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Photo Comments (16)Comments sorting method :
|Al Ruff on May 14, 2013 17:14 (7 months ago)|
Thank you Peter for your extensive explanation. Well done. We all learn something new every day, so I'm good for weeks to come.
|REG on May 14, 2013 12:01 (7 months ago)|
"Pfftt..Battleship...Big waste of steel...Give me a carrier anyday...That's what won the war in the Pacific..
Battleships should be melted down and use the steel to make more carriers...Useless ships."
This is a typical example of 20-20 hindsight. One must bear in mind that this battleship was laid down in 1916 and completed in 1921. At that time there were no aircraft carriers. In those days naval strategists, both in the U.S. and Japan, were thinking in terms of The Battle of Jutland, not The Battle of Midway. The 'Big Gun' was universally acknowledged to be the final arbiter in any battle at sea. Up until the late 1930s the airplane was regarded as little more than a reconnaissance vehicle, and an aerial platform from which to direct the guns of the battleships. That was the reason why all the battleships carried seaplanes.
It was a tremendous shock to the U.S. Navy's Admirals when the Japanese torpedoed this, and other battleships, at Pearl Harbor. It was thought to be impossible to launch aerial torpedoes in the shallow water of a harbor. The general belief was that the torpedoes either would hit the bottom of the harbor and explode, or else simply bury themselves in the mud. Of course, the British had already done that very thing at Taranto a year earlier, so one would think that the American Admirals should have known better!
|mar_picado on May 14, 2013 10:48 (7 months ago)|
|My Dad's first billet after getting his wings in 1939, was as an OS2U pilot on the USS Idaho(BB-42)during Neutrality Patrol in 1940. And I remember him saying how gunnery practice was conducted by sending coordinates of the shots back to the ship by Morse code.|
|ozzy76 on May 14, 2013 10:41 (7 months ago)|
@ Chris..Shooting down 23 aircraft..Very good..But HOW many years did it take to build a battleship..versus how long did id take to turn out aircraft..
How many men were tied down in the shipyards and in the crewing, of these ships.
How many men , 3,000 - 4,000 to man a battleship..And it claimed 23 aircraft..
A waste of resources..
How much sea time did Bismark, Tirpitz, Yamamoto spend in WW2??
I#'m afraid when you add up, the VASt amount of manpower, steel, resources ans Money tied up in these "capital" ships you'll find they were a waste.
As for protecting Enterprise..A number of destroyers with oil tanker support would have been more effective and cheaper..
the Battle of Jutland in WW1, The only battle between Battleships was inconclusive..
As a Weapons system the battleship consumed TOO many resources and delivered TOO few returns.
Also, the USa lost it's battleships in Pearl Harbour..But still won the war..
I still stand by my argument..After WW2, The Capital ship was the aircraft carriers..And The Submarine..came of age also.
|Gordy on May 14, 2013 06:09 (7 months ago)|
|Good one Peter, you cleared that up for us, I thought it had something to do with the range etc...excellent response, ty.|
|Peter Hartung on May 14, 2013 05:42 (7 months ago)|
@ Al Ruff: Regarding the concentration dial, or "Clock" of the CALIFORNIA (BB-44): The practice of gunnery at the beginning of the 20th century put a lot of emphasis on shooting first. Radio communications was still in diapers (cumbersome, morse code, slow) and visual signals, light, flaghoist or semaphore, were not much better. When an enemy was detected it also took time to train and elevate the guns to shoot at him. In poor visibility this might give him the first shot. The range clocks, and their companion, the deflection markers, were developed to shorten the time needed to get off the first salvo. Concentration of fire was also a major consideration, and usually all ships of a division would fire on the same target. Fire control was based on mechanical analog devices that incorporated input from the optical range finders located at several places on the ship. In USN ships this included the top of the cage mast.
Long range visibility under battle conditions was often poor. The heavy black smoke from burning coal just made it worse. But individual ships could be expected to have a reasonably clear view of the next ship ahead in the division line. The flagship was almost always in the lead, and could direct concentration of fire by passing range and deflection data to the other ships. This process was made much faster by simply training the flagships own guns in the direction of the enemy and displaying the ships own average rangefinder results on a circular display. Trailing ships often did not have as good a view f the enemy as the leader, but could observe where the leaders guns were aimed (and read numbers from the range clock) in order to set initial values for aiming their own guns. That is enough of the background theory.
There was no CIC as we know it today, but there was a central fire control plot on each ship. This plot included a MECHANICAL device for determining and transmitting refined settings for azimuth and elevation of the guns. Initial inputs were often set manually. Communications between the plot and the gun turrets (and the range clocks) included up to 4 separate and parallel methods. First, there was a mechanical connection, usually a bicycle chain and sprocket drive to ensure equivalent movement. Second, voice tubes connected the plot with rangefinder positions and guns. Third, when they became available, there were internal communications telephones matching the above circuits. Finally, if other means failed, you could write a note and send it by messenger. (Source: Text by Aryeh Wetherhorn, (USN & Israeli Navy, Retired). WARSHIP INTERNATIONAL. vol 38 numbers 1,2,3 (2001) and also vol 41.) NavSource Online.) "Clock" obviously removed after Pearl Harbour sinking, refloating and refitting in 1941/1942. Regards Peter
|Tony Conroy on May 14, 2013 05:03 (7 months ago)|
|The passengers on the Devonport ferry getting a good view of the American sailor's at work.|
|Gordy on May 14, 2013 03:46 (7 months ago)|
|TY Chris and all, much appreciated!|
|Gordy on May 14, 2013 03:45 (7 months ago)|
|I am not sure but I think the clock had to do with finding the range for the big guns. Maybe some one else knows about that but I think its to do with the angle of the gun barrels to find the right angle for the distance and drop of the shells...please inform me if not so, I would like to know more...also they might be used for stipulating the angle of incoming aircraft and vessels etc Gordy|
|Chris Howell on May 14, 2013 03:43 (7 months ago)|
USS California is shown at Auckland during the visit between 11/25th August 1925 of the US Pacific fleet, still the largest naval force ever seen at one time in Australia or NZ.
The double ended ferry is the NGOIRO, Built in 1921 laid up 1974.
|Chris Howell on May 14, 2013 03:36 (7 months ago)|
Obviously Ozzy76 your naval knowledge is limited, both were necessary in WW2, as to the Pacific the battleship USS South Dakota, shot down 23 Japanese planes while alongside the carrier USS Enterprise, which saved her from destruction at the Battle of Santa Cruz, later many a carrier was grateful to have battleships in the screen while under Kamikaze attack.
Although of course the carriers helped won the war in the Pacific, unlike a battleship they were limited by weather conditions,which of course ensured the tactics for their use were different.
As to modern times in Vietnam for example a strategic bridge cost 50 carrier pilots, a battleship could have knocked it down in minutes without any cost in lives or planes.
As to more recently, in the last shooting war the Falklands, the carriers were hamstrung by not only weather but missile threats, both would have been of little consequence to Britain's last battleship Vanguard had she still been around.
|Patagualino on May 14, 2013 02:12 (7 months ago)|
|Hi Al, Yes that clock is a new one on me too. As regards the flag at the jack-staff: Squadron or Battle Group flag?|
|Al Ruff on May 13, 2013 23:59 (7 months ago)|
|Sorry, I forgot to say GREAT photo. Al|
|Al Ruff on May 13, 2013 23:57 (7 months ago)|
|Can anyone tell me the story on the clock on the forward crowsnest? What's the flag on the bow?|
|ozzy76 on May 13, 2013 22:10 (7 months ago)|
Pfftt..Battleship...Big waste of steel...Give me a carrier anyday...That's what won the war in the Pacific..
Battleships should be melted down and use the steel to make more carriers...Useless ships.
|Mr. DOT on May 13, 2013 20:56 (7 months ago)|
|just wonderful scene! mrdot.|