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reytuerto
Post subject: Re: Mister Hoover's NavyPosted: August 28th, 2017, 8:56 pm
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Hi, Tobius:

First of all, you are the owner of your drawings. I don´t want to show you anything, I´m just want to give my point of view about the height of the stern over the water line.
[ img ]

The first of the vessels is a Kagero (by Darth Panda), a boat with better seakeeping than the Fubukis, look than proportions between the hull over the waves (in spanish "obra muerta") at the stern and the submerged part of the hull ("obra viva") is of 9 to 14 (despite the units, they can be cms, inches, hands or pixels, several stepped hull designs follow similar proportions. The 1b drawing is of a flush deck destroyer, a Fletcher (by Ian), and the proportions are 10 to 14.

What is happening with your Duncan Smith destroyer? The stern is very high. In a small ship, I only remember a stern of that height in an english minelayer following the end ow WWI. The proportion of the obra viva vis-a-vis the obra muerta, is 1 to 1. Your ship looks bulky and unstable, very topheavy.

If you reduces the height of the stern half of the hull by one deck, either with a stepped hull (3a) or with a flushdecker (3b), you will get a vessel with a proportion between the submerged and unsubmerged hull closer to the historical ones. Cheers.

PS: Is a good gesture of politeness to put the proper credits, even in an internal conversation ;) .


Last edited by reytuerto on August 29th, 2017, 12:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Colosseum
Post subject: Re: Mister Hoover's NavyPosted: August 28th, 2017, 9:36 pm
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Please stop using that old version of the Fletcher for comparisons (it's not scaled correctly). Use any of the USN DDs available here: http://shipbucket.com/drawings?category ... shipType=1

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reytuerto
Post subject: Re: Mister Hoover's NavyPosted: August 29th, 2017, 12:40 am
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Excuse me, Colosseum!, I am fixing it! ;) Cheers!

PS1: I knew that the scale was incorrect, but even with an incorrect scaling, your drawing shows very well what I am trying to said.
PS2: Your fair Fletcher is the base of my BAP 71 (and I didn't had another one), since I granted your permission (I draw very slowly, and the task of modifying the ship with the tripod and 3 inch guns is not an easy one, at least for me) which is until now, in an awful wip phase, I hope to have it before X-mas eve!.


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Tobius
Post subject: Re: Mister Hoover's NavyPosted: August 29th, 2017, 2:42 pm
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reytuerto wrote: *
Hi, Tobius:

First of all, you are the owner of your drawings. I don´t want to show you anything, I´m just want to give my point of view about the height of the stern over the water line.
[ img ]

The first of the vessels is a Kagero (by Darth Panda), a boat with better seakeeping than the Fubukis, look than proportions between the hull over the waves (in spanish "obra muerta") at the stern and the submerged part of the hull ("obra viva") is of 9 to 14 (despite the units, they can be cms, inches, hands or pixels, several stepped hull designs follow similar proportions. The 1b drawing is of a flush deck destroyer, a Fletcher (by Ian), and the proportions are 10 to 14.

What is happening with your Duncan Smith destroyer? The stern is very high. In a small ship, I only remember a stern of that height in an english minelayer following the end ow WWI. The proportion of the obra viva vis-a-vis the obra muerta, is 1 to 1. Your ship looks bulky and unstable, very topheavy.

If you reduces the height of the stern half of the hull by one deck, either with a stepped hull (3a) or with a flushdecker (3b), you will get a vessel with a proportion between the submerged and unsubmerged hull closer to the historical ones. Cheers.

PS: Is a good gesture of politeness to put the proper credits, even in an internal conversation ;) .
RT, here is the problem. First, some of my inspirations...

[ img ]

[ img ]

And now let us look at what the results of a forecastle break and/or a sloped flush deck give.

[ img ]
Class and type: Smith-class destroyer escort
Displacement:
1,640 long tons (1,260 t) standard
2,020 long tons (1,646 t) full
Length:
344 ft 6 in (105 m) o/a
339 ft (103 m) w/l
Beam: 36 ft 10 in (11.23 m)
Draft: 16 ft 8 in (5 m)
Propulsion: 4 × GM Mod. 16-578B diesel engines with electric drive, 60,000 shp (44,740 kW), 2 screws
Speed: 30 knots (55.56 km/h; 34.52 mph); cruise usually 20 knots (37 mph; 23 mph)
Range: 10,800 nmi (20,000 km) at 12 kn (22 km/h; 14 mph)
Complement: 15 officers and 150 enlisted
Armament:
4 dual Mk.2 DP 3.9"/50 caliber guns (4x2)
4 × 1 3 cm Winchester Mk 3 Gatling AAA guns
10 × 21.67 inch (55 cm) torpedo tubes (2 x 5)
1 × ROCBOMB Mk.10 anti-submarine mortar (14 rounds)
8 × Mk.6 depth charge projectors
2 × Mk.9 depth charge tracks
Sensors:
Mk. 3 Tesla Bolometer (2)
Mk. 5 Fessenden Oscillator (2)
Mk. 13 Fiske Optical director (2)
Mk. 3 HA director (2)
Mk. 1 Horizon optical intercept search track mount (HOIST) (4)
Huhlsmeyer device (2)
Gertrude (1)

Let me explain.

The Duncan Smith is an AU ship with a diesel-electric drive. Those engine/motor complexes are heavy. They have to be distributed along the keel length or the ship's flexion will exceed acceptable limits. So I avoid forecastle breaks.

The diesel-electric complexes are compact, more-so than the equivalent turbines, but they are heavy. And then there are the final drive motors in the aft hull. This explains in part the high stern.

But there are other reasons, mainly to do with armament. The AAA amidships are in tubs. If you notice in your forecastle break example, the Winchesters cannot fire forward? It becomes worse with the sloped flush deck example. What about the divot hung jolly boats?

The ballast load, the GMC (roll moment) and the top hamper should be concerns, but I've thought about it. The RTL 1920s and 1930s USN destroyers were top-heavy and they rolled horrendously in a Pacific seaway as Halsey found out in 1944 when he lost four of them by running the fleet into a typhoon. What is the RTL trend cannot be ignored. But it can be used to AU advantage. The diesels provide a needed permanent ballast keel weight (as the Japanese had to add to the Mogamis and Chidoris,) and the bigger volume with a less sloped deck hulls allow for a larger float bubble.

Cheers.


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Tobius
Post subject: Re: Mister Hoover's NavyPosted: August 30th, 2017, 3:12 pm
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[ img ]

It is a laugh to call these "600 ton" destroyers. They are closer to 1200 tons standard displacement.

The Dan Josephes are DMSLs. The Mark 5 depth charge rack could double as a mine dispenser.


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Colosseum
Post subject: Re: Mister Hoover's NavyPosted: August 30th, 2017, 10:27 pm
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As so much of what is posted here is so far away from resembling anything in actual Shipbucket-style or scale, I am moving this thread to the Non-Shipbucket forum. Tobius: you should of course continue to post your thought-provoking material here, so please don't consider this a message to "get out" - but until the material you post more closely matches our format I think it's best for this thread to go into the Non-Shipbucket art forum. ;)

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Tobius
Post subject: Re: Mister Hoover's NavyPosted: September 5th, 2017, 3:29 am
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Hmm. Might as well adapt or die. The ships are in revision, so here is some fluff to tide anyone interested over.

FLUFF: THE TWO MYTHICAL FLEET COMMANDERS

For the United States Pacific Fleet.

Frank Herman Schofield; Has combat service during the Spanish American War aboard the armed yacht, USS Hawk, during the Cuba Blockade. During this blockade duty the USS Hawk captures three Spanish ships and sinks one (Gunrunner Alphonso XII, there are several Spanish ships named Alphonso XII; including a colonial gunboat, a rather large ex German Lloyds steamer Spain converts for war as a naval auxiliary cruiser that is part of the abortive Camara expedition, and a sail and steam cargo ship that plies the Cuba costal trade {This is the one I suspect USS Hawk sank in a running fight.} ) in a rather busy campaign. Schofield is cited for that duty. He serves as temporary governor of Guam during 1904 during a food shortage crisis that he handles well. During WW I; he is assigned to the admiral's staff for Sims while that man's mission is in London. Schofield is used as an expert on blockade and commerce warfare. After the armistice, Schofield is the naval advisor to the American peace delegation at Versailles. He commands the battleship USS Texas after that duty (1920). He serves as aide to the General Board (1920-1923). After that service, he commands the destroyer forces, US Atlantic fleet. (1924-1926). He becomes the chief advisor to the US delegation at the Geneva Naval Conference (1927). He fails his mission brief at that conference and is threatened with retirement. After that assignment and some timely political interventions, he receives command of Battleship Division IV. In 1930 he becomes the commander of the battle fleet. He is instrumental in its reorganization and redeployment to the Pacific Ocean in 1931.

Not too hard to AU his career as given. Might have to give him a different battleship (Texas is scrapped by the AU WNT.) but the rest is fairly standard for a US naval officer of the period, RTL or AU..

For the Japanese Combined Fleet:

Seizō Kobayashi; No combat service worth mentioning despite his wartime record. in WW I he did a shore billet paper pushing for the Japanese ASW squadron in the Mediterranean. As for sea time, he does sea duty on the corvette Hei (1898), more sea duty on the battleship Hatsuse (1900). He serves aboard light cruiser Naniwa as artillery officer (1902-1905). Chemulpo Bay, Port Arthur, Ulsan, and finally Tsushima is where the ship fights during the Russo-Japanese War, but amazingly I can find no record that he distinguishes himself, as I do with Schofield. Based on Naniwa's shooting, though, he seems to know his job, and trains the gun crews well. After that service, and some more shore duty, he is posted as an exchange officer to HMS Collingwood. He makes a favorable impression on some Royal Navy officers, who would never pass muster in the modern RN (See below about Sir Dudley.). Kobayashi's first command is the Hirada (1917), a protected cruiser. He seems to do well there, as captain, though his squadron superiors appear to have been utterly incompetent both at Java, where they hunted German wartime raiders, and later at Australia, where they failed to protect commerce. They, the squadron leaders, due to lack of finesse, rub the locals the wrong way. Their examples will have disastrous consequences for when Kobayashi tries to apply their lessons to Taiwan, but that is after his service as commander of the Combined Fleet. In the meantime he is naval attache to London (1920). By 1928 he is in command of a cruiser squadron. During this mid-career period enroute to his London posting, he visits Sydney in 1920, and makes another good impression on Sir Dudley de Chair, with whom he served on HMS Collingwood. Now what one must remember about Sir Dudley, is that his first naval combat was the indiscriminate bombardment of Alexandria, Egypt in 1888 of which he heartily approves. He, Sir Dudley, is one of the architects of the starvation blockade of Germany post WW I. He is one of the inept RN officers assigned to the Balfour Mission to the United States, during that same war, and rubs the Americans the wrong way, He is the famous man who clashes with the Australian reform politician Jack Lang when Sir Dudley is appointed crown governor of New South Wales. It is my opinion that anyone who makes a good impression on someone like Sir Dudley is automatically suspect; both politically and professionally as a naval officer.

Anyway, Kobayashi clashes in the RTL with Schofield at the 1927 Geneva Naval Conference and it is his clash with the American that more or less actually scuttles the conference, which is Kobayashi's personal mission fail. June 1930, is about when he becomes the Japanese equivalent of the US Navy Secretary. A year later just when domestic politics really becomes rancid in Japan (Sangatsu Jiken, the March 1931 incident, an attempted coup by Colonel Hashimoto, Kingoro, on the behest of a traitor {裏切り者} [there is no other polite word to describe general Ugaki, Kazushige; though there are plenty of Japanese curse words that apply to him.]. Kobayashi skedaddles to sea-duty to save his own neck, about the same exact way that Yamamoto, Isoruku runs to sea to save his own life in 1941. It is not that Kobayashi is unqualified for such a high command, but like Yamamoto, the political chaos that brings Koboyashi to Combined Fleet command is not the stuff, that promotes a stable chain of responsibility or even one that provides a good environment for sound strategic or operational art decision making.

In other words Koboyashi in 1931 cannot even rely on his own Imperial General Headquarters to properly perform its functions as Yamamoto could not in 1940-1941.

Post 1936, when Kobayashi becomes governor of Taiwan, he tries to Japanize Taiwanese culture, often by force. This policy, kōminka undo, is met the way one would expect. The follow on policies of the Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere which supplant Japanization are even less successful.

In a clash between the two leaders, it should be noted that Schofield is politically well connected and he adapts to civilian political decisions as a successful naval officer of a democracy should. Koboyashi is not. He has more "combat time" but one can argue, not as much practical leadership experience or professionalism in service.

Edited to change incorrect dates and fill in important missing details.


Last edited by Tobius on September 5th, 2017, 7:04 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Colosseum
Post subject: Re: Mister Hoover's NavyPosted: September 5th, 2017, 3:41 am
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The fluff is 100% interesting and I hope you keep posting it. I personally have really enjoyed reading all of it, regardless of the drawings. Please keep at it!

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Tobius
Post subject: Re: Mister Hoover's NavyPosted: September 5th, 2017, 4:14 pm
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FLUFF: THE TWO MYTHICAL FLEET COMMANDERS; Part II

A comparison between Schofield and Kobayashi should quickly reveal their career biases. Kobayashi clearly is a battleship man in the narrow early 20th century British and Japanese traditions. He is well trained in gunnery science. His career seems to be tightly focused on how to fight naval battles. Schofield's career is more staff oriented. He is trained to focus on the naval art as applied to national strategic policy. Kobayashi comes up through cruisers. He never sees operational command of a battle line before he assumes command of the Combined Fleet. Much of his shore-time is spent playing Japanese army-navy politics. (It is how he winds up as Navy Minister in the Tanaka Cabinet.) As a practical matter, Schofield spends a lot of his shore time in OP-PLAN-G, whatever it is at any given time. He concocts and war-games several war-plans for the US Navy, especially during his time working for the General Board.

As for sea-time, Schofield comes up through destroyers. He becomes something of a torpedo tactics expert. This bias in part explains his failure at the Geneva Conference in 1927, where the squabble that broke the conference up, was over destroyers, not cruisers as is taught in popular history. Schofield wants much higher unit and class tonnages for the US, even conceding to Britain and Japan on the 10-10-7 formula instead of 5-5-3 as originally instructed. He does not get the higher total tonnage limits he seeks. Kobayashi is told to get parity in everything, but failing that brief, is expected to obtain cruiser and destroyer parity; fleet for fleet. He is prepared to be flexible (for a Japanese naval officer) on cruiser sizes and numbers, but he absolutely must have destroyer and submarine parity. He fails his mission brief. The British obtain their lower tonnages goal, on the basis of "national defense needs" rather than the US "naval defense mission" de-facto for the most part, but no-one signs anything, so the WNT still formally governs arms limitation as the conference breaks up in frustration. From what I can find, Schofield and Kobayashi seem to actually like each other and respect the other man, but they are intense professional rivals when it comes to their work.

COMMAND STYLES: WHAT TO EXPECT?

Kobayashi is not hard to pin down. His whole experience at sea, both war and peace has taught him that decisive battle is the method to win a naval war. Destroy the enemy fleet. Remember that his two experiences with commerce protection warfare at Java and Australia bias him to believe that this form of warfare is inefficient and fritters away a navy's strength, better used to find and beat the other main enemy fleet. Even his service as liaison to the Allied naval command in the Mediterranean for the Japanese contingent in the ASW campaign does not disabuse him of this viewpoint. It is not too hard to see him as the Japanese admiral David Beatty in this gedanken experiment. He is very "British" in the strictest WW I naval sense, with all the inflexibility and conventional expectations that a Russo-Japanese war veteran like Kobayashi is, implies. He will be an absolute disaster in Japanese naval command against someone like Schofield. Howso?

Schofield is the polar opposite to Kobayashi. His first taste of naval warfare is on a blockade line. His service on Sim's staff in WW I is all about beating the U-boat menace, to which he contributes with plans for the North Sea mine barrage (Ineffective) and the American convoy system. (Extremely effective.). Furthermore, he is on hand to digest in loco parentis, everything the British have to teach him about what they did wrong at Jutland, Dogger Bank and other naval debacles they execute. (Gallipoli for one.). There seems to be evidence that Schofield follows up during his Versailles stint with a comprehensive study of what the Germans do wrong on their side of the ledger. This shows up in the US fleet reforms he institutes, first among the Atlantic fleet destroyer forces in 1925 when he commands them; and later in 1931 when the USN pivots towards the Pacific and prepares for war with Japan.

What are these reforms? Tactically the most I can glean from the record, is that Schofield is the man who convinces the navy to land cruiser torpedoes. He believes cruisers cannot get close enough and are not nimble enough to use the weapons at the effective ranges then current. In 1924-1935 he is correct. After the Japanese Type 93 makes its appearance, post 1935, he is wrong He wants the USN destroyer arm to handle torpedo attacks by division in the German fashion and wants to institute German destroyer night attack tactics to the USN based on such German practices as the RN is doing. He manages to get the cruiser torpedoes landed (economy measure), but the American navy does not institute night training to the degree he wants. (too expansive and hazardous in peacetime.).

The 1931 reforms Schofield introduces are really interesting. For one thing, he is the admiral who scraps the "charge of the fleet to the Philippines rescue" doctrine implicit in War Plan Orange up to 1924. He is one of the authors of the war plan (1922) that foresees a phased advance against the Japanese that will approach the Mariana Islands and eventually the Rykukyu Islands and Volcano Islands to establish a submarine and air blockade line upon Japan behind which the US battle fleet will linger. He is prepared to accept decisive battle (As the Japanese expect in the Mariana Islands.), as one tool, but not the only tool that the USN will use in a naval war. He is after a starvation blockade, as the British did to Germany. For the first time, air bombardment is a feature of the US plan. This incrementalist approach, even extends to fleet organization in the new Pacific Fleet. There is the traditional battle force and scouting force, based on British and German Jutland practices, but the submarine force is detached and more dedicated to commerce warfare. The aircraft carriers are also detached as independent forces, to function ostensibly as roving reconnaissance units, but as the fleet-exs Schofield stages suggest, their actual wartime mission is as raiders and independent strike units. (Fleet Problem XIII). For the first time, the USN shows that the aircraft carrier is king at sea, as both submarines and battleships are easy prey to carrier borne aircraft. In fact, Black and Blue spend so much time chasing each other's carriers, it becomes a comedic naval opera buff. Black "wins" when Blue's carrier is "sunk". Since Blue is the US attacker and Black is the Japanese defender, the test discredits the "charge of the fleet to the Philippines rescue" doctrine still publicly proclaimed as US military policy. In the RTL, based on umpired submarine kills, and umpired battleship cripples, the recommendations the NGS send to Schofield; is 1) find some way to reduce submarine scouting line vulnerability and surfaced submarine exposure times to air observation; and two) build at least six large aircraft carriers in addition to the two the USN has; and three) operate aircraft carriers in pairs to allow them to generate air self-defense against enemy aircraft and still leave enough aircraft left over to sink a battleship.

That is the origin of the "Air Battle Force" and the task force in USN tactical doctrine. Schofield is not going to get the ships the NGS requests (no money), and the Bureau of Construction and Repair will bungle the submarine problem solution in their quixotic search for a super battery cell instead of the obvious snort, but the problems exposed, are all too evident to the USN. And Schofield is the guy in charge of the fleet at sea which reveals them. He is not given the credit he deserves for the great fleet that wins the Pacific War. Sure, too, he makes serious mistakes (cruiser torpedoes and a retention of some outdated British Jutland era practices), but his tenure is the cleave line when a naval historian can plainly see the USN shift to an aircraft carrier based navy.

Now you see why I pick this RTL American admiral as the person who will carry out Plan Dog? And you can see the AU changes that his tenure and career implies had his (staff recommendations) been carried out.

TACTICS and DOCTRINE: MAHAN MISUNDERSTOOD; VERSUS THE COULOMB BROTHERS and CORBETT.

One reads "The Influence of Seapower Upon History" and if one is not careful, one concludes at the end of it, that Alfred Thayer Mahan states that after the enemy fleet is destroyed or neutralized, the "command of the sea" is assured. Thus, a winning navy must always seek to attack its enemy opposite it, destroy it in one big battle and then proceed to reap the benefits of seapower. That is not what Mahan wrote. Mahan wrote that the goal of the national navy is to drive an enemy navy from the seas, thus preventing it, the enemy fleet, from protecting the enemy's commerce. Mahan allowed that decisive battle might achieve this objective quickly, but that the usual historic method, he writes, is the use of blockade and enemy commerce harassment by one's own fleet, until the enemy fleet is bottled up in port, sunk, or destroyed piecemeal via convoy warfare. That is what he wrote, and that is what the USN understands when it goes to war against Spain under Mahan's tutelage. No other interpretation explains US moves around Cuba, the duplicity of US misdirection, which Navy Secretary John D. Long implements (a fake flying squadron to threaten Spanish homeland ports.), that scuttles the Camara expedition, or Dewey's "surprise attack" at Manila.

In World War I, the RN tries for "Decisive Battle", muffs it, and then has to search for whom to blame for their blunders. Discounting the Coulomb Brothers who tried to geometrize naval warfare, the way Jomini did for land warfare before Clauswitz and a rediscovered Sun Tzu discredited him, they are left with Julian Corbett, the RN's contemporary rival to Mahan, and the person many European naval strategists still appeal to as a counter to the "discredited" Mahan and his "decisive battle". I have reed Corbett and Mahan. It is only my opinion, but navy-wise, Mahan is not only the better balanced historian, he is fundamentally more correct as to naval warfare principles. The role of a navy is to ensure that one's own nation can travel the seas and deliver cargoes from point A to point B in peace and in war. The ancillary mission is to prevent the enemy from doing the same. Getting rid of the enemy navy (see above) is the fundamental means. That sums up Alfred Thayer Mahan. The primary naval tools in his era are the heavily armored steam propelled, gun armed battleships, so Mahan talks about this aspect of contemporary naval warfare. He urges American concentration of effort and instrument to maximize both the economy of force, the unity of command, and the decision effect when the unified instrument is applied upon an enemy, but if he knows that submarine warfare or cruiser raiders is in the offing, he would have instantly pointed to his naval treatises on trade protection and convoy warfare, where he also writes that England defeats France in her 18th and 19th century naval wars via fighting on the trade lanes. This part of Mahan's writing is what US Naval Academy midshipman have taught to them before WW I. It is expected that the USN would have to fight a vigorous commerce war, French style, against any first tier "European" naval power, until at such time, the USN is ready to carry forward fleet on fleet operations. Take a look at the later WW II order: "Execute unrestricted air and submarine warfare against Japan" in that all out offensive action Mahanic context. You will not find any of it mentioned as even possible in Julian Corbett's vague writings on "command of the sea", though he does speak of "dispersed operations to protect trade" with specific respect to Britain's need for cruisers. He flat out ignores submarine warfare as an example and he lives through it. Mahan would not have.


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Tobius
Post subject: Re: Mister Hoover's NavyPosted: September 6th, 2017, 6:51 pm
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MORE FLUFF: JUST WHAT IS THE USN UP AGAINST IN PLAN DOG?

The Japanese have a peculiar defense setup. Unlike the United States, where coast and port/naval base defense is an American army responsibility which will prove disastrous in WW II and which in this AU is sort of modified as a navy directed effort, the Japanese army and navy both share responsibility for harbor and naval base defense. It in 1931 (RTL) operates something like this:

a.) Mines, nets, and booms and other physical water borne entry barriers are a navy matter.
b.) Land based artillery, both anti-ship and anti-aircraft are mostly an army affair, with navy AAA allowed to defend naval bases. Some coast defense guns (those physically inside naval bases) are manned by the Japanese navy.
c.) Land based air defense is a peculiarity. As far as it can be understood, the Imperial Japanese Naval Air Service (IJNAS) is responsible for strategic coastal reconnaissance to prevent the approach of hostile aircraft or ships. It is further responsible to engage those approaching units at long range. The Imperial Japanese Army Air Service (IJAAS) is only called upon when the attackers break through the naval outer defense zone, which sort of means local target defense is an army navy affair with all the confusion that arises from divided command and control. In the RTL, the Americans are quick to realize and exploit this confusion (as in the 1944 Mariana Islands and Philippine Islands campaigns).

It should be apparent that in the AU as in the RTL, the chief threat to any attack upon Japan is the IJNAS. Yet, it is telling that in the RTL, the IJNAS did not initially mount any defensive aerial reconnaissance whatsoever to prevent a close approach by a hostile fleet to the Japanese homeland. Instead the Japanese navy posted a line of picket trawlers equipped with radios out to about the distance they expected aircraft carriers could launch aircraft. The trawlers would see the enemy coming and then report. This works against the Doolittle Raid in 1942, except that US cruisers blast the trawler that spots them out of existence, and though it lives long enough to radio its message, US broadband jamming seems to have prevented a clear transmission and/or the weather degrades the trawler transmission signal to the point that it is received as gibberish. The historical record is unclear about the ultimate cause/effects of the failure, but as the RTL is a good indicator for the AU, it can be a safe bet that Imperial General Headquarters will drop the ball and arrange something similar to this confused split-four-ways defensive setup. It will not work against submarines anyway. So much for strategic area defense, Japanese style, circa 1931. Just as the Germans are able to run their battlecruisers with relative impunity up to the English coast to shell British port cities in the northlands in WW I (something nobody likes to mention or remember.), so Japan is vulnerable in 1931 to surprise attack, but one time only. So the Americans better choose the right tools wisely and make it count.

SNEAKING IN:

A quick review of Japanese coastal defenses in the home islands in 1931 shows just about what one would expect. The anti-ship coastal guns are sited to meet WW I type naval attacks. Much like the British, the Japanese have a LONG convoluted coastline with ports and harbors too numerous to effectively fortify. Like the British, whose original naval bases were oriented to deal with Spain France and Holland, the original Japanese defended ports, Sasebo and Hiroshima Bay and Kogashima, are oriented to a threat axis to face an expected approach. This was the Europeans coming up along the Chinese coast, Portuguese, Spanish, and Dutch. Later the Japanese bases at Umuru and in northern Kyushu waters are oriented to face Russia. Yokusuka and its environs; which becomes, almost, to Japan what Hampton Roads is to the United States, one must blame on Commodore Perry.

In all, there are about a dozen major naval bases, shipyards, and commercial ports that Japan has to defend. She has no choice. In modern terms, it is like akin to the problems the modern USN has. There are entry and exit points (Chesapeake, Portland/Seatlle/Puget Sound/Savannah/King George’s Bay, Los Angeles and San Francisco, New London, New York, Boston) that have to be defended. So, an enemy knows this, too. They, the enemy, will even be able to predict what kinds of local defense the Japanese will mount for their ports based on Japanese history, known terrain features /conditions and current own capabilities. Since the Americans are the enemy, what do they think they know?

Mines: The Japanese do not have good ones for antisubmarine barrier fields. Their basic type pattern is an anti-surface ship Hertz horn mine little better than the ones they deployed during the Russo-Japanese. The Japanese have developed an aircraft-delivered type of this mine which comes in two flavors; moored and free floating. Their doctrine suggests that their Hertz mine stocks (large) in event of war, would be used offensively to create surface transit barriers in shallow straits or to poison seed certain deep water transits (Malaya Straits, Formosa Straits are examples) as circumstances dictate. Harbor entrance moored fields are low on the Hertz mine employment list.

The Japanese do have a shallow water/bottom wire-linked command detonated mine. This device is usually connected to a manned shore station that has both optical and acoustic sensor means to detect intruders. The explosive charge is huge (about 1 tonne) and extremely destructive as it is intended to be an area effect weapon. Not many will be laid at the outer channel approaches to a Japanese harbor, (deep channels) since its effective depth of effect is about 20-30 meters. It will be encountered inside a Japanese harbor; nearer berths, piers and inner anchorages as a pure barrier defense usually no more than two clusters (3 apiece). Such a command detonated mine setup is almost guaranteed to frontage an inner harbor coastal artillery position. Such mines will be easy to spot and plot for Plan Dog. It is not likely that the IJN will moor anything over or even in close proximity to such a device. Why? During the Spanish-American War, and the Russo-Japanese War, the Russians and the Spanish are foolish enough to moor or move ships within the effect zones of their (small) command detonated mines. BOOM. The shore parties responsible apologized or were shot for their mistakes.

How about nets and booms? These first make their appearance in the Crimean War and are a favorite relatively cheap Confederate harbor defense (Mobile Bay, Charleston) during the American civil war. Nets and booms are cumbersome, time consuming, labor and materials expensive to maintain and are only effective to about 15 meters depth in a strong tidal current. A submarine can duck under it, or if equipped with shear gear (An American invention) cut through it and if equipped with Hell’s Bells (another American RTL invention) can echo probe for gaps. Besides, the Russians tried that trick at Port Arthur and the Japanese torpedo boats still hopped the barrier at speed to deliver their surprise torpedo attacks. (Really remarkable action: give the Russians and Japanese a lot of credit, both. Crewmen froze to death on the Japanese side from exposure on those small torpedo boats, and the Russians stuck to their posts, even as their ships sank under them and they knew they would drown or be burned to death.). Intruders can bet that at least Sasebo will have booms and nets on standby, and maybe Omuru. Yokusuka, Nabutake, and Kogashima Bay? Not likely. Deep water anchorages. Booms and nets are a wartime expedient and a peacetime headache to the transit of commerce. Japan is no different from any other peacetime nation that depends on the sea. She will boom and net only when absolutely necessary.

Air warning system: In 1931, the Japanese do have a reasonable effective 10 minute warning one. As one may remember, from previous fluff, it is based on mobile ear trumpet detectors very similar to French Farman ear bugles or similar German acoustic 2-d arrays, and is usually assigned (4 sets in company strength) to Japanese army division level formations. Each division will have two such companies for field operations. It is not part of an integrated homeland air defense. That is a navy affair. I have looked at the IJN efforts and sad to report, they do not even have a RED CAR (sound mirror system), set up for Tokyo. Coast watchers are a given, but human eyeballs, aided by binoculars, is too late for air raid warnings in 1931 and definitely 1941. The Japanese will institute radar once they reverse engineer (RTL) captured British gear from their Singapore haul in late 1942. It will be very good gear,(1944) but it arrives too late to affect the outcome of the 1941 war.

EXPLOITS:

The Americans in this AU against the RTL Japanese will have a romp. No Type 93 torpedoes to face in an uneven torpedo technology duel, Comparable in some cases the exact same flight lines to face (Boeing F4Bs?!? Seriously?) aircraft and obviously for the Americans more pilots and aircrews. Defective Japanese ships that have not had 3rd or 4th Program fixes (1934-1940) to correct top-heaviness and poor torpedo protection (doomed Musashi and Yamato in 1944/1945; ripped them open like unzipped tunas the Mark 13 did. ), an inept Imperial General Headquarters command setup with no Yamamoto, Isoruku, or Toyoda, Seseio to bail it out, an innate Japanese over-aggressiveness pointed in the wrong direction (China) and an overall Japanese laissez affair attitude toward defensive measures top to bottom.. They are leading with their chins. Sounds like Japan 1943. Right?

Not so fast. Whether in the RTL or AU, the 1931 Americans have serious handicaps. Japan’s army has tanks. By 1941 standards the tanks are junk, but in 1931 these IJA tanks are as good as the Vickers 6 tonne and that spells trouble for the American army which is stuck with the FT-17 as their mainstay. The Japanese have (IJN) medium bombers better than the American Keystones. Their seaplane and flying boat line is at least as good as Italy’s, which means they are among the best in the world.

And though the Japanese are not going to make the smart decisions when it comes to national policy, from 1931 onward, they are not sloppy in tactics or in the operational art. Their 1931-1941 campaigns are masterful examples of warfighting against numerically superior and often better equipped enemies (That includes the Chinese and Russians). They are willing to trade bodies for technical deficiencies. And when technologies matter and they do not let their all offense or nothing mania delude them, their (IJN) equipment is superb.

The Japanese army is an example of what I mean. Make-do is the IJA, but it is formidable. The Japanese navy gets the best of what the Japanese can throw at it, in equipment, resources, men, and leadership. Woe is the Imperial Japanese Navy, the popular histories decry: the Japanese army calls all the shots and gets all the goodies. Hunh? The Japanese 1931 government budget when one breaks it down has about 36% applied to defense or war related enterprises. (An earthquake recovery program is still in effect along with other massive social welfare programs and emergency infrastructure projects.) Roughly speaking, Japan spends in monies what the USA does for defense in 1931 after all adjustments. That is a lot of scarce monies and resources for Japan. Who gets the military gravy? The navy does. There are a couple of carriers to finish up, four battlecruisers that undergo their first modernization just finishing up, new cruisers and destroyers abuilding , an expanding naval air force (1500 machines, the army by contrast can only field 600 or about 40 “aviation battalions” in 1931.), a huge research establishment working on torpedoes, improved shells, bombs, poison gas, but curiously not sound gear or mines . The navy consumes 3 out of 5 military yen, and some sources claim it is closer to 5 out of 7 yen. The IJN is scarcely 80,000 strong. The 500,000 man Japanese army of `1931 has to scrape by with the bottom of the recruit barrel, other scraps as far as officers and material goes and it has a full blown continental war with China on its hands. How do they manage it with so little in the way of resources?

Well, the RTL answer is ultimately they do not. They are kind of like WW II Italy. Their mostly 1890s era equipment is just good enough to delude them that they can handle a European enemy. Given good plans, fanatically trained troops and a mission-oriented officer corps, that despite its overall poor material and leadership quality throws up more than a few good generals (Yamashita and Ushishima RTL) and staff officers (Colonel Hiromichi Yahara as an example); the impoverished IJA can accomplish miracles on rice and fish meal logistics by using what is essentially an Asian peasant army armed with bolt action rifles^1 (and in this AU, Maxim machine guns, though in the RTL they use BRNO and Hotchkiss origin machine guns.).

^1 One must be careful when citing period statements. The people who make those statements have biased viewpoints that reveals a innate bigotry which to us is unjustified, but which was as natural to them as describing the appearance of the moon at night. The Japanese foot soldier is probably almost as effective as a US Marine. That is your run of the mill Japanese “low grade” draftee army recruit. U.S. Marines are elite volunteer specially trained troops picked for their fighting spirit and adaptability to unusual situations and circumstances one encounters in amphibious warfare. The average RTL (1931) Japanese army recruit is ruthlessly and savagely trained to a similar standard. There is nothing “inferior” about an Asian peasant army of such conscripts; Vietnamese, Chinese, or Japanese. I hope that my point about how high quality these soldiers actually are; is quite well understood?

The 1931 RTL American army is not in the same league. The 1941 RTL American army is not in the same league as the 1931 IJA. Those are harsh facts. And it does not improve for the Americans as the Mariana Islands, Philippine Islands and the Okinawa campaigns at the end of the war demonstrate.

To quote Douglas Macarthur (and he ought to know), “the Japanese army are the most efficient ruthless trainers and users of incompetent infantry in the world”. I would personally amend that racist statement by omitting the word “incompetent”. In the 1930s, the IJA make the most of their poor situation through their training programs, top to bottom. And that is enough to kind of make Plan Dog work the way it does. It has to be entirely naval to avoid the IJA at all costs. As in Burma 1944, and the American island campaigns of the same year will demonstrate; one, if he is a sane American, (Macarthur forgets this lesson he previously applies with great success through `1943; when he confronts Yamashita during the Philippine campaign. Ego trumps generalship? Another case of Macarthur at his worst as he ignores what wins New Guinea and makes Cartwheel a success.), one does not want to meet a Japanese field army if one can avoid it. And I do not care what the Russians claim about Khalkin Gol. They outnumber the Japanese 5-2, have tanks and artillery in 4-1 abundance, have Marshal Zhukov to lead them and still come away from it all by the skin of their teeth. The Russians want no more of it so they sign a neutrality pact. They still do not tell one, the Russians do not, that they humiliatingly lose the air battle against the outnumbered Japanese army air service in that little dust up.

FLUFF: SOME 1920S RTL LESSONS THE AMERICANS IGNORE, THAT HAD THEY BEEN APPLIED, COULD HAVE SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES FOR MISTER HOOVER’S AU NAVY

1.) It is not just the Americans who run naval wargames in the 1920s and early 1930s that reveal how dangerous ORANGE is. The Russians ran some honest war-games in 1902-1903 that should have warned the Czar that he plays with dynamite when he incites Japan.
2.) This is a quote from what the Russian Navy concluded:
Quote:
The deductions to be drawn from the different war games may be summarized thus:-
(1) The insufficiency of our naval forces in the Pacific.
(2) Insufficient equipment of our bases: Port Arthur and Vladivostok.
(3) Necessity of fighting preparation of the squadron instead of its lying in reserve at Port Arthur and Vladivostok.
(4) Probability of a sudden declaration of war.
(5) Warning stationnaires in Korean and Chinese ports of opening of hostilities by telegrams alone not sufficient.
(6) Danger of anchoring vessels in Port Arthur outer anchorage; necessity of preparing booms against torpedo attacks.
(7) Possibility of enemy sinking transports at only entrance of Port Arthur.
(8) Impossibility of leaving Dalny with all its workshops undefended.
(9) Impossibility of Dalny as a base owing to its defenselessness.
(10) Impossibility of Port Arthur as a base owing to its insufficient equipment.
(11) Necessity of an intermediate base at Masampho.
(12) The only possible place for the main base of operations of the Pacific Squadron-Vladivostok
An interesting comparison with what the General Board reports to the Secretaries of the Army and Navy in the US high command of 1924 reveals;
1. Insufficient naval forces in the Pacific.
2. Pearl Harbor and Bremerton unready to support their war missions. Manila and Subic Bay undeveloped.
3. Hostilities expected to commence with no warning to either side.
4. Current Peace manning and training economies not recommended due to prevailing hostile relations. War manning and training levels are necessary as a prudent deterrent to Japanese aggression.
5. Communications by submarine cable and radio to Pacific bases is incomplete and/or insufficient to command and control Pacific forces prior to war. This is especially critical as regards Hawaii and the Philippine Islands.
6. Pearl Harbor with its single entrance is a trap that Orange can plug with a blockship. It is also vulnerable to attack by enemy aircraft.
7. Manila/Luzon as a forward base cannot be used until the decision to upgrade its facilities for both naval and air service purposes is carried out.
8. Necessity to develop Guam at least into a defended anchorage.
9. The only US base of operations currently adequate for naval operations in the Pacific area is San Francisco and even that base must be upgraded to first class standards. Failing that requirement, the next most economical candidate is Bremerton.

History, after the fact, shows that the Russians do nothing pre-war and they lose. The US builds the Clark Field air complex, upgrades Subic Bay, and tries to build an army in the Philippines. On paper, the Americans look like they do a good job there. Elsewhere in the Pacific they really put the work in from 1941 on in California, in Washington, in Hawaii, Wake Island and Guam, but they run out of time. Everything the General Board wants in 1924 is actually underway and scheduled for completion by March 1942, when I think Roosevelt wants to pull the trigger and demarche the Japanese into a corner. If the Japanese play into his timetable, he might just have been able to bluff them down from their China war, by presenting them with at least the façade of a prepared enemy too tough for even the nut; Tojo, Hideki to want a war with. But the Japanese push the timetable faster than anyone on the American side expects. The French Indo-china crisis comes too soon and Roosevelt has to demarche early. Maybe he thinks that America can still bluff it out? I do not know. The US records lie too much, and the Japanese records are destroyed or are inaccessible.

Infrastructure and logistics is 80% of warfighting as an art form. It is not just having it. It is having it in the right places. Whether RTL or AU, the 1931 Pacific is a wasteland, a watery desert dotted with islands that with the exception of Dutch Indonesia and Australia, is undeveloped, resource poor and positively a horror show of a place for a military logistician. The Philippines do not offer local materials (iron, coal, oil), that will support military/industrial activity. Hawaii has to import everything of technological consequence, too, from raw materials to finished good, although it offers the rare advantage of both a large potable water supply and it is a grainery for any military forces based there.

The only two developed Pacific powers in 1941 are Japan and the United States. They are about 7,500 kilometers apart. Curiously the shortest direct attack axis between them lies through Hawaii. The Japanese in the RTL will try it twice. The first time it is a raid. In and out; it is a qualified tactical success. The second time they are whacked at Midway. So from a logistics point of view the Japanese demonstrate that any leapfrog of more than 3,500 kilometers from a developed port or supply base is a guaranteed disaster in the making. The Americans will find that one out the hard way at Guadalcanal, which is their naval Stalingrad. They do not like to talk about that naval part of the campaign, (preferring to laud the heroic Marines), because of how they botch that campaign’s logistics and mishandle the war at sea, too. (Ghormley has an excuse. He goes insane from a brain tumor. Fletcher has an excuse, he is wounded in battle and is worn down from too much previous combat. Halsey is the one who has no excuse. And he will never have one. My opinion only and it is based on extensive research into that over-rated admiral who is America’s David Beatty^1. Look up the Battle of Rennell Island and the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands for just two object reasons of many why that is so.)

^1 The official record Halsey supplies, when checked against other evidence, is so full of alibis, outright lies and unbelievable excuses as to defy belief. How he is not Bynged by the USN for incompetence is beyond me, but from when he runs his destroyer aground early in his career to “The Battle of Bull’s Run” during Leyte Gulf, to running the Pacific Fleet into not one, but TWO typhoons with loss of life and ships in both cases, his career reads like an utter disaster. And we are hard on Macarthur for two terrible mistakes? With Halsey; it is in the dozens.

Anyway, the point is that Hector C. Bywater actually hits the nail on the head with this one aspect of naval warfare when he writes that a steam turbine propelled fleet has automatically tethered itself to a logistics base or anchorage that cannot be more than 2000 nautical miles away unless it has the luxury of at sea refueling and tankers: lots and lots of tankers. Even then, during battle, refueling becomes task critical not within days, but actually within hours once combat is joined. Here is an example: the Japanese go to war with the stated critical need of one oil tanker (5000 tonnes capacity) for every aircraft carrier they deploy. The Americans will find that two oil tankers (at least 10,000 tonnes fuel capacity total) for every aircraft carrier is not enough.

FLUFF: FLEET PROBLEMS; I-XIII; THE RTL POINTS THE WAY FOR THE AU ONE BUILDS

When I try to build a plausible AU, I try to avoid hindsight. There are reasons, good ones, why things happen in the RTL, the way the events did. So by restricting the plausible to what is known and doable at the time, the AU makes more sense. But here is the thing; even under these restrictions (what is known at the time and what can be done differently about it?), small changes, especially early ones, can have major butterfly effects and introduce unbelievable distortions.

The three changes I attempt are first; the result of Mister McKinley Navy. The USN has American technological base problems from 1900-1918 that amateur and even professional naval historians never consider when one reads their analysis. The major technological problems can be summed up in three areas; manufacture of fuses, manufacture of steam turbine power plants, and surprisingly; the manufacture of the rifled breech-loading gun in all calibers and bores. The minor problems: training, doctrine and logistics, are interesting to read about, but it is not what occupies the US navy at the time. It is really fuses, ship power plants and guns, that worries the American naval establishment.

Fuses will never be solved to a satisfactory degree (down to the present). Spinning unlock gate fuse clocks are well known to American designers (American civil war), and will be a standard time fuse in American shell designs (why I chose 3 cm guns as the smallest for US naval AAA. The US nose contact fuses are simply too sensitive, and 3 cm bore size shells are the smallest that can use base inertia hammer fuses or the spinning gate fuses. That is doable with American (automotive) technology (1914).

Ship power plants: did one know that the USN wants to keep reciprocating steam engines for its warships, almost a decade after most European navies switch to steam turbines? (Fleet Problem II, some of the Standard battleships’ turbine engine plants break down under simulated wartime conditions. ) There is a reason for this. Steam turbines not only have soldered casings that leak and lose pressure, require even more coal (or oil) at the time than their triple expansion counterparts, and most importantly require step down gearing and transmission systems for final drives so that speeds can be regulated efficiently. The US Navy does adopt turbines, but the Americans, for many of their capital ships, adopt the electric final drive as a solution. Well. That does eliminate the need for a backing turbine for a ship’s power plant, but it is heavy and cumbersome. The turbine, though, leaves a big engine compartment that floods. The US Navy at the time does not like that at all. But to compete (speed), the turbine is all there is. Okay, what is an AU alternative? Diesels. The French begin working on diesel electric trains around 1920. The US follows. Both nations will eventually get there by 1930, and in the meantime, submarines from both countries have to use the licensed German designs. This is a real leap. It demands that someone in America make a 16,000 kWatt diesel. The Germans will attempt a large marine disel, fumble it, and finally produce the Deutschland class diesel powered cruiser (around 1930-1934). This is the one item where I really overreach. The US develops a marine diesel for its submarines by 1910 (RTL L class; Neselco, MAN license.). Lack of need probably makes it RTL impossible. Militaries, at least the ones that serve democracies, depend on need to convince the treasuries to fund new technology development. Submarines have the need for diesels, (US gasoline engine subs were catching fire…) but the surface fleet? Turbines work now and so do steam engines, why fund this new engine technology? Someone visionary has to push it. William H. Moody is my selected AU victim. Roosevelt’s navy secretary. Wilson’s bunch of unimaginative progressives would never do it. And once started such an American trend has a tendency to continue. My RTL example is the USN’s nuclear reactor program. Again submarines prove the impetus and the need, but it takes a Hiram Rickover to shove it down the USN’s and Department of Treasury’s throat.

Hmm. Torpedoes: The Hunt rocket shell (1862-1864)? Rocket torpedoes are only now becoming possible. Nope. Not a viable solution. Electric battery powered torpedoes are the only AU item possible to solve that American torpedo problem. That problem shows up in Fleet Problem V by the way when American torpedoes then in use are live fired and fail. (The real impetus for new 1930s American torpedoes.). See? Need=funding. The money is appropriated but the execution is bungled (Ralph Christie + Rhode Island politics = Mark 14 disaster.). Electric torpedoes allow guidance problems to be more directly addressed.

Guns, sort of solve themselves. American guns are hoop or monobloc construction since their civil war. Wire wrapping is tried when some British guns were tested RTL, but the results are catastrophic. The USN adopts in experimental desperation (1890-1904) about a half dozen French or British invented interrupted screw breech plug systems, some with door knob obturators, some which had plate obturators, some with three point and some with four point pivot hinge articulation. None which are safe or work well in combat conditions. Finally the USN acquires the Wellin system (still in use.). The Krupp wedge is heavier, faster, safer and simpler. So Mister McKinley’s (Cleveland’s actually) Navy solves that problem (Endicott Mission) (Fleet Problem I, it still appears.) before it ever becomes a modern problem.

It is these simple things that make the AU Mister Hoover’s Navy so interesting.


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