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Re: [OFFICIAL] Missile Ideas

From: Mikko Kurki-Suonio <maxxon@s...>
Date: Wed, 2 Apr 1997 06:54:05 -0500
Subject: Re: [OFFICIAL] Missile Ideas

On Tue, 1 Apr 1997, Phillip E. Pournelle wrote:

>   Historically, Destoyers were created to prevent smaller torpedo
boats to
>  engage capital ships and sink them.	

While that is true, the the danger of surface torpedo attack was grossly

overestimated in the early dreadnought years. I haven't found a SINGLE 
record of a DD or smaller ships sinking a capital ship.

Some cruisers, yes, but no capital ships.

Their real function was that of deterrant: "If you close, you'll get us 
and what we're guarding, but we'll torpedo you while you're at it."

>  actual battle but the movie "In Harms Way" was based on a historical

Movie? Are you serious? 

>  where Destoyer squardrons, PT boats etc were able to turn back
cruisers and
>  even the Yamamoto...  

Admiral Yamamoto might be turned back by a single MP with a baton (were
still alive), but I guess you're talking about BB Yamato. 

Ok, I'll bite. Yamato took part in very actions at all, and came to
contact range with surface ships in even fewer, so you must mean Battle
Samar (October 25, 1944). 

No PT boats were present. There was a heroic charge by some DDs and DEs.

It's called heroic because it was bloody suicidal. But even then,
the approximately 500 US combat aircraft present you conveniently chose 
to ignore had much more to do with sinking the couple of already
CAs that went down.

Or maybe Hollywood really meant Yamato's sistership, the Musashi and 
you're referring to the Battle of Surigao Strait (October 24-25, 1944)?

They had PT boats. That tells you how close to shore the action was.
(Note to non-naval types: Torpedo Boats and Motor Torpedo Boats (PT
are NOT the same thing. Torpedo Boats, such as the German T -class, were

essentially small destroyers with very little gun armament. PT boats
shore patrol boats with a torpedo or two tacked on).

Except Musashi wasn't there. She was sunk earlier by US aircraft.
Even then you're ignoring the slight 3:1 battleship advantage the 
Americans held.

Nevermind the Americans had vastly superior fire control radars for the 
night action.

Nevermind that the Japanese were trying to get through narrow straits
the yanks were positioned to block them.

> Then there were the very effective Japanese night
>  torpedo attacks launched by their Destroyers, they did destroy
America and 
> Dutch Cruisers...

The Dutch naval war effort in the Pacific was quickly sunk and so was
idea of united fleets at Java Sea (February 27-March 1, 1942). 

The two Dutch CLs were sunk by torpedoes -- from Japanese CAs. Japanese 
DD torpedo attacks claimed only other DDs.

A little later the American CA Houston and Australian CL Perth were
indeed sunk by a combination of  torpedoes and gunfire at the Sunda 
Strait (February 28, 1942), but they were screwed to begin with: 
Outnumbered 6:1, and especially outgunned 3:1 in the 8" department 
(Houston's rear turret was not operational).

And cruisers are not capital ships anyway.

Oh, and the WWII Kriegsmarine did quite splendidly with practically no 
destroyer screen. In fact, the only account of enemy DDs attacking their

capital ships I can remember is that of Admiral Hipper pounding the 
living daylights out of a British DD that even tried to ram the Hipper
a final act of defience, the poor bastard.

Ok, enough of this. Let's look at things more abstractly:

Fact: More ships is more flexible. Especially in a campaign.
Rough figures: A BB might cost 500pts. A DD 100pts. Thus you get 5 DDs 
for the price of one BB in FT.
Consequently, for 500 points, the flotilla of DDs is more flexible.

Now, if that flotilla is also equal or better in battle vs. the BB, who 
would ever bother with BBs?

The lessened combat effectiveness of the smaller ships is the price you
for the flexibility of a larger fleet. 

-- (Mikko Kurki-Suonio) 	  | A pig who doesn't
+358 50 5596411 GSM +358 9 80926 78/FAX 81/Voice  | is just an ordinary
Maininkitie 8A8 02320 ESPOO FINLAND | Hate me?	  |	     - Porco
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