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Registered User
Posts: 97
(4/14/01 2:47:41 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del All battleships
Dredging up your list of potential controversies, Polish, I find #5: battleships more important than carriers.

Who (maybe me) would defend battleship use in WWII?

I know offhand (okay, onhand there might be more) of FOUR battleship-battleship encounters:

1940: British against French at Oran. winner: Germany.
1941: Hood and Prince of Wales against Bismarck. winner: Germany.
1942: Washington and South Dakota against whichever Hiei class battleship was left. winner: us.
1944: Minor portion of Leyte Gulf, five of our recontructed dreadnoughts against Huso and Yamashiro. winner: us.

Carrier to carrier conflict, on the other hand, was both more frequent and more decisive.

What are you trying to do here, provoke people? That's often MY goal.

Posts: 145
(4/14/01 5:09:19 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: battleships
Well, the American Battlewagons did provide very useful shore bombardment service during the island-hopping campaign in the Pacific. Those 16" naval rifles could throw a 2000 lb. projectile 18 miles and put it in your pocket (maybe just a little exaggeration....but they were very accurate).

I had the opportunity to see that accuracy firsthand. I served on a Fleet Oiler in the Med in the '50's.....were bound for Barcelona for a liberty weekend and were diverted (for a couple of hours) to spot shell-fall for the U.S.S. Wisconsin.

The target was a 12 X 12 floating sled with a radar target on it. The Whiskey was over the horizon.....about 15-16 miles away. One salvo over, one salvo under, and six consecutive brackets of the target (the object was to bracket the target, not to hit it)......amazing!

We fueled the Whiskey a number of times. Head-on, she was fat and ugly, but in profile, those Iowa class BB's were sure beautiful.

Posts: 128
(4/14/01 5:23:40 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: battleships
Remember years and years ago, the USS Missouri made a PR call on St. Luis - became mired in the Mississippi mud and couldn't move. Had the public offering suggestions on how to become unstuck and some small kid suggested firing all the guns in one direction and blowing herself out into the channel. Strange thing, it was actually considered! Cooler heads prevailed, the ship was lighter unloaded, floated and steered down river.
Often wondered where those shells would have impacted!
Keep off the Ridgeline!!

Senior Chief Moderator Staff
Posts: 286
(4/14/01 6:21:58 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: battleships
Actually you're forgetting a few British/Italian confrontations in the Med., and the Scharnhorst against the Archangel convoys that got intercepted by a Brit BB.

And the Pearl Harbor veterans in Surigao Strait, was a CLASSIC crossing of the T. If Halsey WOULD have detached the fast BBs to guard San Bernardino Strait like he should have and SAID he would, we would have seen New Jersey class against Yamato... "The World Wonders..."

There were only 5 carrier v. carrier battles, and like 8 BB v. BB. ones.

I'm not dumping on carriers, but the BBs were invaluable as well.

If the Army would have listened to the Navy/Marines, they would have been much more effective at Normandy too...but that's another topic altogether.

Edited by: polishshooter at: 4/14/01 7:57:42 pm

Senior Chief Moderator Staff
Posts: 287
(4/14/01 6:54:17 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: battleships
And another thing, not ONE BB was sunk in unrestricted waters by aircraft during WWII. Every one sunk was either at anchor, or in shallow waters where maneuverability was limited.

EVERY BB attacked by aircraft on the High Seas with full available maneuverability, survived relatively unscathed, just like the "Old fashioned" BB admirals SAID they would...the aircraft did NOT supercede the BB, they just got too expensive to man and maintain...and to lose, so no one REALLY wanted to commit theirs to battle where they might actually lose them.

Heavy Cruisers actually saw more capital ship vs. capital ship combat than any other type.

(The Prince of Wales was in restricted, shallow waters, unable to fully maneuver...)

Posts: 147
(4/14/01 7:17:40 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: battleships
How about the Yamato?

Posts: 132
(4/14/01 10:30:22 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: battleships
Naw, "X" -
The Yamoto ran outa fuel heading for Okinawa and turned turtle when the fuel tanks ran dry - you don't think those naval aviators could hit something that size, do you?
Keep off the Ridgeline!!

Registered User
Posts: 98
(4/15/01 1:21:33 am)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: battleships
Holy cow, to quote Harry Caray (not either actor but a former Cubs announcer). Mea maxima culpa. I admit I was trying to provoke arguments but imagined that if there were any, I would be in the reverse position, defending the superdreads. My research, therefore, was limited to polling the top of my head, as is this. My replies may be muddled ie, assaults on the wrong poster, since I can't access everyone while writing and chewing gum.

Xracer: The Iowas were splendid ships and very useful both in bombardment and in anti-aircraft defense, but they never faced other BBs. If they had gone up against the Yamatos (the two that were completed as BBs), the issue would have been at least in doubt. Those 18" guns could throw a ton and a half of shell about 25 miles.

Kdubya: I know you're just funning about the Yamato; no intercepts from either her or Musashi say "send us more Helldivers". It's hard to believe that anybody would try to run a BB with a 38' draft up the Mississippi unless the final destination was Museumhood.

Polish: There really should have been confrontations between those beautiful Italian BBs and the Brits; I know some were hurt at Taranto and Cape Matapan; just don't recall the British forces involved (error gladly recognized when shown). It does seem you're trying to make CAs into capital ships, and that is clearly immoral. Whether I grant that status to Scharnhorst (a type equivalent to Dunquerque and Alaska classes) will depend on my mood.

"Unrestricted waters" seems like a copout. Both the above-mentioned Japanese ships had freedom of movement. And why were POW and Repulse handicapped by anything more than air cover consisting of Brewster Buffaloes that didn't get there? Would point out that the closest anyone came to a reverse situation was yet another portion of Leyte Gulf, but those were hardly real carriers and anyhow saved by the heroic intervention -- no humor here -- of a handful of DDs and DEs.

As for frequency of encounter, well, since the Italians didn't have carriers, and the Deutschland never got around to carrying an airplane, these were perforce limited to the Pacific. What are your five? Let's see: Langley (not really a carrier at the time, and I don't recall where the Japanese planes came from, but CV1), Coral Sea, Midway, Eastern Solomons, Santa Cruz, Philippine Sea, Leyte Gulf. That's six (maybe seven). But pure numbers don't equal significance, anyhow.

The fragility of my research invites rebuttal, as do I.

Posts: 148
(4/16/01 8:31:21 am)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: battleships
Kdubya......a close friend's uncle was the pilot of one of the three SB-Duceys from VB-82 on the Bennington that first made contact with the Yamato....and the first planes that dived on the ship.

"At about 1 pm, soon after the first US strike force completed its helter - skelter attack, a second wave
of 167 planes arrived over the Japanese ships. The pilots found that the Yamoto's radio - jamming
equipment had been silenced, and they were able to coordinate their attacks by voice communication.
By 2 pm, when their attacks ended, they had hit the Yamoto with five torpedoes, leaving a battered

The assault was continued without interruption by a third carrier strike force of 106 planes. An air group
from the Intrepid slammed at least eight bombs and one torpedo into the Yamoto. As the torpedo
bombers from the Yorktown started their run, the battleship was listing heavily to port, exposing her
vulnerable underbelly.

"Hit her in the belly-now!" yelled the leader of the Yorktown planes. Four more torpedoes blasted the
Yamoto's bottom. The great battleship was wracked by a series of internal explosions. She capsized
and began to go under."

Must be that the fuel leaked out of all those holes the Naval Aviators put in her.

My friend's uncle, Ensign Jack Carl Fuller, USN, was awarded the Silver Star.....posthumously.

Posts: 656
(4/16/01 8:58:38 am)
Reply | Edit | Del
Re: battleships
Good stories folks!

The Firearms Forum Vietnam Memories Bulletin Board Contact Administrator

Registered User
Posts: 100
(4/16/01 12:06:37 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: battleships
By this stage of the war there could have been no one on Yamato capable of believing that she could cope with a sustained air attack. Even had she survived, the "plan" was to beach her on Okinawa, then somehow assist in the defense.

Senior Chief Moderator Staff
Posts: 288
(4/18/01 9:01:37 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: battleships
Yeah, it was called the Last Sortie before she sailed, a Kamikaze mission.

The Brits and Italians had one halfhearted encounter when Cunningham intercepted the Italian Fleet off Crete, it was really a "chase" as the Italians turned tail when they recognised Brit BBs on the Horizon.

Leyte does NOT classify as a carrier v. carrier battle. The Jap carriers along with the Chitose and Chiyoda converted "hybrids" were devoid of planes, and were only meant to serve as a decoy to Halsey to bring him North and leave San Bernandino unguarded.

It worked. If only he WOULD have detached the BBs from TF 34 like he said he would, and Nimitz and Kincaid thought he had, we would have seen their effectiveness.

I agree, Iowas vs. Yamato would have been a good fight, but the edge would have to go to the Iowas.

Higher Velocity/range, better fire control radar, speed, and speed of fire. Those 18s had about 1/2 to 2/3s the rate of fire than our 16s on the Iowa Class.

The Scharnhorst was reclassified as a BB after it's last refit. I agree, questionable, kinda like calling a clumsy slow heavy cruiser with 4 -10 inchers a "Pocket Battleship" and scaring the world batty, but it WAS a Battleship to Germany...

The POW and Repulse were technically not in "open water."

Yeah, I know, it's kind of flimsy, but I'm not the one inventing the argument. I think I first heard it argued in "Dirty Little Secrets..." and it made me think at least.

I guess the point is what I at least was taught early, that the carrier totally replaced the BB in and after WWII, and all BB admirals were dinosaurs and oldfashioned, is not "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but..."

Bottom line, is BBs were eliminated due to COST, not necessarily effectiveness...

They ARE expensive to operate, for what you get in return, and you just couldn't bear to lose one for many reasons, so you just didn't commit them.

Carriers are much cheaper to build and staff.

Registered User
Posts: 104
(4/19/01 6:43:45 am)
Reply | Edit | Del BB v CV
My actual point is that the number of encounters between ships of the same type is not a real measure of relative signficance. In the entire Great War there were two encounters involving dreadnoughts on both sides, neither decisive, yet admirals polished the BB's pedestal for the next 25 years. In WWII (despite a 1943 Tyrone Power film and a 1959 Clarke Gable) submarine vs submarine encounters were insignificant if not nonexistent in either theater, but German boats in the one, American in the other were vital to their respective war efforts.

Bringing up another question: At the outset of the war the Japanese Navy had us outclassed in theory, training, tactics and equipment. In actions like Savo Island these were put to use effectively. Why then, did no one in the Japanese Navy seem to understand what a submarine was for?

Posts: 153
(4/19/01 7:57:31 am)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: BB v CV
You're absoletely right about Jap submarines, Obelix. Their submarine warfare tactics throughout the war stunk! Despite having the best torpedo (the "long lance"), our subs outperformed the them 10 to 1.

Posts: 144
(4/19/01 12:06:23 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: BB v CV
The Japanese Navy somehow missed the entire concept of submarine warfare.....
The boats were used primarily for recon (example, Midway fight - where they failed to gain position prior to US deployment) harrassment (the pitiful attempts to bombard the West Coast cities) supply to isolated garrisons (Phillipines (sp), Rabul, etc) and the Japanese attitude that unless capitol naval warships, the civilian freighter was unworthy of their efforts and torpedo.
They never adopted the "wolfpack" tactics, rather the loner rover.

PS - I'll have to disagree with the POW and Repulse not being sunk in open waters. Land based planes surely sunk them, however they had a ways to go get them. The ships weren't in any harbor, roads or bay when getting nailed.

I think the very early days of WWII graphically demonstrated the overwhelming ability of air power to effectively nullify the big capitol warships. I know they were used as late as Beruit and Desert Storm, however, I don't think they accomplished anything that couldn't have been done by modern airpower.

The BB's and cruisers were beautiful ships and looked very imposing - exactly what they were used for most of their lives - demonstrating to the world the might of whichever respective navy with the world cruises and port calls.
Keep off the Ridgeline!!

Registered User
Posts: 109
(4/19/01 4:11:50 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del battleships
Xracer and Kdubya, I cannot fight with you, because your opinions agree with mine.

However, an offensive personal attack on Polish: The three "pocket battleships" or Panzerschiffen carried as main armament six 11" rifles, the maximum size allowed by the Versailles treaty. That treaty limited them to 10,000 tons, but even though they were designed during the Weimar era, they averaged about 11,400, still somewhat less than some of the Japanese CAs.

Senior Chief Moderator Staff
Posts: 303
(4/20/01 8:24:51 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: battleships
Yeah, I like those offensive personal attacks! OK OK, MY point was the Pocket Battleships were mere CAs. (And I could've sworn they were 10", my bad)

We could debate just exactly WHAT was a heavy vs light cruiser, and REALLY about convoluted politics in the Washington Conferences...

The Japanese submarine's mission a part of fleet operations against warships only was pretty similar to the doctrines of most other navies except Germany even as late as WWII. Nobody REALLY knew what to do with them, and even Germany in WWI didn't INTEND to use them against merchant shipping at the outset.

If you couple the Code of the Bushido, where the warrior was to fight warriors, and it's not hard to see why no Jap sub commander would find any satisfaction or glory in sinking unarmed merchants.

What is more interesting is the Japanese failure to use develop effective ASW tactics, and even basic convoying, along with the fact the ARMY maintained and controlled their own merchant fleet and escorts and didn't coordinate with the navy no matter how many of "their" ships got sunk. Even at the height of the war, there were "Army" ships sailing back empty to get more "Army" cargo while shipping tonnage was at such a premium after our subs started hurting all Jap shipping.

The war between the Jap Army and Navy was at times hotter than the war against us.

I know the POW/Repulse claim is lame about the "open water," BUT historians other than I have claimed it...I think by "restricted" they meant proximity to land and air bases.

Registered User
Posts: 115
(4/21/01 7:05:27 am)
Reply | Edit | Del SS/CL
After I wrote "offensive personal attack" I had some misgivings, but then was sure, judging from your sense of humor in previous posts, that you would know it was a joke. Which you did.

You're right on submarine-use theory, but you'd think that the obviously competent people running the Japanese Navy would have learned from the Germans. We did. Our submarine operations against Japanese lifelines certainly shortened the war.

I Agree that their ASW measures were thoroughly inadequate. Toward the end of the War they made some feeble efforts to convert some marus into CVE equivalents, but didn't have the pilots for them anyhow. Nonetheless I think we lost over 50 boats -- little compared to German losses, to be sure, but still a lot of sailors dying gruesome deaths.

The Washington Conference limited cruisers to 10,000 tons and 8" guns. The London Conference eight years later defined light cruisers as those carrying guns no bigger than 6.1" but said nothing about tonnage. Thus, Wichita, a CA, was built on the same hull as the Brooklyns, CLs. The Japanese Mogamis were completed as CLs but then converted into CAs. Since they then displaced 12,400 tons, though, they were legally BBs. No on-site inspections allowed, though.

Senior Chief Moderator Staff
Posts: 305
(4/21/01 11:18:25 am)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: SS/CL
If you look close enough, you'll find tons of little facts and figures I'm wrong on. I probably DON'T know the gross allowable takeoff weight of a F4F-2. (-3 Maybe, but not the 2! )

I guess I'm a "conceptual Historian." I sucked on dates and stuff. Especially pre gunpowder eras!

Kinda like when I took "Physics for Poets" (AKA Physics for NoBrains, Physics for D'bags, etc. i.e., NO MATH!) and was the only one to get an A! I nail concepts, as long as I don't have to back them up with facts!!!

I also read quickly and voraciously, and some of the details don't get retained. (See previous posts on my theory on "retention capacity" of the human brain.)

I'll count on you, O, to keep my details straight.

We make a good team!!!!

And I like the fact that some Jap "Light Cruisers" had less tonnage and firepower than our Fletcher class DDs.

At San Bernadino, Kurita broke off when he thought the Taffys were Fleet carriers, and the DEs and DDs charging his BBs and CAs were CAs and DDs!

Leyte is one of my favorite battles, Wildcats with no ammo and Avengers with Depth Charges making picture perfect Torp runs bluffing the Japs and screwing with their aim! They had nothing beween them and MacArthur, and he lost his nerve.

And Halsey having a nervous breakdown because of the code man adding "The World Wonders" as padding to Nimitz' cable asking about where the fast battleships were, and Halsey took it as a slam...

All that work and sacrifice, and finally they get a typical Jap complicated naval plan to actually WORK, and he breaks off because he lost his Samurai courage to finish.

Edited by: polishshooter at: 4/21/01 12:30:23 pm

Registered User
Posts: 118
(4/21/01 2:56:15 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del Another vicious personal attack
Actually, your facts are usually on the nailhead, and your overview, no need to say, surpasses mine. Why Kurita turned back is beyond me. It's more understandable why Mikawa did after Savo Island; but he could have set us back a year if he had waded into the transports.

I just like to argue. In fact, the only reason I included the paragraph about light/heavy cruisers was that you seemed to find some room for dispute on the subject. Is there?

Posts: 158
(4/21/01 5:38:04 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: Another vicious personal attack
Speaking of Taffy 2 in the Battle Off gave us one of the great quotes of the war!

There were the Jeep Carriers, shaking themselves to pieces trying make 12 knots away from the Jap BBs.....60 foot geysers all around from the shell fall....and some Gunner's mate says, "That's OK boys, we're suckin' 'em into 40mm range!"

True story!

Posts: 153
(4/21/01 7:04:21 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: Another vicious personal attack
As far as I'm concerned, the battle of Layte Gulf was one of the most heroic fights ever fought at sea. The idea of the DE's steaming into the inferno against the Japanese BB and CA's with their little 3" and 4" deck guns, plus torpedos, knowing it was gonna be a one-way trip, but trying to buy some time for the jeep carriers, has to be one of the most heart-wrenching actions of all times. They certainly got some pretty good licks in too, before being blown out of the water. They were "Little Boys" alright!
Keep off the Ridgeline!!

Senior Chief Moderator Staff
Posts: 307
(4/21/01 9:16:20 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del Leyte
Yeah X, that's true! Also true is quite a few of the CVEs were hit by big caliber guns that passed right through without exploding!

O, there really WASN'T a technical definition for heavy and light cruisers before the Washington conference, tonnage or otherwise.

Thats where it was decided 6" and below were light, 8" and above were heavy, and tonnage was rated also.

Before that, they were "commerce raiders," "fleet cruisers," "Battle cruisers,""scouts" and many other names different navies used wwith no rhyme or reason.

Shipbuilders just built "cruisers" to whatever specs the navies wanted, with the simple formula that smaller guns and less armor meant less displacement thus more speed and/or range. Whatever range or speed they wanted is what they got, because marine coal fired and early oil fired steam engines and turbines were pretty simple, and gave basically the same power. Weight and number of engines determined speed and endurance. In fact it wasn't too many years before WWII that BBs were able to hit much more than 20 knots due to engine technology limits.

Thus, "Battle Cruisers," actually BBs with less or minimum armor to increase speed and endurance. They became redundant when steam turbine technology let the North Carolinas and Iowas, and contemporary BBs of other nations, hit 30 knots with full armor and 9 - 16" guns. Or equivalent.

Those Brooklyn class CAAA "light" cruisers could throw a lot of lead with those 16 5"/38s!!! Contrast that with those early 1500 ton Jap "CLs" with 5 5.1" guns that were nothing more than frigates at best. It gets kind of tough to accurately guage the opposing sides in WWII surface battles based just on ship type, especially cruisers.

But I agree, those Mogamis were probably the best of the class...

And I always wondered what would have happened if the Lady Lex and the Saratoga would have been engaged by surface ships early, when they still had the 8" guns...

Registered User
Posts: 124
(4/21/01 11:37:05 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del Lex
The Lexington never lost her 8" rifles (maximum allowed by London). They went down with her in the Coral Sea (maybe the most victorious defeat of the War). Sara got converted to 5/38s, and Sara survived.

Posts: 163
(4/22/01 8:42:48 am)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: BB Accuracy
A little more on BB accuracy. From "Dear Mom, A Sniper's Vietnam" by Joseph T. Ward.

".....Charlie hit us with rocket fire from a hill about a mile away. The skipper called for artillery strikes and was surprised when he was switched to fire command on the USS New Jersey. We were eleven miles inland, and the New Jersey was seven miles off shore. The skipper had barely given the coordinates when a single 2,200-pound, high explosive round roared overhead like an invisible freight train and hit the hill with a tremendous explosion. That first round stopped all enemy fire. They were either dead or in shock from the concussion. The skipper said, "You're right on target, New Jersey, have at it." We listened as the first full salvo thundered overhead and smashed into the hill. Our stomachs were pushed in and out from the shock waves of the explosion. In no time at all the second salvo was on it's way, soon to be followed by a third. In scant minutes, the New Jersey had placed sixty thousand pounds of high explosives exactly on target. The company broke into cheers as the hill literally disappeared.

When the ship called back to see if we needed more help, all the skipper could say was, "No, thanks, New Jersey, there's nothing left to fire at."

Although the Marine Corps is part of the navy, there exists a friendly, and sometimes not-so-friendly, rivalry between the two services. The fierce pride of at least one company of Marines had to give way to admiration that day to what one navy ship eighteen miles away had done."

Registered User
Posts: 125
(4/22/01 12:19:31 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del Leyte
Terrific anecdote.

Posts: 711
(4/22/01 5:25:54 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del
Re: Leyte
Thumbs up to that one!

The Firearms Forum Vietnam Memories Bulletin Board Contact Administrator

Senior Chief Moderator Staff
Posts: 321
(4/25/01 10:16:07 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del Fire Support, Anyone?
Great story!

I just wish they weren't so dammed expensive to operate and man, but when Ronnie brought out those Iowa class for one more time in the 80s, that was something!!

They did some serious fire support in Beirut, too. I heard the Hezbollah laid REALLY low whenever one was offshore...

I also heard that there is something like 100 years worth of replacement 16" barrel liners in storage, left over from WWII for them, along with tons of shells.

I say, "BRING 'EM BACK!"

With Tomahawks, they have strategic long range power, the 16's give unmatched accurate CHEAP power up to 25 miles inland, the Phalanx protects it from air attack, and if you couple it with an Aegis class AA Cruiser and some ASW Frigates, and a Marine Assault carrier or two, we would have a great "Third World" deterrence fleet to do some old fashioned "Gunboat diplomacy..."

The sight of the New Jersey or Whisky off shore would REALLY make some countries "civil." IMHO

Rons Toys
Posts: 133
(5/18/01 8:26:21 am)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: Fire Support, Anyone?
picked this story off the VNBB

Mithrandir V.I.P. Member posts: 48 (5/17/01 2:19:23 pm) Reply ?The fire

All of us have memories?

Sometimes they blur with time and the sharp edges wear down so as to not hurt us
as much?..

Other memories are recalled with a hoot & a holler as they are?. well??

This is one of those??

Western I CORP??.. close to a mountain they called Eagles Nest??

Well? we weren?t so lucky?.. we sat on a mountain alright, but the top was so
small that only a trailer park would fit in it?

And that is what it looked like?. a trailer park?. only the trailer park had
no roads up to it?.

It was so high that you could see for a long, long distance on a clear day?

If the clouds weren?t thick? or the fog was thin?

Everything had been brought up there by chops?. you know ? the cranes??

The only other way up was to crawl up?. the sides were so steep that you ,
literally, had to crawl up it, you couldn?t stand up.

I had not been here before so this was a treat?.

No enemy fire?. rifles wouldn?t reach and rockets just flew right by?. or up
and over if you will?.

They told me that there was an NVA mortar team that had been trying to hit them
for the last 15 nights of so? but they couldn?t get close enough to do it?

Seems that they would sneak up to a series of small hillocks of the east side
and try to launch from there?

But the mountains height defeated them as the mortar shells would only reach to
within about 100 yards of the outer berm?.

Sooo.. the guys would sit on the edge of the berm, drink warm beer, and take

Night after night after night?.

Well, there wasn?t much else to do up there except watch? listen? and bet on
the NVA?.

My team came in about 6:30pm and in scoping the place out, we saw two pads for
chops ? one was larger for Chinooks, eight to ten small bunkers (if you want to
call them that) and two GP medium tents?..and the ever-present burning shit?.

It got dark and long about 10PM or so? the shelling started??..

No one moved ? with the exception of my team? WE didn?t know that they
couldn?t hit us?. and the others just laughed and laughed?.

Now? this pissed off our officer?.. a Cpt. with a very good reputation with

Turns out that that night? HE is the highest ranking officer on the AO?..

So he gets on the horn a calls for an airstrike?.and the horn is tied to
external speakers so everyone is listening to this?.

UUUHHHH sir?? its raining?? can?t give you air??

So he calls for artillery??.

Uhhhhh sir??? They are all busy? or out of range (Kai Sahn was very busy that

So he literally YELLS into the mike and I might add to no one in particular?

After a very pregnant pause??a very small and faint voice comes on and says ? I
can sir?

?SO OK DO IT? here is the co-ordinates ? and proceeds to fill them in?..?Fire
when ready?

?Wilco? says the small voice?

Two or three minutes pass?..

Small voice says?..?three in the air, correct fire when ready??..

We sit and wait?? and wait?.. and wait?.

One guy says???rockets..or jets??. can you hear that?.????

Yeah? I hear it? sounds like a wing coming in? hey.!.. did we get
all-weather air in here???.. ALRIGHT THEN?OUTSTANDING??

BOOM,BOOM, BOOM?..The concussion waves throw us to the ground,

The bunkers collapse?

The Chinook leaps into the air and like a ship sinking rolls on its side and
slowly crumples to the ground..

The Huey lifts up and sits on top of deus (Have NO IDEA why a truck is on top of
a mountain that has no roads!!))

The generators all short out and one starts to busily burn??

Dirt clods beat us to death?. the shitter is gone, the burning stuff went over
the other side of the wall first and starts a fire on the side of the

All the antennas come down?.

Noise stops?..

Small voice says ? did we hit it???? please advise?

Cpt. gets ups brushing a huge amount of dirt off on him and out of his eyes and
hair?.slowly looks over the edge

Brings the night scope to his eyes and look for the little hillocks??.

They are gone?. there are now three very large craters were the hillocks used
to be?..

Only wifts of smoke are coming from the craters?..

?ok?.. cease fire?. you got them?.. good job??

?HOWEVER GODDAMNIT??.. WHO THE HELL ARE YOU GUYS? shouting himself hoarse in
the process?.

Small voice says?. ?roger that ? cease fire, cease fire, cease fire??

?Thanks for the fire mission Cpt?. USS New Jersey out?

We never heard from them again??.

Their three rounds had been fired from 36 MILES away??..

Lot of the guys decided then and there that their next tour was to be a gunner
on a battleship... ==================

Anyone else ever deal with them?????


Senior Chief Moderator Staff
Posts: 515
(5/18/01 9:23:05 am)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: Fire Support, Anyone?
I say bring 'em back. I'd give up my hard earned tax cut if that would happen...rather pay for that than some government program.

I don't mind getting taxed when I can see something tangible and useful on the other side, like third world nations relearning courtesy when the Jersey, or the Whisky parks offshore.

I know a modern frigate or cruiser can probably do as much damage, but sometimes the "big stick" is more of a deterrent if it's BIG!!!

Thanks for putting that here, Ron, GREAT story.

Edited by: polishshooter at: 5/18/01 10:05:56 pm

Posts: 289
(5/18/01 8:27:38 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: Fire Support, Anyone?
Neat story!

I WANT A BB FOR CHRISTMAS! Don't where the hell I'd put it...I just want one!

Senior Chief Moderator Staff
Posts: 551
(5/19/01 10:45:29 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: Fire Support, Anyone?
Hey Obelix, I found it!!!

9 BB vs. BB actions (Actually 10, but two were on the same day) and 5 carrier vs. carrier in WWII.

Here they are:

(1)April 9, 1940 Gneisenau and Scharnhorst engage Renown off Norway - indecisive.

(2)July 3, 1940 Resolution, Valiant, Hood against the French Bretagne, Provence, Dunkerque, and Strasburg at Oran, Algeria.

(3) July 9, 1940 Italian Giulio Cesare and Conti di Cavour against Warspite, Royal Sovereign, and Malaya in the Med.
(Warspite sets the all time never to be challeged world record of longest range hit on a moving target on the high seas, 26000yards!)

(4)May 24, 1941 Bismarck vs. POW and Hood, Hood blows up.
(Later same day POW engages again, but we'll call it the same one.)

(5.)May 27, 1941 King George V and Rodney nail Bismarck, (Old Rodney even got the first and last ever torpedo hit from a BB on a BB in this action.)

(6.)November 8, 1942 Massachusetts trades a few hundred rounds with French Jean Bart at Casablanca.

(7.)Nov. 14-15, 1942 Kirishima vs. Washington and South Dakota off the 'Canal.

(8.)Dec 26, 1943 Duke of York sinks Scharnhorst off North Cape.

(9.)Last time ever, Surigao strait. So one sided old Pennsylvania didn't even get to fire a shot!

Plus twice BBs engaged carriers, Leyte which we all know, but also the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau nailed Glorius off Norway because the Captain of the Glorius was stupid!!!

You asked me once about them, I couldn't remember them all or where I read it. Rereading "Dirty Little Secrets of WWII" and there it was...

Those are GREAT books...and yeah, I know, you'll nail me, the first one was BBs vs. a Battle Cruiser!

So sue me! ISTILL like BBs!!

Posts: 195
(5/20/01 1:35:35 am)
Reply | Edit | Del Got 'em all
You are so damned thorough, you've listed every one that was. But you're wrong about... let's think.

What do you think about the battleship action involving INDIANA (early version) against Spanish armored cruisers off Santiago?

Senior Chief Moderator Staff
Posts: 554
(5/20/01 10:23:43 am)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: Got 'em all
Actually, there was almost a screw up and the Spanish almost got away! Was it the Indianapolis that turned away and almost rammed the rest of the line? Or was it the one almost rammed? I forget, all I know is the screw-up Admiral that assumed command when New York steamed off for a conference off the landing beach without giving orders, is the one who gave the order to turn the wrong way and then tried to deny it. The Spanish happened to come out at that exact time and almost got lucky. And if they didn't have all that second rate cuban coal they might have got up enough speed to get away!

The neat thing is that in the end, the Spanish were all sunk or run aground with flags flying so they had their "honor," and the press gave the US Navy all the glory which made the rest of the world take notice, even though it almost was a cluster---- and the two admirals fought the rest of their life over who should get the credit...One missed almost the whole battle, the other screwed the pooch right off the bat and really never recovered. The rest of the fleet won it in SPITE of him.

All the while Old "Second Choice" Dewey fought a brilliant battle off Manila and got less credit...

Don't mean anything bad, Bob, but the Spaniards always did know how to lose well! Heck, they went home as HEROES, after they lost a whole fleet TWICE.

Posts: 196
(5/20/01 9:00:35 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del controversy
This started a long-term Sampson vs Schley feud over who gets the credit.

Actually, the Spanish never had a prayer. Without a battleship in the lineup the best they could hope for was to get away. Did you know that the newest of the Spanish cruisers, Colon, went into battle without her main armament? Yeah, they really sent her across the Atlantic without the 2 10-inchers. The only battleship they had wasn't up to making the crossing.

No disrespect to George Dewey, as Manila was a more even fight, but look at it ship for ship: Every American vessel was clearly superior to its Spanish counterpart. That's just on the books, not counting maintenance. Think the only American casualty was an overweight stoker who collapsed in a 130-degree boilerroom.

The Spanish term for all this is "pundonor," meaning you've got to give it a try even if you know for sure you're going to get whipped.

We Americans didn't have a translation for that. While the whereabouts of the Spanish fleet was still unknown, every city on the Atlantic seaboard started howling for protection. The outcry forced the Navy Department to pull leftover CW monitors out of mothballs and spread them out among harbors. Fortunately, none saw any action.

Senior Chief Moderator Staff
Posts: 564
(5/20/01 10:04:07 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: controversy
Sampson sailed away on the New York, right? and Schley is the one who "fouled up" but wouldn't admit it or do I have them backwards?

The Viscayana actually made a courtesy call to NYC before the Maine blew and got there right after, but didn't know about it, no wireless. THAT caused quite a stir.

It was long overdue for overhaul, had so many barnacles it couldn't hit much over 10 knots, even with good coal.

Thanks for not dissing Dewey or Gridley over the fact all the Spanish ships were anchored, OB. They made that tactical decision all on their own, which may have been why no American ships got hit. Dewey made a FINE gunnery run along shore and made it count in two passes.

What was kinda cool in Santiago was the fact BOTH sides thought of sinking a ship in the channel, us to block them IN and them keep us OUT. We did it, but it didn't do any good, and actually if it succeeded, those Spanish guns would have given Shafter heck, maybe.

What's amazing is the Navy was standing by to give fire support at San Juan and Kettle, and probably would have easily driven the Spanish off BEFORE the charge. Shafter either was too stupid to ask, or wanted to keep all the "glory" for the Army... The "Fat Pig" shouldn't have even been there...

Hey, idea for a new topic, and it involves conspiracy theories again!!!

Senior Chief Moderator Staff
Posts: 1675
(9/28/01 7:50:08 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: controversy
Bringing it back to the top for LTS.
I'm so PROUD to be an AMERICAN...

Senior Chief Moderator Staff
Posts: 2403
(9/28/01 8:12:34 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: controversy
OUTSTANDING!!!! Love those WaterWagons.....your right Polish....BRING`UM BACK!!!!!
America, we are the symbol of Freedom and Liberty......

V.I.P. Member
Posts: 549
(9/28/01 9:52:55 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: controversy
Love them battlewagons and heavy cruisers!!! Very impressive!!! I can spend all day on one exploring the armament and the engine rooms.

Posts: 979
(9/29/01 10:06:40 am)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: controversy
If any of you ever get up to New England, head for Fall River, Mass......home of Lizzie Borden and the U.S.S. Massachusetts (BB-59).....not an Iowa Class, but still a very interesting ship to tour.

V.I.P. Member
Posts: 255
(9/29/01 6:43:24 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del X
The Mass, of course, belonged to the previous class, when we were still adhering to the Washington Treaty limits.

BUT. Will anybody buy a new topic on your Lizzie? I admit she didn't use firearms (oops, question recalled, your honor), but it's a hell of a fine controversy.
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