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Evolution of warfare without airpower.

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  • #46
    Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
    My experience suggests otherwise, but what does the evidence show?

    In another direction.
    When I first read this proposal it was first intriguing in terms of naval development. Certainly some naval leaders would continue to try refining the captiol ship in the battleship and battle cruiser. Anyone see any naval development that might offset that to any significant degree.

    In naval terms, torpedoes gets faster and longer range. I see that Japanese Long Lance torpedoes as a first generation of this type of weapon.

    Thus, with a longer range range torpedo, the battle line must move further away from each other. So I can see battleships firing large guns from over the horizon (not seeing each other), with target spotting done from destroyers/cruisers. The cruisers and destroyers would do battle to disrupt the other sides "eyes" or, if possible, do a torpedo attack on the battleline.

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    • #47
      Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
      Anyone see any naval development that might offset that to any significant degree.
      Well, submarines. In actual history, aerial recon and later aerial ASW proved to be murderous for subs.
      The WWII experience confirmed that subs were good for hunting slow merchantmen and convoys, less so to hunt warships. However, part of that depended on the fact that the subs were, most of the time, very slow, and that largely depended on the fact that WWII-era subs were faster when surfaced and slow when submerged. They would be submerged when closing in against a battleship, sure. But the presence of enemy aircraft, eventually, forced them to stay submerged for a much longer proportion of their cruises than was expected before the beginning of the war, including during strategic movement. Note that the spreading of the snorkel was essentially caused by the fact that staying surfaced was becoming too risky.

      But in this scenario there are no aircraft patrolling the seas beyond the battleships' horizon, and subs can make use of their higher speed, surfaced, as long as they aren't too close to the battleships. Not just under cover of darkness, but in daylight too.
      Michele

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      • #48
        Damm, missed the last couple posts here.

        I'm trying to remember the actual track record of submarines vs warships. I do remember that in 1942 Japans subs sank one US fleet carrier outright, finished off a damaged carrier, and sent the Saratoga to dry dock twice. One late model battleship was sent to the dockyard, and one (two?) cruisers were sunk. That actually compares favorablly with the results from the Japanese carriers other than at Pearl Harbor. In 1943 a submarine made the only sucessfull counter attack vs the US operation Galvanic when it sank the CVE Liscombe Bay, killing 800 crew. The planned surface & air counter attacks failed to even leave their bases.

        The Brits lost at least two battleships & a couple carriers to Axis submarines. How many were lost to air strikes or surface action?

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        • #49
          I may be party spoiler here, but I think even without any birds, flying insects and so on (assuming that humans or other intelligent mammals could evolve without flowering plants...) powered flight would be found. Especially if said intelligent civilisation could make projectile weapons, and after all missiles and so on. And then what is missile but powered flying vessel, and especially missile with in-flight controll ability? So airpower would be organic part of any warfare made by any civilisation in same technological level as our 20th century.

          So I think idea of 20th century technological level in planet with Earth's kind of atmosphere and gravity without airpower is just in realms fantasy...

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          • #50
            Cats are, well, not a bird of prey sub...

            Originally posted by Tiberius Duval View Post
            I may be party spoiler here, but I think even without any birds, flying insects and so on (assuming that humans or other intelligent mammals could evolve without flowering plants...) powered flight would be found. Especially if said intelligent civilisation could make projectile weapons, and after all missiles and so on. And then what is missile but powered flying vessel, and especially missile with in-flight controll ability? So airpower would be organic part of any warfare made by any civilisation in same technological level as our 20th century.

            So I think idea of 20th century technological level in planet with Earth's kind of atmosphere and gravity without airpower is just in realms fantasy...
            Without flying animals , other battle animals rise to the fore...
            Attached Files
            Last edited by marktwain; 12 Apr 14, 07:04. Reason: Next to Imperial Eagles and Ravens
            The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

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