 total

    1941: 2 heavy 3 middle 3 light
    1942: +4 middle, 3 lost
    1944: +2 heavy +3 middle, 1? lost

    I had trouble with the lost numbers. Also total account is different... Crying or Very sad
    --------------------------
    US Carriers 1941-1945
    1 Langley, 1937 converted to auxiliary, lost 1942
    1 Ranger
    3 Yorktown (lost 1942:2)
    2 Lexington (lost 1942:1)
    1 Wasp (lost 1942:1)

    26 Essex (commissioned 1942:1 1943:6 1944:7(4 long hull) 1945:5 longhull 1946:4 long hull 1950:1 cancelled:8 =32) Numbers from various sources don't match...claim
    9 Independence (lost 1944:1)(commissioned in 1943)

    126 Escort Carriers (40 transferred to GB&France, cancelled:2 =128) loses&commissions unknown

    [3 Midway (commissioned 1945:2 1947:1) postwar?]

    1941: 7 carriers 1 auxiliary
    1942: +1, 5 lost
    1943: +15
    1944: +7, 1 lost
    1945: +5+86 escorts carriers =116 active +7 unaccounted Essex from 26 wartime build claim
    --------------------

    I wouldn't say strategic bombing was ineffective.
    Although, dumb bombs failed often even into the Vietnam war, the introduction of incendary bombs made it up. If the germans were better at defending their bombers they could have laid London to ashes. On the other side the allies destroyed whole german cities, not to mention the little group of bombers who wasted Tokyo.

    Lt. Schwenkdawg wrote:
    I cannot find the formula in Kaigun (where i read of it), but the way a battle between two lines of ships was calculated was thus.

    aka if the same situation occured, but the ships were dreadnought type, then you would have 2 SQUARED ships left...or 4.
    I wonder how the japanese could get those numbers without computer simulation. They must have damn good data to base their assumptions.

    On another notion:
    I have heard that Yamato had a powerstruggle at home, something like clan&political war.
    Anyone know any details?
    I know about the military/political leadership struggle with the Emperor. Although, I'm not sure how credible the claims are.
    avatar
    mitsuki lover
    Imperial Admiral
    Imperial Admiral

    Number of posts : 2154
    Imperial Credits : 10093
    Registration date : 2009-04-10

    Re: WW2 U-Boat & convoi war

    Post by mitsuki lover on 6/11/2009, 2:18 pm

    I wouldn't be too surprised if there had been a rift between those who wanted peace and those who were hard core militarists and wanted to hold out.I think you would find that true of any war.

    Sponsored content

    Re: WW2 U-Boat & convoi war

    Post by Sponsored content


      Current date/time is 6/22/2017, 10:21 am