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Alternate end for Yamato

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  • Alternate end for Yamato

    We all know that the Yamato was sank by US carrier aircraft while on a mission to Okinawa.

    However when the Yamato was decked Admiral Spruance ordered Task force 54, mostly consisting of standard class battleships to intercept. In real life Mitscher prempted Spruance by launching air strikes from his Task force 58 carriers. If the Yamato had survived the air strikes then there were 6 modern US battleships waiting with TF 58.

    But what if it had been left with Spruance's original plan and only Tf 54 had intercepted?

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okin...der_of_battle#

    There were 10 standard class battleships in TF 54. Doubtless they would have been sufficient but what sort of losses would the US have incurred in sinking the Yamato? Would the mostly 14" gunned battleships have been able to penetrate Yamato's armour?





    "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

  • #2
    It'd look like Surigao Straight. The US BB knowing full well where Yamato was approaching from would form up into line of battle capping the poor Japanese ship's T. They'd begin readying to fire when their Mk 3 and Mk 8 FC radars locked onto Yamato at somewhere between 40 and 60,000 yards, while the ship was still over the horizon and out of visual range.
    Likely, Mitscher, Lee, or whoever was running the show would hold fire until about 25,000 to 30,000 yards to ensure first salvo hits.

    From there, the US battleships pummel the Yamato into wreckage, likely not taking a single hit in return.

    It wouldn't matter one iota if the battleships were 14" or 16" gunned. They'd wreck the fire control and directors of the Yamato in short order. That'd be followed by trashing everything outside the armored citadel and starting fires all over the ship. Since once the main fire control goes down Yamato would be in a CHS (Can't Hit $h!+) state so return fire is inaccurate and almost ignorable.

    At some point, all three main turrets would suffer hits such that they're put out of action. Doesn't matter if they're fully penetrated, just jamming them in place would work (happened fairly frequently in WW 2 battleship actions actually) or are partially penetrated such that the inside is sprayed with hot splinters igniting powder and killing most or all of the turret crew.

    The secondary battery would be demolished.

    Now, the listing, burning hulk would get a final treatment from destroyers that close with it and torpedo the out of the ship sending it to the bottom.

    At least the USN wouldn't machinegun the survivors...

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    • #3
      Wasn't sending all those plane to get that battleship irresponsible, if there were ten of ours ready to stop it?

      If I were in Tokyo, I would have timed it so that about 1,000 Kamikazes were headed for the Carriers when their planes were miles away chasing Yamato.
      They didn't, and I can't see why it didn't happen like that.

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      • #4
        It didn't happen like that because it couldn't. Such coordination is only seen in Hollywood movies. There would be no way to know when throughout the day the USN planes would be engaged with Yamato. IIRC, most kamikaze attacks were conducted in dribs and drabs and only rarely in massed efforts.
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        • #5
          Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
          It'd look like Surigao Straight. The US BB knowing full well where Yamato was approaching from would form up into line of battle capping the poor Japanese ship's T. They'd begin readying to fire when their Mk 3 and Mk 8 FC radars locked onto Yamato at somewhere between 40 and 60,000 yards, while the ship was still over the horizon and out of visual range.
          Likely, Mitscher, Lee, or whoever was running the show would hold fire until about 25,000 to 30,000 yards to ensure first salvo hits.

          From there, the US battleships pummel the Yamato into wreckage, likely not taking a single hit in return.

          It wouldn't matter one iota if the battleships were 14" or 16" gunned. They'd wreck the fire control and directors of the Yamato in short order. That'd be followed by trashing everything outside the armored citadel and starting fires all over the ship. Since once the main fire control goes down Yamato would be in a CHS (Can't Hit $h!+) state so return fire is inaccurate and almost ignorable.

          At some point, all three main turrets would suffer hits such that they're put out of action. Doesn't matter if they're fully penetrated, just jamming them in place would work (happened fairly frequently in WW 2 battleship actions actually) or are partially penetrated such that the inside is sprayed with hot splinters igniting powder and killing most or all of the turret crew.

          The secondary battery would be demolished.

          Now, the listing, burning hulk would get a final treatment from destroyers that close with it and torpedo the out of the ship sending it to the bottom.

          At least the USN wouldn't machinegun the survivors...
          So it would have been more efficient to sink the Yamato with battleships rather than aircraft. I think 10 planes were lost in real life.
          "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Herman Hum View Post
            It didn't happen like that because it couldn't. Such coordination is only seen in Hollywood movies. There would be no way to know when throughout the day the USN planes would be engaged with Yamato. IIRC, most kamikaze attacks were conducted in dribs and drabs and only rarely in massed efforts.
            Bullcrap. You sir, just have not watched enough movies to know that it cannot happen.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by Herman Hum View Post
              It didn't happen like that because it couldn't. Such coordination is only seen in Hollywood movies. There would be no way to know when throughout the day the USN planes would be engaged with Yamato. IIRC, most kamikaze attacks were conducted in dribs and drabs and only rarely in massed efforts.
              And, in any case, did the Japanese know where the carriers were?
              Michele

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Michele View Post
                And, in any case, did the Japanese know where the carriers were?
                Of course, not. Most of the surviving pilots at that time were of very low levels of experience and aptitude. Yet some would think that they could pull off a Japanese version of Midway and catch the American carriers with decks loaded with aircraft awaiting launch. This is pure fantasy and even Hollywood would not dream of this foolishness. Neither Ben Affleck nor Josh Hartnett could carry out this scenario.
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Surrey View Post
                  So it would have been more efficient to sink the Yamato with battleships rather than aircraft. I think 10 planes were lost in real life.
                  Not at all. For the same (potential) material loss, the exposure of aircraft in lieu of a capital ship is far, Far, FAR more profitable. Given the years required to replace any sunk battleship, an entire airgroup can be resurrected, re-equipped, and re-trained in far less time. For the same time, effort, and materials required to re-build a new battleship, several carrier groups can be constructed.

                  Although the USN battleships would eventually have overcome the Yamato, one need only to look at the HMS Hood to see that the enemy can also get some lucky hits.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Herman Hum View Post
                    Not at all. For the same (potential) material loss, the exposure of aircraft in lieu of a capital ship is far, Far, FAR more profitable. Given the years required to replace any sunk battleship, an entire airgroup can be resurrected, re-equipped, and re-trained in far less time. For the same time, effort, and materials required to re-build a new battleship, several carrier groups can be constructed.

                    Although the USN battleships would eventually have overcome the Yamato, one need only to look at the HMS Hood to see that the enemy can also get some lucky hits.
                    The US battleships were all old and were never going to be replaced. So replacement cost is irrelevant. Given the number of battleships available at that point I am not even sure re an elderly battleship would be missed.

                    Anyway as per above due to the US battleships radar the Yamato would be hit by a storm of heavy shells and rapidly rendered incapable of resistance.
                    Look what happened to Bismarck when faced by KGV and Rodney. She was combat incapable in minutes against just two ships. Against 10, say 90 or so heavy tubes, Yamato may not even get the range before her fire control is out.
                    "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

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                    • #11
                      All of the comparison is for naught in the face of fortune. Unexpected squalls can hide ships until they are within point-blank range. Think of the many other battles and encounters whereby much smaller ships managed to inflict serious damage to supposedly superior opponents. i.e. destroyers, raiders, and gunboats charging cruisers, battlecruisers, and battleships. Battleships were still useful assets, especially in amphibious operations, AA support, and surface gunnery.

                      To cavalierly write off the lives of thousands of crewmen aboard a BB is just callous. Unnecessarily risking a capital ship while aircraft are available to destroy the enemy outside his effective counterfire range would be a gross dereliction of duty.

                      Slinging a sniper rifle so that the enemy can be killed in a fist or knife fight might make for a good movie, but is not a prudent tactic.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Herman Hum View Post
                        All of the comparison is for naught in the face of fortune. Unexpected squalls can hide ships until they are within point-blank range. Think of the many other battles and encounters whereby much smaller ships managed to inflict serious damage to supposedly superior opponents. i.e. destroyers, raiders, and gunboats charging cruisers, battlecruisers, and battleships. Battleships were still useful assets, especially in amphibious operations, AA support, and surface gunnery.

                        To cavalierly write off the lives of thousands of crewmen aboard a BB is just callous. Unnecessarily risking a capital ship while aircraft are available to destroy the enemy outside his effective counterfire range would be a gross dereliction of duty.

                        Slinging a sniper rifle so that the enemy can be killed in a fist or knife fight might make for a good movie, but is not a prudent tactic.
                        It wouldn't have helped Surigao Straight took place at night. Weather wouldn't have much, if any, effect on radar fire control. It might have spared Yamato from an air attack but it wouldn't spare the ship from a pounding by US battleships and cruisers.

                        At Surigao Straight the US BB opened up on Yamashiro and hit her repeatedly in their first salvos. They then turned the ship into a floating wreck in a matter of minutes. The USS Mississippi had the honor of being the last battleship to fire on a battleship in combat in history.

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                        • #13
                          Yep Yamato should of fought it out at Samar With my great hindsight I say.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Phaing View Post
                            Wasn't sending all those plane to get that battleship irresponsible, if there were ten of ours ready to stop it?

                            If I were in Tokyo, I would have timed it so that about 1,000 Kamikazes were headed for the Carriers when their planes were miles away chasing Yamato.
                            They didn't, and I can't see why it didn't happen like that.
                            Losing just one battleship and crew far outweighs only losing a few aircraft and pilots.
                            Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Herman Hum View Post
                              Not at all. For the same (potential) material loss, the exposure of aircraft in lieu of a capital ship is far, Far, FAR more profitable. Given the years required to replace any sunk battleship, an entire airgroup can be resurrected, re-equipped, and re-trained in far less time. For the same time, effort, and materials required to re-build a new battleship, several carrier groups can be constructed.

                              Although the USN battleships would eventually have overcome the Yamato, one need only to look at the HMS Hood to see that the enemy can also get some lucky hits.
                              Yamato had a substantial speed advantage over the twenty plus year old American battle line. the |american line was set up for approx. 21 knots.
                              In open water she could have evaded all except the Iowa class ( four new BB's)- assuming she had enough fuel....
                              The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

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