Hot answers tagged

180

So I want to know, did the Japanese Navy have the ability to destroy it in a surprise attack, let's say on 1941 Dec 7? I'm asking if the Japanese Navy had the ability. I'm not asking if it was a viable strategy or sound war plan. Well, you're getting both. :) Evaluating it as a war plan is WAY more interesting. Yes, but... It would be fixed in six months. ...


117

In age-of-sail fleet actions, the primary use of frigates (and smaller vessels) was to relay messages (usually in the form of flag signals) between the flagships and the rest of the fleet. They usually set themselves some distance from the main 'line' of battle where they could see and be seen by the ships of the line. A secondary purpose was to act as tugs ...


109

The English Channel is too shallow in many places to be safe for U-Boats. The operating depth for the Type VII submarine was up to 230 meters, while the English Channel is only 45 meters deep in many places. In a confined channel such as this a U-Boat's only defence against air and surface attack is to dive quickly, to an unpredictable (but deep) depth. ...


108

SHORT ANSWER The short answer is that this was considered by the British to be the simplest and most economical way of disposing of the German U-boat fleet. The decision to sink the U-boats rather than salvage or divide them up among the ‘Big Three’ (the UK, the US, the Soviet Union) was part of the Potsdam Agreement (August 1945). It was agreed that the ...


84

The Germans wanted to send more, but there were none available. Most were unsuitable to escort Bismarck. Those which were suitable were damaged. A good warship for commerce raiding is fast, both to catch enemy ships and run from warships, fuel efficient to keep at sea for as long as possible, and carries heavy armament to rapidly sink enemy ships from ...


71

Xenophon in his Hellenica (an account of the last yearsof the Peloponessian War and its aftermath) mentions several named ships, for example, "Paralus" and "Salaminia". Thus, we can infer that at least some of Greek ships were named in IV century BC, and maybe earlier. Also, Homer in his Iliad, which is dated to 8th century BC, does not give any names for ...


63

That's a good question. As far as we know, most ancient voyages didn't venture that far from land. Ships like the Bronze Age Uluburun and Cape Gelidonya shipwrcks are thought to have been coastal traders. They simply plied their trade around the coast of the Mediterranean, probably never getting far out of sight from the shore. This would mean that they ...


62

tl;dr Sea control is good. Sea denial is not that much worse. Sinking an enemy ship at the cost of significant damage to your own is less desirable than keeping your enemy holed up in port (where his ships do little to no harm and your own ships stay undamaged). As basically all naval strategy questions, this one puts too much emphasis on "defeating ...


59

I think that N.A.M Rodger covers this quite well in chapter 27 of his book "The Command of the Ocean". It was for long an article of faith among naval historians that eighteenth century British warships were inferior to their French and Spanish opponents, because British shipwrights remained wedded to craft traditions while their continental rivals were ...


59

The autobiography of Ahmose, son of Abana, a Egyptian soldier in the early Eighteenth Dynasty (1550-1600 BC), mentions the names of a few the ships he was on. "Wild Bull", "Northern" and "Rising in Memphis" according to this translation


58

I think a key part of this is whether the President's captain intentionally faked the initial surrender. Since Decatur could not know the exact condition of the Endymion but was well aware of the condition of his own vessel (and the increasing proximity of the rest of the British squadron), I think he genuinely intended to surrender his ship. Once he saw ...


57

Also, correct me if I'm wrong but the heavy AA guns appear like they can't point down over the deck. They can only point upwards or parallel to the surface, but not down at the surface. This assumption is wrong. The US Mark 12 5"/38 caliber dual purpose (surface and aircraft) mount was the primary heavy AA armament facing kamikazes. It was mounted on ...


57

The exclusion zone mentioned in the article is described in the Wikipedia article as follows: The Total Exclusion Zone (TEZ) was an area declared by the United Kingdom on 30 April 1982 covering a circle of radius 200 nautical miles (370 km; 230 mi) from the centre of the Falkland Islands. During the Falklands War any sea vessel or aircraft from any country ...


56

Long ago, in 16 century they used open fire in fair weather (with all possible precautions) on the deck to cook (ref. Morison, Admiral of the Ocean Sea). When the sea was rough, only cold food could be served. Later they used galleys of higher and higher sophistication, but still mostly in the good weather. There was no other way to heat oneself, except ...


54

In addition to the other answers, WWII submarines were primarily surface vessels which could submerge for combat. They had very limited speed, visibility, and battery range underwater. The batteries took a long time to recharge, and they had to be on the surface for it. Limited visibility made it difficult to spot their prey. Limited speed limited their ...


52

Mistaking the Sims for a cruiser is easy: a Sims-class destroyer has the same number of turrets (3) as the majority of American cruisers, while most American destroyers of the time had two, four, or five turrets. Without anything to provide a sense of scale, it's easy to mistake one for the other, particularly if you're not getting close enough to count the ...


51

Europeans had an incentive to explore the Atlantic because they were dependent on the trade routes which pass through Arab territory. The Arabs and other peoples living in the Middle East made a lot of profit selling luxury goods to Europeans, so cutting out the middle man was very desirable. The Atlantic has currents that make it easier to traverse. Note ...


48

From lateen sail history we note that the first known type of fore-and-aft rig capable of working upwind is the spritsail: The earliest fore-and-aft rig was the spritsail, appearing in the 2nd century BC in the Aegean Sea on small Greek craft. The lateen sail originated somewhat later during the Roman empire in the Mediterranean Sea. As the efficiency of ...


47

The options that submarines had were, in practice, limited to sinking Allied shipping and leaving the area as quickly as possible to avoid detection. U-boats had a disadvantage compared to destroyers (not to mention airplanes) when it came to speed, especially when submerged. They were also poorly equipped to fight surface warships as their deck guns were no ...


46

Analysts concluded that battleships were killed by carrier aircraft, not by other battleships. This conclusion might have been influenced by several factors: The US became the clear naval winner when the industrial potential was mobilizied. The US had lost her battleships early on, fighting with her surviving carriers instead. The Japanese and German ...


45

USA was outnumbered or outgunned only during the first year of war. After that they always had naval supremacy. While the number of ships was similar most battles were mostly ties (except for Midway). But once USA got material supremacy, they always had advantage (and the opposite is true as well). Even without the Midway battle USA would have won by brute ...


45

Battleships were built to engage at range. Even at that time, the rangefinding gear was fairly extensive. Concerning the HMS Barham, one of the ships in the engagement: Barham was completed with two fire-control directors fitted with 15-foot (4.6 m) rangefinders. One was mounted above the conning tower, protected by an armoured hood, and the other ...


43

Yes, the bit in Master and Commander was based upon the real life action between the 14-gun H.M.B Speedy and a Spanish 32-gun Xebec-frigate named El Gamo in 1801. The British commander, Lord Thomas Cochrane, pulled off a series of bluffs to allow his ship to get along side. The Spanish captain was supposedly killed by the first broadside fired by the Speedy ...


43

The idea of naming ships goes back several thousand years but, unsurprisingly, there is very little evidence from the earliest days of sailing. EGYPT Possibly the earliest evidence of an individual ship name is the vessel Praise of the Two Lands, a large Egyptian vessel made of cedar wood, built ca. 2680 B.C. Source: Anita Schybergson, 'Cognitive Systems ...


42

Before we get to the numbers it is important to state that the US Navy is really far and away the most capable blue-water navy in the world. The US Navy can project power over the entire planet. I'm not sure why you assert to the contrary in your question. Let's start with the US Navy force size from 1917-1923: TOTAL ACTIVE SHIPS: 342, 774, 752, 567, 384 ...


42

The creation and expansion of European empires during the Age of Discovery resulted in the expansion of trade routes to new colonies and trading posts across the world. The vast areas of these trade routes were far larger than the new empires' navies could effectively police, which meant that merchant vessels moving along them were essentially responsible ...


40

That photo is of the HMS Liberty, retouched to remove identifying information. This Google image search1 finds images identified as both HMS Lysander and HMS Liberty.2 Looking at those two pages, they're the same photo, but with retouching to remove the flags, land, and ship's numbers: Looking closely at your photo, the area where the ship's numbers would ...


40

The US Navy certainly had ocean-going tugs during the Second World War. One example you mentioned was the Navajo-class, or Cherokee-class ocean-going fleet tugs (ATF), another were the Abnaki-class fleet tugs. These vessels should not be confused with harbour tugs which perform a completely different function. There are a number of sites that list US ...


36

Basically three options: 1. Ramp or gangway: The easiest and most preferable way. Might require specialised or retrofitted ships: (extreme left, vertically centered, click to enlarge) (Ottomans conquering the Limassol Castle, between 1571 and 1581 Source Şehname-i Selim Han, Istanbul, ca. 1571–81, Topkapı Palace Museum Library, A. 3595, fol. 102b.) "...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible