1. Hey, Guest,

    Do you think you're halfway handy at making logo? If so, we want to hear from you. Please take a look at this thread to consider taking part in a design contest for our affiliated businesses.

    -The Directors

    Dismiss Notice

The Japanese get nuclear powered Battleships.

Discussion in 'History & Military Discussion' started by Louis Babycos, Dec 24, 2016.

  1. Louis Babycos

    Louis Babycos louisb Suspended

    Location:
    Usa
    By act of R.O.B. (RANDOM OMNIPOTENT BEING) all Japanese Battleships are nuclear powered and capable of sustained 35 knots.B y magic all crews know how to run the reactor. These nuke reactors cannot be removed and used in any other platforms nor are they able to be used for bomb building&or research. In a nutshell unlimited endurance at 35 knots.
     
  2. CV12Hornet

    CV12Hornet Riter.

    Location:
    Tacoma, Washington
    Still doesn't change anything. The US loses a few more ships and aircraft. Japan still loses the war.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Louis Babycos

    Louis Babycos louisb Suspended

    Location:
    Usa
    I know that much. What, if any options does this give the Japanese. How would they use it?
     
  4. $tormin

    $tormin A Jedi with a Crowbar

    Now that the battleships are not stuck in port because of lack of fuel would they get sunk even faster than OTL just because they are pushing out more?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Triggerhappy

    Triggerhappy Hard Knocks University

    Location:
    SoCal
    They could, potentially, position the battleships in novel ways thanks to a lack of fuel requirements. But I don't think it would make that much difference with American air power. Eventually they'd be spotted and the US would get over the WTF realization that the Japanese have battleships with effectively unlimited endurance at high speed. Then it would just be a matter of corralling and sinking them.

    Edit : I suppose when the Japanese get their nuke boats also matters. That might incite a gamble to sprint on Hawaii with the battleships in tandem with the air raid. They could also, potentially, load the Battleships down with Provisions and fuel to transfer to the carriers before the attacks begin.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2016
    • Like Like x 1
  6. 7734

    7734

    Location:
    Philmont
    Japan gets face stomped, still. Their main historical problem was not enough transport tonnage, and shortly after that, fuel. Add in that the main striking arm was the Kido Butai which is uneffected here, the Japanese fleet is going to get de-clawed fairly rapidly by events like the Marianas Turkey Shoot. The one advantage this does give the IJN is that it makes the older Fusou class slightly less shit, as they can now go fast without threatening to go boom. Hell, I'll throw Mutsu back in the cup, and even if the IJN gets it's dream all-of-us versus all-of-them Surface Units Only brawl, the lineup in the capital ship department would look like this.

    USN
    -Standards (Commisioned between 1916 and 1921)
    --Pensylvania, 12x 14in, 21kts
    --New Mexico, 12x 14in, 21kts
    --Mississippi, 12x 14in, 21kts
    --Idaho, 12x 14in, 21kts
    --Tennessee, 12x 14in, 21kts
    --California, 12x 14in, 21kts
    --Colorado, 8x16in, 21kts
    --Maryland, 8x16in, 21kts
    --West Virginia, 8x16in, 21kts
    --Washington, 8x16in, 21kts
    -Fast Battleships (Commissioned between 1941 and 1943)
    --North Carolina, 9x 16in/45, 28kts
    --Washington, 9x 16in/45, 28kts
    --South Dakota, 9x 16in/45, 27kts
    --Indiana, 9x 16in/45, 27kts
    --Massachusets, 9x 16in/45, 27kts
    --Alabama, 9x 16in/45, 27kts
    --Iowa, 9x 16in/50, 33kts
    --Missouri, 9x 16in/50, 33kts
    --New Jersey, 9x 16in/50, 33kts
    --Wisconsin, 9x 16in/50, 33kts

    FYI, that's a LOT of angry battleships. Note too that I distinguish the Fast Battleship guns with caliber notations, because the Iowa guns were a large improvements in earlier gunnery. Let's look at the IJN lineup.

    IJN
    -Battlecruisers/"Fast Battleships" (commisioned 1913, refit numerous times)
    --Hiei, 8x14in, 27.5 kts
    --Haruna, 8x14in, 27.5 kts
    --Kongou, 8x14in, 27.5 kts
    --Kirishima, 8x14in, 27.5 kts
    -Battleships (Commisioned 1915 through 1940)
    --Fusou, 12x 14in, 23kts
    --Ise, 12x14in, 23 kts
    --Hyuuga, 12x14in, 23 kts
    --Yamashiro, 12x14in, 23 kts
    --Nagato, 8x16in, 26.5 kts
    --Mutsu, 8x16in, 26.5 kts
    --Yamato, 9x18in, 27.5 kts
    --Musashi, 9x18in, 27.5 kts

    So, let's call that at 20 versus 13. Assume half the US ships are on Atlantic duty, which the IJN High Command did, and that goes down to 13 versus ten. Only problem is, see all those 21kts Standards? Yeah, there's a reason for that- a unified battle line. Aaaaalll the Standards set helms to Flank, and they aaallll stick together massing an absolute shitload of 14-inch guns together and the odd 16-inch on the Colorados. Versus a battle-line that could seperate easily by comlete accident, this is an excelent way to go down in peicmeal packets. Never mind the floating bricks of the Yamatos, the rest of the fleet would get smashed by the Standards, and even if the Yamatos could get the Standards shot up fast enough to silence their guns, then the Fast Battleship get in there and eat the big boy Yamatos alive. Remember something very important- the Japanese frequently sacrified efficency for scale.

    Now, as per your scenario, the IJN gets two things fixed. One, the SLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW which infected the fleet is gone. Kapoof. That doesn't change something important, though- gun range. In their late-war refits, all the USN battleships had bolt-on radar and/or integrated radar FCC. This makes them significantly more accurate, and more importantly it makes sure they open up the minute they have a good fire solution. Combined with the squishy nature of the Fusou-class and Ise-class, that's four ships that could get taken out relatively easily. If the captains decide to come into brawling range, then that strikes out the Kongou-class ships- they're originally battlescruisers, and are NOT built for brawling. Once the brawl is commenced, then things are going to get hairy. Yams and Musashi are going to be absolutely leathal against the Standards, but the catch is that the Fast Battleships do have the guns to punch through those massive belts. Before anyone calls bullshit, I'm going to point out said belts were made of Vickers Hardened Armor, the same stuff used on Kongou damn near thirty years prior. Now, when the USN tested against the stuff with one of Shiano's old turrets, the end result was that an inclined piece would be damn near impossible to destroy.

    Unfortunatly for them, Japanese belt armor is not inclined. Worse for them, the inclined belts of the South Dakotas, Iowas, and (I believe) Washingtons might be thinner, but it has decapping belts and is much better armor. I'm willing to bet in favor of American guns penetrating the Japanese about as often as the Japanese punching through American.

    Even then, there will be losses on both sides, at which point the Atlantic Fleet shows up and it's all over till the fat lady sings.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. DonBosco

    DonBosco Dread Lord of the Luddites

    Guadalcanal will likely be trickier or even delayed or a loss for the Allies, but the speed increase is only of tactical value (speed of the rest of the fleet is still limited) and I don't think there will be too much of a strategic effect other than Guadalcanal's naval battles. They'll still end up dying to submarine or air attack.
     
  8. Louis Babycos

    Louis Babycos louisb Suspended

    Location:
    Usa
    They get all their unlimited 35 knot battleships at the beginning of the ww2 . Your right air power still does rule but it would still give them awesome advantages in capital ship mobility.
     
  9. 7734

    7734

    Location:
    Philmont
    The main problem the Imperial Japanese Navy has isn't much mobility in this scenario, it's general ship quality. Specifically, a generally low ship quality. The Fusou- and Ise-class battleships are practically made out of squishy magazines courtesy of their six centerline turrets (and the fact their hull from is just BAD, which might make 35 knots sustained suicide as the ship destroys itself from the sheer energy getting slammed through the frame by ramming through that much water) while the Nagato-class historically had magazine issues; Mutsu blew up in port from a magazine detonation.

    There's a reason why I glossed over a battleship fight earlier- it was their strongest suit, and they would have STILL lost as they were caught with their pants around their ankles because they churned out crappy gear.

    Also, if you ever want to do something like this again, ship speed is a compromise between hull form and engine size. The Iowa-class was diffrent in two real respects from the South Dakota class, and that was in an aditional 50~ feet to get the length-beam ratio right to make 33 knots and some extra redundancy systems to get that speed up there and stay there. The reason the Kongou-class managed to squeeze any extra juice out of their refits was because they dropped a lot of weight and gained a lot of horsepower when they went to oil-fired boilers. This, combined with a naturally high-speed hull is what let them go fast.

    Let me remind you they still never got up to the 33kts of the Iowas. There's only so much a bigger engine can do, and without it you could get the props to spin fast enough to cavitate enough water to decrese lift under the stern, making the ship basically pop a wheelee.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. CV12Hornet

    CV12Hornet Riter.

    Location:
    Tacoma, Washington
    Actually, thinking about it, there is exactly one spot where this could make a difference: Guadalcanal. With unlimited fuel and high sprint speed, Japan has zero reason to not simply send Yamato and Musashi down the Slot every week to plaster Henderson Field, and there's going to be jack-all the US Navy can do to stop it. They simply don't have the night strike capabilities, nor the battleships, to stop those two.

    And if they can keep Henderson Field suppressed? Well, that dramatically eases their OTL logistical difficulties, and gives them a far better shot at actually putting boots on the airfield. A lot of the battles on Guadalcanal were damn close-run things as it is.

    And yes, Japan did want to send Yamato and Musashi to bombard Henderson Field, but doctrine and the fuel situation precluded it. Hell, even if they don't send those two, they could haul the Fuso and Ise classes out of the Inland Sea for the job. They're certainly more survivable against what the Americans threw at the bombardment forces.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. ussnimitz1968

    ussnimitz1968 Not an Actual Servicemember

    Ok, so there end up being a lot of radioactive wrecks on the Pacific sea floor.

    Yes, the Japanese certainly had logistic issues, but giving their battleships specifically nuclear reactors that can't be removed is a very bizarre and oblique solution to this, especially when fuel for their aircraft carriers, the aircraft they carried and skilled pilots to fly those aircraft off those carriers would be more important - not to mention food and ammo for their troops fighting on the islands, which while often overlooked is even more critical than enough fuel for elite carrier air wings (this is why the Tokyo Express was a huge deal worth sacrificing cruiser after cruiser over).

    Nor does this really express the specific vulnerabilities of their battleships - exceptionally poor AA protection and in at least some cases some apparent questionable torpedo protection schemes (odd for a navy that considered the torpedo to potentially be a major tactical-tipping weapon). Having unlimited range is great, but only if it helps a weapons system that's actually tactically or strategically useful. You'd figure the architects of Pearl Harbor would conclude that the tactical and especially strategic usefulness of battleships was seriously on the wane, at the very least. The strategic usefulness specifically of aircraft carriers is almost bar-none, which is why the current USN makes such a huge deal of its nuclear supercarrier fleet.
     
  12. Zhang

    Zhang

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I must disagree with you on the Nagato-class in general. It is widely accepted that the Fusou/Ise classes sucked, but apart from Mutsu's unfortunate... accident, Nagato herself performed quite admirably and was considered an acceptable/good design. 50% magazine detonation rate is not a indication of magazine issues if there are only two samples - if Musashi had suffered sabotage or an accidental fire in port, we would not consider the Yamatos to have bad magazines - Mutsu was just bad luck.

    To continue this thread's trend of bashing the IJN for being atrocious, the IJN lacked the ability to aim/fire and maneuver simultaneously, a major disadvantage against the fast USN BBs which could pull drastic maneuvers while maintaining full ROF and accuracy. Assuming the whole IJN battle line could make 35 KT, they would have difficulty accurately aiming, and if moving obliquely enough their awful turret traverse rates would mean even keeping the turrets trained would be immensely difficult. Also funnily enough, the 2nd place ships armor wise (as in raw citadel immune zones, as the decapping plate debate continues) would be the Standards, which pack incredible thicknesses beaten only by the elephantine Yamatos. Old /= weak!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Spectre

    Spectre

    Location:
    New york
    Well not Jack-all theres still the issue of Submarines and PT boats that played absolute hell with the IJN in that campaign.
     
  14. CV12Hornet

    CV12Hornet Riter.

    Location:
    Tacoma, Washington
    PT boats are a nuisance, and IIRC submarines were in position to interdict the Express a grand total of once. They're factors, but there's little reason to think they do much to stop the battleships.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  15. Whiskey Golf

    Whiskey Golf Being of Editing & Technical Assistance Councillor

    Location:
    Chained to my desk
    Surigao Strait can be summed up as "PT boats try to sink enemy ships and do jack all, then the DDs show up and shit gets real, and the BBs mop up."
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017 at 3:03 AM
  16. Fair Letters

    Fair Letters

    Location:
    Home
    Couldn't they now go bombard the west coast of CONUS?
     
  17. Whiskey Golf

    Whiskey Golf Being of Editing & Technical Assistance Councillor

    Location:
    Chained to my desk
    Sure, but that's not really going to help Japan much. So you send all your BBs to do shore bombardment on west CONUS; that lets the USN have a freer hand in the Pacific since none of these BBs are there to oppose any of the landings.
     
  18. ussnimitz1968

    ussnimitz1968 Not an Actual Servicemember

    I'm not sarcastically suppositioning a preconceived conclusion here, just to be clear, but it does suggest that there's a minimum size for a combat vessel to truly be effective (at least for fleet actions, even in the littorals).

    Sure but they risk getting WTF PWNED by a massive amount of air power, even if they came steaming up and down the West Coast with as much air power as the IJN can muster of their own. In terms of raw fuel and range there was nothing preventing them from doing this in the OTL, and there are stories of IJN submarines bombarding the West Coast. It's just that the IJN knew any artillery-based bombardment of the West Coast would be met with potentially incredible counter-battery fire and, again, massive air power at least by sheer volume even if the aircraft stationed on the West Coast wasn't exactly the latest types used on the front line anymore. Even a Pearl Harbor style air attack could potentially be met with enough counter-air power to make the losses devastating to the IJN for relatively little in return. It'd be like if the Doolittle Raid successfully resulted in the bombing of Tokyo as in the OTL, but in exchange for the entire carrier force the USN had left being sunk.
     
  19. Fair Letters

    Fair Letters

    Location:
    Home
    @ussnimitz1968 : Couldn't they just attack where the artillary isn't? The US can't protect every port and city with enough artillary to take on a battleship or two.
     
  20. CV12Hornet

    CV12Hornet Riter.

    Location:
    Tacoma, Washington
    The artillery is where all the important things are. Keep in mind that there were pretty much four cities on the West Coast that mattered at all: San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Bremerton/Seattle, and any smart commander is going to avoid the confined Puget Sound like the plague.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  21. Fair Letters

    Fair Letters

    Location:
    Home
    How much artillary did they have protecting those areas?
     
  22. Yes but any target bombarding hitting would be likely guarded by multiple coastal batteries and forts placed if possible in a way to create kill zones where enemy ships would come under fire from multiple batteries if they try to come close enough to shore to bombard a port.

    From what I understand US harbors were guarded by 14 inch guns that were later replaced by 16 inch guns in the later war years, also a variety of guns ranging from 3 inches to 10 inch naval guns and mortars were also deployed in the coastal forts and batteries. The fixed coastal defenses were designed to defend against naval attack but were vulnerable to air attack which led to them being scrapped in favor of other defenses after world war II though it should be noted that an example of US coastal defenses was Fort Drum in the Philippines was the last US outpost to surrender to the japanese after everything else had fallen.

    The japanese bombardment until surrender was apparently largely ineffectual against the fort largely failing to silence its guns or damage the fort, the guns were then destroyed by the defenders after they were ordered to surrender and it was apparently the last site in Malia to be retaken after the Americans dumped a mixture of two parts diesel and one part gasoline into the air vents and ignited the mixture with a timed fuse leading to a fire that burned though the fort for several days and left it unable to be examined for 14 days.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  23. Tasrill

    Tasrill SB's Tasselhoff

    If you really want to send your BBs against shore batteries then the best target would be the panama canal and not any of the important west coast sites. Knocking the canal out for a few months or longer would do a lot to stretch the allies supply lines.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  24. Of course that would likely mean going in the face of what was considered some of the most powerful and effective coastal defenses in the world at the time which would also have air support, the US was fully aware how many issues it would have if the canal was damaged and had heavily fortified both sides of the canal against attack.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  25. ussnimitz1968

    ussnimitz1968 Not an Actual Servicemember

    Well, to kind of elaborate on what @CV12Hornet said, the US can and did protect every major port city worth attacking with enough artillery to at least put a serious hurt on a battleship. Remember, this is the same country that put out something like 24 Essex-class carriers alone while Japan struggled to put out four or six or so after Midway, and that's counting battleships and even ocean liner conversions (that were originally designed to be a mobile aircraft repair depot - yes I am talking about Shinano - and only good enough to be rated as escort carriers, respectively). There'd be no issue spreading out two or three battleship's worth of main rifles across a number of port cities and using the terrain and topography to protect them better than how an actual battleship can. And unless they bring along respectable carrier support they'd also have to contend with spotting aircraft and at least light bombers. With the Americans now on high alert and with an extensive early warning network (even consisting of civilian volunteers with nothing more than binoculars or even their naked eyes and ears) even second-line bombers and fighters like P-40s, older B-25s and the many bomber variants of high-speed Lockheed twin transports could put a serious hurt on an undersized carrier force. It would be a difficult proposition for the IJN with not a lot of actual strategic value.

    Now, launching Pearl Harbor style bomber attacks onto actual strategic targets (like the many aircraft factories, fuel/oil storage depots or shipyards along the coast) is another story and that was very much a fear at that time. They would be defended by again at least a respectable second-line fighter force like P-40s or older P-51s and such as well as an extensive AA battery. Most of the M1/M2 90mm fixed anti-aircraft batteries the US Army deployed were along the West Coast and Hawaii (and at least theoretically, those can be stocked with AP/anti-tank ammo to help deal with battleships or other surface craft for coastal batteries when that ammo became available later in the war as well).

    And yes, the Panama Canal was extremely well defended. Most of the Japanese plans later in the war concerned launching bombers out of submarines, hence the I-400 series. Early or pre-war plans might've featured a Midway-scale battle to deal with any defending assets and destroy or outright conquer the canal system.
     
I just write Internal Ad System Story