3,344 COMMENTS :

  1. By Steve Moore on

    Just out of curiosity, and not knowing whether this would be ‘technical’ question or a ‘character’ question, but here goes.

    Why do Grikbirds not attack the Dom ships or men? Is it because they are conditioned to see the color red as ‘home’, or ‘family’? With a barely industrialized base, seems to me that the Doms would be limited technically, but in line with their psychological bent (or bent psychologically), they would be more capable of ‘programming’ the birds to attack anything NOT red in color.

    It seems to me that the ‘Texamericans’, being in the same industrial state, might recognize this and have a few red staysails to run up if attacked, just to confuse the birds. This might be a novel bit of information for them to convey to Fred & Kari.

    Waiting on the next installment to see if an I’joorka Patton arises to utilize the tanks…

    Found a few pictures of RNZAF P40’s with rocket tubes. Russian P40’s used zero-length rails, following up on a previous comment.

    Reply
    1. By Lou Schirmer on

      That’s actually probably what they would build & is what Taylor’s thinking about. Maybe longer main gun barrels, so you’d have to get more spacing in the middle. But it would best an adequate sea boat & could mount a decent main battery. With good engines it could out run Savoie, unless it fought in a heavy sea state. That would slow it down & the larger mass of Savoie could maintain a good enough speed to catch it.

      That’s IF Savoie’s still around for the #13 book. Of course, it took two books to finally dispose of Amagi, so she may only get damaged in this next one & finished off in #13. Maybe, stay tuned.

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      1. By Justin on

        My money’s on either “newly-developed torp bomber” or “surprise minefield.” Nothing else in the Republic or Union can match a superdread.

        Alternatively, a set of cascading incidents will let the Union capture Savoie intact – fingers crossed….

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        1. By Steve Moore on

          Waiting to find out how long Frenchmen, even Fascist Frenchmen, will work for a crazy ‘Japh’. They might just decide that they’d like to have Zanzibar as their own home and cut a deal with the Union; hand over Savoie and the senior officers who attacked Amerika, and they get Zanzibar as their own Cote d’Azur.

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      2. By Steve Moore on

        Seems to me the Republic has always seen the Cape as a defense, and its weather requiring the utmost in seakeeping capabilities of a ship. Any new class of ship would need to emphasize speed & range as well as seakeeping, if they’re going to join with the Union. My choice would be a cruiser-type ship with 8″ guns. The brief comment was made that they have exceptional artillery (sort of like the South Africans?), so why not start off with a smaller ship? Heck, why not bring them to Baalkpan and build a new cruiser class in partnership? More smaller ships would seem to make more sense than few big ships. Look what Walker’s been through as the only modern warship, always hurrying here or there.

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  2. By Alexey Shiro on

    So, let’s try to compose sort of “specifications” for Republic CB, shall we?

    This ship, supposedly, designed to serve as “coastal mobile force” of the Republic Navy. I.e. it should be capable to move in heavy seas and fought near the Republic coastlines. So, she need to be reasonably sea-capable and reasonably fast. On the other hands, she does not to be fully ocean-capable ship, and her range does not to be particulary great – so, we could save a lot on this.

    Since she was supposed to be armed with “three centerline turrets”, I suppose, she would have at least some similarity to “Brandenburg”-class battleships of 1890s:

    http://i39.tinypic.com/35kv2uq.jpg

    Of course, with some adaptations. But still, the lines would, probably, be similar: the “high forecastle – low freeboard” combination, supplemented by tumblehome hull, allows relatively good seakeeping ability in limited displacement. She would not be a ship that could safely fight in heavy seas, but she would clearly be able to move in heavy seas without problems.

    Also, the Republikan CB would probably be a bit faster than original ships. With triple screw arrangement and triple-expansion engines, it is possible to achieve 20 knots (up to 25, actually, but this would require displacement around 15000-20000 tons).

    In general, I would suggest:

    – Displacement around 10000-12000 tons.
    – High forecastle, low freeboard on the stern, heavy tumblehome hull.
    – Armament of six 11-inch/40 guns & 10-12 3-inch secondaries.
    – Speed around 20-21 knots, triple screw. Range of no more than 3000 nautical miles.
    – Complete belt of Harvey armor, 12 inches in citadel, 4 inches at the ends. Maybe upper belt in citadel, too. 3-inch armored deck with slopes. Possibly upper armored deck, too.

    P.S. Some idea… what do you think of “Henri IV” french battleship? :)

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    1. Taylor AndersonsBy Taylor Andersons on

      Not bad at all, Alexey, but before it becomes canon in the discussion, I’d like to remind everybody that a littoral design was not specified in the guidelines. That said, what you describe is quite close because the Republic, designing big warships for blue water for the very first time might wind up with something that could survive heavy seas but probably wouldn’t enjoy them. It would NOT be perfect.

      This brings me to another point, however. I’m almost sorry I brought this topic up. It always inspires a lot of discussion, but also a lot of strong opinions, even arguments and hostility. I can never give anyone all the information in my head, and that leads to assumptions–like the littoral intent of the design–that can evolve into established “facts” through repetition and general agreement of misinterpretations. Those are fun to see discussed–until they inspire disagreements and absolute pronouncements based on misunderstandings. Remember how heated the arguments got over the “Greater Dragons” just because nearly everyone simply assumed they could fly? Granted, I kind of built that expectation into the story–but that’s what I DO!!!!

      People may argue over assumptions elsewhere but lets always keep it civil here. Just a gentle reminder. :) It hasn’t gotten too bad this time–yet–but I ask everybody to keep things in perspective. There ARE NO absolutes in any discussion–in any category–except physics (in most cases . . .) and the established nature of the world.

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      1. By Alexey Shiro on

        //Not bad at all, Alexey, but before it becomes canon in the discussion, I’d like to remind everybody that a littoral design was not specified in the guidelines. That said, what you describe is quite close because the Republic, designing big warships for blue water for the very first time might wind up with something that could survive heavy seas but probably wouldn’t enjoy them. It would NOT be perfect.//

        Er, where I mentioned that she was littoral design? I was thinking more in therms of “coastal defense battleships”, like USS “Oregon” of 1890s, or French “Henri IV” (1903). They were pretty sea-capable, just have some limitations about in what conditions they would be able to fight… Definitedly not the littoral designs:

        http://tsushima.su/uploads/photoarhiv/ships/france/epoch_bron/ebr/henri4/photo/03.jpg

        , especially the second: her bow main turret was placed so high, that could work in any weather (while there might be problems with her casemate QF and rear main turret, I agree). Must admit, I quite like this little ship…

        Anyway, your initial suggestion was:

        // Probably relatively short and broad-beamed, up to three round gunhouse turrets (though they may have to have breech extensions). These would all be emplaced on the main deck, forward, aft, and amidships between the firerooms and engine room.//

        I really doubt that such parameters could be included in high-freeboard ocean-capable ship. Especially round gunhouse turrets; they are heavy, and unless they are french-type (and I really doubt that German or British advisors knew a lot about French 1890s turrets), they are next thing to impossible to place high enough.

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        1. Taylor AndersonsBy Taylor Andersons on

          Ha! See? But I wasn’t blaming you, Alexey, I was just concerned by a tendency I perceived, possibly mistaken on MY part, toward assuming an INTENTIONAL coastal defense design. //I was thinking more in therms of “coastal defense battleships”, like USS “Oregon” of 1890s, or French “Henri IV” (1903). They were pretty sea-capable, just have some limitations about in what conditions they would be able to fight// Good analogy based on the design parameters I issued. Hmm. Let’s take another tack: After discouraging assumptions based on what WE know would be good or bad ideas, I now encourage you to assume there WILL be fundamental “growing pain” design flaws, possible similar to those of early pre-dreadnoughts, that will limit their effectiveness in action and force them to seek favorable conditions in which to fight. Those conditions may or not prevail at the critical time–drama! And divorce yourselves from the most fundamental assumption of all: That they will win.

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          1. By matthieu on

            Yeah, he’s just trying to make us think about battleships while he’s working on a new X-wing design. How intelligent of you!

          2. By Alexey Shiro on

            Ah! Understood. :)

            // now encourage you to assume there WILL be fundamental “growing pain” design flaws, possible similar to those of early pre-dreadnoughts,//

            Well… the most obvious design flaw would be lack of horizontal protection. After all, the “Amerika” came from 1914, and in 1914 the German Navy assumptions about the distances of naval combat were still… pretty outdated. Actually, almost until the war, German Navy operated under assumption that naval combat would be effective only on the distances about 10000 meters (that’s why they favored light high-velocity AP shells and thick armor belts).

            So, they would probably don’t pay enough attention to armored deck, limiting her to just 1-2 inches (not counting slopes, of course. German Navy liked slopes).

            Also, she probably would have too much upper weight – of course, unless they really build her to “Henri IV” lines – and have stability problems. Almost all modern warships, build by inexperienced builders, have them.

          3. By Lou Schirmer on

            Perhaps a catamaran X-wing sea plane with ventral & dorsal 12″ turrets & some sort of large radar antenna waving in the breeze?
            Oh! Oh! And more fins please! And painted in a nice, camouflage red & white scheme.

          4. By Alexey Shiro on

            Rule Number X of space warfare: there are no fundamental differences in mobility between large and small spaceships. Thus, there are no space fighters.

    2. By Lou Schirmer on

      The problem with a turret mounted between the fore & aft superstructures, besides the restricted arc of fire, is that as the angle of fire increases from a direct 90 degree beam engagement, the muzzle blast tends to damage the superstructure & incidentally the crew. Larger ships with more length to play with could extend the space between the turret & superstructures & moderate the issue some, but the problem remained as you approached the limits of the firing arc. That was recognized by the Germans with the Brandenburg class when it had been in operation for a while. You can see pics of super dreadnaughts with central turrets that the aft superstructure was mostly very small & spaced away from the guns. An example would be the USS Texas.

      Your basic design itself is good & sounds close to what Taylor wants or is thinking about. Mine is probably stretching the limits a bit & may be what they do next once they get some experience with large sea going ship construction.

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      1. By Alexey Shiro on

        This would be a problem, I agree. But central distribution have a lot of advantages as well – weight is distributed along the whole lenght of the ship.

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  3. By Lou Schirmer on

    Since we’re playing around with ideas for a new Republic of Real People BB, I decided to try a rough draft of my basic ideas. Call it Republic Design Study #1.
    This is basically the HMS Dreadnaught with the two wing turrets deleted & powered by triple expansion engines per Taylor’s given limitations.
    The German contingent of the Republic came over well after the Dreadnaught was commissioned, so they have a good idea of a basic layout, & they have the info on Savoie from the Union & what they might face. This design would push their capabilities a good bit, but should be a good test bed for future designs.
    They’re going to have to build the infrastructure for large ship construction also, so while the Dreadnaught only took a year to build, that was with an economy & ship construction establishment with plenty of equipment & experience. It’s probably going to take several years to build this…unless they’ve already started.

    http://loupy59.deviantart.com/art/New-Republic-BB-Concept-6-12in-662177140?ga_submit_new=10%3A1486508413

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    1. By Justin on

      (Comment awaiting moderation, let me try again. Go ahead and delete the other)

      Nice. Yeah, Amerika crossed over in 1914 – even the Merchant Marine should know the basic concept behind a dreadnought. Shouldn’t be more than a couple of years, though.

      I’m working on something a bit different:

      i650.photobucket. com/albums/uu222/NoYourOtherLeft/DM/BA-X1_zpsg5hfvnd6.png
      i650.photobucket. com/albums/uu222/NoYourOtherLeft/DM/BA-X1B_zps3kzlfymm.png?t=1486432625

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      1. By Alexey Shiro on

        Quite good ship! Low rear freeboard sepecially interesting.

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    2. By Lou Schirmer on

      Seems this site software will let ONE link go, but if you try two or more, you’ll get “moderated”… sounds like some sort of bizarre torture. “Igor! Bring in the MODERATOR!” Queue dramatic music.

      That said, nice design also, I see you went with Taylor’s initial thoughts on the spread main battery. That is turret, superstructure, turret, superstructure, turret & a casemate secondary. The advantage of your design is you have more superstructure to put secondary weapons on. I went with a modified HMS Tiger layout to give the main battery a larger arc of fire, & a DP secondary.
      Both of our designs would seem to fit his limitations of 4-6 main guns & a spaced out boiler room, engine room layout. There will undoubtedly be more “design studies” forthcoming from the fine folks here.

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      1. By Justin on

        We have artificial limbs, pocket-sized computers and a plan for a mission to Mars, but still can’t figure out how to post two links in a comment without getting marked as spam. Go figure.

        Yeah – surprisingly, having the high-angle guns separate from the secondaries (in casemates) creates less displacement.

        Problem is that all those extra HAs reduce the mains’ firing arcs. Yours (faster, better angling) is probably better for offensive or independent action.

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        1. By Alexey Shiro on

          Yeah, the no-more-than-one-link “rule” could be quite… irritating.

          //Yeah – surprisingly, having the high-angle guns separate from the secondaries (in casemates) creates less displacement. //

          Agreed – and also, we could put the casemates on main deck or even lower, while the DP guns must be on upper deck or higher.

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          1. By Justin on

            It’s going to be a problem with future vessels, though.
            The upcoming BBC (battleship, coastal?) can make 22 knots at most, so it’s fine, but if the next class can make 26+ knots, casemates are more of a liability. It also implies a Twenties-era tech level, which means DP turrets will probably be practical by then.

  4. By Alexey Shiro on

    Taylor, a question if I may: may I translate your “republic capitalship guidelines” on Russian and post them on some Russian alternate history & naval tech forums? There are some peoples that are already quite interested in your books and they may find this concept very interesting to toy with.

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    1. Taylor AndersonsBy Taylor Andersons on

      Sure. Just remember, all this is just speculation and this theoretical ship may never even happen. The “guidelines” are real, something I’m actually considering, but events may make anything . . . anybody “plans” impossible. “Ask me for anything but time.” :)

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  5. By Justin on

    //One of the things I have always wondered was why didn’t battleships and cruisers ever experiment in bi-hull or tri-hull designs//

    I’m guessing because of the engineering difficulties involved. Making a BB-sized steel catamaran, much less mounting any kind of large guns or armouring her weak spots (a lot), would be next to impossible.

    PS – Posting to a forum on a phone can only lead to headaches. Best to wait until there’s a computer available.

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    1. By Alexey Shiro on

      Well, generally because those guys are costly. They cost literally millions to design and build, and no one would be particulary happy to spend such moneys on the design that might not work.

      Then, the simple logistic. Such wide ships would require enormous drydocks to mantain and repair. And drydocks cost money, too. Basically, even the single such ship would require the large-scale renovation of naval facilities – and what if design prove to be unworkable?

      Thirdly, such designs have problems with structural stresses. Problems, that required quite a lot of efforts to solve, especially for warship, which is supposed t take combat damage.

      And the last… Well, the “Popovka”‘s type of coastal battleships of Russian ImperialNavy were pretty much the most unortodox ones :) They were round – completely round, with the array of keels and several propellers. While they were able to carry pretty impressive guns and armor for their size, they weren’t particulary sucsessful

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    2. By Alexey Shiro on

      Well, generally because those guys are costly. They cost literally millions to design and build, and no one would be particulary happy to spend such moneys on the design that might not work.

      Then, the simple logistic. Such wide ships would require enormous drydocks to mantain and repair. And drydocks cost money, too. Basically, even the single such ship would require the large-scale renovation of naval facilities – and what if design prove to be unworkable?

      Thirdly, such designs have problems with structural stresses. Problems, that required quite a lot of efforts to solve, especially for warship, which is supposed t take combat damage.

      And the last… Well, the “Popovka”‘s type of coastal battleships of Russian ImperialNavy were pretty much the most unortodox ones They were round – completely round, with the array of keels and several propellers. While they were able to carry pretty impressive guns and armor for their size, they weren’t particulary sucsessful

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    1. By Justin on

      No kidding. We’re probably going to need a Ship Discussions page just for what-if designs and strategy.

      Almost done with mine – now she just needs a name. Graf Melhausen, maybe? Not sure what the Republic’s conventions are.

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      1. By Alexey Shiro on

        If they follow the German conventions, their battleships would probably be maned after provinces of Republic or after emperors & legendary heroes.

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        1. By Justin on

          Emphasis on “if.” After all, the Republic’s over a millennium old and comprised of a half-dozen preceding cultures… and doesn’t appear to have any provinces.

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  6. Taylor AndersonsBy Taylor Andersons on

    Okay guys, as most of you know, I’m currently working on #13. It is no spoiler to reveal that the Republic has begun a deep water warship production program. Their intention to do so was made plain a couple of books back. I have a pretty good idea regarding the results of their first efforts to make “capital” ships, but this is a chance for ya’ll to make a real contribution. I will, of course, include you in the acknowledgements if I use your ideas. I probably will anyway, even if I don’t. Most of you have already been “made famous” anyway. :)

    There are some general limitations I’m considering, based on the fact that these are “firsts” and especially because they are crash projects. Durability in combat is more critical than longevity. Imagine a 5 year service life expectancy. I bring this up because I think they will incorporate wood/steel construction with the best kind of armor they can quickly come up with on a heavy wooden backing. Consider them a kind of protected cruiser, though they may call them BBs, influenced by the British and German tech advisors. (Few of these would’ve been on Amerika). They may even call them BCs, just to make Alexey happy!:) Other limitations: two triple-expansion steam engines based on Amerika’s. Probably relatively short and broad-beamed, up to three round gunhouse turrets (though they may have to have breech extensions). These would all be emplaced on the main deck, forward, aft, and amidships between the firerooms and engine room. Main armament will be 4-6 8″-10″, POSSIBLY up to 12″ wrought iron guns with steel liners. Fire control will come from tall fighting tops and system will require advice from Allies. I can think of good reasons for and against torpedo tubes designed to use Allied fish. Range of guns will be shorter than those of more modern versions of similar size. (These will NOT be a good match for Savoie or anything like her, merely the best the Republic can come up with quickly.)
    Discussion?

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    1. By Alexey Shiro on

      Thank you for the data!!! :)

      Some questions:

      // Consider them a kind of protected cruiser, though they may call them BBs, //

      Er, protected cruiser? You mean, cruiser with just sloped armored deck, no belt? Doubt that British or German tech advisor would call it BB…

      //wood/steel construction //

      I’m not sure what you means… She is composite-hulled? Iron frames, wooden planking? Or just wooden backing behind armor, on metal hull?

      // Other limitations: two triple-expansion steam engines based on Amerika’s. //

      Hm… Could she have three? :) Ple-e-e-ase? :) Because with three screws we could still have 24-25 knots (“Blucher” was capable of such…)

      // up to three round gunhouse turrets (though they may have to have breech extensions).//

      Er… Too conservative. With all respect, but round Coles/Ericsson turrets were considered completely outdated even before World War I.

      Some more questions:

      – What is the purpose of said ship? Is she cruiser, battleship, or sea-capable coastal defense unit?

      – How much protection should she have? Against what kind of guns?

      – What about secondary armament?

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    2. By Justin on

      Thanks Mr. Anderson.

      I’m with Alexey – are we looking at a Devastation, or a Trafalgar, or more like a St Louis with primitive turrets? What’s her intended role?

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      1. By Alexey Shiro on

        With three center-line distributed mounts, seems like some sort of turret version of “Brandenburg”-class battleships of early 1890s. Actual “Brandenburg”-class have covered barbettes (they were first seagoing battleships of German Navy), and they were influenced by the 1880s French ironclads of “Amiral Baudin”-class.

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        1. By Justin on

          That’ll do it.

          Well, she’s not going to brawl or chase any time soon, and any modern cruiser could make quick work of her, so she’d need to outrange her opponents. I’m thinking a coastal defence ship: heavy armour and long-range guns (10-12″, 8″ won’t cut it).

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      2. Taylor AndersonsBy Taylor Andersons on

        My mental image combines a combination of numerous ships–we’ve actually discussed this before, so I may well be influenced by those earlier exchanges. Generally, I like the basic form of the Canopus Class pre-dreadnoughts. These would be familiar to both German and British engineers available, yet while incorporating profound changes from the coastal defense iron-clad turret ships already available, the most revolutionary would be the intended roles. Construction would incorporate sufficient similarities to what the Repub yardworkers are accustomed to that they could employ some familiar skills.
        The “purpose of said ships” is probably a combination of “cruiser, battleship” AND “coastal defense unit.” Yeah, not a good mix to our minds, realizing that some crossover capability is always desired, but “good at everything” is rarely attainable, to the detriment of
        “really good at anything.” But remember, the Republic has practically ZERO experience with deep water naval tactics and strategy, and even the Brit and German engineers are not necessarily warship engineers. If any of them had BB experience, it would’ve been pre-WW1 and most likely in pre-dreadnoughts. There will be further exchange of Allied design engineers, but probably not to a large extent before the prototypes have been begun. These are mainly contextual guidelines. as for tech:
        Nature of composite hull remains open to suggestion. My initial instinct was toward iron construction with wood-backed armor but that might require a longer construction time. Opinions?
        Most likely 75mm secondaries. DP mounts would have to be developed, but not the guns themselves.
        Three engines is not unreasonable, nor is it a particularly novel concept.

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        1. By Alexey Shiro on

          Hm…

          //The “purpose of said ships” is probably a combination of “cruiser, battleship” AND “coastal defense unit.” Yeah, not a good mix to our minds, realizing that some crossover capability is always desired, but “good at everything” is rarely attainable, to the detriment of
          “really good at anything.”//

          So, If I understood correctly, the main goal of said ships is to serve as “mobile coastal forces” – to sortie against enemy intrusion in Republic home waters? Kind of “coastal battleship” – like German old “Sachsen”-class ironclads and USN “Oregon”-class & “Kearsarge”-class. Capable to traverse seas without much risk, but generally limited in combat abilities in open seas.

          Well, this make sense. After all, the “Savoie” clearly demonstrated, that the current Republic conception of “harbor defense” became a waste of resources…

          So, such “coastal battleship” (let’s call her CB – for short?) would need to:

          – Be able to move in heavy seas and fight outside the harbours.
          – Be durable enough to stand – at least a limited time – against at least early XX-century naval weaponry.
          – Have weaponry, that would allow her to be at least partially a credible threat to enemy heavy units – like cruisers & battleship (no, I’m not talking about taking out the “Savoie” – merely that the CB guns must be at least POTENTIALLY able to hurt the battleship)

          So… she must have sufficient freeboard (or at least sufficient forecastle) to stand the heavy seas, guns high away to be able to use them in open sea (albeit not in all weather conditions), vital parts protection against 12-inch weaponry and guns of 9-12 inch size. Range limited, speed limited, ability to fight in heavy weather not required. Seems possible.

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        2. By Duke Saxon on

          I’d think that if the Republic is able to produce French 75mm guns (assuming model 1898 or newer)that there is a good chance they’d have figured out metal hulls to some degree. As far as I remember, their monitors didn’t have wood backing, so I really don’t see a need for new construction to have it either. One question to consider is if they were able to copy the 105mm guns or the maxims (I forget if these were the mgs or the 57mm maxim cannon) from SMS America.

          The 105s would likely be superior to 75mm dp due to increased effective range and more room for bursting charges (german 105mm dp mounts were generally considered to be relatively effective).

          On the other hand, a smaller caliber dp mount would be more effective for close defence due to smaller shells allowing for more to be stored in the same space, so even if the rate of fire would only be comparable to the 75mm due to the mechanical limitations of the Republic, fire could be sustained for longer.

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          1. By Duke Saxon on

            Also, smaller weapons (40-57mm?) could be mounted in twins, triples, or quads on the deck as opposed to in casemates.

          2. By Alexey Shiro on

            //The 105s would likely be superior to 75mm dp due to increased effective range and more room for bursting charges (german 105mm dp mounts were generally considered to be relatively effective).//

            Problem is, that Republic naval tech is from 1910s, where DP mounts doesn’t even existed (yet). I.e. they think in therms of “main guns, anti-torpedo boat guns, and, well, maybe some high-angle guns, if those Alliance tall tales about aerial power are actually true”

          3. By Duke Saxon on

            In general I think all that could be expected from the republic in terms of AA are some mg08s for close defence and some high angle guns with frag/ flak shells with a timed fuse. If not flak then perhaps something along the lines of IJN “Beehive” frag shells but on a much smaller scale.

          4. By Alexey Shiro on

            IMHO, just common shrapnel. Typical for early XX century as AA shells.

    3. By matthieu on

      Well. This is a very interesting problem.

      ——————————

      – Dear president, dear committee. I am here today to present the conclusions and recommendations of the office of construction and repairs. If you allow me, I will summarize the main points without coming back on our previous discussions. As you know, we are currently constrained by many parameters and especially high quality armor.

      First, why do we need ships? What are their missions? According to Kapitaan Karl Fischer, those are. To protect our capital and main naval installations against any attack. To support our own attacks against our enemies. Namely Griks and the so-called League. To protect our own naval trade and to ruin their own.

      As you can imagine, building ships without any hope of success is a waste of time, efforts and man. The most basic rule of naval battle is that you need to be able to outrun a stronger enemy. As we can’t afford to leave unprotected our most capital naval installations, we face a difficult problem. Any light ship wont be sufficient to stand against a determined attack while any massive ship will be slow, cumbersome and require a massive quantity of materials, effectively leading to a limited number of ships.

      As a consequence we recommend the following measures:
      – As soon as possible, the development of coastal artillery in temporary batteries using the same guns as our main caliber guns. They are to be seen as an effective but low cost deterrence to give us time to produce more ships. Those batteries would take advantage of some light but fast torpedo ships if we can use the practical design developed by our allies. Using the same large guns would allow us to focus on a single design and save a lot of efforts in re-tooling.
      – The launch of a large number of protected cruisers. They should be able to outrun any battleship or massive ship. They are not intended to be used against modern battleships. We currently can’t compete with those ships and won’t be able to do so in the immediate future.

      We can target two speeds: at least 15 knots, to outrun any grik ship. 21 knots to outrun any known league ship. We think that the Battleship Savoir can reach 20 knots under the best conditions. As you can imagine, it’s much easier to reach 15 knots and would save a lot of weight for protection. At the same time our ships won’t be able to raid effectively our enemies. Our current research thus focuses on 21 knots unless this committee decides that we will attack only Grik ships and assume that they won’t be able to develop a faster class.

      As you can imagine, investing efforts to reach such a speed means that we will need to save weight somewhere else. Do we reduce protection or armament?

      According to our first analysis, those ships are mainly going to fight against the current Grik inventory. As a consequence we need to protect them from their main caliber weapons. We can also face air attacks. Our best defense against their main guns (and direct fire) is probably to remain at a sufficient distance and to get a decent fire control capability for our main guns. Our best defense against air attacks and plunging fire lies in a strong protected deck and some effective fast firing guns and machineguns.

      As for the armor design, do we select and all-or-nothing or do we split armour? An unlucky shot with all-or nothing can severely limit our speed and allow grik ships to reach effective range. At the same time it would protect more efficiently the most important areas.

      Superfiring turrets should be avoided so as to remain on a single design. Our secondary batteries would be designed mainly to protect us from air attacks. High angle guns would be more efficient there and we recommend the use of the 75mm design on a high angle mount. They would also be efficient against close attacks. We would also like to include some pom-pom guns and some large caliber machineguns but we’re waiting for more details on their practical range.

      As for our main weapons, we currently face three alternatives
      – a single caliber weapon, but many of them. Outanging grik ships. Probably 12 to 14 190 to 220mm guns. 6 to 9 of them in turrets. Those smaller caliber guns would reduce stress on turrets and save weight.
      – fewer larger guns (4 to 6 260-300mm guns) plus a reduced number of smaller guns. As you know the range is much better but any hit at long range is unlikely. something that we can’t afford if we face the usual large grik fleets.
      – 8 to 10 190 to 220mm guns. well protected plus a large number of rapid dire 75mm.

      After this short introduction, I welcome all your questions

      ——————————————–

      (sorry, it’s late for me).
      The design can be close to a pre-dreagnought Liberté with reduced armour
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libert%C3%A9-class_battleship

      Reply
      1. By Justin on

        Officers’ Mess, Alex-aandra Naval Base; 13:21, January 6 1945

        “Well, it’s just what I’ve heard.”

        “No, Wei’s right, Macro. My brother-in-law works in Construction, and he says they’ve decided on 7 or 8-inch guns.”

        “7 or 8, that’s-”

        “200mm.”

        “Mein Gott, only 200? Against Savoie and whatever the hell the League is still hiding? Why don’t they just order us to shoot arrows at them?”

        “If you’d been here when our ancestors actually shot arrows, Klempner, you wouldn’t say that. 8-inch moderns… I wish my Augustus had 8-inch moderns, that battleship would never have made it into the harbour-”

        “Jupiter’s arse, don’t be stupid, Zheng. Our monitors never stood a snowball’s chance in hell against Savoie.”

        “Ja, and haven’t you all read the primer Intelligence made about the Americans’ old enemies? 34 knot armoured cruisers! Savoie alone can make 20! We’re still behind the curve – still too slow to attack them, still too weak to defend!”

        “Relax, it’s not like they’re asking us to raid the League as soon as her shakedown is over. We haven’t seen any of their cruisers yet.”

        “Because they’re waiting for the right moment.”

        “Or waiting for gas. It takes a lot to fuel an entire invasion fleet.”

        At any rate, we’re looking at a dozen or so Ersatz Amerika-class cruisers. Even with 200mm guns, we’d only need two or three at once to raid the Grik or to stop one armoured cruiser.”

        “And if we bump into Savoie or something worse?”

        “Well, then we run – she can only make 20 knots. Hey Cato, how much speed did your brother-in-law say they could make?”

        “Um… 21 knots.”

        “… Sweet Jesus.”

        “Scheisse.”

        “I need another drink.”

        Reply
        1. Taylor AndersonsBy Taylor Andersons on

          Ok Justin. I’m going to call that a “literary analogy” instead of the very good Fan-Fic it resembles . . . :) So, without going into any details of a hypothetical confrontation which may or may not have occurred to me, or which may or may not actually appear a book . . .
          a) remember these are somewhat amateurish prototypes. The Allied cruiser will be better for what it’s designed for (post Amagi, pre League, it would’ve been decisive in just about any imaginable situation. Now? You may see a little “buyer’s remorse.” Like the first Repub efforts, they never dreamed what they might have to send it up against, though this would be technical ignorance on the part of the Repubs. They knew Savoie was bad-ass, but not nearly HOW bad-ass, and open comm with the Allies is only a recent development. Anyway, imagine the FIRST Repub (BC-BB) class(I expect they will be ridiculously proud of them and may class them with a little hubris), as capable of a straining, shuddering MAX speed of @21-22 knots. Possibly enough to creep away from Savoie if they knew where she was before she could see them. Considering how small they will be in comparison, Savoie could hit them if she could see them–smoke aside.
          Imagine them ultimately able to:
          Against “modern”–

          DD–they can’t catch them or run away, but they can slaughter them with relative hull and main battery impunity if they can avoid torpedoes.

          CL–they can’t catch them or run away, but can dish out more than they take, shot for shot. (That would probably not be the case with an 8 or 9 gun quick-firing 6″ CL).

          CA–they can’t catch them or run away, but CAN destroy one with a lot of luck–if they can hammer it faster than the enemy can get in more than two or three hits. (Even if the Repub “BBC” has 12″ guns, they will be comparatively short-ranged (numerous reasons you can all imagine) and it is doubtful they will out-range a modern 8″.

          BB–Die. Again, they MIGHT be able to avoid action with some BBs, and they might even do some damage to superstructure or other areas less protected by main armor belt if they were suddenly close enough to get in a few licks before they took any.

          I think the above is all the very best anyone could expect from these first Repub efforts. The ultimate questions are how quickly they can gear up for large-scale production, how quickly can they meet tech challenges of necessary improvements, and how willing they will be to MAKE suggested changes. They have the best potential industrial base, and second largest potential military population. They may even be able to out-produce the rest of the Alliance in terms of ships and weapons, given time, and absorb some Austraalans into their navy.

          Finally, remember this is all speculative, and really doesn’t necessarily reflect any actual eventual scenarios.

          Reply
          1. By Alexey Shiro on

            Hm. So, the current idea is some kind of “small battleship” – sea-capable coastal-defense unit?

            It… might work, actually. I have some that may be close…

            Yeah, found it:

            https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ru/thumb/c/c4/Salamis1.jpg/500px-Salamis1.jpg

            This is the original design for the Greece battleship “Salamis”, build by German “Vulcan” shipyard. Completed in 1912, this design assumed kind of “small dreadnought” with six 14-inch turrets, 23-knot speed and 4-8 inch armor belt.

            Of course, after Greek find out that Ottomans are ordered the truly superdreadnoughts, they immediatedly ordered the design to be changed toward more “superdreadnought”-type forms – with eight 14-inch guns in four superfiring turrets…

          2. By Alexey Shiro on

            //CA–they can’t catch them or run away, but CAN destroy one with a lot of luck–if they can hammer it faster than the enemy can get in more than two or three hits. (Even if the Repub “BBC” has 12″ guns, they will be comparatively short-ranged (numerous reasons you can all imagine) and it is doubtful they will out-range a modern 8″.//

            Er, Taylor, I’m afraid you overestimated the destructive capabilities of 8-inch guns… Greatly. There is no possible way how just 2-3 8-inch hits could take out even the pre-dreadnought battleship. Just recall the Falkland, 1914! The british battlecruisers – and they weren’t particulary good armored! – recieved more than forty 8-inch and 6-inch hits without significant damage.

            I agree, that in theory CA could take out “coastal-type” battleship by using the advantages of speed and better fire control, but it would took quite a lot of hits.

            // They knew Savoie was bad-ass, but not nearly HOW bad-ass, //

            Er, again, they have German & Biritsh naval advisors. Granted, they aren’t all military sailors, but they clearly knew about pre-1914 battleships, and what could they do.

          3. By matthieu on

            Justin, take Care. Taylor told me that he could create “me” sharing a bunk with Alexei. I just fainted at the idea :)

            —————————————

            Dear Committee dear crownies and

            The current topic of the day is spotting and air protection. As you know our ships can’t outrun fast ships. Ambushes and air spotting would be a tremendous force multiplier even if we restrict ourselves to an outdated design such as the one carried on some alliance ships.

            We recommend at least two floatplanes plus the associated crane.

            As for air defense. Until now we expected the enemy to use low speed but high altitude zeppelins. We currently face a much more dangerous foe with some low altitude torpedo attacks and high speed guided bomb attacks.

            As you know air defense is not that efficient. Its main purpose is to shoot down planes but it’s an incredibly hard task. As a consequence most of the fire has one goal: throw off targeting and render an effective attack impossible as long as the pilot wants to survive. This strategy would be effective against league planes but may fail against griks as most of them are indeed too stupid to understand how dangerous their attack is. And even if they do, they may not care. On the long run it helps us as their reserve of veteran pilots will remain very low. Keep in mind that even with a loss rate of ten percents, 65% of their air force will be destroyed after ten missions. Training new pilots tales a lot of time and money.

            [note: it was indeed a problem. Japanese had excellent pilots but it takes literally years to train them. After such losses they will need months to train new grik pilots]

            So what do we do? We need to be able to shoot down attacking planes. We recommend to supply our cruisers with as many light planes as possible. A single of them can destroy a full attacking squadron as attacking planes are not trained in air to air and carry a heavy load.

            At the same time machineguns just don’t have the range to shoot down those planes. The best alternative is probably the 75mm design. It lacks speed for really fast planes but is perfectly adequate as long as airspeed is below 400 km/h [this is indeed the case].

          4. By Alexey Shiro on

            //Justin, take Care. Taylor told me that he could create “me” sharing a bunk with Alexei. I just fainted at the idea :)//

            Oh, I’m flattered. :) You seems (well, frankly, I have no idea how do you look like… :) ) just as my kind of guy… 😉

            //We recommend at least two floatplanes plus the associated crane.//

            There is a problem: we don’t know exactly, what kind of aviation program the Republic have. It’s quite possible that they are conducting lighter-than-air development – after all, the majority of their tech advisors are from German Navy – and German Navy in 1914-1918 clearly preferred airships.

          5. By Alexey Shiro on

            Nah, not too much :) Not exactly my favourite type, but neither the opposite. :)

            Talking about Republic and aviation – we must not forget, that they came from 1914. The military applications of air forces were still pretty unclear. The airplanes were still considered by many as lousy proposition in compairson with airships.

            The hardest problem would be to persuade the Republican that they actually need to fear attacks from air. Frankly, I think they would continue to underestimate the threat from above – despite any Alliance efforts to persuade them – up until some Grik zeppelins came upon their border towns at night…

          6. By Justin on

            Hey, thanks!

            Okay, so we’re looking at an ironclad littoral pre-dread that can repel (if not intercept) League incursions AND dominate the Grik.

            A proto-Salamis sounds good, but also check out what the Swedes came up with:

            http://www.navypedia.org/ships/sweden/sw_bb_19.gif

            // The ultimate questions are how quickly they can gear up for large-scale production, how quickly can they meet tech challenges of necessary improvements, and how willing they will be to MAKE suggested changes.//

            I’m not too worried on that front – nations don’t last a thousand years by being slow and inflexible.

            //We recommend at least two floatplanes plus the associated crane.//

            P-1Bs with floats, perhaps? Remember that Amerika‘s crew are from the biplane era.

          7. By Alexey Shiro on

            //A proto-Salamis sounds good, but also check out what the Swedes came up with://

            Well, Scandinavians are the unique situation. They have pretty partuicular coastlines, with very limited fairways and plenty of skerries, rocks and small islands.

            Basically, their coastal defense ships were designed to tackle with enemy warships, entering skerries – on almost point-blank range. That’s why they were relatively lightly armored – because Sweden figured out that on distances about 2-5 km no armor would be sufficiently effective. The idea was, that the smaller size, rapid-firing heavy guns and some armor protection of coast defense ships would gave them advantage over cruisers and even battleships. Problem was, they underestimated the torpedo development – as Norway’s coastal defense ships learn the hard way in 1940.

          8. By donald johnson on

            //There is a problem: we don’t know exactly, what kind of aviation program the Republic have. It’s quite possible that they are conducting lighter-than-air development – after all, the majority of their tech advisors are from German Navy – and German Navy in 1914-1918 clearly preferred airships.//

            Actually as a spotter the blimp/zep has the advantage of being able to loiter much longer than any thing else. they can also operate tethered to the BC and use no fuel at all and see for a hundred miles . this was done by the north and the south to spot enemy ships during the civil war so they should be awre if the possibility’s. the tethered variety would be only large enough to lift the observer and tethering cable as it would not have or need a motor.

          9. By Justin on

            Zepps or semi-rigids make sense, but as scouts instead of spotters.

            Reason 1: The enemy has an air force. If the ship comes under attack, an airship can’t really protect her – in fact, she’d need protecting herself! A fighter or two would stand a better chance.

            Reason 2: Given that the new pre-dreads will be kinda slow, they need to avoid detection from Savoie or other modern ships while advancing or retreating… which would be hindered by a giant balloon floating above them.

            Reason 3: Before you say “then bring them down when you’re retreating,” the pre-dreads are pretty cramped, too. Even blimps take up a lot more deck space than seaplanes – space that probably won’t be there. I know, because I’m trying to do it in SketchUp right now.

            Reason 4: Airships operate better on their own anyway – scouting, patrolling, hunting subs, transporting scout/bomber aircraft, etc.

            So IMO, have dirigibles operate as an independent air wing, separate from the fleet but coordinating with them via radio or telegraph. Give the pre-dreads some seaplanes instead.

          10. By donald johnson on

            // Before you say “then bring them down when you’re retreating,” the pre-dreads are pretty cramped, too. Even blimps take up a lot more deck space than seaplanes – space that probably won’t be there. I know, because I’m trying to do it in SketchUp right now.//

            With the spotter balloon my idea was that the balloon be cut away and set free if they decided that they needed the speed either to attack or retreat. Reel in the cable release the pilot/spotter and then run/chase. A ship the size of the Savoie can be seen much farther than the balloon can especially if the paint on the balloon is the proper color.
            If the Hydrogen in released then the Balloon takes much less deck space and can actually be stored below decks.
            A balloon spotter does not need the training that a zep or aircraft pilot & crew needs.

          11. By matthieu on

            Well not a single fleet remained on balloons: hydrogen is a nightmare (especially above a ship powered by coal). The smoke will roast the crew. Even some wind will prevent it from being used and so on. Good idea but not practical.

          12. By William Curry on

            Use Kites instead of balloons. They can be folded up and stored away. My recollection is that some WWI navies used them.

          13. By William Curry on

            PS the problem with anti-aircraft defense isn’t the gun, it’s the rate of relative motion fire control system for anything beyond about 1000 yards. During WWII even the 20mm tertiary batteries on US ships had directors which could also be used by the secondary 5″/38’s and the 40mm’s. They look something like a coin-in-slot binoculars that you see at tourist sites.

          14. By Lou Schirmer on

            We also have to remember they will hopefully have access to Lemruian Union/US Navy tech. If I were Letts, I’d have already sent them examples of Amagi’s systems & technology, plus schematics & how to’s for US navy tech like boiler’s, turbines, powered turrets, range finders. They may not be able to incorporate much of this into their fist design, but they could use some elements of it. Taylor says they’re going with triple expansion engines, so turbines are out, but they may be able to improve their boilers with ideas from the Union to increase the engines power. If I were them, I’d be shooting for 22-23 knots, enough to run from Savoie, if necessary, but not so much as to need a large increase in horse power.
            As far as main batteries go, they already have breach loading 8″ rifles in turrets, & hinted at “bigger & better” ones available. So I’d shoot for a layout similar to the HMS Dreadnaught, except raise the two wing turrets & the next turret aft up to the main deck level, to give more interior space & not subject them to heavy seas. The two aft centerline turrets could be spaced far enough apart (like the IJN Kongo class) that they wouldn’t have to design for super firing turrets. They might want to move the bridge structure back behind the muzzles of the wing guns to prevent damage if they fire those forward. Since they know basically the caliber of Savoie’s main battery, they probably won’t go with an 8″ main gun. The guns will hopefully be in the 10-12″ size range, to deal with any thing smaller & at least inflict some damage on an enemy BB. The guns will probably be a built up design, either wire wound or iron hooped w/ steel liners. With the Union’s support, their range finders could be fairly decent, even if their range isn’t great, an 8×10″ or 8×12″ broadside would give anyone pause for thought.
            Secondaries should be a DP design of either a modified 75mm or a licensed copy of the Union’s 4″ DP. Could put it in a “poor man’s turret” a half shield & 3/4 tub lay out. They know there’s an air threat from the Grik & if they’re operating farther north, from Kurokawa (if he’s still around after #12). They could supplement them with Alexey’s idea of a Hotchkiss based revolver cannon of some sort. For quick production, base it on the Japanese 25mm cartridge. Scatter a bunch of .30 cal BMGs or Maxim’s around as well.
            For armor, even from the time the Amerika came from they were building all steel hulls & armor, so they will probably go with that…if they can. We don’t know what their steel supply situation is. They can make good steel & probably Harvey armor, but do they have a big enough supply of it to build a large ship totally out of it. If they do, I’m sure they would. Dreadnaught was only 18k tons normal load(20k tons heavy), so if they base it vaguely on her, they’d have about an 11′ belt & similar for the turrets & conning tower, & with an increased & known air threat, probably increase the armored deck to 5″+. She still wouldn’t be as powerful as the Savoie, & Savoie’s main battery elevation has probably been increased to 30+ degrees like most of the BB modernization programs of the 1930s, so even if she does have the capability to elevate to that angle, with the older barrel design, she probably would have less than 3/4 of Savoie’s range.
            For scouting/spotting aircraft, they again have Union examples to draw from. If I were them, I’d go with a modified Nancy design, beef it up a bit & power it with one of the single row radials, to give it a bit more speed & power. Not sure whether a P-1C would be much good as a scout/spotting platform with only the pilot there, he would be a bit overworked to do the job right. Or they could go with a local design, powered by a Union designed engine. Early aircraft designs were quickly designed & built, simple, austere planes & built around available engines. The engine would be the thing taking the longest time to design test & produce, so they may go with a proven power plant to speed things up, until they get a design of their own running.

            The main problem initially for them in large ship construction, won’t be the ship technology itself, but the infrastructure to build & support it. They’ll need a large site/ways to build & launch the hull. Also, for future repair work a large enough dry dock to hold her. They’ll need heavy cranes to move heavy machinery(boilers, engines, screws, rudders etc.), guns, turrets & armor plate into place. If they go with oil fired boilers, they’re going to have to rely on the Union for oil & have to build the storage tanks & refueling stations for it. They could go coal fired, but would have to increase their production fairly dramatically for a large, long range ship, & with the Union going all oil fired, may find it difficult to get quality coal else where. They’d have to build colliers, as well as the BB. It’s a toss up there, which way they go. They have plenty of coal, but their main ally is oil fired. What to do, what to do!?

          15. By Lou Schirmer on

            OK, after taking another look at Taylor’s limitations, I’ll have to scratch the full up Dreadnaught concept, since he’s limited it to 4-6 guns. The basic concept is still good though, just delete the two wing turrets. That will reduce the tonnage a bit & the length. It will need less horse power also to make the designed speed requirements. I’d say all the rest still applies though.

            They can go to the “modified Dreadnaught” plan for the next class with some experience under their belt.

          16. By donald johnson on

            One of the things I have always wondered was why didn’t battleships and cruisers ever experiment in buy whole or try whole designs this would be a more stable platform and would have a minor effect of making torpedo damage much less to the entire ship

          17. By donald johnson on

            One of the things I have always wondered was why didn’t battleships and cruisers ever experiment in bi-hull or tri-hull designs this would be a more stable platform and would have a minor effect of making torpedo damage much less to the entire shipbi

          18. By Alexey Shiro on

            Well, generally because those guys are costly. They cost literally millions to design and build, and no one would be particulary happy to spend such moneys on the design that might not work.

            Then, the simple logistic. Such wide ships would require enormous drydocks to mantain and repair. And drydocks cost money, too. Basically, even the single such ship would require the large-scale renovation of naval facilities – and what if design prove to be unworkable?

            Thirdly, such designs have problems with structural stresses. Problems, that required quite a lot of efforts to solve, especially for warship, which is supposed t take combat damage.

            And the last… Well, the “Popovka”‘s type of coastal battleships of Russian ImperialNavy were pretty much the most unortodox ones :) They were round – completely round, with the array of keels and several propellers. While they were able to carry pretty impressive guns and armor for their size, they weren’t particulary sucsessful.

          19. By Steve Moore on

            Remember how Musashi and Yamato died before you design a class of ship to react to a single vessel..

      2. By matthieu on

        “These are mainly contextual guidelines. as for tech:
        Nature of composite hull remains open to suggestion.”

        A really good question: what is this armor supposed to stop? small caliber shells, 203mm ones? grik fire? A weak armour may be even worse than no armour in some areas.

        – Before 1880, naval armour plating was made from uniform homogeneous wrought iron (2 to 5 inches) plates on top of several inches of teak to absorb the shock of projectile impact.
        – First experiments with steel were failures as steel did not adhere to iron. We needed years to really solve this problem in our world so there is no way for them to solve this problem either. You need high level metallurgists and a full scale industry plus a lot of investments.
        – To stop a large caliber shell you need a really huge armor (according to the 1876 experiment, up to 22 inches (!!!!).

        What’s the solution? Compound armour made of TWO steels: a very hard but brittle high-carbon steel front plate backed by a more elastic low-carbon wrought iron plate.

        To use it you need to weld them. According to wikipedia, “The problem of welding them together was solved independently by two Sheffield engineers, A. Wilson of John Brown & Company and J. D. Ellis of Cammell Laird. Wilson’s technique, invented in 1877,[1] was to pour molten steel onto a wrought iron plate, whilst Ellis’ was to position the two plates close together and pour molten steel into the gap. In both cases, the plate formed was rolled down to about half of the original thickness. The steel front surface formed about one-third of the thickness of the plate.
        Compound armour was initially much better than either iron or steel plates, about a 25% improvement. Throughout the decade continuous improvements were made in techniques for manufacturing both compound armour and steel armour. Nevertheless by the end of the decade all-steel plates had decisively edged ahead of compound armour, and the latter had become obsolete. Two major reasons for this were the introduction of forged chrome-steel shot in 1886 and the discovery of nickel-steel alloys in 1889 which proved particularly effective as armour plate.
        For instance, a trial by the French Navy at Gavre in 1880 found compound armour superior to all-steel plates. An 1884 trial in Copenhagen found that there was little difference between the two types, although compound armour was subsequently ordered by the Danish Navy, probably because it was cheaper. At the same time a similar trial to select the armour of the Italian battleship Lepanto saw 20-inch-thick (510 mm) compound armour plate demolished by two shots of the 10-inch calibre guns which were to be fitted to the ship, whilst the same projectiles were shattered by 20 inches of French Creusot steel plate.”

        ————————————————-
        So the choice can be
        – 1870 technology: iron + wood backing
        – steel + iron but it will fail miserably
        – 1880 technology: hard steel plus soft steel but they need production capacity
        – 1890-1900 technology: full steel armour but they need advanced technologies (chromium, nickel…)

        Even if we push things there is no way for them to be able to produce 1900 steel armour… and they have to protect the ship against 1920-1930 technology. No way for them to find the solution. They will focus on grik ships and hope for the best with League’s ones. Not a good choice, not a good idea but probably the least worst choice.

        Given the location, we also need to think about the wood… Where are they going to find the required wood? Do we assume that they have teak? Wood backed armour may be a good idea… unless it’s pine or poplar. You can imagine the mess.

        Reply
        1. By Alexey Shiro on

          Well, they COULD produce 1880s Harvey armor. Not as good as cemented Krupp, of course, but still would work within tolerable weight increase. Basically, I consider the Harvey’s as the current upper limit of Alliance/Republic.

          Reply
    4. By William Curry on

      I would suggest Scotch Marine boilers as easier to build, maintain and operate. The Yarrow boilers are a bad example of a water tube boiler to follow. The boilers can be equipped with pressurized wind boxes to avoid the issues with a pressurized fire room. Oil or Coal? oil would be better if they had a supply. I think also that the tech base exists to have hydraulic turret traverse since that has been around since around 1905. I presume that the Allies can provide tech advisors for some things. Are the guns going to burn smokeless or Black/brown. This might be a good case for semi-smokeless propellant.

      Reply
      1. By Alexey Shiro on

        // I think also that the tech base exists to have hydraulic turret traverse since that has been around since around 1905. //

        Since 1880s, actually.

        Reply
        1. By matthieu on

          Well as often it’s not “does it existe” but “do they have somebody with the knowledge”.

          Even at that time is was highly specialized knowledge.

          Reply
          1. By William Curry on

            According to my sources the Amerika had an electric elevator which would give them the basic knowledge for electric powered projectile and propellant hoists for the turrets. The US Navy started using hydraulic turret traverse in 1905. The easiest thing would be to increase the pressure and superheat of the boilers to increase the power of the 4 cylinder triple expansion engines. In the 1890-1900 time frame most ships were using 60 to 100 psig systems with minimal superheat. By going to higher presssure and superheat the engines can be made more powerful for the same physical size.

          2. By Justin on

            Nice… and how much horsepower would we be looking at?

          3. By William Curry on

            The increase in HP would be proportional to the ratio of the increase in absolute pressure and temperature drop across the system from engine inlet (throttle) valve to the condenser exhaust pressure versus the original design conditions.

    5. By Steve White on

      Dear Minister,

      As you may have heard, the Boss has gone and done it. As my ancestors used to say, “Oy.”

      Reports from our new embassy in Cape Town inform us that the Republic of Real People will commence to build some heavy ships. Apparently the thought is that the Republic wants a ship that can out-gun the Savoie, out-run the Savoie, out-fight the Savoie, and …

      … well Sir, let’s get real. The Republic isn’t going to do any of these things, not if what we’ve seen at Cape Town is any indication.

      Don’t get me wrong, Sir, they’ve got some nice artillery pieces. The copy of the old French 75? We here at the Baalkpan Works would love to build a few hundred of those. They’ve got a decent manufacturing base and they have some experience with smaller ships.

      But Sir: triple-expansion steam engines, even if they can build them big enough with our advice and engineering know-how, aren’t going to drive a ship that can carry 8 to 10 inch guns at any reasonable speed, particularly if the ship is combined wood and steel. We’re essentially talking one of Kurokawa’s first-generation, so-called “battleships” with better engines, better quality construction and good internal compartments. You could drive such a ship and mount 8 inch guns, and she’d do well against the Grik. Even I’d go to sea to watch that one, not that I’m volunteering, as unfortunately I’m really needed here. But it won’t do more than 15 knots, 17 tops, so say the bright boys down in the basement of the Ministry.

      Iron armor on wood construction won’t take a solid hit from an exploding Frenchie battleship shell. So the first time they get into a fight with the League they won’t be able to run away, won’t be able to close enough to use their main guns, and won’t survive a solid hit.

      You’ve seen the remaining Grik battleships — heck, we’ve converted them for use as transports. They’re slow, they don’t handle well, and they’re really no fun in a heavy sea (urp). I’d love to see the Republic come up with something better, and I think they would, but we might be looking at a Merrimac with turrets.

      A suggestion, Sir, for when you meet with the Republic personnel on your tour there, would be to have them build two classes of ships.

      The first class is a Grik-fighter as I’ve noted above: 15 knots, 6 inch guns, steel on wood, perhaps 2500 tons. Those could be built quickly and would be just the thing we need to help knock the Grik out of the war.

      The other class is a Baalkpan-Bay class carrier. Or three. I know, I know, we keep hearing that the Nancy will never survive against the Savoie, but let’s throw a few dozen Nancys at the Frenchies at one time and take our chances. As the old saying goes, Sir, we only have to be lucky once. The Republic could build a carrier and we could get their aviation industry going to be ready when the ship is commissioned. And those aircraft will help with the conquest of Grik Africa, and perhaps even Zanzibar if Kurokawa makes a mistake.

      As always, Sir, the Baalkpan Works will deliver!

      Your most humble and obedient servant,

      Reply
      1. By Alexey Shiro on

        Er…

        //But Sir: triple-expansion steam engines, even if they can build them big enough with our advice and engineering know-how, aren’t going to drive a ship that can carry 8 to 10 inch guns at any reasonable speed, particularly if the ship is combined wood and steel. //

        Well, the completely “machined” SMS “Blucher” was able to reach 25,4 knots on trials and more than 24 knots in service life.

        The problem with triple-expansion vs turbines is that triple-expansions could not mantain high speed for long because of severe strain on the machines.

        //But it won’t do more than 15 knots, 17 tops, so say the bright boys down in the basement of the Ministry.//

        Please tell them that they are wrong. :)

        //Iron armor on wood construction won’t take a solid hit from an exploding Frenchie battleship shell. So the first time they get into a fight with the League they won’t be able to run away, won’t be able to close enough to use their main guns, and won’t survive a solid hit.//

        This depend of armor thickness. And, If I’m not mistaken, wooden backing were used on eraly dreadnoughts too.

        //The other class is a Baalkpan-Bay class carrier. Or three. I know, I know, we keep hearing that the Nancy will never survive against the Savoie, but let’s throw a few dozen Nancys at the Frenchies at one time and take our chances. //

        (Sigh) Please, stop suggesting carriers for coastal defense duties. What Alliance navy definitely DOESN’T need, is another slow carrier, that could be easily pounded into wreck by any League heavy ship.

        Reply
        1. By Steve White on

          // Please, stop suggesting carriers for coastal defense duties. //

          Coast defense? Of course not! Carriers are for attack…

          Reply
      2. Taylor AndersonsBy Taylor Andersons on

        Very fun, Steve, but you forget: USS Texas was 33,000 tons (full load, post 1925 rebuild W/torpedo blisters) and could make 19-22 knots depending on who you talk to. Vets say she got FASTER after the blisters were installed. Of course she had way better boilers then. And she only has two (admittedly very large) 4 cylinder triple expansion recips.

        Reply
        1. By Steve White on

          Fair point! But Texas took a completely industrial, first-world society how long to build? 20 knots would be great, but could the RRP build those engines first time around?

          Not saying it can’t happen, but your timeline in the series is going to have extend to about 1949 or so. I’ll read every one, too… :-)

          Reply
    6. By Joe Thorsky on

      Goodness Gracious Taylor-Guys

      Seems like we’ve had this extended conversation and discussion before (ad infinitum on- then what/what next);only the same problems and issues get ever more complicated and magnified with every new culture shock of a materialization (one for each book or should I stipulate, letter of the alphabet!?). The basics and the fundamentals however have not appreciably changed. They still remain the same and stay what they are, and have always been; which makes them especially even more relevant and functionally applicable and operational now.
      No matter whether you’re referencing Grik, Lemurians, Doms, NUS , Allies , Americlans, Axis or the Uunbeknownst , the whole bloody LOT of them all have the same acquired fatal shortcomings and weaknesses that demand their immediate attention if survival is to
      be maintained and continued.

      If I may suggest an alternative course to Taylor’s initial proposal starting with an unconventional course of action that would begin with:

      1 Initiate a crash Americlan U-Boat program with the obvious intention of conducting unrestricted submarine warfare against the Capital and Merchant Ships, Lines of Communication and Supply of the LOT, its Axis partners and the Doms . This would be
      a far better effective and more efficient use of available existing labor and resources.
      It could put into to jeopardy and risk and place a great initial cost to the global aspirations and the dreams of domination that the LOT have been freely enjoying since their transport into the Taylor’s World.

      2 Enter into a treaty of Alliance with Grik General Halleck similar in nature to historical Lend Lease Act where 35-50 Captured Grik Warships would be refitted and rearmed as disguised Grik commerce raiders wholly crewed, manned and staffed by a complement
      of Grik, Lemurians and Americans volunteers. Placed under the nominal operational command and control of Rebel Grik General Halleck; these vessels operating under “Letters of Marque” could be a very effective disrupting false flag force against the heredity Grik Navy and their fleeting temporary LOT ally Kurokawa.

      Any other suggestions that could help clarify and
      amplify on the questions of

      What is the nature of the problem
      What do you want to do to solve it
      How can it be done What will/do you need to complete the job When do you need it Where will you need it Will what you do work What are the likely costs in lost/diverted time, resources and lives Will it work as advertised and as specified Will it be adequate and sufficient to do the job Is there any other better alternative to consider

      Your thoughts, suggestions, recommendations.

      Reply
      1. By Justin on

        AFAIK, the Republic is aiming to build a class that can match the Grik but ALSO evolve to be able to deter Savoie and League warships.

        Sorry Joe, but subs are off the table (too complicated to build, as opposed to contemporary surface vessels) and commerce raiders – as discussed last year – would just be floating targets for the Grik and League.

        Reply
      2. By Alexey Shiro on

        //1 Initiate a crash Americlan U-Boat program //

        With all respect, but submarines aren’t easy to build. Granted, the Alliace could build something like WW-1 boats, but they hardly would be sufficient against League.

        And, submarines, never were particulary good against capital ships. They are just too slow.

        //2 Enter into a treaty of Alliance with Grik General Halleck similar in nature to historical Lend Lease Act where 35-50 Captured Grik Warships would be refitted and rearmed as disguised Grik commerce raiders wholly crewed, manned and staffed by a complement
        of Grik, Lemurians and Americans volunteers.//

        Simply would not work. How could they possibly fit in League traffic? There aren’t many neutral cargo ships in Destroyermen’s World! The number of cargo ships themselves are extremely limited. They are hard to find, and also hard to camouflage yourself for one.

        Reply
      3. By Lou Schirmer on

        They could build subs given time. They have some crewmen left from the S-19, but it would be time spent developing new tech from scratch. Large batteries & electric motors, large diesel or gas engines, periscopes, CO2 scrubbers, vents, valves & most importantly good seals for all the stuff protruding from the pressure hull. About the only thing they already have is torpedoes.
        Granted, a sub or subs would be highly effective against the Grik, Dom’s & Kurokawa. However, the only way they would have any real chance against the LOT would be if they could develop them in TOTAL secrecy. If the LOT weren’t expecting them, they could have a good bit of initial success, like the Surcouf type had against the convoys, but once the LOT realizes what was going on their DDs could take care of, at best WW1 era subs.

        Talking complexity, check out the control room of the UB-110. One wrong move there & down you go.

        http://www.allday.com/life-in-the-cramped-quarters-of-early-submarines-2180791376.html

        Reply
  7. By Alexey Shiro on

    Well, since we are talking about battlecruisers, let me present you…

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/2ryxz9pcxxbivbo/K5.png?dl=0

    This is “Katana” – the “Sword”-class Grand Alliance battlecruiser.

    She is 185 meters lenght, 25 meters at beam, and have a draft of 8 meters. She have a displacement of 23500 ton standard (25000 ton full)

    Her weaponry consist of:

    – 3 x 2 x 12,5-inch (320 mm)/50 composite (steel tube, cast-iron body, wrough-iron hoops) guns, placed in three dual turrets. One for, two (superfiring) aft.

    – 10 x 1 x 4-inch secondaries in casemates

    – 4 x 1 x 4-inch DP guns

    – 2 x 1-inch (25-mm) triple autocannons

    – 4 x 3 x 21-inch (533-mm) torpedo tubes

    She is protected by:

    – Main belt – 280 mm of Harvey armor, inclined at 20 degrees outward. The main belt protected ship citadel – 110 meters. Behind the belt, we have anti-splinter 2-inch bulkhead, which is connected with anti-torpedo bulkhead underwater.

    – Main armor deck – 75 mm of the same Harvey armor, with 100 mm slopes + 25 mm splinter deck beneath the main armor deck.

    – Turret armor is 320 mm on front, about 150 mm on rear and sides. 280 mm barbettes.

    The ship is powered by four geared turbine sets, total power up to 58000 hp. The max speed is 25 knots, the cruising speed is 10 knots. The fuel supply (oil) fit for 14000 km.

    Reply
    1. By Lou Schirmer on

      Sounds like a decent design.
      Why did you go with the casemate guns instead of DPs? With Kurokawa’s air power, I say she needs more AAA.

      Reply
      1. By Alexey Shiro on

        Well, generally because this design was started before the real size of Kurokawa’s air force became known) And the casemate guns seems to be more logical solution.

        Currently, I’m thinking about increasing the number of DP guns and switching 25-mm guns for 40-mm multibarrel Hotckiss-type powered revolver cannons.

        Reply
        1. By Justin on

          Problem is that casemates are prone to flooding (and therefore unusable) at high speeds – this was known even in World War One.
          Then there’s the weight issue of having a secondary battery AND a heavy AA battery. Replacing them with DP turrets would be lighter and more efficient, if harder to build.

          Reply
          1. By Alexey Shiro on

            But – they are more durable than thin-armored DP turret. Problem is, you could not armor DP systems too much: or they would become too slow to turn around.

          2. By Justin on

            They’re durable enough – I don’t recall any capital ship ever suffering a secondary turret explosion.

          3. By Alexey Shiro on

            On low-tech level, they are much easier to jam, much more prone to combat damage (especially if they lost power), much more vunerable to HE… Basically, that’s Tsusima experience: the secondary turrets on Russian warships in actual action (sorry for the pun) demonstrated themselves unreliable enough, so almost no one tried to fit secondaries in turret up to 1920s). Just the tech level…

          4. By Justin on

            Point taken, but the Union’d probably be at a Twenties tech level by the time they get around to battlecruisers.

      2. By Lou Schirmer on

        The Hotchkiss was an excellent weapon. Instead of developing a cartridge from scratch, they could scale up an existing round like the .50 cal or 25mm to 40mm. That would save some time & give them a base line for the ballistics.

        Reply
    2. By Justin on

      Why the torpedo tubes? Come on, capital ships shouldn’t be in torp range in the first place!

      Reply
      1. By Alexey Shiro on

        Because I oriented her toward Japanese doctrine of “Kantai Kessen”; use her as a heavy support for the nighttime attack of Alliance’s destroyers against League’s Navy. Her “pagoda” superstructure is for same reason: a lot of searchlights and observes. And yes, in nighttime conditions she may have good use for her torpedo tubes.

        Reply
  8. By Justin on

    Just going to move it here before we get lose. And why the hell was this in “Character Discussions?”

    //Justin, I didn’t know you could do different years on the engines.//

    Yeah, that took a while to figure out. It makes sense in hindsight – old hulls get new machinery all the time, but not vice versa. How else would we calculate the refits?

    Way I figure, the Union’ll be at interwar-era tech by the time they’re ready for a panzerschiffe. So all her tech would resemble a Pensacola-class, which were laid down in the late twenties; if Paul’s right and there’s enough left of Hidoiame to reverse-engineer, that’s machinery from the mid thirties.

    Reply
    1. By Justin on

      Say, what’s the naming protocol for Union capital ships anyhow? Mountains? Rivers? Islands? Animals? Abstract concepts? The Lemurians don’t exactly have conventional territories or provinces or states, so those are out.

      Reply
    2. By Lou Schirmer on

      OK redid my BC. Since it’ll take a few years to build, I figure they’re probably going to have super heated boilers by then, so I jacked the SHP up to 60k. That gives her about 27 knots, here’s the cut down report:

      Constitution, Lemurian Union Battlecruiser laid down 1927 (Engine 1934)

      Displacement:
      15,776 t light; 16,860 t standard; 17,761 t normal; 18,481 t full load

      Dimensions: Length (overall / waterline) x beam x draught (normal/deep)
      (643.06 ft / 630.00 ft) x 75.00 ft x (23.00 / 23.75 ft)
      (196.00 m / 192.02 m) x 22.86 m x (7.01 / 7.24 m)

      Armament:
      6 – 14.00″ / 356 mm 45.0 cal guns w/150 shells per gun
      Breech loading guns in turret on barbette mounts
      3 x Twin mounts on centreline ends, majority forward w/1 raised mount – superfiring
      12 – 4.00″ / 102 mm 50.0 cal guns w/150 shells per gun
      Dual purpose guns in deck mount, 12 x Single mount
      20 – 0.98″ / 25.0 mm 50.0 cal guns w/500 shells per gun
      10 x Twin anti-air guns in raised deck mounts
      2 – Depth Charges + 8 reloads in Stern racks

      Armour:
      – Belts: Width (max) Length (avg) Height (avg)
      Main: 6.00″ / 152 mm 400.00 ft / 121.92 m 10.32 ft / 3.15 m
      Ends: Unarmoured
      Upper: 6.00″ / 152 mm 400.00 ft / 121.92 m 8.00 ft / 2.44 m
      Main Belt covers 98 % of normal length
      – Hull void:
      1.00″ / 25 mm 410.00 ft / 124.97 m 15.00 ft / 4.57 m
      – Gun armour: Face (max) Other gunhouse (avg) Barbette/hoist (max)
      Main: 6.00″ / 152 mm 5.00″ / 127 mm 5.00″ / 127 mm
      – Box over machinery & magazines:
      5.00″ / 127 mm
      – Conning towers: Forward 5.00″ / 127 mm, Aft 0.00″ / 0 mm

      Machinery:
      Oil fired boilers, steam turbines,
      Geared drive, 4 shafts, 60,000 shp / 44,760 Kw = 26.65 kts
      Range 7,996nm at 12.00 kts

      Complement: 769 – 1,000

      Overall survivability and seakeeping ability:
      Survivability (Non-critical penetrating hits needed to sink ship): 19.3 x 14.0 ” / 356 mm shells or 2.9 torpedoes
      Stability (Unstable if below 1.00): 1.16
      Metacentric height 4.3 ft / 1.3 m
      Roll period: 15.2 seconds
      Steadiness – As gun platform (Average = 50 %): 52 %
      – Recoil effect (Restricted arc if above 1.00): 0.93
      Seaboat quality (Average = 1.00): 1.33

      Hull form characteristics:
      Hull has a flush deck, a straight bulbous bow and a cruiser stern
      Length to Beam Ratio: 8.40 : 1
      Bow angle (Positive = bow angles forward): 25.00 degrees
      Stern overhang: 0.00 ft / 0.00 m
      Freeboard:
      Fore end, Aft end
      – Forecastle: 20.00 %, 28.00 ft / 8.53 m, 24.00 ft / 7.32 m
      – Forward deck: 30.00 %, 24.00 ft / 7.32 m, 18.00 ft / 5.49 m
      – Aft deck: 35.00 %, 18.00 ft / 5.49 m, 18.00 ft / 5.49 m
      – Quarter deck: 15.00 %, 18.00 ft / 5.49 m, 18.00 ft / 5.49 m
      – Average freeboard: 20.42 ft / 6.22 m

      Excellent machinery, storage, compartmentation space
      Excellent accommodation and workspace room
      Good seaboat, rides out heavy weather easily

      Reply
      1. By Alexey Shiro on

        With all respect, this design is flawed.

        //3 x Twin mounts on centreline ends, majority forward w/1 raised mount – superfiring//

        Actually, it make more sence to make rear turrets superfiring. The retreat fire is, actually, more useful when you need to consider the enemy heavier units.

        //12 – 4.00″ / 102 mm 50.0 cal guns w/150 shells per gun
        Dual purpose guns in deck mount, 12 x Single mount
        20 – 0.98″ / 25.0 mm 50.0 cal guns w/500 shells per gun
        10 x Twin anti-air guns in raised deck mounts//

        Far too many, I’m afraid.

        //– Belts: Width (max) Length (avg) Height (avg)
        Main: 6.00″ / 152 mm 400.00 ft / 121.92 m 10.32 ft / 3.15 m
        Ends: Unarmoured
        Upper: 6.00″ / 152 mm 400.00 ft / 121.92 m 8.00 ft / 2.44 m
        Main Belt covers 98 % of normal length//

        Er… what are you trying to do, make a new “Gangut”-class battleship? For what reason you armored 3/4 of ship’s lenght and ALL ship’s height with thin armor, which is incapable of stopping the 12-inch shell?! Even 8-inch guns could penetrate such belt on short distances.

        //– Box over machinery & magazines:
        5.00″ / 127 mm//

        For what reason you need box around machines, if you have already armored most of the freeboard?!

        And you forget the armor deck completely.

        With all respect, but such ship would be really a strange thing. It would be some sort of lighter version of Russian “Gangut”-class battleships; large area of thin armor. But “Ganguts” at least have 9-inch armor plates and a lot of internal bulkheads to protect from splinters.

        Reply
        1. By Lou Schirmer on

          I agree with you on the main battery, I forgot to change it when I went to a slower version.
          On the secondaries, I might reduce it slightly to 10 4″ (5 per side) & keep the 10 25mm (5 twin per side) a deck above. They’re going to need the AAA.
          In regards to the armor, I’m not an expert on ship design & armor layout, so can’t really say what would be best.

          Reply
  9. By Joe Thorsky on

    Interesting speculation all, especially concerning the combat inadequacies and performance of current Alliance aircraft. But instead of a crash time-consuming program to develop a new generation of Air superiority aircraft from design to prototype (just like F4U Corsair?), a more expedient option to pursue and consider would be to increase the present stand-off lethality /survivability of the existing Alliance aircraft inventory.

    Note:
    Robert Goddard was the key Post WWI developer of both liquid fueled rockets and the Army bazooka rocket systems. Juryrigging and having bazooka mounts put on existing Alliance Aircraft is an adaptable off the wall/viable remedy/ solution which could work as a successful short term remedy.

    Reply
    1. By Justin on

      And how would that work? The P1-C is basically a fabric-covered P-29 built to kill Grik zepps and pterosaurs; trying to convert it to fighting Macchis and Fiats is like training a fish to climb trees.

      Sure, the Union could tweak the design, making it larger and more powerful… but they’d most likely end up with an entirely new airframe anyway.

      Reply
    2. By donald johnson on

      A rocket pod put on a fabric-covered aircraft is a very dangerous situation unless the rocket pods are well below the wing. In a biplane totally unsafe. Still hazardous in a monoplane if it’s fabric covered. Remember that Rockets have exhaust that is on fire and fabric covered aircraft catch fire very easily.

      Reply
      1. By Joe Thorsky on

        Guys
        Ordinarily good points all; but situation still would result in not making aviation inventory any more survivable.
        Who said the rockets/and warheads on the aircraft only had
        to be propulsed using chemical reactions.
        Example-How about using a combination of gravity boosted plus compressed air-soda water fired warheads (torpedo like) instead.
        More innovation is needed here I suspect.

        Reply
        1. By Alexey Shiro on

          //Example-How about using a combination of gravity boosted plus compressed air-soda water fired warheads (torpedo like) instead.//

          I’m not sure what you mean…

          Reply
          1. By Joe Thorsky on

            Alexey
            FYI:
            Growing up way back when, one of first actual scientific kits I ever got was the one that had a compressed air plastic rocket that required handle pumping air into a cylinder of plain water. When pressure built up and eventually reached point of launch, the plastic rocket could reach an altitude of almost 50-75 feet.

          2. By Justin on

            It’s a joke, Alexey. Launching soda bottles using pressurized water is a common elementary school hobby in North America.

        1. By Joe Thorsky on

          Alexey:
          The point about the rocket option was that it stimulated a broader rethink of the problem.

          As another improvement that might be considered to quickly improve existing Allied aircraft fleet would be to use a variation of line throwing Springfield trapdoor rifle modified to fire a simple version of a rifle grenade as an anti-air-dragon weapon of choice.
          Whatever is eventually decided upon, it is the rapid technological change that is overwhelming/overpowering known and current military tactics that is putting into question Humam-Cats-Grik species existence/survival even as technology lethality radically improves.

          Reply
          1. By matthieu on

            Well, the most obvious target is japanese pilots. The current supply of japanese guys is limited and hitting them is the best idea that you can have.

            An even better one is to give weapons to some griks to make them kill each other.

    3. Taylor AndersonsBy Taylor Andersons on

      Hey Joe. In response to your latest “finger in the dam” post, I actually have an interesting connection to that–as my grandfather Anderson commanded a battery of 3″ rifles for Forrest and my grandfather Taylor rode for him while they were clobbering those blockhouses for Hood. Still, J.B. Hood is not one of my favorite military figures, even though I live in a county named for him. Though arguably somewhat the worse for wear, having scattered so many pieces of himself about, his opium-induced malpractice at Franklin doomed the Army of Tennessee when he ordered a Pickett-like assault without even waiting for his artillery to come up. He “won” the battle in the outmoded sense that he controlled the bloody ground when it was over, (talk about pyric victories), but the AOT never recovered. In addition to huge numbers of avoidable casualties among his troops, he also lost seven(if I remember correctly) general officers. One was Hiram Granbury–for which the town I live near was named….in Hood County….and another was Patrick Cleburne (who has a neighboring town named after him), and who I believe had the potential to be one of the best generals the Confederacy produced, from a military AND forward-looking political/social standpoint.

      Re the above, and ongoing thread, rest assured that aircraft improvements are in the works, but it would be a mistake to assume those improvements are dependent upon discussions here, as some appear to think. No offense, and these discussions ARE very helpful, but always remember most of what is discussed here is about a year behind the curve in terms of relevance. :) The main reason advances have seemed rather slow of late is that the pace of operations has accelerated dramatically and the time compression is such that improvements are having trouble keeping up with apparent shortcomings as they are revealed. And ultimately, the League threw a huge wrench in the works. Before they were discovered, the Allies were building–quite successfully–for the war they had, and they are only now beginning to realize how far behind the tech curve they potentially are. Look for a slow, but accelerating effort to compensate. There will be no “miracle weapons,” and “hopefully good enough,” augmented by combat experience and courage will always be the bedrock of the Allied effort. WILL it be good enough? That IS the question. Victory, even survival, is never assured.

      Reply
      1. By Lou Schirmer on

        Didn’t mean to imply anything, just said maybe. You’re doing all the hard work after all & we’re just kibitzing.

        Reply
          1. Taylor AndersonsBy Taylor Andersons on

            Don’t worry about it. Not griping–notice the stupid smiley face? Besides, the coolest thing to me, despite the time lag, is how often people here guess right. Then again, the wrong guesses are a hoot too.

          2. By donald johnson on

            They don’t know that they guessed right for two books sometimes

          3. By Lou Schirmer on

            By then some will have forgotten they’re right. Not me of course, I keep track of my suggestions & guesses & hoist a beer when I’m right. That’s only happened once so far, but I only found this site a couple of months before BITW came out. Got a few more waiting for the next few books out, to see if I was close, so don’t go & die on us.

            Of course we scatter “suggestions” like bird shot, somethings got to hit once in a while, kind of like a broken clock being right twice a day.

      2. By Joe Thorsky on

        Taylor:
        To be recognized as a fellow “Distinguished from the Dead” Culture and History Preservationist in a world that has gone totally mad and is HELL bent on suppressing anything that just might possibly offend one’s sensibility and preconceived prejudices is quite the honor!
        – Sorry Mom, the $50.00 deposit (Inflation Adjusted) in the swearing jar will go to the Family college fund as promised.

        Reply
    1. By Justin on

      If somebody crosses over with the means and the knowledge, then by all means.

      The problem with Coanda’s plane is that nobody’s sure if it even worked. It might’ve flown, or just crashed; experiments at the time showed that the engine only produced 170N of thrust (240 needed for takeoff)… and that spinning it any faster might cause it to blow up on the runway.

      Reply
      1. By donald johnson on

        Agreed that that particular one might not have flown but getting a bigger engine and a bigger ducted fan would make it fly. I am not sure how much more energy or efficiency a ducted fan has over a propeller but I do know that it is more than 10% which will easily offset excess added weight of a ducted fan giving you more performance

        Reply
        1. Taylor AndersonsBy Taylor Andersons on

          A LITTLE change of subject… I was amused by how many people absolutely expected “the gift” to be larger flying dragons–and I must confess I played to that deliberately by using the term “greater dragons.” That said, I try to ensure that all things are possible. I believe that Grikbirds (dragons) are, considering their physiology. And nobody ever rides them and they never carry more than a few pounds. It is established that they can NOT just fly completely away even with a relatively small Lemurian. I watched an eagle claw it’s way up into a tree with a beaver that had to outweigh it–but it couldn’t have gone far. By the same token, you never see 8 foot long centipedes, etc. I try to keep things real. I pushed the line with the spiderlobsters, bigger than a coconut crab–which has been about my shoregoing crustacean limit–but I imagined them as having an exhaustible hydraulic assist component. And there IS more sea level oxygen, and the eguatorial waters are more oxygenated. Back to my point–and the “could it fly” thread, I wonder just how big a living, flying creature could be on “my” world?

          Reply
          1. By donald johnson on

            For every percent more oxygen you can probably get another 5% of size in a flying creature in our world in modern times the largest flying creature was an eagle in New Zealand that weighed about 35 to 40 pounds and it could fly away with a 20 pound load easily the claim was it can fly away with a shape but I suspected they were talking about a baby not a full grown one.
            Going to do some research and see what I can find

          2. By donald johnson on

            Wikipedia has a nice reference on birds
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_birds
            here are a few notes

            “The largest (heaviest) flying bird today is the Kori Bustard (Ardeotis kori) of Africa, males weigh about 18kg, females about half that. The largest bird ever to fly were the Teratorns (a type of Condor), the largest of which, Argentavis magnificens, had a wingspan of 3 metres, and weighed 120kg.”
            Something may be wrong with this reference as wing length is to small for the weight given.

            “The largest waterfowl species in average size is the trumpeter swan (Cygnus buccinator) of Northern North America, which can reach an overall length of 1.82 m (6.0 ft), a wingspan of 3.1 m (10 ft), and a weight of 17.3 kg (38 lb). However, other species have greater individual variation. Thus the heaviest single waterfowl ever recorded was a cob mute swan (Cygnus olor) from Poland, which weighed 23 kg (51 lb) and was allegedly too heavy to take flight.”

          3. By Lou Schirmer on

            I think they got the lbs. & kgs mixed up, as the wiki site I saw said about 150-160 lbs.
            Then there were the Carnivorous flightless birds from South America which reached a weight of 350 to 400 kg (770 to 880 lbs.). Basically a dino with feathers, a beak & a bad attitude.
            But the biggest things to ever fly were the pterosaurs. An excerpt: ” The wingspans of larger azhdarchids, such as Quetzalcoatlus and Hatzegopteryx, have been estimated to exceed 10 m (33 ft.), with less conservative estimates being 12 m (39 ft.) or more. Mass estimates for these azhdarchids are on the order of 200–250 kg (440–550 lb.).” They could probably pull this off with hollow bones & lighter wings, essentially just a membrane stretched across bone, plus being very high aspect ratio (long & narrow) like sailplane wings. Nobodies really sure how they managed to take off unless it was from a highpoint of some sort to build air speed. The big ones weren’t really designed for flapping. The medium sized ones like in Jurassic Park & the Grikbirds would probably be the limit for a flapping take off method.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argentavis

            As far as Taylor’s big lobster crabs, the limiting factor on anything with an exoskeleton is actually the exoskeleton. It limits the circulatory system size at the joints, & without a high O2 ratio can’t support over a certain size body, smaller on land & larger in the water. Way back before the dino’s there were some truly bodacious crustaceans running around. Big enough to send me screaming for a gun. How about a 3 ft. long scorpion? But that was when the O2 ratio was very high compared to today.
            That said, if there happened to be a mutation changing the joint size ratio of crustaceans, things might get interesting again.

          4. By Justin on

            What many Plausible Fantasy stories do (Temeraire, The Last Dragon, etc) is give their dragons “flight bladders” that store lifting gases. I’d be more concerned about the logistics needed to feed such a creature.
            At any rate, we’re talking about an ikran/toruk-sized pterosaur that feeds on dinosaurs, which should be fine.

            Say, any chance of a How to Train Your Grikbird subplot? I know Isak or Gilbert (forget which one) is still looking for a replacement pet Skuggik…

            //As far as Taylor’s big lobster crabs, the limiting factor on anything with an exoskeleton is actually the exoskeleton. It limits the circulatory system size at the joints, & without a high O2 ratio can’t support over a certain size body, smaller on land & larger in the water. //

            Right. Another factor is arthropods’ inefficient respiratory system, which limits their oxygen transfer. Coconut crabs reach their size because they have (primitive) lungs instead of spiracles – given actual lungs and more oxygen, we might see desk-sized bugs one day.

          5. By donald johnson on

            I would think that a 3 meter wingspan would be a bit small for the weight given. I would expext 10 meters ninimum ay the size given even 1p0 lbs needs over 7 meters

      2. By Duke Saxon on

        There is no need to develop jets for the alliance. For what they are up against, P-40s or even a decent biplane would be adequate. I’m not to sold on the fleashooter (or the actual P-26)- Its not as agile as a biplane and is still rather slow, not to mention not that its not too well armed.That being said, the fleashooters are a far better pursuit plane than the Nancy

        Reply
        1. By Lou Schirmer on

          The engine driven compressor was more of a “cool shiite” item than a “they should do this” one. It’s interesting stumbling onto the failed concepts that then become successes years or decades later.

          As far as pursuit planes go, we have to keep in mind, they went from a mid iron age, & sail power to steam turbines & aircraft in two years. The Fleashooter/P-26 was, for it’s time, adequately armed. Two .30 cal machine guns was standard pursuit armament until the early 1930s & for now, is good enough against what they face. We may see an engine power upgrade in the next book as a result of some exchanges on this site. With more power (going Tim Taylor here), they can maybe shift the weapons to .50 cals when they enter production, & they need the monoplanes speed to fight the new Jap aircraft. They could have gone with a bi-plane design for maneuverability, but with the power plants they had, it would be fairly slow, probably in the 150-180 mph range. Against the threat they now have, that wouldn’t be enough. Yes, they could out turn the Japs, but the Japs could engage or disengage at will with their superior speed & do slashing attacks similar to the US aircraft at the beginning of WW2. The Zero was far more maneuverable than our P-40s & Hellcats, but we were slightly faster at some altitudes & with heavier planes, could out dive them. The Flying Tigers used that to their advantage to attack through the Japanese formations & then dive away. Wash, rinse, repeat as needed. They had a good record against an arguably superior aircraft & took those lessons back to the US during the later war.

          The Nancy was never supposed to be a pursuit plane. It was designed to be a light weight, easy to build & repair scout plane, which then got drafted into the attack role, since it was the only thing they had flying in any numbers. You’re right in that as a pursuit plane it’s badly out classed against the new Jap planes. Even as an attack plane, it’s going to be limited to fighting the Grik & Doms.

          Reply
        2. By Justin on

          Also keep in mind that the Union’ll be up against the League in a few books, and they’ve got planes WAY better than the P-40.

          If given the means and the method, why NOT build a P-59 or two? Given the Union’s current tech level, it’s probably no less hard than the high-performance pistons of a P-51.

          Reply
          1. By Lou Schirmer on

            I thought the League came through around 1936 or so. How are they going to have planes equal to, much less better than the P-40? Of course the Union is going to run out of P-40s fairly quick at their current attrition rates. Hopefully, they’re salvaging the engines & systems from them. They may be able to put together a limited run plywood design using them.

            I think a P-59 twin jet is a bit much for now. Even a P-51 or something similar would be years in the design & build up. They’d need to develop a complex V-12 for starters, & then there’s the aluminum situation…as in, they have none. A V-12 of some sort is in the realm of possibility as their engine design experience grows, but that’s down the road a few years for now & it would have to be in a plywood air frame of some sort.

          2. By Duke Saxon on

            It seems the League has limited production, or at least such is implied in “Blood in the Water”

            So they may not have the numbers to defend their own territory from concentrated allied air attack. I’d be more concerned with production than quality, though hopefully build quality will improve as the Alliance’s steel industry improves. Perhaps they will also obtain aluminum.

            My primary concern is that the League may have highly trained crews for both aircraft and ships, as well as soldiers equipped with much more modern equipment than what they’ve been up against until now. Even if the League had only say… Cr-42s, if they had more experienced or better trained pilots in decent numbers, the air forces of the Alliance could take incredible losses.

          3. By Lou Schirmer on

            As far a aluminum goes, bauxite ore is fairly common & easy-ish to mine. It’s converting that to elemental aluminum that’s a pain & why, before the Hall–Héroult process, developed in 1886, it was worth more than gold. The Hall–Héroult process is probably known to Courtney Bradford, but it is an electricity & heat intensive process. They may be getting production going when they get their generator technology advanced enough.

            As far as League air power goes, that’s mostly an unknown. Probably, as you say, the CR-42 or an early mono wing type. The CR-42 was very maneuverable, & faster than the current model P1-C Fleashooter with about the same armament. It depends on how many they brought & they have no carrier yet to project that strength, unless they work a deal with Kurokawa.

          4. By Justin on

            Sorry, got the C.200 and the 202 mixed up.

            Well, Russia’s a non-entity in the CES-verse; I’m guessing that the French were tied up with Britain, but that Italians (practically next door to Egypt) sent their best: G.50s and C.200s.

            At any rate, with less than a dozen P-40s left, the League air force is going to shred the Union’s; better develop something high-speed before they can get into range of Union/Republic airspace.

          5. By Lou Schirmer on

            With the C.200 & G.50 the problems remain, they weren’t built until well after the League crossed over in 1936. Actually the Cr-42 has the same problem. With the Italians, the Union might face the CR-32 which has the same armament as the P1-C & is slower, but more maneuverable. French designs of the time were comparable & who knows what the Spanish would field.

          6. By Justin on

            Huh, I could’ve sworn the crossing date was ’39 in the books…

          7. By Steve White on

            Dear Minister,

            It’s been a while since I’ve written you directly about the issues we’ve had at the Baalkpan Works. Recently however, some of the bright hu-maans in the office down the hall have suggested the possibility of a “jet” engine. They claim that such an engine will allow us to build performance fighter aircraft that will not only out-class everything the Kurokawa is building, but also write Adar’s name in the sky.

            Well.

            Do the Japanese really have a plane better than the P-40? If we work with what our esteemed master has provided us about League intelligence, as Captain Schirmer points out, they might have early model Bf-109s, or Dewoitine D.500 or D.520s, or similar aircraft. In fact you might argue that the best plane the League has is a late-model Fiat biplane (e.g., CR-42 of about 1935 vintage). Now all of those are better than a Nancy, and most are better than a Peashooter, but none will stand up against a P-40E.

            Not that our Alliance can build an Allison turbocharged V-1710 anyway, and we sure can’t build a jet engine. Look at the history of the Junkers Jumo engine, for example, for the teething problems we would have (and Junkers had plenty of engineers, metallurgy, etc that we unfortunately cannot provide to Colonel Mallory).

            I don’t see how the Alliance can even copy the Allison engines they have in the P-40s in our possession. Colonel Mallory certainly gets ideas [groan], but the manufacturing, quality of the metals, and the quality control for the parts are currently beyond what can be done at the Baalkpan Works. And don’t listen to those clowns in Manila; they always over-promise and under-deliver.

            As always, Sir, the Baalkpan Works will deliver!

            Very truly yours,

          8. By Lou Schirmer on

            If it’s 1939, then some of them might be with the League, since most first flights of the more modern prototypes were in the ’37-39 range. Even the CR-42 would be considerably faster & more maneuverable than the P1-C. Not real sure how they got there though. Presumably broken down in crates with the invasion fleet, like the P-40s were on the Santa Catalina. If they flew there, they would probably have missed the squall.

            If I were the Union, & if I were fantasizing about a jet engine, I’d go with a centrifugal flow engine, since they’re physically more robust & easier to construct. You’d still need good steel & very good bearings, since jet engines operate at very high rpms compared to reciprocating engines. I see the bearings being the main barrier to a centrifugal flow turbo jet with their current technology.

          9. By Justin on

            Ah, here we go!

            “The pertinent part that he, and even Kurokawa, had to consider was that the Confédération and its allies had embarked on an invasion of British Egypt from Italian Libya in 1939!”

            Of course, it depends on when in ’39 they crossed over; the G.20’s probably commonplace, but the C.200 might not even have been in circulation yet.

            For now, it’s probably best to slowly improve the P1-C. And they could try to reverse-engineer the Beaufort, and put together a heavy fighter and/or torpedo bomber.

  10. By Lou Schirmer on

    It has finally seeped through the rock like substance surrounding the withered husk of my brain that there’s something wrong with the PB-1B “Nancy”. It’s too aft loaded to be safe to fly. With a normal aircraft, the Center of Gravity (CG) is forward of the wing’s Center of Lift (CG), so that when the wing stalls (loses lift), the nose of the aircraft pitches down, aiding recovery from the stall. Pitching the nose down reduces the angle of attack (the direction of airflow meeting the wing) & diving increases the airspeed over the wing, both contribute to recovery from the stall. This is a gross over simplification, but covers the basic idea. When the wing stalls, with the CG behind the CL the nose pitches up, deepening the stall. The aircraft then falls out of the sky. At the altitudes the cats are limited to, the stalls will usually be fatal.
    To fix this the wing & engine need to be moved aft & the observer relocated under the wing. This should move the CG forward enough to fix the situation before more crews are lost.

    I put up a pic on the DDmen wiki showing what I mean:

    http://destroyermen.wikia.com/wiki/File:Bad_Nancy.jpg

    I’m surprised your pilot friend didn’t spot this & call you out on it. Pilots are supposed to check their weight & balance before every take off.

    Reply
    1. By donald johnson on

      Looking at your points of lift vs center of gravity I suspect that your center of gravity is too far back. do not forget that the fuel in the tanks is greater in the leading edge than in the trailing edge. Also there is more weight in the front of the nancy because the hull is thicker to give it greater strength being made of plywood and the aft is mostly canvas which is much lighter.

      Reply
      1. By Lou Schirmer on

        I agree for the most part, but the hull, from an overhead look is fairly wide all the way back to the observer & then you have the tail section which needs to be strong also. The CG IS probably forward of where I put it (I’d forgotten about the fuel tank in front of the engine), but still well behind the CL which makes this a very dangerous plane to fly.

        Reply
      2. By Lou Schirmer on

        One major thing I didn’t factor in is the top mounted engine’s thrust line. The propeller’s thrust line is above the vertical CG of the aircraft & would contribute some to stall recovery. That may be the only reason there haven’t been more accident fatalities with the PB-B. That said, it is still a very dangerous plane to fly & needs some modifications made. Maybe it’s time to go to the PB-1C or D model.

        Reply
          1. By Lou Schirmer on

            Thanks. I know Taylor doesn’t want to see this & I’m not real popular in Texas at the moment, but c’est la guerre.

        1. Taylor AndersonsBy Taylor Andersons on

          Why would I not want to see this–and why would Texas be offended? The first Nancy was really bad, with far “too much ass in its britches.” The later model is far from perfect–and its pilots will grow increasingly dissatisfied that it seems to have stagnated while pursuit planes get all the R&D. I agree it would be difficult to fly but look at the history: The PBY was difficult for Ben to fly because he had no experience with it. As the primary trainer for lemurians–who have arguably better. . . aerial (or arboreal) instincts–many of those difficulties are probably well-known and quickly compensated for. They may even have become advantages to skilled pilots, particularly when it comes to the surface attack role. Honestly, I’m just throwing this stuff out. The “Real” Nancy may not be exactly as depicted. I just drew that to give a good visual reference with little thought even to scale at the time. It was good enough for me at the time that engineers I trusted told me at a glance that “Sure, it’ll fly . . .” They, like you, no doubt had some reservations and I’m sure would have made numerous suggestions–as I have recognized improvements that could be made. I am the last to proclaim myself an infallible aeronautical engineer. One may assume certain dimensions are somewhat flexible :) Much more actual design thought went into the Fleashooters, as well as the Clippers. Look for improvements in all.

          Reply
          1. By Lou Schirmer on

            We all tend to get a bit protective of our designs & are disappointed when they are not hailed with the praise & awe they deserve & their flaws are pointed out, I know I do & am.
            So you’re not happy. You’re in Texas, so I’m not popular there, being the bearer of bad news.
            At least I’m too far away to be executed out of hand!
            And it is flyable, just very dangerous. They would have to keep it WELL above stall speed & establishing that speed in testing would be where most of the fatalities would come in. Also when maneuvering in tight turns (combat) you can get “accelerated” stalls above the usual speeds, with predictable results. Then there are power on & power off stalls (engine producing thrust or not). An example, power on would be climbing too abruptly immediately after take off, power off, engine idling coming in to land & letting too much speed bleed off. A moments inattention with this plane & you’re done. Your pilot friend can get into specifics, it’s been a while since I had the extra loot to fly. Actually the flying part isn’t that hard, it’s keeping current with all the rules, regs & restrictions these days.

    2. By Joe Thorsky on

      Lou-Donald

      An important and overlooked point and consideration that needs to be additionallyfactored into and compensated for into your initial calculations about the P1-B “Nancy” revolves around the effects derived from both the makeup and the very composition of the transprehistoric atmosphere that Taylor’s Destroyermen have now found themselves transported to and are past-presently conducting operations in.
      While basic Physics and Engineering principles and protocols in the Destroyermen Universe may be the same and have not not have changed measurably. These Natural forces still could be subject to some form of unpredictable (major or minor?) alteration and modification. Stranger things have suddenly materialized and appeared to foul everything that is orderly or normal!
      What’s Flies here in our world may not in Taylor’s Destroyermens World.

      A Counerintuitive Contradiction for sure.

      Reply
      1. By Lou Schirmer on

        That may be, but the PBY, P-40’s & Jap scout planes from Amagi seemed to perform normally, & the major flight characteristics don’t seem to have changed for them or any of the new build aircraft, so I’m assuming the physics are either identical or so similar as to be unnoticeable.

        Reply
        1. By donald johnson on

          I suspect that the greatest reason for not having a problem with stalling is the fact that the aircraft is a Highwing model plane and the body of the aircraft is considerably below the wing. I suspect you will find that the body of the aircraft has considerable drag which prevents the problem with stalling that you are trying to indicate. You need to take into account Center of lift Center of drag Center of thrust and center of gravity and probably Center of mass.

          Reply
          1. By Lou Schirmer on

            The high wing helps, but you can look at the PBY Catalina (also a high or parasol wing) & see the weight distribution puts the CG forward of the wings CL. It also can’t be too far forward or the plane gets nose heavy & the tail has to work too hard to keep the nose up & will stall itself. With the CG too far forward, you lose a lot of carrying capacity & range also. It’s a fairly fine balancing act.

  11. By Clifton Sutherland on

    Just wondering out loud here:

    In designing firearms and munitions, is there a feasible design that enables combat effectiveness without increasing lethality?

    I’ve read that a wounded soldier is more detrimental to the enemy than a dead one, but I also know that, given the effectiveness of modern body armor, and the ranges combat takes place at, high-power weapons are a necessity. Obviously a high velocity rifle round will play havoc on your insides, and survival depends on quite a bit of luck, and the skill of medical personal, if you unfortunately get hit.

    Would there be any feasibility behind deploying infantry weapons that carry adequate stopping power without being a death sentence for the recipient? Thinking along humanitarian lines, and also tactical effectiveness- wounded but still saveable comrades lying around the field will force the enemy to devote more resources to helping them, while still being down in manpower.

    The problems I see, besides technical limitations of ballistics, would be that if the weapon was not guaranteed to have comparable effectiveness to regular firearms, combatants would still opt for regular ol’ boomsticks. Or if the weapons only worked in specific circumstances, in which case it would be stupid to waste your troops attacking an enemy with regular weapons that could defeat you, special tactics and all.

    Thoughts?

    Reply
    1. By William Curry on

      Military weapon designers are more interested in the penetrative power of small arms ammunition than it’s “stopping power”. In modern combat as soon as something goes bang everybody looks for cover. Military small arms are designed with the ability to penetrate cover uppermost in the designers mind. Unfortunately that which increases penetration decreases wounding power as that is related to bullet deformation and yaw, both of which decrease penetration in most cover. The military has been looking for over a hundred years for a projectile that will give outstanding penetration through cover and outstanding wounding. So far they haven’t found it. Historically ammunition has see-sawed between the two. In WWII there were complaints about the penetration of .30 M2 ball which made the Army reluctant to adopt anything with less power than that round. As the WWII vets retired, the 5.56mm round was adopted with the M193 55 grain ball bullet, which was described as having the same wounding power as the 7.62mm M80 ball round out to 400 meters. That is a true statement as far as it goes. However the penetration is much less. The M193 ball bullet is dependent on yaw and it’s likelihood of either breaking at the cannelure or ejecting the rear portion of its core for its wounding potential. Both of which reduce penetration. After hearing complaints of the 5.56mm’s penetration, the Army developed the M885 ball bullet which has much better penetration, soon after the complaints of a lack of “stopping power” started coming in. Go figure. There is no magic bullet so far.

      Reply
      1. By Lou Schirmer on

        Rifling rate has a lot to do with it also. On the original AR-15 Mr. Stoner designed it for a 1:14 twist (the bullet rotates one revolution per 14″ of travel). This was barely enough to stabilize the bullet & accuracy past 100 yards was poor since the bullet usually started tumbling past that. Colt’s original batches of rifles were made using very old equipment that couldn’t produce that rifling & they came with about 1:16 or 1:18 twist which produced the horrific wounds early in Vietnam. The bullets weren’t stabilized coming out of the barrel & were tumbling almost immediately. Great for short range jungle work, but accuracy past 50 yards was about the same as a smoothbore musket. The military understandably wanted more accuracy, so they went to a 1:12 twist which did stabilize the bullet. Later came the 1:7 twists for the newer M-16/M-4 variants & their new load. The newish M885 being a heavier bullet needs the tighter twist to stabilize it & holds velocity better for long range.
        Here’s a nice site with a lot of good info on the 5.56mm round:

        http://www.razoreye.net/mirror/ammo-oracle/AR15_com_Ammo_Oracle_Mirror.htm

        Reply
        1. By Duke Saxon on

          Slightly different point, but regarding the Republic…

          I’m not sure what their current side arm is, but it could be a rather good option to adopt the Mauser C96 in 7.63. It had a much higher capacity than many period pistols as well as a rather high muzzle velocity, making it more suitable for use in pistol caliber carbines. It would be something that the original German members would likely be familiar with, and should be simple enough to produce. Another benefit is the use of stripper clips, which are easier to produce than detachable magazines.

          Reply
    2. By donald johnson on

      This is not a problem with griks. they eat the wounded and the dead. Yes Halik is starting to think otherwise but don’t give the rest ideas

      Reply
  12. By donald johnson on

    Okay guys I got a real technical question here which has a surprising answer. does a if you put a 1 standard charge in a cannon without a round in another words firing blanks does it get hotter then a cannon with a round in it.

    Reply
    1. By William Curry on

      That’s a good question. I don’t know of an experimental answer. I suspect that it depends on the heat content of the propellant charge versus the heat content of the blank charge. My experience with smokeless blanks in small arms is that they don’t heat up the weapon the way bulleted ammunition does. However the heat content of the blank charge is nowhere near that of the bulleted round. Smokeless blanks use a special blank powder that will burn with out any significant pressure. The rate of deflagration with both smokeless and black is dependent on the pressure. Smokeless burns faster as the pressure goes up and black burns more slowly as the pressure goes up. With smokeless if you pull the bullet and fire the round, you get a pop from the primer and the unburned powder is blown down the barrel. Black usually needs a good wad with some compression to make a good bang. My experience is that black power will heat up a barrel more than smokeless. I suspect its the solid residue in the barrel maintaining contact with it that transfers more heat. Smokeless produces much less solid residue that remain in contact with the barrel. A lot of heat from the propellant charge is wasted as the hot gas exits the muzzle after the projectile.

      Reply
  13. By donald johnson on

    Okay guys I got a real technical question here which has a surprising answer does a if you put a 1 standard charge in a cannon without a round in another words firing blanks does it get hotter then a cannon with a round in it.

    Reply
  14. By Lou Schirmer on

    Just put my version of a new DE class up on Destroyermen Wiki & Deviant Art.

    This is the new DE design I’ve come up with to address the sudden obsolescence of the sail & auxiliary steam DDs & DEs due to the appearance of Kurokawa’s air power. Those vessels maybe better used defending Madagascar from the Grik or be transferred to the eastern front as the new DEs become available.
    It’s named for Chief Danny Porter who died in Storm Surge, page 418, saving the crew of the S-19 after it had been rammed by Kurokawa’s escaping ships.
    It’s smaller than the Walker and uses less time & resources to build. They use only one turbine & two boilers per ship reducing the crew requirements and tonnage, but retaining a good turn of speed. The three 4″ dual purpose guns are sighted so they provide the same broadside capabilities as the Walkers. I gave the 4″ battery tubs & shields as a sort of “Poor man’s” turret. This gives the gunners fairly good protection without the complexity of a full turret. As an added bonus, it helps when operating the weapon in a moderate to heavy sea state, breaking the wave surge & keeping them from being washed overboard. The AAA suite is beefed up with three twin 25mm mounts instead of the Walker’s two. I was able to fit all this by eliminating the P1B Nancy scout, which took up a huge amount of limited deck space. These ships will mostly be in company with larger ships which have the scout planes & carriers in convoys providing air cover. They are designed to be mostly anti air & ASW ships, although they do have enough fire power to engage a DD & the single quad torpedo tube makes them a threat to larger vessels if they attack in numbers.
    The new DDs & light cruiser will absorb all of Amagi’s remaining 25mm & use up most of the remaining .50 BMG available, so these ships may have to replace them temporarily with .30 BMGs until the new production .50 cals & 25mm arrive. They would replace the .50 cal mounts one-for-one & two for each of the 25mm mounts, with their original four .30 cals this gives the new DEs a total of 22 .30 BMGs for AAA work.

    http://destroyermen.wikia.com/wiki/File:New_Union_DE_Danny_Porter_Class.jpg

    http://loupy59.deviantart.com/art/New-Union-DE-Danny-Porter-Class-651945660?ga_submit_new=10%253A1482089865

    Reply
    1. By William Curry on

      A single turbine leaves you with a single point for a critical failure. Warships usually are designed to have two independent propulsion systems.

      Reply
    2. By Charles Simpson on

      The only thing I really dislike is the fact that if the single turbine is damaged the ship has no propulsive power. redundant power sources are preferred. However this design could provide two hulls for the same number of boilers, turbines, and reduction gear although the ships will be vulnerable to a single turbine failure.

      Reply
    3. By Lou Schirmer on

      The design was modeled after the USN DEs of WW2. Several of the classes ran a single turbine, the others ran diesel electric setups. Granted it’s a single point of failure, but these were designed to be cheap, quick to build convoy escorts, good for ASW & AAA work.

      Reply
      1. By Justin on

        Probably not going to see them before late ’45 though; right now, the Union’s steel hull industry is just getting off the ground, and that means every hull is precious.

        Reply
      2. By Lou Schirmer on

        True, every hull is precious, but DDs & DEs are not robust ships to start with, combat wise. For instance, the Geran-Eras took one torpedo hit & went down. One good bomb hit in a vital spot on the small Wickes class vessels or a torpedo hit & they were done. Riveted seams open up quickly under a shock & a weapon like a torpedo is designed to kill or cripple larger ships, so most DDs that took hits like that in the war, went down or were scuttled, engine redundancy or no. They do have auxiliary generators to power pumps, lights & other equipment , so they can hopefully stay afloat long enough to get the crew off, or take the ship in tow.
        You’re also right in that they wouldn’t see production until late ’45 or so since they are already building two more Walker types & a light cruiser. They could also give the designs to the Republic to jump start their modern ship building programs.

        Reply
        1. By Steve White on

          I also like it: as I advise the Minister, keep it simple. A 1,000 ton DE, even with single turbine and reduction gear, that can get into combat soon is better than a larger, more complicated, “better” ship that takes a year longer to build. This will stand up to the armored cruisers that Kurokawa had. Savoie will still be a problem, but this DE isn’t built to take on Savoie.

          Reply
          1. By donald johnson on

            A single turbine engine in a destroyer instead of a pair is definitely a disadvantage. Butt also only having a single gearbox is a disadvantage which is why most craft have at least a pair of turbines and a pair of gear boxes. Yes one gearbox drives one propeller and the other one drives another propeller. this is called redundancy. In combat redundancy it’s almost a requirement.

          2. By Justin on

            Depends on how long it takes to build one of these DEs compared to a Walker.

            If constructing a Porter is a LOT faster, then by all means, pump them out and put them on wolfpack/escort duty; three or four of them should make even a CL reconsider.
            But if they take roughly the same amount of time, it’d be a better use of time and resources to build a proper DD.

      1. By Lou Schirmer on

        What’s the name of this one, trying to find it on the Wiki since I don’t do Facebook. Wiki doesn’t seem to have an “images” tab anymore to see the latest ones.

        Reply
        1. By Charles Simpson on

          Both the Destroyermen Assn and the Facebook Wiki page are on Facebook. Just letting you know I linked to yor art on the Wiki. A number of Favorable comments on the Assn page and likes on both pages. They liked your design.

          Reply
    4. Taylor AndersonsBy Taylor Andersons on

      Hmm. A very elegant design, but twin screw on a single turbine? Complicated gearing, particularly for maneuvering. I agree that redundancy is a wonderful thing, but there is certainly plenty of precedence for a single engine, single screw DE or “corvette.” Consider the successful (but unpopular) “Flower” Class. Anyway, I bet they’d be for them–but knowing the League is out there now, if they have to keep making light DD like ships, I don’t know if they’d be willing to settle for 18-20 knot top ends, which is probably what they’re looking at. What do you think?

      Reply
      1. By Lou Schirmer on

        From a post I did on 11 Dec. The USN had several successful classes during WW2 run one turbine driving two propellers through a double reduction gear set. Most famous of the Butler class was the Samuel B. Roberts & her action at Leyte Gulf defending the escort carriers. Held 28 knots during that action when design for only 24. My design with more HP & a lower tonnage & finer hull, should be pushing 30 knots.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_C._Butler-class_destroyer_escort

        Reply
        1. By Lou Schirmer on

          Thinking of squall crossovers, one of the Rudderow or Butler class DEs would be interesting. They wouldn’t be too powerful so as to give the Union an immediate advantage & they have all the modern “good” stuff like advanced boiler/turbine designs, 5″ 38 caliber main guns, 40mm Bofors AAA, radar, radar directors, better sonar etc..
          Wouldn’t even have to be an immediate link up. One of them could come over from an Atlantic convoy & meet up with Donaghey somewhere.

          Reply
      2. By Lou Schirmer on

        I actually originally drew it with a single screw & dithered quite a while before going to two screws. Went with two to help with delicate maneuvering in harbor etc. & for, amusingly enough, redundancy. I found an instance where one of the USN DEs hit a whale & damaged a screw & was still able to make port on the other. This with one turbine. That made up my mind.
        The redundancy of two turbines would be nice, but they would both be under powered by only two boilers & I figured the extra room made available for fuel, stores, ammo & crew would be worth it on a smaller ship like this.

        Reply
        1. By matthieu on

          Well before redundancy they need reliability. This technology is completely new for them and they need easy to maintain technologies so dual engines are probably a good idea.

          Reply
    5. By David B on

      What about splitting the torpedo battery into a pair of twin centerline launchers? That would give them more flexibility for a firing solution, as they could keep a pair of tubes in reserve if the target ship turns or reduces speed.

      Reply
      1. By Lou Schirmer on

        That’s one of the main problems you get into on the smaller ships, deck space. Two twin launchers would take up more space. Overhead views of the Wickes (Walker) & Caldwell classes show how their four triple tube layout worked. I could have gone with two quad tube centerline mounts with one replacing the 25mm mount on the mid ships deck house, but considered they’d want more AAA right now. Also, they don’t have to fire all four torpedoes at once, although they usually do to increase hit probability. They could fire one or two & fire the rest later.

        Reply
      2. By Paul Nunes on

        Drop the torpedo launcher completely….. American Torpedoes are terrible…..Slow and short ranged. This forces the DD to attack at night or through fog and smoke to get close enough to launch. The entire time the DD is getting into range, turning broadside on to fire, running at full speed to escape; the DD is inside the effective range of the targets secondary batteries. Secondaries that traverse quickly and reload quickly specifically to kill attacking DDs.

        Four torpedoes (no reloads) with a low hit probability and smallish HE warheads is not enough fire power to risk a ship and 100 crewmen.

        Its an escort, right? Drop the torpedoes and replace them with more 25mm and twin .50 mounts. Protect the Carriers, troop transports, munition ships, and colliers with them. Both Fronts have an emerging air threat that must be compensated for.

        Reply
        1. By donald johnson on

          They are redeveloping new torpedoes. They won’t allow any that won’t work properly. Ready has already said that he wants the pest that can be had. Keep the launchers because when the working models arrive they will want to be able to use them.

          Reply
        2. By Lou Schirmer on

          There are arguments for & against torpedoes on DEs.
          On the DEs we built for the British during WW2 they got rid of the torpedo mounts & added more AAA & ASW weapons as there were, by that time, very few surface threats & many of the convoys had heavy ships to take care it anyway (BBs etc.).
          With the current state of the Union torpedoes are the only heavy anti-ship ordnance they have. The current aircraft (150hp Nancy’s & P1Cs)can’t carry heavy enough bombs to seriously hurt the modern BBs the League has & probably not even any heavy cruisers either.
          That said, you’re probably right in going for more AAA on those being used for convoy duty. They could stagger mount two additional twin 25mm mounts in the same space the torpedo tubes are now.
          The reason I went with the torpedo tubes is with so few ships available, they will probably be drafted into strike task forces when (not if) things get tight.
          It’s up to the strategic thinkers in Baalkpan which way to go.

          Reply
          1. By Steve White on

            One could borrow a lesson from the CVLs of 1942: you had the anti-air variant (e.g., USS Juneau) and the standard variant with heavier guns. In the Destroyermen world, one might have a DE-AA with lots of heavy machine guns and dual-purpose 3 inch guns, and a DE-TD with just a couple 4 inch guns and as many torpedoes as it could properly carry.

            Problem of course, is that it’s likely that you wouldn’t have the right type DE in the right place at the right time. Murphy’s Law and all…

        3. By Alexey Shiro on

          Problem is, that without torpedoes the destroyer could do almost nothing at all against heavy surface unit.

          Reply
          1. By Duke Saxon on

            Well, Amagi had 140mm guns in casemates- at least the real design did. I don’t recall if she had them in Destroyermen or not. If she did, these could be used for primary armament for the cruisers or Destroyer Leader designs in the future.

  15. By David B on

    I have been thinking about something with the Clippers. Would they be able to carry a squad of airborne troops? I think that the Allies would benefit from having Airborne capabilities when they inevitably invade the League of Tripoli’s home turf.

    Reply
    1. By donald johnson on

      As they are now a squad would be the limit I would think. however if they could make a PBY sized then a load of 20 and their equipment might be possible.

      Reply
    2. By Generalstarwars333 on

      I think so. They can carry like a full ton or more of bombs, so unless you find all the obese lemurians and make them paratroopers, it should be fine. The main problem I can see would be lack of a specialized door for jumping out of, but they could probably just use the standard hatch.

      Reply
      1. By matthieu on

        A solution used in the 30′ was just to jump from a hole on the floor. It’s much more intelligent than what most think as by definition you’ll avoid the tail.

        Reply
        1. By DONALD JOHNSON on

          I don’t think that they would have a problem with hitting the tail from a Clipper because it is raised to keep it away from the water

          Reply
          1. By Paul Nunes on

            Do what the Russians and Germans did…. Climb out on the wing and slide off…… A floor hatch in a plane designed to land and take off from water doesn’t sound like a good idea.

            That said….. Where is the silk or rayon to make 1000s of yards of parachute material coming from? What resources are you diverting to make this happen?

          2. By Charles Simpson on

            We know the alliance is making parachutes out of what is not sofar mentioned but all pilots are issued one so the material must be common.

          3. By Justin on

            Which book? Something like “mass-produced parachutes” would be pretty memorable.

          4. By donald johnson on

            They are probably using spider silk or something similar. There are lots of natural made materials to use in a parachute and of course remember the term “hit the silk” refers to Silk which is a silkworm native material. I have no doubt but they have a similar material on the planet where they are those are full of materials and critters that create similar products.

          5. By Paul Nunes on

            ////We know the alliance is making parachutes out of what is not sofar mentioned but all pilots are issued one so the material must be common.////

            The only parachutes I am aware of in the story are the P-40 pilots and those came out of the Santa Catalina.

    3. By Steve White on

      Recall that it took a C-47 (DC-3) to lift an airborne squad in WWII. A Clipper is, as I recall, smaller than a C-47 and has less powerful engines. Not sure this could work.

      Another big difference: our guys made thousands of C-47s. The number of Clippers is in the low dozens at best.

      The Clipper might be used to put a special forces team somewhere — Dennis Silva and a few of his chums. But I don’t see this as a way to put an airborne battalion into position.

      Reply
  16. By Generalstarwars333 on

    Here’s an idea I had. Currently the cavalry is armed with allin-silva carbines, right? Well, I was thinking that instead they could take a blitzerbug, lengthen the barrel and/or move the action back some(maybe with a shorter magazine so it doesn’t interfere with shouldering it, IDK), and then have like a selector switch between semi-auto and full auto. Then you’d have a carbine that would be cheap AF and would combine the short range firepower of an SMG with medium range from the longer barrel. Since they would be using the .45 ACP rounds the recoil wouldn’t be horrible, so they could fire from the saddle or one handed with more accuracy. Also, since the bullet isn’t much smaller than that of the Allin-Silva, there wouldn’t be a huge decrease in stopping power. Even if there was a decrease and one shot wasn’t enough, you’d still have up to 19 more to quickly finish the job.

    Reply
    1. By Charles Simpson on

      Might be good in amix with the long range Allen/Silvas for long range range. They also have short range smothbore Allen/Silvas and the .44 APC 1911 clones. Thus you would not be adding another amunition type. The longer barrel length and simiauto selector would make a more useful weapon for the infantry too. Kinda a poor man’s M1 Carbine that was quite useful weapon in WW 2, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M1_carbine 😉 and also a SMG :) It would probably fielded quickly with minimum retooling. add a bipod and an aircraft drum magazine and you would have someting similar to a BAR for a light MG too :) Good idea General.

      Reply
      1. By DONALD JOHNSON on

        I fired Thompson in boot camp in 1964 two handed standing and that sucker knocked me on my butt in full auto. from the back of a vehicle or aj animal where you had to hang on with one hand it would be impossible to use.

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

          You bring up a good point, Don. The recoil of a Thompson (or an M-3, or even Blitzer) is not heavy, but the SHAPE of the weapon (and rate of fire) promotes muzzle rise. Particularly–and this is just a fact, (I believe), not a slight–for short people. Even a Thompson, the heaviest of the 3, will rise dramatically unless properly held and controlled, even with a Cutts. In MOST hands. I have a semi-auto Thompson but have fired many others in full auto. I can keep 3-4 rd bursts on a snuff can at 30 yds–but I am 6-2. My pivot point is higher. That’s my only explanation. Shorter buddies with plenty of upper body strength, marched to the sky. What clenched this theory (for me) was when a tall, skinny buddy was able to control his groups on full auto just as well as I was. Given this, Lemurians would almost certainly have the same problem and a semi-auto version might be the more practical, least wasteful in terms of ammunition expenditure, compromise.

          Reply
          1. By donald johnson on

            Another problem with long barrels is that on horseback they have a tendency to catch on things when you do not need them to. My feeling is that short barrels would be more acceptable by the troops on the horse. However a longer length barrel would be wanted if they planed to dismount before the fight

          2. By David B on

            would burst fire make any difference, say a 3 round burst?

          3. By Generalstarwars333 on

            IDK if they have that capability. IDK about the engineering involved in that, but as far as I know the only way to achieve that would be careful trigger control which would be hard to get on a meenak.

          4. By Justin on

            Even if burst fire is possible with Forties tech, it’d be a bad idea. There’s a whole library of personnel who’ve used the AR15 family on 3RB mode – first round hits, second round just barely misses, third round flies off into the distance.

          5. By donald johnson on

            would there be any effect if the barrel were to be in line with the center of the stock? not easy to use that way but I would think it would help control the rise of the barrel.

          6. By Justin on

            Personally, I’d just go with a sawed-off Allin-Silva for the cavalry. Not only does .50/80 have a longer effective range than .45 ACP, non-automatic fire means that they’re not burning through ammo faster than the fledgling logistics train can replenish it.

            Perhaps a proper lever-action or semi-auto carbine for every grunt can fill the role later on.

        2. By Generalstarwars333 on

          I meant firing one handed or from horse back in semi-auto. And the longer barrel could maybe help some with muzzle rise. If not, maybe have a hole in the top near the muzzle so some of the gasses go to help prevent muzzle rise. I’m not a gunsmith, so that may or may not help.

          Reply
          1. By Justin on

            Firing a two-handed weapon with one hand from horseback is a lot harder than it looks, General. Most cavalry stuck to sabres and revolvers (wheellocks before that) on the move, and used carbines when stopped or dismounted.

          2. Taylor AndersonsBy Taylor Andersons on

            Here’s an interesting tidbit, and I can speak from experience: hitting anything with any kind of weapon from a moving horse, from anything farther than maybe 20 yards, is borderline miraculous, (and I’m a pretty good shot). I often practice this, believe it or not, and you’re actually better off just point-shooting than trying to aim. It’s worse than two ships in heavy seas trying to hit each other, and cavalry vs infantry is no match at all. Moving or not, horses are big targets and fairly easy for a standing rifleman to hit. Rifles and carbines are very handy for dragoons or mounted riflemen, who dismount to fight, but in mounted combat, you might as well have a saber, pistol, or shotgun–and get REALLY close. (Part of the problem if you’re going against well-armed infantry). I can see a Blitzer being of use, but again you would still need to be really close unless, again, you fought as dragoons and used it for suppressing fire. Not a bad idea.

          3. By donald johnson on

            I must admit that I am a bit smaller than taylor. I am 5’3″ and in boot camp I weighed 123 lbs. The Thompson actually picked me up and I grounded about a foot behind where I started. I started aiming low so first round hit the ground about 15 feet away. I only held it for about 10 rounds and it was pointed almost 30 degrees in the air on last round. I never want to fire any kind of full auto again. I do love the 1911 though as it is a very accurate weapon. I can hold on a hubcap at 50 yards with it.

          4. By Generalstarwars333 on

            Aren’t me’naaks supposed to be a smoother ride than horses though? I’d think that might help some. And they could probably turn in the saddle and shoot two handed… although I think the me’naak’s hide is too thick to allow adequate control with just the feet. Anyway, doesn’t the allied cavalry normally fight as dragoons anyway?

          5. Taylor AndersonsBy Taylor Andersons on

            General, one of the games we play at my place–(I know this will sound weird, but you all kind of know me now)–is charging and shooting at steel targets from . . . a golf cart. Yep. Even against a stationary target from a relatively stable (compared to a horse) gun platform, all you will do if you aim is miss a lot slower. Now, I know, to paraphrase, “you can’t miss fast enough to win,” but with practice, you WILL hit more often “reflex” shooting under those circumstances than you will if you try to aim. This particularly if the guy driving the cart is being a horse’s ass. (Part of the game). On the other hand, I have shot off horses before that will just stand there and let you do it. That’s fine if you’re not being shot back at. A final word of caution here: Always remember, you can shoot off of ANY horse . . . once :)

          6. By donald johnson on

            I guess that it would be similar to firing from a galloping horse if you went fast across a freshly plowed field. But you will want to hide from the farmer.

          7. By matthieu on

            So to hit anything from a moving position you basically have tow solutions:
            – you’re a good shot
            – you fire so many bullets that at least one will find a target.

            Now what about a strange but creative solution: you mount a semi-fixed bipod on the saddle with springs to limit movement when the beast is moving.

            The real solution, used by all cavalries in the world was
            1/ you use a short rifle, stop and then fire (from a short distance) as mounted dragons
            2/ to dismount and then to fire as all light cavalries such as US cavalry or any dragoons
            3/ to shoot many bullets just in case: US cavalry with two six-guns
            4/ to use a single gun that you shoot from a very short distance (typically less than 10 yards) just before the shock.

            Any other combination was a failure.

          8. By Lou Schirmer on

            Speaking of carbines, what about a modified Colts revolving rifle in .50-80? Doesn’t Reddy have a Colt .45 pistol they could use as a template? They have the technology for it & it could be a simple way to have a multi-shoot battle rifle in production for any future encounters with the League.
            It could be the next generation rifle for the Union & they could make it as a full rifle & a short barrel (say 20″) carbine for the Dragoon cavalry. The cavalry could have a mix of the .50-80 carbines & the “Blitzerbines” for long & short range engagements. Maybe reserve the Blitzerbines for the officers & noncoms.

          9. By Justin on

            Lou, keep in mind that “Colt .45” usually refers to the M1911 – that’s a pistol, not a revolver. Whether any six-shooters crossed over remains to be seen.

            That said, a revolving rifle sounds like a near-perfect solution. More effective than a trapdoor, easier to make than a bolt-action, and since the Union has FMJ cartridges, no exploding in the user’s face!

          10. By Lou Schirmer on

            Yes, but originally it was the .45 revolver that was the Colt .45. Although I should have said Peacemaker to differentiate it. I seem to remember (I’ll have to check back) that Reddy had an old Peacemaker in a box in his belongings & the Lemurians fixed it up for him after the Walker sank at the dock back after the last engagement with Amagi.

          11. By Generalstarwars333 on

            I think captain reddy got like a .44 revolver from santy cat…

          12. By William Curry on

            I’ve used revolving carbines in both percussion and self-contained metallic cartridge and have all the gas that blows out between the cylinder and barrel is unpleasant. The though of one in .50-80 is very unpleasant indeed. It will probably burn your fore arm unless you keep it well to the rear of the cylinder. Berdan’s Sharpshooters were originally equipped with Colt revolving rifles and they were very unpopular with the user. .50-80 will only make it worse.

          13. By Lou Schirmer on

            You could probably get around the blow by problem by installing a gas deflector shield of some kind like the recent Rossi design did. Or you could wear a thick leather forearm guard like archers used to.
            While they may have been unpopular with some due to their issues (chain firing & blow by), they were popular with others for their multi shot capability (Pony Express, 21st Ohio & others), although once the cylinder was shot out it took a while to reload the cap & ball cylinders. That problem would be reduced with the metallic cartridges & a loading gate or swing out cylinder.

          14. Taylor AndersonsBy Taylor Andersons on

            There was a Colt “Frontier Six Shooter” (actually the proper name for the civilian, particularly the .44-40 version of the “Peacemaker” found aboard Santy Cat. It was copied and evaluated for acceptance, but the 1911 copies were adopted for ease of production, reliability, and combat effectiveness. The original was cleaned up and restored, as well as used as a test piece for nickel plating. The idea was that it would be presented to Captain Reddy–but it has remained aboard Santy Cat for various reasons. It will be mentioned again.

          15. By Charles Simpson on

            There are two problems with colt revolvers:

            1) Loss of propelent gas in the imperfect Cylinder-barrel space lowers range.

            2) Slower reloading, the colt frame does not lend it’s self to wuick reloading tike the break open Smith revolver design that allows quick loaders.

            The Seminole War wasthe high point of the colt revolving rifle once the breach loading repeters came out the revolving rifle was doomed,

          16. By Justin on

            Who says they have to use the exact same Civil War design as Colt did?

            Add a swing-out cylinder and gas deflector shield, and you’ve got a Taurus Circuit Judge; that’s more than enough firepower until semi-auto rifles are possible.

          17. By Lou Schirmer on

            My suggestion exactly Justin. They could even do moon or half-moon clips for faster loading. Be a bit bulky, but one or two for emergencies wouldn’t take up much space & have cartridge pouches for the rest.

            Thinking about it though, they’re probably going to go with Springfield ’03 copies. They have them for examples to copy, they are multi-shot, use a smokeless cartridge & the .30-06 round is already in production for the old Springfield’s & BMG’s off of Walker & Mahan. The cartridge has plenty of power & with the spire tip bullets, has considerably more range. Plus, they could go with a straight copy, whereas with the revolver, they’d have to modify it for the .50-80 round, gas shield & swing out cylinder. I guess I’ll have to come up with something else to throw at the fan & hope it sticks.

          18. By Justin on

            It’s a concept worth exploring nonetheless; at last check, the Union’s still several books away from bolt-action or semi-auto rifles. Perhaps a .30-06 lever rifle?

          19. Taylor AndersonsBy Taylor Andersons on

            It would have to be something like a ’95 Winchester, Justin, unless they’re willing to sacrifice the spire point bullet. And lever guns are generally more complicated.

          20. By matthieu on

            As my knowledge of guns is limited, what’s better:
            – a sturdy but heavy weapon with hard to replace components (as they are expensive)
            – a lighter one with parts that can fail but are easy to replace and not expensive

          21. By William Curry on

            Your looking at something called life cycle cost analysis. Almost all engineering projects go through this. If you need a lot of weapons, cheap easy to build and repair is usually the way to go. Most military weapons are designed to be easy to maintain and repair. That said they are not necessarily cheap to make. The trade offs between first cost, reliability, ease of maintenance and expected service life is the essence of life cycle cost analysis. In the case of your question, I don’t have all the inputs necessary to do one. In wartime the military often opt for speed of production plus cheapness and ease of maintenance. Think STEN gun.

          22. By Charles Simpson on

            Matt generally heavy robust is better for military arms as no one wants a part to fail in a fire fight 😉 Carbines can be used on horseback using one hand and snug into the shoulder while the less dominate hand guides the animal. It is interesting the planes Indians held the gun one handed muzzle almost touching to hunt buffalo and described in many Trapper journals. Remember also against the Grik there is no opposing cavalry, just infantry, and against formed infanty cavalry is ineffective.

          23. By Steve White on

            I really, REALLY want to do a weekend at Taylor’s place sometime… :-)

          24. By donald johnson on

            Yeah wriding that golf cart shooting at targets sounds like loads of fun. And he has that Doom whomper to play with also. My shoulder hurts just thinking about it.

          25. By Lou Schirmer on

            Sounds like a party in the offing…I’m in!
            Got some things I haven’t fired in a while. Might even buy something to try out for the occasion. I’ve got at least one piece of interest firearm wise.
            This is assuming everyone’s schedule & willingness permits of course.

          26. By Paul Nunes on

            /////////By Charles Simpson on 16 December, 2016

            There are two problems with colt revolvers:

            1) Loss of propellant gas in the imperfect Cylinder-barrel space lowers range.

            2) Slower reloading, the colt frame does not lend it’s self to wuick reloading tike the break open Smith revolver design that allows quick loaders.

            The Seminole War was the high point of the colt revolving rifle once the breach loading repeaters came out the revolving rifle was doomed,///////

            This x100.

            The Cylinder gap leaks alot of propellant gases forcing the manufacturer to load enough gun powder to counter the loss…. This makes for a stronger and harsher recoil. The flash from out of the cylinder is pretty dramatic at night and spoils the shooters night vision.

            The Colt design doesn’t have a swing out cylinder… It has a loading gate. Loading one cartridge at a time takes about a minute on bright sunny day with no stress and no one shooting at you. You can fan the hammer and fire all the cylinders in less than ten seconds. That is fun, but you not going to hit much beyond a few yards. Then you have to open the loading gate and remove each case individually which again takes about a minute. You can knock out a case and load a live at this time… still takes about a minute or a minute and a half.

            A swing out cylinder like a Smith & Wesson would be favorable and maybe a M1917 Victory model revolver will turn up in someones seabag or the ships surgeon had a hollow book.

            Why take tooling and machines off of M1911 production to make a carbine of dubious quality to arm Cavalry with? Just use the issue rifle and shorten the length like everyone else. Is it ideal? No. Does it improve training and work with current logistics? Yes.

            If I did anything I would develop barrel inserts for the cut down Allin/Silvas… So they fire .50/80 buckshot or with an insert fire .30/06 for times range and hitting power are important.

            Look up shotgun inserts on various websites.

            It would be more important to equip the Mehnaak Cavalry with more Blitzers per squad than rifle. Develop a portable machine gun either making the M1919A6 or using the Japanese hopper fed design to give them more firepower as Dragoons. Then getting them a light mortar for local fire power and flare or star shells for illumination or signalling. Grenades, lots and lots of grenades for charges and a grenade launcher of some sort too.

            Maybe some chainmail for the Mehnaaks too.

          27. By Paul Nunes on

            ////I’ve used revolving carbines in both percussion and self-contained metallic cartridge and have all the gas that blows out between the cylinder and barrel is unpleasant. The though of one in .50-80 is very unpleasant indeed. It will probably burn your fore arm unless you keep it well to the rear of the cylinder. Berdan’s Sharpshooters were originally equipped with Colt revolving rifles and they were very unpopular with the user. .50-80 will only make it worse.///

            Let’s not forget the number of veterans missing their left arm below the elbow from the percussion cap version of this…. the spark jumping from one cap and firing all the cap and all the cylinders at the same time. No one shoots these holding the forestock with their left hand…. After you get literally burn by the flash from the cylinder gap. Firer prop these on to a wall or improvised bipod. If not possible a pistol like two handed grip at the neck of the buttstock is the preferred method with these in use.

          28. By donald johnson on

            I am surprised that Taylor never mentioned anything about the party at his place. I expected at least a NO or even a hell no but he was probably just laughing in his gut at the thought of his being invaded by a bunch of wannabe Griks with swards amd flintlocks and his team shooting them off the property :-)

      2. By Generalstarwars333 on

        I was actually kind of inspired by the M-1 carbine. And yeah, it probably could be used by infantry until they get BAR’s into production.

        Reply
        1. By Generalstarwars333 on

          Actually, that reminds me of something. They’ve got a good amount of the 6.5mm arisaka ammunition, right? Well, the first assault rifle was built by a Russian in 1917 using the 6.5mm arisaka cartridge since it’s not as powerful as other rifle rounds. So, they could probably try and make an LMG or an assault rifle/carbine using the arisaka rounds. Give them a big edge over the league, since they’re likely to be fielding bolt action rifles, some SMG’s, and some MG’s.

          Reply
          1. By Alexey Shiro on

            You mean Fedorov’s automatic rifle of 1916? Initially she was supposed to use specific Fedorov’s 6,5-mm cartrige, with more muzzle energy. But, because of the war, the production of completely new cartrige was out of question, so Fedorov remade the automatic rifle to use avaliable (but weaker) Arisaka’s cartrige.

            So, it wasn’t that he decided to made less powerfull automatic rifle – it’s just the Arisaka cartrige was readily avaliable (Russian Empire obtained a large numbers of Arisaka in 1915-1916, because Japan was the only our ally that doesn’t need much rifles and could sell us a lot)

      3. By Generalstarwars333 on

        And yay! An idea not immediately shot full of holes! Third time’s the charm!

        Reply
    2. By Paul Nunes on

      A carbine needs an intermediate cartridge to be effective. The Blitzerbug is a cool M3 grease gun or M76 Madsen knock off… but, the effective range is still 200 meters maximum….. Great in trenches and urban terrain.. even jungles were a fight is at conversation distances….. Out in open terrain that is a nightmare scenario were you are getting shot up with nothing you can shoot back with. .45ACP also has a very dramatic drop over distance… With certain backgrounds you can watch a .45 bullet travel downrange at 830 feet per second…. A little black dot.

      The Mehnaak Cavalry does need a carbine. The only really effective way for them to actually fight is to fight as Dragoons. That is, the horse is transportation. Rapid transportation around the flanks or to break away from contact in combat. The Cavalryman then fights on foot using terrain for cover and concealment.

      Reply
      1. By Lou Schirmer on

        Might try a cut down .50-80 cartridge to say a .50-50 in a shortened Allen-Silva carbine setup. With an 18-20″ barrel you’d get decent range & be of a size to be a reasonably handy saddle gun. Quick into production also & have the Blitzerbines as officer & noncom weapons for close defense.

        Reply
    3. By Duke Saxon on

      Why not have shared revolver and/or handgun production with the Republic? Specifically Mauser C96 in 7.63 or the 1883 Reichsrevolver. Austrian Gasser revolvers would also be rather nice if they had one to copy the pattern from.

      Reply
  17. By Lou Schirmer on

    Taylor, I’ve been working on a new DE design for the Union & was comparing it to some of the WW2 USN designs & the Walker & Mahan. I’m thinking the speed estimate for the Mahan (25 knots) maybe a bit low. Granted, she’s down by two boilers, which should drop her horse power down to about 12,500ish SHP, but she also took a 240 ton haircut (close to ¼ of her original tonnage). Walker is at her original 1,200ish tons, but only down one boiler, giving her an (estimated) 19,000 SHP & 30 knots or so. I’m thinking Mahan should also be capable of close to 30 knots when she’s finally rebuilt, especially if they put new construction, improved boilers in her.

    Bouncing the info off of WW2 DE designs, half of them also had 12,000 SHP & were rated at 24 knots (though many could reach 26-27), BUT they were also far larger. The Butler class for instance weighed in at 1,350 standard & 1,750 full load & 306’l x 37’b x 9.25’d & up to 13’ draft at full load & with 12,000 SHP made 24 knots.

    From BITW Specifications page 413: USS Mahan DD-102, 264’l x 30’b, 960 tons, speed est. 25 knots.
    Maybe in the next book, if/when she gets relaunched, she can surprise everyone on her trails & do 30 knots. Also, with new “improved” boilers replacing her old ones (instead of just being rebuilt), the Walker might be able to get much of her speed back, maybe up to 34 knots & still retain the range she has with the fuel bunker in the #1 boiler space. Just a thought.

    DE sites & info:
    https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/ships/ships-de.html

    http://destroyerhistory.org/de/classes/

    http://destroyerhistory.org/de/johncbutlerclass/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_C._Butler-class_destroyer_escort

    Reply
    1. By Paul Nunes on

      Why not pull up the boilers from the Hidioame and have a look at that design? It is 20 years younger than the design on the Walkers.

      Should have been an immediate and committed effort to recover every bit of her. Especially her boilers, torpedoes, guns, rangefinders, and radios.

      Reply
      1. By Justin on

        IIRC, Hidoiame was a near-total loss after Fristar crushed her. Everything that can be salvaged already has been; the rest is scrap metal.

        Reply
        1. By Paul Nunes on

          Horse shit… a steel hulled vessel and all those multiton components don’t crush that easily.. Would the side get stoved in and the hull flooded.. Yes… crushed like a beer can under a car tire? Bullshit. Not once not a thousand times. Fristar is a wooden hulled vessel. The Fristar’s hull would have broken in before the Hidioame would be crushed. This assumes also that the bottom of the bay is solid stone and not mud.

          Reply
          1. By donald johnson on

            Hidiomae was roled over on her side and part of her may have been crushed but the majority was most likely saved. As soon as they can get a floating drydock to her she would have been recovered to seevwhat dammage was done and to salvage the guns at a minimum. Due to the terrain she was most likely driven up on the beach and is laying on her side which actually makes her recovery easier as they can repair any dammabe to bottom then firehose away the mud and refloat her as she rerightes herself as the bud is washed away. They hight not need the drydock for much at all depending on the dammage.

          2. By Lou Schirmer on

            I agree, but might want to take a chill on the horse & bull on Taylor’s site.
            The Fristar came in on the wind & tide after her lines were cut during the action if I remember right, so she wasn’t going fast, just drifting when she hit the DD. Then when they went ashore, Fristar should have a deeper draft than Hidoiame & that should also have decreased the damage to the DD, as the sand or mud should have slowed her even further, then the DD would have run aground & rolled over. There actually should be quite a bit of salvageable equipment on her & as you say maybe even the whole ship if the damage isn’t too bad. After all they’ve rebuilt the Walker repeatedly after being shot to rags & sunk.

          3. By Justin on

            Take it up with the books. Not me.
            Hidoiame is described exactly as “crushed like a beer can by a truck tire” (among other similes). After all, before anyone forgets, Fristar is a wooden ship the size of a fleet carrier.

            “The forward half of the ship still lay on its side up on the beach where it had been pushed after Fristar Home, her cables cut, had drifted ashore and smashed her like a bug. Salvage on that section had proceeded rapidly, and it now looked like a great, rusty carcass that had been picked over by iron hungry carrion eaters. Less had been done with the stern, still submerged a short distance away…”
            (Straits of Hell)

            She was crushed badly enough to snap in half. Again, they’ve already taken what they can and scrapped the rest; let’s not count our chickens until we actually see the warehouses full of boilers, guns and rangefinders (which we haven’t).

          4. By Lou Schirmer on

            Can’t beat a direct quote from the book however much we may disagree with it.
            Point to Justin!

        2. By Paul Nunes on

          Broken in two….. not crushed…. Your own quote from the book supports that….

          Reply
          1. By Justin on

            “Crushed like a beer can by a truck tire” and “smashed her like a bug” don’t leave much room for interpretation.

            Granted, it was a (mostly?) bow-on collision, so only part of Hidoiame got crumpled… but it was the part with the boilers and engines. As much as I’d like to have the Union reverse-engineer a Kagero, she was, to quote Silva, “sat on by a brontasarry.”

            tl;dr – By all means, let’s speculate on what the Union managed to recover, but it’s still only speculation. Heck, we already know that one boiler’s a write-off.

  18. By Charles Simpson on

    A little cross posting from the Destroyermen Fan Association, //Samuel De Jesus-Delgado

    On the mater of transfers, if you remenber Courthney theory that metal and magnetisum or must properly electromagnetisum, is a inportant factor or even the main factor for the opening of the vortex that permits the transfers!
    Now whats the period or date or dates is when this electromagnetisom will be in its pick, if you are saying in 1945 betwen August 6 & 9 you are right and if this happen in multyple Earths at the same time I wonder what will happen? I did present mr Anderson this info and he told me its intriges him meaning he may had think about it!
    So what do you think and has it ocure to you? What do you think will happen?// https://www.facebook.com/groups/566578383510306/

    Any thoughts on the effect of EMP on the Storms and transfer?

    Reply
    1. By Alexey Shiro on

      Again, there weren’t high-altitude megaton-size blasts.

      Both bombs were relatively small, low kiloton-size fission charges, one oralloy gun-type and other plutoniom implosion-type, detonated on the low altitude. Their EMP was quite limited – probably not even broader than thermal flux. Unless the Squall would be directly over Nagasaki, I doubt that the effect would be greater than from average thunderstorm.

      //Any thoughts on the effect of EMP on the Storms and transfer?//

      My IMHO? The only thing that could PROBABLY affect Squall is the large-scale nuclear detonation during transfer.

      Reply
      1. By Justin on

        And what would transfer over – a bunch of radioactive ruins? Unless you want to add insult to injury for the Japanese Lemurians and POWs, a Hiroshima/Nagasaki transfer isn’t the best idea.

        Now if a Squall blows in just after Operation Crossroads…

        Reply
        1. By Alexey Shiro on

          Well, if the Squall blows after Baker test, the Alliance would have a lot of highly-radioactive scrapmetal, which proved to be impossible to decontaminate even after years of work.

          After Able test, thought… The contamination was relatively limited. The ships was banged pretty hard, but at least “Nagato”, “Saratoga” and “Prince Eugen” were repairable.

          Problem is, the majority of ships, used at Crossroads have military career during the War, and so the rule of “no ships with real service” must be used.

          Of the ships, that never have been in battle…

          * “Sakawa” clearly could be used for transfer. She never participated in any military action.
          * We could probably replace “Nagato” with “Mutsu”. The “Mutsu” was destroyed by accidental explosion in 1943, so she never saw any real action. If we assume that “Mutsu” survived, we could use her for transfer.

          Reply
          1. By Justin on

            //Well, if the Squall blows after Baker test, the Alliance would have a lot of highly-radioactive scrapmetal, which proved to be impossible to decontaminate even after years of work.//

            For a few years, yes, but the Pacific finished the job. When the Americans checked years later, the wrecks were mostly clean; today, they’re safe enough for scuba diving!

            But I see your point – by the time they’re finally clean, the Union will have enough of a steel industry to skip the wrecks altogether.

            //Of the ships, that never have been in battle…//

            Don’t forget Seydlitz or Lutzow standing in for Prinz Eugen. Or one of the cancelled Balao-class subs.

          2. By Alexey Shiro on

            Er, “Lutzov” was sold to Soviet Navy and have an actual combat career. She was uncompleted, but used as gloating battery in Leningrad defense. She shelled German troops and was temporarely grounded by enemy fire. So, she is out of question.

          3. By donald johnson on

            Actually if the bombs were the cause of the transfer the ships would not be radioactive because the radiation would not have reached them before the transfer as the transfer would be instantaneous at the speed of light and the radioactivity would be from Fallout seconds or minutes after the explosion

          4. By Alexey Shiro on

            Er, actually no. Transfer took time – the “Walker” took several seconds at leas to enter the transfer bubble. The radiation flux are instantaneous, but the main radiation problem was the radioactive fallout (as in Baker test)

          5. By Justin on

            And I’m pretty sure they’d have postponed the test if they knew there was a storm blowing in.

            Of course, this all assumes that Bikini Atoll exists in this Earth at the same location…

          6. By donald j johnson on

            My feeling is that walker entered the transfer bubble instantly but took several seconds to transfer between worlds. My only problem with the transfer process is that if the sea levels are different why doesn’t the ship fall for those 20 or 30 feet differences!

          7. Taylor AndersonBy Taylor Anderson (Post author) on

            Another good point. There WAS a slight time distortion, otherwise why was Amagi not still there when they exited? She was nowhere in sight. Of course, she was not fully engulfed simultaneously–and was travelling in the opposite direction–but this certainly implies that time did pass differently inside the “bubble.” As for why Walker didn’t “fall,” there are a number of explanations–but unlike the above, which has been pretty well hashed out over time, I’d rather watch what ya’ll come up with. I will tell you if you’re right. (I figured out some time ago that my job here is not to answer every question, but to promote and enjoy speculation!) :)

          8. By Alexey Shiro on

            But this again indicates the artifical, intelligenct-controlled nature of the Squall. Otherwise it would be almost impossible to explain, how – with time differences during transfer – both ships appeared on the surface of the world, not being hurled in space or sunk into solid rock.

            After all, the orbital velocity of Earth is more than 29 kilometers per second. One second delay during transfer would means that “Amagi” would either be thrown into exosphere, or sunk in the Earth mantle. And “Amagi” was delayed by much more than one second.

            So, to assume safe transfer, the Squall must be able to track the locations in both world constantly, and make corrections to ensure that transferred object would remain exactly on surface.

            I.e. – we need Squall to have at least some level of intelligence.

          9. By Justin on

            Donald, Alexey, I don’t follow. Water is water – it’s always going to evaporate to a certain height above sea level, condense, then come back down as rain – that’s a squall. I’ve never heard of a storm forming in the mantle or the exosphere, or rainfall hovering 10m above the water.

            So there’s a Squall on one Earth, there’s a Squall on another, and Walker and Mahan entered on and exited the other. AFAIK, it’s that simple.

          10. By Generalstarwars333 on

            If I recall correctly, the 1st book did mention a feeling of weightlessness on walker or some other thing that implied them falling. Then again, I last read the 1st book a year ago and a friend now owes me a new copy of it, so I could be wrong.

          11. By DONALD JOHNSON on

            And yes Taylor you are one hell of a promoter. I am going to have to think some more about the transfer process and the fact that it takes several seconds to cross could indicate artificial intelligence somewhere in the process which would indicate why walker does not fall or at least why it did not hit hard after falling

          12. By donald johnson on

            // the plot device control sequence takes cognizance of this! :-) //

            Taylor is the “Plot Control device” He knows All :-)

          13. By Alexey Shiro on

            //Donald, Alexey, I don’t follow. Water is water – it’s always going to evaporate to a certain height above sea level, condense, then come back down as rain – that’s a squall. I’ve never heard of a storm forming in the mantle or the exosphere, or rainfall hovering 10m above the water.//

            Look, the Squall is only the outer effect for Transfer phenomenon. The problem is, that two points – when the “Amagi” entered the Squall and when she came out of the Squall – are obviously separated by quite a long time.

            And planets are moving. So if “Amagi” appeared at exactly the same coordinates, she would found itself floating in space, thousand miles from Destroyermen’s Earth.

            Which means, that the exit coordinates were correted to place “Amagi” exactly on the planetary surface.

          14. By Justin on

            No, the Squall is the phenomenon. So wherever it forms, whatever “tunnel” it contains forms as well, and travels with it.

          15. By Alexey Shiro on

            Nah, the Squall is nothing. The electromagnetic energy could not possibly produce such phenomenon. There aren’t nearly enough energy in whole Earth magnetosphere for ripping holes through time&space. And even if you – somehow – could concentrate such electromagnetic energy, the effect would not be the Squall. More like the instant vaporisation of Pacific Ocean)

          16. By Justin on

            The Squall forms a gale, passes whatever it absorbs through null space, and spits it out in a gale on the other end. That’s definitely not EM – heck, that’s not even conventional physics.

            Could be dark energy and/or temporary quantum entanglement and/or whatever – it’s just that EM is the only frame of reference for people from the Forties. Same reason for “Brontosaurs” and “Ceylon.”

          17. By donald johnson on

            Taking all into consideration the squall is a secondary effect caused by the bleedoff energy from whatever causes the transfer. A few trerrawatts with 1 or 2 % loss and the squall is the leakage.

          18. By matthieu on

            Well, to move things you have to take into consideration:

            1/ volume: if you move a different volume, you’ll end with more atoms than expected at the same place so a big boom
            2/ weight: if you change the weight you change the global quantity of atoms so same consequences.
            3/ time: earth is not at the same place all the time. Just with a single millisecond you end in space.

            It means that you need many conditions. Maybe Reddy is just dying in the destroyer and created everything and we’re still mid 1942.

        2. By William Curry on

          Probably got to do with gravity in Quantum Mechanics not quite meshing with gravity in relativity. Obviously the plot device control sequence takes cognizance of this! :-)

          Reply
    2. By Lou Schirmer on

      True Alexey, but I think the premise is what would the effect of these bombs be going off simultaneously in multiple worlds? Would say 100-500 bombs in as many AU’s going off together in the same location have any effect on a squall in the vicinity? Or would it even “call” or increase the probabilities of a squall? One or more of the bombs may also be a higher yield thermonuclear device.

      You’re right about the EMP though, if it had any serious range, it would have been embarrassing for the Enola Gay &/or Bockscar when the EMP had knocked out their engines.

      Reply
        1. By Lou Schirmer on

          No, not total nuclear war (no one at the time had the resources for that), but many Alternate Universes dropping one bomb at the same time, in the same place. Get enough universes doing it at the same time & the energy levels at that location might have interesting effects on a squall.

          Reply
          1. By Alexey Shiro on

            Er, but the Squall is inter-dimensional phenomenon. I.e. the Squall did not exist smultaneously in multiple universes. Only in the one from which it currently transfer something to Destroyermen World.

            So, I really doubt that this would have any effect upon the Squall.

      1. By Charles Simpson on

        Multi worlds hypothesis is an infinite number of universes covering infinite outcomes. We do not know much about the transfer event, is it natural? Will nuclear weapons on a finite number of worlds effect the transfers? Ugh probably not, why if they effect transfers it’s a finite number and as we know any finite number divided by infinity has a chance as near zero as makes no odds 😉

        Reply
    3. By William Curry on

      Most of the electronics in 1945 were not very likely to be damaged by an EMP. Tubes are resistant to EMP, unlike solid state electronics. Nobody noticed any big effects from EMP until the 1960’s

      Reply
  19. By Lou Schirmer on

    Been thinking about aircraft construction for the Union & how they’ll eventually need to transit to something stronger than doped fabric.
    Aluminum alloys, such as duralumin (outdated term now, but still current then) would be best, but aluminum is a pain to produce & as the books state, “worth more than gold”.

    Brass alloys would seem to be the best short term solution. It can be made in thin sheets for aircraft skin & support the structure much better than doped fabric. Stronger brass alloys can be used for the structural components such as spars, ribs, stringers & engine mounts. Brass cannon were the “go to” gun back in the day, as they were less prone to cracking & exploding than the iron cannon, so the strength IS there. You could even produce a reasonably light armor plate for the pilots attached to the rear of the seat like the “modern” WW2 type fighters. As a added bonus, it’s a non-ferrous alloy & so less prone to sparking than steel, which makes it less of a fire hazard in aircraft usage.

    The (presumably) uprated two row radial’s new power output should be more than enough to handle the extra weight & the result would be a far more robust air frame.

    Since it’s already in production for cartridge brass & ship board components (bells, fireboxes & non-ferrous applications), it would be easier to adapt to aircraft production than almost anything else except plywood.

    Reply
    1. Taylor AndersonsBy Taylor Andersons on

      Good points, Lou. Brass IS heavier and there’s not an unlimited supply, but it makes sense. Particularly as a reinforce for natural material airframes. The biggest problem I can see them running into–they already have–is the dissimilar metal issues. Particularly with fasteners. They might use brass rivets, of course, for some applications, but steel bolts or landing gear struts combined with brass spars . . . And they’d have to be formed carefully. Work-hardened brass actually makes a pretty good spring–for a short time. I wonder what the metal fatigue would be like? The elongation is better, but that could be good and bad, and shear sucks. Cowlings, forward fuselages, all sorts of things–but probably not wing spars. Or am I off base here?

      Reply
    2. By Lou Schirmer on

      Actually, the screws, bolts & other fasteners could also be brass (one of the harder alloys of it anyway). You see brass screws & clamps in all sorts of naval applications. Probably the only reason it’s not in general use on planes is that aluminum is lighter & I think those alloys are slightly stronger also. It’s also a bit better with resisting corrosion, although there are brass mixtures that are resistant also obviously, since they’re being used on sea going boats.

      I honestly don’t know for sure how well it would do for spars. Do you have any metallurgist friends? It should be good for most of the airframe, but you’re right, they’d have to test the spars damned carefully before committing to flight. If it was me, I’d try extruding a ribbed spar of various thicknesses & maybe reinforce it with a core of bamboo strips packed with resin. Would extruding be considered “work Hardening”? If cracks do develop the bamboo should be able to hold it together for a while & frequent inspections during testing would tell the tale. Another way would be a brass/wood composite/laminate spar of some sort, bolted & glued together.

      Thin sheet brass flexes pretty well & nailed down with rivets & or screws would help with supporting the spars, ribs & stringers. Good thickness extruded brass tubing might be able to replace steel landing gear struts, maybe with reinforcing ribbing. Brass is lighter than steel, so they could make the strut tubing thicker to ensure strength. If not, they may have to isolate the struts somehow to prevent the dissimilar metals problems. Maybe a wood isolator, anchored to the air frame w/brass bolts & to the landing gear w/steel bolts? This would all require testing though, but that could be done in 6-12 months, followed by another 6-12 months of ground & flight tests. Not a short term project, but they have to be planning for upgrades & aluminum would be pretty tough for them to pull off right now.

      Reply
      1. By William Curry on

        A lot of the “Brass” on ships is actually bronze or cupro-nickel alloys. Same for “brass” used in artillery and other firearms. The receiver on the Henry rifle was actually bronze (a type referred to as “gunmetal”). Bronze is generally more ductile and “forgiving” than brass. Brass tends to fatigue harden quickly and suffer sudden brittle failure, especially 60-40 yellow brass, 85-15 red brass always seemed to last better in most mechanical applications. I always used 85-15 for pressure applications and 60-40 for decoration. 60-40 polishes up much better than 85-15.

        Reply
        1. Taylor AndersonsBy Taylor Andersons on

          Indeed. I’ve caused a lot of confusion using the term “gunmetal” for color. Most people imagine a metallic gray, but to me it’s a kind of orange-gold :)

          Reply
      2. By Lou Schirmer on

        Sounds like brass for spars is out. Maybe bronze? Brass could still be used in sheets as aircraft skin & maybe with bronze fasteners. Some of the stronger alloys could be used for the ribs. It could still make for a stronger air frame. Or I could be hallucinating.

        Reply
        1. By William Curry on

          I suspect laminated wood (plywood) would work better in most aircraft applications. Most copper containing alloys are heavier per volume basis that ferrous alloys as copper is denser than iron. Aircraft practice is to use a high grade fastener that is lighter and as strong as a cheaper heavier faster. Say use a grade 8 1/4 inch bolt rather than a grade 5 7/16 inch bolt. Stationary and marine practice is to use the bigger and cheaper grade 5 rather than the grade 8 because cost is more important than weight.

          Reply
        2. By Lou Schirmer on

          Too bad, I’d forgotten copper is heavier than iron.

          Maybe they could still do the aircraft skin in thin sheet brass though. It might still be lighter than whatever thickness of plywood for a strong skin would need, although heavier than doped fabric.

          Reply
          1. By William Curry on

            This is a possibility, however rigorous inspection for corrosion and fatigue cracking would be needed. Brass tends to corrode in the presence of slat water, which is why bronze and cupro-nickel is used more on ship board. To make use of sheet brass worthwhile, you’d need to go to monocoque construction where the skin is a structural element and not just a covering. This type of design may be beyond what they know how to do.

  20. By Justin on

    Okay, assuming that the Union is going to try and reverse-engineer the Madagascar Beaufort, exactly how much of it – engines, weapons, airframe (wood or metal), etc – can they successfully adapt for their own bombers?

    Reply
  21. By Lou Schirmer on

    Justin, I took your advice & downloaded SpringSharp to check power/speeds etc. for ships. I then tested it against a known class (Wickes), but have run into a problem.

    I used version 3 Beta & put in 314′ length x 31′ beam x 9′ draft w/1250 tons, 4×4″ 50 cal, 4×3 torpedo tubes, oil fired geared steam turbines w/2 shafts & 35 knots.

    The problem I’m having is the program says it’ll take over 46,000 horse power to do 35 knots. Obviously I’m doing something wrong since the actual class took only 25,000 shp to make that speed. Any hints for an old man?

    Reply
    1. By Alexey Shiro on

      Unfortunately, Spring Sharp isn’t very good for small ships :( So, probably it’s just program jinx.

      Reply
      1. By Justin on

        Right. It’s still a work in progress; right now, anything below 8-10K tons is going to be WAY off.
        Also try to not make the design TOO anachronistic. For example, plugging in an 800′ ironclad with a WWI engine (Sular, etc) results in a “design failure” message.

        Personally, I just use it as an estimate, rather than cross-checking all the books and/or websites and hoping for the best. That was a real pain in the donkey.

        Reply
        1. By matthieu on

          Do you know if there is another software on the market to design those ships?

          Reply
    2. By William Curry on

      How does the program account for hull form? The difference could be in the drag assumptions used by the program.

      Reply
      1. By Lou Schirmer on

        It seems to go by a “Fineness” adjustment slider, after you’ve plugged in the dimensions, this adjusts the tonnage based on your dimensions…I think.

        The program itself is a less than 500kb executable & you can plug in main batteries, secondaries etc. plus armor, freeboard, types of bows & sterns, power plants & bunkers. You can put in your horse power & it’ll give you an estimated speed & you can unlock it, put in a different power level & recalculate. Once you’re done, you can get it to do a “Report” which gives all the ship info including sea worthiness, stability, cost, crew compliment etc. & you can redo the report as many times as you want as you adjust the specs. Pretty neat for such a small program. I never knew the type of stern could affect speed & horse power so much.

        springsharp.com/

        Reply
        1. By Justin on

          You can adjust the tonnage manually, but that might really mess up your engine power and seaworthiness rating. That means increasing her length, which means increasing her armour, and that means you need to raise her tonnage…

          Seriously, I don’t understand how BuShips made it work with nothing but a pair of slide rules.

          Reply
  22. By Clifton Sutherland on

    Just a thought for the gun-makers out there.

    I was wondering about ways to test the effectiveness of massed musketry fire and think I found something that could, in theory, work. You make a paintball that is identical in size, perhaps weight to historic musket balls, and give them to a bunch of reenactors who then can fight in formation, using accurate powder loads. Would such a ball be possible to make, or would it still be lethal(ish)?

    I figured this would be a way to assess both the effect of reduced vision from prolonged exchanges, and the actual accuracy of the weapons as they were deployed in history.

    Reply
    1. By Charles Simpson on

      When using light projectiles you use very low powder charges, 10 gr of black powder will launch a tennis ball quite far. Actually shooting at people even with such projectiles can cause serious injury and even death, as such I doubt such an experiment would be done. Even speed loading shoots are rare anymore as safety is the prime consern. People have lost hands loading from a powder horn and finding a spark similar to Taylor’s rammer cat in BITW. Then there are hang fires where the lock snaps but there is a delay before detonation of the main charge. Funny but giving a sore shoulder is shooting a ramrod down range. Range safety is important, muzzle loaders are as deadly as any other fire arm.

      Reply
      1. By Clifton Sutherland on

        So, would the charge have to be very reduced, as to avoid killing people? hmmmmm, that makes sense. I was curious if there was a way to pull it off, though- reduce the weight of the projectile enough that with a reduced charge, it has the range and accuracy characteristics of the real projectile (without the lethal bit).

        Darn, I was hoping there would be a way to do this without killing the participants haha.

        Reply
        1. By donald johnson on

          Real simple, man sized targets at the proper scrimish distance. Use proper bullet stopping solutions to prevent spectator injury.

          Reply
          1. By Paul Nunes on

            Not that simple with muzzle loaders..

            The charge the soldier rams home isn’t a consistent weight.. Let alone packing down the powder.

            Might be 10″ high at 150 meters….. then 6″ low..

            Black powder can be inconsistent in itself depending on the quality controls of the producer, purity of the components, even the tree the charcoal is derived from.

            Then humidity… may not burn all the powder or it burns at a lower rate meaning less muzzle velocity.

            The Alliance has got to make smokeless powder and sealed cartridges the norm through out both theaters fighting in the hot and humid tropical or foggy coastal regions…. then progress to gun cotton and sealed cartridges for cannon / howitzers.

          2. By Clifton Sutherland on

            the aspect I was more interested in was how quickly casualties occurred, and how long it took before a unit was unable to fight. Unless you are actually having two forces going at each other, it would be hard to estimate how many would fall in the first volley, the second, etc. If you look at many battle results, casualties are rather low- it would seem that after a few rounds were fired, one side must have pulled back. That seems to indicate that prolonged fire was increasingly fatal, or at the very least deadly enough to severely disadvantage whichever side got the worse of the initial volley.

          3. By Paul Nunes on

            A unit is considered “combat ineffective” at 10% and would be pulled off the Line. A unit at 30% would be rotated out completely to retrain and integrate replacements.

          4. By matthieu on

            Depending when and what’s an unit for you. It’s quite common to find incredibly high casualty rates for some units (the US civil war had some of them. The question is “is the unit still able to perform”.

            The question is also “what’s the size of the unit”. For example it’s very common for a squad to be wiped out. It’s common for companies to suffer high casualties (civil war, napoleonic, WW1). Same thing for battalions. As for regiments the question is more complicated. Yes they can suffer from huge losses but on the short term. For divisions it’s even less common.

          5. By Clifton Sutherland on

            I know certain regiments took horrendous casualties, but that accounts for a unit of several thousand men, not all deployed in a single line of battle at any one time. The Iron Brigade, for example, took over 50% casualties at Gettysburg.

            I can very well imagine that the first couple companies would be rendered ineffective after only a few hours on the frontlines, or a few minutes into any heavy exchange. I assume the survivors would be rotated to the rear (if they hadn’t already ran there) and a fresh group be brought up to fight.

          6. By Clifton Sutherland on

            And, of course, there was the esteemed 1st Minnesota, which charged across open ground at Gettysburg to buy time for the Union lines. 262 men charged into two confederate brigades. 215 were casualties in five minutes. They held them back long enough for the Union forces to fortify on high ground.

            *shameless state plug ends

          7. Taylor AndersonsBy Taylor Andersons on

            Another thing to consider regarding the length of actions: In many 18th Century armies, and the British Army in particular, musketry was considered the music before the dance and the bayonet remained the principal weapon. At least that was the plan . . . Didn’t always work that way. But enduring the exchange of fire with iron discipline regardless of how effective your fire, and THEN advancing with the bayonet often routed opponents before the bayonets ever got there. A portion of the line breaks and without immediate relief, the entire line must withdraw to contain the penetration or the separated forces can be rolled up from the middle or the flanks. Lots of variations on this of course, and rifle muskets changed everything, inflicting savage casualties at unheard of ranges. Still, lots of instances of stubborn units standing and slugging it out well beyond reason.

          8. By matthieu on

            That’s completely true and it often leaded to strange results.

            For example the Battle of Malphaquet (1709). A well known quote is “« Si Dieu nous fait la grâce de perdre encore une pareille bataille, Votre Majesté peut compter que ses ennemis sont détruits. » [if Gods allow us to lose another battle like this one, your Majesty can be sure that his enemies will be destroyed](it’s more accurage than the current translation: “If it please God to give your majesty’s enemies another such victory, they are ruined.)
            Explanation: French lost 8000 men and Malborough won the battle (as at this time it was meaning “remaining on the battlefield”) but suffered 22.000 caculaties as English troops assaulted French positions

            At Fontenoy the English guards routed the French Gardes-Françaises after having been able not to fire first and to approach under fire.

            Another question is “do we ne need the unit to remain effective?”. In 1720 you have just a few battles per war (sieges were mor common). In 1863 you have many many large and small battles so you need the regiment to remain combat capable longer.

    2. By Paul Nunes on

      There is a product line called “Simunitions” that the military and law enforcement use… There are the size, weight, and shape of popular firearms like the M16, MP5, etc. These launch a paintball…….

      However, you have to wear ballistic eye protect. Also to prevent a paintball from still being lethal at close range the velocity is low…… thus these are only useful for shoot house / kill house training where range is short.

      To train on muskets…. they built scare crows or hung white sheets.

      Honestly though….. Soldiers lost their right eye regularly to gases vented back through the touch hole….. So at the moment they were to pull the trigger most would close their eyes and turn their face down and away….

      This persisted with percussion caps too… One because of old habits… and two because a fouled touchhole would not let the heat and gases from a percussion cap enter. so it would blast out in all directions throwing copper shrapnel from the cap.

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

        Actually Clifton, that is a bit of a myth. Eye protection is MORE important with caplocks than flintlocks, at least from the shooter’s perspective–as you note–whether the nipple or “cone” is plugged or not. In fact, this grows worse as the vent erodes and becomes larger. And pieces of caps tend to deflect backward from the bolsters on patent breech weapons either way. Many of the troops depicted in “The Patriot” (for example) as looking away and closing their eyes would have been avoiding the vent of the soldier to their left blasting them in the side of the face. Vent guards were not in common use. On the other hand, any file closer seeing them do this would have whacked the crap out of them with his spontoon or wiping rod, not to mention promising dire punishments, so this was not as wide spread as is often depicted–at least overtly. And even troops in the firing line understood that the best way to avoid getting killed was to kill as many of the enemy as they could first–giving them a strong incentive to fire as accurately as they were capable and just . . . endure. Did the flinching, eye closing happen? Of course. But as I said, this was more due to the abuse being received from the man beside you than your own weapon (although RECOIL was respectable and cringe-worthy in a Brown Bess, for example, with a heavy ball and heavy service charge. And troopers were generally smaller than the average today as well.) A bunch of guys probably deliberately over primed their pan and “accidentally” spilled some powder from their cartridge.

        Reply
        1. By matthieu on

          My own data (partial, mainly from 1670-1770, the Napoleonic era and 1830-71 wars) suggest that this problem was really well known and many experiments tried to prevent the problem.

          First rifles were used in a single line each line fired completely and was then replaced by a second line. It prevented most problems but the unit was difficult to move and locally the fire was never string enough. French then copied the UK/Netherland method (we are talking of battles close to 1750): fire by divisions where all soldiers at a given place of the line were firing at the same time (most of the time a squad of 20-30). They tried with 3 lines of men but too many firing accidents happened (as the third rank was firing literally from the back of the second line) so most of the time two lines were used and the third one was used as a backup or, sometimes, as a loading line and the best shots were firing in the first two lines (something that most people forget when they talk for example of the Battle of Fort Carillon in 1758).

          This appears in regulations: “Réglement concernant l’exercice et les manoeuvres de l’infanterie : du 1er août 1791 ([Reprod.]). 1792.” (page 49).

          Another common trick was not to turn your head but to lower hour head. That way your hat was protecting you (it was sometimes a trick when it was raining heavily as at Dresden).

          As for gases venting well, it was not a common problem for French weapons (I don’t know for other ones). The most common one was… just missfire because the light was closed by some residuals, dust or leftovers.

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

            Vent jet is a problem for ALL flintlocks and they blast out to the side rather dramatically. This is a fact, and one thing I have many years of intimate experience with. British, German, American AND French muskets–ANY musket–blows a jet of fire, unburnt powder, sometimes little pieces of flint flakes and caked powder fowling at a 90 degree angle to the right of the weapon like a small muzzle blast of its own. Uniform hats, such as the ’39 pattern wheel hat with a straight down brim helped to a degree–at least keeping the vent blast of the man to your left out of your face–but those brims were practically useless for protection against sun, etc.

          2. By matthieu on

            When I say “not a common problem”, I mean “not something considered as an important one according to regulations”. I’m sure that French weapons were not better than other ones! (well technically it was not that bad but powder quality was reallylow) As they were designed with a small light to limit venting the most common problem was missfire.

        2. By Clifton Sutherland on

          I’ve always read that the goal of musket drill was to load and fire a lot of rounds in the general direction of the enemy as quickly as possible, so individual aiming was never really stressed. Was the potential risk of eye injury from firing a contributor to that, i wonder?

          Reply
          1. By matthieu on

            Soldiers were trained to stay at a very specific place to prevent accidents. Eye injury was probable sooner or later given the number of men but regulations tried to prevent that by asking soldiers to shoot by rank or on one knee.

          2. Taylor AndersonsBy Taylor Andersons on

            True, and volley fire helped troops avoid eye injury–by being prepared for the vent blast in the face and able to dip a hat brim, or hunker down behind those high collars (ever think about those being useful?) This in addition to the psychological effect of the volley. And there were other tactics. Firing by files, sometimes staggered, for example. Anyway, I think the difference of opinion we’re facing here has more to do with perception. A lot of modern shooters who fire a flintlock for the first time are horrified by all that flash and smoke so close to their face–and raw recruits would have had the same reaction back then, often being just as unaccustomed to firearms. But once they realize what HURTS is the vent jet from the guy beside them, the flash and puff of smoke in front of them becomes less distracting.

          3. By matthieu on

            Talking about that, do you know if the light was really vertical or slightly on one side to take that into account? I’ve never seen any data on that.

    3. By matthieu on

      The test has been done many times by many armies. As far I know you can find statistics as easly as 17something on the topic.

      Reply
    4. By Paul Nunes on

      Considering the problem you have posed…….. There were 17th and 18th Century air rifle….. So if the Alliance thought it was a worthwhile project enough to divert machinists and materials to it.

      A paintball gun is possible from within the Alliance.

      Lewis & Clark carried one with the Corps of Discovery.

      Reply
  23. By Lou Schirmer on

    This is for Taylor’s typo/inconsistences request. It’s also posted below, but didn’t want it to get lost.

    /One thing I’ve been thinking about is the manning of the Imperial & Dominion ships of the line or “Liners”. You have them at about 450-550 men & officers each & 50-98 guns (cannons) or so. I think the manning is a bit low for them. Looking at the old manning for ships of the line & steam assisted SOTL, a first rate at 90-100 guns would have anywhere from 900-1,100 men, essentially double what you have for their manning in the books indexes. 100 cannon require a lot of man power to operate, usually 8-10 men each for the larger weapons. This times 50 (fighting one side only) uses up 400-500 of the crew, then you have to maneuver the ship, do damage control, replace casualties etc. If you’re fighting both broadsides, that soaks up quite a few more men. Unless I’m missing something./

    Reply
    1. By matthieu on

      Well, you have to take into account that in most navies no more than 60% of all guns were expected to be used at the same time. Basically there were a single crew for two guns as nobody in his right mind would put a his ship between two enemy ships.

      The crew of a “74 guns ship” (very typical of our world from 1770 to 1820) had…

      17 officers
      22 senior NCO
      10 various specialist NCO (pilot…)
      40 master gunners with one senior master gunner (as you can see, one for 2 guns)
      20 masts and sails specialists
      500 sailors
      130 soldiers
      33 “more than needed (assistant surgeons, commissar, barrel maker, cook, stewarts…).
      Total close to 750 men.

      So what can explain the dispredancy?
      – older ships such as spaniards ships used a reduced crew per gun, leading to a reduced rate of fire but to less men. Probably relevant for doms.
      – advanced guns required less men (especially as soon as rudimentary recoil mechanism appeared). I would bet there for imps.
      – you can use the same men for sails and guns, assuming that you won’t move a lot during the battle (it’s not that stupid as you need a much lower quantity of food and water).
      – you can use a reduced crew for sails
      – some guns are just small ones requiring only a small crew of 2-3.

      Reply
      1. By Alexey Shiro on

        //advanced guns required less men (especially as soon as rudimentary recoil mechanism appeared). I would bet there for imps.//

        Please! They haven’t invented yet even shell guns!

        Reply
        1. By Paul Nunes on

          But, they just got shown how and handed the blueprints.

          Now they will have to make a crash building program to make precision metal cutting lathes, horizontal mills, and broaching machines. The certainly know steam and will transition to oil fired boilers with those spinning large generators to run it all. As rolling mills begin and get progressively larger forgings get larger. Until you can build the stupendously huge metal lathe for turning a ships propeller shaft…. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TQkHGtjE3I

          The Imperials already have drill presses, trip hammers, and mandrel forgings….. within two to three years the imperials can have every ship armed with 4″ 50s and 3″ AAA with 25mms backing those up.

          Within five years the Imperials will be retiring ships as oil fired ship are in numbers to replace them.

          Right now it is a race to build the infrastructure and the Dominion doesn’t even know that the race started.

          Reply
          1. By Alexey Shiro on

            The main question: what type of ships would the Empire build?

            Clearly not destroyers. They aren’t particulary seaworthy, and Imperial Navy need to control their huge colonial empire & protect communications.

            Some kind of small cruiser, I think. Probably composite (iron frames, wooden planking) to save cost and to allow fast repair on the colonial stations. I’m thinking about 2500-3000 ton protected cruiser with several 6-inch guns placed in casemate or barbette mounts, with large supply of coal to be capable of trans-ocean operations.

          2. By Justin on

            //I’m thinking about 2500-3000 ton protected cruiser with several 6-inch guns placed in casemate or barbette mounts, with large supply of coal to be capable of trans-ocean operations.//

            Sounds about right. Though with help from Baalkpan’s CL builders, they may be ready for a proper scout cruiser (Adventure?).

            At any rate, she should be considered as a prototype vessel – get her built quick, figure out what works and what doesn’t, use that to move on to a bigger and heavier class. As the Dommies get wiped out and the League becomes the new threat, the Imperials will have to do some serious gearing up.

          3. By Alexey Shiro on

            //Sounds about right. Though with help from Baalkpan’s CL builders, they may be ready for a proper scout cruiser (Adventure?).//

            Probably yes, but they need a lot of ships for patrol duty and trade protection of the Empire – and for that, large number of inferior ships are better than small number of superior) Also, repairability. The wooden-hulled cruiser could be repaired in any Impreial colony, while the steel-hulled could be repaired only on New British Isles themselves due to lack of infrastructure in colonies.

            Quite probably the Imperials would do the same thing as XIX-century France: steel-hulled ships for battlefleet and composite ships for colonial fleet.

          4. By Justin on

            Point taken. But does that kind of escort/patrol duty really need 6-inchers? I’m guessing that soon after shakedown, the protected cruiser design will branch off into a lighter (2000-2500 ton) 4-inch ironclad for the colonies, and a C-class design for the battle fleet.

          5. By Alexey Shiro on

            //Point taken. But does that kind of escort/patrol duty really need 6-inchers? //

            Destruction of enemy raiders. The four-inch guns are, basically, too small to be really effective on long-distance shots, and it’s highly unlikely that the opponent’s raider would chose to close for battle. If the raider captain is competent, he would run from cruiser, thus turning the battle into a long stern chase. The 6-inch guns are far better as chasers than 4-inch guns.

            Again, we have at least two powers – Grik Empire and Kurokawa – who preferred a large fleets of armored cruisers. Who aren’t very vunerable to 4-inch shots (especially on long distances)

            So, my opinion about the new Imperial cruisers:

            – Composite hull with iron frames and wooden planking – about 2500-3000 ton

            – Four 6-inch guns in diamond configuration (similar to “Walker” – on gun at the bow, one at the stern and two in center on wing mounts) plus light anti-aircraft weaponry

            – Vertical triple-expansion engine, speed about 20 knots.

            – Schooner rig for fuel economy

            – Armored deck (probably wrought iron or compound steel-iron composite) about 1,5-2 inch thick, with 3-inch slopes to protect machinery and magazines. Guns protected by shields (but barbette mounts with at least anti-splinter armor are possible also)

            The main goal – to serve as trade protector, capable of defending Imperial communications.

          6. By Charles Simpson on

            One thing to remember is that powered wenchsand simple fore and aft rigs kept sailing ships in operation well into the 1900s, and as cheap oil disappears may wel make a comeback. Hmm sails of solar cells charging batteries to power the wenches?

          7. By Lou Schirmer on

            Probably mean “winches” not “wenches”. Powered winches to hoist, trim & lower yards & sails would reduce the manpower requirements considerably.

            Either that or using a play on words?

          8. By Charles Simpson on

            Oops spelling was never my strong suit. Winch a device for pulling ropes, wench a term for a woman. The point is that powered winches lower manning requirements and lower costs.

          9. By Alexey Shiro on

            Ah. Understood.

            Well, IMHO turbosails are more effeicient way of utilizing the wind energy than old-fashioned rig. And they could work the same despite any wind direction.

            (And, frankly, the nuclear cargo navy would solve the problem. With modern reactors, the average tanker or cargo ship would not need refueling all its service lenght)

          10. By Justin on

            //Again, we have at least two powers – Grik Empire and Kurokawa – who preferred a large fleets of armored cruisers. Who aren’t very vunerable to 4-inch shots (especially on long distances)//

            Except that either power would have to beat the Union all the way back across the Indian Ocean and through the Malay Barrier before the Imperials even have to worry about them.

            And since pirates are a non-starter, there’s only two threats facing the alt-Royal Navy.
            One’s the Dominion, which is becoming irrelevant as a naval power. The other’s the League, which could make mincemeat of a timberclad protected cruiser with only four 6″ guns (though a wolfpack may deter lighter ships).

            Remember that the Empire is the first line of defence in the Pacific. With the League in mind, they can build some protected cruisers, but they should quickly move on to Great War-era light or armoured cruisers ASAP.

          11. By Steve White on

            Where does the Imperial fleet get the coal?

            Home Islands have no coal. California (our time) has virtually none. I’m not aware of any other Imperial possession that has significant coal. I’ve wondered the entire series where Taylor has them getting their coal for the ships they have.

            California DOES have oil. Our guys know that (oil drilling was common in Cali in the 1920s and 30s) and so might direct the Impies to drill for oil. Given the transport issues that will still be a challenge, but you might get the Impies to build ships powered by oil.

          12. By Justin on

            Good question. There’s some small coal deposits in Vancouver Island and north Cali, but I don’t think the Imperials have settled there yet…

          13. By Paul Nunes on

            There are old coal mines from the 19th century all around Seattle.

          14. By Paul Nunes on

            Japan, Sakhalin islands, Kamchatka peninsula, a few other pacific islands.

          15. By Alexey Shiro on

            Er, if I’m not mistaken, the coal in California was discovered around 1855 near Livermore. Town of Tesla, if I’m not mistaken.

            Also, the avaliable coal deposites in Destroyermen’s world may be positioned a bit differently than in our world…

          16. By Charles Simpson on

            There were coal mines along the pacific coast in the States of Washington, Oregon, and California. The Empire’s iron industry isin California and coke is important to make iron, charcoal was used previously to fuel blast furnaces and could be still used, but industrial scale production requires coke. So coal was important prior to steam ships. Sea coal found on beaches near where coal seams are eroded would lead to the discovery of these seams, and thus mines. It is likely that the Empire will switch to oil a much less bulky fuel than coal for a given BTU. However coal will remain important for iron and steel production keeping the colliers in operation.

      2. Taylor AndersonBy Taylor Anderson (Post author) on

        True. There are a variety of factors. First, Dom steamers ordinarily sail with…sails, but fight under steam. Second, as paddle steamers, a large percentage of their potential broadside is not only vulnerable, but wasted. The heaviest SOTL are pretty big, but probably use a lot of lighter guns on upper decks. And they probably only expect to fight one side at a time–which has bitten them in the rear a time or two. Mainly, the steam power allows for smaller crews since, as pointed out, they can fight the guns and ignore sail adjustment in combat. At least that is probably general doctrine. As for comparisons, remember the Doms are probably less likely to consider regular crew relief and watch rotations in times of high stress–to their detriment, and they may have learned their lesson.

        Reply
        1. By Alexey Shiro on

          Hm. Have anyone – Dom’s or Empire – tried Hunter Wheels? I.e. horizontally placed wheels, that protrude from the recesses of underwater hull?

          Reply
    2. By Alexey Shiro on

      Well, let’s see. The 3189-ton HMS “Terrible” – largest paddle-wheel frigate even build – carried 19 guns and have a complement of 200. Other comparable frigates have about 150-250 also.

      The average imperial liner have roughly the same size, but 4 time as many of light cannons. So, about 200-300 crew plus to man the guns.

      Reply
      1. By donald johnson on

        Paddle wheal fighting ship of any kind is a “Terrible” idea :-)

        Reply
        1. By Alexey Shiro on

          Well, there isn’t much choice in 1820s) The screw propeller was known, but it was next thing to impossible to put the cotemporary steam engines in the ship’s hull so they could move the propeller. They were too bulky and their levers were too long; it wasn’t great problem for paddle wheels, but for screws… Except some sort of walking beam engine, probably…

          Reply
  24. By Paul Nunes on

    The M1897 Trench gun with bayonet is missing from the Walker and Mahan arms inventories.

    Faced with the Grik charges and knowing that grape shot is highy effective I would have built 50mm or 75mm breech loaded shotguns mounted either in a carriage or a tripod. I would have based the case on the all brass shotgun case of the 1897 as scaled up. The cannon itself does have to be thick walled and heavy with either a sliding breech block or interrupted thread breech block being sufficient. Bronze casings would even be reloadable in the field by crews between battles. This would give you a rate of fire of from four to ten shots per minute into a Grik charge.

    Reply
    1. By Paul Nunes on

      Oops….. I didn’t mean to imply 50mm or 75mm pump action shotguns, even if on a carriage or tripod. Only that the weapon was purpose designed from the start to fire shot and would be without rifling.

      Reply
      1. By Charles Simpson on

        Allin/Silva shot guns were provided to cavalry troops and MTBs for short ranged fighting. So there are afew about.

        Reply
    2. By Lou Schirmer on

      What you’re describing sounds a bit like the old swivel guns sailing ships used to have for close range anti-personnel use…except breach loading of course.

      Reply
      1. By Paul Nunes on

        YES.

        Griks love to charge….and their leg arrangement and mass probably gives them a speed above 30 mph without sprinting. They might even get into the 40s for a sprint of 100 yards or so.

        Reply
  25. Taylor AndersonsBy Taylor Andersons on

    Okay guys, the time has come, once again, when some of you earn (one of the reasons) I put you in my acknowledgements! Having finished going over the CEM, I will no doubt soon receive the page proofs for the paperback “Blood In The Water.” This is the last chance to “fix” typos and screw-ups, even inconsistencies in the tech section. I rely on you guys to catch things I miss–and any such are very appreciated! Please post anything you find at the top of the technical discussions page!

    Reply
    1. By Lou Schirmer on

      Let us not forget page 415 Haakar-Faask class ships 20 feet long by 36 feet wide.

      Also a question. Didn’t Salissa used to have a breeched 10 inch muzzle loading rifle in the bow similar to the Santa Catalina? Or was that removed some time ago? If not, then needs to be added to the specs on page 414.

      Reply
      1. By Justin on

        IIRC, it made Keje think Sal was a battleship, so they had to get rid of it to stop him sailing her into gun range.

        Reply
      2. By Charles Simpson on

        Admiral Lelaa-Tal-Cleraan did somethng very similar in the west with ‘Macky-Cat’ in Straits of Hell. She only had Amagi secondaries, but then the Doms only had muzzle loading cannon without explosive shells. Salissa was almost lost in fires brought on by Suicide bombs. I can’t recall if the 10″ gun was salvaged.

        Reply
        1. By Alexey Shiro on

          The same problem: nothing in Alliance Navy that could actually stand her ground (water). Nothing that could take even moderate damage and still fight.

          That’s why I advocate the battlecruisers)

          Reply
          1. By Charles Simpson on

            No doubt eventually Union Battle Crusiers or even Battleships will come along with steel carriers. In the short term I think that the Union will attack Kurokawa with what they have, perhaps some additions but basically what is in theater. I think a night action is their only chance, something like what they did at Grik City.

          2. By Alexey Shiro on

            Well, there is still concrete to think about)…

          3. By Lou Schirmer on

            Not only do I think they’ll attack Kurokawa very soon with what they have in theater, or maybe something carried in to them by Clipper, I think they HAVE to attack almost immediately.

            Why? Savoie.

            Right now Savoie has just been turned over to Kurokawa.
            He has maybe a skeleton crew of Japanese. (Whatever is left after the Grik ate some 10-20% for failures against the prey, combat losses from being torpedoed & then sunk, disease, & attrition via local wild life)
            That skeleton crew hasn’t been to sea on a “modern” ship in almost two years, & would be unfamiliar with outdated French systems anyway.
            The League probably has stripped her of any useful tools & possibly the main fire controls.
            They will have to train Grik to flesh out the crew & modify some of it for their accessibility.
            (Have fun with THAT!)
            He doesn’t have Amagi’s excellent Japanese night optics anymore. If anyone does, it’s Reddy.
            A night attack in harbor would negate most of the Japanese expertise in night naval combat. They would be one an unfamiliar ship with maybe a quarter of the needed crew, in harbor, so they can’t maneuver & without good optics.

            Right now that ship is as vulnerable as it’s going to get. Any delays only play into Kurokawa’s hands. Raid the harbor late at night with the carriers coming behind to strike what’s left at dawn.

          4. By Lou Schirmer on

            True Alexey, they could build ships with concrete, but that raises the same problems as steel ships. They would have to gain considerable expertise with concrete to make sure it’s a good enough grade for ship construction. I don’t think concrete flexes as well as steel does & that would be an important factor at sea, especially with the storms they have. It would have to be reinforced somehow so it would still hold together when it starts to crack. It’d be rather embarrassing if your ship fell apart at sea…fatal too. I don’t think anyone from that era would even consider a concrete ship though.

          5. By Justin on

            //That’s why I advocate the battlecruisers//

            Well, if the League sends out its BBs, there’s not much that BCs could do alone either. The Union’s best bet is probably a more advanced air wing that can drop torpedoes and heavier bombs – worked for Force Z and Yamato.

            //Right now that ship is as vulnerable as it’s going to get. Any delays only play into Kurokawa’s hands. Raid the harbor late at night with the carriers coming behind to strike what’s left at dawn.//

            Good points. Though there’s still the problem of sneaking past Kurokawa’s entire fleet…

          6. By Lou Schirmer on

            /Good points. Though there’s still the problem of sneaking past Kurokawa’s entire fleet…/

            At night most of the fleet would be at anchor in the harbor. There would be picket patrols out though. They could be dealt with fairly easily if the Union came with everything, but they would give the alarm, but going in with the fast ships (Walker & Ellis & the MTBs) while the slower DDs & DEs dealt with the pickets would limit the time Kurokawa’s men & Grik have to prepare. Using smoke would also add to their confusion in the dark. Even if or guys get confused, they could still shoot at anything that doesn’t look like Walker, since there would only be Walker Ellis & the MTBs in harbor. With air recon they would know the lay out & basically where the main target was (Savoie). In harbor they should be in torpedo range, put a spread or two into Savoie & when sure you have her, spread the wealth to the rest of Kurokawa’s BBs & CVs while the guns shoot at available targets.
            They’ll also probably have landed a covert unit to do recon to find the hostages & critical point (radio towers, ammo dumps, fuel depots etc.). That unit would attack after the assault on the harbor starts, get the hostages, sow confusions & extract.
            As dawn comes, the carriers launch their attack.
            The will be casualties, but there is a limited window of opportunity here to be exploited. Plus Kurokawa doesn’t know Gravois sold him out to the Union yet either.

            One major hitch may come from the two neighboring islands Pemba & Mafia. Both are large in or world & probably larger there due to the lower sea level. Kurokawa would be an idiot if he didn’t put some installations on them & maybe an airstrip, some planes & naval support & we all know he’s crazy, but definitely not an idiot.

          7. By Lou Schirmer on

            OK, maybe/probably not Mafia, too far south, but probably Pemba. That might be a “Bolt Hole” he could escape to if things turned sour on Zanzibar.

          8. By Alexey Shiro on

            // I don’t think anyone from that era would even consider a concrete ship though.//

            Er… the USA build ships from reinforced cocnrete since World War I. And they were prefectly known.

            The Alliance already have concrete, if I’m not mistaken. And reinforced concrete is much more avaliable than steel. There are disadvantages also – it took a lot more labour – but for Alliance the labour was always not a problem (having millions of Lemurians who worked basically for their own survival)

          9. By donald johnson on

            As i see it the Savoi is most likely still maned. How did the league remove all of its crew after handing her over. I guess ftey could have removed them by puting them on one of the support ships but unless they did so before handing her over they would be exposed to capture by kurokawa. In this senario they would be subject to capture by ready’s forces which would be bad for the league. We must remember that there are several thousand league sailors on the Savoi.

          10. By Charles Simpson on

            The crew of Sovoie was taken aboard the tanker and Italian Destroyer Leopardo. This took place after the transfer remember the Hostages watching the changing of the flag. Unless done at sea no transfer of machine tools, or removal of fire control etc. Remember the League’s desire to take both the Union and Kurokawa out as rivals. No doubt the ships will be crowded with over 1000 extra personnel to carry.

          11. By Lou Schirmer on

            /Er… the USA build ships from reinforced cocnrete since World War I. And they were prefectly known./

            Quite true Alexey. My mistake, I should have said the USN personnel would probably not even think of them even though they had been built as an “Emergency Fleet” of cargo vessels at the end of WW1. Probably the only two who might bring them up as an option would be Courtney Bradford & maybe Alan Letts.

          12. By Alexey Shiro on

            Ah, understood.

            Well, this may be a problem. But otherwise, the reinforced concrete seems to be the best solution at least for auxilary Alliance ships – like cargo ships, transports, tankers and floating docks. It’s much more durable than wood, and significantly easier to produce than steel. I’m not sure about concrete hulls for fast ships – like destroyers, cruisers, battlecruisers & fast carriers – but I think slow battleships & large carriers could have reinforced concrete hulls.

          13. By donald johnson on

            Then I suppose that there is a slight chance that the crew may be captured on the way back to Tripoli. Only Taylor knows!

          14. By Justin on

            Let’s hope not – even stuck in a holding camp, League prisoners will probably be more of a hindrance than a help.

          15. By Logan Meyers on

            Though a predicament like that would be perfect for this series. Taking the modern cargo ship and all the prisoners would be a great conflict and boon to the allies as well. But personally I love the intrigue and political side of the books just as much as I enjoy the actual war fighting.

      3. By Charles Simpson on

        Lou Schirmer further down //Right now Savoie has just been turned over to Kurokawa.
        He has maybe a skeleton crew of Japanese. (Whatever is left after the Grik ate some 10-20% for failures against the prey, combat losses from being torpedoed & then sunk, disease, & attrition via local wild life)
        That skeleton crew hasn’t been to sea on a “modern” ship in almost two years, & would be unfamiliar with outdated French systems anyway.
        The League probably has stripped her of any useful tools & possibly the main fire controls.
        They will have to train Grik to flesh out the crew & modify some of it for their accessibility.
        (Have fun with THAT!)
        He doesn’t have Amagi’s excellent Japanese night optics anymore. If anyone does, it’s Reddy.
        A night attack in harbor would negate most of the Japanese expertise in night naval combat. They would be one an unfamiliar ship with maybe a quarter of the needed crew, in harbor, so they can’t maneuver & without good optics.

        Right now that ship is as vulnerable as it’s going to get. Any delays only play into Kurokawa’s hands. Raid the harbor late at night with the carriers coming behind to strike what’s left at dawn.//

        Another possibility is Kurokawa madly takes Sovoie out too early perhaps with other fleet elements. The volume message traffic will pinpoint the Union base is at Maa-he. This may allow the Alliance to set a night time ambush.

        Or horror of horrors Kurokawa stages a Pearl Harbor style attack on the base before the alliance knows he is coming. BITW hinted Kurokawa planned to inform the Grik of the Base and he would let them take care of it, but that was before he learnes he has a modern BB what if he comes with his army. This could be very bad for the Uw Alliance forces.

        Reply
        1. By matthieu on

          Something important: French ships were known to be “complicated for unexperienced crew”. A major component of any French unit is the “système D” (meaning système débrouillardise or systèmé démerde and it’s completely impossible to translate). The best translation that I can find is “resourcefulness method”

          It means “being able to make something work when its SNAFU and we don’t know why and we don’t have the components” or “I don’t want to know how but you need to solve this problem for yesterday”. It also means “alternative ways of procurement for unprobable things”.

          A good example would be the pink US submarine in the movie.

          Reply
    2. By Lou Schirmer on

      One thing I’ve been thinking about is the manning of the Imperial & Dominion ships of the line or “Liners”. You have them at about 450-550 men & officers each & 650-98 guns (cannons) or so. I think the manning is a bit low for them. Looking at the old manning for ships of the line & steam assisted SOTL, a first rate at 90-100 guns would have anywhere from 900-1,100 men, essentially double what you have for their manning in the books indexes. Unless I’m missing something.

      Reply
        1. By Alexey Shiro on

          Yeah, they seems to be smaller – and have a less crew – than average ship-of-the-line of early-XIX century.

          Reply
    3. By Paul Nunes on

      I just discovered that the machineguns on a Bristol Beaufort are .303 Brownings and not .303 Vickers machineguns.

      I don’t recall if this distinction is made in BITW or not.

      Reply
  26. By Justin on

    Now, the League is still tapping in on Union comms. Is it feasible to create rotary machines, or should everybody just talk in Lemurian Navajo?

    Reply
    1. Taylor AndersonsBy Taylor Andersons on

      Comm laxity has bit them on the ass. Inflexible comm discipline can do the same . . .
      Anyway, going back a bit, The Alliance did briefly go to rifle muskets–but the Allin conversions quickly took off. Little need for a long term stop-gap. And Allin Silvas are gearing up in the Empire, along with other things.
      Bolt actions . . . Okay, I presume Paul is a professional gunsmith, re his degree. I was a professional gun maker for 30+ years. Various others here know a lot about it. Amerika’s crew probably showed up with ’88s and ’98s, but obviously had examples of M-1871 bolt actions. Remember, she was an “armed merchant cruiser,” with much of her pre-war civilian crew aboard! This still happened in WW2, by the way. It’s possible some of her officers even had their personal arms. Drillings . . . who knows what. ANYWAY, the first “Service Rifle” Amerika’s people influenced was based on a M-1871 in 11mm. A good choice for simplicity and frankly, large animal stopping power. They were simplified further by eliminating the magazine, which, if you think about it, makes perfect sense. Prior to , well, early WW1, most nations encouraged (or ordered) their troops to engage the magazine cutoff and fight without their magazines. Ridiculous, of course, but true. With the early ’71s in the Republic, this manufacturing expedient not only promoted deliberate, accurate fire (as intended) but saved on initially scarce fixed ammunition. And they weren’t fighting a world war when they went to this VERY SIMPLE and easy to make bolt action. I speculate that future M-71s might incorporate magazines . . . Finally, though Krags require a lot of machining, ’98 Mausers (and infinitely superior–if Mauswer inspired–’03 Springfeilds) :) do not. Everybody is intimidated by those recesses for the locking lugs at the front of the receiver, from a machining standpoint, but the are NOT “blind” cuts–when the barrel is not installed. They are right there at the end of the “pipe.” The biggest problem with any bolt action is not the ability to make it, it is the quality of materials and heat treating tech (for high pressure smokeless loads)–that even the Alliance SEEMS to have conquered at last, with the deployment of M-1919s. (M-1871s could be case-hardened iron, since they use black powder). ANYWAY, the biggest holdup re fielding Allied BAs has been manufacturing capacity, and a perception that the Allin Silva was still “good enough.” It IS as good as a single shot M-1871. Actually quicker to load and more lethal, if not as “flat shooting” with its .50-80 compared to the 11mm.
      This is the context explanation, but don’t sell the single-shots TOO short, even in a possible early confrontation with League troops–possibly armed with some variation of ’98s to some degree. US troops in Cuba had some Krags and a few ’95 Winchesters, but possibly most (all “state” troops) had “trapdoor” Springfields–essentially improved Allin Silvas. They were outclassed and knew it, but the US was becoming obsessed with accurate fire to a degree they had never been before, and would never be again after WW1. I have to think that made a difference. The BIGGEST difference was the defeat of the Spanish fleet, of course, and the realization that further resistance was pointless, but on paper, the Spanish troops had all the advantages. Better small arms, better artillery, and a far better position. Just sayin’ that things don’t always go as expected “on paper.” And who knows? It might be years (if ever) before Allied troops have to match themselves against the League.

      Reply
      1. By Paul Nunes on

        Somebody say… Mauser C96? I didn’t go into gunsmithing after completing the course. I went back into construction, the money is better and the frustrations a lot less. :)

        Springfield was successfully sued in court by Mauser for copyright infringement.

        That three lug action of the Mauser is going to be the toughest rifle action that the Alliance can field… I see them being chambered for 9x63R which will make a hard hitting rifle cartridge….. A German domestic hunting cartridge.. the longer Magnum Mauser action raises the potential to .416 Rigby cartridges which is intended for African big game like Cape Buffalo.

        Once someone gets the idea (Silva?) to machine a extra long Magnum Mauser action….. then you have rifles in .50 Browning Machine Gun for all those irritating oversized iguanas always trying to bite somebody.

        Drillings…. I love those. Krieghoff designs and guns are absolute works of art with the price tags to go with them.

        So if Amerika came through into WW2…. There is other WaffenFabrik goods aboard or were…. Flugabwehrkanone 30?

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2_cm_Flak_30/38/Flakvierling

        Granatwerfer 5cm?
        http://www.lonesentry.com/articles/ltmortar/index.html

        and the ZB 26? A Czech design adopted by Germany, Which was copied by the British as Bren and the Japanese as the Type 96.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZB_vz._26

        and of course the iconic Stiehlhandgranat….. that friction igniter fuse is easy to make.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Model_24_grenade

        Reply
      2. By Paul Nunes on

        I am now picturing Republic Roman Legionaries with large Fasces (shields) with a notch cut out on the right side to balance a rifle forestock on…. firing from behind a wall of shields and throwing Stiehlhandgrants when Grik advance to close.

        Cool.

        Reply
        1. By Alexey Shrio on

          Against modern-type Grik army it would work… for five minutes. Then Grik artillery would smash the shield wall with shells and cannisters.

          The shield wall worked for Alliance as long as they faced only old-type Uul warriors. New-type Uul warriors with firearms could comprehend this type of tactics pretty easily.

          Reply
          1. By Alexey Shiro on

            Well, against modern-type Grik army it would work… for five minutes. Then Grik artillery would smash the shield wall with shells and cannisters.

            The shield wall worked for Alliance as long as they faced only old-type Uul warriors. New-type Uul warriors with firearms could comprehend this type of tactics pretty easily.

        2. By Generalstarwars333 on

          I think the term for the shields used by roman legionnaires is “Scutum”…

          Reply
          1. By Paul Nunes on

            Your right.. Fasces with that small axe and rod bundle. My mistake, I own that one.

      3. By Generalstarwars333 on

        Yeah. I read about krags, and they’re complicated AF. It’s like a whole cylinder thing… Springfields are almost certainly a lot simpler.

        Reply
      4. By Charles Simpson on

        The troops of the Republic are armed with single shot bolt action rifles, Maxium Machieguns, and French 75mm clones. The Prussian needle gun was the first bolt action rifle and was a single shot winnin a war with Austia/Hungry, and France.

        A shield would give up the the advantage of prone firing that breach-loaders opened, and they are also easier to load than muzzleloaders on horseback The republic has horse mounted troops as seen in the Epilogue of Firestorm.

        Reply
        1. By Paul Nunes on

          Dreyse…. That is the original bolt. A variation of pin fires…. the needle would pierce the paper cartridge and strike the priming material that was at the base of the bullet…. The needle was weakened by the heat and would fail regularly leaving a soldier with a non functional gun.

          It was however transformative because the other side did not have a breech loader and was on the receiving end of five aimed shots for every one of their own.

          I am just looking at ways that make something like Roman Legionaries unique… and one is retaining shields and forming in mass to fire volleys.

          Reply
          1. Taylor AndersonsBy Taylor Andersons on

            Against JUST muskets, and depending on the construction of the shield, it might work–even has, to a degree, in the series. Big soft lead musket balls can blow through a lot of flesh and bone on “thin skinned” creatures. “Thick skinned,” not so much. Like any soft lead projectile (or point, on high performance modern projectiles) they tend to overperform on thick, dense, or hard surfaces. Angle that surface–give it a glacis–and penetration is further reduced. Eventually, as happened in the story, the shields were beaten apart, or balls struck where they had before and punched through. This was, of course, not in the face of heavy roundshot–or exploding case. And such shields are heavy and reduce troop mobility.
            Of note here, and something you never see on TV with sparkly misses striking all around the hero, bullets–even FMJ–tend to splatter on impact with hard surfaces, sending a cloud of shards in all directions. And they make lots of secondary projectiles of stones, splinters, paint chips . . . Don’t forget, that’s how Silva lost his eye. The point is, you don’t have to get shot directly to get torn up by the bullet.
            And, as stated numerous times in the past, velocity is not always the friend of penetration. One of the most awesome military small arms ever fielded, in terms of its capacity to inflict damage, is the venerable .69 cal 1842 Springfield (1847 rifled variant.) This weapon fired a 750 grn soft lead minie. Probably the closest thing to Silva’s Doom Whomper ever placed in the hands of US troops. Granted, it also had the greatest “free recoil” of any US issue arm as well, but even with a meager 70 grn service charge, my personal example is not brutal to shoot, due to its weight, and will stay on the torso of a man-size silhouette at 300 yards. It will also shoot completely through a 600 lb feral hog (that blew my mind, since it was a boar and they are NOT “thin skinned”). Finally, when the target stapler croaked and we hung it on the backstop and shot it, it mangled the stapler–and snatched it THROUGH a sheet of 1/2 inch plywood. Substitute a musket lock or belt buckle for that stapler and put it in front of a man and imagine the resultant wound. The standard .58 caliber minie of the ACW was “only” about 525 grns, but was capable of similar feats. For perspective, a .58 caliber ball only weighs about 280 grns. Most will run it faster, to flatten the trajectory, but then overperformance, underpenetration–even deflection on the hard skull of a large, dangerous animal–at close range is a risk. Sorry for the tangent–(oops)–but you got me thinking about shields again, and all the things that made them effective–and then not so, in previous books.

          2. By Paul Nunes on

            Consider a “Mantlet” before this was used to describe the armor around a gun barrel where this exited the turret of a tank.

            The Mantlet was a LARGE portable shield… On wheels or with legs. These were emplaced to protect sappers as they extended trenches or archers and crossbowmen harassing enemy troops…… Wicker with hides or thin bronze plate in the Roman era…..

            The Japanese employed much the same thing in seige and positional warfare in their medieval period.

          3. By Justin on

            Right, but mantlets don’t work too well past the Medieval period, and would be easily overrun by a Grik charge.
            Besides, the Romans’ shtick wasn’t their shields, it was the iron discipline behind it.

            Adaptability, too. Carthage has a better navy? Copy their ships. Gallic swords have better reach? Well, copy the swords too.
            Phalanx keeps getting flanked? Fight in maniples instead.
            Vulnerable on the march? Carry the fort with you.
            They’ve got too many archers? Form a testudo, or maybe a hollow square.

            So when they hear there’s a new kind of weapon that makes shields near-obsolete? “Eh, the damn things were too heavy anyway…”

          4. By Paul Nunes on

            Thanks… I disagree.

            One thing that makes a story interesting is the variety of the characters and their differences……

            You seem intent on making it all Ship#1, Ship#2, Sailor#4, NotHuman#6, DifferentNotHuman#3……….

            What is the point of adding 10th Century Roman Legionaires, already an alternate history, if the intent is to use nothing about them that makes them Roman?

            I fully expect Roman Legions within the Republic in Lorica Segmentum carrying Scutum, Pilum, Pugio, and a Gladius (which is Iberian not Gallic)…. Why? Not for any practical reason, but that it makes the story more interesting.

            I know you like to reply to each post…. Tells why you think it sucks or it will fail… I know you like to enforce what you see as the story canon.

            You forget one thing……

            This is entertainment.

          5. By Lou Schirmer on

            Actually, a gun cart with an actual steel shield, carrying a .30 cal BMG might be just the thing for a Marine strike force making quick harbor raids, or rapid response to a section of line that’s being pushed back.
            A .30 cal BMG is heavy & hard to be mobile with, but on a light gun cart a crew of 4 cats could move one quickly to where it’s needed, setup & be firing within seconds of arriving since the MG would fire from the cart behind it’s shield & the cart would also hold enough ready ammo to hold for a short while until resupplied.
            Just the thing for those pesky “about to be overrun” moments.

          6. By Charles Simpson on

            Taylor has done very good in turning non human “critter” characters into “people” Generals Halik, Esshk, and the Chooser of the Grik; and Keje, Lelaa-Tal-Clearaan, Chak-Sab-At Bekeia-Sab-At, Sergeant Koritan, and Blas-Maa-Ar are examples of some of the more developed Lemurian Characters.

            On shields with out them you cannot form a Shield wall if the Grik Charge. The alliance lacks the firepower advantage to take a Grik charge without a shield wall Remember what happened to the Imperial Marines at Singapore in Distant Thunders. Therefore I change my mind. If I was Bekia I would keep the shields if they have them. Note a bayoneted rifle (spear analog)
            is not as effective as the Roman gladius (Roman short sword also called the gladius Hispanlos, Spanish sword.) Bayoneted ifles have lots of projections to catch on the edges of a shield.

            I like the idea of the armored cart perhaps also mortars to give some local artillery early in the fight landing on a hostile beach?

          7. By Justin on

            If I’ve offended you, I’m sorry. I like to reply to things that I strongly agree with, and to things that I don’t. Just the same as everybody on this board, as you might find on previous pages; contrary to what you may or may not think, you and I aren’t the only ones who’ve gotten animated.
            That said, feel free to correct or flat-out ignore any of us at any time – or to tell us if we’ve gone too far. Passive-aggressive sniping doesn’t achieve anything.

            Back to the conversation: Massed formations, possibly. And Lou has a good point in that scuta may live on as MG carts. But actual shield formations and pila charges, today?
            The Romans already had problems with overwhelming numbers and missile fire even before the Transition – against the Grik masses, understrength, in a foreign land without their famous supply lines and manpower reserve, it’d be even worse.

            So they’d probably adapt to conventional gunpowder tactics pretty fast. It makes no sense for Ancient Chinese AND Romans, two highly pragmatic peoples, to stick to outdated methods for the sake of tradition or creative theming.
            Same reason the Lemurians don’t still fight with crossbows and sail-powered Homes, even though it would be “cooler.”

            The Republic’s got bolt-action rifles, mounted infatry, and hundreds of years of lessons against barbarians (and now the Grik). They’re the most advanced nation, and yet still willing to adapt – having them get licked through outdated tactics and arrogance like the Imperials would be less entertaining, not more.

            And there’s other ways of showing a culture’s uniqueness – for example, the Imperials may be using Allin-Silvas now, but they still charge to the sound of bagpipes!
            The Republic’s CSMs may be called Centurions, or they may still signal via cornu horns.

          8. By Lou Schirmer on

            If you have a shield, rifle & bayonette, when they close, unass the bayonette, & sling the rifle. A bayonette with an 18″ blade would work about the same as a Gladius behind a shield.

          9. By Lou Schirmer on

            The Legions in the Republic may use the whole armor, shield pila & Gladius for ceremonial formations & maybe even some of it for field use, but definitely not the pila. Why carry a throwing spear when you have high powered rifles. Bayonets can substitute for Gladia. A combination of shield & some sort of updated armor would help when closing with the Grik massed charges though. Might keep them from being ripped up too badly by swords, teeth & claws.

          10. By Charles Simpson on

            One thing to remember the Republic has faced the old style Grik army, not the modern ordered ranks, thus the shield may have survived and possibly the Gladius the primary weapon in the shield wall of the Roman legion. Other than Halik in India the first alliance contact with the new army was Chack et-all in BITW.

            If the Romans kept the legion it was structured thus: 80 men in ten tents (messes called a decurie under command of a decurion) under a centurion (American army equivlant a Company under a captain. The centurion had a second in command called an Optio (lst LT) two centuries made a Mandible three Mandibles made a Cohort, and ten Cohorts made a Legion 4,800 fighting men. There were some 20 noncombatants per century thus 1,200 noncombatants for a total of 6,000 men book strength, Non combatatents cooked and set up the tent carried on a mule. As a wild assed guess I’d guess the Republic has four legions and probably some cavalry and artillary units, and each century a couple heavy weapons decuries and eight decuries of infantry.

            Rather or not the Republic’s army resembles the Roman army is up to Taylor.

          11. By Lou Schirmer on

            One thing has occurred to me. If the Grik have faced the Republic in combat, they know about high powered rifles, machine guns & artillery. We all know now how adaptable they are, which begs the question.

            Why didn’t they have these weapons themselves after fighting the Republic off & on for decades? They adapted to the Alliance rifles fast enough. Granted, they don’t really have much of a tech base, but they should have at least been able to come up with a rifled musket & a better cannon after all that time.

          12. By Justin on

            Well, the Zulu War proved that it’s possible to hold off a massed charge with only 3-4 ranks of trained riflemen – though I guess the scuta could be brought out in an emergency.

            //Why didn’t they have these weapons themselves after fighting the Republic off & on for decades? They adapted to the Alliance rifles fast enough.//

            That… is an excellent question.
            Either the Republic left no survivors, or they somehow managed to not lose any weapons, or the Grik just gave up and marked South Africa with a DO NOT ENTER sign. None of the above seem likely.

          13. By Charles Simpson on

            Lou there have been only a few border skirmishes and I doubt artillery was involved, rifles perhaps. Kurokawa introduced the matchlock musket and cannon to the Grik after the Destroyermen introduced these things to the Lemurians. Remember the hint in BITW that the troops for the southern attack on Madagascar came from the armies in the south.

            The alliance goals should in my humble opinion be:

            1) Neutralize Kurokawa to prevent his interdicting Alliance sea supply, and rescue the hostages. Ideal would be to lose Kurokawa and have the Japanese/Grik negotiate a cease fire with the Alliance, perhaps remove to Persia to join Halik.

            2) Take and hold a seaport close to the Republic to allow direct communication, trade etc. At the same time draw Grik troops to the south 😉

            3) Then hit and take Sofesshk killing as many Grik troops as possible. Only if the swarm is destroyed witll the Grik realize they are beaten and ma a peace be forged. Perhaps bring in Halick as a go between.

          14. By Lou Schirmer on

            I agree on #1, #2 also as a near to medium term project. #2 would probably have to be done with Republic troops as the Union troops will be hard pressed hanging onto Madagascar with what Esshk has planned. #3 will probably be down the road some time. The navy & aviation contingents are going to have to be built back up after the beating they’ve taken & are about to take assaulting Kurokawa, before being able to support an invasion of the mainland. If Esshk succeeds in getting troops onto Madagascar, the army will need to be rebuilt also…if they hold.
            Our dearly beloved author has hinted at disasters of some sort in store for us. There may be some setbacks before any future endeavors come about. ;(

          15. By Steve White on

            On Lou Schirmer’s note on gun carts: I would see these as indispensable, and used for much more than hauling a .30 cal BMG around — though very useful for that!

            The cart is simply a 2 wheeled, wooden cart with a leg that can come down front or back. Gun can be operated from the cart and there’s a little room for ready ammo. There are handles on either side, in front of and behind the wheel. Four personnel grab and the handles and haul, keeping their other hand free for personal weapons, etc. Alternately you can have a paalka pull it. The wheels are wood with spokes but have bronze rims (steel is needed elsewhere and bronze is fine). The axle has good bearings so the cart rolls easily. Perhaps it would even have springs.

            Why am I keen on the cart?

            It’s an ambulance cart. You get wounded personnel off the field quickly.
            It’s a field medical cart with supplies for the medics.
            It’s a machine gun cart.
            It’s a supply cart.
            It’s a food cart.
            It’s a water cart.
            It’s a pack cart.
            It’s a radio cart. Just put up the aerial and start talking.
            It’s a command cart with the maps and materials the CO needs.

            Just a thought.

          16. By Justin on

            Motion thirded. There’s no mechanized carrier in the Union’s near future, but a “combat wheelbarrow” would do the job well enough.

          17. By Paul Nunes on

            The Alliance in every engagement wherever possible fights from behind fixed and fortified defenses. The exceptions being Aryaal and Flynn’s lake.

            The shield is still relevant to the Republic because they are not fighting the modernized Grik army. They have the old Uul coming at them in the same old way.

            That the Grik have tried to invade the Republic and lost without a knowledge of rifles, cannon, artillery, or other equipment is logic hole.

            I can only offer that the Republic killed the Grik invaders in total and sent back only a Hij camp follower with an ultimatum.

            Roman Auxilia included light and heavy cavalry, and Chinese armies employed Mongol cavalry to protect their flanks, harrass the enemy, and run down routing units. I look forward to seeing some mounted lancers in pursuit.

          18. By Alexey Shiro on

            //The shield is still relevant to the Republic because they are not fighting the modernized Grik army. They have the old Uul coming at them in the same old way. //

            Problem is, that Griks used artillery before even with their old-type troopers. Basically all they need to do – is to supplement the old-type army with some field guns, to turn shield wall into the deathtrap.

            And again: for what possible reason the Republic may need shield walls?

            They have shrapnel! Shrapnel is stunningly effective in destroying massed infantry. A battery of 3-inch guns, firing shrapnel, would devastate any Uul formation long before they reach even firearms range.

          19. By Alexey Shiro on

            //I can only offer that the Republic killed the Grik invaders in total and sent back only a Hij camp follower with an ultimatum. //

            As far as it was established, Griks weren’t ever interested in Republic territory because of climate conditions. So all contact the Republic have was, possibly, only with Grik settlers on the frontier.

          20. By Justin on

            //Roman Auxilia included light and heavy cavalry, and Chinese armies employed Mongol cavalry to protect their flanks, harrass the enemy, and run down routing units. I look forward to seeing some mounted lancers in pursuit.//

            Makes sense. And we’ve already seen a horse patrol at the end of Firestorm.

            Though given that one scene plus the Republic’s tech level, I’d guess that most of their cavalry looks more like Custer’s than Ney’s.

          21. By Paul Nunes on

            The Roman Legionaries shield, unlike Auxilia (spears, Cavalry, Archers, Siege weapons) has a curve across the front. A flat shield in the melee when shields are pressed together can let an opponent hook an edge with an axe or barbed spear. If the bearer pivots even slightly to one side or another the shield wall can have gaps with a flat shield. The curved shield and its round boss in the center allows the shield to be pulled in tightly and shields interlocked better.

            I expect the Republic Legions to be carrying shields and gladius; while wearing lorica segmentum and chainmail. I still expect that the average Legionnaire is carry a M1871 Mauser in 11mm too with 40 or 60 cartridges. I still feel there is room in his kit for the pugio, a light pilum, plubata, and caltrops……… Marius’s Mule carried a lot of equipment.

            Saying that. Surely the Legion has done experiments of their own lining shields up and firing into them. The Republic knows when and where to utilized them, and the Republic hasn’t gone up against musket bearing Grik or the new maturer two year olds …. those wear trained on Madagascar and used in India.

            I look forward to a Han or Chin dynasty warrior fused with a Roman Legionnaire that will make some interesting reading.

            Saying this governments and armies are notoriously bad at training and equipping themselves for the last war they fought and not a future one. I point out the Scots Highlanders that marched with shouldered rifles to the sound of bagpipes at dawn straight into massed german machineguns in 1914.

            The Republic Generals have only experienced the Old Grik with catapults and crossbows for missile weapons. Aware of the advancements made by the Grik through Alliance correspondence the response remains to how the Republic Generals respond to the information. Will they reequip and retrain or expect that the old way has always worked? Me. Betting on Old Generals…… I expect them to do little if anything to change until forced by a shocking defeat.

          22. By Paul Nunes on

            Damn it….. that should read.

            //That the Grik have tried to invade the Republic and lost without a knowledge of rifles, cannon, artillery, or other equipment is logic hole. //

            A logic hole (plot hole) not like I tried to phonetically spell, logical.

          23. By Paul Nunes on

            Lou Schirmer wrote ////Actually, a gun cart with an actual steel shield, carrying a .30 cal BMG might be just the thing for a Marine strike force making quick harbor raids, or rapid response to a section of line that’s being pushed back.
            A .30 cal BMG is heavy & hard to be mobile with, but on a light gun cart a crew of 4 cats could move one quickly to where it’s needed, setup & be firing within seconds of arriving since the MG would fire from the cart behind it’s shield & the cart would also hold enough ready ammo to hold for a short while until resupplied.
            Just the thing for those pesky “about to be overrun” moments. ///

            Plenty of real world precedence for that.

            https://uswarhorse.wordpress.com/weapons/the-model-1904-maxim-machine-gun-30-caliber/

            One of my uncles was drafted into the Cavalry for WW2 and his unit went to the Phillipines.

          24. By Justin on

            //I look forward to a Han or Chin dynasty warrior fused with a Roman Legionnaire that will make some interesting reading. //

            Remember that these are tenth century Romans. The Empire may still exist in that world, but the Legions would still be adapting to their new enemies like they did in OTL. So even before crossing over, conventional legionaries are already being replaced with limitanei (light infantry) and shock cavalry wearing lorica hamata (chainmail), similar to the Normans and Byzantines. Segmentata was abandoned halfway through the 3rd century.

            //Saying that. Surely the Legion has done experiments of their own lining shields up and firing into them.//

            So has the Union, back when it was the Alliance – right up to the concave shields. You’ll notice that shield walls were used in the early Grik campaigns and the Battle of New Britain, then (as the Allin-Silva was introduced) slowly phased out in the recent books. The Republic has more than likely done the same – they’ve had a thousand years for it.

            //I expect the Republic Legions to be carrying shields and gladius; while wearing lorica segmentum and chainmail. I still expect that the average Legionnaire is carry a M1871 Mauser in 11mm too with 40 or 60 cartridges. I still feel there is room in his kit for the pugio, a light pilum, plubata, and caltrops……… Marius’s Mule carried a lot of equipment. //

            Why would they need pila or plumbata (or even chainmail) when they have Mausers? Better to save that iron stamina – assuming standards haven’t slipped over the centuries – for better marching speed, mobility, and/or more gear. 19th century weapons demand 19th century tactics – or at least 16th, if the generals are particularly stubborn.

            //What is the point of adding 10th Century Roman Legionaires, already an alternate history, if the intent is to use nothing about them that makes them Roman?//

            A) We’re assuming that they’re Legionaries. They could be knights (again, they came from the 10th century) or traders, or whatever.

            B) Gunpowder has a nasty habit of doing that. Before the arquebus, you have legions, horse archers, hoplites, chariots, war elephants, Vikings, knights, samurai, impi, you name it.
            After the arquebus, there’s only pike, shot or horse. After the musket-rifle, everyone’s a rifleman, even the cavalry.

            It’s that or get annihilated; likewise, expect the Romans and Chinese to keep their culture, but evolve militarily. The French are no longer bare-chested Gauls, after all.

          25. By Alexey Shiro on

            // I point out the Scots Highlanders that marched with shouldered rifles to the sound of bagpipes at dawn straight into massed german machineguns in 1914. //

            Er, they weren’t that conservative. They just overestimated the effect of artillery fire – their commanders estimated, that the artillery would crush organized resistance and troops, marching in close ranks would drew Germans avay.

            //I expect the Republic Legions to be carrying shields and gladius; while wearing lorica segmentum and chainmail. //

            Shields are heavy. And, for what possible reasons they might carry shields, when they have early XX-century military experience from SMS “Amerika”?! They already knew that shields are outdated.

            Don’t underestimate the hypnotizing effect of “future knowlege”. In human history, less developed civilizations initially tended to view everything coming from more advanced civilizations as “automatically right”.

            And let’s not forget, the Republic have contact not only with Griks. They also have (limited) contact with Dominion. So, they perfectly knew, how useless their shield walls against artillery.

          26. By Charles Simpson on

            What little information we have on Republic-Grik encounters has been skirmishes over two centuries. If the Republic faced a Grik berserk charge the value of a shield wall and hollow square would be known. Grik muskets and cannon have been fielded only two years and may not have been seen by the Republic. Bekia-Sab-At has experience with them on Flynn’s hill and the trenches around Flynn’s lake and has been retained as an expert on fighting the Grik. There is some indication she has met some hide bound resistance. We will learn more about the Republic in the next books. It is possible the next book will not move us forward but follow Greg Garrett TF Garrett and Bekia’s time in the Republic that was not covered in Blood in the Water.

            Unless Kurokawa jumps the gun and attacks Mahe I don’t see alliance action prior to November after Walker and James Ellis and the other ships are repaired. Keeping us in suspense on the hostages final fate one more book. Could Taylor be that cruel? Only time will tell.

          27. By Alexey Shiro on

            Hm.

            //What little information we have on Republic-Grik encounters has been skirmishes over two centuries. //

            We didn’t knew for sure the scale of said skrimishes. It may be attempted raids of local Grik regencies, with limited number of Uul troops. Or, it may be just the classic frontier war; Grik settlers steal chikens from Republican settlers, Republican settlers steal chikens from Grik settlers, and both sides shoot each other from bushes.

            // If the Republic faced a Grik berserk charge the value of a shield wall and hollow square would be known. //

            Unless the Republic already have powder. Let’s not forget; they have boers. Boers knew about firearms for sure – and skrimisher riflemens & mounted riflemens are a lot better troops for border patrols than roman-type infantry.

            //Grik muskets and cannon have been fielded only two years and may not have been seen by the Republic. //

            They have contact with Dom’s also. So, they clearly understood that some of their opponents have firearms.

            //Unless Kurokawa jumps the gun and attacks Mahe I don’t see alliance action prior to November after Walker and James Ellis and the other ships are repaired. //

            They also need more ships & planes to do any advance. Currently they have:

            – Two carriers with incomplete wings
            – One ironclad battleship
            – One armed merchant cruiser
            – Two destroyers
            – Some PT boats

            All their frigates have no military value anymore. So, they clearly haven’t got blue-water navy, capable of going after Kurokawa. And they have Madagascar to defend – and Grik Empire clearly would be able to send still-significant navy (probably as many as dozen of “Arata Amagi”-class and about fifty of “Azuma”-class ironclads) to attack the island.

    2. By donald johnson on

      Lemuran would not work but possibly the lizard language of the islands would work or the lizard/human of the borneo tribes.

      Reply
      1. By Charles Simpson on

        Very good Khnoshi might become the Navajo of the Union, Khonoshi Code Talkers. Actuall Lemurian could continue in use as the League has abandoned the field and Kurokawa’s people do not know the language. However Kurokawa has Lemurian prisoners to teach the language, this is complicated by the fact I expect action against Kurokawa within a month of TF Alden’s battle not enough time to train Japanese code talk translators.

        Note Navajo Code talkers had to invent other uses for Navajo language for non English words for things like Turtle for Tank. Other tribes like the Shoshoni provided code talkers, although the Navajo were the most numerous and famous.

        Reply
        1. By Paul Nunes on

          Guayakal (Incan) …. Nobody in the League, the Grik, or Kurokawas Japanese is going to know anything about this Pre-Columbian native language.

          Reply
          1. By Alexey Shrio on

            Problem is, that Dominion would probably knew a lot.

      2. By Paul Nunes on

        Actually simplest is a cultural exchange.. Use the Guayakal (Incans) in the West, and the Khonashi / Saar’ans.. In the East….

        Reply
  27. By Alexey Shiro on

    Hm. I think, this idea might be already outdated a bit, but I’d like to present a “something to do about Kurokawa” plan.

    The idea: the Alliance currently have quite a lot of captured&salvageable “Arata Amagi”-class battleships. As warships on most frontlines they are clearly outdated (still, they migh be useful on Eastern theater against Dom’s). They clearly aren’t able to stand against “Savioe”, much less League navy.

    But there are a lot of them. And they are big, imposing and quite durable.

    So: what about using them as decoys?

    Let’s take 8-10 of “Arata Amagi”-class. Provide them with some compartmentalization (just a watertight cofferdam). Refit their boilers to run on oil. Install the primitive radio-control system – nothing really fancy, just simple relay that would control rudder – and let them loose toward enemy.

    The idea is, that enemy – generally Kurokawa – would consider those battleships as combat-capable units. So, he would probably start to pound them with planes (thus opening the window of opportunity for Alliance fighters) and long-range guns (thus depleting the ammunition). But the main thing, the attention of Kurokawa could be diverted for a long time. His main flaw (as strategist) that he is generally single-minded, aimed toward single target. Well, let’s give him that target – aim imposing enough to make it looks valuable, durable enough to catch his attention for a long time. Which would allow the other Alliance forces to strike before Kurokawa would understood the situation…

    Reply
    1. By Charles Simpson on

      The alliance has one Grik BB ship converted and needed as a troop ship, all other Grik BBs are sunk thus not available for conversion.

      My own guess is a night torpedo attack, the Lemurians see better tin the dark than either Humans or Grik. Walker and James Ellis are available along with a squdron of MTBs. Remove Sovoie and Kurokawa’s carriers and he has no effective offensive punch left, and like a kid with a new toy it is likely if you take out Sovoie you take out Kurokawa. With Kurokawa gone I think General of the Sky Muriname will be open to a ceasefire. I think remote controlled aircraft and ships is currently beyond Alliance capabilities for now.

      Reply
      1. By Alexey Shiro on

        Without the support of heavier ships, the night torpedo attacks are doomed to fail. Especially against Kurokawa. As I mentioned before several times: he is Japanese battlecruiser commander! He knew EVERYTHING about nighttime combat of pre-radar era!

        If Alliance would try to attack Kurokawa’s navy at night, the results would be generally the mirror one to the usual Alliance-Grik combat. This time it would be Lemurians whou would panik and run in circles in confusion and Griks, who would act smartly and competent.

        // I think remote controlled aircraft and ships is currently beyond Alliance capabilities for now.//

        No, clearly not. As you mentioned above, they already have vacuum tubes)

        Basically they need crystal reciever, vacuum tube to amplify the signal, control relay and simple three-position selector. First position – zero (rudder strait), second position – one (rudder port), third position – two (rudder starboard). Basically the cog wheel with clock hairspring, which connect the power sources with several contact brushes of servo relays.

        If you want to turn ship right, you send just one short signal (a dot). The amplified signal would activate control relay once and cog wheel would rotate one position forward – connecting the power source with the “rudder port” servo relay. To turn ship left, you would need to send two signals (two dots), so the control relay would act twice and cog wheel would rotate two position forward – connecting the power source with the “rudder starboard” servo relay. To place rudder into the neutral position, you need to send enough dots, so the cog wheel would make a full rotation and go to initial (zero) position.

        The simplest possible control system, probably perfectly known to all Destroyermen electricians. After all, even onboard “Wickes”-class there were some automatic selectors in internal communication systems.

        Reply
      2. By Lou Schirmer on

        True Kurokawa has a lot of training in night fighting, but if done right Reddy could negate much of his advantages.

        1. He no longer has the excellent optics from Amagi. Only a lunatic would carry a 10-25 pound set of binoculars off a sinking ship in enemy waters full of flasher fish.
        2. If you attack him in harbor, you negate his ability to maneuver.
        3. He has star shells, yes, but so does the Union & in the confines of a harbor, you’re lighting everything up.
        4. He probably has only a skeleton crew of humans available for the ship & they are currently unfamiliar with her systems. I say skeleton as in a few hundred men. The Grik ate probably 10-20% of his crew for failures against the Prey & presumably he lost a few more when she was torpedoed, in battle & when sunk. Plus many are now dedicated to other tasks (aircraft, design & construction etc.). Then let’s not forget sickness, suicide, losses to wildlife etc.
        5. If you go in with smoke, you limit his visibility even more & a close range engagement against a non maneuvering BB is what MTBs & DDs dream of.
        6. He will have patrols out as Alexey has pointed out in a previous post, but they can be dealt with by the frigates & DEs & when they’re cleared the DDs & MTBs go in behind smoke. Check with the Sky Priests to make sure of the wind first. They will have given a warning, but it will take a while for the ships in harbor to get to battle stations & raise steam. Especially on the older ships with limited electricity for lighting.
        7. Kurokawa probably won’t be on the ship at night unless he is expecting an attack. His air patrols will probably be able to spot the Union fleet approaching, so make the approach seem as if it will arrive sometime around noon the next day, then after dark the faster ships range ahead of the carrier air cover to get to the harbor, hopefully well before dawn to make their attack.
        8. If I was them, I’d have captured a Grik supply ship (they have to have them, Zanzibar doesn’t have the resources for all their buildup), & use it to land a covert attack force a few days ahead of the naval assault. The force would recon to find out where the prisoners & critical area were & attack AFTER the main naval attack had been going on for a half hour or so.
        9. The carrier would also speed up so as to be in range to launch air strikes to hit just after dawn.

        This may or may not get Kurokawa, he is a slippery one after all, but it should be able to deal with the Savoie & deal a crippling blow to Kurokawa’s Zanzibar operation. They wouldn’t be able to take & hold it though, since there is too much going on farther south with Esshk & company. They’d have to pull out almost immediately & head back south.

        Reply
        1. By Lou Schirmer on

          Hopefully they do recon flights over the neighboring islands of Pemba & Mafia as well as Zanzibar. If I was Kurikawa, I’d have auxiliary air fields & naval assets on them as well, to provide a greater scouting, training & military buffer zone.
          If they attack without taking them into account, it may come as a rude shock when they make their presence known.

          Reply
      3. By Lou Schirmer on

        Also Lemurians & their humans do have night fighting experience, so all would not necessarily be confusion. I refer to the torpedo attacks made by Walker & Mahan against the Grik BBs (commanded by Kurokawa I might add) when they abandoned India & also the attack on the harbor at Grik City on Madagascar.

        Reply
      4. By Lou Schirmer on

        Further, the time to hit them is immediately, before he has time to fully main the ship & train a crew of mixed Grik & humans. That’s going to be a fun chore in itself. Plus he has to deal with the probability, as you pointed out, that the League may have pulled all the tools & possibly critical fire control equipment off the ship before turning it over. As it sits, the ship is only a semi-operational target right now as opposed to a very dangerous weapon in say 6 months.

        Also the Japanese, while very well trained at night naval combat, were not immune to confusion & mistakes in their battles. While they had successes at Guadal Canal, they also had repeated defeats in night operations also. It’s coming to light lately that even the USS Houston gave them a very good fight against overwhelming odds at the beginning of the war & the Japanese sank or damaged several of their own ships during the action with torpedoes & gunfire. The Japanese could not believe they were only fighting two damaged ships. In night combat, after the initial stages, confusion reigns supreme & Murphy runs rampant.

        Reply
      5. By Charles Simpson on

        OK I still think a Grik City style attack will catch Kurokawa with his pants down. I modified the Map from BITW showing the bases.

        http://destroyermen.wikia.com/wiki/File:Map_modified_BITW_South_Africa_%26_Madagascar.png

        The map showing airfields and anchorages. Note red lines around them at 100, 200, 300, & 400 miles from the base. Most aircraft can go 200 miles and return, and 400 miles one way. Note Grik Zeps and PB-5Ds have a longer range. It is hinted Japanese aircraft have shorter legs than allied craft thus about 50 miles shorter or 150 mile range and return or 300 miles one way as a wild assed guess. Useful in planning the speculated campaign of the books following BITW.

        As to Japanese patrol aircraft only a few have radios, so take them out and you blind the enemy and he is not sure if loss is war related or pilot or mechanical error. There are very few Japanese pilots thus few possible scout planes with radios.

        Reply
        1. By Lou Schirmer on

          They’d definitely have to do some recon before any attack. There’s 2 modern anchorages there, but with the sea level drop, they might be elsewhere as the sea around the island is all fairly shallow.
          Then there’s Pemba & Mafia islands to consider. They are both large & close by & may have backup facilities & airfields for patrolling.
          His Zeppelins will have a longer range than his planes, but the Union air patrols should be able to get them before they get too much info on any attacking force. At least during the day. They’d be hard to hit at night & they’d loose the aircrew doing it. Aircrew they’ll need for the attack.

          Reply
        2. By Lou Schirmer on

          Actually, if you HAD to fly your guys at night, you could do what the US carriers did after the Marianas Turkey Shoot, turn on landing lights for your crews. Risky, but Kurokawa doesn’t have any subs to attack lit up ships & it would only be temporary. Dowse the lights when the crews are aboard. It would at least give them a chance.

          Reply
          1. By Charles Simpson on

            Given three recon PB-5Ds and giving two to keep an eye on the Grik they have one recon bird. Some system to allow them to get higher than Japanese aircraft will be needed for survivable recon. It is possible a PB-5D may be built and flown into theater in the time it takes to fix Walker and Ellis giving two recon birds. See modern map of Zanzibar:

            http://destroyermen.wikia.com/wiki/File:Map_of_Zanzibar.png

            Note location of Menal and Kiwani Bays at the South west of the island of Zanzibar. They are noted as the fleet anchorages in the books, the small islands surrounding Menal Bay may be joined and joined to the main island due to lower sea levels. There may be more air fields and anchorages and it is possible more islands than Zanzibar were given to Kurokawa, however I doubt it, and they are not mentioned in the books.

          2. By Alexey Shrio on

            // Risky, but Kurokawa doesn’t have any subs to attack lit up ships //

            He have zeppelins with glide bombs.

    2. By Justin on

      That’s MY idea, dammit! I posted it three weeks ago further down the page!

      But yeah, we know that that Kurokawa is a few rounds short of a magazine and obsessed with Mahan’s decisive battle. No imagination either – he can’t understand that the Union has more than two DDs at this point.

      So if the Union refits Sular as a dummy BB and sends out a Walker-class and a few carriers to escort, he’ll think it’s their entire naval strength and rush Savoie straight into any ambush the other four Walkers set up.

      I’m with Charles though – even if an RC rudder can be set up, 25 kW (33 hp) probably won’t be enough to push it. A few brave Cats and humans are going to have to stay on board.

      Reply
      1. By Alexey Shiro on

        Just one “Sular” would mean nothing. It would not be beliveable threat.

        // 25 kW (33 hp) probably won’t be enough to push it. //

        Please. Just put auxilary motor to move rudder. Pneumatic, or steam. The IX-6 (former BB-4 “Iowa”) used pneumatic for servomotors.

        I.e. the servo relay would just move valve on auxilary pneumatic (or steam) motor, which would move the rudder.

        P.S. Probably the rudder on “Arata Amagi”-class is steam-powered; clearly too big to be moved manually. So, maybe it would be enough to just connect the RC with control valves.

        Reply
        1. By Justin on

          //Just one “Sular” would mean nothing. It would not be beliveable threat.//

          She’s the only Arata hull they’ve got. Besides, simple making Kurokawa’s design better and turning it against him should piss him off just fine.

          And Sular unfortunately needs to be underway and firing back in order to be a convincing decoy. If she looks deserted or starts malfunctioning, even Kurokawa will think something’s up. So you might as well have the ship skeleton-crewed.

          Reply
    3. By Steve White on

      If I had 8 to 10 of those, I’d fix them up a far bit better. Compartments, better engines, better living quarters, and whatever weapons I had handy.

      They’re armored troop transports. Slow but they’ll deliver.

      They’re escort carriers. Scrape off most of the armor, put on a flight deck, and put a squadron of Nancys on them.

      They’re general transport. Slow but they’ll move the goods.

      Send them to the Eastern theater as you suggest. They’d need longer legs but let them have guns and use them as coastal bombardment ships or escort carriers.

      Reply
      1. By Lou Schirmer on

        With their size, you could probably just replace the top of the casemate with a flight deck & keep the armor. I’d probably put a few quad torpedo tubes on them also. They’d work well against the Dom “Liners”.

        Reply
        1. By Generalstarwars333 on

          Or you could put a bunch of 4″ 50’s in the place of the 100 pdr’s and then have something that could almost singlehandedly destroy the Dom fleet.

          Reply
  28. By Paul Nunes on

    The Alliance and the Republic really need to get some motor transport built…. They need trucks and artillery tractors badly for any campaigns in Africa to work. Just getting stuff from the ports to the troops would make a big deal….. Fuel is easier to transport and stockpile than feed for paalkas and horses.

    Probably eight, ten, and twelve cylinders can be made from the same plants powering Nancys.

    The Alliance needs farm tractors too…. There is alot of people to feed and just fish isn’t going to do it.

    Reply
    1. By Justin on

      Contract the Republic for a few dozen steam cars. Problem solved.

      Otherwise, the Union’ll have to wait; most of the quality steel is going to the fleets. Letts barely scrounged up enough for four “tanks” as it is.

      Reply
    2. By Paul Nunes on

      There has been only hints of what the Republic can produce. Hints, that there is artillery.. No proof yet of what they can build except the harbor gun boats.

      Nothing yet proves they ever really capitalized on the 1920s level of technology from the Amerika.

      Reply
      1. By Justin on

        Epilogue of Iron Grey Sea. Quote:

        “We have steam cars,” Becher announced proudly. “We have been busy in our thirty years! But we do not bring them into the city.” He waved around. So many strange creatures! “They unnerve the animals—and the people!”

        Reply
        1. By Paul Nunes on

          Don’t remember…but, unseen is unproven.

          That doesn’t describe numbers or capabilities. A Stanly Steamer is an amusing runabout…..and completely unsuitable for any campaign in either Africa or South America.

          The British used a steam tractor to pull a land train in one of the Sudan or Ethiopian campaigns… so we will see what Taylor has in store for us.

          Reply
          1. By Justin on

            And again, such tractors (within the next book or two) will have to be built in South Africa. The Union doesn’t have enough material or expertise.

        2. By Charles Simpson on

          Steam cars is an old fashioned term for passenger cars on a railroad too. The quote from Justin is from the epilogue of Iron Gray Sea. We discussed railroads on the old website. Remember the Republic is building internal combustion engines for aircraft thus normal trucks possible even likely given the Republic’s large road network.

          Reply
  29. By Paul Nunes on

    Logistics…. The Alliance needs to send Santa Catalina to either Baalkpan or Maanila. That ship needs broken down and used as a model to construct more large sea lift.

    Those little fast oilers aren’t carrying enough to support the Fleets on either end. The reserves on the Alliance CVs are a huge liability with wooden ships.

    Use the steam plant aboard as a model to improve the Alliance and Imperial steam plants.

    Santa Catalina isn’t viable as a warship now with Kurokawa’s improved designs and Savoie along with Leopardo loose in the Indian Ocean.

    She is more valuable now as a cargo hauler and a template to build more cargo haulers.

    Reply
  30. By Paul Nunes on

    This blog software is really difficult for following conversations.

    Anyway… Balloons. If Walker or any other Alliance ship carried a smaller balloon.. this could be used to raise a antenna to great height and improve reception immensely.

    Put the antenna on a reel, fill the balloon let it carry the antenna aloft…

    When you don’t need it, winch it back down and deflate.

    Reply
    1. By donald johnson on

      Would work on some types of antennas however for UHF ship com’s you would need coaxial cable and are the lemurans even aware of it? Most ships at the time used feed lines in the 450 ohm class or just a single long wire that was part of the antenna.
      The uhf ship com’s used the paired lines for feeding the antenna due to the ease of maintenance. to put an antennae under the balloon a paired line would require the entire spool to be fed out to prevent the feed from being shorted by previous turns or de-tuned by the same previous turns that would be in close proximity on the reel.

      Reply
      1. By Paul Nunes on

        Wouldn’t the tension caused by the ship in motion tugging on the line prevent that?

        Reply
  31. By Lou Schirmer on

    Here’s an idea for a ship for them to consider building.
    A heavy cruiser.

    To my knowledge only two of Amagi’s ten 10 inch guns have been used, so far. I may be wrong of course.
    That leaves eight 10 inch rifles & four complete turret & barbette sets. Plus they have her fire control system, range finders & directors. So they don’t have to design, test & build any of it. Well they’d have to test them of course to make sure they still work.

    I’d say build a hull framed with Amagi steel, but since they’re probably running low on the good quality stuff by now what with the 4 DDs & new CL, plate & armor the HC with they iffy new production steel. Since they new steel quality may not be as good as Amagi steel, make it thicker. Say 3″ standard plate for the hull with two layers of 6″ armor plate with a gap & bracing frames between them. Spaced armor gives slightly more protection than one solid piece & 6″ might be easier to roll. So double 6″ side layer with a sloped double layer at the top & torpedo bulges at the bottom. Deck armor would be similar. Say a 5″ main deck with another 4-5″ deck below. The two armor decks would help brace the sloped side armor & the first armored deck would serve to detonate armor piercing bombs & shells while the second deck would (hopefully) prevent the explosion from penetrating to the vitals (machinery, magazines etc.). This armor & main battery scheme would make the ship fairly large, so it would have a double Walker turbine set for about 55,000 SHP.

    It would probably be about 650-700 feet long by 100 feet in the beam & weigh in at around 22-24,000 tons. With the installed power giving it a speed of about 28 knots.
    This would give them a heavy ship that could take on anything but a BB in action with confidence & 10″ rifles would do serious damage to even a BB.

    Just a thought.

    Reply
    1. By Lou Schirmer on

      One thing I forgot, the secondary battery. This ship would be a project completed in a year or two for now, so I’ll go with 5 4″/50 cal DP weapons per side & 6 twin 25mm AAA per side with single or twin .50 caliber BMG pintle mounts all over the place, say 8 per side. Plus a couple of catapults for scout planes (Nancy’s or an improved Nancy design). No torpedo tubes. They always were a waste of time, money, materials, space, tonnage & manpower on anything larger than a CL.

      I’m giving it a good AAA suite figuring that they’ll have it in production by the time the ship is completed.

      Reply
      1. By Alexey Shiro on

        No way it could be build in just a year or two. Unless you are using reinforced concrete for hull.

        Reply
      2. By Lou Schirmer on

        Quite right, my mistake. Assuming they had already designed it & were in initial stages of construction, they’d still have 2-3 years to go in construction. Any HC is a 2-3 year project at the best of times.

        Reply
        1. By Alexey Shiro on

          Also, I do not agree about torpedoes. The Alliance have Japanese night combat tactics avaliable. They clearly wanted as many tubes as they could deploy. After all, as long as they wouldn’t go after oxygen torpedoes, the ship is relatively safe.

          Reply
        2. By Lou Schirmer on

          Sorry, don’t agree with you on that one. I don’t know of any instance where a BB or BC ever fired a torpedo in anger. If she ever got into a night action, it would hopefully be with DD escorts who would do the torpedo duties. Day actions ditto.

          Reply
    2. By Lou Schirmer on

      Could even use the hull as a basis for a medium carrier design. Cut the side armor down to one layer to reduce weight & make the upper armor deck a flight deck. They’d have to raise it a bit for the hanger deck space. Keep the secondary armament in place, or increase it. The reduced armor would be offset by the aircraft & associated maintenance & handling equipment so the speed would stay about the same. By then though they may have made even more improvements to the Walker turbine design, so it could conceivably be as fast as 30 knots or so which is what would be needed to stay away from say a Grik, Kurokawa or League battle squadron. Food for thought.

      Reply
      1. By Paul Nunes on

        I thought the 10″ rifles were emplaced at the mouth of Baalkpan bay?

        Anyway. Probably time better spent building more Walkers and Walker type escorts loaded for AAA.

        A Walker hull with only one 4″/50 up front……. and then 25mm AAA and double .50 mounts in the other locations to escort transports and carriers.

        Reply
    3. By Alexey Shiro on

      Er… 22-24000 tons – it’s battlecruiser, not heavy cruiser. And, I’m not sure they were able to raise the “Amagi” turrets. As I undestood, they dismantled them. They probably stored such parts as rollers, hydraulics and gun craddles, but the turrets themselves were scrapped. Also, they haven’t got spare liners for 10-inch guns. I.e. it’s simpler to just build new heavy guns.

      But I agree, that the battlecruiser seems to be the optimal heavy ship for Alliance to start with. She would provide them with durability and firepower to stand against anything less than League’s battleships, and would be fast enough to escape combat with League battleships.

      //. Since they new steel quality may not be as good as Amagi steel, make it thicker. Say 3″ standard plate for the hull with two layers of 6″ armor plate//

      Lou, there is a difference between making construction steel and making armor steel. The armor steel must be face-hardened to provide adequate resistance.

      Since Alliance have no nickel, the Krupp Cementing process are out of question. So they stuck with Harvey for non-nickel steel (british version). I.e. their armor must be about 20-25% thicker than “Amagi” cemented equivalent.

      // Amagi steel, make it thicker. Say 3″ standard plate for the hull with two layers of 6″ armor plate with a gap & bracing frames between them. Spaced armor gives slightly more protection than one solid piece & 6″ might be easier to roll. //

      Actually it would give less protection. Two layers of 6-inch Harvey armor would be equivalent to about 7 inchers of cemented steel (because armor is spaced), and weight considerations would be… considerable.

      My suggestion – 12 inches of Harvey armor on the belt, inclined outward at 20 degrees. It would made the equivalent of 12,5 inches of Krupp-Cemented armor. Enough to stop the french 340-mm/45 or italian 320-mm/44 AP shell on the distances above 10000 meters. Enough for vital parts.

      //It would probably be about 650-700 feet long by 100 feet in the beam & weigh in at around 22-24,000 tons. With the installed power giving it a speed of about 28 knots.
      This would give them a heavy ship that could take on anything but a BB in action with confidence & 10″ rifles would do serious damage to even a BB. //

      Way too fast. 24-25 knots would be more realistic.

      Reply
      1. By Paul Nunes on

        Why not just make a Monitor? Place the 10″ rifle in a fixed forward firing position. Limits elevation and some minor traverse… However, you can put a huge gun on small hull. Probably a light cruiser hull. Nose on to a target and it is lethal and hard to hit.

        Reply
        1. By Justin on

          But what would you do with that monitor? They’re basically glass cannons – that’s why most navies put them on coast guard duty or river patrol.

          Reply
          1. By Alexey Shiro on

            Monitors aren’t glass cannons – quite the opposite (if we are talking about large sea-capable monitors, not coastal fire support units), but they are completely useless in open sea. Even the sea-capable monitors could only traverse the seas safely; they could not fight in blue waters because of their low freeboard. They were washed heavily even if the wind was light.

            The monitor-type low-freeboard ships have advantages when the artillery was short-ranged and angles of fall for shells were small. Which means that most shots came into ship’s sides, not decks. The monitors have advantages here; their sides were low and well-protected. But as soon as long-range gunnery became avaliable, and all ships required stronger armored decks to stand against plunging shells, monitors lost their advantages. They required the decks of the same area as high-freeboard ships, but have little seakeeping ability.

          2. By Lou Schirmer on

            The large sea going monitors were mostly used for shore bombardment duty & were capable of soaking up some fairly serious damage. They were underpowered & very slow however (6-8 knots).
            Here’s a prime example:
            //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Abercrombie_(F109)

          3. By Justin on

            At 6-8 knots, more like the carriers will be hunting her.

          4. By Paul Nunes on

            I was a soldier and not a sailor… I did not mean an iron clad like the U.S.S. Monitor…. By Monitors (a term I thought updated) meant a small ship bearing heavier guns than normal for the class…. Pocket Battleship? Is this the term?

            A light cruiser bearing the 10″ guns of the Amagi.

            Some or most if I remember correctly were fixed forward. The design had the features of any other deep water vessel. Just one that could punch above its weight class.

          5. By Justin on

            Ah, so that’s where you were going with this. Sorry.

            Sort of. The Deutschland-class cruisers were heavy cruisers with battleship guns. “Pocket battleship” is what the British nicknamed them to scare their own government into more naval spending.

            The problem is that for chasing down weaker ships like Kurokawa’s carriers, you don’t need Amagi‘s 10-inch mains; her 5.5-inch side guns will do the trick.
            And if you need her big guns, the enemy is probably large enough to have medium or big guns of their own. A cruiser can’t take that kind of punishment.

            So she needs to be fast and hard-hitting, but she also needs to be big enough to absorb a few hits of her own. That’ll end up being a battlecruiser, or light battleship.

          6. By Paul Nunes on

            Yes, but with the 10″ guns you stay out of range of any reply in kind…..

            Part of the reason for monitors in the first place.

            With some suitable AAA to fend off the light bombers would be a useful addition combined with other units.

          7. By Justin on

            //Yes, but with the 10″ guns you stay out of range of any reply in kind….. //

            That’s the same kind of thinking that got Graf Spee sunk. In practice, she ended up being slower than her contemporaries and not much more well armoured – she got chased down, and while managing to cripple one of her attackers, she was crippled herself.

            A light cruiser with a third of the firepower and half the armour is going to fare even worse. And again, any ship weak enough for a CL to challenge doesn’t require a 10″ gun to sink.

            //Part of the reason for monitors in the first place.//

            Not quite. Monitors were designed for shore bombardment and patrol duty.
            In short, situations where you need big guns, but can’t spare a capital ship. If you don’t even have a capital ship to begin with (like the Union), best to build that instead of a backup.

          8. By Paul Nunes on

            So if such a ship sailed out alone…..say like the Graf Spree did…. It would be sunk by the combined fire power of a group, flotilla, fleet, or navy of other ships.

            Good thing the Allies have a lot of ships and those are not bottled up in the Baltic Sea or something similar…

            Oranges. meet Apples.

          9. By Justin on

            We’ve already argued this to exhaustion: if Walker, her sisters and the Homes steam out together, they’re going to get sunk together. They were fine against sailing ships and ironclads. Modern enemies? Not so much.

            The Union’s too fragile for any kind of proper fleet action right now, and they need to make each hull count. If they can’t outfight an enemy, they need to be able to outrun them.

            That said, please understand that 10″ guns (and ammo) are heavy. Put one on Walker, and she’ll sink under the weight; put one on a light cruiser (only slightly bigger), and you’ll need to sacrifice a LOT of speed, armour, and/or fuel to make it work.

            And then… what would you do with her?
            CLs were always meant to engage destroyers and other CLs with fast-turning, fast-firing 4-6″ guns. And we’ve just reduced her ability to do that.

            Battleship – can’t outfight, can outrun
            Cruiser – can’t outfight, can’t outrun
            Destroyer pack – might outfight, can’t outrun
            Carrier – can outfight and outrun, but so can Walker… so why use a CL?

            The idea may work with enough CLs, but the Union’s dockyards are having trouble with just one. So, better to build a proper “big gun” hull than try and cram a quart into a pint pot.

      2. By Lou Schirmer on

        You’re probably correct on the armor.

        About the speed, I was using some of the old US dreadnaught weights & HP & extrapolating. The USS Arizona was 32,000 tons with about 30,000 SHP & did 21 knots. The proposed design is 10,000 tons less & almost double the SHP. It should be quite capable of 28 knots or so.

        Reply
        1. By Alexey Shiro on

          The tonnage is only a part of evaluation. You would need also hull area to calculate drag. Also, you would need stronger turbines than on destroyers (because they pushed a lot more heavier hull) and many boilers. I calculated as much as 32 boilers would be required on the avaliable tech level to provide 25000-ton battlecruiser the 24-25 knots speed.

          Reply
        2. By Lou Schirmer on

          I’m afraid I don’t totally agree on that assessment.

          I agree on the hull design aspect, but as a HC it would have a finer hull design than a straight BB which would improve it’s efficiency.

          It’s the power plant issue I disagree with you about. Larger turbines would require either larger or more boilers, agreed, but if they decoupled the turbines & went turbo electric that would take the strain off the turbines. They would have to beef up the shafts & increase the propeller size, but horsepower wise there should be plenty.

          Of course I’m not a steam power expert, though I believe William Curry is. Care to weigh in on the issue Mr. Curry?

          Reply
          1. By Alexey Shiro on

            Er… I’m not sure that turboelectric drive is possible for Alliance to make.

          2. By Lou Schirmer on

            They’re making electric generators in the 25KW range. They should be able to scale up one powerful enough to handle the turbine output & to drive the shafts.

          3. By William Curry on

            The weak spot with turbo-electric drive was the switchgear. Most Navies have problems with the switchgear opening under shock, like when the guns fired or a bomb, shell or torpedo hit the ship or nearby. Usually the controlling factor is the lbs. of steam per hour per hp. That’s elated to the absolute pressure and temperature drop across the turbine. As you produce more hp, the shafts and bearings, especially the shaft thrust bearing has to get larger to handle the increased hp. For a given propeller design the more hp it uses to produce thrust it has to get bigger or in some cases turn faster or both. Or they can add blades. As electric motors and generators get bigger the problem of getting rid of the heat generated by the motor gets worse also. Turbo-electric drive is probably not the way to go. Making magnet wire to withstand increased heat is still a problem with motors and generators today. You also get into issues of form winding versus mush winding as you don’t want voids in the winding which will cause over heating. Then there is the issue of carbon brushes and the brush gear on a large DC motor or a wound rotor ac motor. Plus the design of a controller that can take the kind of power were talking, plus the problem of cooling the resistor banks etc. I don’t think there tech level is up to it yet. The turbines will see the same non shock load whether they are hooked up to a generator or a gear box. To a turbine a hp is a hp power whether it goes into a gear box or a generator.

          4. By Lou Schirmer on

            So a doubled up Walker sized geared turbine setup would be able to drive a heavy (24,000 ton or so) ship & handle the strain? Would they have to beef up anything (gearing, shafts, larger props etc.)?

          5. By William Curry on

            Maybe. I assume your talking about 4 Walker turbines with 4 shafts and propellers. Four turbines would need at least twice the steam that 2 turbines would require. I don’t think they would use the Yarrow type boilers, there were obsolescent when they were installed in the Walker. If each turbine is putting out the same hp as the twin plant the shafts etc would be the same. I’m not sure about the propellers, the hull design would effect that. I don’t know enough about propeller design to say for sure. As the hull size and shape changes, the required hp per knot of speed will change. I think there will be some economies of scale as the wetted area per hp is larger as the hull size increases. I’m not a naval architect so I can say for sure.

          6. By Lou Schirmer on

            Right, 8 of the improved Walker boilers, 4 turbines & 4 props. This would be on a fairly large hull as discussed above. About 650 feet long by 90 feet beam & in the neighborhood of 22-24,000 tons. Tonnage varying depending on the armor & whatever gets settled on for a main battery.

          7. By Justin on

            Not enough, I’m afraid. With that kind of tonnage, 50,000 shp only gets you around 25 knots.

          8. By Lou Schirmer on

            Regarding the speed, I was using some of the old US dreadnaught weights & HP & extrapolating. The USS Arizona was 32,000 tons with about 30,000 SHP & did 21 knots. The proposed design is 10,000 tons less & almost double the SHP. This will also be on a finer hull form than the old dreadnaughts also. If we reduce the armor slightly using Alexey’s & your armor suggestions of Harvey steel & a 10″ main belt & say 6″ main deck, bridge & conning tower armor, it should be down around 20,000 tons & capable of 28 knots or so.

            The main battery would affect the tonnage of course. Though as Alexey points out, I think we’re probably not going to use the worn out Amagi weapons. A new gun design based on Republic technology is probably the way to go. Either 8 10-12″ guns in four twin turrets or 12 8″ guns in four triple turrets. One way you get a BC & the other you get an HC. Either way, with having to develop a gun system, this project suddenly becomes REALLY long term, say more like 6-10 years from now, unless the Republic has a design ready to produce already.

          9. By Justin on

            Again, try Springsharp. It’s a program made specifically for these kinds of what-if designs.
            http://www.springsharp.com/

            In this case, it’s not just armament, armour and engines. There’s ammo weight too – and fuel load and cruising range, torpedo bulkhead spacing and so on…

            So at 4 twin 12″ turrets, a 10″ belt and 28 knots, you’re looking at 25k-26k tonnes. And for a 690×92′ hull at that kind of weight (assuming a 30′ draft),
            25 knots = 54k shp
            26 knots = 63k
            27 knots = 73k
            and 28 knots = 84k

            Bottom line, we might want to put this idea on hold until the Union gets their hands on better turbines. Or consider 16 boilers and 8 turbines (2 per screw).

          10. By William Curry on

            You don’t want to have two turbines on the same combining gearbox. That arrangement would be extremely unreliable.

    4. By Justin on

      Sounds good. There was a lot of speculation on the old board about what to do with the other nine 10″ guns.
      A heavy panzerschiffe or light battlecruiser sounds about par for the course – and yes, they could use her hull as the baseplate for CVLs!

      If and when there’s enough time and steel to lay her down though, I’d advise against building her to engage dreadnoughts.

      She can’t afford to take any crippling heavy calibre hits, or to be slow (pretty sure the League has Regia Marina fast cruisers and at least one Francesco Caracciolo), so I’d suggest trading a little armour for speed.
      An 8″ or 10″ main belt and 29-30 knots sounds better IMHO – leave the BBs for the (hopefully improved) air wing, focus on sinking convoys and escorts.

      Try Springsharp if you haven’t already:
      http://www.springsharp.com/

      Reply
      1. By Lou Schirmer on

        I wasn’t really trying build her to engage BBs, but to be well armored against cruisers. But if she was forced to under extreme circumstances, decent armor & a 10″ main battery might be enough to blunt a BB assault enough for whoever she was defending to escape. Going with yours & Alexey’s suggestions, 10″-12″ Harvey steel would work quite well.

        Reply
        1. By Alexey Shiro on

          With that conception I agree completely. But I think 10-inch guns would not do the trick. The problem is, they are already heavily used (by Kurokawa), and could be worn-out really soon. So, the Alliance would need a new liners to re-line the guns.

          And this is a problem.

          The heavy guns… they are hard to made. They require VERY high quality steel and highly trained workers. There must be no defects – or the gun would burst.

          So, basically, it would took as long to re-made the liners for 10-inch guns as to made more powerfull new guns.

          I toyed with the idea of 32-cm (12,5-inch)/40-45 composite gun. With steel central tube, cast-iron body, and wrough iron hoops to hold it together. It would be heavy – VERY heavy; probably twice as heavy as all-steel 32-cm gun. But it would be much easier to make, because we need only a small ammount of high-grade steel for tube, and the rest is cast-iron and wrough-iron. Like spanish Ordonez rifles of Spanish-American war. I suppose we could have 1000-pdr shell coming at the 2000 fps or higher.

          Reply
        2. By Lou Schirmer on

          True, barrel life was usually only about 200-300 rounds between barrel replacement. Even less for the high powered Italian designs. They’d have to bore out & then reline the barrels, after checking them for stress defects. Maybe by the time they get it built they’d have some barrel & steel making expertise from the Republic to help. Or adapt & improve your built up barrel design. Although I thought you went with wire wound barrels on your Retribution class design. They’d be lighter & stronger than wrought iron hoops.
          You could put 12.5″ rifles on this, but the weight would go up & speed drop. Might be better to go with improved Republic 8″ guns in four triple turrets instead.

          Reply
          1. By Justin on

            Not to put the Republic down, but those are 8-inch rifled cannons – not exactly built to fight a steel-hulled enemy. They might have former Amerika crew/prisoners who have the expertise, but both nations probably have to start from scratch on this one.

          2. By Charles Simpson on

            Straits of Hell Chapter 13 after Choon mentioned the older 8″ guns on the monitors he discussed with Greg Gerrett. General Kim discussed Republic artillery thus:

            “Better, larger, and smaller and more mobile”

            Thus the Republic has made coastal defense guns larger than 8″ and more modern than the monitor’s guns, besides the French 75s with the army. Thus the Republic naval rifle technology could arm a battleship(s).

    5. By Paul Nunes on

      I think the Alliance shipyards are better prepared to spam out Walker clones… Many of these supported by bombers and torpedo planes can take down Savoie….. Kurokawa can’t even man the Savoie… He does have enough human crew to fill the Watch for one shift. If he pulls in all his people from every other project, maybe but, then all those projects stall or die.

      Six or eight walkers coordinating together and supported by bombers and torpedo planes will take Savoie to school.

      Reply
      1. By Justin on

        It’s a thought experiment for the war against the League, once Kurokawa’s gone. Nobody’s suggesting that the Union spend 2-3 years and all its steel on a battlecruiser right now while their navy gets deleted.

        That said, they don’t have bombers or enough Walker-class DDs to slow a superdread. They should work on designing some, fast.

        //Kurokawa can’t even man the Savoie… He does have enough human crew to fill the Watch for one shift.//

        Probably going to be staffed by Grik, same as all the other ships. We know they’re smart enough to crew the guns and boilers.

        Reply
        1. By Paul Nunes on

          Grik, just are not going to physically operate and live in the Savoies crew spaces. Let along operate equipment made for human dimensions and hands.

          Is Kurokawa going to spend the next two years converting handwheels, seats, ladders, and other human scale equipment to fit in a Grik crew? Pointless.

          Reply
          1. By Justin on

            By that logic, raptors shouldn’t be able to sail an Indiaman or an Arata-Amagi either. How would they climb and handle the rigging, or man the cannons?

            Take Lawrence. He’s perfectly fine living and working on Walker. And so long as he files his claws, he can shoot a rifle too.

            Likewise, ropes are ropes, a bunk is a bunk, and a stool is a stool. Grik’ve been using all three for centuries now – they’re not stupid.

          2. By donald johnson on

            /Grik, just are not going to physically operate and live in the Savoies crew spaces. Let along operate equipment made for human dimensions and hands./

            The Grik will have minor problems manning the savoy but not as bad as you might think. They are at most 30% larger than the largest human when full grown. As they are basically Velociraptors they will be growing their entire lives so when crewing the first will be smaller than full grown and will fit in the small spaces better. As the technology is new they will be better off using younger griks that have not been trained incorrectaly thereby saving time in the training. the first crews will require heavy numbers of Japanese crew-members to train the first grik crews. this will inadvertently set back whatever they were working on and slow down other design.
            This might actually be good for Ready in the long run because the new toys that the griks were planning wont be ready for combat in time.

          3. By Paul Nunes on

            Physiology…… there leg structure would not let them go up a ladder or up the steep (space saving) stairs found on ships. Try walking up stairs with your head tilted fully back and only on your toes….. the tread depth is not enough to fit a griks foot and claws.

            Handwheels, levers, buttons….. their would have to remove their claws. Then those long tails.. can’t strap those down or cut them off… the velociraptors tail is a counter balance to the weight of the torso up front. That is not going to work down in the steam plants.

          4. By Justin on

            And by that logic, Lawrence shouldn’t be able to climb up to Walker’s gun deck above the galley (Storm Surge, Chapter 36), much less get in and out of the crew quarters. But he does, and he handles a rifle just fine by filing his claws.

            Likewise, the Grik can climb stairs and rigging on their ships and in their buildings, and have no trouble operating zeppelins or ironclads – also in spite of their legs and claws. I really don’t see this as an issue.

  32. By William Curry on

    To start a new thread: Does any one know just how prehensile are the Lemurians tails?

    Reply
  33. By Paul Nunes on

    Oxygen systems…… the original PBY that went down in the battle of Balakpan bay had to have had Oxygen systems for the crew. Why are these not being replicated for use on the Clippers and Buzzards? Especially seeing as Lemurians are more susceptible to hypoxia.

    The radio operators station should have a radio direction finder… As that would be in use to locate an allied airfield or other fixed point. Those would be transmitting a continous identification signal (repeating morse identifier). That would simplify some navigation problems for the Alliance.

    Zeppelins…. Why not build cargo zeppelins? A WW2 model made that historic voyage from Germany around Egypt and the central African continent, then returned to Germany. Can you think of a faster way to move material from Manila bay to New Britain, the Enchanted Isles, San Diego, or Guayakal that is impervious to Mountian Fish? Further a Zeppelin makes one heck of a radio repeater station…… Having these relaying radio traffic between Shinya on the move and Jenks in the Isles is a tremendous bonus…. Would allow Bekia ta Sabat to keep in contact with Shinya thus the two manuever commands could coordinate.

    Reply
    1. By Lou Schirmer on

      Good ideas all, but with a few issues.

      The oxygen systems from the Catalina are probably a bit too complex for them right now, especially with everything else they need. Remember they’ve taken an essentially bronze age culture up through the Industrial Revolution in two & a half years. Many of the schemes talked about here won’t be put to use for years to come. However, they could probably come up with a simple engine driven pump to provide pressurized air to the crews. This would be a bit simpler to build & not require oxygen tanks & associated metering equipment.

      The problem with using RDF for navigation in war time is the enemy can also use it to home in on you. Might not be a bad idea for the rear areas though like Manilaa & Respite Island.

      Not a bad idea on the cargo Zeppelin, but since they can’t carry as much as a ship, they would be limited to high priority, low tonnage cargo. They have the Clippers for that currently, although the Zeppelin could carry more at about a third the speed. Trade offs for our author to consider.

      Now the radio repeater application is a very good idea. Not only would it increase the transmitter range, but also the range the station could receive from. Wouldn’t even need to be a Zeppelin for this. A motorized blimp would do nicely & be simpler & cheaper to build.

      Reply
      1. By Paul Nunes on

        I guess I forgot to clarify…… These continuous position beacons …… these are not on the airfield or naval dock itself…… just like FAA beacons there on islands, mountain tops, and other high ground areas… You get a position fix from them and adjust..

        It is a navigation thing and I don’t think I am explaining it well…. Maybe just look up LORAN using google?

        Reply
      2. By Paul Nunes on

        Cargo Zepellins are perfect for the war in the East. While it would take weeks for a steamer to ship a cargo from Manila, a Zep could do it in two to six days. Then no need for a dock or the road infrastructure…. The cargo can be dropped at any level place the Zep can bring it to. This excludes some of the high altitude areas of the Andes.

        This is hugely important when we are talking the rifle ammunition, mortar bombs, hand grenades, and MG ammo that General Shinya needs to defeat a numerically superior foe.

        Better to have 10 tons of ammunition now, than 100 tons in six weeks.

        Reply
        1. By donald johnson on

          A Zepellin can carry about 45 tons of cargo a distance of 5000 miles on one load of fuel It will also require about the same weight of fuel and about 30 men to crew it. At the cruising speed of 55 miles an hour it will take about 100 hours to go 5000 miles. they can go faster but fuel requirements go up by the square of the velocity increase.
          The disadvantage is that they will also requite the sane amount of fuel to get back.they can carry 90 tons about 2500 miles for 25 tons of fuel fuel.
          I estimated these numbers from the specs of the Macon.

          Reply
          1. By Alexey Shiro on

            //A Zepellin can carry about 45 tons of cargo a distance of 5000 miles on one load of fuel It will also require about the same weight of fuel and about 30 men to crew it. //

            A VERY large zeppelin. Currently outside of even Grik capabilities.

    2. By Alexey Shiro on

      //Zeppelins…. Why not build cargo zeppelins? //

      Well, they could be useful, but – as Lou already pointed out – to high-priority cargo. Or very large cargo, that could not fit into the plane hull (there are some talk currently about using airship to haul drilling equipment to the Siberian oil rigs, which are too far away from ports or railroads)

      The airships are the perfect patrol crafts – and worst nightmare of submarines) They could soar for days, patrolling ocean, and radioing about the enemy ships in view. This is one of most important advantages Kurokawa currently have – long-range naval reconnaisance and patrol.

      // The radio operators station should have a radio direction finder… As that would be in use to locate an allied airfield or other fixed point. Those would be transmitting a continous identification signal (repeating morse identifier). That would simplify some navigation problems for the Alliance. //

      Hm. Problem is, that currently Alliance have no vacuum tube production. They would probably start to build them in short time (they aren’t outside their capabilities), but without tubes they could only build very primitive, Tekefunken-style navigation systems.

      Reply
      1. By Charles Simpson on

        Alliance made tubes were mentioned early in Distant Thunders IIRC the first were “as large as a squash” but are smaller now Remember radios are now in alliance aircraft.

        Reply
        1. By Alexey Shiro on

          Oh. Seems I forgot this.

          Well, than a lot of interesting radio toys became avaliable…)

          Reply
    3. By Justin on

      Agreed, airships for both recon and comms range extension would be useful.

      Easy to build, too – in a scout role, dirigibles (Norge, etc) work just as well as Zepps.

      Reply
      1. By Alexey Shiro on

        You mean blimps and semi-rigids?

        Yes, they work fine, and they are significantly cheaper to build and mantain. And they aren’t actually much less capable. Italians used semi-rigid airships (i.e. they have keel frame underneath the blimp baloon) for bombardment missions during World War I relatively sucsessfully.

        The main problem with semi-rigid and non-rigid ships is that their baloons mantain shape only because of gas overpressure. On zeppelin, the hull shape is mantained by the rigid frames. But on blimps and semi-rigid, the hull frame is the result of overpressure in gas cells.

        This means, that the skin of blimp must be of much higher quality that the skin of rigid airship. Because on zeppelins, the pressure in gas cells is much lower – and also, the gas cells skin is NOT the outer skin. On blimps, the sking must hold both the pressure in cells and the outer conditions, which requires a better quality material.

        Also, the blimps are much more vunerable. Again, overpressure. On zeppelins the pressure in gas bags are near the atmospheric, so if zeppelin is hit, the gas vented slowly. On blimps – the overpressure would push the gas out.

        Reply
  34. By Paul Nunes on

    Why hasn’t there been a serious effort to recover the Japanese torpedoes from the Hidioame? Those torpedoes are superior to the U.S. made models carried through the squall.

    Why not round up all the Arisakas and Japanese machine guns, grenades, and 25mm cannon and ship them to New Britain? Examples of modern weapons to kickstart domestic development? Any caliber could be standardized on …. 30.06 can still be the choice over 7.7…….. An Arisaka is basically a Mauser Gewehr 1898 with some tweaks.

    Becher Lange really needs a Mauser C96 in 7.63mm just because that is one damn sexy pistol. I would love to see that one made it through the squall.

    Rifle grenades? Those have been in use since WW One…. The simplest is a metal cup that holds a grenade firmly and prevents the spoon from releasing.. A powerful blank cartridge is inserted into the chamber of the rifle, pin is removed from the grenade, and the rifleman aims his rifle down range. The grenade travels in an arc (lobbed at the target) so the rifle must be elevated. This projects a handgrenade 250-300-400 yards down range.

    Rockets? The British were using Congreve rockets in the U.S. War of Indepence (Colonial Insurrection if your British). I am curious why the forces of New Britain are not using Artillery and signal rockets (flares and star shells).

    Why not send a floating dry dock to recover the Hidioame and deliver that directly to Manila Bay? Surely the boiler plants and generator sets, as examples, make this worth while.

    Reply
    1. By Justin on

      The Union’s still using Krags, and still having trouble producing enough bolt-action conversions. No way the Empire can make their own Arisakas.

      Hidoiame just got crushed by a carrier-sized Home two books ago; no way the turbines survived that. Anything that could be salvaged has been already. The rest is about to be scrap metal for tanks and Walkers.
      And don’t even think about Long Lances – as discussed earlier, they’re as likely to destroy their own ship as the enemy’s.

      Reply
      1. By Paul Nunes on

        Examples….. Dude.. Examples…. To make something it helps to have a representation of one or something similar in your hands.

        Reply
        1. By Justin on

          Only if you have the means to make it. Giving steel hatchets to a Stone Age tribe doesn’t mean they’ll be able to work with iron overnight.

          Likewise with the Empire and bolt-action rifles; their flintlocks’ parts are still handmade. Better to keep the Arisakas for Chack and Risa’s commandos and sell the Brits some Krags instead.

          Reply
          1. By Generalstarwars333 on

            How did you get the italics to work?

          2. By Charles Simpson on

            Use “” around “i” and “/i” for italics.

          3. By Charles Simpson on

            Darn thing did not print the carrots or less than or greater than signs.

          4. Taylor AndersonsBy Taylor Andersons on

            Actually Justin, Krags are fairly complicated bolt actions and nobody is making them yet. The Allin-Silva “trapdoor” is still the standard for the Union and becoming so for the Alliance. And there wasn’t really a high priority for anything better before the League came along because being single shot breechloaders, they were so much better than anything the Doms or Grik had. At least as far as the infantry was concerned. Now? A situation may arise in which you have “trapdoors” facing 7X57 “Spanish Hornets.” Not ideal.

          5. By Paul Nunes on

            New Britain definitely has the means to make them. They have steel production and judging by the clocks and optics on hand, entirely capable.

            Maybe you thought I said deliver the Arisakas and Type 89s to Manila…. No, as you point out, the Lemurians are not ready.

            Send these to New Britain. The New Arisakas can be manufactured in 30.06 as can the Type 89s. Not that far apart dimensionally from 7.7mm.

            Further, with modern examples on hand. The Army of New Britain can begin building a training curriculum for when these arms become common. The New Britain Army could build a cadre of instructors on bolt action rifles, hopper fed MGs, belt fed MGs, handgrenades, and mortars… All to be ready as the equipment becomes mass produced.

            New Britain just needs the Americans to introduce them to the Ford style assembly line and mass production….. Which was a thing in the American gun making industry a hundred years before Ford was born.

            New Britain is in the early industrial age, with furnaces and power tools…… They are making things the old way..only because they haven’t been forced to come up with faster newer methods until now.

            Send some to Baalkpan and Manila…. Then send them home to make money…. New Britain should be outproducing the Alliance in steel manufacturing and arms manufacturing in a year or more.

          6. By Justin on

            Not to put the Empire down, but those are the same clocks and optics that Blackbeard had.

            http://gender.stanford.edu/news/2013/gun-making-and-origins-industrial-revolution

            Don’t forget that the Empire originated from East India Company traders in the mid-1700s. That’s a long time before the Gun Quarter, let alone the Industrial Revolution.

            And few to none among the Indiaman crews would’ve been actual gunsmiths.
            So yes, their Brown Bess-type muskets have interchangeable parts. But said parts are likely still handmade by artisans before being shipped to the actual manufacturers. That’s nowhere near the precision needed for bolt-action rifles.

            Lifting the Imperials to Ford-level industry is going to take a LOT of time and resources – which the Union could be using to build assembly lines of their own. Best to keep the IJA small arms in reserve for now, and send the Empire their army surplus.

          7. By Alexey Shiro on

            Agreed. With all respect to the Empire, they are still a early XIX-century nation. They have only a limited number of skilled industrial workers; almost no proletarians in general terms and little engineers.

          8. By Charles Simpson on

            Guys the books have machine tools and make steam engines it was mentioned they were within a generation or two of the Destroyermen. The Brown Bess remained since they felt no need to improve it Thus the Empire’s industrial base is mid IXX century and is producing Allin/Silvas and perhaps other modern weapons for their This will lower the length of the supply line for Amunition troops.

          9. By Alexey Shiro on

            Charles, in mid-XIX century there were screw-propelled ships and shell guns. Empire have neither. Machine tools, actually, predated steam power; they were around since XVIII century and water wheels.

            Of course they are in better situation than Alliance, industrially speaking, but their capabilities aren’t great either.

          10. By Charles Simpson on

            It is mentioned the Empire is producing iron hulled screw ship now, and aircraft in the works. Letts mentioned all the Empire needs is examples of machines to copy. Remember the first bolt action rifle the Prussian needle gun was produced by mid XIX century technology. The one I don’t understand is why the Dominion continued with the XVI century plug bayonet after exposure to Empire and New US socket bayonets. The Empire has collages that could train Lemurian Engineers and chemists, and it is likely so does the Republic of Real People.

          11. By Alexey Shiro on

            I agree that Empire have better industry than Alliance, but only because they have some industry, while pre-Alliance lemurians have none.

          12. By Paul Nunes on

            Handmade? You do realize that New Britain is at an 1880s level…. Steam engines and such.

            Ok. There is the Birmingham model for mass production….. Under supervision apprentices (12-16)learn gunmaking by cutting and shaping one part… lets say the hammer… once they can cut out and file to shape a hammer that matches a proof model the apprentice moves on to another part….. At 16 the apprentice, tests their skills and is judged by Masters.. Passing the test they become Journeymen… As Journeymen they learn to assemble a working firearm from the assembled parts. With the Birmingham model, the parts are all relatively standardized….. As close as possible to a proof pattern as the naked eye and hand files can produce. Fitting parts, the actual assemblage, is slotting things together and taking a bit here and a bit there off to engage sears, fit screws flush, etc. A journeyman should be able to assemble quite a number of working firearms from parts in one day. A Master Gunsmith makes pretty guns and does some tweaks like offset stocks to fit to human bodies. A gun lock built by a Master gunsmith versus a Journeyman would be a percentage more reliable to boot.

            Still pass along some precision measuring equipment. Dial calipers, micrometers, and rules to the New Britain watch makers guild and have a royal edict that there WILL be standardization of dimensions/thread count/ diameter among nuts bolts and screws.. and within a year the Briton can be churning out anything by the thousands.

            The American Gun Industry did this on their own to win lucrative government contracts prior to 1900.

          13. By Justin on

            Don’t be fooled by the Empire’s steam power. After all, James Watt invented his engine during the American Revolution – right about when the three Indiamen crossed over, and WAY before the Victorian era.

            At this point, we just don’t know enough about Imperial history. I’ll concede that the Empire’s long past the Birmingham method and the Watt engine by now. 1850s-level probably, given the experiments with screw propellers.

            Yet a Civil War level of tech is at best going to give them Martini-Henrys. Bolt-action rifles are a complete pipe dream right now for the Empire; bringing advisors and Mausers from the Republic would be a better idea.

          14. By Paul Nunes on

            //Yet a Civil War level of tech is at best going to give them Martini-Henrys. Bolt-action rifles are a complete pipe dream right now for the Empire; bringing advisors and Mausers from the Republic would be a better idea.//

            The Civil War produced the first mass produced self contained cartridges…..

            The M1866 Henry lever action repeaters.

            Impact fuses for artillery.

            Friction ignitors for artillery.

            Breech loading rifled cannon.

            HE fragmenting shells.

            Illumination flares.

            The American Civil War produced a lot of “Modern Tech”.

            Also revolutionized the casting of cannon…. the Columbiads with their cooled internally water pumped system….. also revolutionized large castings.

            I think you are discounting older technologies too much.

          15. By Paul Nunes on

            It’s funny but, I just had my hands on a Martini Henry long lever and a couple of Arisakas…..
            I want one of the Arisakas….. the Mon hasn’t been ground off.

            Some old man must have died and his family can’t sell everything fast enough.

          16. Taylor AndersonsBy Taylor Andersons on

            If that Arisaka is for sale cheap, you might give it some thought from a collector’s perspective. Is it the 6.5 or 7.7? Anyway, hard to find in good shape with the mum. I HAVE had one, but got rid of it long ago. Wish I hadn’t now. I don’t miss any of my Martinis I don’t have anymore–well, except for a PERFECT .310 cadet . . . Does that make me a bad person?

          17. By Justin on

            I’m giving the Empire as much credit as it’s due. They’re not stupid, but they’re still stuck between 1812 and 1850; there is a world of difference between an 1853 Enfield and a Krag, much less an Arisaka.

            The Republic is at Great War-level industry, the Union is not, and the Empire and NUS don’t even know what the Great War is. All three of the latter will be dependent on the former’s industry for a long while.

          18. By Paul Nunes on

            I would have to look again. I thought 7.7… but, I was looking at a lot of guns on the rack at this hole in the wall local gun shop…. the Martini Henry was I think $650.. but, the Arisakas were around $200..

            I really had my eye on a Argentine Mauser in 6.5 that wasn’t butchered when someone sporterized it. Perfect rifle for this hilly country in southern Utah.. Might have been about six pounds.

          19. By Paul Nunes on

            From where are you pulling these comparisons and tech levels? I have all of the novels but, you seem to have some source that you are using without citation.

            I interpret the Empire as not capable of building these items…. not because they cannot, but because the felt they did not need to.

            A corporation without competition would have a stagnant development program. Innovation without a market to sell it too would be viewed as a waste of capital investment. Really, the Doms are or made every effort to appear as, the same in all technological aspects. The Empire hasn’t fought a war or and action greater than at a skirmish level anyway. So there hasn’t even been a spur to activity there.

            I do seem them being spurred on in steam development. The ocean is vast and Hawaii is relatively resource poor. This forces the Empire to travel to the Mainland often for timber, coal, and various ores. That has commercial value and something the overthrown “company” would have pored resources into.

            So, can you link me to this source your using?

          20. By Justin on

            My source is the books, as is probably yours.

            Let me spell it out: all we’re told about the Empire is that they’ve got a roughly Georgian society and tech level.
            Brown Bess-wielding Redcoats… yet a steam-based navy. You’re rounding up, and I’m rounding down.

            Because said steam navy is stuck at the paddle wheel; they needed help from the Union to figure out propellers. That puts Imperial steam tech (at its MOST advanced) somewhere between the 1810s and the 1840s.

            So now I have to ask what source you’re using that brings you to think that such gun factories have precise enough machinery to jump from muzzle-loading rifles… all the way to bolt-action and full metal jackets?

            They’ve had six books to gear up to Minie balls – we haven’t seen any, and I doubt we’re going to without Union help.
            So AFAIK, Imperial bolt-action rifles would be a monkey-with-a-keyboard endeavour and generally a waste of an Arisaka. Whereas the Republic is advanced enough to have steam cars (automobiles, trains or otherwise) and could probably pull it off, if they haven’t already with Amerika’s Mausers.

          21. By Paul Nunes on

            Ah……. So you don’t have a source for this other than the novels…..

            Well, I did go to Trinidad State from 2006 – 2008 and accomplished a Certificate in Gunsmithing …

            A Mauser Gewehr M1888 is the Bolt action that really shook things up and the M1998 is just a perfection of that.

            It actually less complicated than the firearms made before.

            To make the action doesn’t require any tools or knowledge that the Empire currently posseses….. A lathe, a Broach, a Horizontal Mill, and a Rifling machine.

            If the Empire has come to parts standardization and standardized threads/pitch on screws or bolts.

            All they need is a blueprint. The only thing that is going to blow their minds is smokeless powders and chromium bore lining firearms.

            As for a Minie Bullet.. You know this is just a hollow base conical bullet with a small iron cup in the base? On firing the iron cup is driven further into the hollow base of the conical bullet. This causes the conical bullets base to expand. The expansion presses more tightly to the bore inside diameter, engages the rifling more deeply, and traps more propellant gases causing a higher initial velocity. Claude Minie thought of this prior to the American Civil War.. the Americans were just crazy enough to try it.

            So now that I know there isn’t a WiKi somewhere that I am unaware of, and that yours is only speculation such as mine…… cool carry on.

          22. By Justin on

            You could try the Destroyermen Wiki, but it’s a work in progress. Again, you’re rounding up and I’m rounding down.

            So yes, they should be able to make Minie rounds with Union/Republic help.
            Are they making any now (which was the original point)? Probably not – that would’ve been mentioned in detail, and they’d be using them in Guayak instead of Allin-Silvas.

            Even then, it’s another jump from Minies to jacketed bullets. Might as well tool up Baalkpan and Manila first, then send the know-how to New London later.

      2. By Alexey Shiro on

        //And don’t even think about Long Lances – as discussed earlier, they’re as likely to destroy their own ship as the enemy’s.//

        Agreed, and they would be VERY hard to reproduce. They are complicated, they required high quality work and high quality materials – of which the Alliance have almost nothing.

        Reply
        1. By matthieu on

          yes, Japan needed 10 years of massive investments to get a single working one.

          Reply
          1. By Alexey Shiro on

            And while Japan was not very high-tech in 1930s, they still have good industry and quite a lot of capable engineers, skilled workers and great scientists. The Alliance currently have neither. It would took a lot of time before first actual lemurian engineers and scientists became avaliable.

          2. By Paul Nunes on

            Yet, the crew of Walker makes functional torpedoes within two years of arriving a Baalkpan.

            Still all I am saying is that the Long Lances are very valuable for their components…. Especially the detonators.. This and the insight into making longer ranged torpedoes too.

        2. By Paul Nunes on

          Long Lances in total…. but, functional detonators and the design layout… besides…. the allies could just substitute hydrogen peroxide.

          The Long Lances have the advantage of RANGE…. these outclass the American torpedoes by several kilometers….. as it is the Walker has to come into gun range of an enemies secondary batteries because of the short range of the American torpedoes. More range means more surviving torpedo destroyers and more surviving motor torpedo boats …. this means more live crews to go out and do it again.

          The Alliance must, because the Grik atleast can produce warriors faster than the Alliance with warriors maturing in two years.

          Reply
          1. By Alexey Shiro on

            I suggest old Russian trick – sodium superoxede. It’s much safer to store and use than hydrogen peroxede or pure oxygen.

            //Yet, the crew of Walker makes functional torpedoes within two years of arriving a Baalkpan. //

            Barely functional. Their torpedoes were probably not much better than early Bliss one.

  35. By matthieu on

    Hello all

    I’m back (from a lot of work). Here is the question of the week: how are they going to produce advanced engines? (and it’s also a problem for the league as their own plane engines are limited to a few hundred hours)

    A really important problem that all nations have to solve is steel quality. Let’s assume that they have access to good quality iron ore (something not granted as they need some without too much sulfur). Let’s assume that they have access to coke (something not granted) as they can’t rely on charcoal only.

    Now here is the complicated part: all engines assume access to high quality steel meaning steel with a controlled level of impurities.

    Right now what can they use? A Bessemer furnace is the first practical one for large quantities. The best thing that they can use is probably a Martin open earth furnace:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_hearth_furnace

    ——————————————–

    Now let’s assume that they can produce steel. What do they need to control?

    Silicon
    – Slightly raises the Strength and Hardness of Steel.
    – Raises the Critical Points.
    – A de-oxidizing Agent.

    Sulphur (huge shit!!!)
    A VERY harmful element. Efforts are made to keep it to a minimum ( About 0.015% but it may be as high as 0.6% in cheap Steel)
    Forms Iron Sulphide which is a very brittle substance. This

    you can remove it by mixing it with manganese but you need a lot of expensive manganese.

    Phosphorous
    It affects the ductility and resistance to shock or impact (shitty for engines or armor)

    Lead
    Added to all classes of Steel to improve the machinablity of the Steel.
    It is supposed to improve tool life,

    Manganese
    A powerful and most effective de-oxidant.
    Has a good effect on Sulphur.
    A good element for producing perfectly sound Steel free from internal defects such as Blow Holes and gas cavities.
    Improves the Tenacity of Steel without seriously affecting it’s Ductility.
    Increases the depth hardness of hardened Steel.
    With between 11% and 15% manganese an about 1% Carbon Steel retains it’s Austenitic condition even after quenching in water after heating to 1000 deg.C.

    Tin
    low melting point brittle film round the grain boundaries making the Steel practically useless.

    Nitrogen. Found in quantities from 0.005% to 0.3% in welds, were it is undesirable. It has a hardening and em-brittling effect. Intensionally added to the surface layer in case hardening to produce an abrasive resistant surface.

    how are they going to remove them?

    Reply
    1. By Alexey Shiro on

      Generally that’s why I hope Alliance would be able to obtain pulsejet via the Squall. The pulsejets are much simpler and cheaper, and they do not require high-quality steel (well, except for valves…)

      Reply
      1. By donald johnson on

        The big problem with puls jets is the short working life of the reed valves. The best i hsve ever had is about 6 to 10 hours between failures.

        Reply
        1. By Alexey Shiro on

          Yes, unfortunately, but replacing the valves (or pulsejet unit altogether) would be easier and cheaper than any attempt to build over-1000 hp piston engine.

          Reply
          1. By donald johnson on

            Packed togather is one thing and being stuck in the nose of a flying machine doing strange things while you are tied down is completely differant. I would guess that the next model will have two seats or the equevelant side by side with a view of the outside or a window of some kind for the blind one to help prevent panic.

          2. By donald johnson on

            How did this board repeat what i typed the last time. Delete the dupe!
            If the pulse jet reeds need to be replaced even efery 50 hours then the design is unsafe. I suppose that there could be a design that would aliviate this problem but i do not see any simple (or hard) solution to make the design man (cat)safe.

          3. By Alexey Shiro on

            //If the pulse jet reeds need to be replaced even efery 50 hours then the design is unsafe. I suppose that there could be a design that would aliviate this problem but i do not see any simple (or hard) solution to make the design man (cat)safe.//

            Well, basically made the whole engine unit replaceable) So after landing you would just swap the whole unit and replace it with new, sending the old to maintenance.

            P.S. Also, valveless pulse jets existed.

          4. By donald johnson on

            I need to see how a valveless pulse jet would work. Do you have any links to one? I had an idea last night but want to see what has been tried before.

          5. By Alexey Shiro on

            Yeah)

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEHw9lInIfg

            As far as I could understood, the basic idea is that the air column itself in exaust pipe could work as sort-of piston; i.e. when the pressure in the explosion chamber dropped after each blast, the air is pushed backward through the nozzle and the inertia of air column compressed the air-fuel mix inside the chamber.

      1. By Charles Simpson on

        Unfortunately the coal deposits are on the eastern side of the continent meaning either coal or iron ore must be shipped perhaps both to Baalkpan.

        Reply
        1. By Alexey Shiro on

          Assuming, of course, that there is no “new” coil deposits, that weren’t represented in our world. After all, the Destroyermen’s Australia isn’t just the carbon copy of our world even in therms of geology…

          Reply
          1. By matthieu on

            Well the problem is not really where the coal is but how to transform it into coke. If you use coal to produce steel sulfur will render it useless and they don’t have manganese to limit its effect.

            Here is a short link to coke: http://www.steel.org/making-steel/how-its-made/processes/processes-info/coke-production-for-blast-furnace-ironmaking.aspx

            You can produce it with an older technology but you will need a lot of experiments to get something working at an industrial scale.

          2. By Charles Simpson on

            Coking ovens are not that high tech making Coke in batches rather than continuous process and produce useful coal gas and coal tar byproducts, one for lighting and heating the other for petrochemical uses. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coke_(fuel)

    2. By W.T Dobbs on

      I am an industrial engineer and a former US navy boiler technician/machinist mate. If I let this technical stuff distract me from a good story, It would ruin it for me. Take off the engineer hat and just enjoy the ride. Worry about the technical stuff when writing your own story.

      Reply
      1. By Charles Simpson on

        Actually Taylor Anderson enjoys these discussions, and incorporates points made here in his stories, for instance discussion of the genetics involved in inter-species hybrids discussed on his old author’s site where incorporated in Courtney’s discussion with Dennis Silva in Blood in the Water. So feel free to share your expertise, and join in the Technical discussions here. These discussions are a learning experience for all.

        I agree that when reading fiction one must suspend disbelief, and time compression to keep the story moving is found in most fictions on rebuilding an industrial base.

        Welcome to our discussions enjoy yourself.

        Reply
        1. Taylor AndersonsBy Taylor Andersons on

          Ha! Actually, Courtney’s discussion with Silva was already “in the can” when that subject arose here. You may remember I made little comment at the time–except to say that I get a kick out of seeing discussions about things I’ve already written–and nobody knows my take. Sometimes they are very similar, sometimes wildly different. The very best come from a certain reviewer (who does a great job, and is very complimentary, by the way), who used to “predict” what would happen in the next book. Since the “next” is already in the can by the time the previous is released, I’ve always had a giggle at how wrong he usually was. He has stopped making predictions. :) That said, I absolutely DO suck in a lot of tech advice, and this is a good place to kick that sort of thing around because there IS and amazing wealth of diverse knowledge here.

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

        Welcome aboard WT! Thanks for your service, and I hope you’ll contribute to the discussions from time to time. Your valuable experience would be much appreciated! For example, having started life as a poor, ignorant Jarhead, I didn’t know ANYTHING about being a boiler tech/MM, and all I know is what I’ve researched or been told. I will greedily pick your brain, as I have others, and LOVE it when people who know more about something than I do correct me. That makes me a better, more authentic writer. That’s what this forum is for, and everybody who speculates here–or adds their expertise–does so because they’re “enjoying the ride.” There HAVE been a couple of “trolls,” but the contributors run them off! Finally, though my earlier life might have more closely resembled Silva’s, (and still does, in some ways), I’ve become more like Courtney. I know a lot about a little, and a little about a lot, but I’m not so arrogant as to imagine I know everything about ANYTHING! Even cannons!

        Reply
        1. By Generalstarwars333 on

          Trolls? Really? When? Can I use the soft pillows on them?

          Reply
          1. By matthieu on

            Alexey and me already played with them. We just forgot some anvils in pillows.

      3. By Alexey Shiro on

        Welcome, W.T. Dobbs!

        Oh, if the story is really good, nothing could distract you from it)

        Reply
    3. By Steve White on

      Well this has been a point of past discussion. It’s not enough to have iron ore from Borneo or India, you have to extract the iron and then make decent quality steel. Your points are good ones. I think Taylor has touched on this once or twice — the poor quality Grik steel in the first Kurokawa designed ships and the poor quality rivets used at one point to repair Walker. As Taylor just indicated, he doesn’t want to get too in the weeds in his story and we’ll let him deal with that :-)

      But for our lads at the Baalkpan and Manila Works (and now perhaps the Madras Works) this is the limiting issue — steel that is good enough for all the weapons everyone else around here wants Taylor to build :-)

      Reply
      1. By Charles Simpson on

        The only Destroyer man with practical experience in a steel mill was killed early in the series. What books or encyclopedia articles that they may have access to are unknown. so basically Alliance steel production is by trial and error. Windfalls of steel Amagi and Hedioame have been used and are now near exhaustion. Barrel steel is now being made. Eventually the D-men and the Cats will figure it out, I have faith in them.

        Reply
        1. By Alexey Shiro on

          Well, they have the Republic now, so the tech data is easily avaliable…

          Reply
        2. By Charles Simpson on

          Not to mention the iron workers of the Empire and New United States I’m sure information flow will be interesting. You are correct that the Republic’s store of knowledge will be invaluable. It is probable the League spies have also obtained written iformation of process of value to themselves too. However as yet we have little information o visiting experts helping the Human/Lemurian Union as yet and fairly limited contact as yet. The bulk of the Alliance troop are roughly equivilent to that of the 1870s using mostly single shot breachloaders and muzzle loading cannon with a few Machine and Sub machine guns, automatic pistols, pump flame throwers of Byzantine design, and drop and pop mortars. I wonder if Kurokawa has armed his Grik army with more modern weapons? We may find out soon. The Grik appear to be on a par with the Doms perhaps ahead with the socket bayonet. It is possible that examples of Alliance Allin/Silvas might find their way to them. They are more like the US army of 1860 with muzzleloading cannon and rifled muskets. Their large numbers might well check the the advantage the Alliance has. Republic artillery is much better than alliance and may be decisive. Chack-Sab-At’s experience in city fighting may become very important in the main Africa campaign. Well we will soon know as the next book is written and with the publisher likely to be out next June.

          Reply
          1. By Generalstarwars333 on

            Eh, if I recall correctly the “Newer Model” grik army Silva saw near the end of BITW has muskets, not rifles, so maybe like 18th century british army.

    4. By Paul Smith on

      Didn’t the wootz(sp) steel come from India to begin with? Didn’t the Japanese go to Spain to get replacement sources of good quality steel when they ran out of the good stuff they got from India? At least as far as I remember.

      Reply
    5. By Paul Nunes on

      I think you just have to keep producing the lower quality engines with a plan to swap engines at intervals. Then with luck you have turned out enough machinists and built enough machine tools like lathes and mills to divert some effort to research and development.

      I don’t think the Alliance can afford to divert any efforts as badly as the situation is going in the West.

      A considerable effort could be made to consolidate every technical manual and book that came through Squall from the Walker, Mahan, Santa Catalina, Amagi, Hidioame, and any other ship. A printing press and make reproductions… The Lemurian artists would seem to be very capable of reproducing any technical drawings or illustrations….. Reproduce all of these books with printing presses and redistribute to Baalakan Bay, Aryaal, Maanila, Alexandria, New Britain, and San Diego. Spread that knowledge around and see what might get a kickstart.

      Reply
  36. By Lou Schirmer on

    Speaking of Alliance aircraft, I just posted a design study for a multi-role bomber in Deviant Art:
    http://loupy59.deviantart.com/art/New-STD-Bomber-Design-Study-Ver-2-638600311?ga_submit_new=10%253A1475783168and in the Destroyermen Wiki:
    http://destroyermen.wikia.com/wiki/Special:Images?file=New_STD_Bomber_Design_Study_Ver_2.jpg

    I went with a bi-plane design because with the low engine power available, you need a large wing to lift a heavy weight like a torpedo & carry it any distance. A large wing takes up valuable deck space on a carrier & folding wings add complexity & weight. So to save space & still have a large wing, I went bi-plane. To reduce drag & still be structurally sound, I went with a Beech Staggerwing setup & anchored the wings to the fuselage, with the outer struts being the engine nacelles. The outer wing panels are a cantilever setup similar to the P1C “Fleashooter”. The Staggerwing was first flown in 1932, so our heroes will have some familiarity with the design concept.
    This should be a strong but still quickish plane and capable of lifting any of their current ordnance. I also designed it to be multi-role, as a torpedo bomber it is quite capable of lifting bombs & she just needed some dive brakes to be an excellent dive bomber. With a reduced ordnance load & a centerline drop tank, she has the extended range for scouting also.

    Reply
    1. By Lou Schirmer on

      Molested the dog on the above post after the DA link forgot to hit enter. Oh well, you get the point.

      Reply
      1. By Justin on

        Looks like it. I take it back – provided the specs check out, this’d work pretty well as a contemporary CV bomber.

        Reply
        1. By Alexey Shiro on

          Hm. Actually, what about tandem wing crafts? Of course, they aren’t perfect, but they could be useful…

          P.S. Some non-standard scheme from Soviet Russia:

          http://www.airwar.ru/image/idop/fww2/is1/is1-1.gif

          This is IS-1 (just Istrebitel-1, i.e. Fighter-1; not named after Stalin :) ) transforming biplane/monoplane fighter.

          The lower wing is placed on the turnable joint, so it could be rotated and pressed to the upper wing. The idea was, that this plane could take-off/land as biplane, and cruise & fight as monoplane. Also, in air-to-air combat it could use the biplane mode to achieve advantage in maneuvrability on the low speed.

          The prototype was tested in 1940, and surprisingly worked quite well. Test pilots mentioned that machine was easy to control, and wign mechanics worked flawlessly. But… the war started, and there were no time to put the plane into series.

          What about something like that for Alliance, to replace the aging “Mosquito Hawks”?

          Reply
          1. By Charles Simpson on

            A shame they were not in production, bi-plane’s short take off and landing combined with the mono plane’s speed might have staggered the German air force and not allowed the gains they made in ‘Operation Barbarossa’.

            PS. the IS-1’s wing looks to just raise vertically into the bottom of the upper wing not twist 😉 Twist suggests that the wings turns on an axis,

          2. By Lou Schirmer on

            Now THAT’s an interesting design. The inner half of the wing actually folds up into the fuselage, while the outer half folds “down” (relatively) to tuck into the upper wing. The picture was a bit confusing to my blood shot overhung eyes, so I looked it up.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikitin-Shevchenko_IS

            https://www.wired.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/is-1-thomasheintz.jpg

            This is another cool variable wing Russian design from the 1930s.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Makhonine_Mak-10

          3. By Lou Schirmer on

            Looks like anything with a link gets moderated, so this is a partial repeat to speed things up.

            Now THAT’s an interesting design. The inner half of the wing actually folds up into the fuselage, while the outer half folds “down” (relatively) to tuck into the upper wing. The picture was a bit confusing to my blood shot overhung eyes, so I looked it up.

            The “awaiting moderation” post had a few links to Wikipedia & a picture. Also another interesting design was the MAK-101. The outer wings rolled into the inner wings for high speed flight.

          4. By Charles Simpson on

            No that’s Cyrillic alphabet the backwards “N” is I and the “C” is an S Thus “ИС” in Cyrillic Alphabet is “IS” in the Roman Alphabet. Although NC for Nancy is a good joke 😉

    2. Taylor AndersonsBy Taylor Andersons on

      Very, very nice, Lou. It looks like the love child of Ilyushin and Beechcraft. I bet Silva would call it the “Stagger Wing Screech.” Actually, he’d probably come up with something nice to say for a change. It not only incorporates tech they can do and are familiar with, it captures the . . . spirit of the series and prevailing design philosophy of–basically–staying as close to the cutting edge they know or have been taught with the materials and techniques available. I’d love to say “that looks just like something I’ve come up with,” but that would be a lie. (The only things I even stretch the truth about are normal self-preservation remarks to my sweet wife. :) Bravo, Sir!
      BTW, if my memory serves, a stagger wing Beech was the last plane out of the Philippines (that had been there all along).

      Reply
      1. By Lou Schirmer on

        Thanks for the good words. Sorry it took so long to reply, long poker night & morning recovery. I’m not as young as I used to be.

        Another good thing with a bi-plane, you can have fuel tanks in both wings to increase range. I also modified the exhaust on the new design & on the size comparison P1C (I borrowed that from your Art page by the way, kudos to the original artist). I figured maybe part of the cats problems with altitude might be they’re sucking exhaust fumes blowing straight into their faces, & are also deaf. Longer tubes also work to save the cylinder heads from exhaust erosion. That’s one reason drag racer exhaust “zoomies” are so long. It also increases power with exhaust pulse scavenging (although they won’t be familiar with that yet).

        I also thought about doing a Hamilton Standard electric variable pitch prop, which they might be familiar with & could do, but figured they’d probably wait on that until the B model. They would be testing enough new stuff on this one already & it would also be less development work speeding up getting the thing into production.

        As to the wifey sir, truth origami is a necessary survival skill in any good marriage.

        Reply
        1. Taylor AndersonsBy Taylor Andersons on

          Probably is a bit early for variable pitch props. They have a particularly complicated example in the P-40s, of course, that might only serve to discourage them . . .
          Thanks, I draw all my pics and maps, with the exception of those I have noted. Charles occasionally monkeys with them–sometimes a little more than I would prefer–:)but he does so with my permission–and specifies when he does it.
          As for the Jap/Grik torpedo bomber, I did not discuss the specs of the fish, but it is NOT a typical “Long Lance.” It is a short range weapon designed specifically for the planes. There are several conclusions to draw from this, based on speculation already engaged in regarding Kurokawa . . .

          Reply
          1. By Charles Simpson on

            Ah the major problem with fan art speculating on the future, the next book is already written and the one following is under our author’s hand as we speak. The problems have been solved Sketches of alliance torpedo bombers by Taylor may already be in the hands of the publisher’s cover artists. As such speculative fan art is doomed to be off the author’s vision. As are many of our written predictions and speculations.

            I am not a figure artist, a fair drafts man perhaps, but can modify figures for other uses and poses to give drawing’s life.

          2. By donald johnson on

            I was using the long lance as it was most likely well known to Kurokawa and he may have has working models to copy. Putting two long lizards in the cockpit of the torpedo bomber sure takes up a lot of room and the training of the one to not panic because he cannot see must really take some doing. We must remember that the Grik are visual hunters and pseudo blindness could lead to them panicking with almost any unexpected.

          3. By Lou Schirmer on

            I agree about the variable pitch prop, that’s for later days.

            Did you ever get with your engineer friend about the double radial? Maybe he meant to say a 71 percent horse power increase instead of a 71 horsepower increase. You said it was a long night hashing it out & there may have been some confusion in wording? A 71 percent increase suddenly makes this a worthwhile engine to build. No engine design I’ve ever heard of gets only a 30% increase in HP when doubling the displacement & fuel burn. A 71% increase however is a 180 HP increase, putting the engine at 434 HP. Much more reasonable, & the increase could be played off in the next books as “teething problems” with a new design.

            If we’re stuck with a 71 HP increase, the engine is a waste of time, material, manpower & fuel. They’d be better off going with a twin engine fighter design. You’d get a full 100% power increase, no extra fuel burn & increased range. There would be a slight weight increase, but that would be more than offset by the power increase. An additional benefit would be redundancy redundancy.

          4. By matthieu on

            The long lance techno;ogy is probably unknown to any japanese officer or man. They knew how to use and maintain it but the exact technology was secret. They were not even telling their men that they were using pure oxygen and they needed close to 10 years to fully implement it. It was highly dangerous to maintain and a logistic nightmare

            Not a chance for them to reproduce them right now.

          5. By Alexey Shiro on

            Well, the tech itself was perfectly known for Japanese torpedomen.

            The problem is, how to reproduce it.

            The Long Lance torpedo was the pinnacle of unguided torpedo development. She required a lot of skilled labor, high-quality materials and precise manufacturing. For the current state of Alliance industry – this is too complicated. Again: their workfore is poorly trained and uneducated (enthusiastic, yes, but enthusiasm itself could not replace skills). They haven’t got a lot of materials – like high-quality steel of different marks – that the Long Lance-type torpedo required. And they could not produce gyro gears of required percision and quality. Well, probably they could build SOME, but each of them would be basically piece of art, and require absurd ammount of time to make.

            And, as I mentioned before – the Long Lance-type oxygen torpedoes are dangerous. The ammount of oxygen in their hulls made them dangerous thing to carry in battle. Quite a few Japanese destroyers and cruisers were gutted when their own torpedo tubes were hit. The Alliance simply could not afford such disadvantage in therms of their precious modern ship durability.

            P.S. And, frankly – the Long Lances never worked as supposed. Their actual hit rate was only about 6,7% – twice lower than estimated 15%. Basically it means, that they need 17 torpedoes per salvo to achieve a single hit.

        2. Taylor AndersonsBy Taylor Andersons on

          I’m sorry Lou. I DID talk to him the other day, but he got off on a tangent about armadillos, and his new/old Browning Hi-Power. (Armadillos root up the grass strip at his place in Oklahoma, and he has become . . . ill disposed toward them. I will get it sorted out. You might be right about the percent thing. Makes more sense to me.
          Good point Don. I imagine claustrophobia might be an issue as well, though perhaps not. They are rather used to being packed together.

          Reply
          1. By Generalstarwars333 on

            You know, I think your friend may have mistaken the forum for an armadillo.

          2. By donald johnson on

            Packed togather is one thing and being stuck in the nose of a flying machine doing strange things while you are tied down is completely differant. I would guess that the next model will have two seats or the equevelant side by side with a view of the outside or a window of some kind for the blind one to help prevent panic.

          3. By Lou Schirmer on

            Just as long as the Grik behind the pilot doesn’t get any ideas. Then it would be the PILOT panicking! ;>

          4. By Lou Schirmer on

            My bad! Just checked the drawing again & it’s the pilot in back. However it looks like they can both see out. The pilot via the open cockpit & the forward bombardier through the forward/downward facing window.

          5. By Charles Simpson on

            If I were drawing it again I would put the bombardier a little more forward with the bomb site tube that he is holding mounted in the window. and the pilot back a bit so he can get his head up in the cockpit.

  37. By Justin on

    Just going to move the Carrier X argument up here before we start getting lost.

    Also, before anybody forgets, the League is tapping into Union comm channels and passing what they learn to Kurokawa – that’s how they sunk Baalkpan Bay in the first place.
    So that’s both factions knowing where the Union fleets are and will be… and the CVs having to stay close to the fleets and troops regardless to give effective support. Avoiding combat will be a LOT harder for the CVs than some would think.

    Reply
    1. By Justin on

      //I wouldn’t put them in a position where they’d encounter the League heavy ships in the first place.//

      Already covered above and below. The current slow carriers can either stay far away enough to be safe (and out of effective Nancy range), or support the fleet and get outrun and sunk. Either way, they’re going to be near useless west of Madagascar from now on.

      //they don’t have a lot of ships and resources to spare — otherwise Savoie would have been part of a battle group which we’ve never seen.//

      The League’s not stupid – they’re not going to bring out an entire fleet when Savoie is sufficiently intimidating.

      They might have just that one BB (doubtful), or they might have a dozen (more likely, if they can just give one away). The answer’s probably somewhere in the middle, and the Union should plan accordingly instead of getting caught with their pants down again.

      //So if I were in charge of the Allies battle plan, I’d put a lot of aircraft at the Cape and work with the Republic of Real People to bottle up the seas there.//

      Hidioame alone could swat Nancys like flies. Two squadrons of them and a few Victorian ironclads against a proper WWII battlegroup have about as much chance of working as Jefferson’s gunboat strategy.

      //they don’t have long-range bomber aircraft (that we know of), and they don’t have (now) a base in East Africa or Arabia from which to operate those aircraft.//

      Come to think of it, a Union medium bomber might do the trick – especially now that they’ve got the wrecked Beaufort to work with.

      //then have to deal with Kurokawa. But I think Taylor has his own plan for that//

      I’d rather they win this one conventionally instead of relying on plot armour.
      Partly because of My Fleet Is Better egotism, and partly because Walker‘s getting more lucky breaks than the suspension of disbelief can support. Always better to have the reader wonder “How are they going to pull this off?” than “What contrived coincidence/plot device is going to save them this time?”

      Reply
      1. By Steve White on

        //Hidioame alone could swat Nancys like flies. Two squadrons of them and a few Victorian ironclads against a proper WWII battlegroup have about as much chance of working as Jefferson’s gunboat strategy.//

        You mean, sort of like sending Swordfish biplane torpedo bombers against the Bismarck? I remember how that one turned out.

        There are risks in every encounter. The Allies don’t have good choices right now. Putting a few squadrons of Nancys and Buzzards at the Cape (weather issues duly appreciated) is one option. The options I suggested earlier are not mutually exclusive.

        Reply
        1. By Generalstarwars333 on

          Buzzards with RADIALS?
          (If nothing else you’ve got to give me points for persistence despite no one acknowledging me)

          Reply
          1. Taylor AndersonsBy Taylor Andersons on

            I would expect to see more radials used, for a variety of things, over time. Now that they have been “perfected,” they are easier to make, lighter, less material intensive, do not require vulnerable radiators. They ARE “dirtier,” but FW-190s and Hellcats didn’t seem to mind. Even later model Wildcats, with upgraded engines, performed on a par with Hellcats. Remember though, when the D-Men came through, only the Navy was still devoted to radials for high performance aircraft. Ben Mallory (Air Corps) was all about liquid cooled, and he was most influential from a design standpoint. And the WG type engine was EASY. It took time to get geared up to build radials, but they are coming along nicely.

          2. By Lou Schirmer on

            I still think there’s a problem with the 10 cylinder two row radials. You’re doubling the weight, cylinder displacement & fuel consumption for only 71 (about 30%) more horsepower.

            Something’s wrong with this engine. Just from the numbers, you’d be better off mounting two single row radials. Cost, materials, time to build are about the same either way & you get another 183 horsepower for your fuel burn. Plus redundancy redundancy.

        2. By Generalstarwars333 on

          Also, if I recall correctly, the bismark attack was in a storm, by planes flying just above the waves, with torpedoes. Not in daylight with planes high in the sky dive bombing with 50 lb bombs. The allies still don’t have torpedo bombers. Also, the british had pretty much their entire navy waiting in case the swordfish failed, whereas the allies can’t do a huge amount to something like savoie with their 50 pounders.

          Reply
        3. By Justin on

          Exactly, General. And at the risk of sounding like a broken record, Bismarck‘s AA was both in need of a tune-up and calibrated for faster planes at higher altitudes – the biplanes got through because they were too old and too slow.

          Yes, two squadrons of Nancys are better than nothing, but I highly doubt that the same trick is going to work twice, even if it’s a parallel universe. Definitely not against an entire task force.

          Reply
          1. By Alexey Shiro on

            Absolutely. And, let’s not forget; French navy have seaplane fighters onboard battleships&heavy cruisers in late 1930s. This was their conception of close defense (especially against recon aircraft). Even the old Loire 210 could massacre the whole squadron of “Nancy”‘s single-handed; without fighter cover, “Nancy”‘s didn’t stand a chance – and Alliance fighters are very short-ranged.

        4. By William Curry on

          The NACA cowl was devised to reduce the drag caused by radial engines. The aviation people would have known of it even if they didn’t know the details. Most radial engined aircraft from the 30’s on used some form of drag reducing cowl.

          Reply
          1. Taylor AndersonsBy Taylor Andersons on

            Of course, and even Mosquito Hawks use a cowl, but it is not–yet–as efficient as it could be.

      2. By Alexey Shiro on

        //They might have just that one BB (doubtful), or they might have a dozen (more likely, if they can just give one away). The answer’s probably somewhere in the middle, and the Union should plan accordingly instead of getting caught with their pants down again.//

        My IMHO – they probably have another 2-4 battleships. With some speculations, I could suggest that French component of League possessed refitted “Normandie”-class battleship, and Italians possessed “Leonardo da Vinci”, refitted “Conte di Cavour”-class fast battleship. Both are much more tough than ol’ gal “Savoie”.

        Reply
      3. By Lou Schirmer on

        Talking about large carrier speeds, you don’t need a lot of horsepower to move fairly quickly… up to a point.
        Take the US WW 1 era dreadnaughts for instance. The USS Arizona weighed in at about 32,000 tons fully loaded and had installed power of about 29,000 or 34,000 shaft horsepower (depending on which site you check). On a fairly stubby hull plan, she did 21.5 knots on sea trials. So for a ship that was 20 times the size of the Walker & had only 4-8,000 more horsepower that’s a fairly respectable speed. Granted, still not what a CV will need, but it’s an indicator of what can be done with Walker type plants.

        Refitting Salissa with two Walker type power plants for 52-54,000 shaft horsepower might jack her up into the 24-26 knot range. That’s a respectable speed for them right now & could be used as a test bed for future developments. I’m not sure of her actual tonnage, so that’s a guestimate & they CAN build large wooden ships with armor plate additions, torpedo bulges & compartmentalization. Damage control is going to get emphasized also as it did with the USN after the loss of the Lexington to explosions & fire well after the initial damage at Coral Sea.

        Reply
        1. By Alexey Shiro on

          //Refitting Salissa with two Walker type power plants for 52-54,000 shaft horsepower might jack her up into the 24-26 knot range//

          Unfortunately, no. The drag would increase also.

          The good example is Italians. To boost their “Conte di Cavour”-class and “Andrea Doria”-class battleships from 21,5 knots up to 27 knots, they increased engine power from 30000 hp up to freaking 75000 hp!

          Same for Britain. The 21-knot “Revenge”-class battleships could have such speed with only about 40000 hp. But to reach the 25-knot on “Queen Elizabeth”, they put powerplant that could be overloaded up to 72000 hp.

          That was one of the reason, why US navy never tried to increase speed on mid-war battleships. They calculated, that to achieve any significant speed, they would need to put enormously powerfull powerplant – and there were simply no space in hulls to place it.

          To push “Salissa” up to 25 knots, they would probably need about 70000-100000 hp at least. She wasn’t designed to be fast, first of all. And I REALLY doubt that her hull would be able to withstand such speed. Her wooden hull would just break apart under strain from the shafts. Especially with relatively light destroyer turbines, which simply wasn’t designed to push such great ship through the water.

          Reply
          1. By Generalstarwars333 on

            And THIS is what is known as diminishing returns.

        2. By Lou Schirmer on

          That’s true on the drag increase with speed. That’s why I said “to a point”. However to get a large ship up to 22 knots or so doesn’t require a huge amount of horsepower as per the Arizona example. Past that & you start to get into the drag issue of doubling the HP to get a 25% speed increase.

          Yes Salissa wasn’t designed for speed, but she should be able to handle 20-22 knots or so & experiments with the Walker turbine sets would tell the tale. They could go with turbo electric drives which would de-couple the turbines from the propellers. Also, I believe being wood, she would displace considerably less than an equivalent sized steel ship, so the power to tonnage ratio would be considerably higher.

          Anyway, didn’t Walker tow the Arraca when she was being fired on by the Amagi? That’s a homes tonnage and Walkers, and they got up to 8-10 knots before things went sour. So it would seem the light turbines can handle the strain, since at the time the Walker’s power plant was old and in sad shape.

          Reply
          1. By Alexey Shiro on

            //Yes Salissa wasn’t designed for speed, but she should be able to handle 20-22 knots or so & experiments with the Walker turbine sets would tell the tale.//

            If her hull survived the strain. Let’s not forget; she is build from wood. And the wood isn’t as durable as steel. The stain on components would be really, really dangerous.

          2. By Lou Schirmer on

            Could always try it out on one of the captured Grik/Jap BBs.

          3. By Justin on

            By 1945 (if the Union and the League are still around, that is), they could also look at building some of their four-stacker cruiser hulls as light carriers. That’s definitely feasible.

          4. By Charles Simpson on

            1. At present Salissa and Arracca cannot be sent for conversion, however none converted homes might.

            2. efforts must be made to increase steel production, there is iron ore and coal on Austral and at Madras. and lower the need for more wooden hulls.

            3. The league is not building aircrat at present, and modifing their lad based aircraft for sea duty will adversley affect their preformance adding heavy steel components. However the fear of the Alliance should spur their efforts to creat ahome built aircraft industry. We do not kno yet, but hints are that they are using their modern equipment and have not bothered to creat industries to to build and repair their current fleets. They may not even have dry docks to clean hulls of sea growth.

            No the League is not ten feet tall. In fact the Alliance should not allow leopardo and it’s tanker to leave but either surrender or be destroyed.

          5. By Alexey Shiro on

            //3. The league is not building aircrat at present, and modifing their lad based aircraft for sea duty will adversley affect their preformance adding heavy steel components.//

            They already have a lot seaplanes onboard their battleships&cruisers. Some seaplane fighters, also.

            //No the League is not ten feet tall. In fact the Alliance should not allow leopardo and it’s tanker to leave but either surrender or be destroyed.//

            Problem is, they won’t go down without fight. And this basically means, they destroy A LOT of Alliance ships, planes & personnel, before being sunk – if they would be sunk at all.

          6. By Charles Simpson on

            //Problem is, they won’t go down without fight. And this basically means, they destroy A LOT of Alliance ships, planes & personnel, before being sunk – if they would be sunk at all.//

            By the time the ships arrive at least three modern fighters, P-40s, should be able to lead the attack, assuming the overcrowded League ships fight, remember their decks and spaces will be crowded with Savoie’s crew. If the tanker is taken out they don’t have fuel to return. Kurokawa may well feel abandoned by this new allies so they cannot be sure of their welcome the only place they could retreat to.. Now is the time to get payback against the League. I’m sure Mat Ready would feel more comfortable fighting Savoie from Leopardo’s bridge 😉

          7. By Alexey Shiro on

            I really think League would anticipate such action. And probably have a battlegroup nearby… just to be sure)

            //By the time the ships arrive at least three modern fighters, P-40s, should be able to lead the attack,//

            One small problem. Grik advance against Madagascar. The Alliance have NO planes to spare, much less modern one. If they would try to attack “Leopardo”, they could as well start to evacuate from the island right now; their chances to stand against Grik advance would change from “slim” to “nonexistent”.

            // I’m sure Mat Ready would feel more comfortable fighting Savoie from Leopardo’s bridge //

            No difference from “Walker”. The “Savoie” still blast them to pieces. She is battleship; and in Kurokawa’s hands, she have more than enough escorts to provide multi-layered defense against Alliance destroyers.

          8. By Lou Schirmer on

            //No difference from “Walker”. The “Savoie” still blast them to pieces. She is battleship; and in Kurokawa’s hands, she have more than enough escorts to provide multi-layered defense against Alliance destroyers//

            Didn’t Kurokawa think that when Amagi went against Walker? Reddy should be able to come up with something with more ships than he had then and working torpedoes. Maybe a night attack on the harbor or making smoke & coming in close during the day. One way or another, it will probably have to be done with torpedoes against the battleship. They’re going to have to deal with the remainder of Kurokawa’s aircraft also however before getting to the BB, unless Reddy can sucker him somehow.

          9. By Alexey Shiro on