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HMS Vanguard vs all others

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by Blaster, Feb 14, 2007.

  1. Eric45

    Eric45 New Member

    Dec 26, 2005
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    Its not entirely clear. For years Warspite held the record without question, when Tony DiGiulian of the old warships1.com board noticed that Scharnhorst was at a similar distance to Glorious when she hit her. The range usually given is ~26,000 yards for both this hit and Warspite's hit on Guilio Cesare. While you can find more exact estimate, the truth is they are within the margin of error of each other.


    Then Andrew "Creeping Death" Pennock noticed that the ranges at Java sea were comparable as well. I'll post his initial findings with his permission.

    "As you know, I've been looking into whether there could be a new longest range hit or at least another tie. Well, If my calculations are correct, it's probable it is.

    At 1708, around an hour into the Java sea battle, the Exeter was hit by a 8" shell from the Nachi or Haguro, this hit went into her engine room and blew up in a boiler in 'B' boiler room after apparently ricocheting around. At 1652 Haguro was 25325 yards away according to Dull, when she launched her torpedo attack(Which is the longest range torpedo hit BTW, when it might have hit Kortenaer). The Japanese turned away after Haguro fired torpedoes at a course of north-northwest according to her track chart.

    After eight minutes of travel at 25 knots (The minimum speed I believe the heavies were going, since the Allied column's speed was 25 knots) Nachi and Haguro would have gone around 6786.8 yards. After that eight minutes (possibly more judging by their track chart.), the Allied column turned on a parallel course to the Japanese heavies. The following eight minutes don't matter, since at the same speed, and course, the range would stay the same. I changed the calculations from last year to reflect that Nautical miles are 2026 yards not 2000.

    Here's where I get into the math of it.
    If it was directly southeast of the Japanese, bearing 135(the Allied force is usually described as being southeast of the heavies), at 1652, with the 25325 yards as length of the hypotenuse of a right triangle, with the allied column as one point, and the Japanese as the other. Since at 45 degrees, the triangle's other sides are equal, we can square 25325 yards, then divide that in half and take the square root of that to get the length of each side, gives us around 17695.35 yards each.

    The Japanese moved at a thirty degree angle north around 6752.75 yards, since it's a 30-60-90 triangle, the shortest side is half the hypotenuse, or 3376.375 yards. The other side is 5778.7 yards. The Allied column also went 6752.75 yards due east basically. Decrease the length of the bottom of the triangle by 903.75, and increase the height by 3376.375, and you get the bottom leg a length of 17002.986 yards, and the side leg 21284.4, and using the Pythagorean Theorem, you get a hypotenuse (the range) of 27242 yards.

    I've done this several times, with several different angles, from around bearing 120 to 165, and the closest, bearing 120 was around 26444.68 yards.

    My math:
    distance moved example
    60 / 8 = 7.5
    25 x 2026=50650
    50650 / 7.5 = 6752.375 yds.

    Sides of the triangle:
    25325^2= 641355625
    641355625/2 = 320677812.5
    square root of 320677812.5= ~17907.48 yds.

    Japanese movement:
    6752.75/2 = 3376.375 yards(leg 1)
    6752.75^2 – 3376.375^2 = 5848.05^2 (leg 2)

    Figuring the new triangle:
    5848.05 – 6752.75 = -904.7
    17907.48 + -904.7 = 17002.78 (leg 1)
    3376.375 + 17907.48= 21283.855 (leg 2)

    17002.78^2 + 21283.855^2 = 27,241.46yds^2.
    A^2 + B^2 = C^2

    Online source: www.asiaticfleet.com/javaseaAug02.html

    Books: A Battle History of The Imperial Japanese Navy(1941-1945) by Paul S. Dull"

    I have been able to see that in Chihaya Masataka's Battle of the Java Sea has the average range for the opening hour as 22,000 meters, which is 24,053 yards. Captain Waller's action report says "Perth was still out of range of enemy cruisers and I found a long period of being 'Aunt Sally' very trying without being able to return fire" for the same period mentioned in Dull's book as being at 12.5 miles.
    Senshi Sosho gives the range for the opening hour as 22,000-25,000 meters, 24,053 - 27,333 yards. I could give others if necessary. You'll probably be asked about it, so the reason I give Dull's numbers as Nautical miles is because all of the track charts he gives as Nautical miles.


    So its likely at least some of the hits at Java sea were at a similar, perhaps greater range. The problem is determining how accurate the reported numbers are. No Allied hits were recorded by L&W, but there is a slim possibility of a hit on the onboard floatplane of Haguro, (Allied Witnesses thought Haguro caught on fire and blew up. I have a very distant source that suggests a hit on the floatplane caught it on fire and it burned impresively before being pushed over.).

    Finally, Richard Worth (Tiornu) noticed that Milan was hit by a 16in shell at Casablanca. I don't have his analysis, but I recall the likely hit was between 25000 and 30000 yards.

    Honestly, I'm not sure which was longest, take your pick. Generally Scharnhorst's and Warspite's hits are best documented, while the upper end of possible ranges for the IJN hits at Java Sea and Mammie's hit on Milan are greater, (But the minimum possible distance was less.)
  2. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

    Apr 29, 2004
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    Mamie's long-range hit was somewhere past 24,000 yards. Unfortunately, that's all I can say on the matter, as the action report gives nothing specific on that.
  3. Creeping Death

    Creeping Death New Member

    Feb 26, 2007
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    Your guess is as good as mine.
    via TanksinWW2
    Also, Captain Waller's action report says that "(Range was still over 26,000 yards.)" just after he mentions not being able to return fire.

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