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Cruisers and cruiser actions

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by corpcasselbury, Sep 20, 2004.

  1. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    The Treaty cruisers did tend to be thin-skinned, you're right. Still, her gunpower might have helped matters, I believe.
     
  2. canambridge

    canambridge Member

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    But an Omaha against destroyers wasn't that bad a match and against transports should have been a dream come true. Boise was a modern (1938) Brooklyn class CL with 15 (5 x 3) six inchers and radar.
     
  3. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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    The Omahas were not treaty cruisers. They make the treaty cruisers look like brick houses. These were 7000-ton ships with NO magazine armor.
    Boise was a very different design, among the best prewar cruisers of any navy. Did she have radar at this time?
     
  4. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    I think so. I seem to recall reading that she did, anyway.

    How could the OMAHA-class not be Treaty cruisers? Were they not built in the late 1920s?
     
  5. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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    The Omahas were of the same generation as the Lexington class battlecruisers, which were canned because of the treaty. They all were laid down 1918-1920.
    And Lexington was an awful design as well.
     
  6. canambridge

    canambridge Member

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    The Omaha class was honored with a write up in "The World's Worst Warships" by Anthony Preston.
     
  7. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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    Is that right? Well, that's one I'd have to agree with.
     
  8. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    That says a lot about the class. Did any of them see action, aside from MARBLEHEAD getting bombed?
     
  9. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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    Raleigh was torpedoed at Pearl Harbor and, like Marblehead, survived only because of exemplary crew response. Also, there was a barge nearby with four 80-ton salvage pontoons--without this barge available to lash alongside the cruiser, she almost certainly would have gone down. I have to admire these men who recovered from their surprise and ad libbed a way to save their ship.
    Richmond was at the Battle of the Komandorskis where she neither hit anything nor was targeted.
    Apart from this, the Omahas were kept out of harm's way. They captured some blockade runners and performed shore bombardment in secondary sectors. The USN knew perfectly well how limited they were.
     
  10. canambridge

    canambridge Member

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    The Continuing Tribulations of the ABDAFLOT

    On February 18/19, 1942 a small Japanese force of two transports with an escort of four destroyers (Sasego Maru and Sagami Maru with the destroyers Asashio, Oshio, Arashio and Michisio) and a covering force of one light cruiser and three destroyers (Nagara and the destroyers Hatsushimo, Nenohi and Wakaba) landed a battalion of Japanese troops on Bali to seize the airfield there and close the ring around Java. Dutch Admiral Karl Doorman, now commander of the Combined Striking Force, ordered his dispersed forces to attack the Japanese in three seperate waves.
    Wave 1: CLs De Ruyter & Java, DDs Piet Hein, Pope and John D. Ford.
    DD Kortenaer temporarily lost rudder control and ran aground while threading her way out of Tjilatjap's treacherous narrow harbor channel and was lost for the operation.
    Wave 2: CL Tromp, DDs Stewart, Parrott, John D. Edwards and Pillsbury
    Wave 3: Dutch MTBs TM-4, TM-5, TM-7, TM-9, TM-10, TM-11 and TM-12.
    There were originally eight motor torpedo boats, but TM-6 while hit a buoy leaving Soerabaja, forcing her into drydock.

    Submarine attacks (by USS Seawolf and HMS Truant) on the 18th did no damage to the Japanese. Air attacks (by 13 USAAF B-17s and 7 A-24s) on the 19th were able to get only one hit on the Sagami Maru. Having landed the troops the Japanese ships started to leave the area late on the 19th.

    The ABDAFLOT lost DD Piet Hein (multiple gun and torpedo hits, heavy loss of life); damaged by gunfire were the CL Tromp (12 gun hits; 10 KIA & 30 WIA) and USN DD Stewart (1 gun hit, 1 KIA & 1 WIA). To add insult to injury, Stewart was not properly supported in the dry-dock at Soerabaja while being repaired and rolled over and had to be abandoned. She was salvaged and repaired by Japanese and re-commissioned as Patrol Boat P.102. Tromp limped back to Australia for repairs.
    The Japanese suffered only severe bomb damage to the empty transport Sagami Maru and one destroyer (Michiso; 13 KIA & 83 WIA), and light damage to a second destroyer (Oshia; 7 KIA).
    The ADBAFLOT waves never faced more than two IJN destroyers at any one time.
     
  11. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    Re: The Continuing Tribulations of the ABDAFLOT

    The whole history of ABDAFLOT is one sad catlog of disasters and courage that could do nothing to stop those disasters from happening.
     
  12. canambridge

    canambridge Member

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    February 27, 1942, Battle of the Java Sea:
    ABDAFLOT: tactical commander Dutch Rear Admiral Karel W.-F. Doorman
    RN DD x 3 (Electra, Encounter and Jupiter; van)
    Dutch CL De Ruyter (flag)
    RN CA Exeter (6 x 8”)
    USN CA Houston (9 x 8”; aft turret OOC due to bomb hit on February 4, 1942, leaving six eight inch guns operational)
    RAN CL Perth (6”)
    Dutch CL Java
    Dutch DD x 2 (Kortenaer and Witte de With; left flank)
    USN DD x 4 (CO T.H. Binford; DDs Paul Jones, John D. Ford, Alden and John D. Edwards; rear)
    (USN CL Marblehead had been hit by a bomb February 4, 1942 and was unavailable for the battle. Marblehead went to Tjilatjap for emergency repairs before returning to the US for complete repairs).

    Imperial Japanese Navy:
    Western Transport Group (R Adm Ozawa): 56 Transport types
    Eastern Transport Group (R Adm Nishimura): 41 Transport types
    Eastern Support Force (R Adm Takeo Takagi):
    CA Nachi (lead center)
    CA Haguro (rear center)
    Tanaka DD Squadron: CL Jintsu (flag, R Adm Tanaka) and seven DDs (right flank)
    Nishimura DD Squadron: CL Naka (flag, R Adm Nishimura) and six DDs (left flank)

    1612: ABDAFLOT sights IJN. Both fleets close at 25 knots.
    1616: Battle engaged by CAs at 28,000 yards.
    Tanaka Sqdn closed to 18,000 yds of Dutch van DDs and straddled them
    1625: ABDA turns from NW to W to avoid being crossed by SW heading of IJN.
    1631: De Ruyter hit by dud 8” shell.
    1633-1652: IJN launched 43 torpedoes from long range. No hits.
    1700: Tanaka Sqdn launches second torpedo attack down length of ABDA column.
    1708: Exeter is hit by an 8” shell and loses six of eight boilers. Exeter and following ships turn 90 degrees to port, broadside to IJN torpedo tracks. De Ruyter does the same after a couple of minutes.
    Within the first hour of combat De Ruyter, Houston and Exeter, had all been hit by gunfire. ABDA slows to 15 knots due to damage to Exeter.
    1715: Dutch DD Kortenaer is hit by a torpedo, explodes and sinks.
    Tanaka Sqdn moves in to attack.
    1725: Doorman orders destroyers to launch torpedo attack.
    RN DD Electra hits IJN CL Jinstsu. Electra is hit in engine room and stops.
    Tanaka Sqdn goes for kill on RN CA Exeter but DDs Jupiter (RN), Encounter (RN) and Witte de With (Dutch) force them to break off the attack.
    1800: Tanaka Sqdn sinks RN DD Electra after breaking off attack.
    Doorman orders Exeter and Dutch DD Witte de With to Surabaya.
    ABDA Flot reforms: De Ruyter, Perth, Houston, and Java with USN DDs flank and rear.
    Houston is hit by two duds during long range gun duel.
    Nishimura Sqdn launches torpedo attack and misses with 24 toprepdoes.
    Doorman decides to retire and orders USN DDs to cover. Following an unsuccessful torpedo attack at 10,000 yards, the USN DDs head back to ABDAFlot.
    1830: Doorman radios: Enemy retreating west. Where’s the convoy?
    1927: Cruisers sight each other at 13,000 yards.
    1933: Houston and Perth open fire.
    1936: Perth sights IJN torpedo launch and turns starboard 60 degrees. Other ships follow. No hits.
    2100: USN DDs, having fired torpedoes, leave the formation and turn east for Surabaya per Doorman’s orders.
    2125: RN DD Jupiter explodes and sinks, victim of a "friendly" mine.
    RN DD Encounter picks up survivors from RNN DD Kortenaer and returns to Tandjung Priok.
    2300 – 2320: Cruisers exchange gunfire. Both sides begin to run low on ammo.
    2320: IJN CAs launch 12 torpedoes at 8,000 yards
    2315: Dutch CLs De Ruyter and Java were hit by torpedoes. Java sinks in 15 minutes. Admiral Doorman among those lost when De Ruyter sinks.
    USN CA Houston and RAN CL Perth then turned to Tandjung Priok per Doorman’s final signal.

    February 28, 1942, Escape attempts from Java:
    Houston and Perth attempted to escape to Australia, but were intercepted by IJN forces including the CAs Mogami and Mikuma in the Sunda Strait and were sunk near the Duizend Islands. Two Japanese transports in the area were sunk, one the vessel transporting the CO of the Japanese land forces, apparently by IJN friendly fire.

    Crippled RN CA Exeter, RN DD Encounter and USN DD Pope also tried to escape through the Sunda Strait and were gunned down by the IJN CAs. Pope was sunk by Japanese carrier aircraft.

    Only four USN DDs reached the safety of Australia, running past three IJN DDs guarding Bali Strait.
     
  13. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    Nicely summed up, canambridge, very nicely summed up! You might add to that that Admiral Doorman was the one Allied flag officer for whom the respect of the Japanese admirals was not grudging, since he went in to fight despite the heavy odds and then went down fighting, just as they would have done.
     

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