5,476 COMMENTS :

  1. AvatarBy Henry Breinig on

    Lately I’ve been reading a few books on Theodore Roosevelt and the Spanish American war, and it got me thinking. The Walker crew crossed over into the new world so to speak with Kraigs, and and .30-40 cartridges. The cavalry, if it is to continue to function will need more modern weaponry, and a controllable lever gun might be a good solution. Perhaps something along a Winchester 1895 in .30-40 or .30-06 would do the trick?

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    1. AvatarBy Justin on

      Lever-action discussions (technical-discussions/comment-page-6/#comment-8704, technical-discussions/comment-page-7/#comment-11786, technical-discussions/technical-discussions/comment-page-8/#comment-12948).

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      1. AvatarBy Henry Breinig on

        Ah, yes, now I’m remembering that discussion. That was from quite a while back as I recall it.

        In any case, yeah, lever guns are over-complex in some regards but they are far more ideal for use on horseback than a bolt action. In many cases they can be faster to cycle as well, and there can be an argument made for the idea that lever action rifles are better for trench work and so on. Still, the difference in difficulty of production certainly makes the Alliance’s current production the right choice for general purpose use.

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        1. AvatarBy Justin on

          It’s true that it’s probably harder to ride and shoot with a bolt rifle, but rate of fire depends on the rifle’s action and the user; for example, an SMLE’s ergonomics enable it to (arguably) outperform a lever rifle.

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          1. AvatarBy Henry Breinig on

            That’s certainly the case. Rifles with turned bolts or straight-pull actions can approach and even surpass the speeds of most lever guns. As you said, the SMLE is a good example of such a rifle, though other examples from the times of the Destroyermen would be the Ross rifle and the Mannlicher M95.

            That being said, I reckon in the case where one may be firing from horseback or other situations along those lines- firing from a vehicle even- a lever gun is likely to be faster there just due to ergonomics.

          2. AvatarBy Justin on

            That’s true – don’t want your reloading arm to get caught on the backrest!

            Question is, what kind of battlefield will we be looking at once the “M1” rifle/carbine is finally ready for mass production?
            By autumn ’45 to ’46, Esshk and the Dommies should be dead or irrelevant; against League MG34s, the regular cavalry’s best bet is probably to fight dismounted, like bicycle infantry. Lever-actions would be useful for riding shotgun, yes, but I doubt Baalkpan or Alex-aandra would want to design a brand new reloading system for such a situational role; might as well give them SMGs.

            … Speaking of which, I wonder how the Blitzers’d fair against contemporary SMGs. Perhaps the Allies should get around to a proper M3?

          3. AvatarBy Steve Moore on

            Cavalry on the attack would probably get better use from a Bliter with a three-round burst setting. When you’re off the horse and scouting (or sniping), a nice ’03 or Krag with an Imperial telescopic sight fills the bill.

            And of course, if you’re scouting or sniping, having a couple of B40’s to drop in on the enemy’s camp to cause confusion would be nice. Now there’s a good weapon for Halik’s ‘SAS’ patrols. Shoot and scoot.

      2. AvatarBy Lou Schirmer on

        Did we ever talk about pump action rifles? They can feed from a box or a tube magazine depending on design & it’s about as simple as it gets.

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        1. AvatarBy Taylor Anderson on

          Something like a large frame Colt Lightning would be doable, but the originals were kind of cantankerous. Even model n manufacturers have had a hard time making the medium frame varieties reliable. I think, doubtless with some experience with Lightning’s, Silva would be against them and would probably put his weight behind a lever gun—something like an ‘86, for the .50-80 (that or a ‘76 would work fine with that cartridge, though for the ‘76 the ctg would need to be a tad shorter with a slight bottleneck). For a more modern ctg, I bet he’d like an 1895. Problem is, all the above are top eject and only the ‘95 is suited to the application of a stripper clip guide.

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          1. AvatarBy Henry Breinig on

            Smidge off topic but I’m actually considering acquiring a Winchester 94 or 95, partly because Krags in original configuration can be rather expensive from what I’ve seen

          2. AvatarBy Paul Smith on

            Didn’t Colt chamber the lightning in .50-95 Express? Are there any pump action shotguns that were recovered from the Santa Catalina, for instance a Winchester 12 or Remington 31? could they serve as a base for rifles, with better engineering than the Colt?

          3. AvatarBy Matt White on

            IIRC the ’95 also proved to be more expensive to make and more prone to mud than contemporary bolt guns.

  2. AvatarBy Justin on

    Might as well kick off the one we’ll be talking about for the next year or so:

    FOUR capital ships? TEN destroyers? SIX months?! More on the way after that?!? Allied R&D better come up with something real fast!

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    1. AvatarBy Alexey Shiro on

      Well, it is interesting to speculate what exactly those capital ships could be…

      For Italians, I could bet that at least one of their BB is “Leonardo da Vinci”, refitted in late 1930s along the “Conte di Cavour”-class lines.

      The other one is, probably, a heavily refitted “Francesco Caracciolo”. It was stated, that Italian battleships are the most modern & powerful in League’s arsenal.

      Of French ships, I assume that one is probably old “France” (of “Courbet”-class), and the second is, probably, “Normandie”-class, slightly refitted.

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      1. AvatarBy Lou Schirmer on

        For the Italians I’ll agree with Alexey on the Francesco Caracciolo class, but make it both ships of the class, or possibly one of them plus an early build Littorio (a different timeline could commission one earlier than ours). I have my doubts about the Leonardo da Vinci, since she mounted 12″ guns, unless they are sending their less powerful ships first.

        For the French I’ll have to disagree on the Courbet class also. If they threw away the Savoie, a newer, more powerful ship, considering it to be of little value, wouldn’t they have sent the Courbet class or Italian Cavour class BB instead? A Normadie or Lyon class BB would be newer & more powerful than the Savoie, so they’re possibilities, although both classes were cancelled in our timeline. I’d go with both of the Dunkerque class ships or a Dunkerque & a Richelieu for the French contingent of the coming LOT fleet.

        The CES fleet was going to be engaging the British Royal Navy in the invasion attempt. They would build the capital ship contingent to fight Queen Elizabeth & Revenge class BBs, armed with 15″ guns, as a minimum, with possibly one or both Nelson class ships, depending on the British Mediterranean fleet’s composition at the time. Any 12″ gun armed BB would be a liability, unless used for secondary duties like convoys or shore bombardment. All the European economies were essentially bankrupt after WW1. They couldn’t physically or fiscally build huge fleets. In the world the LOT came from, the CES probably lost the war with such a huge chunk of their fleets & armies disapperaing like that. I don’t see how they could have too many more capital ships to send any where, especially if they have their own local issues.

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        1. AvatarBy Justin on

          I’m going with Lou on this one; two Caracciolos and a Littorio would be a much better Yamato-class equivalent for a “death of the battleship” final fight.
          As a Mediterranean-only fleet though, the Italians would’ve thrown almost all the Regia Marina into the invasion, QEs or not… perhaps they scrapped the Contes and Caios?

          WRT the French, they’d’ve had to hold down the North Atlantic too, so the Dunkerques and Richilieus are probably still uptime.

          Don’t forget cruisers, those are going to be a problem. That’s why they need a ship that packs Amagi’s 10″ers: they don’t have any 7-9″ers, and the 140mm’s only got 2″ worth of penetration… at ten kiloyards. Anything larger than a Guissano/Cadorna or a contre-torpilleur is practically immune to a Gray or Walker unless the Allies somehow get into MG range.

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        2. AvatarBy Alexey Shiro on

          ” I have my doubts about the Leonardo da Vinci, since she mounted 12″ guns, unless they are sending their less powerful ships first.”

          Er, as I mentioned above – she was probably refitted according to the lines of other ships of her class, i.e. her guns were re-bored to 12,6-inch.

          “For the French I’ll have to disagree on the Courbet class also. If they threw away the Savoie, a newer, more powerful ship, considering it to be of little value,”

          Do you read the last book yet? It is mentioned, that “Savoie” was NOT meant to be sacrificed, it was basically personal initiative of Gravios.

          ” I’d go with both of the Dunkerque class ships or a Dunkerque & a Richelieu for the French contingent of the coming LOT fleet.”

          No, no, and no. Because it was clearly stated, that League’s most modern battleships are Italian ones. Which means, that French are less modern ones.

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          1. AvatarBy Lou Schirmer on

            If the Italians don’t have a Littorio, then yes the Richelieu & Dunkerque’s are out, which leaves the French with maybe a Normandie class or two of BBs & the Italians with maybe a Caracciolo class ship or two as the “most powerful & modern” ships they have. If we are going with that assumption, there’s no way the CES invasion fleet would have any chance against the what RN had available, unless the Italians pulled off a Taranto at Malta or Alexandria beforehand.

            And yes I read the book. We already knew Savoie wasn’t supposed to be given away, but she was still regarded as one of the least capable & modern of their capital ships. The only ships more powerful or modern (assuming no Littorio’s or French Equivalent) might be the Normadies & the Caracciolo’s (if even constructed) unless the ship construction constraints in the CES after WW1 were considerably different than ours.

          2. AvatarBy Alexey Shiro on

            ” If we are going with that assumption, there’s no way the CES invasion fleet would have any chance against the what RN had available, unless the Italians pulled off a Taranto at Malta or Alexandria beforehand.”

            I think, you overestimate the Royal Navy quite a bit. If they were forced to fight the whole CES AND Japan as early as 1939-1940, they would be very overstretched. France with her colonial empire & bases all around the world would be much more dangerous opponent than just Germany & Italy.

            It is possible, that French most modern units were partly in Atlantic (tearing apart British convoys), and partly in Western Mediterranean. After all, the link between France and Alger is vital for France. So, they probably have most of French most capable ships here to beat any British attempt to sortie from Gibraltar, while only a limited force was send to support combined invasion in Egypt.

          3. AvatarBy Lou Schirmer on

            I’d forgotten about Japan. Are we sure she’s at war with Britain? It’s possible it was a three way war, since much of what the Japanese took in East Asia were Dutch & French possessions, seeking to secure oil fields. The Dutch owned the prime oil fields in Indonesia, are they part of the CES as well? In our world the British colonies were attacked mostly because they were allies with the French & Dutch.
            It’ll be interesting to see what Taylor eventually comes up with.

          4. AvatarBy Lou Schirmer on

            Did some double checking & yes Japan was allied with the CES against Britain, Russia, China & the USA. The French, while having colonies in many places didn’t usually have any large naval or military presence with them. If the Dutch are part of the CES, that helps the Japanese tremendously. With the Japanese in the Pacific, they would probably take the British colonies the way they did in our world & the British would concentrate on the Atlantic & Mediterranean theaters, while the US would be largely in the Pacific to start, until war production geared up.
            Still the French industrial capacity & naval infrastructure would have had to explode in the 20s & 30s to have any hope of being a real threat to the RN. They did have better port access to the Atlantic than the Germans had, which helps considerably. It’d be damned hard to blockade France like they did Germany. If I were them, I’d have concentrated on fast raiders like the Dunkerques & a large submarine fleet. Meanwhile trying to generate some sort of naval aviation. They had the Bearne, but she was a rebuilt BB & too slow to be useful for anything but training.
            A map of the various colonies in our world of 1939: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/8d/Pacific_Area_-_The_Imperial_Powers_1939_-_Map.svg/980px-Pacific_Area_-_The_Imperial_Powers_1939_-_Map.svg.png

  3. AvatarBy Lou Schirmer on

    I’ve been thinking about Taylor’s post of the “official” PB-1F & had an idea to throw out for opinions/comments.

    The picture shows the PB-1F having a single row radial instead of the stacked radial described in POF. I think it’s actually a better design with the single row 254-hp engine like the picture shows. 
    1.  Not as much stress (weight & torque) on the airframe as the 10-cylinder would be (maybe 45% less weight) & being air cooled, about the same weight as the water cooled 4 cylinder. 
    2.  With a 104 hp power boost, the performance increase would be about the same without over powering the plane.
    3.  With less weight & a smaller engine, the range would be increased significantly.
    4.  The balance would be better, making it a far safer plane to fly.
    5. As an added bonus the observer should be able to hand prop the 5-cylinder. The 10-cylinder needed to be inertially started with a hand crank. Which then leaves the observer wondering how the hell he’s going to get past the fan to his or her seat.

    We could call the design info in the book a “mistake” & “correct” it for the Kindle editions, second & later printings & paperback when it comes out.
    Pg. 126, change the engine to the “proven 5-cylinder 254-hp radial”
    Pg. 456 Specs change to “5-cylinder 254-hp faired in radial”
    Done!  It matches the picture, is a better design & only needs two changes.
    All in favor? No? Oh well.

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  4. AvatarBy Alexey Shiro on

    Well, since the spoiler ban seems to be off… The Alliance would clearly need to seriously consider anti-aircraft missiles soon. The World War 2 experience clearly demonstrated, that even with best fire control available and proximity fuses, the gun-based defenses are simply not effective enough to stop the rocket-powered suicide glider…

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    1. AvatarBy Justin on

      Problem is that all the Allies’ve got are Grik Congreves. And since they aren’t very close to RC guidance either, then unfortunately their best bet is learning how to dodge.

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      1. AvatarBy Alexey Shiro on

        “And since they aren’t very close to RC guidance either, ”

        Actually, they are quite close. The first RC-controlled aircraft were created during WWI, and Allies are quite a bit above that level in electronics (they have vacuum tubes). And, they also have much better rocketry (potentially) due to access to smokeless slow-burning powders.

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    2. AvatarBy Lou Schirmer on

      They may need to, but they don’t know that yet, since Esshk got talked out of using them in POF. They may come as a nasty surprise in the next book though.
      Also, as Justin says, they don’t have the tech for a reliable guided missile or proximity fuses.
      Are you considering an unguided rocket system, like a Katyusha or Panzerwerfer? A ship mounted box launcher with say 16 4″-5″ rockets & time fuses might work. Their fighters are slow to engage except for head-on or angled intercepts as they go by & a pair of .30 cal MGs might not even hit them or do enough damage to knock one down. Maybe their next gen fighters (if/when they arrive) could carry 2.5″ rocket pods on wing hard points. Still crap for accuracy, but better than nothing, since they’ll still be to slow to catch a rocket.

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      1. AvatarBy Alexey Shiro on

        “Also, as Justin says, they don’t have the tech for a reliable guided missile or proximity fuses.”

        Actually, they have. The simplest proximity fuse that I could describe would be an electrical chain of oscillator-bolometer-amplifier-fuse

        * The oscillator would produce the periodic wave, which would be sent to amplifier through the bolometer.

        * In normal – “cold” – condition, the bolometer resistance would be to big for signal from oscillator to come through.

        * But if bolometer receive IR radiation from the nearby target, the resistance of bolometer would drop, and signal would get to amplifier.

        * The amplified signal closed the relay to the fuse, and detonate the warhead.

        The rotation of the rocket would provide the scanning for the bolometer. Basically, if rocket rotates 60 rpm, we would have 1 scan of 360 degrees per second, pretty enough to hit the advancing rocket plane. To avoid our IR-fuse reacting on targets too far away (like Sun), we could install the delay coil into the system, so the fuse would be activated only if the heat source have an angular size of, say, 10 degrees or more.

        Of course, it is not the perfect solution, but it would work. Even on Allies available level.

        Do not underestimate the wonderful capabilities of 1920s electronics. 😉

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        1. AvatarBy Justin on

          Assuming the Allies can do that, then they should be able to use those on conventional AA (Type 96s and naval guns are rifled) and shoot down the rockets, or have fighters do it. Even the V1 got shot down – and we’re not talking about a V1, but about an oversized two-stage firework. The carrier group itself is vulnerable too.

          Seems like a moot point, since the one carrier Esshk has might be gone before the Allies even come up with the need for a fuse.

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          1. AvatarBy Alexey Shiro on

            Er, no. To make workable proximity fuse is one thing. To make shock-resistant miniature electronics, capable of surviving the gun-launch – is a completely different thing. Sorry, only rockets and guided missiles could be equipped with abovementioned device, not AA shells.

            P.S. Considering that Alliance would be forced to face the modern planes of League (and let’s not forget, while League currently have no aircraft industry, they have MUCH more engineers and aviators than Alliance – and could establish their own aircraft production rather fast), I think that proximity fuses and surface-to-air RC missiles should be considered. The AA artillery is essentially a technological dead end; it was realized even before WW2, that AA guns are just not cost-effective.

          2. AvatarBy Lou Schirmer on

            While AAA is eventually a dead end against rockets & missiles, it will serve until they get something better, which will take a while. Planes were getting shot down in numbers well before VT proximity fuses came out, it just usually needed a saturation type barrage. So it will still be effective against the early WW2 type aircraft the LOT will have & definitely effective against the more primitive planes Esshk’s got. They do need an intermediate size auto cannon fairly soon though, MGs just aren’t going to cut it.
            For that matter, most modern ships have some sort of AAA DP light artillery, usually in the 25-40mm range. Granted, it’s radar controlled & mostly automatic, but that’s to handle the higher speeds of incoming ordnance. They’re also useful against small craft, when the heavy weapons aren’t cost effective.

          3. AvatarBy Alexey Shiro on

            “They do need an intermediate size auto cannon fairly soon though, MGs just aren’t going to cut it.”

            Well… they might try electrically-powered large-caliber Gatling for that role. Or electrically-powered Hotchkiss revolving gun. Threw as much shells as possible on the trajectory of incoming suicide plane, in hope of exploding the warhead.

            But must point out, that both USA and Britain concluded that SAM would be much better solution, and pushed hard for their development. The USN worked out “Little Joe” (basically a JATO booster with added guidance system & warhead), the RN tested Fairey “Stooge” (plane-like missile).

            P.S. According to some rumors, Japanese have some ideas about adapting their promising solid-fuel surface-to-air missile – Funryu-2 – to the ships as well, but they managed to perform only one fully complete test before capitulation.

          4. AvatarBy Justin on

            But they’re effective now. Otherwise all the Allies’d need against the League would be Buzzards and Clippers.

            Even if the Americans or Germans got the idea for an IR-tracking fuse, it wouldn’t arrive before the Stukas and Sparvieros did, and for those, conventional (albeit upgraded) AA would be fine. As for the League’s industrial capabilities, it’s implied that they’re several steps behind the Allies; that, and the lack of aluminum means that they’re stuck with wooden/steel aircraft of their own, at best.

            Electronic weaponry is a good idea… for a couple decades after the books, when the Allies have the time, resources and a need. It was the turbojet that really killed triple-A, and I think we both know that the DD-verse isn’t even close to that.

          5. AvatarBy Justin on

            As for the autocannon argument, I’d like to point out that the USN still uses Bushmasters and Vulcans.

          6. AvatarBy Alexey Shiro on

            “As for the autocannon argument, I’d like to point out that the USN still uses Bushmasters and Vulcans.”

            Yes, but they are… quite a lot more effective than 1940s autocannons.

          7. AvatarBy Matt White on

            The British fielded a CLOS point defence missile during the cold war called Seacat. It was a compact and reliable system but it was subsonic and its manual guidance made it useless against more modern threats. I don’t think it ever achieve a kill.

        2. AvatarBy Lou Schirmer on

          A proximity fused rocket might work, but it would have to be fairly large. Maybe a Panzerwerfer type box could replace one of the main battery mounts. Our heroes know radios & presumably can do rockets, it’s whether any of them will come up with the idea & whether it gets shot down (heh!) or approved for development. Assuming no one has thought of it yet, & the next book has Esshk using suicide rockets, demonstrating the need for something better, it will still be at least a year in design, testing & getting into production. So we MAY see something 3-4 books down the road. Until then, they’re going to have to use what they have & hope they can smash Esshk before he blows half the fleet away.

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          1. AvatarBy Alexey Shiro on

            Well, yes. It would be relatively large, to fit the electronics.

            “So we MAY see something 3-4 books down the road. ”

            Agreed. But they clearly should start to look for something as soon as they realize what happens.

        3. AvatarBy Matt White on

          If it were that easy then the allies would have been able to develop a counter to the V2 quickly.

          Your system may work in theory but until very recently infrared seekers were really finicky things that had low reliability.

          Case in point in Vietnam the US forces had a nightmare with getting their Falcon and sidewinder missiles to track. Their electronics, which were far more advanced than anything our heros can make, were not sensitive enough to discrimante the heat signature of a jet exhaust from the sun, reflections of sunlight off bodies of water or even the ambient heat of the jungle. Keep in mind that to work at all the seeker heads had to be precooled with liquid nitrogen from tanks stored on the fighters and if they couldn’t get a lock before the coolant ran out, usually measured in tens of seconds, then they couldn’t get a lock at all.

          This was the state of the art after 20 years of development by the Air Force into infrared seekers including incorporating captured German research which was more advanced than what the allies had in WW2.

          Infrared seekers became reliable in the 1970s with the advent of CCD cameras and even more so with modern CMOS sensors which aren’t all that different from the camera in your smartphone.

          The first SAM systems that were capable of shooting down other missiles were radar guided not infrared. And we’ve been down the radar rabbit hole a few times now. For that they would need new allies with radar to cross over.

          I think the best they can hope for is a ship armed with late war radar and VT fused AA shells to arrive. That would be a massive improvement in their AA capabilities and apart from a deus ex machina about the most advanced technology they could possibly receive.

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          1. AvatarBy David Edwards on

            Taylor needs the send over a ship full of P-51D’s to deal with the suicide bombs

          2. AvatarBy Alexey Shiro on

            …We are talking about rocket-powered gliders, NOT ballistic missiles.

            Also:

            “Your system may work in theory but until very recently infrared seekers were really finicky things that had low reliability.”

            Where exactly was I talking about seeker? I was talking about the IR PROXIMITY FUSE.

            “The first SAM systems that were capable of shooting down other missiles were radar guided not infrared.”

            Not exactly. They were command-guided, with target and missile tracked by radars. They have no homing capabilities of their own, the control station just held them on course by radio commands.

          3. AvatarBy Matt White on

            In practice that won’t make much of a difference. If a more advanced infrared seeker isn’t capable of telling the difference between engine exhaust, the sun and the jungle then how is the alliance to make an infrared fuze sensitive enough to be set off by engine exhaust on a head on aspect (I assume we don’t want to try tail chase when shooting these down) and not be dangerously easy to set off?

            “…We are talking about rocket-powered gliders, NOT ballistic missiles.”

            But in all practical terms we are talking about a cruise missile, which is capable of evasive maneuvers which is something only modern cruise missiles are capable of. When you are willing to use sentient beings as your guidance systems a lot can be done.

          4. AvatarBy Justin on

            Come to think of it Matt, that might be the only thing protecting the League from getting wiped by reverse-engineered AShMs in Book 18: no matter how effective the missile is, Reddy would probably rather swallow kudzu than recruit volunteers for a one-way flight.

          5. AvatarBy Alexey Shiro on

            “Reddy would probably rather swallow kudzu than recruit volunteers for a one-way flight.”

            Actually, I suspect, Reddy is more… pragmatical. If the situation would ve dire enough, and losses of pilots would became unacceptably high, he MAY consider asking for volunteers (IMHO). After all, Japanese kamikadze were developed as attempt to save lives – when the US air defense became too effective for traditional attacks.

          6. AvatarBy Alexey Shiro on

            “In practice that won’t make much of a difference.”

            Actually, there are very big difference. The fuze is supposed to work on distances of about several dozen meters, no more. The seeker is supposed to work on distances of hundred-to-thousand meters. The difference us about two orders of magnitude.

            “and not be dangerously easy to set off?”

            Angular size of the object is the key. The relay system of the fuze would activate only if heat-emitting object have a sufficient angular size (which is determined by the duration of its detection during each rotation cycle)

          7. AvatarBy Matt White on

            I feel like if it were that easy then militaries would have used bolometer based fuzes a long time ago. But they didn’t and still don’t.

            This seems to me like a similar case to magnetic detonators in torpedoes. On paper a good idea and in the lab even quite successful but unreliable in the real world. The core issue at play is setting a suitable threshold of resistance to set off the detonator. Temperature varies wildly from season to season, day to day and time of day. To guarantee a stable temperature for the resivoir side you will need some kind of cooling system. For our heroes the best option is freon based refrigeration. They’ve been able to repair and recharge the coke machine enough times to tell me this is well understood tech. But thats also bulky.

            You could perhaps cool the rocket while it is on the launcher and the lines are on quick disconnects allowing the crew to make ready quickly. But this is raising cost and complexity. The more complicated a system the more likely it is to fail.

            And I still fail to see how it will be able to properly work in the tropics. Northene latitudes would be far easier because the ambient temp is cooler and hot engines stick out more.

            This also doesn’t get in to how this will be controlled. A simple bang bang control scheme will offer some authority but it won’t be agile. You also need high torque light weight electric motors that’s another area that needs R&D.

            And all of these electronics will need power. This is going to be a solid fueled rocket, for many reasons and that means we can’t connect an alternator to it and I doubt a little generator connected to a prop in the nose will deliver the juice needed. So batteries. But the batteries we have available are prone to cracking their cases from shock and are also heavy and low capacity.

            I agree that rockets and eventually guided missiles are a worthwhile path to research but having working SAMs in theater as a viable weapon any time soon is a bridge too far.

            Ultimately the best counter to these kamikaze V-1s is to do what the allies did in the real world; seek out and destroy their launch sites.

          8. AvatarBy Alexey Shiro on

            …Matt, we are talking about the fuse. Not the missile seeker.

          9. AvatarBy Alexey Shiro on

            “I feel like if it were that easy then militaries would have used bolometer based fuzes a long time ago. But they didn’t and still don’t.”

            …Ok, I explain it more. The bolometers are known since XIX century. The reason why they weren’t used in AA fuses is because when they were the best infrared devices available – there were no AA rockets to talk about. The interest – real interest – to AA rockets & missiles grew only in late 1930s, when the limitations of AA artillery became apparent. But by this time, more effective infrared devices became available, so infrared fuses, developed in 1940-1950s did not use bolometers.

            I stuck with bolometers, because they are WITHING the Alliance technological capabilities, and COULD be produced. While more effective thermoelectric systems are more problematic.

            Hope this answer your question…

      2. AvatarBy Alexey Shiro on

        “Maybe their next gen fighters (if/when they arrive) could carry 2.5″ rocket pods on wing hard points. Still crap for accuracy, but better than nothing, since they’ll still be to slow to catch a rocket.”

        Hmmmm. You know, it just might work, if they would have automatic rangefinding system for rocket launch on optimal distance. The real world systems (like installed on Sabre-D rocket-armed interceptor), used radar, but we could try to achieve the satisfying results with optics & infrared.

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        1. AvatarBy Steve Moore on

          Rockets. Calliope mounts on the new tanks. HVAR pods on the remaining P40’s. Maybe even a couple of launching racks on MTB’se-And the piece-de-resistace… a 12″ guided rocket dropped from the remaining Japanese torpedo planes (or Clippers, to get more range with altitude). B40’s for light troops.

          And you could probably shoot tanks with them as well, given better warheads.

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          1. AvatarBy Lou Schirmer on

            I was wondering when you’d jump in on the rocket debate!

          2. AvatarBy Steve Moore on

            figured you guys had set me up.. it’s now official, less than 30 days after POF worked its way through the lending library, I’m already being asked “When’s the next one coming out?” Taylor, please don’t ever get the thought to condominiumize your work like many other authors have. Even Jack Reacher has clones now..

        2. AvatarBy Steve Moore on

          didn’t the Sturmoviks, Typhoons and P47’s depend oo optical sights, based on ballistics math? Supposedly the Navy had real problems with accuracy on the Tiny Tim and other rockets used late in the Pacific.

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          1. AvatarBy Alexey Shiro on

            They weren’t using their rockets to achieve air-to-air hits on head-on interception courses.

          2. AvatarBy donald johnson on

            another type of proximity detector is a simple oscillator detector where the oscillator detects its own signal and the Doppler of the returned signal is detected causing the fuse to explode if a frequency shift of over a certain amount is detected. think of the old police radar gun type detector and I know that this type detector is within their capability (no not using gunn device detectors). by the way we used this type as shell proximity detectors ourselves in WWII

        3. AvatarBy donald johnson on

          An A4 skyhawk shot down a MIG in vetnam with a ZUNI when the mig overshot him after ha hit his airbrakes. Mig Pilot was gonna use guns and not waste a missile and the A4 survived. Mig did not. unguided rockets work

          Reply
  5. AvatarBy Lou Schirmer on

    Taylor just posted the new Nancy version on his FB page.

    Reply
  6. AvatarBy John Lyle on

    Would it be possible to have the recognition silhouettes of all ships in the series shown in the art section? I am wondering about Mahan silhouette. I know she is now different from Walker (shorter ) but I forget what she looks like from silhouettes shown in previous books.

    Reply
  7. AvatarBy Justin on

    Would U-112 have been carrying G7a torps or G7e/T2s?

    Because the former was noisy and left a bubble trail, but was pretty reliable otherwise. Might be worth studying.
    OTOH the latter was almost undetectable, but was slow and short ranged.. and had the same magnetic detonator problems as the Mark 14s in the first few books. Not much to learn from those.

    Reply
    1. AvatarBy Alexey Shiro on

      I doubt that Alliance have much need for a completely new torpedo type. They aren’t that resource-rich.

      “OTOH the latter was almost undetectable, but was slow and short ranged.. and had the same magnetic detonator problems as the Mark 14s in the first few books. Not much to learn from those.”

      Well… considering that France and Italy played a larger role in CES than Germany, they could actually have ITALIAN magnetic detonator. Which, if I recall correctly, was considered by German engineers as more reliable and robust than German design.

      Reply
      1. AvatarBy Matt White on

        The problem with magnetic detonators is they have to be calibrated. The earth’s magnetic field is not consistent everywhere and locally it can be effected by many things. This is the big issue everyone who developed them, the Americans, Germans, British etc, found out during the war.

        The Italians probably had better luck because they tended to use their torpedoes where they tested them, the Mediterranean. This wasn’t the case for everyone else who’s submarines fought in many different theaters.

        For our heroes I think they don’t have to worry about any magnetic detonators the league may have as this earth almost certainly has a different magnetic field than our own.

        Reply
  8. AvatarBy Lou Schirmer on

    Are our guys using the Star Shell mechanical fuses for the 4″ DP AA work?

    Reply
    1. AvatarBy Alexey Shiro on

      I really doubt that. Mechanical fuses are… complex. They probably have only pyrotechnical fuses of poor quality (justified, since they did not actually expect to meet either Kurokawa’s bombers, or League modern aircraft).

      Reply
      1. AvatarBy Lou Schirmer on

        While I agree they probably hadn’t even considered the need for them prior to Kurokawa’s surprise air show, I think reproductions of the star shell’s time fuses are within their capabilities. Mechanical time fuses were in general use in WW1 & they are about at a 1925 time period technology wise. It may take them some time to produce & test them however. They may or may not be available yet.

        Reply
        1. AvatarBy Justin on

          Sounds reasonable. A star shell’s basically a larger lum round, and IIRC the Allies already have those… though if they need VT fuses to work against aircraft, that might be a problem.

          Reply
          1. AvatarBy Lou Schirmer on

            The 4″/50’s had star shell ammo, hopefully Walker or Mahan had some to work with. Mechanical timed fuses were used up until the VT radio proximity fuses came out. They weren’t real effective but that’s all that was available. They definitely don’t have the tech for VT fuses, but should be able to come up with mechanical fuses. It’s a question of how long they’ve been working on them using star shell fuses as templates. They still won’t be real great against modern LOT aircraft designs though, but better than chemical fuses.

          2. AvatarBy Alexey Shiro on

            VT fuses are impossible for Alliance. Don’t forget, it was technology, that eat almost as much resources as atom bomb, and in became possible only because of a great progress in centimeter-long wave radars & great experience of US industry in electronics.

            Some other kind of proximity fuse – infrared, or photoelectric one, for example – are within Alliance capabilities. But not for gun shells. It would took them decades to be able to make acceleration-resistant electronic, capable of gun-launch acceleration (thousands of “g”!)

            Rocket or missile fuses are perfectly possible. The photoelectric cells were rather common in pre-war photo cameras to measure the lighting, so (if Courtney, or someone other, could figure out how to produce selenium from products of copper refining, they could actually make them. And, bolometers (infrared-sensitive devices) are 1870s technology.

        2. AvatarBy Alexey Shiro on

          “Mechanical time fuses were in general use in WW1 & they are about at a 1925 time period technology wise.”

          The problem is not exactly the technology; the problem is the industry. To produce mechanical fuses in large number – not hand-made each one – you need highly trained workforce, precise equipment and good materials. Alliance currently have exactly nothing of this. Most of their workforce are out-of-bronze age, their industry is hastily build, and their materials are “as good as they could be”.

          I just knew how long & painful was the way for reliable AA fuses in 1930s USSR. It took YEARS to actually perfect the technology. Just too demanding. On small scale yes, it could be done. But made THOUSANDS of reliable fuses required far more efforts than crude build machining tools, operated by Lemurians who are mostly trained on level “put this thing here, rotate it around, pull it out, and don’t ask stupid questions”.

          Reply
          1. AvatarBy Lou Schirmer on

            Quite right, they’re probably using chemical fuses, but are probably trying to get a practical mechanical fuse tested & into production. Especially since they now know of the LOT’s modern aircraft. Reverse engineering the 4″ star shells would be the quickest way to go.

          2. AvatarBy Matt White on

            If they have the ability to manufacture the gunnery computer of Walker for her sister ships then they should be able to make mechanical time fuzes. The catch is that we have no idea how resource intensive that production is so it’s entirely possible that while mechanical fuzes are within their capability they aren’t practical for mass production. Which is likely the case. The machine tools taken from Walker should be high enough precision to fabricate most parts the crew could be reasonably expected to replace in the field. And they started working on trying to replicate those tools early on. The question is how many of those lathes and drills have they managed to produce, how widespread are they and are the tool bits anywhere near the quality of the originals. Tool steel is a different formulation from carbon steel which is different from spring steel and structural steel. They all require separate development.

          3. AvatarBy Alexey Shiro on

            “the gunnery computer of Walker for her sister ships then they should be able to make mechanical time fuzes”

            No, that’s the problem. The gunnery calculator is a relatively rare piece of equipment, produced in very small numbers. They could allow to threw disproportional resources on it. But fuses must be produced in tens of thousands, to have any value. And you could not hand-craft each fuse as you could do with computer.

          4. AvatarBy Matt White on

            Agreed. It is within their capability but not economically feasible.

  9. AvatarBy Justin on

    Any guesses as to the Empire’s new steel hulls?

    Not really a spoiler, since RoB mentions them too: lightest are on par with the Walkers, and the heavier ones might be able to square off with the League’s. So DDs and something heavier….. but what?

    Reply
    1. AvatarBy Alexey Shiro on

      ” and the heavier ones might be able to square off with the League’s. ”

      Considering the Republic lack of shipbuilding experience, probably a bit… overoptimistic.

      Reply
      1. AvatarBy Justin on

        Well the Empire does have a few centuries of experience with steam-propelled wooden hulls. From the description, it sounds like they’re on an A/B-class and Emerald/Hawkins level; nothing revolutionary, but still impressive.

        Reply
        1. AvatarBy Alexey Shiro on

          Er, I seriously doubt that “a few centuries”. They didn’t have them when they were transferred, so it must be later invention. Probably no earlier than 1850-1880s.

          Reply
        2. AvatarBy Matt White on

          More likely a few decades of experience with steam power. If it wasn’t SS Amerika that brought that technology then it wasn’t that much before her arrival.

          They certainly have experience with armored steam powered warships however given the constant maelstrom around the cape it seems they have focused on coastal ships like their harbor monitors. They don’t seem to have much experiencing in building oceangoing ships.

          I think it depends on how much help they request from the Union. If they do ask for help in designing ships then we may very well see something that roughly shares some kind of lineage with hullforms the Union is familiar with. If they don’t then it will probably be what they are most familiar with. Perhaps a hullform similar to Amerika or depending on how good the memory of the WW1 sailors is, reminiscent of warships from their era.

          Reply
        3. AvatarBy Justin on

          Empire – the British/Indian blokes in Hawaii.

          Though it’s more than likely the Republic figured out steam before Amerika showed up.

          Reply
  10. AvatarBy Alexey Shiro on

    A bit of relevant technical data that I found in “Guided missiles and techniques”. Summary technical reports of Division 5, NDRC (Vol.1), published in 1946. Quite a good source about old USA guided weapons, but it is not the point here.

    The point is, that in April, 1945, the Dahlgren Naval Ordnance Station tested the effect of shaped-charge aerial bomb against the model of battleship’s hull. They used a standard 1000-pdr GP bomb casting, equipped with shaped charge of about 18 inches diameter. It was placed on the test rig, composed of several metal plates, separated from each other with 8-ft spaces.

    The plates were, from up to down:

    * 11-inch (28 cm) hardened cemented plate or armor steel.

    * 4-inch (10 cm) hardened cemented plate or armor steel.

    * 0,75-inch mild steel plate

    * 0,75-inch mild steel plate

    * 0,75-inch mild steel plate

    Between fourth and fifth plates, several 100-pdr bombs (without fuses) were placed. The whole test rig imitated the horizontal protection of battleship’s main turret magazines. Navy wanted to knew: would shaped charge be able to penetrate into ship’s magazines & would it have enough power to detonate ammunition in case of such hit?

    As it happens, it would.

    When the charge was detonated, the metal jet penetrated the whole test rig, from the first to the last plate, and caused detonation of 100-pdr bombs inside.

    This was one of the reasons, why armored fleets disappeared shortly after World War 2 and never returned.

    Reply
    1. AvatarBy Justin on

      Cripes, that’s a definite mission kill for even a Yamato. The battlewagons were already becoming too expensive to justify themselves – I suppose this was the last straw.

      Reply
      1. AvatarBy Alexey Shiro on

        Yep. Incidentally (I think, it was just a coincidence, but…) the design of target rig was quite similar to the “Yamato” main turret protection.

        Reply
    2. AvatarBy Paul Smith on

      what if they used reactive applique armor to break up the jet? Armor still has a purpose in ships.

      Reply
      1. AvatarBy Justin on

        My guess, not worth the cost. The opposition would just create a better missile, so to keep the Iowas you’d have to sink more and more money into an arms race for four already-expensive capital ships that’ve mostly been made redundant.

        These days, the only thing a BB can do that a CV or DD can’t is shore bombardment, and that’s what the arsenal cruiser is for.

        Reply
      2. AvatarBy Alexey Shiro on

        To put it simply – the reactive armor needed to break such jet would probably cause nearly as much damage as the jet itself. Let’s not forget, that 1000-pdr shaped charge warhead is also a VERY powerful HE bomb. Adding more explosives to its detonation… this may just cause the armor to be destroyed by simple shock of surface explosion.

        Reply
        1. AvatarBy Lou Schirmer on

          Not to mention the massive weight it would add to the ship. It would slow them down & likely make them a bit unstable & that’s just belt armor. You want to put reactive armor on the deck also, since we’re talking bombs & guided missiles. You’re liable to blow your own superstructure overboard with one hit. It’s OK on tanks & APCs, since they don’t tend to sink or capsize & can be covered fairly well, but it still slows them down.

          Reply
          1. AvatarBy Alexey Shiro on

            Exactly, Lou. Basically that’s why naval armor went out almost immediately after World War 2: it was simply impractical to put it on anymore. Too many new methods of attack – shaped charges, supersonic guided bombs, nuclear weapons – for the armor to be worth putting on a warships.

          2. AvatarBy Lou Schirmer on

            It might be an interesting experiment to build a ship using Chobham armor instead of the usual steel plate. The latest Chobham type composites are supposed to be 10 times better than regular armor steel at defeating HEAT & kinetic rounds.

          3. AvatarBy Matt White on

            NERA composites like Chobham are more effective but tanks still only have to deal with HEAT projectiles of a certain size. Be it fired from a cannon or an atgm there is a limit to how big you can make the round before its impractical and the effectiveness of shaped charges is in large part related to their diameter.

            With an aircraft or ship launched missile you don’t have that limitation. You can make a much larger diameter warhead so I think it’s still a losing proposition. Weight will still increase very quickly and composite armor is much more expensive than steel.

      1. AvatarBy Lou Schirmer on

        Thanks for the pointer! Every time I do a new one I’m back to hunting through MS Paint’s fonts, trying to find something semi-close. I’ll try it out & see if Paint accepts it.

        Reply
        1. AvatarBy Nestor on

          No prob! You can use it for lettering on most of your allied plane and ship drawings. I can forward you my copy if you have issues with downloading and installing.

          Reply
        2. AvatarBy Taylor Anderson on

          Hey Lou. I’ve been working on a Cantet drawing and thought I’d send it to you for your input (as a fellow Aviation enthusiast and reasoned critic of my previous designs). Trouble is, I seem to have misplaced your e-mail address. I’d just post it here for all to see and comment on but I don’t have a discreet way of doing that by which the “rough draft” would not “get out there” as widely as the finished version.

          Reply
          1. AvatarBy Nestor on

            Taylor, I think I’ve got Lou’s email, I’ll send it to you. Maybe in return you can reply with your Cantet drawing? You’ve picked the curiosity of this other aviation enthusiast… 😉

          2. AvatarBy Lou Schirmer on

            He has mine already! You’ll have to bribe him with something else! :)

          3. AvatarBy Lou Schirmer on

            Plus, he already posted it on the DDmen Fan Club FB page.

          4. AvatarBy Taylor Anderson on

            If it’s on the fan association page, I didn’t put it there. That’s fine, I put it on my author facebook page, figuring if you guys like it, it’s good to go–and anything there is fair game for re-post–but I didn’t do it. Everybody have a look, and if it meets broad approval, I’ll post it here.

          5. AvatarBy Lou Schirmer on

            My bad! It’s on Taylor’s page, sorry.

          6. AvatarBy Lou Schirmer on

            Just out of curiosity Taylor, do you hand draw your stuff & then scan it & touch it up, or do you do it totally digitally?

          7. AvatarBy Taylor Anderson on

            Well, I basically hand draw it with a mouse in paint. I know, Nestor has already explained how limited and archaic that that is. I used to do a lot of pen and ink stuff and got passable at it but gunmaking for so many years (carving, lock filing, etc.) pretty much wore my hands out. If I try to hold a pen or pencil more than a few minutes my hand hurts-then goes numb! Ha!

          8. AvatarBy Lou Schirmer on

            Sounds like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. My hands tend to start shaking when I try to do fine work… like holding a spoon of soup steady while I blow on it to cool it down. Getting a screw driver into the slots is a biatch also. Old age sucks.

          9. AvatarBy Taylor Anderson on

            Yeah, carpal tunnel and bone on bone. It ain’t the years, it’s the off road miles. The worst joint is the left thumb to wrist because that was the “pushing” thumb for the carving knife. Compression with tight gloves helps, and since I have such big hands, all gloves are tight. See? Always look on the bright side of things.
            Back the original discussion though, I’ve done all my own maps etc ever since the second book. I worked with somebody the publisher recommended on the first one, but though he was a pro and did a good job, that presented several problems. First, since he hadn’t read the book, it was a nightmare getting what I wanted across to him. Also, I often need at least rough sketches of the maps before I write what happens there. Might as well just do the whole thing myself so, professional or not, they show what I want them to.

          10. AvatarBy Nestor on

            On long drawing sessions I put on a wrist brace with a stiff back while on my drawing tablet. The stylus is fat with a rubber grip, which is another plus except when I inadvertently squeeze it too hard and tire my fingers out. I’m still learning to wean myself off that bad habit.

            As far as having someone else draw a map for a yet to be published story I concur it will be a challenge unless the artist has spent time reading the relevant parts of the script. Otherwise you can commission fancier artwork after the fact, say on a reissue or second printing.

  11. AvatarBy Alexey Shiro on

    Guys, seems that we have a problem. I found definite proofs, that French military designed sub-caliber armor-piercing rounds as early as in 1937 (for 20-mm gun initially). In fact, it seems that German sub-caliber rounds – which very suspiciously appeared around 1940-1941 – were stolen from French designs.

    What it means for “Destroyermen”, is that League quite possibly have MUCH more capable anti-tank guns than France or Germany have in our world. And basically, the Alliance would be totally incapable of making light tanks of any military value. They would just be too vulnerable. They would not provide any real protection.

    So it seems, that the Alliance armor development must be seriously re-thought. To be effective, they need tanks with at least 2-3 inch armor. Or more. With their technology, it means more and more weight (albeit the small size of Lemurians would probably allow to make tanks more compact.

    Frankly, but I started to think about something like the Alliance variant of Char B1. Heavy frontal armor, 3-inch hull-mounted gun/howitzer, light gun/autocannon/double MG’s in turret. Due to Lemurian small size, they would probably be able to actually put two-man turret in the place, where human could fit only single-man one.

    Reply
    1. AvatarBy Justin on

      (https://panzerworld.com/armor-penetration-table)

      Before launching into full panic mode, let’s keep in mind that A) most tank fights are at 500m or longer, B) most ’39 AT guns were 50mm or less, and C) APC or APCBC of that era yielded around 38-53 of penetration.

      So in theory, 1.5-2 inch plate at a 45-degree angle should bounce anything up to an 75 or 88, and those will likely kill an Allied tank no matter what. Let’s not sacrifice too much mobility for a little armour.

      Reply
      1. AvatarBy Alexey Shiro on

        Considering that the “mobility” of Allied tanks would be very limited either way – they simply could not refine engines, gears and tracks fast enough – I think, they we could safely sacrifice it for better cross-terrain ability (i.e. rhomboid hull with overlapping track) and better protection.

        After all, the main goal for Allied tanks would be – for quite a long – the support of landing operations & near-sea campaigns. Basically it wouldn’t matter, that they are slow and have limited range; they would be moved by sea & would fought using the sea supply routes. So, there aren’t may reasons to even try to make them fast. And slow tanks are much simpler to produce.

        Reply
        1. AvatarBy Justin on

          We don’t really know what a war with the League would look like. What we do know is that tanks with minimal mobility can be defeated by even infantry or rough terrain; Char B1s would make horrible amphibious tanks.

          Without spoiling anything, a 150hp engine should be able to do 30 to 40kph on flat ground, and Baalkpan seems to be slowly getting closer to achieving that end. A semi-armoured SPG might work fine as an infantry tank in tandem with a light-medium, but the Chars are a dead end.

          Reply
          1. AvatarBy Alexey Shiro on

            ” What we do know is that tanks with minimal mobility can be defeated by even infantry or rough terrain; ”

            Er, the Char B1 have excellent cross-terrain mobility. Rhomboid tanks were specifically designed for that.

          2. AvatarBy Justin on

            By that definition of “rhomboid,” Churchills qualify too – methinks that they’d also be more useful to the Allies.

          3. AvatarBy Steve White on

            A 150 hp engine? That’s a Nancy F radial. I recall that American light tanks of the late 30s used aircraft engines; they were lightweight (comparatively) and had great power, even when detuned a bit to run on regular octane rather than av-gas. So Nancy engines would be plenty good for the type of armor the Alliance can build.

      2. AvatarBy Lou Schirmer on

        The current Union tanks are designed to do the job tanks were initially called for, breaking trench lines for the foot soldier to exploit. Light tanks, by definition are all vulnerable to anti-tank guns to various degrees. The Union’s current tank is probably vulnerable to .50 cal BMG fire. The Finns made a nice AT gun called the Lahti-39 in 20mm. Silva’s Doom Whomper might do well against light armor (maybe necked down to 15mm or so to increase velocity).
        Currently the allies can do decent enough armor & have good enough engine to carry it, but need experience with suspensions & transmissions to haul it. If/when they mix it up with the LOT on land a few years from now, they should be able to field something at least closely comparable to what the LOT currently might have. A tank with a 25mm gun variant & sloped armor would make an excellent light tank, using their 6-cylinder engine. The 3″/23 might make a good self propelled howitzer/Tank killer.

        The point is mute, however, since tanks have restricted mobility in forests & jungles. The Lot would be insane (OK, more insane) to bring heavy tanks into a Central African or South American campaign & I don’t see the Alliance invading North Africa any time soon.

        Reply
        1. AvatarBy Justin on

          The German 37mm off U-112 might be helpful as well, if they can get it reverse-engineered in time.

          Maybe the League’ll just straight-up invade the Republic? From what little we know, the west coast is mostly lowlands and it’s doubtful that Colonia would have adequate defences.

          Reply
          1. AvatarBy Lou Schirmer on

            The 37mm would make a decent gun. They’d have to shorten it some to make it handier.

            I seem to recall the LOT does have designs on the Republic & South African terrain is better for tank warfare than Central African jungles. They’d have to invade from the western coasts though, since the perpetual storm off Cape Horn would destroy any small craft being deployed from transports there.

  12. AvatarBy Justin on

    Given the existing level of tech and expertise, how much HP could the Allies cram into an engine within a six-month period?

    There, no spoilers!

    Reply
    1. AvatarBy Matt White on

      Hard to say because there are a lot of variables. However the next step in engine development they need is forced induction. The only union engines with boost at the moment are the P-40s. Fuel that is high enough grade will be a logistics problem. They can make it but they’ve only had to make enough for the P-40s so far. A simple positive displacement supercharger would be inefficient but also the easiest to implement. A centrifugal supercharger or turbocharger would be better but harder to do. The only possible examples of turbos they may have would be from wrecked Machi-Messerschmits although I’m sure Ben is familiar with the concept.

      But yeah there are a lot of variables at play that we don’t know so actual horsepower figures are hard to estimate. What octane fuel can they provide in quantities large enough to support large scale air operations? How tight are union manufacturing tolerances? What grades of high temperature steel are available? Also are they ready for fuel injection? You can do forced induction on carbs but it’s not as reliable and makes for less power. Fuel injection is much more complicated though.

      Reply
  13. AvatarBy Steve White on

    By any chance, is there a drawing / plan of the Cantet, the biplane used by the Republic? I know it’s based on the Albatros C-I of WWI Imperial Germany, and I’ve seen the photo of it at Wiki. But I’d like to see the drawing (much like the drawings we have of the Nancy) in Republic colors. If such a drawing exists I’d appreciate the pointer.

    Reply
    1. AvatarBy Taylor Anderson on

      I haven’t done one yet but I’ve been meaning to—if someone doesn’t beat me to it. Glad you liked Pass of Fire. It was a tough one to write for a lot of reasons and pretty emotional from time to time, even for me.

      Reply
      1. AvatarBy Lou Schirmer on

        I did an extremely small seaplane version of the Cantet for my Republic Quick Build Cruiser version 2.

        Reply
          1. AvatarBy Steve White on

            Lou, that’s an excellent starting point for the artists around here!

  14. AvatarBy Lou Schirmer on

    Someone on Facebook asked for a deck plan of the Gray a while back. It took me some time to do, because I kept finding mistakes to correct. The worst were the 4″/50 guns, which bore NO resemblance to the real thing. Plus matching deck arrangements with side view can get finicky to say the least. I also finally tracked down what that Rube Goldberg anchor crane thing was actually supposed to look like. Anyway, here she is. Finally!
    https://www.deviantart.com/loupy59/art/Revised-Alliance-CL-USS-Gray-by-Lou-Schirmer-aka-L-767012018

    Reply
    1. AvatarBy Taylor Anderson on

      Very nice! And that anchor crane was dopey looking. I suspect if Spanky had been involved more closely in final construction he would’ve done away with the whole hoist it on a billboard setup. A few Clemson’s did if I recall.

      Reply
      1. AvatarBy Lou Schirmer on

        Thanks! It looks like that crane thing was to get the old style anchors onto their recessed beds aft of the chain hawse, instead of letting them dangle. Later ships had the newer anchors they could just bring up tight against the hawse shaft.

        Reply
        1. AvatarBy Taylor Anderson on

          Yeah. That recessed bed was called the “billboard.” I sure would’ve hated to secure one of those anchors with that dopey crane while rolling or pitching in a choppy anchorage.

          Reply
          1. AvatarBy Lou Schirmer on

            I have to redo her again! I did the 4″ “wet” (submarine) mount, instead of the standard “dry” mount, because I’m a dumbass. The major difference being the sights on the wet mount are on top of the sight frame & the dry mount has them under it

  15. AvatarBy Drew on

    One thing I’ve wondered about small arms in universe. I’m guessing the UH is going to copy the Springfield as its next generation rifle to replace the Allin-Silvas, but will they still be chambered in 30 caliber? Though maybe with a heavyweight 200-220 grain bullet to help with dealing with the wildlife rather than the service standard 150gr. Or would they keep the 50-80 cartridge of the AS since its already in production and proven?

    Reply
    1. AvatarBy Generalstarwars333 on

      I would imagine they’d go with the normal. 30-06 round since it’s already in production for their .30 cal MGs.

      Reply
      1. AvatarBy donald j johnson on

        Hey starwars what you doing here arn’t you supposed to be shut down without access the entire summer 😉

        Reply
        1. AvatarBy Generalstarwars on

          Oh no, they’re onto me! *distant sirens are heard in the distance) LOL
          The reason I’m here is because I still have my school computer. I’m in a specialty center where we get an associate’s degree in the social sciences before our high school diploma, so I got to keep my school computer over the summer this year because I need it for the online college elective I’m taking. I also have other means of getting on here(the message about the .30-06 round was typed on my phone, for example), but generally the only time I lack a more enticing option(e.g. videogames or a book) is when I’m doing homework on my school computer. That’s when I procrastinate and go on this site and a few others.

          Reply
  16. AvatarBy Justin on

    Human/mi-anaaka ingenuity and Galla trees aside, how practical would a 800-foot ironclad actually be? Longest documented wooden ships in OTL were 400-500′ and even then many would flex in heavy weather.

    I’m guessing the Imperators are probably coppered like the Homes, and that would partially offset structural problems, but wouldn’t the Aratas have had some trouble? Or does the casemate absorb most of the wave action?

    Reply
    1. AvatarBy Alexey Shiro on

      Well, they probably used a lot of metal to strengthen the structure.

      Reply
    2. AvatarBy Drew on

      I’d suspect the only thing that makes them or the Homes possible is the Galla trees being so strong. Diagonal bracing and 6 foot thick sides only go so far.

      It would be a neat engineering exercise to see what exactly you’d need to make one happen though.

      Reply
      1. Taylor AndersonBy Taylor Anderson (Post author) on

        Hi Drew! Actually, except for ships built for the initial “evacuation” of Madagascar, (probably actually considerably smaller), Galla trees weren’t available for their construction. On the other hand, without going back over some of the numerous examples, (sometimes in passing, I grant), of durable woods their descendants might use, design remained more critical to the structural integrity of Homes than the materials they were made of. They weren’t just diagonally braced, their timbers were diagonally cross-laminated in multiple layers.

        Reply
        1. AvatarBy Drew on

          Ok, I’m with you now.

          The image I had in my head was they were built like the Constitution, with diagonal bracing and extra thick bulwarks. What they actually sound like is the polar explorer ships on a massive scale, with multiple layers of diagonal and normal planking and bracing.

          Reply
          1. AvatarBy donald j johnson on

            And due to the cross lamentations they would be extreemly strong and if even 3 feet thick then would be nearly unsinkable as they would flex with the worst weather.

  17. AvatarBy Lou Schirmer on

    Another couple of nit picky questions:

    1. On the Clemson & Wickes DDs decks, between the #4 stack & the aft deck house, there are two groupings of what could be hatches, skylights, ICBM launch tubes for all I know. Does anyone with access to better/more detailed blueprints know what these are? I’m doing a deck plan for the Gray & since she’s based off the Walker, she might have something similar. Does she Taylor?

    2. Walker has one blower to pressurize two boiler rooms. Grey has eight boilers. Does she have one, two or more blowers? I’d assume at least two, possibly as many as four. This is also for the deck plan I’m doing.

    Reply
    1. AvatarBy Lou Schirmer on

      Also, does she have directors for the 4″/50s, or are they in local control? I put the 5.5″ director where the old 4″ one was on the bridge. If you’re agreeable, I’ll put one on each side of the midships deck house.

      I noticed some mistakes on my original drawing & will be correcting them in this version. The most egregious was my 4″ guns bearing little resemblance to the actual guns on the Walker.

      Reply
    2. AvatarBy Taylor Anderson on

      You may be referring to the deck access hatches to the engine rooms. They’re there for the firerooms, too. I think, during hard-earned lessons in redundancy, Spanky would’ve insisted on redundant blowers. The question remains, which I honestly haven’t even considered, is how many firerooms does Gray have? Two or four? I think, for similar reasons, she’d have four–but the fireroom/engineroom layout would remain the same, for her class. Later efforts would probably attempt to stagger them for further redundancy.

      Reply
      1. AvatarBy Taylor Anderson on

        And yes, Gray has directors for the 4″-50s. Those were copied as early as USS James Ellis. Each side of the amidships gun platform might work, or a single raised position between the stacks. Not the best for fore and aft work… I’ll consider that. There are not yet any anti-air directors and even the DP guns must go to local control for that. I think the question has been raised about rangefinders? The Impies have the optics to make them, but they’d probably be just as useless at speed on the new Wickes/Walker Class as they were on Walker and Mahan, unless they were buffered in some way. Vibration was always the issue that made them useless, so spotting ladders were employed from the start. Gray might actually be able to make use of an available rangefinder, but her crew would probably still use spotting ladders. The good thing, with their superior eyesight, a well-trained Lemurian fire control team might actually be better at range estimations than Greg Garrett was.

        Reply
        1. AvatarBy Lou Schirmer on

          If they went with simple copies, she probably has four boiler rooms. From your silhouette’s stack spacing, they appear to be eight in-line taking up a hull length of about 150′ (double Walker’s). This gives them more protection with compartments & fuel tanks outboard of the boiler rooms, but makes for very long steam lines from the forward boiler rooms. I’m going to give her four blowers (one for each boiler room) unless you say otherwise.

          There appears to be a range finder on the spotting top in the silhouette. That may be where the 4″ range finder was relocated to, to make room for the 5.5″ director? You’re right about the vibration though, especially up in a spotting top, waving around in the breeze, where every bit of a ship’s motion is amplified. If Amagi’s 4.7″ DP directors have been adapted to control the Gray’s 5.5″ DP’s, they could also be adapted to control the 4″/50 DPs using different ballistics tables. That’d be a quick way to get a DP secondary director & if it worked well enough, retrofit it to the DDs.

          Spotting Ladders? Is that similar to the Ladder Method of ranging salvos? Or is it an actual device?

          Reply
        2. AvatarBy Lou Schirmer on

          I’d go with two 4″ directors, one on each side of the mid-ships deck house. It gives them the ability to engage two targets at once with directed fire & the directors would have an increased action arc by being placed closer to the ship’s side.

          As far as fore & aft fire goes, only the stern 4″ has a direct line aft. The other mounts would be damaging the ship & concussing the crew if they fired directly forward or aft. They may have combined the Walker’s range finder & director in one unit to simplify things by the time Gray commissioned.

          Reply
      2. AvatarBy Alexey Shiro on

        ” I think, for similar reasons, she’d have four–”

        Well, considering that she is a product of more primitive tech than “Walker”, I would bet on four. Maybe even more, because her equipment would probably be bulky, underpowered and unreliable. IMHO, of course)

        Reply
        1. AvatarBy Lou Schirmer on

          Probably another reason he went with eight boilers for three turbines, instead of six. They weren’t sure of their boiler tech when designing & building Gray, so they gave her a little something extra to make up for any deficiencies.

          Reply
    3. AvatarBy donald johnson on

      I was wondering if any of the ships have any kind of medium rapid fire weapons. A 1 inch he could do wonders against any kind of wooden ship that the doms use. or phosphor incendiary’s. I suspect a one inch rifle would out range anything the doms have or at least be considerably more accurate at range. Set them on fire and they won’t be shooting at you.

      Reply
      1. AvatarBy Justin on

        Closest they’ve got is the Type 96s, and they’re still in R&D. That might change in a book or two.

        Reply
        1. AvatarBy Matt White on

          I also have a feeling that wooden ships are going to stop being a problem very soon. At least for the union their era has ended.

          Reply
          1. AvatarBy Justin on

            Yeah, from now on it’s ironclads or better.

  18. AvatarBy Lou Schirmer on

    Just out of curiosity & for future nit picking purposes, are the twin .50 cal MGs on the Gray air or water cooled. I think they’ve got the air cooled in production, but don’t know about the water cooled variant.

    Reply
        1. AvatarBy donald j johnson on

          Lou, you are so vehement about no spoilers then you go and try and trick taylor into giving one

          Reply
          1. AvatarBy Lou Schirmer on

            The Gray was already out there from ROB, but I see your point.
            On the other claw, I could care less about spoilers. I just bow to the will of the swarm.

    1. AvatarBy Taylor Anderson on

      Water cooled. All land, ship, and tank-borne MGs are water cooled. Some air-cooled versions are being installed on SOME aircraft.

      Reply
  19. AvatarBy Paul Smith on

    Just some random thoughts. To get ANY high altitude aircraft, they’ll have to develop an oxygen system the Lemurians can use. Just compressing the air would be a wasted effort. They should have a few spares for the P-40’s left, hopefully the demand regulators & masks for the O2 system would be some of them. Could they use something like vaseline to help seal a mask to their faces? With rubber becoming available, reproducing at least a modified mask should be possible. Next gen hulls should also be in the design pipeline. The Walker/ Mahan hull design is pretty dated. Maybe Spanky could get some smart ‘cats at BuShip to look at the goldplater designs he drew from memory. Plus they have Hidoiame’s carcass to look at.
    The next ship I’d like to see come through would be something like the Medusa (AR-1). Imagine the possibilities, with the knowledge and information the crew would have at their fingers!

    Reply
    1. AvatarBy Justin on

      If you’re willing to wade through the previous pages, there’s talk of regulators or even full-body flight suits.

      Book 7 mentioned the Farraguts as an inspiration; IMO they’d be best served by merging the Walker-class and the Gray-class into one 2000t DD hull and going from there.

      Reply
    2. AvatarBy Steve Moore on

      Funny, was thinking about my college football mouthguard when you mentioned rubber masks. Why not a ‘mask’ that goes inside the mouth, with an oxygen tube running up into it. Sort of like a scuba regulator. Think sub escape lungs had rubber mouthpieces too, but will leave that to the research experts here.

      See, Taylor, I can think about other things besides rockets.

      Reply
      1. AvatarBy Paul Smith on

        Didn’t the escape lungs also have clips for the nose?

        Reply
        1. AvatarBy Lou Schirmer on

          Lemurian noses may be too sensitive for clips, like a dog’s or cat’s nose.

          Reply
  20. AvatarBy Charles Simpson on

    We are currently having a discussion on this on the Destroyermen Fan Association page on Facebook. Current American Navy Clan carrier aircraft are probably unarmored or lightly armored. The crew of the Hidoiame might know of the “Kido Buti” or “Attack Force” with two or more carriers task groups opposed to the American single carrier taskforce of the early war known to Walker and Mahan’s crews. This may have some unfamiliar buzz words for future carrier tactics of the union. Sorry the video is by a German so the accent is a might thick at times: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8U3rkTXAlM&t=536s&fbclid=IwAR2gv2LiDd7x9Xh-mH3v0Y0lZ35kfz22bJ5bQ89bBFZ0oe2PnKQrgmhnm6k

    Reply
  21. AvatarBy Joseph R Thorsky on

    For all of you suits and skirts wannabees:

    Just a friendly “Lemmy Caution” and reminder that just
    as the LOT’s insertion hasn’t strictly followed historical norms
    it can justifiably be rightly assumed with a high degree of confidence
    that GB and the Commonwealth has also undergone a similar type of Taylor-
    made transformation.
    For Example: Suppose the Easter Rebellion had
    succeeded with a United Ireland dominating over a diminished British Monarchy.
    It would put the military powers/forces facing each other in the Atlantic and the Med in very similar circumstances/positions.
    Uncertainty, caution and paralysis in decision-making would be the predominant order of the day!

    Reply
    1. AvatarBy Joseph R. Thorsky on

      As Corrected
      For you suits and skirts and all youse “PC Correct” don’t ever wannabees:

      Just a friendly “Lemmy Caution” and reminder that just
      as the LOT’s insertion hasn’t strictly followed historical norms
      it can justifiably be rightly assumed with a high degree of confidence
      that GB and the Commonwealth has also undergone a similar type of Taylor-
      made transformation.
      For Example: Suppose the Easter Rebellion had
      succeeded with a United Ireland dominating over a politically diminished
      British Monarchy.
      It would put the military powers/forces facing each other in the Atlantic and
      the Med in very similar untenable circumstances/positions.
      Uncertainty, of the unknown automatically dictates caution and paralysis in decision-making
      which would likely be the predominant order of the day!
      Atrophy and discretion would be the end result.

      Happy Birth Day NUS!1

      Reply
  22. AvatarBy Lou Schirmer on

    One thing I would like to get clarified is regarding Savoie’s main battery. Is it 13.5″ (343mm) or 13.4″ (340mm)? In our world the Bretagne class ships had the 13.4″ (the French never did make a 13.5″). The French used the metric system & went with an even metric number, while the British using Imperial measurements of inches wind up with odd numbers in metric. Are we going with the thought that they armed the Bretagne class with 13.5″ guns in the AU the LOT came from?

    Reply
    1. AvatarBy Justin on

      That’s true, the other Bretagnes had 340mms. So either Mr. Anderson missed a decimal point somewhere, or the PFF Navy came to terms with numbers that weren’t multiples of five or ten.

      Reply
      1. AvatarBy Alexey Shiro on

        …Sometimes I wonder: how long it would take for Americans to finally get rid of those “imperial” system? Seriously, there isn’t even any British Empire anymore)

        Reply
        1. AvatarBy Justin on

          In fairness, there’s a lot of stuff that’d need changing, and it’s a big country. Imagine needing to swap out almost every road sign in Moscow… or Siberia.

          Reply
          1. AvatarBy Alexey Shiro on

            Well, we done exactly that in 1917 (Russia used more traditional system before). And also modernized our grammar quite a bit)

        2. AvatarBy Charles Simpson on

          My guess is that screws will be the first crack in the dam of our stubbornness. Authoritarian countries find it easier to make sweeping changes too, even against popular will 😉

          Reply
          1. AvatarBy Alexey Shiro on

            Well, one of the (frankly, very limited) advantages of authoritarian rule, is that it sometimes allow government to pursue right decisions, not the ones that public loved)

        3. AvatarBy Lou Schirmer on

          Automotive & machinery wise, as far as nuts & bolts go, we’re already metric. When you see speed limit signs in kilometers per hour is when we’ve come fully over to the dark side.

          Reply
          1. AvatarBy Justin on

            Yeah, but then you’ve got satellites crashing into Mars because NASA’s engineers use metric and Lockheed Martin’s don’t.

          2. AvatarBy Taylor Anderson on

            The irony is, we started out “metric” as far as machine screws were concerned, copying French muskets. And US military arms stayed metric until the ‘03–when we finally said the hell with it and went “standard” probably because we were making so many P-14s for the Brits. Then everybody went metric and left us by ourselves again!! I think Bekiaa is right. .50 caliber just sounds better than 12…whatever mm. Oh, look forward to more of her griping about stuff like that.

          3. AvatarBy Paul Smith on

            you haven’t driven by Tucson, AZ have you?

          4. AvatarBy donald j johnson on

            Were the French already into metric during the revolutionary war? I had thought that they didn’t go metric until after their own revolution.

    2. AvatarBy Taylor Anderson on

      It is 240 mm. The 13.5 came from characters rounding off to “13 and a half’s” in dialogue. Like usual, CEs are sometimes too literal.

      Reply
    1. AvatarBy Steve Moore on

      My guess is that as designs and manufacturing become more complex, the harder it is to scratch up the capital to invest in a plant. Just a thought.

      Reply
    2. AvatarBy Joseph R. Thorsky on

      Lou:
      With little more than 5 weeks until Pass of Fire is published.
      The Prewar WWI and WWII development of Aviation resulted not just from an unrestricted form of free-market capitalism as epitomized by The Calvin Coolidge Era. Development only resulted from some vitally important series of events which were remarkably adaptive, innovative and transformative. We’re even now still being effected and affected by, and are living in the shadow of the decisionmakers and leaders of that era.
      Suggest for further study review and reference the following British periodicals (FYI-no relation to
      pteradactal or the pteranodon is either implied or intended.)
      1 Modern Wonders-Modern World
      2 Fantasy Collector
      3 Pulpdom and Argosy
      No Trip for Biscuits Here!

      Reply
  23. AvatarBy Justin on

    Finally got around to scanning my motorjet Fleashooter. No idea how much of it’s aluminum or wood or steel – or if it can even fly – just wanted to see what it looked like.

    https://imgur.com/8S3Hh2O

    Reply
  24. AvatarBy Generalstarwars on

    So we’ve established that the single shot 37mm AA gun on the U-boat would probably make an excellent tank and anti-tank gun for the union. I guess this leaves the question of how that should be carried out. How quickly can they start producing copies of this weapon? Should they try mounting some in their current tank designs, or design a purpose based carrier for it? Heck, could they maybe mount one in the nose of a Nancy or whatever strike aircraft will be replacing it to use in tank busting? How practical would it be to try and make an automatic version of this weapon for possible AA use?

    Reply
    1. AvatarBy Lou Schirmer on

      I think their current tanks are a bit small to handle the 37mm gun. A slightly larger tank with either a casemate or turret would be the way to go.
      The single shot version of the 37mm (if that’s what the U-boat has) would be fairly easy to reverse engineer.
      They’ll need a bigger plane to put it in than a Nancy. The gun itself weighs over 500 lbs. & the recoil would rip it right out of the fuselage.
      They could make an auto version of it, but it would take a while (1-3 years) to get it engineered, tested & the bugs worked out, but would be a good long term investment.

      Reply
      1. AvatarBy Justin on

        Baalkpan’s already busy on the Type 96, though. Pretty sure that logistically speaking it’s either one AA gun or the other.

        Reply
      2. AvatarBy Matt White on

        Given that the 37mm we are talking about is a single shot gun I don’t think it would be modified to automatic so as much as you would develop an entirely new gun that uses the same cartridge.

        Reply
      3. AvatarBy Steve Moore on

        Too heavy to put on a PT? Although a twin M2 mount would probably be more effective and already developed. Something sticks in my mind about this being a common modification to South Pacific USN PT’s, adding 37mm AT guns to use on Japanese barges.

        Reply
        1. AvatarBy Matt White on

          IRL 37mms were put on PTs by their crews. I think they got them from P-39s and the like.

          Reply
          1. AvatarBy Lou Schirmer on

            They were put on the 80′ boats as well as the occasional 40mm Bofors. The 37mm would be about as large as you could go on one of the DDmen MTBs, but it would fit…somewhere.

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