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A question for battleship experts

Discussion in 'Information Requests' started by ULITHI, Nov 25, 2010.

  1. ULITHI

    ULITHI Ace

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    Please don't laugh if this is a dumb question.

    I am doing a painting of Yamato shooting her big guns dead forward and elavated slightly.

    While studying models of the ship, especially the big one in Japan, I noticed that it has rigging lines from the bow flagstaff running back towards the top of the superstructure.

    My question is, how would the ship be able to fire and not hit those lines if it targeted something dead ahead?
     
  2. Artem

    Artem Member

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    Due to nature of pacific warfare, I think the Japanese naval commands would want to keep battleships as far away from it's target as far as possible.

    Also if you look carefully, only one of the guns is aligned to the highest point of the bow

    [​IMG]

    Even in this case, all 3 guns would be able to fire dead ahead on their targets. Chances are, if it gets too close, it will already have sunk.
     
  3. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Not such a daft question.....OK, I am in no way an expert ; but when the expression 'clearing the decks for action' is used, would such rigging lines be part of that 'clearing'.....?:confused:
     
  4. ULITHI

    ULITHI Ace

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    That is what I was wondering Martin. Although it sure seems like alot of cable to bring down!
     
  5. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member

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    I'm not an expert either, but in the few photos of Yamato that I've come across, it looks like the rigging is not up. I'm not sure what most of it was for, but here's the best shot I could find. I don't see the rigging.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. ULITHI

    ULITHI Ace

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    Yeah Lou, I did notice that in that photo. This is one problem I have with painting. Some sources show something different than other sources. It's frustrating when you are trying to be accurate.
     
  7. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    That's kind of like asking what keeps a top-turret gunner (in a B-17 for example) from shooting the tail of the plane off. Not a bad question at all. It's one of those little things that people either take for granted, don't ask, or don't know to ask. I'm with Martin Bull, I believe that when the order to clear the deck for action is given, securing the rigging is probably one of the duties of the deck hands.

    Only four left now!
     
  8. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    When you gotta shoot, you gotta shoot. They probably carried a spare line.
     
  9. ULITHI

    ULITHI Ace

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    I almost wonder if there is a split second shockwave of air that might push them out of the way of the shells?
     
  10. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    I don't think you could rely on that. If you know you're going into action, you clear for action. If not and the sucker is in the way, it's going to die.
     
  11. ULITHI

    ULITHI Ace

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    So do you all think I should leave out the forward rigging lines in my painting OP?

    I have the forward turret fireing dead ahead and elevated about 40 degrees.
     
  12. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    If she's cleared for action that line would come down if the IJN had boatswains mates like the ones I knew. If the line parted during firing there's no telling where the bitter ends will wind up. Better to take it down and know that's not going to be an issue. Plus you won't have to answer the question "What's that line for?" a thousand times.
     
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  13. ULITHI

    ULITHI Ace

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    Thanks OP! I knew you, Mike B, ot Takeo could help me out!
     
  14. Biak

    Biak Adjutant

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    Hey Darren,
    Just to muddy the waters a little more. I talked to an uncle tonight who was stationed aboard the USS Washington and USS Massachusetts. He said he did not recall they ever shot the big guns 'straight ahead'. I think I remember reading somewhere there were safeguards preventing the guns from firing if not aimed in a proper alignment ie: elevation and declination. Like A-58 mentioned about the tail of the B-17's I think there was a "restrictor"(sic), preventing the .50 calibers from firing and cutting off the stabilizer. Out of curiosity and hardheadedness, I've googled and found nothing on the preparations of ship operations before letting go with the "Big Guns". Good Luck and keep us posted on the progress.
     
  15. ULITHI

    ULITHI Ace

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    Thanks for the info Roger! I know it is better for a wagon to fire a broadside with all the guns available.

    I thought about them maybe not being able to fire forward.

    But didn't HMS Hood and Prince of Whales fire straight ahead when then they were trying to close range with the Bismarck?

    Also, wasn't Yamato and the other Japanese ships basically firing ahead more or less when they were chasing taffy 3?
     
  16. Biak

    Biak Adjutant

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    Good point. Further proof I have very little, no, none at all, experience in such matters ;) I was hoping my uncle, actually two uncles were there, could shed some light and when I mentioned about the rigging we were all scratching our heads wondering. I think you've proffered a 'ponderable'! Aw heck, I say and agree with those above,stow the rigging and paint away.
     
  17. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Good a book on BB gunnery here somewhere. Iowas, I think, I'll see if I can find anything in there.
     
  18. sniper1946

    sniper1946 Expert

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    here is a forward view pic, it looks pretty clear for firing, darren..[​IMG]

    but as you say, different pic showing wiring...[​IMG] [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  19. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Unelevated shots at any angle would play hell with the tackle on the bow, I think. And I would not want to be in A when B fired just a few feet above my head.

    I wonder how well the A turret rangefinders would fare when B fired as well.

    (And again, "How closely one follows doctrine is a function of how scared one is at the time.")
     
  20. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    Two items here:

    Depends on what that line is for. I suspect it is only rigged on occasions like the ship flying all its flags for a review or other ceremony and that it is normally not rigged.

    Second, I don't think the Yamato was built with the intended purpose of being able to fire dead ahead on a normal basis. US battleships aren't. The only class I know of that had that requirement built into its design specifications is the KGV. This is because most nations figured out that a battleship in an engagement would normally be able to make course changes to bring the target off one quarter or another and allow the full broadside to bear.
     
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