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Nov 25 10 12:04 PM
Just call me Author
MarkLBailey wrote:4. It's unlikely that the 3 available fleet CV will be permitted to be scattered hither and yon per OTL. This also provides greater impetus to activate parts of the WPO conversion program.Suggestion - the Pacific is a theatre with an "active" Carrier role, requiring the purpose built CV, arguably the Atlantic (where there is support from the RN, and a lower threat level) doesn't require them - so send the the XCV to the Atlantic Fleet, freeing up the proper purpuse built CV for deployment to the Pacific.5. We have more old DD available as the RN has no need for the 'fifty old destroyers' deal. There's a quick way to appease at least some of the anguished cries from PACFLT.But haven't some of these ships already gone? IIRC the French took some, and weren't some assugned to the Brazilians as well? How many of these old DD are left? Also aren't some of these ships earmarked for conversion to other roles in the war plans - if they are deployed as DD to the Pacific, what fills the gaps?
Nov 25 10 1:40 PM
Born Again P-76 Pilot
Nov 25 10 2:21 PM
MarkLBailey wrote:Miller, p./146 Table 13.1 has the WPO listing for ships arriving at HI and it's daunting. 12 XCV between M+150 and M+360, 320 purpose built landing barges, hundreds of auxiliaries. This is from the 1928-1929 plans when they still had 1,128 steel merchant ships from the disastrous post-war completion of teh WWI emergency shipbuilding program still in layup.What does this imply about auxiliary construction/conversion in the period of tension?
Nov 25 10 3:02 PM
Nov 25 10 6:47 PM
Nov 26 10 12:15 AM
As for the XCV conversions, I don't know. Good troopers were also at a premium. However, if they could be turned into useful semi-frontline carriers and tensions were seen to be rising then they might go ahead depending on yard space. How much was yard space a problem for the USA in 1940-41?
Nov 26 10 1:50 AM
Nov 26 10 3:21 AM
Nov 26 10 8:39 AM
Nov 26 10 2:08 PM
if the time to completion can be cut down to actually get them done in the dangerous time frame before the Essex class. I submit that if they are to be done, then they have to be done with all due haste, or else why bother.This is a really solid point. The small XCV are quick and cheap and need not be further considered by the looks of it, every seems to be generally in accord.If a decision is made in say march 1941, the big conversions will be available in a year by the planning process. I am pretty sure that acceleration is possible becuase the long lead items Friedman discussed are elevators. The supply chain for these will be gearing up, probably increasing their availability. The beauty of using the 3 ships named is that exactly zero design time is needed. The USN conversion plans appear to have been complete yard plans and drawings, not sketches. That alone saves months which is undoubtedly why they did it that way.What has been found here by comparing the two major sources avail;able is a real insight into the professionalism and thoroughness of USN pre-war planning processes.I also have a very strong feeling that this sort of conversion is exactly why teh USN retained Proteus and Nereus in reserve from 1923 to 1940. I mean, exactly what use did the USN have for enormous colliers in this era? They no longer used coal for fuel!I suspect they were retained as WPO conversion ships, and that they were planned to be small XCV. I'd love to prove that.The major difference between the USN large XCV and the IJN large XCV is that the USN never intended to re-engine them like the IJN did. That added a lot of time to the Junyo and Hiyo, as well as to the Taiyo class.Now, both the RN and IJN adopted this approach (the RN gave it up and in APOD the IJN will also be forced to at some point, probably after the Taiyo's. It's just too expensive in yard time.Looking at these conversions, I think they only need one docking! They can be stripped and then can be rebuilt afloat alongside. A docking is only necessary for the fitting of a few underwater fittings, and for the conversion of deep structures to AVGAS tanks. That's the only major removal of shell plating required, and a month would do it all easily (probably 3 weeks).US yards were efficient if expensive and it boils down to overtime. If the USN is willing to shift to 2 shifts per day (16-18 hours) then I think these ships could be ready in 8-10 months. Cheers: Mark
Nov 27 10 2:34 PM
Nov 27 10 5:08 PM
Vincent Gaddis and Charles Berlitz have made fortunes touting barrel loads of BS from their books on the mythical 'bermuda triangle' while Larry Kusche, a library researcher at the Arizona State, wrote an admirable, in-depth work called "The Bermuda Triangle Mystery - Solved" and barely made beer money.
Kusche has soundly demonstrated that the Cyclops most likely went down between Cape Hatteras and Cape Charles under a heavy gale that struck the east coast on the 9th and 10th of March 1918. During the raging winds and high seas, the ship's cargo of 10,000 tons of manganese probably shifted and she rolled over and sank without warning or time to send an SOS. What gaddis and berlitz always ignore is normal maritime hazards (Aliens and Atlantis are more interesting, I guess!), which includes cargo density. manganese ore is very dense stuff, and 10,000 tons of it would fill her holds about 40% full, with wooden shifting boards lashed into place to help stabilise it.To this day, bulk coal and ore carriers are among the most vulnerable of ships to sudden and catastrophic loss in heavy weather, for this same reason.I have not read the article about USS Jason.I note that she was sold mercantile in 1936 after serving as an seaplane tender from January 1930, and was not scrapped until 1946 (Silverstone, US Warships of WWI p.212). This indicates that she was at least able to function commercially during the war, despite her age.Proteus and Nereus: from http://familyheritage.ca/Articles/merchant1.html#N_39_ (a Canadian navl history site)
39. SS Proteus sailed from St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands on 23 November with a cargo of bauxite. It was lost without a trace. The Admiralty originally suspected sabotage because of the similar circumstances of the loss of SS Nereus (below) but never confirmed it in either case. Research by Rear Admiral George van Deurs, USN suggests that more probably these aging and poorly-constructed colliers broke up in heavy seas following a storm. He was familiar with this type of ship from their service in the USN; in other colliers of this type the acidic coal had seriously eroded the longitudinal support beams making them extremely vulnerable.
40. SS Nereus sailed from St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands on 10 December with a cargo of bauxite. It was lost without a trace. See SS Proteus above. Now, all of this is true. coal can be a corrosive cargo. But Colliers were strongly built, longitudinal framing was the strongest form of construction in that era and was common in large colliers and metalliferous ore carriers.If two old colliers are being taken from reserve for sale, they will be surveyed. They won't sell commercial unless commercially viable, so the repairs will be costed in that. I'd tend to agree that they would have had corrosion issues - that's probably why their use in the bauxite trade, to expose them to less rough weather. Obviously, that did not work, poor devils.SO if the USN says 'survey for return to service and conversion as AVK (?) in the Pacific', there's going to be some structural repair required. On the basis that steel is cheap, reinforcing, doubling or replacing corroded frames should not be a killer issue on the known information and the inferences we can make. They won't be moving ore or coal or other such heavy, rough cargo.Cheers: mark
Nov 27 10 6:40 PM
Nov 27 10 7:21 PM
And even if they were aware, of the strength of the Japanese Fleet, it would not deter the Americans
Nov 28 10 5:16 AM
Nov 28 10 8:15 AM
Mark,I made the statement about Kimmel's agressiveness regardless of the strength of the Japanese force (and I wasn't very clear, I was speaking specifically of the Kido Butai. but I think it would apply to the Japanese Main Body if he knew where it was located), I made based on three assumptions/beliefs:
1. As far as Kimmel knows, MacArthur's forces struck against a sneak Japanese invasion force and MacMorris can do the math and determine the Kido Butai sailed from Japan before the war began and was going after Pearl anyway, therefore, he is acting against a treacherous enemy, which pretty much makes it a crusade.
2. This is the war for which the Americans have trained for the previous twenty years. And from their point of view, the Japanese have committed the cardinal error, dispersion of forces and now it is time to put years of planning and training to use.3. Then there is the racial element, after all, these are only Japanese. The belief that the Japanese will be unable to stand against the power of the Western nations. This sort of short sighted thinking colored the actions of all of the Allies until they were taught better.So, Kimmel will take the fleet hell-bent for leather against any and all comers. If the position of the Main Body was known and within striking distance, I think it possible that the Kido Butai would be ignored for the time being while Yamamoto was dealt with, but lacking that information, the approximate location of an enemy force is known and it is time to take care of it. He may get his head handed to him on a platter and he definately will know he was in a fight with a capable adversery, but that knowledgewill have to be learned. All of this is based on Nagumo striking Pearl first, then going after the Pacific Fleet. If I were Nagumo, I would loiter in the vicinity of Hawaii as long as possible without hitting Pearl. Then when word had arrived that the Americans were engaged, I would hit Pearl hard. Now you have a battered American fleet with no support base closer than San Diego and a Japanese force in the way. However, I don't think Nagumo is that flexible a thinker, his orders say "attack Pearl Harbor" and that is what he is going to do. Then and only then (IMVHO) will he possibly exercise some initiative and look for Kimmel.gator
Nov 28 10 8:29 AM
bbgator wrote:All of this is based on Nagumo striking Pearl first, then going after the Pacific Fleet. If I were Nagumo, I would loiter in the vicinity of Hawaii as long as possible without hitting Pearl. Then when word had arrived that the Americans were engaged, I would hit Pearl hard ... . However, I don't think Nagumo is that flexible a thinker, his orders say "attack Pearl Harbor" and that is what he is going to do. Then and only then (IMVHO) will he possibly exercise some initiative and look for Kimmel.
All of this is based on Nagumo striking Pearl first, then going after the Pacific Fleet. If I were Nagumo, I would loiter in the vicinity of Hawaii as long as possible without hitting Pearl. Then when word had arrived that the Americans were engaged, I would hit Pearl hard ... . However, I don't think Nagumo is that flexible a thinker, his orders say "attack Pearl Harbor" and that is what he is going to do. Then and only then (IMVHO) will he possibly exercise some initiative and look for Kimmel.
Nov 28 10 11:40 AM
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Nov 28 10 5:33 PM
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