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Japan decides against Midway and invades Australia instead

Discussion in 'What If - Pacific and CBI' started by T. A. Gardner, Oct 22, 2009.

  1. ickysdad

    ickysdad Member

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    and I will repeat once again the Ranger operated in the North Sea as part of the RN's Home Fleet. If the ship can operate in the North Sea it can operate in the Pacific . Now as far as the supposed top heaviness the USN could do as the IJN did with the Shoho's simply reduce it's airgroup which in the latter's case was at one time 21 fighters & 16 torpedo bombers then became 21 fighters & 9 torpedo bombers. I see no reason the Ranger couldn't operate say about 3 squadrons of F4F's for about 54 fighters & 1 squadron of SBD's for 18 dive bomber which the Ranger did operate at one time. In this setup it could operate like the Independence CVL's did,i.e. act like a CAP role CV.
    It was also brought up about the Langley well she could act like a ferry and I think she had the same speed as Hiyo/Junyo that Glenn has suggested the IJN could use as a fleet CV's.
     
  2. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

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    Ok, so the Ranger operated perfectly well in the Atlantic, but became mysteriously "top heavy" the minute it entered the Pacific. You are correct to point out that one solution is to reduce the number of planes carried.

    The Langley was operated for a few years as an aircraft ferry. But, historically Langley was sunk by the Japanese on 27 February, 1942. I have no doubt that the Hiyo and Junyo were far more valuable to the Japanese as aircraft ferries than as CV's.
     
  3. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    Devisadvocate wrote:

    I'd hardly call Official US Navy sources garbage, I do not claim they are infallable, but they are pretty darn good. The Navy does keep quite meticulous records. Additionally, most of the secondary source authors we all quote use the US Navy records as a primary source.
    You are questioning their conclusions, what are your credentials to do so? Have you served as a Naval Officer at sea? When I was in college, I was enrolled in NROTC pursuing a Marine Corps commision. Being in NROTC you are (or were) required to take a number of classes that are Navy specific that you know you'll never use and wonder why it's being required. Two specifically are the Naval Science courses on:

    Sea Power and Maritime Affairs-Historical survey of the U.S. Navy and American concepts of seapower from 1775 to the present. Includes the evolution of maritime strategy in support of U.S. National Strategy.

    and

    Naval Ships Systems-The course is designed to provide an elementary overview of Naval engineering systems and a detailed knowledge of the principles behind ship construction. The topics covered include ship design, hydrodynamic forces, stability, conventional and nuclear propulsion, electrical theory and systems, interior communications, damage control, hydraulics and ship control. Included are the basic concepts of the theory and design of steam, gas turbine and diesel propulsion.

    In retrospect I now understand that it was to help us understand how complex the factors are in Naval operations. I am not mentioning this to put my self forth as any type of expert because I am definately not. :D (just making sure you don't miss this qualifying remark) Both courses are introductory level, I am mentioning them because they made me aware of how many factors are involved that I never would have considered had I not been exposed to them. Factors I do not think you are taking into account. So when you state that it "makes no sense", I'd argue that you're making your conclusions without taking into consideration all the tactical, strategic, operational, design, engineering and environmental factors they use when making theirs.
    Now, let me further clarify. The above comments are not meant as a personal attack on you. My personal opinion is that you are extremely well read and well versed in maritime subjects. I have enjoyed reading many of your posts on other naval subjects. I most often disagree with you on tactical implications that you draw, but that's what discussions are for.
     
  4. ickysdad

    ickysdad Member

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    USMC,
    But what about Ranger operating in the North Sea in a combat capacity? Now the USN might have found her deficent but we're dealing with hypotheticals here so it seems like it might be fair to include her after all it's probably as fair as Glenn trying to add Hiyo & Junyo to Kido Butai if not actually far more fair.
     
  5. Glenn239

    Glenn239 Member

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    If the threat to Hawaii didn’t bring to the Pacific, then Darwin sure the heck wasn’t going to. Ranger never operated in the Pacific Ocean during the war. Hiyo and Junyo did. No one is including the Hosho or the IJN’s merchant conversions.
     
  6. Glenn239

    Glenn239 Member

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    I would like your detailed calculations backing this statement posted please.
     
  7. Glenn239

    Glenn239 Member

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    To consume 350,000 tons of oil in 10,000nm as DA projects, the force (fuel capacity
    of 86,400 tons) would have to refuel 4.05 times. 10000nm /4.05 = 2,469 miles range
    for each ship. That calculation alone should have cued you that your numbers were
    way off.For the Pearl Harbor Raid, the attacking force carried the following
    oil:
    Tankers (all) = 80,000 tons.
    Carriers: 31,400
    Battlecruisers: 12,400
    Cruisers: 5,000
    Destroyers: 6,000
    Overloaded: 4,010
    Total: 138,810 tons.


    According to your calculations, for the 8,000+ steaming miles the Pearl Harbor
    attack force put in, about 80% of 350,000 tons (10000nm) would be required =
    280,000 tons, which is about 141,000 tons more than all the oil on all the ships
    combined for the entire sortie. This would put Nagumo running out of oil and
    scuttling just after the Pearl Harbor attack.


    Check 1:
    The round trip for the Pearl Harbor attack was about 8,000 nm steaming. Shokaku

    consumed 4,150 tons during that operation. Akigumo consumed 1,079 tons. Eight x Shokaku and 18 x Akigumo steaming 30,000nm as per the PH attack would consume:


    Eight Shokakus: 30,000/8,000 * 8 * 4150 = 124,000 tons
    Eighteen Akigumos: 30,000/8,000 * 18 * 1,079 = 72,832 tons


    That accounts for over half of the consumption for the entire projected force (8 x

    CV, 4 x BC, 4 x CA, 3 x CL, 18 x DD), so your projection of 1.043 million tons is

    off by a factor of about 2.


    Check 2

    Prange gives the action radius of the PH strike force in At DawnWe Slept. This,

    combined with the capacities of the ships in question and the power consumption

    ratios of:
    14kt: 1
    18kt: 1.5
    24kt: 4
    30kt: 9

    Capcities (tons oil) of units:
    Car Div 1: 13,300
    Car Div 5: 11,000
    Car Div 2: 7,100
    Junyo x 2: 8,200
    BC's x 4: 24,800
    CA's x 4: 8,000
    CL's x 3: 3,000
    DD's x 18: 11,000

    Total: 86,400 tons

    Gives the following:
    .............Range............Consumption
    ..........18kt...14kt...24kt.18kt..14kt..24kt
    1stCAR...6500...7583...4333..20,4..17,5..30,7
    5thCAR...6800...7930...4530..16,1..13,8..24,2
    BC's.....6800...7930...4530..36,4..31,3..54,7
    2ndCar...5400...6300...3600..13,1..11,3..19,7
    Jun/Hiyo.6500...7580...4330..12,6..10,8..18,9
    CA's.....5600...6500...3700..13,2..12,2..21,4
    CL's.....4300...5016...2860..6976..5980..10,5
    DD's.....4000...4666...2666..27,5..23,6..41,2
    Total:.......................147...126....221


    So to cover 10,000nm the force consumes:

    14kt: 126,000 tons
    18kt: 147,000 tons
    24kt: 221,000 tons

    At 30kt, the force will consume 530,000 tons to move 10,000nm. Your projection of 350,000 tons consumed for the force to go 10,000nm translates to a speed of 27kt.
     
  8. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    That's Glenn239's opinion, not mine. I'd consider them CVL's but that's really just arguing semantics. The Japanese would in all probability use them, whatever we called them, and we would use any CVL's, CVE's etc. as they became available. While CVL's and CVE's lacked the capability to perform all the functions Navy tactical practices demanded, we would adapt our tactics to whatever assets we had.

    Requirements and threats are quite different for Pacific Operations and North Sea Operations. That's one of the reasons US and British carrier designs and tactical doctrine evolved so differently. For instance the British put a premium on armor protection of the flight deck because they percieved the greatest threat as bombing by land based air. The US was facing a huge naval threat in the Japanese. Naval aviators are more proficient at attacking shipping (because that's what they train to do) and they have the additional threat of aerial torpedos. So the US concentrates on heavier AA, torpedo protection and high speed. The US evolved the practice of carrying most of it's air wing on deck and deck loading strikes. Quick launch, heavy strike, rapid follow up. An armored flight deck would actually exacerbate the damage from a bomb hit when this operational proceedure is used. The additional top weight from an armored flight deck would also mean that US carriers would have to go with smaller air wings and carry them in the hanger deck instead of their operationally preferred manner or risk instability. In the north sea it's more practical to carry the air group in the hanger because it protects them from the elements. No aerial torpedo threat so torpedo protection is not as critical. (submarine torpedo threat is a wash Pacific vs Atlantic) Less effective anti-shipping strikes, so AA capability does not have to be quite as strong. Ranger's best features, large air capacity and spacious hanger deck, would actually give her an advantage over the later Wasp, in this area of operations.
     
  9. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    ickysdad wrote:

    USMCPrice wrote:

    I still stick with what I stated above but, I have found two pretty good sources that list Hiyo and Junyo as Fleet Carriers. I still say it's semantics because "fleet carrier" appears to be a US term and these two ships are closer in capabilities to US CVL's than to fleet carriers. It does however support Glenn239's use of the term.
     
  10. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    Devilsadvocate wrote:
    As I posted earlier US Navy sources state that Ranger had no catapult as built. Not as you state:"The Ranger had three catapults as built"

    The sources also state that Ranger (pre-war)had an odd outrigger type catapult added. This in no way is contradicted by your father's statement. He did catapult off ship, Ranger had a single catapult of odd design installed. Where's the contradiction?

    Devilsadvocate wrote:
    True, and the fighters were launched first because they required less flight deck to get airborne than the more heavily loaded scout/bomber and torpedo squadrons. Now examine your fathers statement from a Naval perspective, and you have to conclude:
    --Simply flying off is the preferred method of launch but on at least two occasions this aviator was required to catapult. You can't always choose the time and place you do battle. When you can you can not always predict what the weather conditions might be, so catapults could be an important capability at a critical moment. Ranger and Wasp have a shorter flight deck than either the Lexingtons or Yorktowns, so if conditions are marginal they will be the first to have to resort to catapulting aircraft, Wasp first then Ranger. Ranger has one catapult of an unusual design resulting in a higher recycle time. Wasp has two bow mounted modern types. Advantage Wasp.
     
  11. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    Devilsadvocate wrote:

    Actually it would be more accurate to state that Wasp had all the Rangers advantages and only a few of her shortcomings.
    -better internal subdivision
    -better stability because of asymetrical hull
    -more and modern catapults
    -alternating boiler/engine rooms (something the Navy states would have saved Hornet and carried on as a design feature in the Essex's)
    -better elevator placement and the introduction of a deckedge elevator (a design feature carried forward on the Essex's)
    These are just the things that readily come to mind and not a comprehensive list, I do think it adequately illustrates the point.
     
  12. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    Devilsadvocate wrote:

    Yes, this is true but they were not serving as fleet carriers. Strategically, it would be a waste of Ranger's strengths to use her in a role that could just as well be performed by a CVL or CVE. Even though Ranger only had two combat missions in the Atlantic (Torch and the raid on Bodö) her presence did provide a capability that the enemy had to plan for. Most of Ranger's time was spent ferrying aircraft, patrolling and in escort duties but Ranger, with her heavy aircraft strike capability, patrolling an area pretty much excluded that area from the threat of surface raiders.
     
  13. Glenn239

    Glenn239 Member

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    Hiyo and Junyo had air groups comparable to the British fleet carriers HMS Ark Royal and Indomitable and much larger than Victorious or Furious. At 25,000 tons they weighed about the same as the Shokaku class. If they were not comparable in numbers to the fleet carrier USS Wasp then it is because they did not employ deck parks to boost their aircraft compliment to around 70 aircraft.

    “Fleet carrier” means a ship used in the front line of a fleet battle as a primary fighting unit. It does not imply that the ship was built from the keel up with the purpose of carrying aircraft (Kaga, Akagi, Lexington, Saratoga), nor does it imply a specific size to the air group carried, (as small as 36 for Victorious and 100 for Essex).


    I seem to recall Freidman saying Ranger’s bomb magazines were stored too high in the ship in comparison to later classes, meaning she could be blown up with one unlucky bomb hit. I’d have to double-check that though. .



    The issue with Ranger is not that she could not serve in the Pacific. Icky is aware from previous discussion that I consider it very likely Ranger would fight if, for example, Hawaii were being invaded. The issue here is that the Ranger DID NOT serve in the Pacific, and an invasion of Darwin was of such little overall importance that it is impossible to conclude that this would be the catalyst that overturned the established historical pattern.
     
  14. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

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    Hmmm....

    Let's see, you're comparing the Pearl Harbor attack force of

    6 CV's
    2 BB's
    2 CA's
    1 CL
    13 DD's

    to the force you proposed to "roam" around the Coral Sea, of

    6 CV's
    2 CVL's
    4 BB's
    4 CA's
    3 CL's
    18 DD's

    That's a difference of six heavy units, 2 CL's, and 5 DD's, and you're claiming the results mean MY numbers are off?

    Of course, fewer ships, steaming a shorter distance, are going to consume less fuel. Other errors are manifest in your calculations; increased speeds do not mean a linear relation ship in fuel consumed as you seem to think. The subjective endurance figures for any naval ship are just too problematical to use as a factor in range calculations. I would not only discount your calculations, but question how Prange arrived at his consumption figures for the Pearl Harbor attack group.

    Moreover, the requirement for refueling of units differs with each ship, with the DD's requiring more frequent fueling than the other ships, so the deduction of range between refuelings cannot be accurate to any degree, let alone for the whole fleet.

    I compared my estimated fuel consumption figures for Japanese vessels to the following charts and tables for comparable US vessels, and found them to be reasonable approximations of what Japanese vessels, whose propulsion plants were usually less efficient than USN ships, would burn un der each set of of conditions.

    HyperWar: War Service Fuel Consumption of US Naval Surface Vessels (FTP 218)

    I suggest you do the same
     
  15. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

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    I do not dispute Hiyo and Junyo's aircraft capacity, displacement, nor the intention in building them. All of those criteria would arguably make them true fleet carriers.

    What I believe disqualifies them from being Fleet carriers is the fact that neither could do significantly better than 23 knots under operational conditions, neither had the survivability features that were required by fleet carriers, and both suffered from seriously unreliable propulsion plants. Moreover, neither operated with the fleet until Japan was desperate for flight decks after Pearl Harbor.




    Hmm.... can't find it in my copy of Freidman.

    I won't dispute that Ranger might not be transferred to the Pacific; my point is that if the USN were to find itself with a perceived shortage of flight decks, Ranger very well might find itself on the way to the Pacific. The scenario at hand posits that the Japanese did not suffer the loss of four carriers at Midway and instead concentrated it's carriers in the western Pacific. Under such circumstances, the USN might very well conclude that it was crucial to transfer the Atlantic carriers, ALL of them, to the Pacific. And, given the fact that Australia was the target, the British might well accede to this decision.

    As for the suitability of Ranger for Pacific service, I find it odd that her service in the Atlantic included combat with Axis forces, but upon entering, the Ranger immediately becomes too old, too slow, too unstable, too this, too that, to have any chance of successfully engaging the enemy. I'm afraid that USMCPrice and I are going to have to agree to disagree on that issue.
     
  16. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

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    IF a CVL or CVE were available.

    True, the Ranger did perform as a fleet carrier in both operations, and was valuable in the Atlantic for the reasons you describe.

    That does not negate her ability to perform the same role in the Pacific. Nothing you have posted, in fact, would prevent Ranger from performing as a fleet carrier in the Pacific. If the USN found itself facing a very unfavorable ratio n of enemy carriers, it is perfectly reasonable to assume that it would consider transferring the Ranger to the Pacific to redress the balance. I'm not claiming it automatically would happen, but that it could happen under the circumstances posited in this scenario.
     
  17. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    Devilsadvocate wrote:
    Fair enough, we have kinda beaten that horse to death.

    Devilsadvocate wrote:
    I think that's a fair and reasonable statement.
     
  18. ickysdad

    ickysdad Member

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    as far as ranges of ships are concerned over on warships1.com I remember researching in Conways that some cruiser ranges I quoted had ranges of say 5,000 miles at 12-15 knots but only maybe 1,000-1,500 miles at say 25-30 knots fuel consumption goes up geometrically as speed increases not linerally.
     
  19. Glenn239

    Glenn239 Member

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    The power curve varys from ship to ship, even within the same class. Not having a handy supercompter, a working rule of thumb is that consumption increases at the following rate:

    14kt: 1
    18kt: 1.5
    20kt: 2
    24kt: 4
    30kt: 9
    36kt: 15

    That is, a ship travelling at 36kt will burn about 15 times as much fuel per hour as it will at 14kt. However, it will also travel 2.57 times further. In 24 hours the fast ship goes 864nm to the slow ship's336nm. The slow ship takes 2.57 days to travel the 864nm, meaning that the fast ship is only 5.83 times less efficient than the slow ship. Accounting for this, the distance/consumption ratio is about:


    Speed…......Efficiency
    14kt……….1
    16kt……….1.09
    18kt……….1.16
    20…………1.4
    24…………2.33
    30…………4.2
    36…………5.83

    The ship going 36kt consumes 15 times more fuel per hour than at 14kt, but is only 5.83 times less efficient in terms of tons per mile.
     
  20. Glenn239

    Glenn239 Member

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    I’m not claiming your numbers are off, I’m telling you they are. You should have clued in to that fact by seeing that your calculations called for four (!) full refuelings to travel 10,000 miles (giving a range of about 2,500nm to ships with a range of 8,000).

    DA, let me assure you that the Kaga, the Tone, or any destroyer in the Japanese fleet did not require four full loads of fuel to cruise 10,000 miles!



    I did not ask you to provide a Hyperwar resource that I am already aware of and have already digested many months ago. I asked you to provide YOUR detailed calculations of how and why you came to 1.043 million tons required. I suspect you either messed up big time, or tried to pull a fast one.

    Take BB34 for example, on page 23. At 16.5kt, it consumes 1,558 barrels per day. At 6.95 barrels/tons, that translates into 236 tons per day to move 396nm. At 16.5kt, it will take BB34 75.75 days to move 30,000nm. 75.75 days * 236 tons per day = 17,877 tons. 1.043 million tons / 17,877 = 58 battleships...But the force we are talking about is about 16 battleship equivelents, not 58.

    Second request: Post the backing calculations to your contention of 1.043 million tons for 30,000nm cruising. WHAT tables did you use and WHAT speed for each ship on those tables?



    Check #3: Given the power curve:

    14kt: 1
    18kt: 1.5
    24kt: 4
    30kt: 9


    If the force takes 126,000 tons to move 10,000nm at 14kt, then at these consumption ratios, the daily fuel burn is:

    14kt: 4,233 tons per day.
    18kt: 6,350 tons per day.
    24kt: 16,935 tons per day.

    For 10,080nm travelled:

    14kt for 15 days = 5,040nm = 63,508 tons
    18kt for 5 days = 2,160nm = 31,750 tons
    24kt for 5 days = 2,880nm = 84,677 tons
    Grand total = 179,935 tons for 10,080nm.

    For 30,000nm: 179,935*3 = 539,805 tons.

    So on Check #3 your estimate is still junk, by the factor of 2 that I told it was off by yesterday. OTOH, my estimate of 500,000 tons is once again validated as a good ballpark figure.
     

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